U.S. reggae powerhouse Easy Star Records – home to the successful Easy Star All-Stars – latest signing is New York City-based family quartet New Kingston; brothers Stephen Suckarie, Courtney Panton, Jr., Tahir Panton and their father Courtney Panton, Sr.
Kingston City is their third album and follows Kingston University released in 2013, a set that included the Black Uhuru-influenced album opener Life. Their new album is more consistent compared to their previous two sets, but they still manage to combine soulful vocal harmonies and bright melodies with pulsating bass lines.
The album, which hosts twelve tracks, leans heavily towards contemporary European roots reggae, and New Kingston are somewhat rougher compared to some of their U.S. peers. The set opens explosively with the up-tempo Today and the pace is high throughout the first four cuts. Then comes the deep and slow Honorable followed by the beautiful Kimie Miner combination You Are Mine with its infectious chorus and haunting keys.
The album is actually laced with several guest appearances and New Kingston is also joined by Tribal Seeds’ vocalists Maad T-Ray and E.N Young, The Wailing Souls, the late Sugar Minott and Sister Carol graces the 80s sounding Conquer Dem with her signature deejaying.
Kingston City – available everywhere except in Europe where it drops on February 23 – is well-crafted and definitely New Kingston’s best album to date and a strong addition to an otherwise often shallow U.S. reggae scene.
Californian Billboard Reggae Chart-topping reggae rockers Tribal Seeds drop their fourth studio album Representing on May 13, and the first single Fill it Up, featuring New Kingston, is already receiving airplay.
Representing holds twelve rock-infused reggae tracks and features Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite on the title track as well as Kyle McDonald of Slightly Stoopid on In Your Area. Reggae legends Don Carlos and Michael Rose show up on Blood Clot and Herb Stock respectively.
”This album promotes and inspires a positive and uplifting message which you can’t help but vibe to,” explains Tony-Ray Jacobo of Tribal Seeds.
Representing is a follow-up to Tribal Seeds’ 2011 EP Soundwaves and marks the band’s first full-length release since 2009’s The Harvest.
New York City’s reggae boy band New Kingston – comprising three brothers – put out a wicked and wild track some weeks ago. Life was the title and it was a heavy as lead Black Uhuru-influenced roots scorcher with some very memorable melodica.
This young trio’s second album Kingston University soon followed the single release. The single is not representative for the full album though. No, Kingston University is more diverse affair, including tough roots riddims, slick pop reggae ballads and energetic dancehall. But all tracks have sweet harmonizing, an urban contemporary touch and successfully fuse reggae, pop and R&B.
Producers Carey “K-Melz” Mellers, Dean Fraser, Special Delivery and New Kingston themselves have managed to make a radio friendly set aimed at sound systems, dancehalls and nighttime romancing.
Fans of TOK and Voicemail – or Konshens debut album from last year – should definitely apply for Kingston University. You might learn a thing or two.