Interview with vocalist Kyle Hollis | By Natasha Van Duser
There’s a hush that falls over the crowd at a Picturesque live show when vocalist Kyle Hollis hits a falsetto note rarely reached in post-hardcore. It’s this incredible, unexpected vocal range that ignites the comparisons to Sleeping With Sirens and mid-2000s A Skylit Drive that the band now frequently receive. “[I] never had formal training,” Hollis explains of his high range. “Once I figured out I could do it, it took about three years to be able to really hone it in and do it to actually match pitch. But just read a bunch of internet stuff, and you can figure out stuff like that.”
If you haven’t heard of Picturesque before, don’t fret: they’ve only put out one EP, Monstrous Things, in November of 2015. But with the upcoming release of their debut full-length, Back to Beautiful—released July 14 through Equal Vision Records—they are sure to be all over the scene’s radar.
The record bridges gap between Picturesque’s more technical, indie-inspired beginnings to new, edgier post-hardcore horizons and revamps the tracks from their debut EP, including the singles, “Monstrous Things” and “Speak Softly.” “We felt like [the tracks from the EP] still haven’t reached all the people that they should have,” Hollis says. “I think they are solid songs. I just felt like they still had a little bit going for them, and we wanted other people to hear them.”
These throwbacks will be accompanied by an array of new songs the band recorded with producer Erik Ron, such as the record’s first single, “New Face.” “[‘New Face’] felt like it encompassed a lot of what Picturesque is, just as far as the nasty guitar playing and the high-pitched melodies,” Hollis notes. “It was a good overall example of what the album has to offer.”
Picturesque hit the road with The Color Morale and The Plot In You in July for The Desolate Divine Tour, where they busted out a bunch of their new material for their fans. “I really, really like playing a song called ‘Waiting’ live,” Hollis says, “[and] always ‘Just Exist.’ That song is up there with ‘Waiting,’ just as far as playing live. Everybody yells it back at us and—I don’t know, it gives you that high of being onstage.”
While Picturesque had a great lineup of bands with them on the road, Hollis admits that if he could tour with anyone, genre aside, it would be Nick Jonas, as mainstream pop directly inspired many of the vocal melodies on Back to Beautiful.
Picturesque will head out on tour again in the late summer and early fall, winding their way around the U.S. throughout September.
Photo by Kayla Surico