Wednesday, January 14, 2015

NPR “NEXT” BAND KINGSLEY FLOOD RELEASES NEW EP, 'INSPIRED' (PASTE) ELLIE GOULDING COVER, THIS WEEK

NPR “NEXT” BAND KINGSLEY FLOOD RELEASES NEW EP, 'INSPIRED' (PASTE) ELLIE GOULDING COVER, THIS WEEK

KF SET TO PLAY NYC AND BOSTON IN JANUARY

Kingsley Flood’s ‘To The Fire’ EP is out this week and signals the kickoff of “the year of the Flood” (Boston Herald). Produced by Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Speedy Ortiz, The Pixies), the EP is only the first of three planned recordings for 2015. NPR World Café named the indie rock act one of its “Next” artists last month: http://www.npr.org/blogs/world-cafe/2014/12/22/371919093/world-cafe-next-kingsley-flood

Kingsley Flood played sold out shows in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, PA last weekend and has its song “Waiting on the River To Rise” featured in a new History Channel national ad campaign.

Check out an embeddable version of the band’s “inspired” (Paste Magazine) cover of Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen” here.

Kingsley Flood will perform at Mercury Lounge in NYC this Friday and at the Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on January 30.

“[‘Set Me Off’ is] an up-tempo jam with a propulsive beat and a punk-rock attitude.” – Wall Street Journal

“Poised to take on 2015 with some serious momentum.” –Pop Matters

“Back at full energy.” – Washington City Paper

“Raucous folk-rock wrapped in a swanky indie shell, stadium rock for the small-room set, the return of one of America’s next great bands.” – Chunky Glasses

"You gotta see these guys live" - Boston Globe

"One of the greatest live acts going." - Boston Herald

"The lively rock ‘n’ roll of ‘Set Me Off’ is a powerful opening salvo" – The Swollen Fox

“The group succeeds in spinning influences of folk, punk, Americana and rock music into catchy, thoughtful songs you can both dance to and sing along with.” – Glide

Upcoming Tour Dates:

January 16: Mercury Lounge, New York, NY, tickets
January 17: Stone Church, Newmarket, NH, tickets
January 30: The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA, tickets
To The Fire Track List
1.     Set Me Off
2.     All In All
3.     Thick Of It
4.     Anything Could Happen
5.     Cavalry

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

KRISTIN ANDREASSEN CONFIRMS FULL SCHEDULE OF RADIO TAPINGS AND SESSIONS BEFORE RELEASE OF ‘GONDOLIER’ AS TOUR LAUNCHES


A month and a half before the release of ‘Gondolier,’ Kristin Andreassen has a full slate of radio sessions and taping, both local and nationally syndicated. She is also announcing a series of tour dates, both headlining and supporting. ‘Gondolier’ features Aoife O’Donovan and Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers) and combines her trad-folk background with her indie rock sensibility, which she earns by singing backup onstage for Lucius and on record for Sufjan Stevens. CMT Edge has called ‘Gondolier’ a “delicate beauty.”

Kristin Andreassen Early Radio Activity:

1/8   New York, NY- WFUV: studio session
1/12 Saranac Lake NY- Folk Alley:  studio Session
1/14 Baltimore, MD- WRNR Voices of the Bay    
1/18 Morgantown, WV- Mountain Stage taping
1/19 Lexington, KY- Woodsongs taping
1/20 Knoxville, TN- WDVX Blue Plate Special
1/21 Nashville, TN- Music City Roots
1/23 Louisville, TN-WFPK Live Lunch

Kristin Andreassen Tour Dates:

1/13 New York, NY - Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1
1/14 Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Street House Concerts
1/15 Washington, D.C. – House Concert
1/16 Raleigh, NC Duke Energy - Center/Fletcher Theater (w/ Aoife O’Donovan)
1/31 Olivebridge, NY - The Winter Hoot
3/3   Northampton, MA - The Parlor Room
3/4   Cambridge, MA - Club Passim
3/7   Katonah, NY - Caramoor Center for Music & the Arts
3/10 New York, NY - Joe's Pub

