Song of the Day

By KEXP

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Description

KEXP’s Song of the Day podcast features stand-out tracks from independent and emerging talent alongside the best new music from more established artists. Curated by KEXP DJs with listeners’ adventurous taste in mind, Song of the Day is delivered daily, Monday through Friday. Finding new music can be hard. Let KEXP help!


Episode Date
Yard Act - Dark Days
185
Yard Act - "Dark Days," a 2021 single on Zen F.C. Leeds-based post-punk band Yard Act found inspiration in an animated cave dweller for their latest single "Dark Days." Singer/songwriter James Smith says it's “the last of four singles before we start work on the album, of which none of those songs will be on.” For today's Song of the Day, he shares in a press release: With 'Dark Days.' I wrote the first verse and chorus hook quite fast but then I didn’t know how to finish it. The demo Ryan [Needham, bandmate and formerly of Menace Beach] sent was ace, real sparse. The drums were really driven but the bassline felt like it was suspended mid-air in the verses, like a dub bassline or something. It created the illusion that you have time to stop and look around amidst the ensuing chaos. It’s like in war films when all the noise stops and you just hear the protagonist’s heavy breathing whilst they survey their surroundings in slow motion. Then the chorus hit with this “Captain Caveman” vibe, it reminded me of that stop-motion cartoon from the '90s ‘GOGS’ if anyone remembers that? I liked the juxtaposition of the bleak world with the cartoon bass line. Despite all the advances humanity has made, the threat of devolving feels increasingly possible in the modern world, and on my bad days when I’m spiraling I can’t help but get trapped in my own head envisioning this post-apocalyptic future we’re seemingly headed toward, so fuck knows why I decided to watch Children Of Men when I was feeling like that. If I’d fully remembered what happened in it, I don’t think I would’ve in the middle of a pandemic, but I did, and I actually came away feeling really uplifted by the ending. I saw hope in it, and it helped me finish the story. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 19, 2021
We'll Be Back Next Week!
55
We're taking a week off from posting podcasts and other online content, but you can always find a live DJ streaming on KEXP.org, the KEXP App, or 90.3 FM in Seattle. New episodes will return to your Song of the Day feed on Monday, April 19th! Until then, visit old episodes or explore our other podcasts, Sound & Vision, Live on KEXP, and The Weekly Mix. And if you haven't had the chance yet, there's still time to take the KEXP Podcast Survey. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 12, 2021
EsePax - Senzu Bean (feat. Dre'Zy)
217
EsePax - "Senzu Bean (feat. Dre'Zy)," a 2021 single on El Ambiente. Seattle DJ and hip-hop artist EsePax managed to get Renton-based MC Dre'Zy "out of retirement" (as he says) for the new single "Senzu Bean," named for the mystical beans in the Dragon Ball manga series. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 09, 2021
Lorine Chia & D*L*P - Go Far (feat. BigMouf' Bo)
238
Lorine Chia & D*L*P - "Go Far (feat. Bigmouf’ Bo)," a 2021 self-released single. Cameroonian-born, LA-based singer Lorine Chia has had a decade-long career collaborating with rappers like Machine Gun Kelly, Wiz Khalifa, and The Game. On today's Song of the Day, she teams up with producer/composer Devin "D*L*P" Parker, with guest vocals from nglewood, Chicago's Bigmouf’ Bo, a former contestant on Chance the Rapper's Netflix series Rhythm + Flow. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 08, 2021
The Lasso - No Illusions (feat. Ill Camille & A. Billi Free)
227
The Lasso - "No Illusions (feat. Ill Camille & A. Billi Free)" from the 2021 album 2121 on Mello Music Group. Detroit-based producer Andy Catlin records under the name The Lasso, an apt title as he's able to round up a dozen guest rappers and vocalists for his latest album 2121. (Today's Song of the Day brings in the vocal talents of New Mexico-based vocalist A. Billi Free and Los Angeles-based rapper Ill Camille.) These collaborators received instrumental demos created throughout 2019 and early 2020, and, as The Lasso toldBandcamp, “the finished product wasn’t something I would have ever thought of or composed.” “Some of the harmonies, nobody thought of them [first],” he continued, “because I sent the track out to three people at the same time, and they didn’t hear each other. They sent their work back to me, and I used one of each of their notes.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 07, 2021
