Nostalgia loves to rear its head in many ways. Scanning the current musical landscape, it becomes clear that the 80s and 90s have been in vogue. Although we are long removed from the years of TLC, Destiny’s Child, and Cameo, Los Angeles’s KING recalls such groups. The trio took the highly-receptive and nearly sold-out U Street Music Hall crowd on a nostalgia that perfectly emulated the sounds of bygone musical eras.
Comprised of sisters Amber and Paris Strother along with Anita Bias, KING features the vocals front and center, with live instrumentation handled solely by Paris Strother and her small army of keyboards. Their harmonies, synchronized movements, 808 drum machine patterns, and attention-grabbing garments. immediately bring to mind 80s and 90s R&B and pop. The crowd sang and swayed along to both new songs like “The Greatest” and even tracks like “Hey”, released five years ago during a much different time in the group’s life.
Although they could’ve gone a step further and provided more live instrumentation beyond a single person on keyboards (like a bass player or some percussion, something that would a layer of energy that can’t be replicated on an album), KING’s harmonies were still as alluring as they are on the album. They've come a long way in the R&B world since older songs like “Hey”, but it’s probably safe to say that this is still just the beginning. Their debut album We Are KING is available online now, and opener (and DC native) Nick Hakim’s EPs Where Will We Go, Pt. 1 and Where Will We Go, Pt. 2 are available on iTunes.