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WE ARE KIN

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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We Are Kin biography
Founded in Manchester, UK circa 2013

Initially three of the members of WE ARE KIN met whilst playing as backing musicians in 2011 to the Manchester UK based pop-duo THE RECLUSIVE BARCLAY BROTHERS (now HOLOGRAM HEART PARADE). Gary BOAST and Dan ZAMBAS began discussing music during rehearsal breaks and very quickly realised that they shared a love of progressive music, specifically GENESIS. It was during these discussions that the two embarked on an idea to begin collaborating and writing their own music to satisfy their progressive needs!

One of the earliest compositions was ''HOME SWEET HOME'', once this materialised Gary and Dan realised that they had created something they were both very proud of and decided to aim to create a full band to realise their progressive dreams. During these sessions they invited BARCLAY BROTHERS backing vocalist Hannah COTTERILL to join to add vocal credibility to the recorded music, at the time Dan was dabbling in vocals but was very aware that his voice was an untrained instrument and the music demanded a more honed vocal delivery.

The band then attempted to recruit various musicians to develop into a full band ensemble, the most successful of these ventures was the Rock outfit FIELDS WITHOUT FENCES but the direction of this band was not what Gary and Dan sought so they ended their involvement and returned to the studio to define their sound.

At this point they began collaborating with Hannah COTTERILL with writing new music and momentum started to build, unfortunately for the band Hannah obtained a music contract working on cruise ships performing music (this was an awesome opportunity that couldn't be turned down, how many people get to earn a living from music right?). This was the defining moment for WE ARE KIN, back down to 2 full-time members at the beginning of 2013 what could they do to develop? The answer a concept album, 'PANDORA'.

Hannah returned for some recording sessions to add her spin on the music at the back-end of 2013 and also in collaboration with the Scottish Poet Alex DUNEDIN, they finished the recordings and released their debut album in March 2014.

Biography provided by the artist and used with permission

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WE ARE KIN discography


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WE ARE KIN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.43 | 25 ratings
Pandora
2015
3.50 | 4 ratings
... And I Know ...
2016
3.00 | 7 ratings
Bruised Sky
2019

WE ARE KIN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WE ARE KIN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

WE ARE KIN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WE ARE KIN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Home Sweet Home
2015
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tides of Midnight
2015

WE ARE KIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bruised Sky by WE ARE KIN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.00 | 7 ratings

BUY
Bruised Sky
We Are Kin Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars 'Bruised Sky' is the latest album from We Are Kin, and shows a quite different approach from the band. Gary and Dan had been joined on the last album by Emma Brewin-Caddy (vocals, harmonies) and Lee Braddock (bass), and 'Bruised Sky' sees the whole band making writing contributions for the first time. In addition, Dan had decided he didn't want any guitars on the album, so this time it is a rhythm section, keyboards, and vocals. The result is something which is very mellow for the most part, with far more attention to harmony vocals and vocal arrangements.

Various different studio tricks are deployed on some of the songs, but the band work best when they just play straight, as Dan has a good touch on the keyboards while Lee is a very strong, fluid and melodic bassist and Gary hits the drums with panache. The production is for the most part quite simple, allowing the music to have the space it needs, and Emma has a voice with considerable power. They again contain a lot of pop elements, and the songs are even more melodic and constrained than before, but they do allow themselves to stretch out here and there.

The result is an album which is pleasant, but not memorable in any way, and even though I played it far more times than normal nothing really stuck with me. I even had the feeling that if the tempo was upped then I would have been listening to something which could have been on the charts, which isn't something I would normally listen to at all. Interesting but not essential

 Pandora by WE ARE KIN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.43 | 25 ratings

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Pandora
We Are Kin Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Having just received the latest We Are Kin album, it made me realise I had never actually reviewed the debut, which I have had for quite a while so felt I ought to resolve that particular issue. We Are Kin were formed by drummer/composer/producer Gary Boast and guitarist/keyboard player/singer/composer/producer Dan Zambas, who originally were going to form the band with singer Hannah Cotterill who (un)fortunately got a paying gig on a cruise ship so only appears on a few of the songs. The result is a concept album which in many feels like a low-key project as opposed to a band.

