American Royalty is a studio experiment gone right. If you haven’t heard the name yet, expect to be hearing it more in the next year because these artists won’t be underground for long. Playing shows with groups like Metronomy and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, American Royalty has spent the majority of 2012 on the road and kicked off 2013 with a new EP. Prismatic is a true work of art. There are few artists as creative and innovative as these guys and this record accentuates that fact. We can confidently say that you probably haven’t heard anything like it yet. Prismatic is intelligently written and produced, plus it’s just a joy to listen to. Here is a record you’ll want to show your friends.
Despite how many of the beats and pitches are electronically generated, there is a certain earthy - and even timeless - feel to Prismatic. When it comes to creating a vibe like that, one could assume that these musicians would’ve had to get creative not just in their songwriting style, but also in their production. “Honey & Queen” is a perfect example. From the beginning of the song, it feels like taking part of some kind of ancient tribal ritual. We could credit this to the percussion and vocal parts in particular. Wondering how in the world they got the voice to sound that way? A Fischer Price toy. That’s right, the vocals on this track were recorded and processed through an old plastic megaphone which raises the pitch up a fourth. Talk about innovative thinking! American Royalty knows that music can be found in everything and everything, which only makes the project more alluring.
Just when you try to pinpoint what exactly the main vibe is in Prismatic, the track changes and we’re back at square one. Every song is different. “Hungry” feels similar to a Black Keys rock song, but “Mariah” has a straight ahead soulful, Motown sound that could be best compared to Mayer Hawthorne (“Green Eyed Love”). Of course it doesn’t end there. There must be a hundred influences where those came from, and to give this record a genre is like trying to fit a circle into a box. No matter where you look, everyone seems to have a different name for it. We’ve heard everything from math rock to poignant electronica and some even consider American Royalty to be dark psychedelic rock. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter much. There’s nothing we could compare them to that would be truly accurate, but perhaps that why it is so easy to be drawn to their sound. There are a lot things to appreciate about Prismatic. With an album like this, we expect American Royalty to make even bigger waves in the upcoming months.
1. Honey & Queen
5. Change the Colors in the Sky