Innovation requires heavy thinking, patience, and a little bit of fine-tuning along the way. Orange County quintet Kiev may not have earned the title of innovators quite yet, but they possess all of those aforementioned qualities, analyzing and (admittedly) over analyzing their music until everything feels as close to perfect as possible. In essence, Kiev wants to blow your mind. With a multi-layered sound conjoined in a cerebral twist, Kiev consumes with their depth, leaving behind a drizzle of pop to keep things accessible, “We’re really turned on by things that are nonsensical, or foreign, or strange, but then you learn to find through a little bit of time that there’s actually a purpose,” describes lead vocalist Robert Brinkerhoff.
[pullquote quote="When we get together there's never a sort of intentionality. We like to explore and some really unexpected things come out."]Having won the 2011 OC Music Award for Best Indie Band and occupying a slot on the Locals Only playlist with a tasty track called “Crooked Strings,” Kiev are stirring up buzz all over SoCal.
In an exclusive interview with the lead singer, we discussed this past year’s fortunes, how the concept of their 3D live performances surfaced, and whether comparisons to bands like Radiohead come as a compliment or a curse.
Kiev’s debut EP Ain’t No Scary Folks In On Around Here is like having your ear work on a good puzzle. Kiev gives you the pieces with their instruments, but it’s up to your own mental capabilities to put it all together. It may take some time before the music unravels itself before you, but as modeled by Kiev themselves, a little bit of patience can result in beautiful rewards.
After approximately two years and innumerable hours of practice in their converted warehouse studio, Kiev is beginning to break through the congested social-music cluster in the region, and legitimize themselves as a band with big potential. Brinkerhoff touched on their musical process, “It takes a lot of time to put the songs together, but what’s interesting is we’re always making fun of ourselves.
We spend so much time improvising, talking about music and sharing music and just playing all sorts of sounds. When we get together there’s never a sort of intentionality. We like to explore and some really unexpected things come out.”
“Loot Recovered” – Live
This sense for exploration commands the ear’s attention, or there’s a good chance you’ll miss something. It could be a punch of saxophone, a groovy bass line, or some grumbling bum in the background. Whatever Kiev throws at you, it’s done from a collaborative standpoint. Brinkerhoff continued to mention the importance of each piece of the puzzle, “I like the fact that we have a diverse taste between the five of us, but also really connect on core things that influence us all. Each member has a distinct voice, and it’s not like there’s a clear leader in the band and people are just going to listen to me singing. You can jump around and watch each player and get interested in what they’re doing.”