While there are many similarities with the 90's underground scene, it is more melodic than much of that, and there are also elements which are quite poppy. It does not feel polished at all, and feels much more like a self-release than one from BEM. There are times when the swathes of keyboards makes one think of classic Pink Floyd, but the spoken elements do feel rather clunky and the overall impression is more of some good ideas which have yet to meet their potential. Given this album was released back in 2015, yet hasn't garnered a single review yet on ProgArchives shows that this didn't get much visibility when it was first released, but possibly the new album will go some way to address that.

 Bruised Sky by WE ARE KIN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.00 | 7 ratings

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Bruised Sky
We Are Kin Crossover Prog

Review by RelayerFr

3 stars WE ARE KIN is a Crossover Prog quartet from Manchester, founded in 2013 by GARY BOAST and DAN ZAMBRAS who created their first livery in 2015, the concept album PANDORA. They came together around a common passion ... the love of progressive music and a great admiration for the GENESIS group. But nothing here closely resembles "Firth of Fifth" or "Supper's Ready". Their new album "Bruised Sky" does not claim any concept, but offers us a surprising and avant-garde music without real equivalent. The musical bases are, so to speak, planted in an equilateral triangle comprising Electro Prog, Soul and Trip Hop. "Circles" begins calmly with futuristic-looking synths, hooked by a distant female voice seeming to come from the east. This song becomes jazzy and becomes recital, with this evidence that the artist is at the center of all interests. A brilliant piano accompanies repetitive feminine chants with redundant vibratos, then Techno keys and two-tone keyboards give a little sparkle to this ambient monotony. But this introspective grayness resumes its course and ends like notes tapping inside a bubble, leaving a taste of unfinished ... (6/10). "The Fawn" begins directly head to tail the orchestration backwards, pursued by wordless sirens, a big binary bass then comes to embrace these beautiful bewitching. The speed is now established, a phrasing la SINEAD O'CONNOR is announced, and delivers us with chorus a melody gradually intensifying in endless emotions (7/10). With "Leave Me Be" a piano welcomes us as if for a birthday, this refrain will be repeated throughout by a plaintive recitative, but well maintained, intense and tortured like JEFF BUCLKEY, with a very dense drums thus increasing the emotional charges. With this song, WE ARE KIN reveals their full potential to be able to develop and create new and avant-garde structures! (8/10). On the other hand, there will not be much to remember from "Bruised Sky" the eponymous ... apart from a discreet entry of a synth with the sounds "Vangelisques", a classy but monotonous voice resembling at times that of BETH ORTON, a few keyboards here and there, and a little melody that will make us spend a quiet evening by the fire, in short, nothing very exciting ... (5/10). Ca ne s'arrange pas vraiment avec "I Won't Go Back". It doesn't really work out with "I Won't Go Back". A lady wakes up lasciviously and gently delivers us soul music with reflections of gospel decked out in no no no no ... which never ends. The second part is of the same ilk, atmospheric impacts and ricocant voices close this little deadly interlude and devoid of progressive structure (5.5 / 10). "Nothing More" arrives at the right time as if to contradict the aforementioned words, and to make this piece my chosen one! This title settles brilliantly in musical forms and excellently produced compositions, thus approaching the very best in terms of progressive construction, prompting me to expire the word ... finally! The harmonics are superior here and take their places well thanks to a well-timed bass / drums section, revealing Pop-Rock or even Trip-Hop tones like PORTISHEAD. But halfway, this beautiful enthusiasm stops abruptly, the group then resumes its already mentioned shortcomings by adding repetitive lamentos, and vibratos at the exaggerated execution time ... thus prohibiting me from placing a 10 for this beautiful piece. Arrived at the last part around 4:25 we will discover an EMMA BREWIN-CADDY sussing sweet words, punctuated by silences suggesting an ideal elsewhere, by a deep and nuanced song coiled in velvet ... a real little happiness (9/10 )! We reach the last and longest piece of this work with "Paper Boat". The Diva takes her soprano voice and sends us silky softness tinged with delicate harmonies, to then transform into abusively severe expressions, thus moving towards an expressionist and unique Rock. We will once again be able to notice PORTISHEAD-style atmospheres and rhythms and phrases resembling RUFUS WAINWRIGHT ... what a beautiful mix! Weird sound effects and vocoders of men with vehement expressions break this careful work and spoil what for me was going to be the highlight of the album ... But luckily, the last minute that I let you discover is of a rare beauty! (8/10). You will understand by reading me, I am quite mixed about the few stumbling blocks that follow. I consider that a Prog music group playing without an electric or acoustic guitar is an almost prohibitive component for me, even if it is not essential or a guarantee of quality. Here, no guitar solo, no keyboard solo, no drum solo, no RICK WAKEMAN or KEITH EMERSON prowess, no lactic acid in the fingers or in the wrists either ... and the only existing solos are vocal. A few arpeggios would have been enough for me, but hey ... But I understand very well that the instrumentalists are not there to give us a demonstration of their virtuoso talent, but that they serve above all as accompanists for this extremely rare voice and beautiful, and that they have chosen their own style to shape their music as they see fit. The positives, and there are several, come from a strong sense of class and subtlety that emanates from the compositions from start to finish. From the wonderful voice of EMMA BREWIN-CADDY who uses her vocal cords like a musical instrument, the beauty that emanates from it and its warmth that touches us deeply. A good point will also be distributed to LEE BRADOCK for the incisive and sonorous rendering of his four strings. Check-in is clean and production decent. Recommended for connoisseurs of chic and refined music
 Bruised Sky by WE ARE KIN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.00 | 7 ratings

