Most artists strive to achieve a certain sound and don’t change their formula at all once they perfect that (Unknown Mortal Orchestra‘s recently released II, for example). But then there’s American Royalty, a trio from Los Angeles that is incredibly difficult to categorize under a single genre- sometimes they’re playing psychadelic funk rock, other times they’re dropping crazy basslines over electronic beats. But what matters here is that no matter what genre they’re making, they do it incredibly well.
Their newest EP, Prismatic, was released today, and further pushes the boundaries of where the band can go. The EP’s single, “Honey & Queen,” sounds like something The Knife would put out, with effected vocals and a dark, ominous rhythm throughout. If you were a fan of their singles “Lately” and “Matchstick,” you are sure to love the second track, “Hungry,” which is a huge rock anthem that subtly adds in electronic elements, a track that Muse would have wished they wrote for their newest album. Then they slow it down with “Mariah,” an R&B jam with a steady, slow bass, before moving into “Evo,” which sounds like it’d be perfect for radio play with it’s powerful vocals and catchy pop lyrics that lead into sheer chaos by the end of the track. The final track, “Change the Colors In the Sky,” ends not with a bang but a whimper, using minimalist beats to highlight their smooth vocals and melodies.
As a whole, the EP is a collection of songs where no two of them sound alike, but I couldn’t pick a favorite out of the bunch. American Royalty could be The Black Keys or The Flaming Lips if they wanted to, or make strictly electronic music, but what makes them stand out is they can do both of those extremely well and combine them in a way that few others can. They will be playing at this year’s Snowball Music Festival, and they are easily in my top five acts to see- this is a group that is steadily on the rise and not to be missed.