Brattleboro-born singer/songwriter and musician Kyle Thomas is the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed indie rock recording project King Tuff. Thomas’ sixth King Tuff album, the SASAMI co-written and co-produced Smalltown Stardust was released earlier this year to critical praise from the likes of The AV Club and Stereogum.
The album is “an album about love and nature and youth,” Thomas explains. The Brattleboro-born artist takes the listener with him on a journey to a place where past and present collide, where he can be a dreamer in love with all that he sees. Images of his youth abound. And as a result, it’s a spiritual, tender and joyous album that might shock and surprise those with only a passing knowledge of his back catalog.
Thomas will be releasing Smalltown Stardust (deluxe dust) on all DSPs on August 18, 2023. The expanded digital-only version of Smalltown Stardust will include the album’s original 11 songs, one previously unreleased song and four different studio version of songs from the album. “For the deluxe version of Smalltown Stardust, I’ve done some digging and found a few alternate versions of songs from the record,” Thomas says. “I often try songs in different ways before I land on the final versions, and these tracks are a good representation of that! Some of these songs were kicking around for years before they finally fell into place. I wrote ‘The Wheel’ all the way back in 2005! Sometimes they just need to stew I suppose. These versions are mid-stew but I think they still taste pretty good!”
To commemorate the upcoming release of Smalltown Stardust (deluxe dust), Thomas and Sub Pop Records shared “Symphony Of A Man,” a previously unreleased single that appears on the deluxe edition. Built around what sounds like glistening Rhodes, a supple and sturdy bass line, swaggering boom bap-like drumming, mischievous bursts of mellotron or crumhorn “Symphony Of A Man” is a quirky song that sounds like it would be perfect in a Wes Anderson film — but while displaying Thomas and SASAMI’s penchant for incredibly catchy hooks.
“This is the first song Sasami and I wrote when we first started working on the record, about a mysterious, reclusive musician who I won’t name (Chris Weisman),” Thomas explains. “It was half finished and abandoned pretty early on, but I like it just the way it is! Note the crumhorn solo in the outro.”