In a world driven by routine, Kid Architect guarantees to energize worn-out musical repertoires. This frenetic foursome from Washington D.C. provides a refreshing musical outlet, especially to those looking for something out of the ordinary. Since 2008, the boys from Kid Architect have been cultivating their own unique brand of experimental rock. Driven by heavy piano and ethereal guitars, Kid Architect delivers an explosive, clean, and undeniably catchy sound. Fronted by singer and keyboardist Thom Bridgwood, the band continues to propel their reputation up and down the east coast with powerful performances and a clear passion for life and music.
The Great Pretend, Kid Architect's first full length album, was released in December 2010. The album is a concept album that focuses on the themes of struggling to find truth, clinging to ones beliefs, and finding meaning in a modern age when everything seems to be generally accepted and unquestioned. "The Great Pretend" harps on religious themes, relationship struggles, and a variety of other topics layered on a musical canvas that continuously keep the listener both intrigued and engaged. The 16-track journey stays true to the Kid Architect sound, driven by heavy pianos, swirling guitar textures, complex rhythmic elements, and a lead singer who is both infectious and clever in his vocal deliveries. "The Great Pretend" is an album that pushes musical boundaries while delivering meaningful and heartfelt messages to any and all of its listeners.
Thom Bridgwood - Lead Vocals and Keyboards
Mike Douaire - Guitar & Vocals
Clint Petty - Bass Guitar & Vocals
Tommy Alter - Drums & Percussion
PhilosoRaptor EP - 2009
The Great Pretend (LP) - 2011
Kid Architect's Great Pretend
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Vienna - If you’re like me, the older you get, the harder it is to get into new music. As time goes...Vienna - If you’re like me, the older you get, the harder it is to get into new music. As time goes by, being bombarded with too much of the same old worn-out emotions and predictable song structures might have left you listening to nothing but a handful of your old favorites. Fortunately, there is a remedy for our jadedness.
Out of our nation’s capital comes Kid Architect and their first full album, The Great Pretend. Kid Architect blends hard progressive-rock with roots of classical piano, jazz, and funk, creating a dynamic experience that exudes more creativity, raw talent, and showmanship than the countless new bands you’ve heard on major record labels.
Remember how you used to recognize a great band when you were young? Besides the band having a cool sounding name, what defined my favorite bands was how their albums would improve every time I would listen to them, and The Great Pretend is one of those albums. A very special part of Kid Architect is how their album stands in its entirety. Recorded within guitarist Mike Douaire’s home studio, The Great Pretend surpasses the quality and typical length of albums with an outstanding sixteen-track journey that, if anything, ends too soon. Thoughtfully constructed and mixed, it pays homage to an all-but-forgotten formula of albums where each song naturally flows into the next almost as if they were sequential acts of a play. Each song is distinct, yet has a natural placement within the album creating a euphoric odyssey that is hard as hell to turn off before the finale. The Great Pretend is indeed a production that stands on its own and cannot be deduced to a bunch of songs being thrown together.
Kid Architect balances their energetic rhythms with eerie breakdowns that are surreal yet organic. Their songs are catchy without being too pop or too pretty. The experience is like a sugar-coating gilded with dark and brooding tones. Bridging the album tracks are distorted sounds baring a resemblance to religious organ music with a mysteriously evil undertone. Frontman Thom Bridgewood’s mind-blowing piano solos on such songs as “Sense of Color” bring back the piano’s rightful place within rock bands. “My Dad was a piano teacher,” said Thom backstage at the Jammin Java in Vienna, Virginia. "He was trained in classical piano and extensively in jazz. He taught me the basics, and then let me just run with it from there. I taught myself from that point on, listening to other bands and trying to emulate them. I was able to develop my own style; but there are still some classical elements in it as well. For the time being we don’t use a lot of synthesizers; instead we stick to the natural sound of the piano as our signature sound.” Alongside Clint Petty’s jazz-funk style bass playing, Mike Douaire’s guitar releases sounds that you’d expect to have been warped by a computer. Influenced by David Gilmour and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Mike’s mandate aims to “create sounds from the guitar that do not sound like they came from a guitar.” Drummer Tommy Alter gives an intense and solid rhythm to the songs without being too flashy. Tommy describes the earlier days when Kid Architect first came into being. “We didn’t really have an idea of where this band was going in terms of style, it just manifested once we started playing together. Then as time went on, we found our sound. Once that was discovered we would toss out some songs that didn’t seem to fit our style.” Says guitarist Mike Doulaire, “We took our time recording putting this album together,” whose home studio was used to record the album. “We wanted to get each song right within one take. There are no vocal corrections or retakes; we didn’t change the snare heads halfway through the songs to create the ‘perfect’ sound; it’s more of a sincere experience that way.”
