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
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
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