Urban Resonance with Gideon King & City Blog’s ‘Upscale Madhouse’

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Image from rockonphilly.com

The modern metropolitans of today’s future can bring upon a wave of confused and unstudied emotions. With so many aspiring denizens living under one hivemind can bring about the feelings of exaltation, ironic isolation, anguishing stress, and awed inspiration.

It seems that the best stories of today come from the cosmopolitans of Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, and Houston. Being a Chicagoan, I understand the leveling stresses and confused perceptions that people from New York City or Houston rant about.

I have never heard about Gideon King & City Blog until just recently. Just looking at their personage and aspiring lineups cull about memories of attending shows at the House of Blues in Chicago, witnessing the musical pontifications from underdog musicians. One of the first videos to appear when searching for their name was a brief relish of their inspiration.

Their clarity of the urban lifestyle had struck a chord with me. It seems that band members understand the consistent hassles and beauties that come from an evolving city. Especially when one of the band members states, “the gems are always, like, underneath the piles of shit.”

Video uploaded by Gideon King & City Blog (YouTube)

Being a Fusion Jazz band hailing from the saturated hassle of New York City, they hold every right to pontificate about the lives and stories in such a congregated mesh.

Although the pressures could be present, external pressures only push aspiring creatives to enhance their touching hand. Gideon King & City Blog has immense talent that seams together each creative fiber into a well-woven, linear fabric. They’ve transparently clarified their unique talent in their recent album, Upscale Madhouse.

One of the first details I’ve noticed when perusing through the tracks is the number of features and extending musical hands they’ve cultivated to create each composition. There are the main components of the band, such as saxophonist Elliot Skinner and guitarist and vocalist Gideon King himself.

There are also a plethora of attributes which includes as supporting artists Brendan Fletcher, Conrad Sewell, and Kate Kay Es.


With ten, moderately timed songs compiled for this project, the Fusion band and their accolades all put their efforts together to create a multi-sensationalized and poignant display of urban resonance.

The album starts out with the track Straight to Hell, which features twangy vocals from Sonny Step. The track billows a pleasing aesthetic from the array of pelting drums, on point guitar riffs and gorgeous female background vocals. From here, you’d assume you understand their sound, prejudging their scope through the first track along.

It may be due to my own musical prejudices, but I’m not much of a fan of the next track Upscale Madness, as effervescing as King’s guitar could be. This track is wholly focused on Brendan Fletcher’s and King’s talents conjoined into one cohesion.

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Image from us.blastingnews.com

The sole focus is on the guitar and the lyrics. Although a moving track, songs such as Loveyouloveyouloveyou are my personal highlights from the album. Gideon King and Kate Kay Es’ sorrowful prose is matched with the airy composition of sparkling chords and alternating percussion and strings. The song is then assuaged by guitar riffs followed by an impeccable chord play.

The Jazz aesthetic really clarifies its own power with this track. There’s just so much involved in this track, but they all feel uniform and appropriate. Matched with the solemn void of inner city life is the song God, I’m So Alone, which has the essential entourage that Loveyouloveyouloveyou had, but is redirected by Conrad Sewell’s heart-aching vocals.


When I hear typical Jazz instrumentation matched with the colors of Folk and Rock, I don’t just hear city noise. I hear innate talent effortlessly trying to protrude away from the enmeshing of the saturated hills. Gideon King & City Blog has a selective ear and an enigmatic mind to create such harmonious works. Upscale Madhouse is only their second full-length project, but hopefully, time will shine a light onto this band.

When looking back at the video, where this was stated, I can feel that they could be mentioning themselves as well:

“The gems are always, like, underneath the piles of shit.”

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