Life in KC

The Big Show: Emily King at the Riot Room

Emily King will perform Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Riot Room.
Emily King will perform Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Riot Room. Invision/AP

Emily King is responsible for the loveliest pop album of 2015. “The Switch” contains 36 minutes of smart, sexy and funny songs.

It was a long time coming.

“East Side Story,” the 2007 debut release of the New York based singer-songwriter, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of “Best Contemporary R&B Album of the Year.” She was dropped by her record label shortly after “East Side Story” lost to a release by Ne-Yo.

“The Switch” is King’s first full-length album in eight years. Throughout the sultry project, she demonstrates the experience she’s gained as an opening act for Maroon 5 and Sara Bareilles.

Most of the album is imbued with a subtle sultriness, but “The Switch” begins with an anti-materialist ode to friendship and closes with a sweet tune dedicated to King’s parents. In a perfect world, the alluringly catchy “The Distance” would vie for the top spot on the pop charts. “Sleepwalker” sounds like a tasteful remake of Prince’s 1986 hit “Kiss.”

Some of that politeness evaporates when King hits the stage.

While she remains relatively obscure, King performs with the cool confidence of an established star. Following opening sets by the locally based bands the Buhs, Run With It and Missouri Loves Company, King will almost certainly enthrall old and new fans at the Riot Room on Thursday.

Tickets are $10 in advance through

Concert previews by Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink