Gideon King & City Blog Drop New Single

Gideon King & City Blog have been taking the alternative underground by storm in 2023, and after checking out their interpretation of the song “Somewhere Only We Know (featuring Ashley Hess),” it’s easy to see what all of the hype has been about. Where other songs in this group’s discography are more conservative in structure, this single basks in the grandiosity of its heart-melting harmonies, swinging drumbeat, and bountiful vocal melodies, which could be the best that the band has recorded so far.

Here we are reminded that “Somewhere Only We Know” is a blunt ballad that isn’t marred with complacent lyricism, and that’s not so easy to find nowadays.

There’s not very much bass in this track, but the mix is still beefy in all the right ways. The string grooving is agile and smooth and even rivals the presence of the percussion in a couple of noteworthy spots close to the chorus. I like that the bassline isn’t in the forefront of the mix, because were it put before the guitar parts, the harmony that they conjure up with Hess wouldn’t be as crisp and clean. The bottom line, from my viewpoint, is that when we take away the lyrics, the tonality of the instruments is the bread and butter of this single above all else.

The guitar parts are bright and chirpy, which adds some warmth to the vocal track and makes Hess’s words seem all the more intimate and vulnerable. The nature of this cover is all about its pleasant, honest poetry, but I probably like this song more than the other versions I’ve heard in recent years because of the way it highlights Hess’ ability to gel with the melody of the strings to the point where it’s hard to differentiate one from another (especially when the adrenaline is pumping at maximum capacity in the chorus).

I think it’s obvious that “Somewhere Only We Know” was produced with the college radio crowd in mind, but I don’t think that it’s going to be the poppiest song on the Splinters EP. There’s potential to expand here, but not necessarily in a plasticized way that a lot of other jazz crossover groups would see fit in 2023. “Somewhere Only We Know” raises the bar even higher than its predecessors did, because not only does it have an FM-quality varnish that will make it an impeccable choice for regular rotation, it offers us a better glimpse into the multidimensional skillset that this group has as songwriters.

As far as covers are concerned, Gideon King & City Blog’s “Somewhere Only We Know” is one of the better releases that I’ve seen this month, mostly due to its fabulous musical backdrop and the multitude of emotions that it’s capable of drawing from us when we’re least expecting it. Most of the American bands that fall under the same alternative umbrella that this group does fail to remember the one rule that it would seem this group of collaborators live by religiously in this single – bigger is always better when making soulful jazz crossovers, and that’s why “Somewhere Only We Know” works so astonishingly well here.

Chadwick Easton


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