Monday, January 5, 2015

Kristin Andreassen 'Gondolier' credits and lyrics


KRISTIN ANDREASSEN
GONDOLIER
Liner Notes & Lyrics

Appearing on Gondolier:
Kristin Andreassen / lead vocal, guitar, piano, organ, body percussion, harmonica
Tom Ayres / guitar, bass
Stephanie Coleman / fiddle
Erik Deutsch / piano, Hammond organ
Rushad Eggleston / cello
Chris Eldridge / guitar
Nico Georis / accordion
Jefferson Hamer / harmony vocals
Lyndon Hardy / harmony vocals
Cassandra Jenkins / harmony vocals
Paul Kowert / bass
Frank Locrasto / piano, organ
Tony Maimone / banjo bass
Robin MacMillan / drums
Ruth Merenda / harmony vocals
Aoife O’Donovan / harmony vocals
Mike Riddleberger / drums
Ryan Scott / guitar 
Jacob Silver / bass
Alec Spiegelman / bass clarinet, clarinet, flute
Lawson White / drums, percussion
Chris Eldridge & Paul Kowert appear courtesy of Nonesuch.
Aoife O’Donovan appears courtesy of Yep Roc Records.


1. THE FISH & THE SEA
If I was a fish in the sea
How could I see the sea
How could I see the sea
If I was a fish in the sea

If I was the wind in the leaves
How would I feel the breeze
How would I feel the breeze
If I was the wind in the leaves

If I was a note in a song
I could feel short or long
Short or long
And what I feel could be wrong

You were never lost so you couldn't be found
We were never stopped so we couldn’t be wound
Just a kernel of corn in a big corn maze
Doesn’t see no puzzle, doesn’t need to know the way
I was never nothing if not your friend
At the start and the middle of a world without end

If I was a fish in a tree
I would feel the breeze
Dry as autumn leaves
If I was a fish in a tree

When we get caught up in the air
That’s when we see the water down there
Now I know, I know I need it on my skin
I know I need it on my skin oh would you throw me
Would you throw me back in
Throw me back in
Throw me back in
Throw me back in

Kristin: electric guitar / Cassandra: harmony vocals /
Robin: drums / Chris: electric & acoustic guitar /
Jacob: bass / Alec: clarinet, bass clarinet & flute

2. LOOKOUT
One if by land, two if by sea
Three if by time, and that I would believe
The future’s camped out there like a sleeping army

Three if by time, four if by air
I’ll climb up in the steeple with a feather in my hair
And light the lamps that tell you what I see out there

I was always looking out for you
Would you let me be your lookout
I was always looking out for you
Will you be my lookout now?

A bird in the wind flies steady like a weathervane
A bird in a storm is a marionette on strings of rain
So you got pulled around by the hurricane

And with every revolution, it’s crawling up the coast
I got a flashlight and a flask, but I need a friend the most
You been up and down, tell me what you know

Chorus

Looking out for the right time
Holding on for the good time
One if by land, two if by sea
Three if by time, and that you should believe
The future’s marching on a sleeping army

Chorus

Looking out for the right time
Holding on for the good time
Waiting up for the right time
Looking out for the good time

Kristin: harmonica / Jefferson: harmony vocals /
Robin: drums, percussion & bass / Ryan: electric guitar /
Chris: acoustic & electric guitar

3. ‘SIMMON
You get a line, honey, and I’ll get a pole
Together we’ll go down to that old crawdad hole
Where we set down our blanket on the green  grassy ground
Catching catfish by the dozen and crawdads by the pound

I’ve got a memory, so strong
Of Indian summer and a corny old song, babe

August was hot, and the lake has gone dry
We’ll just stand on the banks and watch the old crawdads die
Raccoon chased the possum, oh look what they found
A black tree with bright fruit and the branches bowed down

I’ve got a camera, so new
It makes color pictures like only paints used to do, babe

You climb on up, honey, and I’ll stay right here
I’ll catch what you throw me, I can see it so clear

The fruit was exactly the color of the sun
As seen through closed eyes when the afternoon’s humming, babe

You ride the grey mare, and I’ll ride the roan
You ride the G Train, and I’ll just walk home

