Yes. It has been some time since my last post. But I am so happy to return, and I’m in love with this new review subject. I have owed this band, as well as a few others, my words for some time. And each one I have the privilege to listen, brings a memory or it creates one.
Choosing to start with The King Heat Ensemble was not by any preference. It started by a random selection of materials I had lined up to review, and I found myself listening to it over and over (and over) again. I suggested my wife listens to it. Then my brother. Then my friends. All with the same guarantee – this album will take you home. Wherever you are. And if you are at home, it feels like a warm cozy blanket.
The UK duo named– formed by Jeff Kightly (guitar and vocals) and Dave Goldsmith (drums and keys) does not yet have the level of fame I feel they deserve. Their , launched in 2018, is so well composed, recorder and produced, that it’s hard to believe their music isn’t playing in top charts in the four corners of our blue planet.
Immediately the first few notes already make you feel so warm. Although before I mentioned it takes you home, as I listen yet again for about the 30th time, I feel like it would also be an amazing track for a road trip. So many places for this album to exist and be experienced!
And it’s hard not to agree with the words of Tom Robinson (BBC Radio 6) – who said “Irresistible…just overwhelmingly brilliant.”.
As I was saying, the first track – “” – already highlights their Americana, indie-folk style (I really love artists that show their essence right from the start!). With a broken down tempo, a beautiful melody and even an interlude played by claps, this track is just perfect. The harmony between their acoustic guitars is so perfect. Each note completing each other’s pauses.
If you listen to their tracks through their, they’ve added the bonus of lyric versions of the songs. And the lyrics to this song is so beautiful:
“Everybody here knows when / You have to stop to start again”
I cannot be sure, but this song could relate to life as an artist. Or to anybody’s life, when we reach that point where it might be best to take a step back – look at things through fresh eyes, and then – start again.
I had the privilege to learn special details about the second track of the EP, called “”. Thanks to a brief chat with Jeff, I learned that this song is about a long wait for inspiration to return. After some years of musical “drought”, inspiration finally came back in the form of this beautiful song. Again the strong, smooth Americana style is present in this track, and accompanying the melodic guitar, we have a beautiful slider and pacing drums, with small ghost notes that linger (almost creating this “longing” sensation).
One of my favourite parts of this track is the wordplay:
“But if you come back / Well, come back / Welcome back”
“”, the third track on the EP, brings lyrics that almost tell a story about life and growing up. Understanding what it means to become an individual, to discover oneself:
“So to understand / Why I am / The man / That I’ve come to be / Gotta dig back / Down through all these / Fallen walls / Back to when I made the walls / And the walls didn’t make me”
And once again, claps make melody of this song as it sews itself through the waves of lyrics. I absolutely love this track!
“” has such a gorgeous melody to it. Played on an acoustic guitar with “flatwound” strings (again, an amazing detail I learned from them), bringing that extra edge to the track, and creating a country feel to it – and when the melodion comes in, that sensation is only intensified. And as I’ve been mentioning lyrics, this one cannot be missed as it is a beautiful story about not giving. Inspired by the movie “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest”, this is a amazing reminder that even if you might not win, trying is the most important.
The last track of their EP, named “” brings a beautiful harmonium to the structure, as it introduces this song about moving away – a story of change, taking your family, as together you walk during winter, gather around fires and drink wine together. Walking until spring arrives, leaving your house to fall. The movement of this track is almost empowering.
As I’ve mentioned, The King Heat Ensemble is an incredible duo! The melody carefully composed, each note falls into its right place. Not to mention the lyrics, which not only tells stories, but makes you sing along, adds wordplay, and gives pause for thought.
They have rightly nominated for an Independent Music Awards, and I strongly believe they should be nominated for even more!
I feel humbled by the opportunity to write these words (although very late), and I keep hoping to listen to new material. I honestly hope that happens soon.
As for anybody reading this. I’m sure you are enjoying their music right now. It’s amazing, right?!