The Spotlight


By Luanne Lim

Who:  Alvarez Kings
Where:  Sheffield, UK
For fans of:  The Killers, Bastille, the 1975, The Tragic Thrills

Though the US prefers coffee over tea, its music scene seems to favor its coffee with a side of British bands.

From the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, UK, comes the alternative indie-rock band the Alvarez Kings. The four-piece, comprised of brothers Simon and Paul Thompson, Sean Parkin and Richard Walker, have already caught the attention of many scouts and music outlets in Europe. From the looks of things, they’re on the way to achieving the same in the US.

As aforementioned, the Alvarez Kings have already taken Europe by storm, earning continuous praise for their lively stage presence and their immense talents both musically and lyrically. The depth and meaning behind their lyrics in conjunction with their unique, self-described “progressive-pop” sound is what makes the Alvarez Kings stand out among other artists.

It’s these attributions that earned the band record deals from not just one, but three labels in three different countries: the UK, Germany and Italy. These record deals helped pave the way for a 2011 European tour as well as release two EPs Patience is Strength in 2011 and Cold Conscience the following year.  

The band also caught the attention of Kevin Lyman, the creator of the Vans Warped Tour, who hand-selected the band to play the Kevin Says stage on all 40 dates of last summer’s Warped Tour. Through Warped, the Alvarez Kings gained a new fan following not just from attendees, but from fellow bands.

Vans Warped Tour isn’t the first North American music fest the band has played. Prior to last summer’s gig, the foursome performed at Texas’ SXSW music festival in 2010. In 2012, the band was featured in the Music is GREAT Britain Showcase at New York’s CMJ music festival, adding to their already impressive resumé.

Post-US Warped, the Alvarez Kings went on to play the UK leg of the Vans Warped Tour, and released two singles. Both of which earned positive reviews from both fans and critics. The first, “Postcards from Berlin,” premiered on Altmusic on September 6 and hit iTunes on September 20. Check out the music video, released on October 4, after the links…

The second single, “No Resolve,” was released for purchase on November 25. It was later named “Track of the Year” by BBC Radio Sheffield. 

So what’s next for the up-and-coming Sheffield band? For now, the Alvarez Kings have a few shows in the UK lined up. But fear not, US Alvarez Kings fans! In addition to releasing their debut full-length album, the British progressive pop-rockers are hoping to land a US record deal so they can spend 2014 touring across the pond. Can’t wait that long? You can re-live Warped Tour and check out the Alvarez Kings on episodes of Fuse’s Warped Roadies. 

British, catchy name and catchy, one-of-a-kind music… Definitely have your eyes peeled for these guys this year.


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Music Video: Postcards from Berlin

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