Immediately after Valentine’s Day and a long three day weekend for many of us working individuals, we all just need a little something extra to calm our tense nerves going back to the reality of the daily grind. Luckily for us, Philadelphia-based reggae band Kings and Comrades will be releasing their debut LP titled Get Away this week on February 17, 2015 to help us alleviate those back-to-work blues.
Since releasing their timeless and chart topping EPs On The Rise in 2011 and Hypnotized in 2012, Kings and Comrades have left us anxiously waiting for new tunes, especially here at Top Shelf Reggae. Apparently our impatient tapping feet and deep sighs were heard thousands of miles away late in September 2014 when we were notified that the Kings and Comrades crew were putting the final touches on the master version of their new album.
Having listened to the album in its entirety for a few weeks now, it was definitely well worth the long wait. With a band that is nearly a decade old and three studio albums deep, it’s obvious that this band takes its time to get things done right. The entire album possesses a dramatic weight in its own right, keeping things fresh while still holding true to the Kings and Comrades signature sound. There is a certain cohesion and integrity that certain artists have—a scientific and formulaic approach that I deem the “secret recipe” on how to make great songs. Kings and Comrades appear to be one of those bands that hold knowledge of this unique formula. If that wasn’t enough, the uncluttered, clean productions of E.N Young can also be heard throughout the album in a handful of tracks, as well as many great guest appearances, resulting in an all-star collaboration.
“The collabs often yield some of the best songs, in my opinion. It’s awesome to see how other artists work together and what they can create.”
The album opens up aggressively with the title track “Get Away” which props up the 12 song album nicely. The track, which features Karim Israel of Arise Roots, starts off with an intense intro, rushing in from all directions but seemingly guiding you steadily through the composition. The rich horns and robust textures from the classic reggae snare delays will lead you directly to Karim’s appearance in the track. The vocal delivery from Karim casts itself over the track, like a thin lustrous sheen which overlays the instrumentals in harmony and precision.
The following track “You and I” also features a great guest appearance, this time by KBong who is best known for his role as the keyboard wielding vocalist for Southern California’s Stick Figure. The track gently eases you through an instrumental intro, where shimmering keyboards float around the sweeping strings and understated beats. The dramatic dynamics between KBong and staple Kings and Comrades instrumentals make this track one of the absolute favorites.
When asked about the guest appearances throughout the album, lead-singer Jeff McCaughey’s response was: “The collabs often yield some of the best songs, in my opinion. It’s awesome to see how other artists work together and what they can create. We were super stoked to work with Karim, he’s one of my favorite vocalists right now and Arise Roots is killing it! We were blessed to work with KBong as well. I met him when we played with Stick Figure a few years back, we’ve been friends ever since. Great guy and a very talented musician! He killed it inna lovers rock style on “You and I.” It was also a pleasure working with Joe from Sensamotion on “Late Night.” I’ve been a big fan of their music for a while now, and they’re finally getting the recognition they deserve. It is definitely one of the rootsiest tunes we have ever done and Joe fit the track perfectly. It’s always awesome working with my cousin, Ryan Leimkuhler, as well. He’s been an honorary member since the inception of Kings and Comrades and has always helped me grow as a musician. “Summer Nights” is very different from other songs on the album, and we tried to pay homage to the classic Lovers Rock artists. Not only is he an awesome vocalist, but he’s also one of the best lyricists I know. It was also an incredible experience working with E.N Young on some of the tunes. He is so professional and has an amazing ear. Definitely want to collab with him more in the future!”
There’s something hugely impressive about the way this album demands your undivided attention. If you’ve been a fan of their previous albums, Kings and Comrades new 2015 effort Get Away will make a great addition to your collection.
Preview and download Get Away from
- Get Away (feat. Karim Israel of Arise Roots)
- You and I (feat. KBong)
- Right Time
- One Way Track
- Touch the Sky
- Righteous Ways
- Summer Nights (feat. Ryan Leimkuhler)
- Late Night (feat. Sensamotion)
- Feel the Vibes
- Don’t Have To Try
- Movin’ On
Kings and Comrades “Get Away”
Release date: February 17, 2015
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.