Formerly the frontman of Brooklyn party band WORKOUT
and Mr. Divisadero
, Killen now spends his days putting foot to pavement, knocking on doors and selling goods, with a ground-level view of New York City. Out there in the rain soaked streets, he encounters all orders of lovers and losers, characters whose sagas he redirects in his music with one goal: "I just want to be a good storyteller."
Killen credits his uninhibited style to a particular riff from Electric Light Orchestra
's "Evil Woman". "You know those guys were in the studio like, 'No, we can't do that. That's the stupidest lick I've ever heard in my life,'" Killen imagines. "But people were smiling, and I guarantee they were like, 'Well, we gotta do it now.' Because people were smiling. My philosophy in music matches that in a lot of ways."
Even as he belts out seedy songs of loneliness and defeat, Killen dares you not to grin. The songs are parables from the edge, populated by perps and detectives, miniskirts and stubbed out cigarettes. For those at the bottom looking for company, look no further than KILLEN.