“Displaying a vivid, colourful songwriting identity, King Isis takes this to the next level on this new release.” CLASH

“Rising singer-songwriter King Isis continues to impress in a cut that shows their darker, moodier strand of alternative pop.” Wonderland

“get ready to bow down to your rising indie-pop king”Alt Press

King Isis (they/she) has released their new EP shed via No Matter/Dirty Hit, co-produced by Hello Yello (Jaden Wiggins & Martin Rodrigues). shed comes as a companion piece to their brighter alt pop debut EP scales, showcasing their ability to craft catharsis from chaos. It was heavily inspired by Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s seminal text Borderlands/La Fronteraand its examination of snakes as a metaphor and theme of purging. The EP offers a darker, grungier sound, inviting listeners to confront their past and embrace acceptance, and features a wide range of influences from rock to R&B, reflecting Isis’ introspective songwriting process. 

Along with the release of shed, King Isis shares a dreamy video for the EP’s last track ‘NVR RLLY’ directed by Jessie Barr which follows earlier singles ‘MAKE IT UP’ and ‘MONKI’. The visual continues the theme of catharsis and acceptance heard throughout shed, with Isis drinking a mysterious potion that transcends them into a vibrant, deserted field where they embrace feelings of euphoria.

Speaking on the track and video, King Isis explains: “NVR RLLY is the last song on the EP and explores the unlearning of a toxic and abusive relationship. World-building and storytelling – no matter how big or small the project – is really important to me. I think visually storytelling is something I admire with some of my favorite artists and is something I feel like creates a larger moment with the music. A lot of this project represents the disheveled, dissonant, discomforting process of release  – shedding ideas that hold me back from being fully whole. The director, Jessie Barr, fully understood this catharsis, we had great conversations about what I was trying to convey with this project. As the tension builds up throughout the song, the video parallels. Throughout the video, there’s shedding of guilt, shame, and burden of ideals I had to unlearn. It’s a visual representation of not relying on another and grounding myself in both nature and rooting myself in what I needed.”

Along with the EP, King Isis will also have a song featuring Kenny Mason and Monte Booker on Pigeon & PlanesSee You Next Year 2 compilation album of hip-hop, alternative, and indie music out next month on April 5. They will be in good company with talented artists such as Paris Texas, Deb Never, Binki, Junior Varsity, AG Club, Billy Lemos and more who are also included on this year’s record.

King Isis will be performing twice at this year’s The Great Escape as part of a wider run of UK/EU shows in May, kicking off with a headline performance at Third Man Records in Soho, before rolling through Amsterdam for London Calling and Outbreak festival in Manchester on June 28. Full tour dates listed below with tickets available to purchase HERE.



Weds 15/05/2024 – Blue Basement, Third Man Records, London UK
Thurs 16/05/2024 – The Great Escape, Brighton UK
Fri 17/05/2024 – The Great Escape, Brighton UK
Sat 18/05/2024 – London Calling, Amsterdam NL


Fri 28/06/2024 – Outbreak Festival, Manchester UK

About King Isis

King Isis’s singular ability to craft catharsis from chaos makes every song on their new EP shed feel like a vital, life-affirming force. shed is a complimentary piece to their previous debut EP scales, on which they’d only just begun the process of self-inquiry. The two EP’s serve as an impressive introduction to a new force in songwriting. 

King Isis’s great-great grandmother, Omega King, was one of the first Black opera singers to grace Chicago stages, and it is for her that King Isis is named. Carving their own path as Omega King did, the Oakland born and raised King Isis is unclassifiable, a product of a lifetime of music fandom shaped by their Bay Area upbringing, the music they were raised on, and their contemporaries, who they found solace in at their lowest points. 

Now, King Isis is back with shed, a companion piece to scales that offers listeners new insight into Isis’s mercurial artistic persona. Not easily classified by genre, shed is a darker, grungier inversion of the alt-pop and acoustic stripped-back songs heard on scales, and a rejection of the strict, classical piano schooling that once led Isis to question their artistry. As such, this new EP invites listeners to stew in what King Isis calls their “bullshit,” confronting the future while shedding a past that no longer serves them. “This is about accepting the parts of you that you don’t fuck with, and becoming a full person because of that acceptance.”

