Monday, May 03, 2021

Groovy guitars and stomping drums: Music by Kota’s new EP “Innocence” will rock your world!

Music by Kota describe themselves as “a group of five guys in Memphis, Tennessee out to have a good time”. With blues, rock, and folk influences such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix these five guys set out to “present the roots of rock and roll in a new and modern way”.

New EP “Innocence” is a huge step for the band in achieving this. Released March 26th, the EP offers slick guitars from Ryan Young, pulsing drumbeats from Bryton Wallace, and strong vocals to match from lead vocalist Dakota Jackson. Combined with keyboards and backing vocals from Conner Blakley and bass from Alex Taylor, this EP proves this band as a musical talent.

Epic opening track “Innocence” begins with minimal instrumentation before building up to a crescendo at the mid-point which allows Dakota Jackson’s powerful rock and roll voice to shine through. With a backdrop of gentle acoustic guitars this track hints at the band’s folk influences, before gaining momentum as electric guitars and drums crash in. Jackson’s questioning “where do we go when the lights go low?” makes for a catchy hook, sure to be a sing-along favourite at future live performances. The track retreats to soft guitar strumming and vocal harmonies before taking off again at the close, perfecting the slow-down-speed-up style which classic rock listeners have come to know so well.

Lead single “Lucy” follows where the band counts in before unveiling some groovy guitar. There is a real 60s/70s feel to this track with the sizzling guitar solo towards the end reminiscent of George Harrison’s “Something”. The laid-back pace of the song with steady drumbeats and a smooth blues bassline makes it a stand-out on the EP.

Pounding guitars and drums introduce the third track “Casualties”. Jackson’s speedy vocal delivery in the verses is a perfect combination with the stomping beat. Like “Innocence” the track crescendos into its chorus again with Jackson’s vocals taking centre stage as he sings “you’re banging down my door again”.

"Mama told me when I was young, be careful who you hang around son” sings Jackson on EP closer “Legacy”, a song with a slower pace than seen previously, being driven by melodic guitar-playing. The lyrics detail the journey of growing up, living, and learning. As the drums kick in and the instrumentation builds in the second verse Jackson encourages the listener to “sing it loud”. Things take a turn as we speed up with a yell of 1-2-3-4 and the soaring electric guitar sounds enter not dissimilar to the outro of Catfish and the Bottlemen’s “Tyrants”.

“Innocence” is an EP to be remembered and with an eclectic mixture of genres, infectious guitar sounds and distinctive vocals the band have achieved their aim of making music “that can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere”. The future is bright for Music by Kota.

Sarah Taylor


Image: Music by Kota ‘Innocence’ EP Official Artwork

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