Assimilated into music at an early age thanks to father and bassist Courtney Panton Sr, New York-based trio of brothers New Kingston have emerged as one of the most exciting and innovative bands in the reggae scene. Their prolific nature, both on the road and in studio, is once more on display in the form of their new release A Kingston Story: Come From Far, out August 25th, 2017 on tastemaker label Easy Star Records, accompanied by more extensive touring.
Comprised of brothers Tahir (keys), Stephen (guitar), and Courtney Panton Jr (drums), New Kingston’s latest offering encompasses the organic roots the band has built while adding a sonic narrative that takes the listener on a journey through carefully constructed soundscapes and genuinely entrancing arrangements. In an attempt to capture the live energy built off the band’s lifelong chemistry, the entire album was recorded out of their home studio, with some help from GRAMMY Award Winning-engineer Fabian Cooke. Courtney Jr. summed up the album title’s message, stating “There’s always a moment in life where we subconsciously show gratitude to where we are now by reflecting on where we came from. Come From Far is our experience; as a family, as musicians and as human beings living in a world where anything is possible.”
The album kicks off with sounds of the hustling and bustling of a train station, which quickly transforms into an upbeat celebration rooted in reality in title track “Come From Far.” The juxtaposition of the family’s past achievements mixed with future ambitions is perfectly encapsulated in the anthemic hook “Look how far we’ve come/Look how far we haffi go.” The next song, “Honorable & The Beast,” taps into the band’s spiritual perspective, pushing the message of tackling life’s obstacles and distractions in whatever form they may take. “Starlight” turns the direction towards love, which is taken a step deeper in “Agape,” a Greek word oft-translated as ‘unconditional love’, a song that mixes the finer elements of folk and stadium ballads, a welcome variation from the norms of the group.
“Stereotypes” serves as an uplifting call to action to anybody who has ever faced inner judgement for their outer appearance, reminding the listener to hold true to their substance beyond the material world. “Meditation” features heavy doses of percussion over a mesmerizing bassline. “Solid As A Rock” is carried by bright key stabs and organ comping, that Tahir summarizes as a call to “Keep the faith in what you are doing and face life head on.” A dose of feel-good groove, slap bass and all, is found on “Reggae Music’s Playing” before the album is closed out with a dubbed out version of fan-favorite “Kingston Fyah.”
A Kingston Story: Come From Far is a story that fans of all genres can enjoy. Stephen Suckarie assured the quality by stating, “This is a new ‘New Kingston’ sound that our long-time fans will love and new listeners can connect with.” Look out for the release via Easy Star Records on August 25th, with pre-orders available now, or experience the story for yourself on their upcoming US Tour.