Jenny Hval sets her take-no-prisoners feminism and anti-capitalist lyrics to some of the most interesting, unstable soundscapes you’ll hear from contemporary songwriters. She’s at Holocene on Nov. 14.
photo by Alex King
KING, the all female trio so powerful that lowercase type simply cannot convey their presence, is out with their debut full-length this month. Twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother along with Anita Bias are the sole creators of pretty much any and every piece of music to which their name is attached. While Paris produces, Amber and Anita take up vocals and instrumentation, and together it’s a fresh take on R&B with electronic fixings and whimsical reveries in all the right places.
They released their first EP, The Story, in 2011, and those three songs alone were enough to capture the attention of none other than Prince, who brought the ladies on tour with him and remains their mentor to this day. These ladies are intent on creating their own sound and willing to give as long as it takes for their music to embody their own personal kingdom. Anita Bias’ chilling croon on their track “Hey” is enough to wake you up, welcome you into their realm of royalty, and vow to never release you. Despite that initial chill, their sound is warm, above all else. Enveloped in intricate synth beats, vocals emerge like soulful exhales. Most of their songs are about love, but it’s of all kinds–lyrics promote self, family, friend and eternal love. Their songs feel like they could have been circling the R&B music sphere for 30 years, yet what they produce is so futuristic in comparison that it belongs in the here and now. The bass lines are grounding but the voices of Bias and Strother, on top of twinkling melodies, transcend their sound beyond any confinements.
KING is jazzy, soulful, funky, dreamy, even groovy, and it all makes for a smooth yet eclectic blend. Perhaps what is most refreshing though is the fact that it is solely just these three ladies creating every element of their sound, and it’s the kind of all-female sound the industry needs.
– Gina Pieracci
KING plays Feb. 14 at Doug Fir.