Colder Still EP

by Kingsley Flood

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about

In 2010, Kingsley Flood released its first album Dust Windows, which received critical praise, including a prominent NPR Weekend Edition feature that sent the record to number one on the Amazon.com roots chart and #48 nationally on iTunes. Fans came out in droves to see them perform at DC's 9:30 Club, Boston's Paradise Rock Club, and other famed venues, the 2011 South by Southwest festival, and shows directly supporting Grace Potter, Angus and Julia Stone, Brett Dennen, and Styx ... yes, Styx.

Ever-grateful and ever-evolving, the band is now set to release a new EP, Colder Still. Evoking themes of privilege and class, Colder Still examines the quintessentially American pursuit of happiness, and questions a new generation struggling to redefine the American dream. Is the house on the hill really the goal? At what cost? Is it lonely at the top? These questions and more are the fabric through which the Kingsley Flood story -- and music -- is woven.

On lead single and recent NPR Song of the Day “I Don’t Wanna Go Home" (mp3, lyrics) a stubborn dreamer takes for granted his comfortable but tame lifestyle to follow a perilous pipe dream. On “Mannequin Man” (mp3, lyrics), a brash bleeding heart sets out to save the world, but he may be doing good for the wrong reasons. On "Wonderland" (mp3, lyrics), a youth struggles with the social pressures of growing up ("Brother I've been lying all along. My collar's not as clean as I let on"), vowing to leave his childhood behind. On “House on the Hill” (mp3, lyrics), a climber laments his ascent and longs for the warm “common glow” below.

A band was never part of the plan for Kingsley Flood frontman Naseem Khuri. The son of hard working immigrants who realized their own American dream, he felt obligated to follow that path -- good schools, stable job, big house on the hill. With his father’s death and an increasing disillusionment with an office job, perspective shifted. Khuri soon realized the American dream his parents had sought was not about the right to material happiness. It was about the right to choose a path.

Khuri made that choice. Colder Still is where two years and thousands of miles on the road took the band. Rather than retreating to the sleepy woods of Vermont as they did to record Dust Windows, they opted for busy studios in Boston and New York. But it was during many months on the road that Kingsley Flood honed the gritty, urban sound reflected on Colder Still. The songs are urgent.

Colder Still respects, but is not bound by, the Americana feel of the band’s first record. Khuri’s lyrics are supported by George Hall’s stark electric guitar and a propulsive rhythm section led by bassist Nick Balkin and drummer Steven Lord. Jenée Morgan conjures an old-time aesthetic on her violin, but it’s her frequent interplay with Chris Barrett’s trumpet that creates an expansive orchestral feel. Add trash cans, euphoniums, and accordions to the mix, and it’s hard to attach this record to any genre.

credits

released January 10, 2012

Produced by Kingsley Flood and Rafi Sofer

Recorded and mixed by Rafi Sofer at Q Division Studios (Somerville, MA) except:

#1: recorded at Rubber Tracks Studios (Brooklyn, NY)
#4: recorded by Lauren Blackard, Matt Dacey, and Ryan Kraft at BUCDIA's Studio D (Waltham, MA).

Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA
Assistant Mastering Engineer: Maria Rice

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Kingsley Flood Boston, Massachusetts

With features in NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, Boston and Washington, DC sextet Kingsley Flood straddles the line between high energy indie rock and introspective folk.

With its "signature high energy" (Rolling Stone), the band has played the main stage at the Newport Folk Fest and has been dubbed "Boston's best live band" (Boston Herald).
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Track Name: Wonderland
Brother I been lying all along
My collar’s not as clean as I let on
My heart’s pain free, my coffee’s weak
And I been staring out the car window too long
Wandering souls won’t go home, until they find their own
But I won’t go back to Wonderland

Sister I been trying to sing in key
And carry on with decent company
But my smile’s not cold, my sins not sold
And I try to be polite but it’s not cheap
When bright lights sigh at my stroll,
I’ll find my feet and quiet my soul
And I won’t go back to Wonderland


Yes I wholeheartedly agree
These ships set sail on different seas
Oh how hard I’ve tried to straighten my stride on the tides I ride
When my time finally comes,
I’ll hide my sighs and bite my tongue
And I won’t go back to Wonderland
Track Name: Black Boots
Late last week with my dirt hands blessed, and beat and burned
I put on my Sunday best, to cash my earn

Uptown man shed a welcome smile, and a sorry sigh
He said the drought gone made this whole well dry, and he smiled goodbye

Chorus:
Oh, so you wanna get a rise?
Let me put black boots on and we’ll take it outside
Oh, we’re gonna make wrong right
Uptown’s gonna go downtown tonight

I tipped my hat to the next uptown, another man to try
He said the earth gone and shook this whole town down, and he smiled goodbye

Chorus

Well you can dry my well, you can shake my land, for a good time cheap
But this hat will never go in hand, for a good night’s sleep
They say some men can always stand, and it’s always free

Chorus
Track Name: Mannequin Man
Mama fits frames, finds space on the wall
Papa counts tuition in dimes
I’m a good son soaking what’s around and that’s all
Wondering when there comes a time
When’s it going to be my time?

The plastic man did a dance, sang me a song,
Offered up the green and the gold
I said “thank you man, I got a plan, I’m righting the wrong
But let me go and get your coat
Let me go and get your coat”

Chorus:
I was born to be a mover, not a mannequin man
Sworn to shake the sugar, not like a mannequin man
I’ll be damn before you take me like a mannequin man

The ragged man with bloody hands, a shuffle and sway
Offered up a bloody hand
I said “thank you brother, I’ll give you a brand new day”
Just tell them I’m your hero again
Tell them again and again and again

Chorus

I shake a slant hand, soft smile at your grand plan
Then leave in my Rolls, brand new
Mama steps back, sights her frames on the wall
Wishing she could make more room
Can I get a bit more room?

Chorus

I’ll be damned before you take me
Track Name: House on the Hill
The sixth house on the seventh street
Cracked shutters and the willow tree
Pot of coffee halfway full
My head on the window sill
Looking up towards the hill

That day the walls collapsed
That sky was torn and fast
I was not overcome
By my father’s son
Yes sir, I had finally won

Yet I’m colder still

I learned to not ask why
When I smile at a bright blue sky
Now I sleep in the sun
Like my daddy never done

In this house up on the hill
Up where the wind is still
The lights way down below
Stay warm with the common glow

And I’m colder still

These days with the coffee full
I put my head on the window sill
I tried hard not to sleep
I tried so hard to dream