Suave New York singer-songwriter Emily King joined us today at World Cafe Live for a Free At Noon concert. Her new album Special Occasion arrives next Friday May 5 on ATO Records, and King gave a fervent crowd of fans a taste of the record’s more sensitive and subdued sound.
But that’s not to say the indie pop artist didn’t bring her pop side to the midday show. Backed by drummer and vocalist Tim Smith, bassist Josh Hari, guitarist and vocalist Randy Runyon, and keyboardist Ethan Gouldbourne, King launched the set with the high-energy “Medal” from Special Occasion. Its big bass tones and dancefloor beats made a cool segue into the suave R&B of “The Switch,” the title track to 2015 album, and the energy kept flowing into the soul clap-led “Can’t Hold Me” from 2019’s Scenery.
It was an amped up intro, but after a surprise visit from King’s mom — who delivered a shiny black Rockbridge acoustic onstage from the wings — we dove into the more nuanced moments of the new album, like the slow and reflective “False Start” and the sensitive soul of the title track, both of which were getting performed for the first time.
Coming from such a high opening, it definitely felt like the energy took a dive (beautifully so), but a killer version of King’s 2019 hit “Remind Me” brought the pulse back up — it was stripped down and certainly softer, but it hit hard, making the packed house of devotees eager to see King next time she plays Philly, whenever that may be.
Check out photos from the performance below, and pre-order Special Occasionhere.