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Leslie D. King & The Trembling Shakes -
Leslie D. King & The Trembling Shakes
Words by James Lynch
Wednesday 8th September, 2021
On their self-titled debut, Leslie D. King & The Trembling Shakes serve up a collection of soul-soaked rock ’n’ roll that come loaded with charisma and plenty of heart. To help us get to know the songs a little better, Leslie talked us through the EP track by track.
Sometimes when an artist names a release after themselves, it can sit somewhat awkwardly - especially so when the act’s name is a bit of a mouthful. However, Leslie D. King & The Trembling Shakes’ debut EP couldn’t be more suited for a self-titled release; across these five tracks, we’re treated to the warmest introduction imaginable from the gang as we get to know this ramshackle group of rock ’n’ rollers.

With Leslie’s bold vocals and infectious personality sitting front and centre on these tracks, it’s not hard to get caught up in the fun of the EP. While ‘The Standard Dream’ tackles the often troublesome topic of sharehouse living, the track bursts with radiance and colour, from its rollicking groove to Leslie and bandmate Amy Powell’s joyous harmonies. Next up, ‘Slow Burner’ pulls back the pace a little to expand open with a tangle of leisurely guitar chimes and gooey organ, its playful lilt making the track an easy standout.

We’re caught unaware momentarily when the track shifts at its mid-point and Leslie drops the bravado to instead croon directly into our ear “I’m ageing terribly”, but it’s a moment like this that reveals how authentic Leslie is as a performer. On the second half of the EP, this earnest charm is all the more apparent; his voice drips with vulnerability on the soulful ‘Sold Man’, and when the band cuts loose on the EP’s closing track ‘Pushin’ On Through’, we can hear Leslie beaming like a proud dad, even while he’s wrangling with the track’s poignant themes.

As Leslie breaks down the stories behind the EP’s songs below, he lets us know that ‘It’s All Worth It’ is his personal highlight, and it’s easy to see why. Where each of the other tracks on the EP catch the shifting sides of Leslie’s sound, ‘It’s All Worth It’ comes loaded with exactly what he and the group do best; which is serving up raw and rousing rock ’n’ roll that grooves, twangs and soars in all the right places.
The Standard Dream

This song is written about the horrors of share housing with strangers, I’ve had my fair share of nightmares so it was easy to come up with content around the topic.

Me and my keys player Cam wrote this together, we’ve written most of the material for project together, it’s nice to have someone as talented as him to bounce off. We were bouncing around ideas for a while around the start of this project, finding what would fit. And he came to me with this after I said “Can you give me something between Alabama Shakes and Rolling Stones?” I think he did a pretty good job (haha). So once he bought me this, I came up with the lyrics and melody, and now you have ‘The Standard Dream’.

Slow Burner

This one is a love song to my partner Allie, we have been best friends from a young age and we always knew we had a bit of a thing, just took 12 years for her to figure that one out haha. So I thought a little recap about the whole story between us would make for a good song. She’s still with me so that’s a win.

It’s All Worth it

This song was one of my very old ideas I had stored, the original version of this song I played at my first ever solo gig for this project when I went under the name ‘King Of A One Horse Town’ for a little while. Both the song and the band name sucked haha - so I put both on the backburner for a while and after a few sessions smoothing out the rough edges of the song with Cam, it has actually become my most favourite song on this EP, I find its a good middle band song that is easy to listen to.

Sold Man

This was the first ever song I wrote for this project, at the time I wrote it I’d come to an end of my “wild” stage in my life, and pretty much its an apology to my family and a thank you for putting up with me, I was a handful for a while.

Pushin’ On Through

This song is my favourite, if there’s a song that represents exactly who we are, its this one. This was another one of Cam’s demos that he brought to me, and it came together surprisingly easy, it showcases every element of the band and is a great one to perform together.

This song also means the most to me, around the time we were writing this, a friend of mine was going through a rough stage around the same time I wasn’t having a great patch. And this song was a promise that we were going to check up on each other daily and pull each other out of our funks. He did, but shortly after, he was in a car accident and sadly passed. He was one of the original members of this band, and one of my best friends, so this song carries a lot of weight.
Leslie D. King & The Trembling Shakes is out now - head to to grab a CD copy of the EP.