King Eddie at the Buccaneer 

In a world littered with psychedelic bands and with crunchy lo-fi bands, King Eddie stands out for several reasons. While I can't find a full-length release, the band's three tracks on Soundcloud speak to a cool mix of influences and of interesting things to come.

The most obvious win for the King is vocalist Aurora Adams, who takes the lead with a powerful presence. She has a voice that you'd have to stop and call indie on the way to calling it soulful. There is something immediately real in her sound. Her voice breaks and quivers around a note but adds to the performance. Hearing a perfect singer on these tracks wouldn't have the same effect. First of all the songs are too weird/smart for too much polish. If King Eddie doesn't fall into the soul-mimicry trap that keeps the Alabama Shakes stuck in almost-interesting territory, it's because Adams and the instruments are equally compelling.

click to enlarge afterdarkbox_kingeddie-w.jpg

Adams came later to the band, which was founded by Joshua Thorington and Justin Maike. The guitars and bass compete with Adams' voice at every turn. The bass playing is really good. It's not busy or showy, but the lines are interesting and the tone is complex enough to draw your attention. The guitar playing and sounds have a similar charm.

King Eddie blends elements of soul that work to keep a smart band sounding human. There are Goneresque reverbs and surly tones that keep a mindful band from sounding too smart. While the influences and aesthetic choices are important, the tracks have a vitality that gets lost when people think too hard about being good.

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