Portland, OR, US
Safire references America's popular Alt./Country style, while weaving in tightly arranged vocal harmonies, innovative musical hooks, and sparse jazz fusion arrangements.
Steve Killen, lead vocalist/guitarist and founder of Safire, plays everything from a glassy, clean line to a jagged imitation of dropping bombs. His writing and arranging style is unique, influenced by the uplifting melodies of Coldplay, the west coast jazz/rock fusion of Steely Dan, and vulnerability of American songwriters such as Ryan Adams and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco). Killen’s expressive baritone vocals, contemporary anthems, and cathartic lyrics provide a musical storyboard for the audience, leaving listeners humming Safire’s haunting themes. Kit Taylor creates flawless keyboard soundscapes, contemporary R&B melody, and resonant vocal harmonies. Bassist Rob Obregon lays down foundational heartbeats and slick, buttery lines, dropping hints of Tony Levin, while guitarist Michael Herrman weaves in bluesy licks, adding texture, and complementing Safire’s guitar-layered arrangements. Drummer Eric Storm’s eclectic grooves and fluid bursts create a center for the song structure to orbit.
Killen was recently interviewed on national radio shows, such as Chicago’s own Finnigan, KISS FM national radio star, and with Chevy Chase and Ray Charles Jr. on The Ron Seggi show. Select music from this album was featured in the film “Tapping The Source,” leading to a feature article in the internationally distributed magazine “Carpe Articulum Literary Review.” In 2011, Safire earned a spot on the Reverb Nation home page under featured artists, selected out of 1.2 million bands. The band’s recent success is attributed to their commitment to use art for social action. This concept is branded under the song "Voices,” written to unite communities under a common voice for those in need.
Safire’s new work, Crashing Tiles, has been heard in Nashville, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Seattle, Portland, and more top-50 markets. The singles “Voices,” “Songs In The Winter,” and “Calculated” are among listener favorites. Safire is currently writing their second album, with single “Half A Man”, and will be showcasing this winter at venues all around Portland, Oregon.