I’ve got a camera, so old
It takes old timey pictures where silver stands in for gold
You ate a fruit, it was perfectly round
And the color of the sun when it’s close to the ground
Don’t you remember it, when we were kids
The color of sunshine as seen through closed eyelids, babe

Kristin: guitar / Jefferson: harmony vocal / Stephanie: fiddle /
Chris: guitar / Paul: bass / Mike: drums / Lawson: triangle /
Erik: piano & Hammond organ / Alec: clarinet

4. HOW THE WATER WALKS
I hear, I hear, footsteps on the rocks
Oh not, that’s just the water, that’s how it walks
Down in the bunker, with the night watch on the shore
We try to sleep until we don’t try anymore

Dawn has barely broken when they call us up above
I’m thinking only of my life, sorry my love
Our guns are big as boats and their boats are small as birds
We are the hunter and the prey awaiting the word

As the cannons find the silence, you know I fear the worst
That someone will live to tell how I fired first
I feel, I feel the wind is pushing me around
But the wind is just the air when it’s falling down
Oh the wind is just the air falling down

Kristin: body percussion & piano / Rushad: cello /
Alec: bass clarinet, clarinet & flute

5. THE NEW GROUND
Here on the new ground, oh what will we grow
Here on the new ground, what seeds will we sow
I know, I know, I know

You know I loved the trees, it pained me to take them down
I traded them for sunlight and the bright new ground
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go

Oh, the stones were heavy. It muscled up my back
A fence, a field and a house we made, the firewood neatly stacked
Hard row, hard row, hard row

Kneel down to the buzzard and bow to the crow
The earth is black as a bird’s wing and braided in corn rows
Just so, just so, just so

Kristin: baritone ukulele / Jefferson: guitar & background
vocals / Tony: banjo bass / Paul: acoustic bass /
Lawson: percussion / Alec: flute

6. AZALEA
It can get cold in Louisiana.
Colder than northerners know.
We can plug in the heat in the kitchen
But cold air finds the holes in the floor.

It can get cold in Louisiana.
Rice fields fields drawn in brown and grey ink.
But right there in winter, I’ll show you a flower
A cornet cast in purplish pink.

Azalea, I won’t fail ya.

After our party last weekend
When the band and the dancers had gone.
The rain and the flames and the mud and the boots
Together had conquered the lawn.

I thought on how everything transforms.
Fire to smoke, smoke to air, air to breathing.
I thought on how everything’s transforming me
But I’ll change like a tree, slow and even.

Azalea, I won’t fail ya.

Kristin: guitar / Ruth & Lyn: harmony vocals / Robin: drums / Tom: electric guitar & electric baritone guitar / Jacob: bass / Alec: clarinet, bass clarinet & flute

7. THE BOAT SONG
When I was a girl, I wished I was a boy
I had a dog, I wished it was a horse
We lived by the freeway, I thought it was the ocean,
Sounded like a seashell in my sleep in the night
I would go riding and I would go sailing
All the while bouncing a ball at the wall

And I was a gondolier, pushing through Venice
I was a tour guide of my own heart’s desires
Over there I’m a painter, over there I’m a builder,
Over there I’m a cab driver who knows every street
But I can’t find the bridge, or is it a ferry
Some way to cross over, some way to connect
No man is an island, but most of us choose one
There are islands for bakers and bankers
 and thieves.

And you row & row & row your boat on down the baby river
Row it oh so gently, as though life were but a dream

For some reason my dreams are all about water
It replaces the concrete, I can breathe it like air
Perhaps in a past life, I was a great swimmer
Or maybe in this life, I’m destined to drown
I’m destined to choose. So it’s been foretold
Sure enough, as I’ve chosen, my destiny is unfolding

Row & row & row your boat on down the baby river
Row it oh so gently, as though life were but a dream                   

But oh, I know, that dreaming is not living
So many lives there are to land upon,
The dreams just flow between
When I am an old man, I’ll wish I was a girl
I’ll wish I had parents. I’m sure that it’s true
I will want a tour then of my own heart’s desires
So many, so varied, all softened with time
No man is an island, but most of us choose one
There are islands for hustlers and mothers and kings
But the fearless explorers, they find secret passageways
Through melting obstacles. They move up
 and downstream
Saying look out for the rocks. Lean into the wind.
Look into your heart. Look out for your friends.
Hold fast to the oars. Maybe wait for the full moon.
Look up at the sky. Look down at your hands.

