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  • Bryon Harris

Music by KOTA - 'Lucy'

Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier & Staff

Music by Kota delivers a soulful throwback sound with an old school production style and a massive amount of vibe on “Lucy.” A song that touches on the subject of wanting what seems unattainable thus fueling the pursuit. It’s the whole “The grass is always greener on the other side” mentality which in this case, is personified in the form of a love interest (Lucy) pursued by the protagonist throughout the song. It’s only towards the end that this person realizes that after all that chasing, Lucy didn’t turn out to be what the protagonist had imagined.

Things that immediately come to mind when I listen to “Lucy” would be soul, attitude, and vibe. Oh and reverb. Reverb for days. What’s cool though is that instead of making the sonic landscape too murky as any audiophile initially might think, it serves the 60’s inspired elements of KOTA’s songwriting quite well. Essentially serving as an enhancement to the overall atmospheric qualities of the arrangements.

Each member gets equal share of sonic real estate in the mix. The vocals are part of the overall blend of instruments instead of front and center which is a refreshing change. The instrumentation is very well balanced and is mixed in a way that the listener can easily zero in on each instrument even when shrouded in the mist of reverb.

Vocalist Dakota Jackson approaches the narrative with a confident tone and a swagger that for some reason, reminds me of the attitude that Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes. Not the vocal sound per se, but the vibe and intent. From there, you can trace back the influences to any number of 60’s and 70’s rock and soul. Dakota’s delivery does just that. Delivers.

The guitar work from Ryan Young features some solid playing throughout. Mixing old school soul rhythms and pentatonic based rock riffs to some tastily dirty blues licks when his time to take a solo comes around. The bass, courtesy of Alex Taylor is very solid. The tone is very clean and present with a nice high end sheen to balance out the lows and stand out amongst the dense instrumentation surrounding it without being overbearing.

Drummer Bryton Wallace, provides a solid foundation for the others to build on and doesn’t overplay his parts. Wallace’s sense of control and dynamics are impressive here as the groove is never lost for a second. Adding some extra spice to the mix is the organ work of Conner Blakely who’s expressive contribution brings an uplifting quality to the arrangements.

“Lucy” is an impressive and enjoyable listen. I challenge you to give it a spin and NOT find yourself inadvertently dancing along.

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For more information about Music by Kota, please visit their website.


About Music by Kota

“Music By KOTA,” is a group of five guys in Memphis, TN out to have a good time. Influenced by artists of the past like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and Hendrix, their goal is to present the roots of rock and roll in a new and modern way.

Their sound is the perfect mix of blues, rock, and folk that can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere.


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