Kevin Junior was best known as the leader of The Chamber Strings and his association with the late brothers Epic Soundtracks and Nikki Sudden, both of Swell Maps fame. Kevin passed away in early 2016 at the age of 46. Flashes of brilliance marred by bouts with personal demons, Kevin Junior was an immense talent. Si Minor Seventh was to be Kevin Junior’s return after a long period of musical inactivity. Recorded in 2015 in Spain w/ the band Los Tupper after a short tour, there was optimism that the EP would lead to good things. It wasn’t to be – Junior signed off on the cover art (it IS perfect) just two days before passing away. Los Tupper had detailed instructions about the final production flourishes needed and this stands as the final release from Kevin Junior. A posthumous EP that stands as his finest release (in my opinion).
Los Tupper features Raúl Real on bass, Manu Gastado on electric guitar, Pepe Terán on keyboards, and Jesús España on drums. They compliment Kevin Junior perfectly – the hopefulness, longing, and sadness all are conveyed expertly. Junior seemed enamored by rock star cliché’s in his life – the drugs, the drinking, the women, the debauchery. Here, he sounds resigned. Honest. It is disarming and beautiful. The EP starts out with Ruins – a slice of girl group melancholy that features a guitar solo by Charlie Mysterio. There is an air of true regret when Kevin sings “I came here just for you”. Times Are Hard For A Dreamer has the lushness of Imagine era John Lennon mixed with the confessional era of Plastic Ono Band. Haunting. You’re Coming Home This Xmas is a pseudo Christmas song, but what it really is, is a plea for new beginnings. Debris was the only song that wasn’t tagged to be a part of future projects by Kevin and I’m not sure why – it is another highlight. Bluesy guitar, plaintive vocals, lyrics that tug at the emotions. “You tried to tell me / But I had to learn for myself”. Perfection
Big thanks to SunThunder Records for sending me a 7″ and CD version of this gem. It is a masterpiece. RIP Kevin Junior.
For Fans of: Nikki Sudden, Epic Soundtracks, Television Personalities, Bruce Springsteen, East River Pipe, Seu Jorge
- Times Are Hard For A Dreamer
- You’re Coming Home This Xmas