Sign up for our mailing list Real artists creating records on their own terms
Close

Sign up for our mailing list

Press

Monday, January 25th, 2021

Hey, King! Bio (2021)

There's a sense of wonder that permeates throughout every song indie rock band Hey, King! has written. Canadian songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Natalie London and her partner, Tucson, AZ vocalist and percussionist Taylor Plecity, approach music with a childlike curiosity and adventurous spirit—fitting for a band whose name comes from a Where the Wild Things Are line. Their 2020 debut EP ‘Be Still’ was raved by Under the Radar Mag as "heartfelt indie rock" with songs that showcased "London and Plecity’s ability to turn tragedy into an exuberant celebration of life and love.” But now, the band finally follows it all up with their highly-anticipated self-titled debut LP.

Produced by 4x Grammy winner Ben Harper, Hey, King! is a dazzling 11-track collection that matches the overwhelming emotional intensity of the band's live show, a concert experience that Vancouver Weekly called "a powerhouse" and "quite possibly the music world’s best kept secret." In fact, many of the songs were directly informed by the 2018 North American tour where Hey, King! opened for Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. Many of the band's rawest early songs dealt with London's years-long, near-death battle with Lyme disease and her recovery. "We were doing 45 minute sets, and there were times where our material was all very emotional, very heavy tracks," says Plecity, noting how emotionally draining it was to perform such diary-like songs. "After that first tour,” adds London, “we started writing more upbeat, driving songs that showcased more of our humor and personalities."

The resulting songs on Hey, King! are bursting with life, color, and charm. Take the bubbly "Get Up," where London and Plecity shout, "Get up, come on, you’ve been sleeping all day / Let’s tear down these blackout shades." On its surface, it's a rousing call for seizing the day but according to the band, it's more funny than that: "I had writer's block for a little while and Taylor dared me to write a song from our dog's perspective," says London. On the chorus, the two joyously yell, "I can’t tag without chase / I can’t tug without war." But even without knowing the silly backstory behind them, these songs are so inviting you'll feel like you're part of the inside joke too.

London and Plecity sang about their rock-solid relationship on their EP through love songs like "Lucky," and "Don't Let Me Get Away," but here they talk about the hard work and ups and downs that come with romance. The track "Sorry" turns a couple's argument into catharsis. The chorus is explosive with London and Plecity, their first lyrical co-write, singing: “Stop saying sorry please / Do I need to tattoo across my forearm 'Jesus Christ love I’m on your team'. " They later wonder, "What are we fighting about, anyway?" Elsewhere their anger turns righteous on the simmering "Road Rage," which was written in response to the #MeToo movement, grotesque cat calls, and facetiously imagining a world where men had a curfew. Over a menacingly bluesy riff, Plecity defiantly sings through gritted teeth, "Every little joke, another harmless tease / My keys slid through my fingers, can you just stay on the phone with me."

The arrangements on Hey, King! are muscular, driving, and anthemic, recalling the most fist-raising Arcade Fire offerings and the most ornate songs by Sufjan Stevens. The best example of this comes in the stunning and epic opener "Beautiful." The track is an absolute force with London and Plecity singing in harmony, “Come on now come on and get me / Cause with you, the world that I see / Is beautiful” in its cathartic chorus. It’s a hopeful salve and reminder when there’s much worldwide uncertainty. Even though no one knows what life will look like in the future, there’s excitement and beauty in the journey. London explains: "With all the uncertainties, insecurities, and worries, you just say 'I don't know where I'll be or where I'm going but I do know it's going to be beautiful.' " This is the ethos of Hey, King! and hearing these songs will give you that same optimism, even when things are dark.

Hey, King!'s artist page

Browse by Artist

1902All Artists 61Mavis Staples 56Dr. Dog 55The Milk Carton Kids 51Sean Rowe 50Tinariwen 49Neko Case 46Son Little
43Lost In The Trees 37Saintseneca 34Glen Hansard 33Michael Franti and Spe... 33Galactic 31Jolie Holland 29Andy Shauf 28William Elliott Whitmo... 28Doe Paoro 27Man Man 25Bettye LaVette 24Xenia Rubinos 24Calexico 23Christopher Paul Stell... 23Jason Lytle 22Delicate Steve 22Booker T. Jones 22Gary V 22Tom Waits 22Sage Francis 21Islands 21The Antlers 20Daniel Lanois 20DeVotchKa 20The Drums 19The Dream Syndicate 18Wilco 18Joe Henry 18So Much Light 18Girlpool 18Yves Jarvis 17Grinderman 17Cass McCombs 17Tim Fite 17Jade Jackson 16Lido Pimienta 16Peter Silberman 16Porter Wagoner 15Yann Tiersen 14Japandroids 14John K. Samson 13The Coup 13Busdriver 13Ben Harper 13Rain Machine 13Jeremy Ivey 12The Melodic 12Hey, King! 12Richard Reed Parry 12Deafheaven 12M. Ward 11Darrin Bradbury 11Keaton Henson 11Ryan Pollie 11Half Waif 11Beth Orton 11Kelly Hogan 10Xavier Rudd 10Danny Elfman 10Beat Connection 10Rafiq Bhatia 10Bob Mould 10Roky Erickson 10Dead Man's Bones 10Os Mutantes 10Ben Harper and Charlie... 9Cameron Avery 9The Locust 9Mose Allison 9Kate Bush 9Marketa Irglova 8Purr 8Glitterer 8Deradoorian 8Boy Scouts 8The Frames 8Greg Graffin 8A Girl Called Eddy 8Wynonna 7Combo Chimbita 7Fleet Foxes 7Alec Ounsworth 7Foxwarren 7Solillaquists of Sound 7Josiah Johnson 7The Field 6Ramblin Jack Elliott 6Kronos Quartet with Br... 6Christian Lee Hutson 6Alfa Mist 6Pops Staples 6The Good Ones 6N.A.S.A. 6Broken Twin 5Tweedy 5The Weakerthans 5Walter Wolfman Washing... 5Cadence Weapon 5Marc Ribot 5Mothers 5The Swell Season 4case/lang/veirs 4Arc Iris 4Eddie Izzard 4Antibalas 4One Day As A Lion 4Curtis Harding 4Madi Diaz 4Petra Haden 4Muggs 3The Book Of Knots 3Danny Cohen 3Simian Mobile Disco 3Marianne Faithfull 3Sierra Leones Refugee... 2Billy Bragg 2Blackalicious 2Various Artists: RANGO 2Spoon (Europe only) 2Screaming Lights (Euro... 2Lyrics Born 2Savath & Savalas 2Jeff Tweedy 2Title Fight 2Chuck E. Weiss 1Rogue's Gallery 1Various Artists: ROGUE... 1Nick Cave & The Bad Se...
See Full List+