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To Kill A King rocks Pittsburgh, talks upcoming projects

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Sarah Cooper

Ralph Pelleymounter, band member of To Kill A King, plays in Pittsburgh.


To Kill A King, a London-based indie-pop group gaining in popularity, is launching their 2014 summer tour with Bastille and Frank Turner throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The group started in a London apartment four years ago and is consistently working on branching out with band members Ralph Pelleymounter, Josh Platman, Josh Taffel, Grant McNeil and Ben Jackson.

The group stopped at the Smiling Moose venue in Pittsburgh Friday as they moved toward the end of their third week on tour.

Leaving their audience with unbeatable harmony and a powerful, unique sound, To Kill a King wasn’t expecting to have a huge crowd.

“This is the first real experience. I think a couple of us had sort of brief little holidays here, but nothing to the extent of what we’re doing,” Taffel said.

The group is often compared to artists such as The National, Grizzly Bear, Mumford & Sons and the Frightened Rabbit, but after their Friday show, To Kill a King has an undeniable stage presence that’s all their own. Ranging anywhere from light acoustics to heavier sets, front man Pelleymounter, who previously studied, lived and wrote music with Bastille’s Dan Smith, kept the crowd going.

In a lively and friendly manner, Pelleymounter held crowd interaction at an all-time high as audience members sang and clapped along during their entire set.

After hearing them for the first time and meeting Ralph after the concert, 16-year-old West Virginia native Linsey McCollam said it was one of the best concerts she’s ever experienced live.

“This music is so beautiful,” she said. “It makes me mad that I didn’t know about them before.”

Working hard and creating music with buildups that keeps listeners engaged, To Kill a King hopes this tour will help them gain popularity within the United States and Canada.

“It’s always the end call to get bigger. We want to be playing you know, bigger shows. More people. More countries,” Taffel said. “The end call is to just be as successful as you can be. The way that things have gotten since I joined the band ... it’s been a steady rise. And it’s been quite consistent.”

To Kill a King has multiple albums and EPs, with their most recent singles released in 2013 being “Cold Skin” and “Rays.” “My Crooked Saint,” an EP produced in October 2012, is available for free on their website and can be found on Spotify.

They’re looking to release an album on iTunes in America on April 22 and are working toward producing their second album.

“We’re kind of like halfway through recording it. We were hoping to get the bulk of it done before coming to America, but we’re so, so busy,” Taffel said. “To fit that in is really pushing it. So, we’re going to try to get it done as quickly as we can when we get back from the States. How I see the second album is a bit … I don’t know. It feels a little bit more mature, like it’s grown up a little bit. It’s hard to say. It’s still very early days.”

The group is excited to travel to Cleveland, Chicago, Canada, Seattle, California, Texas and Tennessee.

The group will be added to Morgantown’s new music pioneer, WWVU-FM’s rotation beginning April 22.

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Sarah Cooper

Ralph Pelleymounter, band member of To Kill A King, plays in Pittsburgh.