After self-producing his last full-length record, Changing Horses, Ben Kweller steps it up on his latest, Go Fly A Kite, by releasing it on his own brand-new record label, the Noise Company. A Texas native, Kweller often maintains an easy, Southern country/blues sound on his records. It’s almost like Go Fly A Kite takes the best things about all of Kweller’s previous works and combines them into 11 rockin’ gems. BK keeps it simple on this one, going heavy on piano and electric guitar. But the simplicity of the instrumentation is what perfects the record.

Sometimes all you want is a fun record, and that’s exactly what Go Fly A Kite is. While all of the songs are catchy and sing-along-worthy potential singles, they also hold up collectively as an album. Although a lot of the songs are about bittersweet friendships and relationships gone awry (“Jealous Girl,” “Gossip”), the sunny, upbeat piano and warm guitar tones give a feel of hopefulness.

“Mean To Me,” the album opener and first single, kicks off the record in high gear, like the first track you’d want to hear when you set off for a long road trip. It keeps on going with “Out The Door,” which carries over a little of that twangy folk guitar that was so prevalent on Changing Horses. “Gossip” and “Free” slow it down a bit, reminding the listener that there are some deep lyrics behind these pop melodies.

Go Fly A Kite is a great way to kick off the Noise Company’s catalog. If this first release gives any suggestion for things to come, we can expect awesome records ahead from both Kweller and his label.