Photo by Chris P. Bakon
The extraordinarily idiosyncratic Kieran West certainly has a way with words. He is sincerely kind, refreshingly sardonic and unapologetically himself. West, not unlike many Winnipeg based musicians, is a multi-instrumentalist in various bands while maintaining an impressive band alongside a solo project. West is what I like to call a “music man”, a specimen who lives and breaths music seemingly exclusively. However, West doesn’t exclusively play music he is also a deeply passionate Educational Assistant for student’s that require extra support. He admits the limbo between the two lifestyles is difficult, especially as he is so fervent towards them. He completely immerses himself to both of these stimulating callings though, quite well at that.
Kieran West and his Buffalo Band feature a generous multitude of local talent (including Micah Erenberg, whom West plays for in Erenberg’s band). They released an EP in 2014 titled Riverwood Avenue, which is a series of notably well written complex alternative country blues songs with a punk rock attitude. The material is highly self-reflective, familial, wise, funny and dark. Some songs are palpably despondent but the music never feels sorry itself-a quality that is becoming increasingly rare. West deliver’s these homemade lyrics in a comically deadpan yet gently intuitive manor. This unique style seems to reflect the man himself who loves writing songs. He explains the process of doing so cathartic and ever changing, some songs take years and some take minutes. He often writes about his family that features generations of musicians. His mother plays piano and also works in a school, teaching potentially the best class of all-band. West is recording an EP with the Buffalo band along with a solo one followed by a tour in the near future. He speaks affectionately about the diverse material that comes from various corners of his resounding imagination. West’s music is ethnography of devastating Manitoban talent, contemporary country and fantastically relatable lyrical exploration. His music invites you inside and asks you to stay a while; it’s impossible to refuse this kind offer.