At the moment Melbourne is experience some of the coldest weather I can remember. As we prepare for snow over night I have King’s new single West Coast playing. Such a contrast! Hayden Jeffrey’s smooth voice and the images of the music video make me miss summer so much. Soaked in sun and memories this song wants me to lay back, listen and dream of summer.
Melbourne-based electro-pop newcomers, KINGS. have released a infectious new single (u) West Coast, a gem of a song that is soaked in seasonal nostalgia. The band have also announced the fittingly sun-kissed video for (u) West Coast, directed by Lawrence Phelan (Chris Watts, Reika).
(u) West Coast is a shimmering example of uplifting electro pop. Characterised by its sharp production and cyclic synthesisers, the song is intricate, dense and seriously satisfying. It transcends time and transports the listener into the haze of an Australian summer, intrinsically narrated by lead vocalist Hayden Jeffery’s honeyed, soaring vocal. The chorus is joyous, effortlessly cool, and buoyed by endlessly catchy hooks. Speaking on the inspiration behind the tune, Jeffery says, “(u) West Coast draws on the feeling of nostalgia, it’s one of my favourite emotions to feel; it sparks a very colourful and creative energy. The letter (u) in the title refers to a place where I once was and once experienced, it holds plenty of memories, stories and sentimental feelings.”
The lyric video for the tune is reflective of this energy, and consists of stunning, sparkling footage of beaches so picturesque they could have been plucked straight from a daydream. Rolling in and then receding, waves flow underneath the words as they flicker and fade, perfectly timed to emphasise the ebbs and flows in the music. Speaking on the clip, Jeffery explains, “We wanted the lyric video to tie in with the aesthetic of the artwork, as well as the themes of the lyrical content. The video is more or less a pleasing sight to envisage while listening to the song.”
With 80,000 spins across Spotify and Soundcloud, and 30,000 YouTube views for their last single, Whispers, KINGS. have the industry and music lovers’ primed and waiting for this anticipated second single and it will not disappoint. The skilled producers and musicians have a jam-packed year ahead, continuing to create new tunes for themselves and for other musicians, as Jeffery enthuses, “The unique thing about KINGS. is that all the music is DIY from home. We have a little rehearsal studio built in my garage and all of the records come together on my laptop. In our spare time we’ll be making more music and producing for other artists.”
KINGS. is Hayden Jeffery, Sam Buirski, Caleb Williams, and Tim Cox.
Great to catch up with you again, you have made some changes musically since I last interviewed you.
Hi Jen, yes, you can always grow musically and discover new strengths.
You studied at Blackburn High which has a brilliant Music program and studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Contemporary Music). You have graduated from the Bachelor’s degree now?
Yes, Tim (Drummer) and I both went through those schools together and this is our first year out.
Is this where you met Sam, Caleb and Tim whom form the rest of the band? If not how did you meet them?
Tim and I met Sam at a local gig when we were 15, we always kept in contact because of our common interest in music. Caleb and I met through a band called The Winter Suns. I was playing drums and gigging around with them last year.
Using all that you learnt and the skills that allow to produce, and enhance your writing skills as well as many instruments you have mastered has allowed your band to write, record and produce such a top notch record?
It’s a really important thing to visualize the song in its final form, in order to then bring all the musical colours together to achieve that and achieve it as a team. We can all pick up each other’s instruments just as well as each other, which allows us to have a mutual understanding of how each instrument plays a part in the final piece.
Your single ‘West Coast’ may have been about the footy team and I was relieved it was not! The catchy tune makes me feel that I am actually in warmer weather. I assume as you are from Melbourne, was that was the intention of the song?
I’m glad people are resonating with the warm weather feel. That was entirely our intention, for me it’s romanticizing warm memories from my past and carrying them with me as I grind my way through a long winter.
The Lyric video enhances ‘West Coast’ to the point of making me what to jump on a plane and get over there to experience the warmer weather! Did you do the video yourselves as a band? It is really cool.
I had the idea and brought it to a friend. He gathered a collection of footage from his media friends who have travelled here and there and I sat with him to sort through it all while he made it look nice and shiny.
Your first single off the album has managed to get the attention of MANY people, with impressive stats like 80,000 spins across Spotify and Soundcloud, and 30,000 YouTube views was it a relief that your hard work had paid off?
It’s brilliant that Whispers is receiving that kind of traction, it drives us to get more and more music out there.
I noticed on your facebook page that you posted ‘Rainy Days are for Writing’ interesting comment seeing you are based in Melbourne. I thought that was amusing, as we have rain sometimes for ten minutes then a blue sky then it can be hailing. What do you do when we have a drought? haha
I guess there would be no more songs right haha? The weather definitely brings a mood, that rainy day I was inside sitting at the piano in my lounge, on a sunny day I’d be out seeking some inspiration on the surf, it’s where I gather a lot of my ideas. It’s a chance to sit out there and look at things from a different perspective.
The bands writing process, is that a whole group approach or do you, Hayden do most of the writing?
Majority of the time songs are coming from short hooks that someone might bring to a jam. The ones that strike us I will usually take away for a while and pick at them on a laptop to bring them to their final form.
Reading your facebook it has become clear that there are many people praising your two songs that have been released so far, but not just fans, you have received many accolades from the press. How does it feel to have put your heart and soul into and album and for it to be so well received by the music media?
There are some really cool people that have made contact with us to give positive feedback. It’s that rush that motivates you to continue being creative.
Have any live crowds heard your new music? It seems that you have not played to a large crowd since St Kilda Festival. ( I could be wrong but the shows at uni etc don’t seem to be as big as St Kilda Festival.)
St Kilda Festival was a highlight, but the Uni shows weren’t any smaller really. Because we’re a relatively new act with 3 released songs, the majority of our set is new to people.
I know Dylan Nash quite well, what was it like working with him? He is a super talented guy.
I developed a relationship with Dylan through his production work on my previous band’s record. Now that we’re producing our own work, I’ll discuss the final mix with him over the phone. What you create is precious, so it’s really important to work with people that you trust.
Hayden, with your studies all being focused around music and you have had other projects that Kings, how hard is it to juggle work/life balance?
This is something that I struggle with with two jobs and 2 teenagers and the usual house chores that need doing.
The key is to stay focused; at the moment we have accepted we need to be fitting 10 days into a 5 day week, working by day and creating by night. Losing focus is what shakes that balance.
So what is next for Kings? Any plans you can share or are they still secret?
We have some very exciting things to share soon, but yes, they’re kept secret.
Spoil Spoilt! Thanks for your time Hayden and I wish you well for the release of more singles off your album and hopefully a tour announcement soon!