The Kingsbury Manx - The Fast Rise and Fall of the South

(originally written for the Boise Weekly)

North Carolina's The Kingsbury Manx caused wide smiles to cover my face from the moment The Fast Rise and Fall of the South began floating delicately from the speakers in my flower delivery van. Though winter doesn't officially begin until December 21st (I'm writing this on the 15th, even though you won't read it until 'winter') temperatures are already cold enough to freeze bones. The Kingsbury Manx's invigorating, folksy Americana flair and smooth as silk delivery did more to ward of that cold than my van's heater and a hearty cup of hot chocolate ever will.

These tunes fill up the air with life, seemingly charging the atmosphere with electricity. Bill Taylor's voice encompasses both a humble nobility that is almost charmingly didactic and a quiet but explosive edge comparable to Iron and Wine's Sam Beam or The Shins' James Mercer. What Taylor's voice misses in originality it makes up for in it's simple addictive powers. You can't get enough and can't help but try and sing along. The dense and layered music behind Taylor's voice utilizes both the reliable acoustic guitar and piano but also a diverse array of non-traditional instruments (wine glasses on "Zero G”) and imaginative and irresistible vocal harmonies. Again, originality isn't the point (I was oft reminded of the latest Sufjan Stevens effort). You can't help but let this music flow through your veins. It runs as thick as blood.

The Fast Rise and Fall of the South presents a Kingsbury Manx that never strums a single misplaced chord or sings even one ill-advised note. Every moment of music is deliberate and the understanding is that the band has captured every essence of their intentions, which are nothing short of pure. Get this now.

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