Gideon King & City Blog Won’t Turn Off the Sky

The N.Y.C. band evoke the stillness of a cool spring night with their latest release.

Gideon King & City Blog bring a little light to the darkness with their new single and video Turn Off The Sky — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

As they gear up for the release of their new Splinters EP on Sept. 15, the N.Y.C. soul/pop collective deliver a breezy, introspective ballad about the ebbs and flows of relationship that evokes the stillness and calm of a cool spring night. Released alongside an in-studio video featuring the renowned vocalist Michael Mayo, Turn Off The Sky highlights City Blog’s signature blend of complex chord sequences, rhythms, and abstract lyrical patterns. “Turn Off The Sky was inspired by the lyrics of Bono, some of the sonic qualities of Radiohead, and the abstraction of the unconscious,” Gideon says.

Turn Off The Sky follows the EP’s first single and title track, the funk-driven ballad Splinters. Taken as a pair, the two singles capture Gideon King & City Blog at a creative peak, as their years of gigging and studio collaboration meld into some of their finest work to date.

As the founder and primary songwriter, Gideon takes inspiration from the streets of his native New York City, and with artistic input from the band’s core collaborators, channels it into vibrantly varied fusion-pop. “I call the band a ‘blog’ because it is an open-ended dialogue with a lot of people contributing their perspectives. When we create, it’s like controlled chaos. We sift through competing ideas, chipping away at the song until it has discernible features. We refine the madness,” Gideon notes, adding, “the music reflects my love of jazz and pop and rock and classical.”

Gideon is a self-taught virtuosic guitarist whose soul/funk/jazz-fusion juggernaut has been favorably compared to Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder, encompassing funk, balmy 1970s rock, piano ballads, R&B, soul-pop and fusion. He’s a cleverly-poetic lyricist who pens impressionistic songs that don’t rely on linear narratives.

Gideon King & City Blog appear regularly at venerable N.Y.C. venues such as City Winery, Joe’s Pub and the Blue Note. The group also have the rare distinction of being joined by such masterful musicians as John Scofield (Charlies Mingus, Miles Davis), sax legend Donny McCaslin (David Bowie, Bobby McFerrin), renowned “Bayou-soul” singer-songwriter Marc Broussard, and SNL bassist James Genus (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea), among others.

Originally, Gideon conceived of City Blog as having a fluid membership where he would serve as the common denominator and other musicians would rotate in. His approach was informed by Steely Dan, where the right cast of musicians would be summoned on a song-by-song basis. However, over time the band has coalesced around an eight-person configuration featuring three distinctive vocalists: Caleb Hawley is a noted solo artist who has recorded with Vulfpeck guitar ace Cory Wong. Sonny Step has worked with Ricky Martin, Rihanna and Solange, among others. Ashley Hess is a renowned NYC-based vocalist who joined the collective in 2021. Other vocalists have included Alita Moses (touring the world with Jacob Collier) and Brendan Fletcher.

The band are rounded out by A-list musicians that include Grammy-nominated drummer Jake Goldbas (Dave Brubeck, Aretha Franklin), bassist Jeff Hanley (Will Bernard, Morgan James, Doug Wamble), drummer Zach Mullings (Lauryn Hill, Billy Porter), and musical director and keyboardist Bryan Reeder (Euan Morto, Chris Norton).

“I am basically looking for the best musical athletes to serve the song,” Gideon shares. “Our drummer Jake helped me handpick our lineup and we’ve really become a unit with open communication.”

Watch the lyric and live videos for Turn Off The Sky above, sample more sounds from Gideon King & City Blog below, and read all about them on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.