Noname - Rainforest
163
Noname - "Rainforest," a 2021 self-released single. Since the release of her outstanding 2018 debut, Room 25, Chicago rapper Noname (real name: Fatimah Nyeema Warner) has stepped away from music a little, focusing on social justice by reading books on anti-capitalism, sharing resources and links to non-profit organizations on Twitter, and then in 2019, launching the Noname Book Club, a way for her to "highlight progressive work from writers of Color and writers within the LGBTQ community" with books being donated to those who are incarcerated. With her triumphant return to music, she speaks out against mass rainforest destruction, tweeting, "anyone who listened to my new song rainforest should read and share this." The single was produced by The Kount and features additional vocals from Adam Ness; and, it's the lead single from her just-announced album Factory Baby (release date TBA). She also tweeted that there would be no merch to support the song, but encouraged fans to donate to the Noname Book Club Patreon to help them send more books to incarcerated members. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 06, 2021
Beautiful Chorus - I Am (feat. India.Arie)
285
Beautiful Chorus - "I Am (feat. India.Arie)," a 2021 self-released single. Beautiful Chorus is a group that truly lives up to its name. The project was launched in 2021 by Alexandra Love, previous vocalist for Solillaquists of Sound and Chakra Khan. With Beautiful Chorus, she aimed to "spread a harmony-infused soundscape of interconnectedness, ease, and joy," a goal they've surely surpassed with their beautiful, introspective pieces. Today's Song of the Day pairs them with the Grammy Award-winning R&B artist India.Arie. On their YouTue page, the state, "this song is about reaching the inner chamber of ourselves, summoning forth all we desire, and deeply realizing that we have all we need and are all we desire to be." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 05, 2021
Boom Bap Project - Hagler vs Hearns
205
Boom Bap Project - "Hagler Vs. Hearns," a 2021 self-released single. Nightclubber Lang, Destro Destructo, and DJ Tre are the NW hip-hop trio Boom Bap Project, who first hit the scene at the turn of the millennium. The Trox-produced “Hagler Vs Hearns,” their first new music in almost 15 years, is the lead single to their upcoming album Return Flight, featuring beats from Trox, Vitamin D, and Craig Rip. The group call the song "an ode to the greatest fight in boxing history and a nod to the legend Marvelous Marvin Hagler (RIP)." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 02, 2021
Juan Wauters - Presentation (feat. Nick Hakim & Benamin)
178
Juan Wauters - "Presentation (feat. Nick Hakim & Benamin)," a 2021 single on Captured Tracks. On his latest single "Presentation," Juan Wauters, a longtime resident of Jackson Heights, pays tribute to New York City in this collaboration with artists Nick Hakim and Benamin.  "'Presentation' was made one night when Nick, Benamin and I met at Nick's studio in Brooklyn," Wauters stated in a press release. "Nick and I had only met a few times before and Benamin and I met that night. We all hit it off really well and made this song that was built by all of us pitching ideas." He continues: The lyrics are a mash up from a bunch of notes I had scattered on my cell phone. There are many references to other songs, some obvious some not so much. I’d rather not disclose that since that’s the fun for you, the listener. I wanted the video to be an ode to early NYC hip hop in a very cliché way.  It was filmed during the summer of 2020. At that time, there weren’t many people around the city, a lot of transplants had left and there were no tourists, so that painted the city in a very special tone. Nick, Ben and I met at a playground in Maspeth, Queens with Matthew Volz where we shot some casual footage of us to the song. The day after Matthew and I went to the Bronx to meet with a young crew of breakdancers. It was a really hot day. We filmed with them for about an hour. The dancers really brought the house down. It was so cool to see them all vibe to the music. We also filmed at Central Park’s Alice In Wonderland statue to connect some lyric references.  In many ways, unintentionally, the song as much as the video came out to be a big shoutout to NY and things that have come out there. New York has been one of the main powers pushing behind my creation and this is me saluting it again. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 01, 2021
Cheekface - "Listen to your Heart." "No."
