Written and published for The 405, here.
Having already made some small waves on the folk scene, thanks largely to their signing to legendary London label Communion, To Kill A King look set to make a name for themselves with their extremely competent EP called My Crooked Saint.
Hailing from Leeds the band did some early gigs at Communion and have since won praise from Zane Lowe among others. So what’s all the fuss about? Well we begin with ‘Bloody Shirt’ a stomping and upbeat tune that shows off the bands musicianship and the brooding voice of singer Ralph Pellymounter, which incidentally has got to be one of the best names I’ve heard in a while.
‘Wrecking Crew’ runs with Pellymounter’s moodier side and confirms this band have rock running through their veins as well as the folksier stuff, which have lead to the inevitable comparisons with Mumfords and Sons, Noah and the Whale etc.
Perhaps what makes To Kill A King stand out though is that they are keen not just to make a good song but to tell a story too. The band have talked about releasing four music videos to go with each of the tracks, where the same characters pop up and the narrative develops with each video. This approach goes some way to proving the thoughtfulness behind Pellymounter’s songwriting and how this band put songs together.
To Kill A King aren’t all doom and gloom though, ’We Used To Protest/Gamble’ is a joyous and multilayered number, the jangly piano really helping to lift this song to approaching anthemic territory. ‘Family’ is more stripped back but there’s still plenty of evidence of careful arranging and orchestration, perhaps why the Guardian dubbed the band’s music orch-folk.
To Kill A King have all the tools they need to carve out a name for themselves in the folk circuit as a band that offer little of what we know and like about the genre already, but with perhaps a little something extra.