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Judge for The Kilns

Buena Park, CA
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Portrait of The Kilns
With a musical background that spans four states and musical influences that span several hundred years, The Kilns have emerged onto the music scene, armed with classically-trained melodies and insightful, if a little ironic, lyricism. The Los Angeles-based foursome references equal parts Ben Folds, Queen, and Mozart in their recently-recorded four song EP, placing an emphasis on catchy and singable lyrics and melodies.

The still-untitled EP already demonstrates the diversity found in the combined efforts of lead singer pianist and guitarist Jason Harris, guitarist Chris Larson, bassist Clayton Chaney, and drummer Paul Doyle. "But Still," which features guest vocals from Nettwerk singer/songwriter Molly Jenson, is a tongue-in-cheek battle between two conflicted lovers, which culminates in a Freddie Mercury-worthy soaring bridge. Elsewhere, "Elevator Girl" is a more tender reflection on love shot down by the closing of an elevator door. "The Strategist" weaves witty lyricism and piano playing, a la Ben Folds, and "The Talented Ms. One-and-only" is heavily influenced by baroque music with a polyphonic interlude that demonstrates the band's classical sensibilities.

With such variety in their instrumentation, it is no surprise that when the Kilns write songs, they focus on the music first. "Lyrics are usually the last step in my process," says Harris. "I know that might be a little backwards, but, I'm much more interested in writing the music and melody than in writing the lyrics."

Another focus of the band is in creating pop music that can still be sung by the audience at a concert, yet is more complicated and textured musically. "Chris and I would constantly have conversations about how watered down pop music had become," recalls Harris. "Power chords dominate the scene these days and we wanted to try something new. Instead of treating the guitars as only "chord players" we wanted to treat them like violins and cellos too, writing in a more polyphonic style, so that when we did play chords, the contrast would be huge."

The Kilns are currently continuing to expand their fanbase by touring an energetic and intricate live performance and preparing to re-enter the studio to write their first full length album.