What came of this is a band that performs so well live they fully match the quality of their recorded material, if not exceeding it. One unique moment of the show deserving mention was Clint Petty’s solo song “No End in Sight” in which he uses the loop pedal like Keller Williams on his bass riffs, both mezmorizing yet humble in its simplicity. As young professionals, Clint commented, “We’ve set Kid Architect up as a legitimate business but, at the same time, we all love what we’re doing. We still have fun, but a lot of the fun has been cut out because we have to be more focused and disciplined.” Kid Architect’s thought-provoking lyrics are carried by pianist Thom Bridgwood’s incredible vocal talent. And yes, Thom’s vocals sound just as good live as they are on record, with the rest of the boys providing the backing vocals. The sustain and power of Thom’s voice on songs such as “Okay” will no doubt get you cheering your face off before the song has even ended.
Whether you’re the kind of person who enjoys the experience of the live show, or if you prefer rocking out to albums on your own accord, Kid Architect greatly exceeds your expectations in both fields. The band has absolutely no flawed elements except for maybe the fact that, in a more perfect world, these men would be getting paid full-time to create and progress their art together. With a small yet growing number of devote fans screaming every lyric back to the band in front of the stage, Kid Architect dissipates the connection between artistic excellence and media notoriety. Give this band a listen and take advantage of this unique group who prove that there is still superb music being created, you just have to know where to look.
Kid Architect @ Jammin Java 2/25/2012 - Show Review
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There was a moment in the night, as the third act on the late show bill at Jammin’ Java set up their...There was a moment in the night, as the third act on the late show bill at Jammin’ Java set up their mics and tuned their guitars, when it looked like they might be playing to an empty room. By 12:50 am, as band members marched on and off the stage setting up their gear, the crowd had thinned considerably. Fortunately, it seems their fans had only retreated to the bar because by the time the band strummed their first chords, the floor in front of the stage was full again.
“We’re Kid Architect,” front-man Thom Bridgwood told the audience in a break after the first song. “But we’re pretty sure you’re already good friends. We love you guys.”
Though Bridgwood and the rest of the 4-piece band initially looked a little weary, apologizing for the late hour and thanking everyone for sticking around several times, the audience was more than happy to be there. That energy proved to be infectious, as the band worked their way through a 45 minute set that lifted the mood in the room.
Kid Architect songs deal in big ideas. On stage, Bridgwood sang of heaven, hell and eternal love over heavy drums, bright finger tapped guitar solos and the bold chords he pounded out on his keyboard. Songs from their first album The Great Pretend (released Jan ’11) were met with cheers of recognition, and were interspersed with a few new tunes as well. One, which built up to a cascade of floor toms, crash cymbals and “woah oh oh’s”, was followed by cheers of approval.
The songs sounded polished and the band looked confident throughout the set. Even by the end, the audience was clamoring for an encore. The band made it obvious that they appreciated their loyal fans. “We have merch in the back,” Bridgwood had said in between songs halfway through the set, “but most of you guys probably have it already.”
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Since 2008, Washington DC's Kid Architect have been working hard at constructing a new rock and roll...Since 2008, Washington DC's Kid Architect have been working hard at constructing a new rock and roll blueprint.
Instead of processed pop ballads and manufactured music, KA focuses on heavy piano driven compositions drenched in airy guitars and passionate, poetic vocals. Lead vocalist and king of the keys Thom Bridgwood is both infectious and versatile. Equipped with a lung reminiscent of Incubus' Brandon Boyd, Thom commands ears and hypnotizes listeners with his heartfelt wails. His vocals, when mixed in the buoyant instrumentation and percussion, blooms like spring foliage, despite the blustery context. It's these types of casual combinations that turn little bands into giants.
After listening to the five tracks on BandSoup, I was shocked to see that the band is brand new. Two short years in and they already carry a sound that belongs to a veteran group that has bled on stage for two decades. It seems that the rest of the DMV is catching on as well.
In March of 2009, KA released their first EP, PhilosoRaptor, and have already distributed over 1,000 copies around the local metropolitan area. Motivated by their instant success, the band went back into the studio and hammered out their first LP, The Great Pretend, which is slated to release sometime this month (September 2010). If the diamonds in the rough uploaded to BandSoup are examples of a newly formed band cutting their teeth, the The Great Pretend might be the unveiling of rock's latest perfect design. Get ready to stand in awe.
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Kid Architect is a local band out of Northern Virginia that is characterized as experimental-psyched...Kid Architect is a local band out of Northern Virginia that is characterized as experimental-psychedelic rock via their myspace music profile. They passed their album onto me and I’m very glad (and honored) they did. I took a listen to their album and immediately thought of bands like Dredg, Circa Survive, and Radiohead but with more prevalent piano parts. After listening for a first time, I read an interview they did with the local Washingtonian and was happy to hear that those bands are some of their biggest influences along with Muse, Sparta, 311, and Pink Floyd. Upon further listens, I noticed how nice the album sounded. The production is really crisp and at least in my experience with local bands, crisp production is usually not available without mucho dinero or a great studio.
