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Kings Return are back with an imaginative “Amazing Grace”

Kings Return "Amazing Grace"

Kings Return Music | Fair Use via YouTube

J-P Mauro - published on 05/26/23

The phenomenal a cappella quartet, known for singing in stairwells, has released the timeless Christian hymn as you've never heard it.

For years, Kings Return has been producing a cappella arrangements of hymns, songs of faith, and even secular fare with a style that captures tones of jazz, Gospel, and even barbershop. Now, this awesome foursome is back with a sleek “Amazing Grace” that has practically reimagined the whole tune. 

The song opens up with a nice little hummed intro that yields to a standard first verse of “Amazing Grace,” with the melody taken up by the bass voice. In the second verse, however, the quartet changes things up with exceptional movement in the harmony voices, which begin to alter the melody bit by bit, until they have a breakdown section between the second and third verse. 

This breakdown is like no rendition of “Amazing Grace” that we’ve ever heard. The four singers completely change the song with a series of transitional and very jazzy chords, all singing on just the words “Amazing Grace.” Even for a singer trained in counterpoint, it’s hard to follow everything that happens as the chords grow in both pitch and intensity. This incredible vocal display culminates in a brilliant key change that brings the whole tune into a higher register. 

Kings Return continues to refresh timeless Christian tunes with imaginative and impressive performances, often from stairwells, as they did for “Amazing Grace.” While the setting may seem a little dull, it keeps the focus on the singers and the song, and it’s hard to argue with acoustics that can ring like that. In a 2020 interview with NPR, Kings Return singer Gabe Kunda said of the stairwell: 

“I think anytime anybody goes into some type of, like, echo-y chamber, you’re just kind of like, this is really cool. And I think as musicians, the inclination is to definitely sing something.”

Learn more about Kings Return on their official website and follow this exceptional vocal group on their YouTube channel to keep up with all their releases. 

Tags:
Christian MusicGospelHymn
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