Photo by Taylor Czerwinski

Local singer-songwriter Kael Jackson has lived in a lot of places, being from a military family; but since they’re all from Dallas, if anyone asks, he’s a Texan. After a decade of playing professionally, he just dropped a two-song release, Step Forward, to preview his upcoming debut studio album. You can hear the grunge influences of Nirvana and elements of outlaw country across the two tracks. 

His sound has changed since his first EP, Wandering Heart, moving from raw, acoustic country to psychedelic sounds reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. He recorded the new album with Back-A-Round Records in Fayetteville, N.C., with complex instrumentation and production. “The sounds I’ve had in my head for a long time are finally coming out,” Jackson said. “I put everything into this. A lot of different sounds are in there on purpose. This is everything I’ve wanted to play in one album.” 

With his May 1 show coming up at Burns Alley Tavern, he’s most looking forward to developing a dedicated fan base. His mission is to articulate to listeners their value, especially in light of social media culture’s preoccupation with getting the most “likes.” “It’s hard for people to feel like they have a place in the world, and that’s what I’ve always wanted to do with my music,” he said.