Gideon King & City Blog continue their remarkable sonic evolution with ‘Love Knot,’ a dazzling, three-song EP due out on May 29th. Hinting at everything from Seal and Lianne La Havas to Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan, the collection is both sophisticated and accessible, weaving its way through unexpected changes with lush arrangements and addictive hooks that blur the lines between jazz, rock, folk, and soul. King’s gifts as a writer and instrumentalist are on full display here, but more than anything, ‘Love Knot’ is a testament to the chemistry he’s able to generate with his bandmates in GKCB, an all-star group whose virtuosity adds up to far more than the sum of its parts.
Recorded over the course of three intensive days at King’s Hudson Valley studio, ‘Love Knot’ explores romantic relationships from a variety of perspectives, examining all the harmony and dissonance that inevitably result when two human beings come together as one. King writes about love with great wit and nuance on the EP, painting evocative, sometimes abstract portraits of men and women struggling to reconcile with the inexplicable energy of love. The intoxicating title track, for instance, reflects on the uncertainty lurking beneath the surface of a new relationship (“Is it over? Or is it just beginning?” vocalists Caleb Hawley and Alita Moses sing back and forth), while the slinky “Go Along To Get Along” spins a captivating tale about a male contract killer and his lover, and the breezy “Cliff” looks back on a breakup with equal parts regret, bitterness, and humor.
“These aren’t love songs, per se,” says King. “They’re songs about the crosswinds and jagged edges of relationships.”
Gideon King first launched City Blog in 2015 as a studio project with a rotating cast of players that included the likes of guitar pioneer John Scofield (Charlies Mingus, Miles Davis), sax legend Donny McCaslin (David Bowie, Bobby McFerrin), renowned vocalist Marc Broussard, and SNL bassist James Genus (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea), among others. The group’s full-length studio debut, ‘City Blog,’ earned glowing reviews, with the Huffington Post dubbing it “some of the most complex and satisfying music you may ever hear.” GKCB’s 2018 follow-up, ‘Upscale Madhouse,” was met with even more critical raves, and the response encouraged King to take the project out of the studio and onto the stage with a core live ensemble that began performing to packed houses at iconic New York clubs like The Blue Note, Joe’s Pub, and City Winery. ‘Love Knot’ marks King’s first collection recorded with the members of that core live band—pianist/music director Bryan Reeder, bassist Jeff Hanley, drummers Jake Goldbas, Diego Ramirez, and Zach Mullings, and vocalists Caleb Hawley, Alita Moses, and Sonny Step—and showcases the exhilarating mix of spontaneity and precision that have garnered them such a devoted following.