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Late last month, Kite Flying Society, the indie-pop band that took home the 2006 San Diego Music Award for “Best New Band,” split, leaving the recording of their second album, The Aviary, unfinished. The quintet, fronted by Dustin Illingworth (vocals, guitar), was forced to break up because of the departure of two members: Derek Rast (keyboards), who is relocating to San Francisco, and John Martin (bass), who is moving to Shanghai.

Martin replaced original bassist David Lizerbram in 2007. Todd Caschetta (drums) and Kelly Duley (keyboards, violin) rounded out the band.

Thanks in part to a buzz in the music blogging community, Kite Flying Society paid for the pressing of their first album (Where Is the Glow?) with preorders, eventually selling more than 1200 copies. The band drew attention from notable musicians, including Brian Wilson’s band, the Wondermints. Kite Flying Society opened concerts for Rogue Wave and Silver Sun Pickups and backed Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary).

Though their only television appearance as a group was on Fox Rox, their song “If I Could Split” was licensed by CBS for the How I Met Your Mother sitcom; other tracks appeared on action-sports DVDs.

Ten tracks were completed for The Aviary. While the CD won’t be released, a new Kite Flying Society collection will be issued soon, featuring seven of the completed recordings, plus “odds and ends.”

The remaining three tracks will surface on Illingworth’s next album, a solo effort, with both Rast and Martin contributing long distance.

“If there is enough interest, I would definitely consider putting together a band to play,” says Illingworth. “As of right now, though, it is a recording project only.”

– Bart Mendoza

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