Isolation Drills: Kyle Pulley (Headroom Studios, Thin Lips)

Like the majority of you, all of us in the Philadelphia area are staying at home, learning to adapt to our “new normal.” MAGNET is checking in with local musicians to see how and what they’re doing during this unprecedented time. Photos by Chris Sikich.

Pulley: As a recording-studio owner/producer at Headroom, I’m always working on other people’s projects and with other people’s deadlines. Even with my own band, Thin Lips, there were still other people’s input and schedules to consider. I’ve always had the tools to make music, but never had the confluence of time and inspiration.

At the very beginning of 2020, I tried to carve out a little bit of time for myself with limited success. However, just a few months later, I went from preparing to jump headfirst into a band’s record to having nothing on the calendar. With nothing better to do, I just started playing guitar, and messing around with synthesizers at my house.

Soon enough, I was going to the studio by myself and just working all day on music. I’ve never been a songwriter (I’m still not), but having the time and space—and no particular project to work toward—gave my time for some musical self-discovery. I was also able to devote some time to building some new skills in video mixing and new software.

It’s been a sad, lonely and painful year for a lot of people, but I’m grateful to emerge from this as a more confident and, hopefully, capable collaborator. Instead of just having my hands on the controls, I’m contributing more musically to projects than ever before.

Now I even have a bunch of my own music just waiting to be finished, and with any luck, some of it will see the light of day in 2021.