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Kingsbury darkens pop-rock

While listening to Kingsbury’s latest EP, “The Open Sea,” it is apparent that the band is not like any of the pop-rock or emo bands that are hitting the stages of Columbus venues. Kingsbury is a fresh, but dark change from the monotony of today’s popular rock music.

The Florida-based Kingsbury originally started as a solo act by singer-songwriter Bruce Reed. He moved to Orlando from Vero Beach, Fla. after his previous band, Venusian Skyline, broke up.

Reed said in an e-mail that he played with a lot of different people when he first moved to Orlando, but it was not going well. In Dec. 2003, Reed met up with old friends from Vero Beach and decided to join up with bass player Mark Freeman and drummer T.J. Burke. When Nick Sanders joined the band on second guitar and Riley Anderson on keyboards and piano – Kingsbury was finally formed.

“I moved to Orlando to find new people to play with and started a band with people I already knew,” Reed said. “It worked out really well.”

In 2004, Kingsbury released their first EP, “This Place is Coming Down,” with rave reviews from Florida and national media. Since then, the band has toured the East Coast, released their second EP and began their third tour this summer.

“The first EP was recorded after being a band for about a month. It was really rushed and the songs didn’t grow much from what they started as,” Reed said, “The second EP is much more focused. It’s also darker and the recording is better.”

Kingsbury’s sound is distinct. It is dark and soulful. Reed said Kingsbury has been compared to Radiohead, The Church, Red House Painters and Calla. He cites these bands and Pink Floyd as definite influences on the band.

“People have told us that we sound like a dark Coldplay,” Burke said in an e-mail.

These influences are visible on “The Open Sea.”

According to a statement to the media, Kingsbury has shared the stage in the past with such artists as Timonium, Via Satellite (The Album Leaf), Chuck Profit, The Reputation, Matt Pond PA, Holopaw and The Billy Nayer Show.

Kingsbury was in Columbus and played Cafe Bourbon Street on Aug. 11.

“This is our third tour and our first time in Columbus,” Reed said. “My previous band played a house show a few years ago. It was a basement show at a place called the Chaos House, and it was a lot of fun.”

The band is working on new material for its next album and said it plans to take a break from touring after their tour this summer.

“When we get home, we’re focusing all our energy into recording a full-length (album),” Reed said.

Kingsbury said it is excited about its new material and what will come of their future.

“The new material we are working on is really great,” Freeman said. “I cannot wait to get into the studio and get to work on a new album.”

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