Spotlight On: Pawns or Kings

Hey guys,

I think I've mentioned it a few times - I love rock music.
But it's not the only genre I love. (Hey, I'm a music blogger - it'd be a shame if I only enjoyed one genre!)
The other genre (of many more) I really enjoy listening to is acoustic/folk. I love how it can be calming yet still very lively and not monotonous.

It's not a genre thing when lyrics are great, but thoughtful, philosophical lyrics really match the acoustic/folk sound.

And today I'd like to introduce you to a band called Pawns or Kings who absolutely represent that kind of music.

The trio from St. Louis, United States consists of:
Ed Stengel (vocals, penny whistle, piano, banjo, mandolin)
Ben Bigelow (guitar, backing vocals, productions, mastering)
Justin Arndt (percussion, backing vocals)

Ed has been playing music for years and moved out into the Ozark forest area of Missouri when he turned 18.
This area has had a massive impact on the music he writes ever since. Having a hard time finding his own style in music and admitting who he is, the mountains and the folk music that they played there were true inspiration and therapy.

Soon Ed met his old band mate Ben again and this time they started out as a duo playing the music they wanted to play. "Letters To Lucy", their first ever album was celebrated with radio airplays, brilliant feedback and many gigs.
Needing another man to give the music more life, Justin soon joined as the percussionist.

A lot of their songs are inspired by the works of authors such as GK Chesteron, John Eldridge and JK Rowling.
"I often will be reading a book and a certain phrase will suddenly invoke a melody in my head. Like recently, while reading "East of Eden" by Steinbeck, they were talking about how the evening invokes a sense of peace, as if all the evil in the world gone come evening. That suddenly lit a flame in my head that became a song on our album that is in the works now.
Some authors seem to write in an almost "melodic" way that lends itself to sing so easily. Some of my personal best songs have been invoked by the words of such wise authors."
, that's what Ed says when asked in which way they influence his writing.

Their newest album "Pomme de Terre" (French for "Apple Of The Earth" which translate into potato) has been in the works for about three years and is definitely worth the wait.
Brilliant compositions paired with thoughtful lyrics and soothing vocals.

The visual writing is something I'd connect with the band. Ed says "Black Clouds" and "Shadow of a Man" have a dark blend of melodies, that invokes the image of a storm passing over a dry field. I am rather proud of being able to put the images in my mind out into the general world."
Get the album here:

And here's a performance of "Light Over The Ridge", a song off of the album.

Pawns or Kings online: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Youtube

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Pawns or Kings Facebook


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