Kingdom of Crows – The Truth Is The Trip – Review
Kingdom of Crows initially began as a one man band back in 2011 with just founding member, Stephen Kelly, performing acoustically. However, upon taking to the studio the following year, he recorded a demo with two additional musicians which eventually led to a handful of shows in the capital. Unsurprisingly, these performances received an extremely positive response which in turn resulted in the trio choosing to create a full-length album. Joining him in its creation and completing the band’s line-up were vocalist/lyricist Lucy Earley, bassist Robert Stanley and drummer Ken McGrath. This collaboration of artists, resulting in the combination of several genres, has been described as ‘easy listening alternative rock with ambient, transcendental and conceptual flavours’.
So what does this all mean in layman’s terms? Well, judging from their debut album, The Truth is the Trip, which was released on Halloween of this year, it means the wonderful combination of melodic rock with beautifully imperfect vocals that tell a stripped down story of life, love, and loss. It’s a soulful but determined journey through emotion that proves pared back sounds can be extremely elegant in their execution.
The album is a curious combination of being easy listening but laden with talent, and there’s an alluringly haunting quality tot their vocals that seems to build and build throughout each song. The track ‘Dreamless Sleep’ is one of these otherworldly songs that draws you in, gives you a succinct taster of the band’s skill, and forces you to listen to their catalogue in its entirety. Similarly, ‘Beauty is the Witch’ is the kind of track that just tantalises readers with its eerily charismatic feel, the vocals gently tread the line between evocative and enthralling.
‘When We Were Young’ is the polar opposite of the previous tracks mentioned with its more uplifting elements. The vocals pulse with optimism, and every element of the band that I thought I knew is inverted with more joyful undertones. It’s great to see those displaying variant strands of their abilities. However, if you really want to see the brilliant Kingdom of Crows in action, then check out their beautiful rendition of Blondie’s ‘Call Me’. The vocals do the original wonderful justice; I’d go so far as to say the band enhance the song with more modern angst-ridden undertones. Usually covers just about make it to the standard of the original, yet Kingdom of Crows far surpassed that line.
Check it out below: