Texas King

Recently I was able to get word of a new EP that was getting significant buzz in both the band’s hometown in Ontario, as well as a thriving following in the states. Last December’s Changes by Texas King is a brilliant mix of 90’s roots rock in the same realm as The Black Crowes, the pop sensibilities of Hootie & The Blowfish, with the modern polish of The Fray. Lead vocalist Jordan Macdonald truly shines on songs like “You,” “Strange Life,” and the album opener “Not Myself.” If you’ve been looking for a new band that reminds you of the 90’s Alt Rock scene with a steady heart towards the future, look no further than Texas King.

The record opens with a nice guitar groove found on “Not Myself,” and one of the first things that captivated my attention was Macdonald’s crisp vocal delivery. The band really rallies around each of his heartfelt lyrics, and they never overpower the direction of the vocals. The title track follows with a more up-tempo approach, but never loses its footing with the direction of the storytelling found in Texas King’s music. This song in particular focuses on the feeling of noticing that changes need to be made in your life, even if you have to hit rock bottom before picking up the pieces to put yourself back together.

”Strange Life” features a nice beat and slow-building tempo that reminded me of the styling of The Fray mixed with the radio ready rock of O.A.R. The song really has a nice sheen and groove to it, and reminds the listener of just how bizarre the past few years have been, while looking forward to better days to could lie ahead.

My favorite track comes in the form of the new single, “You,” that features a great, pulsating bass line that allows for Macdonald to sing the verses in a lower register before gradually building up to a crescendo in the chorus, where he sings, “I did it for you / All for you, all for you / Yeah, baby!” I was able to ask Macdonald about the video shoot for the single, and he mentioned, “The making of this you music video was great. This is the first video where it was just me and a camera. I missed the boys, but it was a cool experience just fully trusting Oliver the director. Minus 30 was the temperature for those outside shots! Between trying not to slip, and Oliver trying not to slip with the camera, it was quite an adventure! All three locations were dope, and I got to see another side of Calgary that I’d never seen before. I dug deep to try and convey and set the mood of the tune in my solo ‘acting’ performance on this one, and I just hope everyone enjoys the video. Big thanks to Oliver Eli and Dave. Great crew to work with!”

Texas King shows off the depth in their well thought out songwriting on other songs like “Small Towns” and the reflective “Frontlines,” where Macdonald ponders the existential meaning behind this crazy world. The casual unfolding of the story on the latter track showcases the band exploring new sounds and the endless possibilities to their sound. While some may feel that Texas King sounds too familiar to stand out on their own, I would argue that this familiarity comes across a strength in their sound. That familiar feeling of “where have I heard this before?” only speaks to this band’s ability to bring their best foot forward and become one of the latest artists to watch as they further explore the richness to their sound.