Concert Preview: Emily King

bBjW2KcvAE19ElVaiForUvmnQvbP26hld-ZXkQxeoCE,qomIi-saXz-sXwe_wF3aZeRhsyVqWHGmf4-Q9dEVNGQ,9kK1BKZdv20Ci6Q_CqrAUBcitjYCNp4_nDy1OzfayC8Singer-songwriter Emily King will be performing at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, OR on August 5th. Want to get to know this talented, Grammy-nominated it-girl before seeing her live? Then you’ve come to the right place. 🙂

Born in New York City, Emily has been surrounded by music her entire life. Her parents, Marion Cowings and Kim Kalesti, were a traveling singing duo while she was growing up, and Emily herself began to pursue music at the age of just sixteen. Her debut album, titled East Side Story, was released in August of 2007. USA Today rated it four out of five stars, and it was even nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 for Best Contemporary R&B Album of the Year. And Emily’s success didn’t stop there. Also in 2007, Emily toured with John Legend, opened for a few iconic artists such as Alicia Keys and Chaka Khan, and even Maroon 5! In 2012, she opened for singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. (One of my favorites!)

Egi-F7vB5wni3XQF2Ern1XXy-HHOGEdsricDj-VxKykEmily’s distinct style and image have caught the eyes and ears of fans around the world. Although Emily was initially working with a record label until 2008, she’s worked on her music independently since, and her latest album, The Switch really reflects that. And I’ve got to say, this album is absolutely brilliant. The Switch features some killer bass, simple-yet deeply-emotional lyrics, and hypnotizing harmonies sung by Emily herself. Fans of Alabama Shakes, Kitten, and London Grammar will appreciate Emily’s breathy, compelling voice that truly fills your headphones in a way I haven’t ever heard before.

emily-king-the-switch-lp-stream-715x715Emily will be performing songs off her latest record, The Switch during her tour this summer, which was released just this last month on the 24th of June. A few of my personal favorites off this album are “Already There,” “Off Center,” “Distance,” and “The Switch.” Each song tells a relatable, descriptive story and Emily’s vocals make each song absolutely unique in their own way. This album is heavily influenced by indie, soul, and R&B musical style, and Emily’s soulful  vocals makes this album a perfect soundtrack for your summer. It’s been on repeat for me the past few weeks!

With a strong, charismatic stage presence, some killer tunes, a phenomenal new album, and simply an amazing, refreshing voice, Emily King is guaranteed to put on an amazing show this August. Make sure you grab your tickets now while they last, and feel free to tweet me pics & reactions to the show when you’re there!

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Find Emily here:

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An Interview with ROMES

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ROMES

Jacob Bitove (lead vocals), Nick Bitove (drums), Andrew Keyes (bass), and James Tebbits (guitar) make up this four-piece soul-pop band, who all met while attending school in Wicklow, Ireland. After moving to Toronto last year, ROMES was born. They’ve worked with some incredible names in the industry, including Grammy-nominated music producer Tony Hoffer, who has produced albums for legends such as The Kooks and Beck. Additionally, The Guardian has compared ROMES to iconic bands such as The 1975, Years & Years and Duran Duran. The guys find their inspiration through a variety artists like Stevie Wonder and Drake, and are even pals with Irish singer-songwriter Hozier. (Who is one of my absolute favorite artists!) After seeing Hozier’s recent tweet about Romes, I reached out to them for a little interview. Read on to hear what the guys have to say about their debut EP, their dream venue to perform in, and more!

A Perfect Playlist: Tell me a little bit about yourselves, and how the band got started.

Romes: We had been playing music together in various arrangements for over 10 years. Then, last year, we realized there was a special chemistry between just the four of us…so we started ROMES and got cracking on writing our EP. We’ve been friends for so long now, it’s almost like a family.

APP: How would you describe your sound?

R: We’re 2 cups of raw energy with 1 cup Pop; a pinch of electronics, infused with 2oz of soul; garnished with some RnB.

Hozier tweetAPP: What’s your relationship with singer-songwriter Hozier? I saw that he posted about you on social media praising your debut EP. (See left!) How did that feel?!

R: We’ve been friends since we were wee lads. It was very good of him to tweet about the EP. He’s as sound as he is gorgeous!

