Native Son – “Good King Pleasant”


New York-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Native Son captivates with “Good King Pleasant,” where smooth pop dreaminess and ferocious post-punk intertwine beautifully. The sporadic vocal intensity and post-punky rhythmic underlying sounds like a fun cross between Yves Tumor and King Krule, particularly as the expressive brass and jazzy percussive elements emerge in the striking final minute.

“I think I can turn this around,” the vocals let out during an impassioned sequence, with the vocal tone escalating alongside a steady drum machine and lush guitar strums. “If you’re searching, search for a guarantee…” they continue, with a sophisti-pop character in the serene vocals and blissful guitar reflections. The dynamic vocal showings add further to the infectious, intriguing production.

The artist elaborates on the track:

“Good King Pleasant is a song I wrote about how frustrating love can be- In all of its forms. It was also the first song I’d recorded in over two years, which made the recording process one of my most enjoyable and exciting yet.

The scene I set in my head for this song was one in which the main character is riding their bike- separated from the slow moving world around them and free to dream of conversations they’ve not yet had. This song, to me, is a recalling of all of the times I’ve ridden my way through the city- surrounded by millions but only thinking about one.

Although originally written for piano, I eventually used a drum machine to give this track some bounce- and affected acoustic guitar signals to pull it all together.”

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of April 2023’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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