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King No-One: Summer Reign

oming a long way from BBC’s Introducing festival stages, (based in Leeds and Reading) in 2013, King No-One is now clambering up that heavenly ladder of success in God’s Own Country as an indie-rock trio with a new single for us to become addicted to!

My first impression of the band led me to believe that this trio has an incredibly established style and image: the simplicity of the band’s name ‘King No-One’ encompasses the idea of equality, that social status is null and void and that we are purely human. It is an interestingly clever way to hint at the mood this band represents – youthful, creative, and introspective. With that being said, this teases an insight into their invigorating music, prompting us to take a deeper look past the skinny jeans and vibrant blazers.

Swapping out the galvanic riffs and slow-burning, sultry percussive beats we have seen in their works since debut single ‘Millennium’ in 2014, their most recent single ‘Apologies’ adorns an initially adagio-esque tempo to ease us into an emotionally rich ballad. This single, as claimed by the band, acts as a window into the complexities of love; predominantly, helplessness of uncontrollable emotions.

You can really feel the helplessness in the beautifully slowed, resonating guitar fingerpicking within the intro, as if we as listeners, are slowed with the weight of our inner conflicts. This melodious instrumentation is accompanied by a tender - yet displaying a quicker-paced dynamic – manner of lyric delivery from Zach Lount. It is so intelligently crafted, that the listener still experiences an energetic, head-bopping performance whilst maintaining the melancholy feel that indie-rock is known for.

However, just as we are settled into what we think the tone for the single is going to be, we are thrust into the chorus which alters the silky, mellow timbre of vocals for a brighter, warmer tonality. This is something which is celebrated with the inclusion of exhilaratingly bouncy bass beats, amiable guitar riffs and drumbeats that make you want to stand up and stamp your feet to. I haven’t heard many songs that make such an abrupt tone shift and make it feel seamless, even the emotional themes are altered in a clever way – making the aforementioned conflict of feeling shackled obsolete amidst the new, rousing possibility of experiencing pure love.

As for the lyricism? Ah! Where do I begin? My favourite lyric from the entire song has got to be in the second verse: ‘The lights get out and the sky was violet’. It may appear simple, but the imagery King No-One creates with the colour imagery of violet is very subtle and brilliant. The colour violet lends itself to symbolism surrounding sensitivity and dream-like introspection, a perfect dichotomy to the unease of always being observed when ‘the lights get out’. The lyrics grasp the concept of romantic turmoil, and the band blows it up with their incredible talent.

All in all, this song makes me daydream about being on a train out of the city and venturing into a better, happier life, saying goodbye to people that are no longer good for me. It is so refreshing to see how King No-One encapsulates authentic escapism through the production quality, the arrangement of every element allows me to feel as though I can relate to the band’s struggles and that is one of the most crucial features to good indie music, or at least, in my opinion.

King No-One’s ‘Apologies’ is the newest member of my Spotify family and whilst listening through older tracks to keep the indie-rock urge satisfied, I am super excited for their UK/European headline tour this autumn. If that isn’t enough to scratch your itch for more King No-One, they will also be playing at many summer festivals like Y Not and Liverpool Sound City this year, dropping fresh, invigorating performances with their sprightly, summery singles.

Article By Rebecca Todd

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