Tuesday, 7 June 2011

SINGLE REVIEW: To Kill A King - Fictional State

When you regularly write about new music, you are constantly bombarded (and occasionally overwhelmed) with it from all sides, a lot of the time; however, this arduous process is made all the more worthwhile when you discover something truly special. This week, it is in the form of the debut single ‘Fictional State’ from Leeds locals, To Kill A King. Signed to the increasingly popular Communion alongside the likes of Treetop Flyers, this quintet has repeatedly drawn comparisons with Ohio band The National; these are not entirely misplaced. Ralph Pelleymounter’s velveteen vocal is certainly reminiscent of Matt Berninger’s similarly sensual tones but there are also shades of Villagers’ tenderly crafted folk and Arcade Fire’s earlier, more unruly material circa ‘Funeral’.

The track presents a pleasing mix of both beautiful melodies and thought provoking lyrics as well as a motley crue of genres in just under five minutes. ‘Fictional State’ opens with the sinister hum of a piano and the delicate, stripped back strum of an acoustic guitar twinned with Pelleymounter’s vocal as he wonders upon the nature of friendship and love (“we’re standing holding hands just as friends, there’s no love, with no love the world would surely end”) which flows with seamless elegance. The refrain of “what a state, why don’t you stay?” runs throughout, tying together the willowy simplicity of the first half with the rousing raucousness of the brass section that closes the track, spiralling into dizzying cacophony.

Written for The Whiteboard Project