DISCOVERY OF 2016 : LEANDER KILLS
There are moments in life that you never forget: your first crush, your worst injury, your first kiss, your first show, your first heartbreak, and the moment you hear something that blows you away from the first time. While I didn’t experience most things on that list in 2016, I did in fact listen to something that truly knocked the wind out of me, and that something is Leander Kills.
Featuring four accomplished and talented musicians and including fascinating guests, the band’s debut album Túlélő boasts an impressive mix of heavy songs and ballads that keeps listeners on their toes from start to finish. From the mesmerizing bass lines, the staggering vocals, and the well-placed piano sections by Leander Köteles to the near surgical precision of Valentin Jankai’s drumming and the crushing and catchy guitar riffs provided by Máté Bodor and Miklós Czifra, there is not a moment of the album that is boring, ill-timed, or out of place.
The Hungarian quartet’s debut album is a credit to each person involved in the project, guests Icarus and Ernő Kállai included, but what really sold Leander Kills for me aside from the obvious musical proficiency of all has been their eagerness to please their audience.
(Leander Kills - Madár)
Whether they’ve covering a song from a popular Hungarian band as they did with "Lopott Könyvek," adding some Leander Rising songs to their setlists to give a nod to the people who have been following frontman Leander Köteles' career since the beginning, or releasing four different versions of the same song to appeal to as many people as possible as they did with the beautiful song "Madár," Leander Kills has a palpable desire to please the people who sing with them and chant their names at shows that is nothing short of admirable.
Though their debut album has only been out for 9 months, Leander Kills already has already released a live opus that only cemented my good opinion of them. From their intriguing intro music to the last note of the night, the precision, playfulness, and passion exhibited by the whole band makes Leander Kills a force to be reckoned with. As the band gears up to start their year with their upcoming performance on A Dal, the Hungarian qualifiers for the Eurovision Song Contest, I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of Leander Kills in 2017.