Kevin Rumley Heals Through Music With Debut EP ‘VI’

Kevin Rumley shouldn’t be alive. On April 7, 2004, while serving in the Marines on the Syrian border, Kevin was hit by an improvised explosive device. This tragic event took the lives of his closest friends and nearly his own. Despite this, Kevin found a way to heal through music. On April 7, 20 years later, he released his debut EP, VI, to mark his recovery journey.

The EP VI features six tracks. Each song invites listeners to experience Kevin’s triumph over tragedy. The music blends indie-rock, folk, and orchestral elements. The opening track, ‘Turn The Lights’, sets an airy rock tone. The closing song, ‘For Clifford’, provides a spacious and emotional conclusion.

Kevin’s EP is not just music. It’s a collection of feelings and emotional landscapes. He describes these as “musical snapshots of feelings.” The EP is the first look into Kevin’s internal music universe. A significant change in his sound came after receiving a mellotron from Drop Of Sun’s studio owner, Adam McDaniel. This instrument helped Kevin mix classic, acoustic sounds with sweeping synths and textures. His life story is woven into the tapestry of ‘VI’.

Kevin reflects on his journey, saying, “My life, at the time, was in a state of great motion and change. But, VI was my reflective space. My attempt at making sense of life and love and loss.” He worked with many local musicians, who are his heroes, to bring these feelings to life. Kevin recorded around 200 tracks and chose six for their cohesive energy.

Releasing VI is a pivotal moment for Kevin. He shares, “It is my proudest achievement. I’m proud to be in recovery and to have received my Doctorate in Social Work… to have survived being blown up, homelessness, and loss. But my greatest joy is releasing music. Wild! I just can’t believe it, and I’m so proud to have the opportunity.”

Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Kevin has been making music his whole life. He started recording songs with his brother, Matt Rumley, in middle school. Their band, Her Marigold, has been producing their psychedelic rock sound for years. As a drummer, Kevin collaborates with artists all over North Carolina, including Tyler Ramsey of Band of Horses.

Kevin’s music connects with his work as a veteran counselor and mentor. He uses his experiences to help others rehabilitate from the forces. Music is the foundation of his community. He says, “Music is everything. Seldom has music not been the connecting fabric between myself and veterans. Music can instantly calm the nervous system and allow for ventral vagal grounding.”

Music therapy is an evidence-based modality, and Kevin’s music has been included in VA Hospitals’ Ketamine Therapy playlist for PTSD. He considers this one of his greatest honors.

Kevin Rumley’s debut EP, VI, is more than music. It’s a journey through healing and recovery. His work proves that even in the darkest times, music can bring light.

Listen to VI below!


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