One high point about this album is the use of instrumental tracks between some of their more epic ballads. When I got the email from this band they explained the instrumentals as filler to help the album flow better, but I say embrace them. They are strong motifs that I keep coming back to and contain strong enough musical ideas that they could return to them when they are stuck in a songwriting lull. And I think that the experimental tag is only utilized in those short moments and I’d like to hear more of that side of Kid Architect.
For me, there were a few standout tracks: “Lion Must Sleep”, “Stained Glass Sea”, “Were You There?”, “No End In Sight”.
I’d recommend this band and album to anyone who is a fan of either Dredg or Circa Survive. In my opinion, they are right along with those bands in terms of sound. If you’re ever in the DC area and like to check out local bars and enjoy either Dredg or Circa, check out Kid Architect.
Making unique music is no problem for Fairfax band
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Fairfax, Va. — In a smoky bar among dozens of college students, between guitar tuning and the occasi...Fairfax, Va. — In a smoky bar among dozens of college students, between guitar tuning and the occasional “Check one, check two,” four Fairfax natives set themselves up to perform songs from their first mini-album, “PhilosoRaptor.” Kid Architect, a Fairfax local band who has accumulated a loyal cult following, has done this plenty of times and has no intention of stopping.
“When I look out and see people singing along [to our songs]…that is my favorite part of performing,” said lead singer Thom Bridgwood. “As an artist, your main goal is to convey experience, emotion, and idea through your medium. Knowing that other people are hearing and relating to my lyrics gives me a sense of fulfillment.” The group, which consists of lead guitarist Mike Douaire, bassist Clint Petty, lead singer and keyboardist Thom Bridgwood, and drummer Tommy Alter have dominated the local music scene with their unique sound and lively performances. “You can’t limit yourself to one kind of genre,” said Petty, who has been known to surprise audiences with his humorous adaptations of Gorillaz’s song ‘Clint Eastwood.’ “You will find that you start repeating yourself.” Kid Architect’s compilation of hard guitar riffs coinciding with a lulling, almost haunting piano sonance creates a sound that distinguishes the band from the majority of the D.C. area music scene. Although this group takes their music seriously, it is apparent from their shows that these guys have a solid friendship and aren’t afraid to make fun of each other. “The funniest live performance was when Mike was crippled by his broken ankle and had to play sitting in a chair for a few shows,” teased Alter. “He still managed to rock out. If you see him, ask him how it happened, that is also a funny story.” While the band intends to play more shows in the upcoming months, their plans far exceed that of just playing local venues. “We are starting to discuss the plans for our debut full length album,” said Douaire. “We are also planning to record this winter and play out in other states,” added Bridgwood. But for diehard fans, the biggest treat is yet to come. “We also want to get bobble-head dolls and get a custom made bass that looks like a bass, the fish, for Clint,” said Douaire. For more information on the band and upcoming shows, please visit Myspace.com/Kidarchitect.
Local Listens: Kid Architect - After Hours Blog
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Kid Architect is still a relatively new band—it formed in Fairfax in 2008. Though the guys are takin...Kid Architect is still a relatively new band—it formed in Fairfax in 2008. Though the guys are taking baby steps to release a full-length album, they’ve wasted no time recording and releasing an EP, PhilosoRaptor, to introduce Kid Architect into the Washington music scene. The band’s experimental rock sound is influenced heavily by Incubus (vocals) and Coldplay (the piano-infused songs), while bits of other inspirations from its own members are sprinkled throughout.
Mike Douaire (lead guitar), Thomas Bridgwood (piano, vocals, acoustic guitar), Clint Petty (bass), and Tommy Alter (drums and percussion) combined their musical talents after experiences with other local bands. Their four-song EP includes “Mata Hari,” a piano-driven tune about the exotic dancer and World War I spy. This track and three others can be streamed on Kid Architect’s MySpace page, where fans can also order the CD.
1. Now You're Alive
2. Mata Hari
3. A Silhouette Prayer
4. Stained Glass Sea
The Great Pretend (LP)
1. The Fall (not played live)
2. We'll Always Have Paris
3. Terror Tone
4. In Dreams, We Are Sideways (not played live)
5. Lion Must Sleep
6. Without Zeal (not played live)
8. Were You There? (not played live)
9. Sense of Color
10. No End In Sight
11. Lady Atomica
12. Seven Years
14. We Are At War
15. The Great Pretend
16. Stained Glass Sea
1. Tiger Lily
3. Night In Vienna
Muse - Time Is Running Out
Incubus - Sick Sad Little World
Radiohead - My Iron Lung
Total Set Time: Approx 1.5 - 2 hours
There are no upcoming dates at this time.