Boy Called Killian is the new music project of Shane Radford, a singer-songwriter from Kansas City, Missouri who I’ve been following for more than five years. He’s also a member of Kansas City alt-rock band Lost in the City, who’s currently on hiatus. I reviewed their excellent albums, “Genesis” in 2016 and “Leaving Home” in 2018, and it’s hard to believe it was that long ago! At any rate, I’m happy that Shane is continuing to make new music, and he’s just released his debut single as Boy Called Killian, “What is Tomorrow?“
Shane came up with the idea for his moniker ‘Boy Called Killian’ by combining his love of Peter Pan and middle name Killian. His sound is influenced by an eclectic range of genres ranging from 80s pop to 90s hip hop to modern rock. He felt compelled to write “What is Tomorrow?” as a way of expressing his feelings of exhaustion and numbness resulting from the pandemic, which hit close to home for Shane. Sadly, he lost his grandmother to Covid, and all the lies and false information some people were spreading about the virus, masking and vaccines made him frustrated and angry. He wrote, sang and played all instruments and programmed all synths on the track, which was recorded and mixed by Bret Liber at Red Roof Productions.
The song is darkly beautiful, with swirling otherworldly synths over a droning synth bass that create a rather ominous atmospheric soundscape. But he lightens the vibe with numerous musical touches like a skittering percussive beat and sparkling keyboards to provide glimmers of hope. His earnest vocals sound better than ever here, nicely backed by own lovely soaring harmonies as he laments “Everybody’s got somewhere to be. Everybody but me, me, me, me. So what is tomorrow? Will we ever be normal again? Everybody’s got an opinion. Everybody has got a wrong opinion./ What’s the point in spouting off? You look like an asshole./ Maybe you should shut your mouth.”
It’s a wonderful, expertly-crafted song that really strikes a nerve, as well as an excellent beginning for his new Boy Called Killian project.
Click here to watch the special animated video Boy Called Killian created for the song.