Music » Band of the Week

Band of the Week: Alvarez Kings



MEET THE BAND: Simon Thompson (vocals, guitar), Paul Thompson (bass, keyboards, vocals), Sean Parkin (guitar, vocals), Richard Walker (drums, samples, pads)

STRAIGHT OUTTA SHEFFIELD: Brothers Simon and Paul Thompson first put the indie rock band together a few years ago in Sheffield, a town about three hours from London, and then recruited drummer Richard Walker and another guitarist who's since been replaced by Sean Parkin. Recognition came quickly as BBC Radio Sheffield named "No Resolve" the Single of the Year and honored the group with local awards such as Best Band and Best EP. "There's a ton of great bands in Sheffield, so that was great," says Simon Thompson via a recent transatlantic phone call. In 2015, the band played Vans Warped Tour, and Fuse TV documented the trials and tribulations of being on the grueling tour.

FEELING CALIFORNIA: The band recorded its just-released debut album, Somewhere Between, in southern California with the Grammy Award-winning Carlos De La Garza (Paramore, M83, Jimmy Eat World). The recording took a mere three weeks as the guys sent demos of the songs to De La Garza prior to working with him in the studio. "He just fine tuned the songs and made us feel comfortable because we felt like aliens in California," says Thompson. "With 'Sleepwalking, Pt. II,' it was just an acoustic song we used to play on tour. We didn't have any idea about what do with that song until we sat down with Carlos and that's how it came about."


WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Album opener "Cold Conscience" possesses an '80s synth-pop feel with its percolating synths and upper-register vocals. "I think when I was younger I was really into Black Rebel Motorcycle Club," says Thompson when asked about his influences. "In terms of singing, I remember when I listened to the first Local Natives album, I thought one of the guys had an incredible voice. Listening to the Beatles growing up, I thought Paul McCartney had an amazing voice. When the Arctic Monkeys came on the scene, I remember thinking I needed to up my game. Thanks to [singer] Alex [Turner] for giving me a kick in the ass." Having toured with PVRIS and Echosmith, the band also recently supported Melanie Martinez on a sold-out European run. It's currently on its first U.S. headlining tour.

WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Alvarez Kings perform with Mimi Arden, the Shadow Division, the Movies and Ray Flanagan at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 22, at the Grog Shop.

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