Categories: MusicNew Kingston

Raver Reviews: New Kingston ‘A Kingston Story: Come From Far’ (2017)

Brooklyn-based reggae trio New Kingston is readying the release of their brand new album A Kingston Story: Come From Far (Easy Star Records), which is set for an August 25th release.  The album is a follow-up to their critically-acclaimed 2014 album Kingston City, the groups first release on the Easy Star Record label, and the stellar Kingston Fyah EP, which was released in the summer of 2016.

New Kingston, a family group featuring three brothers (Stephen, Courtney Jr., and Tahir) and their father play a refreshing brand of reggae that is as authentically Jamaican as it is refreshingly unique among other U.S. reggae outfits. A Jamaican roots reggae vocal trio at their core, New Kingston displays a remarkably expansive vocal range, impressive diction, an inspiriting lack of pretense, surprisingly adept musicianship, and musical sensibilities that span many sub-genres within reggae. For three youths who grew up in Brooklyn, they sport the gully bank-patois of a Kingston original.

A Kingston Story: Come From Far expands upon the sound that the band introduced on the Kingston Fyah EP.  The album’s first single Come From Far” showcases the groups talents with a lilting foundation roots instrumental, bubbling keys, and fine lyrical prowess.  “Honorable and the Beast” is an exceptionally strong roots reggae tune. 

Perhaps the strongest track in the mix, “Solid As A Rock” is a brilliantly-produced track that hits hard and hangs on.  It is a tune with a modern vibe that contains elements of hip-hop and R&B with a driving bass line and blistering guitars.  There are no surprises here, just solid modern roots from start to finish.  It is exactly what you’d expect from New Kingston and Easy Star.

The album closes with a devastating dub version of the group’s astounding 2016 single “Kingston Fyah.”  What a tune!  The riddim is massive, the keyboards a bubble, and the lyrics go straight to the heart of the matter (“Youth dem go to school and you teach dem pure lie, half dem outta seat and don’t know dem shoe size, pocketful of paper just to make it feel right, anything just to get by”).  Remember this one?

On Come From Far, New Kingston and Easy Star continue to evolve reggae music with a distinctive style and sound all their own. This is authentic Jamaican reggae with a Brooklyn swagger.  It is an album that can proudly stand alongside the best of 2017.

The album will be available wherever music is sold on August 25, 2017.

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