Three chords and the truth? It has a lot to answer for… sometimes. But it can still move you and, with a little sweet soul suss, it can still move forward, too. Singer/songwriter KingFast has just released his debut EP, recorded at Liverpool’s famed Elevator Studios, and it has all the ingredients to make him one to watch in 2017. By Alan O’Hare.
You can buy a great sound, but a great voice is priceless. So is ‘feel’. It doesn’t matter if that lightness of touch comes with the guitar or in wrapping a melody around a well-worn chord sequence, whatever said indefinable is, KingFast has found it.
Born in Jamaica, raised in Belfast and now living in Liverpool, his debut EP – ‘Dream World’ – is a wildly confident first shot across the bow. Brash falsetto mixes with old school soul stylings, as the solo star offers a tour-de-force of what one man and his guitar can do. But the voice is the secret weapon.
‘Look In Your Eyes’ opens proceedings and manages to sound polished and gritty within the same two and a half minutes, as the melody moves from harsh strumming to delicate brush strokes, all the while providing a bed of bottom end for that crystalline vocal: “… and then I look in your eyes and know you feel the same,” he sings towards the end of the tune and you get the feeling the declaration was met with the answer he was looking for. ‘People In The Street’ follows and comes on like Michael Kiwanuka singing a ‘Frank’-era Amy Winehouse song, with its jazz and funk leanings, while ‘One Day’ rotates around a brilliant hook, the likes of which you may find one day on, say, the 50th anniversary outtakes disc of ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’.
Before we get too excited, it’s worth noting that the EP is just four songs long and relies heavily on one tried and tested idea. But it remains a great idea – singing funky songs well – and this is an artist who has arrived at a complete sound on his debut release. There’s a live track, ‘Friend Or Foe’, tacked onto the end which offers a possible glimpse at where KingFast might go next, as what appears to be a looped harmony fades in and out of a more contemporary neo-soul sound.
But it’s where he’s at now that has grabbed our attention. Let it capture yours, too…
KingFast, ‘Dream World’ EP, is out now
Available on iTunes
Pic courtesy Paul Walker