BUY
Bruised Sky
We Are Kin Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars We Are Kin is a crossover prog band from Manchester, England, founded around 2013. It was founded by Gary Boast and Dan Zambras, who were backing members of a pop band. They shared a love of progressive music and eventually formed this band. Their third album, 'Bruised Sky' was released in July of 2019. This album consists of 7 tracks which span a total time of 47 minutes. Zambras plays piano and synths while Gary provides the drums. As far as other current members, Emma Brewin- Caddy is the vocalist and Lee Braddock plays bass.

The album starts off with a smoothly flowing 'Circles', an 8 minute track that establishes a laid-back, yet non-traditional sound. Emma's vocals are smooth and fit the music quite well. While the music is fairly accessible, it still has a nice level of ingenuity and originality. The music settles in to a level feel for the most part, but there are some unexpected sections as it continues, but it still stays with a soft feel throughout. 'The Fawn' continues with that soft vibe, but shows a bit more of a build as it continues and more emotion comes through. In both of these tracks, there is a degree of hesitation as it moves from different sections.

'Leave Me Be' has some nice piano and synth work, and the melody shows a bit more inventiveness, but the vocals at times seem a bit unsure or just a little off. The 2nd half of the track has a nice build with the drums becoming quite active in increasing intensity and emotion. There is just a bit of an uneasy feeling in there though like it's just not gelling as well as it should be. 'Bruised Sky' is a bit more straightforward, and at this time the music is in need of a bit more life. That dragging feeling continues in 'I Won't Go Back', and is starting to feel a bit amateurish. When the tempo kicks up a bit, it isn't quite enough to help the fact that things are a bit repetitive in the last half of the track.

'Nothing More' brings a bit more life into the album with a bit more gusto in the beat and vocals. The overall sound pushes for a more progressive feel and the structure is less traditional sounding than the last couple of tracks. Even when things become softer in towards the middle, it still has an advantage of being somewhat exploratory and atmospheric until the end. The last track 'Paper Boat' is the longest track at over 10 minutes. It continues in the more exploratory and almost ambient direction of the last track. There are some definite experimental sections on this one as it continues on, with some strange and oddly placed effects, almost tending towards an avant-garde oddness as it goes on, some spoken word with processed male vocals come in half way through, and the song goes off in some strange directions at times, only to return to the laid back feel on the last section.

This album has it's share of both high and low points, and even with the mostly mellow, laid-back feel through most of it, it doesn't always flow as well as it could. There is a bit of an amateurish feel too the album also, but I don't consider it all bad. The band does show some promise, but they leave a lot of room for growth here too. I would say it is a good 3 star attempt as there is room to improve, but they were definitely on the right track many times throughout the album.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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