And row & row & row your boat on down the baby river
Row it oh so gently as though life were but a dream

But you and I know that dreaming is not living
So many dreams each night to lie upon,
And one life between the dreams

Kristin: organ, Wurlitzer & background vocals / Aoife: background vocals / Alec: clarinet, bass clarinet & flute / Robin: drums & percussion / Tom: bass

8. SUNNY ABOVE THE CLOUDS
Go on, would you tell me just a little bit more about that place
Go on, you’d rather be there even now, I can see it in your face
Go on, you took your hand from mine, you think  I’d hold you here
But don’t think I don’t remember what you whispered in my ear

It was sunny above the clouds
Sunny till the plane came down
If I don’t keep on moving I fall like rain on the ground
Sunny above the clouds,
Sunny till the plane came down
I fell without a warning, I didn’t make a sound

Go on, you’re not the only one gets jealous of the birds when they fly south
Go on, you’re not the only one who’s tried the taste of metal in your mouth
Go on, you heard me right, I’m enough like you to know you’ve mapped the entrances and the exits but the courage, it comes and goes

Chorus

Go on, at home we watch the sky and you say there’s sunshine way up there
So go, you’d take one look and then you’d fall
What would you hold onto but air
You’re right, with us down here there is no true and constant sun
We just have time, and we have weather
And some have faith
Don’t come undone

Kristin : guitar / Ruth: banjo & harmony vocal / Aoife: harmony vocal / Robin: drums / Chris: electric & acoustic guitar / Jacob: bass

9. THE APPLE SONG
 (ONE MORE TIME)
If there was an apple, it’s all gone now
Even the stem and the seeds, she don’t remember how
Once her skin was golden but she stayed till it burned
Fell asleep in the sunshine, you would think she’d learn
If you gave her sweet lemon pie, she’d ask for lime
If you gave her eight days a week, she’d hold out for nine

Now she says she wants to fall in love
One more time

If there was a garden, they’ve closed the gate
Our friend she is knocking, she knows that she’s late
Empty with hunger, she whispers with thirst
I know you don’t trust her, you saw her at her worst
When she begged for a nickel and you gave her a dime
And she still showed up on Sunday to drink the free wine

Now she says she wants to fall in love one more time

If you gave her an apple, she’d plant the seed
Kneel in the garden, get dirt on her knees
There would be sweet trees and shade if she had her way
Somehow I believe her when I hear her say

That she could be true, she could even be kind
Could see it through, finish the line
She could be true, she could even be kind
Do you think you could spare her one more rhyme?

Would you let her fall in love
She only wants to fall in love
Asking please to fall in love
Begging please to fall in love
Would you let her fall in love
One more time?

Kristin: guitar / Ruth, Lyn & Aoife: harmony vocals / Robin: drums / Tom Ayres: electric guitar & bass

10. SOME DO
Not every oyster hides a pearl
Some questions don’t want an answer
If you’re counting all the raindrops, some never find the thirsty grass
But some do
How bout me and you?

Not many horses run the Derby
Some clocks just don’t keep good time
If you’re counting every snowflake, not many find an outstretched hand

But some do
How bout me and you?

How many hearts go untested?
How many loves go untasted?
How many listened when they said
Only a love saved is wasted?

Not every river finds the ocean
Not all the oceans grow with time
If you’re counting every kindness, some never find a grateful heart
But some do
How bout me and you?

I have got a heart that’s untested.
I’ve got a little bit of love left untasted.
The wiser ones, I once heard they said
Only a love saved is wasted.
Only a love unspent is wasted.

Not every song becomes a favorite
Not all good books get read again
If you’re counting every raindrop, some never find the thirsty grass
But some do
How bout me and you?