King Isis still proudly reps their hometown, but ironically, it took leaving Oakland for them to settle into their identity and find power in it. Growing up working class in a fast-gentrifying city with a single mother, King Isis was alienated by the elite, white-majority prep schools they attended. “Even though my mom raised me to love myself, Black Power, all that shit, I still had a rigid sense of what it looked like to succeed in a white world because of my schooling and the kids I was surrounded by.” When King Isis started college at Barnard, they might’ve felt some trepidation that this, too, would be more of the same, but in New York, King Isis thrived in a newfound community of friends who encouraged them to make music outside of the rigid structure of the academy. They finished a degree in American Studies, focusing on the intersection of race and music, and played some shows along the way before returning home to the West Coast, where aspects of their identity Isis had long sheltered could finally live in the light. 

In collaboration with their childhood friend, producer Jaden Wiggins, King Isis started putting music out online, first under another name, before releasing scales via No Matter/Dirty Hit. While education had once been a source of frustration for Isis, their undergraduate studies played a critical role in influencing the development of both scales and shed. As a non-binary, queer person, Isis was drawn to Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s seminal text Borderlands/La Frontera, in which she examines the snake as a metaphor for both the deviant feminine and a physical representation of what it might look like to effectively process personal history. Like us, snakes are always in the process of becoming something new, as they shed aging skin. Exemplifying this philosophy is lead single “Make It Up,” a rock song written during what Isis describes as one of the darkest times of their life, and on the surface, it’s a song about a relationship, one that no longer serves. “What would it take for you to hold me down or help me up?” they ask on the chorus. Upon closer inspection, “Make It Up” might as well be a song about a relationship to oneself, perhaps the most complex and unnavigable that defines our lives. 

Introspection is paramount to Isis’s songwriting process, but they are also keenly aware of their musical forebears on whose shoulders they stand. From Lauryn Hill to Yves Tumor, King Krule to Erykah Badu, Outkast to Nilüfer Yanya, Isis’s influences span decades and genres, but all of them can be heard collaged across shed. Isis wrote “333” during a reflective period when they were considering their relationship to spirituality. Lyrically, the R&B infused “333” is Isis’s personal favorite track on the EP, and they sing it with a reverence that echoes its spiritual content. “I stretch my arms to reach the sun/ Breathe in destroy my lungs/ I will exist in dissonance.” While that song finds a new sense of levity, “Monki” stews in anger over “people who use the Bible to justify their fucked-up opinions.” Driven by a spiraling guitar riff that sounds off to another major influence, Nirvana, the chorus of “Monki” is enormous, roomy enough to rage within. “My mom and I have a great relationship, but there was a time in my childhood when I’d join her at her Bible study and hear people equate being gay with mental illness,” Isis says. “It damaged me and made it hard to accept myself.” 

While King Isis writes from a place of introspection, their songs relay a forceful conviction capacious enough to shelter a community. Since breaching the Bay Area music scene with their debut EP, Isis landed sets at the  coveted Bay Area music festival Outside Lands and alt mainstay Afropunk. Leading the first EP into the next is shed opener “Poison,” a song Isis conceived of after spending some time listening to Show Me the Body, whose production is relatively simple, but “dirty.” The mood of “Poison” lingers long after its brief runtime, suggesting that there is a layer of grime coating the proceeding tracks that needs clearing, that something bright glows beneath. That brightness shines on the EP’s staggering conclusion, “Nvr Rlly,” which features such a forceful, earworm of a melody that it makes for an instant classic, a song destined to soundtrack the shittiest day of your life and deliver you to something akin to grace. “What has to break for the change in doubt?” Therein lies King Isis’s rare power: they possess a rare force  of will to self-question, to then rebuild a life from the ruins of past experience.


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