Kingsley Flood – “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”

Kingsley Flood - "Don't Wanna Go Home"

Ever since the spring 2010 release of their superb debut album (Dust Windows), Boston-based Kingsley Flood has been reaping the benefits of a rekindled nationwide interest in Americana music.  Bands like the Low Anthem and the Felice Brothers have been stoutheartedly composing roots-flavored songs for a few years now, but thanks in large part to the recent mainstream success of London’s Mumford & Sons, the Americana genre seems to be gradually shedding its parodied pomade-and-knickers image in favor of one that underscores the music’s earnest sentimentality, arresting vulnerability, and convivial atmosphere. Rock bands that disguise their mediocre songwriting with a barrage of effects pedals, electronic accoutrements, and ubiquitously edgy chic have become something of a boiler plate phenomenon in this age; it’s no wonder that Americana’s unadulterated aesthetic has struck a chord with the public as of late.

For Naseem Khuri and his Kingsley Flood bandmates, this surging adulation for American roots music has translated into an appearance at this year’s Austin’s venerable South by Southwest Festival, coverage by the tastemakers at NPR, and a “Best New Artist” win at the 2010 Boston Music Awards.  Dust Windows was every bit deserving of the press it received – an irresistible cocktail of Dylan-esque storytelling, Clash-inspired rowdiness, and pop-approved melodicism, buoyed by the raspy drawl of Khuri’s voice.

A year later, the newly minted six-piece is dropping the MP3 single “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”, an irresistible three-minute jam packed with the same kinetic presence as the band’s live sets. Sporting a drumbeat not unlike Dust Window’s “Cul De Sac,” the song tells the story of a stubborn and foolish man who, with Kingsley Flood’s characteristically vivid imagery, decides to ditch a life of comfort and pecan pie for the open road in a Ford sedan of questionable quality. “Leaves wife in the doorway cause she understands / even packs his lunch like a good wife can / 96 Crown Vic half a gallon of gas / and a gold road with the ghosts of poets past,” sings Khuri in a ragged yet resolute tenor. Despite the ace lyrics, it’s the tenor saxophone – being given a road test by resident fiddler Jenée Morgan – bluesy solo licks from guitarist George Hall, and choice handclaps that give this track its road warrior bluster.

Until their next LP arrives sometime in 2012, “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” should satiate Kingsley Flood’s burgeoning fanbase; if nothing else, the track’s paean to blind ambition and tenaciousness is a fitting reminder of just how close this enterprising band is to the realization of its own dreams.