We know you”ve heard it: Kongos” “Come With Me Now” is zooming up the chart: it”s No. 1 on Billboard”s Alternative Songs chart and is the latest hit to come out of nowhere. The infectious stomp, anchored by an accordion and a deep, opening growl of a voice, sounds like nothing else on the radio right now. It”s part novelty, part metal, part dreamscape, reminiscent of Paul SImon”s “Boy in the Bubble,” and yet it”s its own thing.
Five things you should know about Kongos and “Come With Me Now”:
1. Like Kings of Leon, they are a family act. Kongos are four brothers, Johnny, Jesse, Dylan, and Daniel, whose last name really is Kongos. Though they now live in Arizona, they are from South Africa and their dad is singer/songwriter John Kongos.
2. Come With Me Now” is the fastest-climbing song by a debut act on Billboard”s Alternative Songs chart since Lorde”s “Royals”… and we all see how she”s fared. In terms of debut bands, it's the fastest-rising No. 1 since Evanescence's “Bring Me To Life” in 2003.
3. The song came out in 2012 in South Africa. The band then spent 18 months in the U.S. trying to break here to no avail, until a Denver radio station started spinning the song in January. From there, the song picked up speed. Epic Records then signed the band and put out its previously self-released album, “Lunatic.”
4. The group will make its US festival appearance at Lollapalooza in August. It has previously opened for Imagine Dragons and Airborne Toxic Event.
5. ”Come With Me Now” was influenced by Kwaito, a style of South African music that Dylan Kongos described as “a slowed-down version of house music [that has] an African flavor to it with accordion along with electronic beats,” to artistdirect.com
*Not surprisingly, Kongos cite Paul Simon as an inspiration, as well as Jackson Browne.