Review | Kingsley Flood - Battles


Photo by Dave Green Photography

[W]hen a band like Boston’s Kingsley Flood only has a few years under their belt, and still collects accolades like they have been creating music together for a Springsteen amount of years, you have yourself something pretty special. The latest album, Battles, is just their second full-length release, but you could never tell that from the sound coming from your speakers. The members of Kingsley Flood play the music of a band wise beyond its years.

In the spring of 2010 Kingsley Flood released their debut album, Dust Windows, receiving praise across the music blog landscape and garnering the band “New Artist of the Year” accolades from our very own Boston Music Awards. They quickly became America’s Americana band after NPR featured the album, placing them at the the top of Amazon’s roots-rock charts. The EP Colder Still followed and the momentum propelling the Boston band into the spotlight was set in stone.

The new release Battles opens with the track “Don’t Change My Mind,” a beautiful song which pulls the listener in with quiet guitars and eerie piano chords, set around soul searching lyrics on accepting the path taken and the reluctance to stay the course. The songwriting on the new album is as poignant as ever and sets the band apart from other artists of the same genre.

Kingsley Flood are known for their energetic, emotionally charged, live shows and the track “Pick Your Battles” is custom made for the high-performance stage presence of the band. The fantatsic, get-out-of-your-chair-and-dance track,”Down,” is the type of song that creates new fans and gives a band already receiving national attention a little extra fuel for the fire. The thumping kick-drum, swirling piano, electro-beat and sing-a-long chorus almost gave me whiplash from bopping along so furiously.

The new album is a pleasant mixture of calm and chaos, allowing the listener to take an introspective breather with folk-induced goodness like “Waiting on the River to Rise” and “Hard Times for the Quiet Kind,” both of which touch on the timeless struggle that is life. This type of storytelling in song has a classic, Woody Guthrie-esque, feel about it set in a present-day tone that allows music lovers across the board to feel an instant connection to the music. The album’s closer “This Will Not Be Easy” is a perfect example of songwriting that speaks to the day-to-day grind we each encounter on a regular basis, no matter the decade.

Kingsley Flood will always be Boston’s band but we must learn to let them go. The multitalented 5-piece have released an album which will take them from our humble city and place them in front of a bigger audience. Good news is they seem ready for it… and we couldn’t be happier for their success.

Take a listen to the track “The Fire Inside” above and add Battles to your collection today by visiting the band’s page and selecting your preferred method of cyber purchase. Also, be sure to celebrate the release of the record with the band this Saturday, Feburay 9th, at Brighton Music Hall with special guests Velah and Air Traffic Controller. It is a Boston music extravaganza and will make for a perfect weekend!