TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2015|
Posted by: Becky Foinchas
If you've ever had a demanding itch to teleport to a time where whiskey is your first drink of the day, where sepia is an implied color, and where owning a charmingly creaky porch is absolutely mandatory, then The King's Parade will be the band to whisk you to that enchanting era. If a few of their older tracks like "Vagabond" and "Belsize Lane" haven't thawed you into a puddle, then the new debut single "Bunched Up Letters" is sure to liquify.
We were given the chance to ask The Kings Parade about the intricacies behind such a soul snatching, bluesy tune and they unveil some truly insightful particulars.
There's an undeniable air that permeates from "Bunched Up Letters" when comparing the song to other contemporary acts. Can you describe the evolution of your sound, as a band that played 40 hour weeks on a Hawaiian cruise ship to the lead up of your debut single?
The King's Parade: Before joining the cruise ship, we were asked to learn a whole repertoire of songs from so many great eras of music. Ranging from the 50s to modern top 40 tracks, it wouldn't be unusual for us to play up to 50 songs a night. Because we knew we would be playing these tracks so often, we decided to pick our favourites and change them up so that they suited our style and would still keep them fresh for us to play. Our sound has changed so much since the 'cover' days, but it's undeniable that our experience of messing around with classic tunes has shaped our sound. Olly has been writing songs since he was a kid and the songs have evolved since moving to London. A lot of what were writing now is about starting up in London, living together and the struggle of working on our passion whilst still keeping afloat in a big city.
What is the symbolism and meaning behind the "bunched up letters" that seem to figuratively dictate the song's story line?
"Bunched Up Letters" is really a song about holding on to the belief that our music is what is going to give us our name. Since gigging in London, the realisation that we are one band among thousands trying to make a name for ourselves has become very real. The significance of the title "Bunched Up Letters" is that, until you have truly pushed yourself to get your music heard and get recognition from your peers, your name is just another cluster of letters on a page. The meaning behind the song made it a pretty appropriate choice as our first single.
You guys are a fairly young bunch of talented musicians. And you have to ask, how did this definitively seasoned, old-time sophistication come to be. Who are some of your musical influences?
(Haha I hope the pun was intended!) One of the first interviews we ever did described us as 'old souls' trapped in the bodies of young musicians. We've got our list of favourite up and coming and modern artists but we can't (and don't want to) hide the fact that we've got huge influences from old Soul, Pop and Rock legends like Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin or Led Zep. We all listen to all kinds of music, but we all find a common ground in those older artists. These days, we cant help but be influenced by bands like The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes or Lianne La Havas.
It's impossible to ignore Olly's high impact 1950's R&B-driven, barbershop harmonies, ever so carefully woven throughout "Bunched Up Letters." Can we expect this sort of vocal play in future King's Parade tracks to come?
One of the first things that brought the band together was the way Sam (Keys) and Olly's vocals blended so well together. The sound of Olly's melody intertwined with Sam's subtle harmonies is the product of years of playing together since they first met. The vocal work has been evolving rapidly based on how fast the songwriting has evolved. Not only is this kind of voicing to be expected in future tracks but we're also experimenting and working with those R&B harmonies that are forming a big part of our sound.