Travel Tunes: Kíla: Suas Síos

Kíla's music has been a huge part of my life for decades.

In January of 2015, I was preparing to travel to Costa Rica, and Nicaragua to take some time away from the damp of a British Colombian winter and undertake a bit of travel writing. I'd read online that Kíla had a new album ready to pop. I was desperate to have a copy of it to use as my soundtrack for my 14-day trek. Contacting the band via Twitter and, later, by email, I explained to them how important their music was in my life and that, a trip to a new continent needed to be accompanied by their new music.

Three days before I was set to fly away from Vancouver Island, a small parcel from Ireland showed up in the post: it was a CD copy of Suas Síos. I quickly ripped it to throw on my iPhone and sent them an emailed thank-you which I'm pretty sure wasn't nearly eloquent enough to capture my gratitude.

The woman, who is now my partner in life, was working in Costa Rica as a dive master. We've been together for close to five years now, and married for almost three of those. I consider Suas Síos the album and, consequentially, Suas Síos the song, to be good luck charms, of sorts. I never leave the house for a pop down to the shop or an adventure like our upcoming trip to Morocco, without them.

I hear tell that Kíla's got a new album on the way. Read the rest

Concert: Kíla - Live at Vicar Street

I got my first Kíla album in the mid-1990s while I was going to university in Halifax, Canada. It was a big deal.

Lemme give you some background: my folks declared bankruptcy the week that I shipped off to school. The financial help I assumed would be there for me, wasn't. I watched, near penniless, as my fellows drank themselves into oblivion and got to know one another. I couldn't afford to participate. I couldn't afford the books from the extensive reading list I'd been given. The only thing that I had going for me was that I'd used my student loan to pay for a meal plan as part of my first semester's tuition. I quickly found the work I needed to get by, teaching music, doing audio/visual duty for the classes I was attending, rattling locks as a security guard and playing in a bar band to make ends meet. I was exhausted much of the time.

There wasn't a lot of room in my life for joy back then.

Around the middle of the school year, I received a letter from my mother. It explained that the she'd come by a coupon, good for $25 at HMV--a Canadian and British music store franchise. The thought of buying new music--new anything, really--at the time, didn't have a place in my head, given how hard it was to come by books or cover my day-to-day expenses. I've never listened to a lot of popular music. My tastes lean towards OG punk and Irish/Scots traditional music. Read the rest