140
Cheekface - "Listen to your Heart.” "No." from the 2021 album Emphatically No. on New Professor Music. L.A.-based trio Cheekface bring their signature sense of humor to their sophomore release Emphatically No., out now via New Professor.  Today's Song of the Day challenges the toxic positivity of self-help. "This is obviously a song about the negative messages your brain sends to you when you are suffering with a mental illness," guitarist/vocalist Greg Katz toldFlood Magazine. His songwriting partner/bassist/vocalist Amanda Tannen added, "I remember while writing this one I was getting more comfortable with saying 'no' in general. But also feeling judged by so-called 'self-help' fads. You can say 'no' to anything supposedly good for you, or bad, reminding myself that only I can make that decision for myself." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 31, 2021
Vegyn - B4 The Computer Crash
258
Vegyn - "B4 the Computer Crash," a 2021 single on PLZ Make It Ruins. Back in 2019, LA-via-London producer Joe Thornalley (better known as Vegyn) was struggling with depression, an episode that influenced his latest EP, Like a Good Old Friend, out now via Plz Make it Ruins. “A friend let me stay at their house and they happened to have a piano,” he toldThe Face. ​“I was like ​‘cool, OK, I’m just gonna try and figure this thing out.’ My chords are definitely weird, but to me they’re not weird. I’m really just playing with shapes and trying to lean into the emotive quality of the music.” As the title of the EP would suggest, the new release features several of Thornalley's pals, including Owen Pallett, rapper Jeshi, lap steel guitarist Daniel Aged, London rapper John Glacier, and more. On today's featured track, Vegyn pairs up with multidisciplinary artist and pianist Duval Timothy, who brings his jazzy sensibility to this house-inspired, glitchy, yet somehow still smooth track. Check it out below, via a video by Richard Phillip Smith and Noah Burke. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 30, 2021
Figmore - Rosie
254
Figmore - "Rosie," a 2021 single on Fresh Selects. Figmore combines the talents of Renton-raised producer 10.4 Rog (stream his Midnight in a Perfect World mix here) and JUICEB☮X, a rapper, multi-instrumentalist, and producer from Westchester, NY. Now based in Los Angeles, the duo combine psych, R&B, and hip-hop on their debut album Jumbo Street (out now via Fresh Selects).  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 29, 2021
Branik - Monster
225
Branik - "Monster," a 2020 self-released single. Seattle singer/songwriter Branik says she "writes songs that sometimes make my friends cry." Today's Song of the Day will have them sobbing.  In a statement to theDaily Listening, she explains, "When I wrote ‘Monster’ I felt like I had, yet again, lost everything I had been working so hard to make wonderful. It had been a year and a half of being left by the people that promised to love me and have my back. That December, I was sitting in tears on my cousin’s bedroom floor playing my aunt’s guitar... This song was me making sense of what I was feeling. It took me about 15 minutes to write. I was in crisis for a while after. I can feel my heart break a little bit every time I sing it... My hope in releasing this song is to give my listeners the same comfort that music has given me in times of grief and sorrow. There is something consoling about hearing lyrics that reflect exactly what I feel. I have one song that quite literally saved my life more than once. It gives me hope. It reminds me that I am not alone. I want my music to do that for other people... ‘Monster’ was me breaking through my coffin to claw out of my grave.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 26, 2021
The KEXP Podcast Survey
27
Do you have feedback on KEXP's podcasts you'd like to share with us? Things you'd like to hear more of, or things that could be improved? We want to hear from you. The survey closes on April 7, 2021, so don't wait! Take our Podcast Survey today. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 25, 2021
St. Vincent - Pay Your Way In Pain
184
St. Vincent - "Pay Your Way In Pain" from the 2021 album Daddy's Home on Loma Vista Recordings. On her sixth album, Daddy’s Home, St. Vincent (real name: Annie Clark) looks to the past, specifically the ‘70s, to inspire the present.  “There’s something interesting about what the early ‘70s were, and the parallels between then and now – even socially,” Clark told NME. “You had the idealism of the ‘60s come crashing down and the flower child thing had dissipated and made room for a way grittier, more nihilistic, more ‘dirt under the fingernails’ vibe. The economy was crazy, there was a whole [lot] of social unrest and that doesn’t sound too dissimilar from now as we’re watching institutions of power being dismantled and people upset with the status quo. People are trying to navigate what it is to just survive.” Today's Song of the Day captures that theme of endurance. “I feel like we live in a world where we’re often asked to choose between surviving and dignity. Part of it is like blues for 2021. It’s also about how there’s nothing that I’ve done in my life that didn’t involve some sort of struggle. Some of those struggles are really worthy ones to have and something great can come of them.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 25, 2021
Ora The Molecule - Creator
255