Kristin: tenor guitar & harmonica / Chris: guitar / Lawson: tambourine

Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Robin MacMillan
Except Tracks 3, 5 & 10 Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Lawson White
Track 2 vocals recorded by Jefferson Hamer
Track 7 mixed by Adam Armstrong
Mastered at Engine Room Audio by Dan Millice

Woodwinds arranged by Alec Spiegelman
Body percussion on “How the Water Walks” choreographed by Sandy Silva

Executive Producer Chris Eldridge

Cover art Doug Chayka
Photographs Laura Crosta
Album layout Claire Taylor Hansen

All songs by Kristin Andreassen / Yellowcar Music, ASCAP
All rights controlled & administered by Yellowcar Music, ASCAP

Most of these songs were either started or finished in a cabin on Three Mile Island in Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. For the past few years, I’ve carefully guarded a week in June for a trip to this island where I write with a group of friends known as the Sub Rosa Collective. Thanks to all the musicians in that crew, and to the Passim Iguana Music Fund for supporting our work.

Thank you to all the artists who contributed to this project. I’m in awe of you
talents. Sincere thanks also to Molly Driessen, Brad Paul, Nick Loss-Eaton,
Paul Loren, Tom Krueger, Alex Marvar, Launa Schweizer, Buck McAllister,
Rob Rock, Amy Helfand, Lucas Miller, everyone who backed the album on
Pledge Music, my Miles of Music Camp “family” and my real life family,
especially Mom and Dad. Special double thanks to Aoife, Critter and Michelle.

Thanks above all to Robin MacMillan, whose suggestion that I make a record was
just the first of his many tireless and soulful contributions to this project.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Liner Notes: Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Collection: Rarities From the Second Decade

If you’d been prescient enough, 20 years ago, to suggest that in 2014 Signature Sounds Recordings would have a catalog of more than 100 releases, a Top 20 album, and a three-day celebration of the label’s artists, the most astute of scene-followers in Western Massachusetts would’ve told you to dream on. Even Signature Sounds president Jim Olsen, who co-founded the label and runs it with Mark Thayer, would’ve thought you were crazy. “We started the label as a glorified hobby, with no grand ambitions,” Jim reflects. “And Signature Sounds has grown slowly and organically.”

Organically, for sure. The Signature Sounds moniker is first seen on a pair of CD compilations released in conjunction with radio station WRSI in 1992 and 1993 as benefit projects to help fight hunger in Western Mass. But Signature Sounds isn’t incorporated until September 1994 and its first official release, Boneyard, by former Van Morrison sideman John Sheldon and his band Blue Streak, innocuously bearing the catalog number SSRC 1227, appears in January 1995. Including a duet with James Taylor, the CD hints at big things to come.

Jim, already known back then as the host of The Back Porch, the popular Sunday morning radio show featuring an array of Americana, bluegrass, country, and alt-country music, slowly begins building a catalog and roster of artists for the label. In 1997, Signature Sounds becomes his full-time job. By the time the label celebrates its 10th anniversary, it’s been home to dozens of acclaimed releases, including ones by Josh Ritter, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer, Lori McKenna, Mary Gauthier, Salamander Crossing, Mark Erelli, and Richard Shindell.

And that’s only the first chapter in the Signature Sounds story. During the next few years, in an environment where record labels are constantly becoming more and more generic and the trend toward downloading makes physical CDs less essential for some music fans, the independent Signature Sounds continues to buck the system and thrive. For proof, you need look no further than the CD you hold in your hands. Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Collection: Rarities From the Second Decade not only showcases the artistry as well as many of the artists who’ve populated the label in its second decade, but it’s a treasure trove of hard-to-find and previously unreleased gems that help define the Signature Sounds sound.

“We had some great material that hadn't been heard, and it was fun to round it all up,” Jim explains. “We didn’t want any demos, home recordings, or live stuff. We wanted everything to be intended for a release.” So there’s a Lake Street Dive track that was released as a vinyl 45 for Record Store Day 2014;  rare tracks by Crooked Still and Jeffrey Foucault; a bonus LP track from Winterpills; a newly recorded track by Chris Smither; EP tracks including one by Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers; previously unreleased cuts by Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, Peter Mulvey, and others; and much more from the vaults, including a celebratory hidden track by the Signature Sounds artists who hold the distinction of bursting onto the Billboard top-selling 200 albums chart at a lofty Number 18.

