KINGSWOOD have defied expectations with their second album, After Hours, Close to Dawn. In an unexpected move from the Melbourne pub rockers, they have moved away from big guitars and shredding solos to essentially making a soul record. Lead vocalist, Fergus Linacre cites a wide range of influences behind their second effort. “We were listening to a lot of Beatles and Marvin Gaye … The Beatles more so sonically and how good those records sounded,” Linacre says. “There’s a modern touch in there as well, we love the new Alabama Shakes record … and even Beyoncé’s new record came out, which is really diverse and all over the place but still sounds like a good group of songs.”
Upon listening to the new record, it becomes apparent that the band have put a lot into it. Linacre’s voice sounds completely different on the majority of the record as he croons over soulful organs and bluesy guitar lines. The vocalist tried many different approaches to tracking his vocals on the new record. “We set the bar a lot higher than we have in the past … for getting the right vocal takes,” Linacre comments. “For example one song I was lying down on a mattress with cinderblocks on me, feeling like I was being crushed while I was singing.”
Kingswood have also stepped up their live show considerably. Moving from a powerful, but somewhat standard, rock ’n’ roll show, the band now have horns, backing singers and a fifth musician to help them perform the new songs. Linacre cites the new lightshow as a massive evolution from their previous tours. “We have a lot of consideration about how to get the set in the right order to flow well, because it does jump from so many different genres … and they are big jumps; we go from the heaviest song we play into the softest … and it just works.”
In another surprising move, Kingswood are running a competition to take a female soprano vocalist on tour with them. Instead of trying to hire someone in the industry, the band decided to invite fans to send in videos of themselves singing. The idea was to find somebody who hasn’t experienced the music business before and introduce them to the industry. “It’s been awesome, we had no idea how many people would be sending in videos … it’ll be exciting having someone fresh on the road and showing them what it’s like to tour for a while.” After Hours, Close to Dawn and the band’s ensuing tour is a new direction for Kingswood, who are proving they are not just a typical Aussie pub rock band.
Kingswood will be bringing their soul vibes to ANU Bar on Saturday April 1 with WAAX and Maddy Jane. Tickets are available at Moshtix for $35 + bf.