The Kennedys share hope in trying times on tremendous new album, “Headwinds”

Beloved folk/Americana duo The Kennedys (Pete and Maura Kennedy) have just released a beautiful new album, “Headwinds.” Both band members sat down recently with @skopemag to talk about this fantastic record.

@skopemag: Tell us about your amazing new album.

Pete: In early 2020, we formulated ideas for an album project. Then the pandemic struck, and in addition to the environmental concerns, we now had a global health crisis, political polarization, and then the invasion of Ukraine, so there was no shortage of issues to write about in a passionate way. We still sought to maintain the balance of positive messaging, because we felt that people needed not only awareness but also hope. The result of that creative journey is “Headwinds.”

@skopemag: What is your favorite song on the album?

Maura: I’m proud of “Late September Breeze.” I always try to be aware of my surroundings, observing with all my senses. I was inspired by hiking in autumn, ice fishermen we saw on a train ride we took one winter up the Hudson and beyond to Montreal, and by a hummingbird feeder outside our kitchen window. I tend to find metaphors in everyday things. I just meditate on those things until the metaphor, then the song, reveals itself.

Pete: I also choose “Late September Breeze” because it beautifully evokes the feeling of early autumn, and it’s inspired by nature, just as the Romantic poets – Keats, Shelley and Wordsworth – were inspired by nature to reflect on the meaning of life. The craft of the song’s structure, the rhyme scheme, and the choice of words are masterful and seamless. Any writer could learn by a close study of that song.

@skopemag: How would you describe your music?

Maura: “Folk rock” is easiest. We write in different styles – the rock ‘n’ roll of “New Set of Wheels,” the folk ballad of “Boy from the East River Shore,” and the gospel-tinged “Woods and the Wild.” It’s about a good melody and a strong lyric. “Folk rock” also evokes some of the music that initially inspired us, like The Byrds and The Hollies.