Ora the Molecule - "Creator," a 2021 single on Mute Records. Oslo, Norway-born artist Nora Schjelderup (otherwise known as Ora The Molecule) releases her debut album Human Safari this summer on July 23rd. Today's Song of the Day is the first single from the release, an ebullient anthem for youth, as reflected in the accompanying music video, directed by Tanmay Chowdhary. “The song is all about empowerment in the individual,” Schjelderup says in a press release. “You have to love the creator that is inside of the creature. I know there’s a lot of fear among kids. Greta Thunberg is a great example. She’s such a hero for so many young kids. It’s playing into that a little bit. In the video, my little sister, Tindra, is the adult listening to the news. I am a passive adult. She’s training me and doing all of these things to get us ready for the big day of catastrophe.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 24, 2021
Anushka Chkheidze - Move, move
301
Anushka Chkheidze - "Move, Move" from the 2021 album Move 20-21 on CES Records. With last year's debut LP Halfie, Anushka Chkheidze landed a nomination for IMPALA’s European Independent Album of The Year Award. Less than a year later, the 23-year-old electronic music artist returns with her second full-length, Move 20 – 21, an album she describes as "a mind journey through space and time without any physical activity." The LP was recorded during lockdown in her hometown of Kharagauli, a village in the Imereti region of western Georgia, and the songs have an inevitable introspection to them. “The album is a reflection of 2020 and 2021 so far, but not because of the situation brought on by COVID-19,” she tells theCalvert Journal. “It has to do with people, home, age. Last year, I realised I need to take better care of others, and of myself.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 23, 2021
Altin Gün - Maçka Yolları
221
Altin Gün - "Maçka Yollari" from the 2021 album Yol on ATO Records. Amsterdam-based, but globally influenced with Turkish, Indonesian, and Dutch band members, Grammy-nominated band Altin Gün continue to add a psych-touch to traditional Turkish folk songs on their third album, Yol. Today's Song of the Day hails from the Trabzon region near the Black Sea coast, with Altin Gün giving it their usual funk infusion.  Like many recent releases, Yol was created during quarantine. "We couldn’t get together, so we demoed everything from home," vocalist/keyboardist Merve Daşdemir explained toAmerican Songwriter. "We all work on Logic, [so] essentially [this album] sounded a bit electronic. But it wasn’t super intentional. It was more like, pandemic, so we have to do it differently. Which, I really enjoyed. This is the most creative input I put on an Altin Gün album so far, so it’s kind of my personal favorite, in that sense. Because I really like working alone, so this was perfect for me." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 22, 2021
Echo of the Low Light - Afterlife
260
Echo of the Low Light - "Afterlife," a 2021 single on Independent. Echo of the Low Light is more than just a band; it's a collective of Pacific Northwest artists taking an experimental approach to song construction. At its core is guitarist/vocalist Kerri Holland and bassist Pam Drago. After years in bands, they wanted to push the boundaries. They explain on their Instagram, "We began to explore more digital elements and effects, blending them with the traditional guitar/bass/drums we’d been used to. This opened things up sonically in ways we couldn’t imagine. Then we thought, ‘what would it be like to create with artists we’ve never worked with before?’ This is when the floodgates flew wide open." Every song features a different line-up of collaborators. On today's Song of the Day, they welcomed guest artists Joy Dunay (The Dirty Slippers, The Way We Were in 1989), Brandon Krebs (All Known Aliases), and John Gibson (Danielli).  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 19, 2021
Squid - Narrator (feat. Martha Skye Murphy)
271
Squid - "Narrator (feat. Martha Skye Murphy)" from the 2021 album Bright Green Field on Warp. After a series of stand-alone singles and an EP, Brighton, England-based band Squid have announced their debut album, Bright Green Field, out May 7th via Warp. Today's Song of the Day features guest vocals from Martha Skye Murphy, to help make "the point that the unreliable narrator is, more often than not, a male who wishes to portray women as submissive characters in their story." The band continue in a press release: "'Narrator' was inspired by the 2019 film A Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The song follows a man who is losing the distinction between memory, dream, and reality, and how you can often mold your memories of people to fit a narrative that benefits your ego. After some discussions with Martha she thought it’d be a good idea that she play the part of the woman wanting to break free from the dominating story the male has set​." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 18, 2021
Jupiter & Okwess - You Sold Me a Dream
203
Jupiter & Okwess - "You Sold Me a Dream (feat. Ana Tijoux)" from the 2021 album Na Kozonga on Everloving Records. Congolese band Jupiter & Okwess team up with Chilean artist Ana Tijoux for an infectious track with a powerful message, a song Jupiter declared an "anthem of resistance." Against an electronic tribal rhythm, Tijoux states: [Google translated] From Congo to the world From Congo to Latin America and Africa complete Against all racism the music is heard loud, loud, hear it Today's Song of the Day will be released on Jupiter & Okwess' forthcoming full-length, Na Kozonga, out April 23rd. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 17, 2021
