Kwolek, the multifaceted artist hailing from Boulder, Colorado, is a one-man powerhouse in the realm of music. With a background deeply rooted in the diverse sounds of the 70s, 80s, and 90s—from alt and glam to punk and indie—Kwolek’s sonic palette is expansive, enriched by his love for world cinema, internet culture, and art. From writing scores for Toyota commercials via MySpace to crafting his 4th solo LP, “Masks,” in a modest Boulder apartment, Kwolek’s journey in music is nothing short of intriguing.


Kwolek’s single “Ronnie Stole This Riff / Kim Is Desperate” is a testament to the artist’s creative prowess and his ability to craft a narrative that resonates with listeners. Released on April 4th, 2024, this double single serves as a sonic diary entry recorded in the intimate confines of a closet in Boulder, CO. The choice of recording location is not merely a logistical one; it reflects Kwolek’s dedication to authenticity and the raw, unfiltered essence of music-making. This setting allows for a vulnerability that permeates through the tracks, lending an air of confessional honesty to the music.

The ethos behind the single is rooted in Kwolek’s recent inspiration drawn from Richard Dawson’s story-driven songs. This influence is evident in the detailed lyrical narratives that Kwolek weaves, set against a backdrop of an 80s/90s-inflected alt/wave sound. The result is a rich tapestry of words and music that captures the listener’s imagination, transporting them to the world of Ronnie and Kim. The narrative is a compelling one, with Ronnie’s love for music creation and Kim’s desperate search for a song that speaks to her soul.

Ronnie Stole This Riff,” the first part of the double single, is a vibrant ode to the joy of music creation. The track is characterized by its compelling synth melodies and gritty guitar textures, creating a soundscape that is both nostalgic and fresh. Kwolek’s vocals are a standout feature, distinct in their delivery yet harmonious with the instrumentation. The song’s title itself is a playful nod to the creative process, suggesting a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment of the shared musical heritage that artists draw upon.

At the first section of the song, you can hear the singer singing the lines “She stole this riff”. However at the 0:55seconds mark, you start hearing the lines “Kim Is Desperate”. As the track transitions to “Kim Is Desperate” the energy and narrative momentum are maintained. The instrumental continues to drive the story forward, focusing on the characters of Ronnie and Kim. Music is the thread that binds them, with Kim always in search of that life-changing song.


The fusion of two distinct musical ideas into one track is a bold artistic choice, and Kwolek executes it with finesse. The song’s dynamic progression keeps the listener engaged from start to finish, a feat not easily achieved in longer compositions. The confident vocal delivery and polished production quality are indicative of Kwolek’s distinctive musical identity, one that is unafraid to push boundaries and explore new territories.

Ronnie Stole This Riff / Kim Is Desperate” stands as an inventive piece that showcases Kwolek’s ability to blend diverse musical influences and storytelling into a cohesive whole. The track is an engaging experience that showcases Kwolek’s diverse artistic abilities. It shows his inspirations while also looking ahead in its production, solidifying his position in the music scene as a maker of powerful and stimulating art.

To sum up, Kwolek’s newest release is not just a compilation of songs; it is a storytelling adventure that embodies human feelings and the life-altering influence of music. The song encourages listeners to explore Ronnie and Kim’s lives, feel their love and desperation, and connect with them through music. It serves as a testament to the influence that a carefully constructed song can have, acting as a musical backdrop to our experiences and the events that shape us. “Ronnie Stole This Riff / Kim Is Desperate” is essential for anyone who values the skill of narrative in music. Go check out this song and experience the waves of emotion it brings forth.

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