Hear ye, hear ye: King is officially the shit. Just incase you’ve been living under an avalanche of ill-informed blog posts or missed the avid endorsements by the likes of Erykah Badu, Questlove, and Phonte over the past few months, here’s your late pass. Just when you thought they would drift out into the endless abyss of buzzworthy online indie acts, yet another commodifiable act of adoration has been bestowed upon LA-based vocal trio King: they were hand picked by Prince himself to open for him during the final show of his recent residency at the LA Forum.
How does a rookie act armed with only a strong grassroots online buzz and a three-track digital download EP miraculously snag such a coveted spot with the maestro of purple passion, you ask? Could it be that King is one of the select few acts in the canon of contemporary black music that doesn’t scavenge the hell out of the same handful of Fantom/ Triton/ Motif preset synth sounds plaguing the charts? Maybe it’s the heavenly state of metaphysical ecstasy their music affects. Whatever it is, it’s safe to say that King’s Minneapolis-bred twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother’s twin cities connection didn’t exactly hurt their chances.
King is one helluva self-contained all girl band. Other than the cover artwork helmed by Sweden10’s Roland Nichol (who consequently also handled the artwork for jazzy belle Esperanza Spalding’s 2011 Grammy-winning album Chamber Music Society), Paris, Amber, and vocalist Anita Bias exercised full creative control over this brilliant little EP entitled The Story. Hell, they even conceived and edited the whimsical stop motion video for the title track. With sublime production by jazz-trained pianist Paris (who cut her teeth on Hidden Beach Record’s Unwrapped series), the EP titillates and whets the appetite so effectively that it makes you wonder how the hell they can actually outdo themselves on their forthcoming follow up.
The girls playfully evade conventional genre categorization with a refreshing, yet subtle hybrid of everything under the sun…and more. Lo-fi synths, rippling Linn drums, brass sections, and crystalline harmony structures round out this blissfully delightful sonic delicacy. Be clear: King isn’t some rehashed, 80s Minneapolis sound knock-off. They own the deed to their style. Lock, stock & barrel. Truth be told, these ladies sound like everything and nothing you’ve heard before. Don’t play yourself. Get familiar.