Team Dreams - Imaginary Love
254
Team Dreams - "Imaginary Love," a 2021 self-released single. One of the (many) highlights of our 2018 Iceland Airwaves Music Festival broadcast was the appearance of Icelandic supergroup Team Dreams, a project of longtime friends Sin Fang (aka Sindri Már Sigfússon), Sóley, and Örvar Smárason. (We're going to assume they landed on the band name "Team Dreams," even though a couple of years ago they claimed it was just the title of their debut LP, joking they were "too old to come up with a new band name at this point in their careers.") Upon their return, they've announced they'll be releasing a new song every month this year, kicking off the ambitious project with today's Song of the Day. February's track was soon to follow, and we can't wait to see what they launch for March! Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 16, 2021
serpentwithfeet - Fellowship (feat. Sampha & Lil Silva)
220
serpentwithfeet - "Fellowship (feat. Sampha & Lil Silva)" from the 2021 album DEACON on Secretly Canadian. Earlier this year, Los Angeles-via-Baltimore artist serpentwithfeet announced his sophomore album, DEACON, out March 26 via Secretly Canadian. In a press release, he explains that the new LP is "not only imagining but exploring a world wherein Black love is paramount." On today's Song of the Day, he examines the world of friendship, teaming up with guest artists Sampha and Lil Silva, who co-wrote, co-produced, and join serpent on the song’s chorus, chanting “I’m so thankful for my friends/ I’m thankful for the love I share with my friends.” “I dedicate ‘Fellowship’ to anyone who has had a good friend or been a good friend,” serpentwithfeet states simply in a press release. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 15, 2021
Corvair - Sailor Down
259
Corvair - "Sailor Down" from the 2021 album Corvair on Where It’s At Is Where You Are. KEXP is a listener-funded nonprofit, and we need your help to keep creating podcasts like this one. Donate to our Spring Drive today! Portland duo Corvair made the most of quarantine by turning out their self-titled debut while on lockdown. The two had recorded plenty of times with their previous bands — Ruston Mire, Tube Top, Pop Sickle, The Service Providers for Brian Naubert and Eux Autres for Heather Larimer — but this was a whole new experience for the music veterans. “Recording and writing new music without the benefit of testing ideas in front of a live audience was strange,” said Naubert in a press release. “But ultimately, it gave us the freedom to really play with ideas and explore things we hadn’t ever tried before.” The intimacy of the stay-at-home orders also allowed the couple to express themselves more freely. “These are definitely the most exposed and truthful lyrics we have ever written,” Naubert states, “And musically, we just went for it. We didn’t try to talk ourselves out of weird moves, like laying some Mamas and Papas-style harmonies next to a Cars-esque keyboard solo or aggressive guitar work.” “We are so happy that our first singles have had such an excellent response," Larimer adds, “That our particular cocktail of feelings and sounds is connecting with people.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org KEXP is a listener-funded nonprofit, and we need your help to keep creating podcasts like this one. Donate to our Spring Drive today! Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 12, 2021
GHLOW - Not Fit For This
201
GHLOW - "Not Fit For This" from the 2021 album Slash and Burn on PNKSLM. KEXP is a listener-funded nonprofit, and we need your help to keep creating podcasts like this one. Donate to our Spring Drive today! When electro-punk project GHLOW named their debut album Slash and Burn, they meant it. The Russian-Swedish duo sought to capture the intensity of their live performances on the new LP. “After the [first] EP, we realised we wanted the album to be harder,” vocalist and bassist Emille de Blanche stated in a press release. “When we play live, it’s a physical experience — in the early days, we blew a lot of sound systems because the loudness was so important to us. There’s an intensity to that — a feeling of just wanting to be this vehicle speeding at 110 kil-ometres per hour — and we think we’ve captured it.” “There’s a rawness and a violence to Slash and Burn, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” adds her partner, multi-instrumentalist Nikolay Evdokimov. “It’s about starting again. You might be chopping things down, or setting fire to something, but that’s a reset — something positive comes out of the flames.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 11, 2021
The Antlers - Solstice
228
