Kyleen King

Viola/Violin/Vocals, Arranger

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71 Reviews (32 Verified)
Kyleen King on SoundBetter

Top acts such as Brandi Carlile, My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists and Father John Misty have hired her for session strings/backing vocals, arranging and live performance. In addition to these abilities, she is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and lead vocalist.

Kyleen King is a session musician, string arranger and live performer based out of Portland, Oregon. With a keen attention to detail and an intuitive ear, she is able to find exactly what a song needs and then create the part. She is the violist and backup singer in Grammy-winning artist Brandi Carlile’s touring band. Kyleen is the first-call violist/violinist/arranger for Portland's top recording studios and has recorded on projects with My Morning Jacket, First Aid Kit, The Decemberists, and many more. Her desire to serve the song above all else, to be well-prepared, and to have a laugh are the defining elements of her career.

“Kyleen is my first call for strings here in Portland. She could not be more delightful to work with. She excels at pulling out the part you are after whether its pre written or just a vague something you might hum to her. She reads well and works efficiently. We always laugh a lot, and get a lot done.” - Tucker Martine (Engineer at Flora Recording, Producer for Neko Case, Roseanne Cash)

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Credits

Discogs verified credits for Kyleen King
  • Jessica Harp
  • Gavin Castleton
  • Blue Cranes
  • Dirty Mittens
  • Blue Cranes
  • Blue Cranes
  • Sallie Ford
  • Barra Brown Quintet
  • Catfish (37)
  • The Decemberists
  • The Decemberists
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Altadore
  • Loch Lomond
  • Case* / Lang* / Veirs*
  • Karl Blau
  • Band Of Horses
  • Various
  • Everett Wade
  • cars & trains
  • Paul McCartney, Jimmy Fallon And The Roots, The Decemberists
  • The Domestics
  • Grandaddy
  • Emma Hill
  • First Aid Kit
  • Kyle Craft
  • Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks*
  • Laura Gibson
  • Erika Wennerstrom
  • Barry Brusseau
  • Lindsay Clark
  • Tanagra (2)
  • The Delines
  • Silver Lake 66
  • Jeff London
  • Altadore
  • Adam Selzer
  • The Cribs
  • The Band Of Heathens
  • Laura Veirs
  • The Secret Sisters
  • Jerry Joseph
  • Eyelids
  • Raye Zaragoza
  • Chris Funk
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Drive-By Truckers
  • Historian
  • Red Fang
  • Matt The Electrician
  • Historian
  • The Delines
  • Brandi Carlile
  • Joni Mitchell Featuring The Joni Jam
  • Our Man In The Field
  • The Decemberists

Languages

  • English

71 Reviews - 7 Repeat Clients

Endorse Kyleen King
  1. Review by Yan C.
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    by Yan C.
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    As always, Kyleen has completely blown us away with her playing. This is the third time we've worked together, and it is always such an enjoyable and easy process. Her performances are not only amazing, but her writing and musical instincts for our music is always perfect. Thank you Kyleen!

  2. Review by Chris K.
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    Kyleen is one of my favorite people to collaborate with. Her string arrangements are always unbelievably good and she is a really kind person on top of it!

  3. Review by Daniel C.
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    Kyleen did a beautiful job. Created arrangements for two of my songs that were both sympathetic to what she'd been presented with but also added something that elevated everything. I couldn't be happier. She was also very clear in communication and got everything done well ahead of deadline.

  4. Review by Chris K.
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    I love working with Kyleen! I've worked with her several times and her string parts are consistently stunning. Her choices are always creative and extremely well thought out.

  5. Review by Daniel C.
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    I initially contacted Kyleen a few years ago about a record I was working on and she responded quickly and clearly. And then I completely dropped the ball.

    Fast forward to last month and I reached out again and again she was super responsive and enthusiastic. I send a few MP3s to gauge her interested and she chose a couple she thought might be a fit. Just a few weeks later, these stunning reference mixes popped up in my inbox.

    Beautiful parts, fantastic playing - I'm absolutely thrilled.

  6. Review by Brandon W.
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    Kyleen just put this song over the top. I've had the pleasure of working with her in the past as well, and she goes max effort every time. Thanks Kyleen!

  7. Review by Vincent Fevrier
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    It was a pleasure to work with Kyleen. She helped me put the final touch to my track with beautiful viola arrangements. I would recommend with no hesitation!

  8. Review by Yan C.
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    by Yan C.
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    This is my second time working with Kyleen, and it certainly won't be the last. She's an incredible violin/viola player, and also a great writer, as the new parts she brought to our music gave it all so much more life. Incredible feel, incredible production style.

    Thanks Kyleen!