APP: What’s your favorite song off Believe, your debut EP?

R (Jacob): The song “Believe.” It has a strong place in my heart. It was written from past experiences I’ve had when people doubted my life choices, my dreams, my goals, and my passion. I got fed up, and wanted to finally stand up for myself. The only way to do that for me was to write….and “Believe” was the result. Have patience and positivity and you’ll always shine through.

APP: I really love the track “When The Night Comes” on your EP. Is there a story behind that song?

EPR: We were fascinated with the idea of having very minimal and sparse verses with mainly drums and three-part harmonies, and contrasting that with a huge explosive chorus. “When The Night Comes” was the result of that. Sexy and tasteful was the mission for this one.

APP: Who are a few artists in the industry today that inspire you?

R: Most of them have passed away, sadly. But those still alive – Drake, Andre 3000, Lauryn hill, Stevie Wonder…. There are too many to list them all.

APP: Are you planning to tour anytime soon? Dream venue?

We’ll be touring later this year, but nothing that’s been announced at this time. Stay tuned. We would love to get back to Ireland and play the Olympia in Dublin.

APP: If you could bring back one artist from the dead, who would it be, and why?

R: The late Prince and David Bowie. Two terrible losses to the the world of pop music this year. Oddly enough, their deaths brought us closer to their music and made us want to see them each play one last gig. May they Rest in Peace.

APP: What was the last text you sent?

R: What happens on Whatsapp stays on Whatsapp… 

APP: Anything else you want to say to readers of A Perfect Playlist?

R: Shout out to A Perfect Playlist for reaching out to us and showing an interest in our music. It’s been a pleasure answering your questions!

Thanks, guys!

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Find ROMES below!

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LISTEN UP: Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges in concert

When I first heard “Coming Home” by Leon Bridges, I assumed he was a 50’s singer. His smooth, Sam Cooke-esque vocals mixed with some killer guitar riffs, doo-wopping backup singers and sprinkled-in saxophone solos make his debut album sound like something straight out of a 1950’s diner jukebox. (Photo on the left by: digboston)

26-year-old soul singer Leon Bridges burst onto the music scene after signing with Columbia Records in December of last year. Before that point, he worked as a dishwasher in Fort Worth, Texas, while occasionally performing at small, open-mic gigs around his city. Things have only gotten crazier for Leon since being discovered last year. After signing with Columbia, Leon played gigs all over Texas, supported singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten in NYC, received the award for Top 10 Most Viral Track on Spotify for his debut single, “Coming Home” (which is amazing, by the way), and he is planning to continue playing numerous shows around the world over the next few months.

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Photo by Julio Enriquez

It’s so refreshing to see artists like Leon succeeding in the music industry today. With a truly retro voice and style, Leon sings straight from the heart. I love that he’s reviving a nostalgic genre of music in a way that’s captivated a young audience–teenagers (as well as adults) all around the world are swooning over Leon’s silky-smooth harmonies, vintage-inspired Instagram posts, and dance-worthy choruses.

Leon’s beautiful song “Lisa Sawyer,” which he wrote about his mother and her life story, was key in jumpstarting his music career. After its release on SoundCloud last year, the song hit 800,000 views and sparked the interest of more than 40 record labels.

With influences like Arthur Alexander, Sam Cooke, & Otis Redding inspiring him everyday, Leon’s songwriting centers around personal experience. I love this quote from  from his recent chat with interviewmagazine.com: “In the beginning, I was so inspired by the music. I had the option to make something modern with classic undertones, but I wanted to make something that was exactly like that old sound. Of course, it’s going to come out in my own way because I have R&B influences, but it’s cool how my songwriting works out; a lot of the time, I’m not writing just classic-sounding songs, but songs that come from experience. Look at “Brown Skin Girl,” a song I wrote about my ex-girlfriend, or “Twistin’ & Groovin,'” which is about my grandparents. I love the pioneers like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, but when I write music, it comes out in my own way. ”

(Make sure to check out the full interview here!leon-album-cover)

My favorite tracks on Coming Home are “River” (the guitar intro & chorus are so lovely), “Coming Home” (Leon nails the perfect retro music video with this one) & “Better Man.”

Find Leon Bridges below, and make sure to get yourself a copy of his debut album, “Coming Home.”

 

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