The Antlers - "Solstice" from the 2021 album Green to Gold on ANTI-. KEXP is a listener-funded nonprofit, and we need your help to keep creating podcasts like this one. Donate to our Spring Drive today! Brooklyn duo The Antlers return later this month with their first new album in seven years, titled Green to Gold. Frontman Peter Silberman describes the LP in a press release as "Sunday morning music," adding that today's Song of the Day "is a flashback to the infinite days of peak childhood summer, innocent barefoot hikes, staying outside all afternoon and late into the evening, well past it being too dark to see. But it’s remembered from the vantage of a present day that feels unbearably long rather than joyously endless. It’s an invocation of those simpler times, an attempt to conjure the lightness of youth, before life got so damn complicated.” "I think the shift in tone is the result of getting older," he continues. "It doesn’t make sense for me to try to tap into the same energy that I did ten or fifteen years ago, because I continue to grow as a person, as I’m sure our audience does too. Green To Gold is about this idea of gradual change. People changing over time, struggling to accept change in those they love, and struggling to change themselves. And yet despite all our difficulty with this, nature somehow makes it look easy." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 10, 2021
春ねむり (Haru Nemuri) - bang
197
春ねむり (Haru Nemuri) - "bang," a 2021 single on TO3S. KEXP is a listener-funded nonprofit, and we need your help to keep creating podcasts like this one. Donate to our Spring Drive today! Japanese artist Haru Nemuri (春 ねむり) (real name: Haruna Kimishima) is an alchemist, combining J-Pop with hip-hop, electronica, and noise. She calls today's Song of the Day a "prayer," inspired after the election of Donald Trump four years ago. In a beautifully-written statement on her website, she writes: ...we are divided deeper and deeper because a variety of human beings have used the ways like ones that Donald Trump has done many a time not only during his administration but in his life. We are all different in the point of what we feel and think, and we’re never enable to understand each other. And then, we have the only way to oppose this division getting deeper. It is to engage in dialogue anyway. We should upgrade our thought intermittently by talking each other to make this society by ourselves. In order to do that, we have to imagine others’ sadness, anger and pain existing certainly now, knowing the fact that we can’t understand completely each other. She concludes, "During our life, we might have painful experiences that we wouldn't be able to forget. Though in this world we are losing the subjects to which we should pray because something like the religion, race, gender and blood relation doesn’t decide our identity at all in the present times, I’m now finding hope in ‘prayer’ itself." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 09, 2021
Bicep - Sundial
276
Bicep - "Sundial" from the 2021 album Isles on Ninja Tune. KEXP is a listener-funded nonprofit, and we need your help to keep creating podcasts like this one. Donate to our Spring Drive today! London-based electronic duo Bicep dig into their Northern Ireland childhoods on their latest LP Isles, and today's Song of the Day takes us from Ireland to India. Belfast-born producers Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson used a snippet of the song "Jab Andhera Hota Hai" from the 1973 Bollywood film Raja Rani.  “This is probably one of the simplest tracks on the album, it grew from a faulty Jupiter 6 arp recording. Our trigger isn't working properly and the arp skips notes randomly. This was a small segment taken from a recording of Andy just playing the arp live whilst we were just trying to figure out what was going wrong. We actually loved what it had produced and wrote some chords around it, guided by the feeling of this recording.” “In regards to the sampling, Indian music has always fascinated us since the blog days, discovering it was the possible birthplace of Acid house via Charanjit Singh’s Ten Ragas to a disco beat.” “Living in East London, Indian influence and music is everywhere and over the past few years we’ve both become huge fans of Bollywood film scores, particularly the female soprano performances. The haunting melancholic epicness really strikes a chord with both of us. We feel we can relate to how similar it is to the Irish folk we grew up around from the likes of the Clannad.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 08, 2021
Jessica Manning - Safe Another Day
231
Jessica Manning - "Safe Another Day" from the 2021 self-released You Are Here EP. Raised by a father who loved singing soul, Minneapolis-based R&B artist Jessica Manning grew up with a love for music and would sing Broadway show tunes in the privacy of her childhood bedroom. By the age of 15, she began playing guitar, posting covers (and sometimes an original!) on YouTube.  She's come a long way since then, beginning with the 2013 release of her self-titled EP. On her most recent release, January's EP You Are Here, she teams up with her longtime partner Zach Brose on production and co-writing. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 05, 2021
Khingz (Over The World) x Ujiy - Rainy Morning
146
Khingz (Over The World) x Ujjy - "Rainy Morning," a 2021 self-released single. Seattle hip-hop veteran Khingz teams up with Canadian artist Ujjy on this touching track, written during a dark time. Khingz states on his Bandcamp, he "wrote this when I did not know when I would see my son again and the world was heavy on my shoulders."  Khingz broke out as a battle emcee in the early 2000s, named "Best MC Of The Year" in 2009 by the Seattle Weekly readers poll. In 2001, he formed Abyssinian Creole with EARLY host Gabriel Teodros! Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 04, 2021
Felicia Douglass - Continuation
186
