News Reviews

Interview: Tiny Stills Blends Pop and Rock For a Refreshing, Emotional Ride

Photo Creds: Carol Simpson

Kailynn West’s bubbly personality could be felt the moment you step into a room with her. Much like the vivacious sounds on her record, she speaks with just as much heart and honesty as she pours into the lyrics on her record. Tiny Stills is the power-pop brainchild of the LA based musician. Her second record Laughing Into The Void was released at the beginning of June and she’s is currently out on a full US tour with the rock band, Get Married.

A unique tour to say the least considering both bands are sharing the stage every night for both sets. Get Married is Kailynn’s band on this run and she is playing keys for them. Two sets a night may sounds exhausting, but you couldn’t tell by talking to Kailynn who was still fresh faced and energetic. In regards to playing with two different bands, West welcomes not being the main focus during the Get Married set. “I think I have a different attitude for each set so it’s fine. With Get Married, I am kind of in the background and I can think about other things and focus on playing piano for them. Jake and all of the other guys and Kayla, shine on that so it’s not like I’m the main focus.”

From performing together to sharing a van and sharing gear,  it’s safe to say that touring together has helped Tiny Stills and Get Married form a strong bond. Kailynn refers to the van as being “crammed like sardines”, but not even in a slightly negative way. She accepts it as part of the fun of touring. Their friendship formed earlier this year when Tiny Stills was the opening acoustic act on tour with Get Married. “We were just kind of hanging out one night super super late [on tour] and then it was like what if we did a full-length US tour together. I play for you guys and you play for me and we can go longer. We were just having so much fun and we were [bummed] that it was almost over. So we had that idea in spring of this year.”

Photo Creds: Carol Simpson

That fun has extended onto this full US tour. The Atlanta date at The Masquerade has topped Kailynn’s list of favorite shows (so far) on this run. “I [have] so many fond memories of playing at The Masquerade. It was my first time playing there as Tiny Stills. I had played at The Masquerade once with What’s Eating Gilbert and once again with A.W. and this time it was really special because it was Tiny Stills.” Looking back on those past times in Atlanta is a strong reminder of Tiny Stills’ big moment when an opening spot was vacant on Anthony Raneri of Bayside’s 2015 tour. This was the same time that most of Laughing Into The Void was written. At the time, Kailynn knew she wanted the record to be a little more aggressive than her first release and she was ready to incorporate more rock elements. “I knew I wanted it to be a little aggressive than the first record, but I wanted it to be honest and real and raw. I wanted to say exactly what I felt. I think it comes through in songs like Don’t Call Me A Catch. I was really angry while I recorded it. I think that’s the angriest song on the record. You know what I mean? I just wanted to make something that was true to myself and really on the next level. It started in 2015.”

“Tiny Stills has always been this cathartic, emotional project for me”

That honest and raw emotion really shines through on the record, specifically in her emotion driven lyrics. This depth adds something unique to her power pop record. Despite referring to her sound as power pop, Kailynn is far from a one trick pony and doesn’t let the limitations of genre crush her. “I think that every band has so many different facets to them and so many different emotions they can explore. I don’t feel like I have to pigeon hole myself into one thing or the other. Tiny Stills has always been this cathartic, emotional project for me because I can say what I want and feel better when I say it. So this second record is a lot more rock oriented I was listening to a lot of Weezer and more aggressive music. I took a cue from that, but I don’t feel pigeon holed into being one thing or the other.”

There is still more on the horizon for Tiny Stills, including the possibility of releasing Laughing Into The Void on CD since right now it is only available digitally and on vinyl. Along with that comes more new music in the distant future and more touring in 2019. “I have tons of new music already and I am ready to go back in the studio which is a horrible curse of being a musician. You record and it’s done and now you are ready for the next one. Hopefully just more touring and more music.”

You can catch Tiny Stills on the remainder of her US dates with Get Married. If you can’t make any of those dates you’ll also be able to see Tiny Stills at Fest in Gainesville, FL on October 27th as well as on a few more east coast dates before that.

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