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Kingfisher - Macondo (self-released)

10 November 2023

Kingfisher stands as a stark reminder of the folly of slapping generic labels on the boundless expanse of music. Sure, I’ll own up to my sins as a journalist (I really am one, honest). It’s pretty much a shorthand that we invented to save time, but let’s be real—for a while now, the savvy music maestros out there have been chucking musical constraints out the window, tearing up the rulebook, and indulging in a bit of genre-hopping whenever the mood strikes. Kingfisher is the glorious result of taking that rebellious spirit to the absolute extreme.

Enter Macondo, an album that’s essentially a sonic tapestry woven with numerous threads, deftly crafted by this genuinely international ensemble—picture this: a Colombian guitarist and vocalist, an Italian drummer, and a Swedish bassist, and the result is a set of songs that feel cohesive and consistent throughout.

Think of it like holding up a jewel to the light and noting the ever-shifting colors as you tilt and twirl it. Kingfisher applies this method to their music. Tilt one way, and you’re bathing in astute indie grooves; move it another, and their pop sensibilities gleam. Shift it again, and you’ll catch glimmers of rock weight; move again, and you’ll see the literary inspirations pulsating at the core of their sound. (And as a fellow admirer of Gabriel García Márquez, I must tip my hat to their knack for blending his magical literary landscapes with their lush sonic realm; undoubtedly and demonstrably the perfect artistic pairing.)

“The Making of The World,” a striking overture, reveals their mastery of anthemic sounds without sinking into the bog of heaviness and pomposity. Meanwhile, tracks like “Stand Back In” showcase their prowess in navigating the funky and infectious, chart-friendly territories. Between these extremes, a region spanning the sonic highlands of musical art to the accessible pop single, they lay out their wares.

“Cha Cha Cha” strolls through dream-pop soundscapes reminiscent of Rogue Valley —always a winner in my book. “Forever Young” sees them at their most blissed-out, a delicate concoction for piano and voices. “Beautifools” emerges as a bustling indie anthem, while “Wrapped Up” sees the band at their edgy and effervescent best.

If you revel in the glory of great pop tunes, this album is your holy grail. Shimmering indie enthusiasts and dream-pop aficionados—there’s a seat for you on this musical voyage. And for those who savor music crafted in that sweet spot between pop, rock, and indie, Macondo is a strong contender for your album of the year. Honestly, I can’t fathom anyone with tuned-in and discerning music tastes not falling head over heels for this. Maybe the deaf, perhaps!