Felicia Douglass - "Continuation," a 2021 self-released single. Felicia Douglass's voice is all around us: not only is she a solo artist, she's also a member of Ava Luna, Gemma, and Dirty Projectors; and she has lent her gorgeous vocals to Lushlife, BAILE, Toro y Moi, Helado Negro, and others. "There was a point a few years ago where I was like, 'Okay, I feel like I'm in too many bands,'" the Brooklyn-based artist jokingly toldGARAGE last year.  Thanks to her home studio set-up, Douglass has been able to continue working remotely. ("Casio keyboards are good clutter," she quips.) Today's Song of the Day is one of those at-home creations, released last October.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 03, 2021
King Khazm - Superpowerz (feat. Kane Smego & Jessica Care Moore)
252
King Khazm - "Superpowerz (feat. Kane Smego & Jessica Care Moore)" from the 2021 album Pangea: Hip Hop Heals on MADK Productions. King Khazm has a long history as an emcee, artist, and community organizer in Seattle's underground hip-hop scene, and with the compilation Pangea: Hip Hop Heals, he gathers 50 emcees, producers, DJs, and artists representing 17 countries to share their perspectives on the coronavirus pandemic. Today's Song of the Day features National Poetry Slam finalist Kane Smego and renowned Detroit-based poet Jessica Care Moore, with additional vocals by A. Billie Free, and production by Moppy.  King Khazm states Pangea: Hip Hop Heals "aims to spread awareness of the larger connection we share," he states on his website. "The project speaks directly to how artists from around the world are coping and banding together in unique and innovative ways to connect. The music carries themes of commonality and how we are all going through similar experiences, demonstrating resilience and optimism through music and art. The core values of Hip Hop is peace, unity, love and overcoming the negative to the positive. There is an undeniable power in storytelling and sharing experiences, and this project seeks to embrace the best in humanity." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 02, 2021
Farhot - Yak Sher
206
Farhot - "Yak Sher" from the 2021 album Kabul Fire Vol. 2 on Kabul Fire Records. “This is one of my goals,” hip-hop producer Farhot (real name: Farhad Samadzada) toldAcclaim, “to help make Afghanistan a little bit more seen.” It's been seven years since the release of Kabul Fire Vol. 1, and with the follow-up, he wanted to continue to celebrate his birthplace. "When it was time for Vol 2, I had to do some homework. I was thinking of the title Kabul Fire, and I thought, ‘I need to make a connection to the country’, I watched films and listened to the music and checked out art from Afghanistan, and what I found was just incredible to me and very inspiring, so I dug deeper.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 01, 2021
Bad Colours - Feelin' Like (feat. Jarv Dee)
174
Bad Colours - “Feelin' Like (feat. Jarv Dee)” from the 2021 album Pink on Bastard Jazz Recordings. London-born, Maryland-raised, Brooklyn-based DJ, songwriter, producer, and instrumentalist Ibe Soliman (aka Bad Colours) was inspired by lockdown to record a debut album, using rough ideas and samples that friends sent him to spur on new ideas. One of the samples he used was from Seattle's own Jarv Dee. Today's Song of the Day began with a sampled vocal hook, and then after the first draft, Jarv Dee added some original lyrics on Black Power. “Dancey stuff with a message,” Soliman described it in a press release.  PINK will be released digitally and on vinyl on February 26th, and is available for pre-order over at Bandcamp, right now. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 26, 2021
Jeff Parker - Build a Nest (feat. Ruby Parker)
134
Jeff Parker - "Build a Nest (feat. Ruby Parker)" from the 2020 album Suite for Max Brown on International Anthem. With his 2016 album The New Breed, guitarist Jeff Parker paid tribute to his Dad, who passed away while he was recording it. With his latest release, Suite For Max Brown, he wanted to dedicate something to his Mom while she was still alive to hear it. "Maxine Brown is her maiden name and everybody calls her Max," Parker explained in a press statement. "The picture on the cover is her when she was 19." Today's Song of the Day makes it a family affair as it features guest vocals from Parker's daughter, Ruby. Parker has shown his dexterity as a member of experimental post-rock bands Tortoise and Isotope 217. With Suite For Max Brown, he utilizes a mix of digital and analog instruments. He explains: I used to deejay a lot when I lived in Chicago. I was spinning records one night and for about 10 minutes I was able to perfectly synch up a Nobukazu Takemura record with the first movement of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and it had this free jazz, abstract jazz thing going on with a sequenced beat underneath. It sounded so good. That’s what I’m trying to do with Suite For Max Brown. It’s got a sequenced beat and there are musicians improvising on top or beneath the sequenced drum pattern. That’s what I was going for. Man vs. machine. It’s a lot of experimenting, a lot of trial and error. I like to pursue situations that take me outside myself, where the things I come up with are things I didn’t really know I could do. I always look at this process as patchwork quilting. You take this stuff and stitch it together until a tapestry forms. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 25, 2021
Madison McFerrin - Hindsight
224
