KP and the Boom Boom formed in the fall of 2010 in Austin, TX. They made major waves around town in 2013, releasing a three-track EP produced by AJ Vallejo, debuting a music video for their single, “Feel It,” and stirring up buzz with a multitude of high-energy performances.
Come see a show and you’ll realize why the band has garnered such a strong following. Frontwoman Kate Priestley sparkles with energy at center stage. Surrounding her, her six bandmates command a critical mass of instruments—in addition to guitar, bass, and drums, there are two members blowing on horns and another switching off between a vibraphone, timbales, bongos, congas, and other assorted percussion. The crowd hugs the stage, pulsing to a singular groove.
Inevitably, your feet start to move and the scene pulls you in. Within the sweaty depths of the dance mob, what started as a spectacle starts to feel more like a happening.
“Our music is about positivity, it’s about having a good time,” explains Priestley. “We want to tell the audience that it’s OK to be human—it’s OK to go through our life journeys and feel all these emotions. You’ve got to take the positives out of the highs and lows in life.”
For a band that inspires so much booty-shaking, KP and the Boom Boom get remarkably cerebral. Informed by her world travels, UK-born Priestley writes hyper-aware lyrics about the human condition, focusing on hope and transcendence rather than the troubles of the present. Ranging from a syrupy sing-chant to a powerful wail, her vocals recall the future-gazing acid jazz of bands like Jamiroquai and the Brand New Heavies.
The band’s sound, while cohesive and compelling, evades sure description. Pull it apart and you’ll find hallmarks of funk, soul, disco, R&B, jazz, and world music—artifacts of the band’s highly collaborative approach to songwriting. A funky stew, for sure, but once fermented and distilled it yields an aesthetic that’s uniquely their own.
It feels at once highly innovative and effortlessly danceable—music for the mind and the body. "We base our music on these soulful grooves that make you want to move. I think we are starting to create our own genre that people are really starting to recognize.”
Call it neo soul or acid jazz or world disco—whatever they’re playing, KP and the Boom Boom act like an organism onstage, morphing seamlessly from texture to texture, navigating the gamut between sparse syncopations and massive cathartic grooves, and with the precision and confidence of a band that realizes its identity. They are musicians’ musicians just as much as they are heroes of the dancing masses.
This year, Mayor Lee Leffingwell and the City of Austin proclaimed March 20, 2014 KP and the Boom Boom Day.
The band will be back in the studio this year to record their highly anticipated first full-length album. On September 12th, they will perform for UTOPIAfest 2014. The Horn named KP and the Boom Boom among the "biggest and brightest in the local scene" with other acts such as Brownout (playing back up the Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA), Wheeler Brothers, and Aaron Behrens of Ghostland Observatory".
KP and the Boom Boom are:
Kate Priestley - Vocals
Bryan Sunderman - Guitar, Percussion
Carolyn Trowbridge - Vibraphone, Keys, Percussion
Nick Wong - Bass
Anthony Ortega - Drums
Carlos Kirk - Saxophone
Nick Balleza - Trumpet