So what’s been a key ingredient in the success and the durability of the Signature Sounds label… especially at a time when most record labels no longer have a true identity? “I think there is a continuity in what we do,” Jim explains. “We’ve only added one or two new artists a year, and worked with many of artists for a long time. Our artists tend to be friends and tour partners, which lends a real sense of community to the label.”

Back in the day, a small handful of record labels had personalities of their own. If you were a jazz fan, for instance, chances are you could trust a label such as Impulse Records to put out music worth seeking out, even if you were unfamiliar with a particular artist. For Jim, Reprise Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. was just such an inspiration back in the 1960s and ’70s: “They signed amazing but non-commercial artists like Randy Newman and Ry Cooder. And they stuck with their artists even when their records didn't sell. In time it has become clear that they were a visionary label.”

Just like Signature Sounds.

And just like the selections spanning this 20th Anniversary Collection, music from Signature Sounds—yesterday, today, and tomorrow—is always worth listening to. After all, good taste is timeless.

—David Sokol, Hadley MA, November 2014

David Sokol was music editor for the Advocate Newspapers from 1977 to 1993, going on to edit New Country magazine, which featured early Signature Sounds tracks on its monthly samplers, and Disney Magazine.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

LUCIUS, DAWN LANDES, AOIFE O’DONOVAN OPINE ON KRISTIN ANDREASSEN’S NEW “SPECTACULAR” ‘GONDOLER’ (FEBRUARY 17)

WFUV’S JOHN PLATT: “GONDOLIER IS A BEAUTIFUL RECORD”

DAWN LANDES: “WARNING: THESE SONGS WILL FOLLOW YOU AROUND FOR DAYS”

Kristin Andreassen’s musical voyage from traditional folk to indie folk – culminating in the new album ‘Gondolier’ (February 17) – are apparent in the company that she keeps. On any given night, she might be hosting an old-time music jam in Brooklyn, recording backup vocals with Sufjan Stevens, calling a square dance in upstate New York, or singing onstage at Terminal 5 with Lucius.

WFUV’s John Platt, who hosted a set of hers at the On Your Radar concert Tuesday night, told the packed house, “‘Gondolier’ is a beautiful record.”

Andreassen says, “Being a part of the community in Brooklyn has been one of the most fulfilling parts of my career.” That respect is reflected right back at her from her peers:

Dawn Landes, with whom Andreassen has toured, says, "Andreassen has made another gorgeous album. These songs feel at once familiar and completely original. Her melodies seem to flow from a primeval stream. It's a perfect bed for these bemusing tales and subtle turns of phrase. Warning, these songs will follow you around for days! They are wonderful company."

Aoife O’Donovan, her former bandmate who sings on ‘Gondolier,’ says, “In Sometymes Why, we used to call Kristin ‘the mistress of metaphor.’ Her knack for drawing deep (and sometimes dark) meaning out of seemingly sweet lyrics is uncanny. On this new album, Kristin Andreassen has arrived at a whole new level- the production is spot-on, the songs eerily unique yet timeless, and her singing pristine. Gondolier is a spectacular record that we're going to be listening to for a long time…”

Holly Laessig of Lucius, with whom Andressen has sung backing vocals, says, “Kristin's new record Gondolier - it's an ear's chance to get a break from the New York winter and take a warm summer drive. "

Jess Wolfe, also of Lucius, declares, “Kristin's voice is effortless and silky smooth. The songs are refreshing and yet familiar. A gem for all to be delighted!”

