Forged in Melbourne, Australia, the post-indie quartet get around. They spent most of 2014 touring the U.S with Courtney Barnett, and in their four years together, they’ve taken up residence in Brighton, London, Dusseldorf and Stockholm. This month sees the band releasing latest EP “Cyclical”. Jimmy Volts caught up with frontman Thom Savage to talk restlessness, their darker direction and slapping strangers…
KINS have always had a touch of melancholy imbued in their tapestry. Their debut album “Dancing Back & Forth, Covered In Whipped Cream” was deliciously moody, and their self-titled sophomore LP even more so. The band’s latest EP (out July 6) sees them step further into the shadows with a newly acquired electronic slant. Thom explains.
“I just woke up one day and I didn’t really feel like anything had changed. Then I looked back at our first record and was kinda astonished as to how different it was. (The melancholy) probably stems from disappointment in people in general. Not that stuff like that gets me down. I just like the idea that a song takes on a feeling and runs further with it than you’d normally allow yourself to.”
One new track in particular “Little Dancer” treads darker territory than any track before it. It’s a seething, ambitious soundscape, clocking-in at a hefty 8 and a half mins. Savage explains how he exorcises this dark side:
“You know when you’re in a situation and for some reason the worst thing you could possibly do pops into your head? Like someone who’s really lovely is talking to you and you just imagine slapping them for no reason. It sends this horrible feeling through you! That song is a full execution of what would just pop into your head as being kinda disgusting and feral.”
In context with previous efforts, their new direction demonstrates that KINS are still experiencing a healthy musical evolution. Their signature sound, though strong, seems yet to be fully realised. Has the band’s varied home life had a part to play in this?
“I’d love to know that. When I die, I want my life re-played back to me in statistics. That’s my idea of heaven. How many times you’ve said hello, shaken hands, or how much your surroundings influenced your music.”
Perhaps, like so many artists before him, Thom’s formative years were instrumental in creating his seemingly restless nature, both geographically and musically?
“Growing up in Australia was like a comfortable bubble. I don’t feel like anything particularly crazy was fully executed for me on a creative level. That kind of notion isn’t culturally celebrated. The artists I love tend to be European’s doing mental shit. I don’t really mind if something’s kinda shit so long as it’s different. I really hate if something’s good, but just sounds like other stuff. I think when I left Australia, that was the goal. To do whatever it takes to be different. I still don’t think we’re there yet.”
Having recently teamed up with the management company behind Alt J, Wolf Alice and Gengahr – KINS are in good hands. Despite the fact that they feel like the black sheep of the family. ”They’re great for us. They have a lot of successful bands… whereas we’re… not successful” he says dryly.
Based on the scope of their songwriting abilities, it seems certain that KINS will go on to prove the age-old adage that “slow and steady wins the race”. We hope so.
See KINS in Brighton & London this summer, more at hellokins.com.