Kiefer Shackelford is a San Diego-born and LA residing multi-instrumentalist. His sound has captured the attention of hip-hop fans all around the world, and with his growing presence within the hip-hop and jazz community, he has been able to collaborate with a plethora of artists and create ambitious, forward-thinking and exciting projects. 2017’s Kickinit Alone, released on Leaving Records was an incredible introduction to Kiefer, for me at least. With his incredible keys which dominate the jazz-heavy soundscape he so effortlessly created, the project was a great blend of hard-hitting drums and smooth melodies.
Now, Kiefer comes through with his debut record on Stones Throw Records titled Happysad. Following the same formula as his previous efforts, his new album sounds more concise in terms of its composition, with the song structures being tighter, more developed. It’s a personal record, touching on issues of loneliness, mental health issues, awkwardness and love. It’s a diverse soundscape with more polished ideas and a sharper execution. Tracks like “Dope Nerd,” “Highway 46” and “Socially Awkward” are definite highlights for me, but the album as a whole is worth your time and energy.
Listen to Kiefer Shackelford’s new album Happysad below via Spotify, and make sure to support the project in any way you can!