Kristin Andreassen Tour Dates

12/17: Marlboro, NY - Concert & Square Dance (w/ Chris Eldridge & Mike + Ruthy)
12/31: Olivebridge, NY – Ashokan New Years Eve square dance
1/7/2015: New Haven, CT - Cafe 9 (w/ Chris Eldridge)
1/8/2015: Brooklyn, NY - Jalopy Theatre (APAP Showcase)
1/9/2015: New York, NY - Don’t Tell Mama (APAP Showcase)
1/10/2015: 1/10/2015: Cooperstown, NY – Cooperstown Concert Series (opening for David Wax Museum)
1/11/2015: Huntington, VT – Valley Stage (w/ Jefferson Hamer)
1/13/2015: New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1
1/14/2015: Baltimore, MD – Calvert Street House Concerts
1/16/2015: Raleigh, NC – Duke Energy Center for the Arts (opening for Aoife O’Donovan)
1/18/2015: Charleston, WV - Mountain Stage
1/20/2015: Knoxville, TN - The Blue Plate Special
1/21/2015: Nashville, TN - Music City Roots

Monday, December 15, 2014

KINGSLEY FLOOD SET TO UNLEASH 2015 DOWNPOUR OF NEW MUSIC: EP ‘TO THE FIRE’ OUT JANUARY 13, FOLLOWED BY SUMMER EP, FALL LP, VIDEOS, TOURING, ETC.

NPR WORLD CAFÉ TO FEATURE BAND AS “NEXT” ARTISTS WEEK OF DECEMBER 22

NEWPORT FOLK FEST MAIN STAGE ’13 SET LAUNCHED BAND TO NAT’L RECOGNITION

Kingsley Flood will be unleashing a deluge of music throughout 2015, including the January 13th EP ‘To The Fire,’ a summer EP, a fall full-length album, multiple music videos, and a rigorous touring schedule. The ambitious volume of output from the Boston and DC-based six-piece recognizes that the music business has changed and moved on from the era of the traditional album cycle. It also represents a shift in leader Naseem Khuri’s songwriting, channeling his personal journey as the son of Palestinian immigrants struggling to make change.

Since their breakout set opening the Newport Folk Festival in 2013, Kingsley Flood has opened tour dates for Lucius and Josh Ritter; earned raves from AV Club, Paste, Rolling Stone, Billboard, NY Times; played a session for Esquire; and premiered a video with NPR Music.

For ‘To The Fire,’ the fast-rising band partnered with producer Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, The Pixies, Speedy Ortiz) and crystallized the musical traits that help it stand out: the horn/violin combination that alternates between epic orchestral sweep and lush, low-key ambience, electric guitars that move from melodic arpeggios to howling feedback, an ever-expanding palette of keyboard textures and a versatile rhythm section, all topped off by Khuri’s raspy, desperate lead vocals.

On To The Fire, Khuri turns the focus inward, shifting from the chronicles of failed American dreams depicted on previous release (and Boston Music Awards Album of the Year) Battles, to his own struggle as a wanna-be do-gooder struggling to change the world around him.  Shaped by his Palestinian-American heritage and his hard-working immigrant parents, he spent his twenties working for organizations focused on conflict and inequality, in the Middle East and in his own backyard. The songs showcase both biting ambition and a reckoning that change is hard to come by.

To The Fire begins to explore that evolution.  “All In All” sets a danceable beat to the voice of political leaders in Khuri’s adopted home of Washington who leave their own behind on the way up.

“Set Me Off” may be the hardest-rocking Kingsley Flood song to date and one of its catchiest. The leftfield Ellie Goulding cover “Anything Could Happen” is reinvented as an indie rock song with hints of desperation. The Beatles-influenced “Thick of It” reality-checks that burning desire to change the world. The piano-based “Cavalry” fights complacency with the need to feel alive with Randy Newman-esque detail.

But like everything from Kingsley Flood, it’s the energy, dynamics, and musicianship that give life to Khuri’s reflections. From intricate arrangements and inspired lyricism to flashes of punk, the band behind To The Fire still delivers an experience that Paste Magazine said “is rapidly making an impression nationally [with its] rowdy on-stage anthems."

Upcoming Tour Dates:

January 9: Rock and Roll Hotel, Washington, DC
January 10: Boot and Saddle, Philadelphia, PA
January 16: Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
January 17: Stone Church, Newmarket, NH
January 30: The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA

‘To The Fire’ Track List
1.     Set Me Off
2.     All In All
3.     Thick Of It
4.     Anything Could Happen
5.     Cavalry

Of the band’s Newport Folk set, Rolling Stone said, "Kingsley Flood kicked off the main stage, shirking the rain with puddle-splashing, foot-stomping folk rock and their signature high energy."