Like so many of our well-laid plans, those hopes were dashed with the onset of quarantines and lockdowns, which left Blades and the vast majority of his colleagues feeling trapped as across the country and around the world, venues were shuttered and festival stages stood silent. Needing an outlet, Blades soon set to work on creating a set of music fit for these uncertain times. The result is his first self-released venture, Kaleidoscope People, an aptly vibrant, multi-hued collection of slow jams and sultry grooves.
Despite the unprecedented nature of the circumstances, Kaleidoscope People in some ways also felt nostalgic and freeing. “When I was in high school and had just started playing keys, I was always making little tunes and jams on my 4-track recorder,” Blades recalls. “In some ways, this album took me back to the feeling of being a kid in my parents’ basement making music just for myself. It seriously became therapy for me during all this craziness.”