It’s a stormy night in St. Louis and I’m talking to Charming Liar’s lead-singer Kilian about Brazil. He says, “We went to Sao Paolo. It was beautiful. We were there for two weeks and we definitely want to go back. A lot of our fans are international. It’s so cool how the music translates.” Charming Liars are a London to L.A. transplant band, but they just got back from touring Mexico and Brazil, an odd feat for a band on their level, but one that stands out for a band on their level.
Kilian says, “We’ve been pressing ourselves internationally and the reception has been great. There are people out there that prefer to live in the studio, but we’re a live band. We enjoy making friends and meeting new faces.”
If you look at their social media or their YouTube channels you’ll see comments in every language you can think of. They have an international fanbase that most artists would kill for, but they’re so calm about it, like it’s not a big deal.
That connection with their fans is what makes them stand out to me. Kilian says, “We literally want to meet everyone after our shows. All of our fans are so special for one reason or another. It makes our night.”
Their latest EP, 12:31, is a trip. Infectious melodies mixed with those dark overtones and twinges of electronic. Kilian’s voice is distinctive, it almost has a desperate quality. He is a quick and clever writer. Words just come to him. He’ll talk to you about every lyric in a band’s catalog, appreciating the intricate details of songwriting. (One of his favorites is Jackson Browne’s Running On Empty) He likes to make lyrics that are relatable, that the audience can interpret in their own way. He said people like to thread themselves into your songs, they like to make it their own.
The sound is power-pop with hints of 90’s alt, a genre that you almost thought went out of style but is so welcome to come back. It’s damn catchy. On one side tracks like “Outta My Head” and “Wild” are anthemic and driving, while “Have You Ever” is soft, relatable, descriptive. It’s such a multi-faceted EP, a real step for them.
Killian says, “The three of us spent a lot of time after Delete. Repeat messing around with different sounds and the album just wrote itself. It was really organic. I had a lot of fun writing it. We don’t sit there and think ‘What would sound good over this?’ We just kind of spit it out. That’s been the theme for this record has been going in and seeing what comes out. “Soul” on my end both lyrically and melodically came together in a day or two. The music was kind of laid out and the melody just came to me. I went home that night and wrote the lyrics and I had this really good feeling about it.”
That good feeling turned into a stellar EP, and their live show is incredible. They have an amazing connection and energy that is contagious to the audience.