Canadian Folk/Alt-Country Artist Kyle McKearney Shares Thoughts On Captivating New Single “Whispering Pines”

Kat Harlton

Lead Photo: Chris Doi

Canadian folk/alt-country artist Kyle McKearney recently released his captivating new single “Whispering Pines” on February 3rd via all streaming platforms.  

Born and raised in small-town northern British Columbia, Kyle McKearney grew up immersed in country and bluegrass music. He followed that passion by moving to Nashville upon finishing high school, where he absorbed the city’s atmosphere before returning to Canada to truly start focusing on his music career.

After working on several musical projects, Kyle returned to his roots and wrote and co-produced his debut album Down-Home, which garnered over 1.5+ million streams globally. The album had great success, leading to 14 award nominations, including three Canadian Folk Music Awards (2022), two Canadian Country Music Awards (2022), two Western Canadian Music Awards (2022), three Country Music Alberta (2022) and four YYC Music Awards (2022/2021). 

In 2022, Kyle also placed 2nd in Alberta Music’s prestigious “Project Wild” artist development program, awarding him $75,000 towards his career, and won the inaugural Henry Armstrong Award presented by MDM Recordings and the YYC Music Awards Songwriter of the Year.

He continued to gain momentum on the road, performing across Canada alongside incredible artists, including The Black Crowes, Dean Brody, George Canyon, Brett Kissel, Terri Clark, Our Lady Peace, High Valley and many more. 

I had the opportunity to chat with Kyle about his new single, what he’s learned along the way, and what’s next.

Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your new single “Whispering Pines”?

Kyle: I wrote “Whispering Pines” when I was working far from home on a split shift. It was super cold and dangerous and I was isolated. I missed my family and my home and wrote the song while I was driving down a backroad through the pines. 

Kat: What do you hope fans connect with on the new single?

Kyle: There are many families in this same situation, where one person works away from home and the other is on their own taking care of children and a home. It can be very difficult, and I hope this song brings them a sense of peace knowing that they are seen. 

Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of your creative process?

Kyle: The hardest part of my creative process is definitely articulating the sounds and ideas in my head to other people. Trying to help them understand what I’m envisioning can be a challenge. 

Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?

Kyle: A career highlight that stands out is being nominated for a CCMA. That was very unexpected and was the best kind of surprise. What have I learned along the way….hahaha. The list is long friends. One of the more valuable things was something a wise friend said. He said, “It’s just music. People take it so seriously but it’s just music” I think once I let go of the need to be successful and got back to just enjoying being a creative being, my world changed. 

Kat: What can we expect from you for the balance of 2023?

Kyle: 2023 looks fun for me to be honest. A second record to come out, tours, festivals, lots of playing live while always working in the background on my next record. I’m excited for this year. 

Connect With Kyle

Instagram: @imkylemckearney

Twitter: @imkylemckearney

Facebook: /imkylemckearney


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