  9. Review by David A McClain
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    Kyleen put so much feel and empathy into the violin part. I had goosebumps while listening to it! I am beyond thrilled to work with Kyleen!

  10. Review by Yan C.
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    by Yan C.
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    I reached out to Kyleen with a song in need of strings, with only a few thoughts on how to approach the part. She presented me this beautiful violin part that completely brought the song to life, played with incredible feeling and also recorded very nicely. Kyleen is a true professional, and I will absolutely be a return customer!

  11. Review by Scott Callan
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    Kyleen built out a lovely, lyrical string section well beyond any expectations I had. So appreciate the chance to work with her, and happily encourage others to do the same!

  12. Review by Peter H.
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    For this song, I asked Kyleen to play two viola parts I had written. She played the parts beautifully, bringing out the emotion of the song while fitting the song's style. Just what I was looking for. She is also very easy to work with! Would be great to work together again.

  13. Review by Remo D.
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    Kyleen is incredible! Nothing short of amazing. Brilliant musician, even better person. She truly has a passion for the art, and it was so fun collaborating with her. I can’t recommend her enough, she is professional, organized, talented, and loves music.

  14. Review by Vetle F.
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    Kyleen's viola recording was perfect! I love it so much! :)

  15. Review by Bradley D.
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    I had a fantastic experience working with Kyleen. With very vague direction from me she composed and played the perfect violin and viola parts for the song. I am over the moon with how great it turned out.

  16. Review by Chris K.
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    I am always thrilled with the string parts Kyleen comes up with it! She plays and writes with so much feeling and nuance. I'm really looking forward to working with her again!

  17. Review by Cameron S.
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    Kyleen was great to work with, prompt communication, and prompt delivery of service. She was patient and accommodating when there was a technical mix up on my end. The viola and violin tracks she recorded are beautiful and really add to the song. I will surely work with her again down the road!

  18. Review by Andrew
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    by Andrew
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    Another fantastic job done by Kyleen. She understands exactly what a song needs and exactly where to put the right touches. The delicacy and balance with which she plays shows the immense talent she possesses. I look forward to working with her again in the near future.

  19. Review by Andrew
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    by Andrew
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    Kyleen did it again. She knew exactly what my song needed. She constantly delivers great results with minimal direction. So happy to be working with her.

  20. Review by Andrew
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    by Andrew
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    It's been really great working with Kyleen. She was able to give this track exactly what was missing. Her playing is well balanced and always tasteful. I look forward to working with her again!

Interview with Kyleen King

  1. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  2. A: Most often, I work on rock and folk records, commonly with singer-songwriters. I am also experienced and comfortable working in the genres of country, jazz and experimental.

  3. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  4. A: My specialty is arranging string parts 'on the fly' (in the studio session, either alone or in collaboration with the artist/producer/engineer), so I am often hired to do just that. I also arrange full string parts ahead of a session, as well as read parts written by the artist or arranger. For those who don’t read music or speak the language of strings, I can work with you to interpret ideas for string parts.

  5. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  6. A: I'd say there are 2 skills that consistently get me hired. 1, I play with good tone and intonation on the viola and violin. 2, I can quickly and reliably execute the ideas I have for string parts/production that best serve the song.

  7. Q: How would you describe your style?

  8. A: My arranging style has been compared to Robert Kirby's (Nick Drake's string arranger). I'd say my playing style is dependent on what the song calls for - it is crucial to me that the strings suit the song, be they dramatic and cinematic, glassy and cold, upbeat fiddle-style or ambient noise...I am capable of adapting to what the song calls for.

  9. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  10. A: Unlike most classically-trained string players, I have both a multi-instrumentalist and audio engineering background - this means I know my way around in a recording studio environment, as well as being more open-minded to the approach of adding strings to a song due to my experiences in multiple genres (rock, jazz, folk, experimental, etc) and with multiple instruments (guitar, electric bass, piano, percussion).

  11. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  12. A: A few of my favorite producers are Nigel Godrich, Dave Fridmann, Dave Cobb and Blake Mills. I am inspired by artists like Jon Brion, Radiohead, Air, Bjork, Beck and Jason Isbell.

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Brandi Carlile, 'Stay Gentle'

I was the String Arranger & Violist in this production


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    Brandi Carlile, 'Stay Gentle'
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    Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, 'Solid Silk'
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    Courtney Freed, 'Big Crazy Love'
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    Dkota, 'Allrong'
Terms Of Service

Turn-around time for full live string stems is 2-4 days, for string arrangements up to 7 days. 1 revision/song included in the price (1 additional revision is allowed with additional costs incurred).

Gear Highlights
  • UAD Apollo Twin MKII Duo interface
  • AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone
  • Sennheiser e614 Microphone
  • Logic Pro
  • Avid Sibelius
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