Psychedelic indie punk emcee The Kaleidoscope Kid has announced his sophomore album, Nothing For Free, will arrive this spring via legendary California label Suburban Noize Records. Along with the announcement, he today shares the album’s lead single, “Bite the Bullet”, exclusively via Live For Live Music.

Written, recorded, and produced by The Kaleidoscope Kid with mixing and mastering by Matthew Campbell at Vaul Studios in Scottsdale, AZ, Nothing For Free expands on the eclectic sound established on The Kaleidoscope Kid’s 2022 self-titled debut album, blending elements of alternative punk rock, indie, gypsy, and hip-hop with a psychedelic twist. The album deals with some of the struggles The Kaleidoscope Kid, whose real name is Josh Murphy, dealt with as he transitioned from being a big fish in the relatively small sea of Phoenix, his hometown, to navigating the cut-throat music industry he found upon moving to Los Angeles.

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“This album was written while moving from my hometown of Phoenix to the busy streets of Los Angeles with starry eyes and a guitar slung over my shoulder,” Murphy said. “I remember walking to a show in downtown L.A. and was struck by the polarization of poverty and wealth that co-existed in this strange land. Homeless people asking for money and food while tourists shuffled past them as if they were ghosts. All with a backdrop of Five-star hotels, luxury brand stores, skyscrapers, and Teslas. The words ‘nothing for free’ echoed in my head as I thought about all the money and politics that infest the music industry. I had often been contemplating how and why as a culture we had found ourselves perpetuating the perversion of art for money. I couldn’t help but feel as though we had taken something so beautiful and corrupted it at its core all in the name of the all mighty dollar.”

“Bite the Bullet” arrives as the first preview of the new album, and fittingly so, as the song is about taking the first steps toward new beginnings even when it’s terrifying.

“The song ‘Bite the Bullet’ is about facing your fears and doing what it takes to make your dreams come true,” Murphy explained. “I wrote the song as I was preparing to move from Phoenix to L.A. and I was having a lot of doubts in my mind about what would happen. The song was a reminder to myself that no matter what happened I would regret it even more if I didn’t take the chance; sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.”

“Bite the Bullet” weaves together scrappy ’90s-style alt-rock and chill backpack hip-hop with a little punk ferocity, showcasing Murphy’s proclivity for combining seemingly disparate styles into a musical tapestry that makes you ask, “Why hasn’t anyone done this before?” Listen to the track now in the player below.

The Kaleidoscope Kid – “Bite The Bullet”

The Kaleidoscope Kid’s story is one of exploration and triumph. After being diagnosed with Reiter’s syndrome, a disease that ravages the entire body with crippling arthritis and inflammation, causing blood blisters inside of his mouth and throat leaving him unable to eat or drink, Murphy lost faith in traditional Western medicine’s ability to heal him and turned instead to a holistic approach inspired by Eastern medicine and psychedelic culture. It wasn’t until he moved off the grid to a cabin in Sedona with his guitar and his dog Blue that his symptoms finally began to lessen.

Murphy found solace in music as he focused on healing, taking up guitar while treating himself with a regimen of reishi mushrooms, organic berries, Sedona spring water, and, eventually, heavy doses of psychedelic mushrooms, sometimes tripping for weeks at a time. It became clear to him that music was his calling, after which he returned to Phoenix and lived in a recording studio while producing demos that would eventually get him signed to indie powerhouse label Suburban Noize Records.

“Writing music for me is medicine,” Murphy reflected. “Through my own growth, self-acceptance, and healing, I can learn to be there better for myself and others, and show up fully to life. There is magic to any creation but for me writing music has been a way to alchemize even the most difficult moments of my life and turn them into something beautiful.”

Click below to view the tracklist for The Kaleidoscope Kid’s forthcoming sophomore album, Nothing For Free, and stay tuned for an official release date.

The Kaleidoscope Kid Nothing For Free Tracklist:

1 – Bite The Bullet
2 – Hollywood Funeral
3 – Moth To A Flame
4 – Shots Fired
5 – Death By Radio
6 – Nothing For Free
7 – Slingshot
8 – Turbulent
9 – Say Goodbye feat. River Rios
10 – Settle Down feat. The Real Khiry
11 – Cut Me Loose
12 – Halley’s Comet

Click to view album tracklist.