Tennyson King — it’s a name that evokes notions of classic, literary depth and majesty. But it also has the hallowed ring of the gritty, earthy roots of rock and roll. In a sense these are both correct as it is the name — or nom de plume — of Toronto-based musician/composer/producer Alfred Chow’s exciting new musical odyssey.
The self-titled Tennyson King EP, produced by Derek Downham (Serena Ryder, Keven Drew, The Beauties) sees Chow’s inventive musical persona bringing together the emotional intensity and dark sweetness of the blues with compositional and production techniques that feature a lush layered, psychedelic and 1970s rock sensibility, all wrapped up in a contemporary, modern lustre that gives the music an appeal that transcends genre and demographics.
Prior to Tennyson King, Chow was an in-demand collaborator in a variety of bands and musical projects that spanned a head-spinning array of genres and styles, from jazz to hip hop to classical, reggae and rock.
His eclectic career has seen him share the stage with the likes of Whitehorse, Sloan, Elliot Brood, Joel Plaskett, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and Jon B.
The Tennyson King EP saw Chow and Downham hunker down at the esteemed Catherine North Studios in Hamilton, Ontario. The result is a collection of songs that is refreshing in its unashamed spirit of independence, experimentation and lack of conformity. It is a record that delightfully thumbs its nose at the prevailing, popular musical cliches of the day — just the way Chow likes it.
With a scintillating debut album, Alfred Chow and his Tennyson King are poised to not only move forward as a refreshing, vital and important new musical voice, but also to earn both existential, critical and popular rewards for a unique creative vision and how he executes that vision with such sublime mastery.