KINGSLEY FLOOD SET TO UNLEASH 2015 TORRENT: EP ‘TO THE FIRE’ OUT JANUARY 13 FOLLOWED BY SUMMER EP, FALL LP, VIDEOS, TOURING, ETC.
November 17, 2014
NEWPORT FOLK FEST MAIN STAGE ’13 SET LAUNCHED BAND TO NAT’L RECOGNIATION
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 a Palestinian-American trying hard to do good and repeatedly coming up short.
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: http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2013/07/12/201547677/first-watch-kingsley-flood-sigh-a-while
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.”
Singer/songwriter Naseem Khuri’s thoughts on To The Fire here:
Upcoming Tour Dates here:
‘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 set, Rolling Stone’s James Joiner said,
“Kingsley Flood kicked off the main stage, shirking the rain with
puddle-splashing, foot-stomping folk rock and their signature high