#POPULARPLAY: HEY, KING!
Aug 29, 2020
The ANTI-Records Indie Rock duo, Hey, King! released heir newest EP on yesterday, August 28th but not before releasing one of their most personal songs to date, “Half Alive”. Comprised of songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Natalie London and her partner, vocalist and percussionist Taylor Plecity, the duo’s newly released single “Half Alive” is accompanied by visuals that showcase the rawness and intimacy of a relationship through the bursts of colors plastered across the screen and the slow-burn intensity the power couple share.
The EP produced by the mastermind behind their first two singles “Don’t Let Me Get Away” and “Lucky”, Ben Harper. The duo sat with Popular TV to talk about their newest single and where the band’s name “Hey, King!” came from!
1. Tell us about your new song ‘Half Alive’ and how the single came to be.
London: Well, I’m still having trouble calling it ‘Half Alive’ since it was supposed to be called ‘Sex Song’ but everyone vetoed it. But in seriousness, this song was actually the first one Taylor collaborated on and completely led to the realization that this band was something we had to do together. It was the first time I sang a song that I wrote about someone with that person and the chemistry from our romantic life transformed the band and it all went from there!
2. Tell us about your partnership! How did you meet and why did you decide to become a duo?
Plecity: Natalie is the best thing that ever happened to me and as Ruth from Fried Green Tomatoes says “She’s the best friend I eva’ had, and I love ‘er.”
London: Best movie ever, and best girlfriend ever. We were actually a couple before we started playing music together but creating art as a couple was inevitable.
3. Why “Hey, King!”?
London: When I was sick and bedridden my whole life as I knew it was gone so I would sit and watch ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ the Spike Jonze version and imagine sailing away and building my life over again. I started writing music that was completely different than anything I had made before… more adventure, triumph… so I was looking through the film and realized every time they want to call Max’s name they simply yell ‘Hey, King!’ Our first EP is another nod to the film, when Max tries to quiet the beasts he screams ‘Be Still!’
4. Who or what initially inspired you both to pursue a career in music?
Plecity: I actually came to Los Angeles when I was cast as the lead of a film and have been creating, writing, and acting since. Music has always been a lighthouse for me though and no matter what other dreams I’m pursuing I always seem to be brought back to music.
London: I like to think that music was my first language, it’s always been easier to play or write something than to talk out loud. I started playing guitar at 4 and piano at about 6 and it just went from there, I can’t remember a time where music wasn’t the path, I can’t imagine a time where it won’t be.
5. Describe your creative process. From where do you start or seek inspiration?
London: Some of the songs on the current EP came out in one fell swoop which is usually my favorite way to write, for instance ‘Don’t Let Me Get Away’ the lyrics and music were finished by the time I finished walking my dog, which was awesome. It isn’t usually quite as easy and is very rarely the result of seeking inspiration; it’s more the need to solve a puzzle in my head or express a longing or deep emotion that I feel like words aren’t adequate for.
6. Who are your biggest influences in music?
Plecity: For me, the bands that inspire me for live performances have always been Matt and Kim and Front Bottoms because their energy and ability to have fun is tangible. As far as the soundtracks of my life, Radwimps are my favorite; their arrangements, instrumentation and ability to transport you to another world is everything.
London: I’ve always been a huge fan of artists who lead with their vulnerability and aren’t afraid of their rage or frailty or hope in the darkness like Sufjan Stevens, Trent Reznor, and Thom Yorke. One of my favorite artists/storytellers is the band Two Gallants as well. When I look back at my childhood, I think Tori Amos was actually a major influence, from her horn arrangements to the gull she had to just do whatever on earth she wanted because she believed in it… hero status forever.
7. Can each of you tell us a secret?
Plecity: I sing ‘It’s Not Easy’ from the 1980’s Disney film ‘Pete’s Dragon’ to my border collie Eliotte every night before I go to bed.
London: Well, I’m not exactly a nerd like Taylor, but I do have a secret addiction to Fruit Ninja and have the highest score at about eight Dave and Buster’s throughout the country. You will be able to tell it’s my name on the scoreboard from my third grade sense of humor, i.e. PENIS, VJAYJ, or OPRAH
8. Can you tell us about any other upcoming releases?
London: We are so stoked to have the EP out this week and can’t wait for the full album April 2021 so please keep your eyes out!
Plecity: And your ears!