Madison McFerrin - "Hindsight," a 2020 single on Mexican Summer. Brooklyn-based artist Madison McFerrin says she wrote today's Song of the Day as “a love letter to Bernie Sanders.” She explained the inspiration for the track toAfropunk.com: It was back in May when it was clear that both A) this pandemic wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and B) Bernie Sanders, the only Democratic Presidential candidate advocating for Medicare for All (something that seems beyond important in the middle of a global pandemic), had officially dropped out of the race. I was feeling like the possibility for true progress had, once again, slipped through our fingers. That’s what’s behind the refrain of “coulda said we went for it.” Regardless, we have to move on and move forward with conviction. The single was released as part of Mexican Summer’sLooking Glass series, a project they launched as a response to the pandemic where all proceeds from the digital singles on Bandcamp are given straight back to the artist or the charity of their choice.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 24, 2021
Navy Blue - 224
190
Navy Blue - "224" from the 2020 album Song of Sage: Post Panic! on Freedom Sounds. Skateboarder/graphic designer/streetwear model Sage Elsesser explores his musical side under the alias Navy Blue. Last year's full-length, Àdá Irin, was a confident debut (read KEXP's Martin Douglas' review here), and less than a year later, he returned with his sophomore album, Song of Sage: Post Panic!, another collection of introspective hip-hop. As Martin describes it in the February edition ofIn Our Headphones, it's "an illuminating tapestry of meditations on self-harm, colonization and ancestral weight, gentrification, anxiety attacks, the grief we carry throughout our lives, and the ties that bind Black people together."  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 23, 2021
Gary Bartz, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Adrian Younge - Spiritual Ideation
238
Gary Bartz, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Adrian Younge - "Spiritual Ideation" from the 2020 album Gary Bartz JID006 on Jazz is Dead. Last year, Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest) launched the label and series Jazz Is Dead, where the duo pair up with a legendary jazz musician, recording new music using the vintage studio equipment that artist originally used in their discography. So far, they've collaborated with Roy Ayers, Marcos Valle, Azymuth, and several others, and for the label's first release of 2021, they've recruited legendary saxophonist Gary Bartz.  Bartz just turned 80 years old last year, and Gary Bartz JID006 is his first new album in eight years, to be released April 2 via Jazz is Dead. “Working with Gary Bartz epitomizes the ethos behind Jazz Is Dead,” says Younge via a statement. “He’s a luminary that has contributed so much to music culture, for decades. His musical ability is expanding with age and we’re honored to be a part of his world.” (In fact, Bartz's 1975 album The Shadow Do and his 1977 album Music Is My Sanctuary were produced by the Mizell Brothers, our DJ's Dad and Uncle!)  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 22, 2021
Dark Time Sunshine - Familiars
301
Dark Time Sunshine - "Familiars" from the 2021 album LORE on Fake Four Inc. Dark Time Sunshine combines the talents of Seattle's own Onry Ozzborn (of Grayskul and Oldominion) and Chicago producer Zavala. It's been nine years since their last album, ANX, but they return this month with Lore.  While the lyrics on the new album mostly reflect on trauma and recovery, today's Song of the Day looks at resilience. In a track-by-track withFlood Magazine, the duo describe the meaning behind today's Song of the Day, stating simply, "ignore the negative voices in your head, and outside of it." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 19, 2021
Yazmin Lacey & Congi - Follow Me
235
Yazmin Lacey & Congi - "Follow Me" from the 2020 self-released Two Takes EP. Nottingham-based duo Congi have teamed up again with vocalist Yazmin Lacey for another soulful set of R&B jams. Their latest EP, titled Two Takes, is the result of just that: the artists did everything from home — "production and songwriting to the recording and mixing." Then, they kept things minimal in the studio, explaining, "by finishing each song in 'two takes' we kept the process as raw and organic as possible."  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 18, 2021
Grove - Ur Boyfriend's Wack
185
Grove - "Ur Boyfriend's Wack," a 2021 single on Memorials of Distinction x Spinny Nights. Bristol-based producer Grove celebrates their "queerness" in today's Song of the Day. In a press release, they claim the song is “part satire about wack boyfriends who do The Bare Minimum, part informed by the experience of rejecting my own sexuality when younger. It is a steezy reclaiming of pride in that queerness, and departing the space where shame was part and parcel of my lived experience.” Grove will release a new EP titled QUEER + BLACK on February 23 via Memorials of Distinction/Spinny Nights. The release is described as "an exploration of personal and political identity." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 17, 2021
Jasik - Black Sands
199
Jasik - "Black Sands" from the 2021 album Forest of Spirit on Preference Records. Pianist/producer Jamael Dean is only in his early 20s, but he already boasts a lengthy discography, both as Jira >< and, for his rap/spoken word material, as Jasik, a combination of "jah", the creator, and "seek," as in, a disciple or student. He uses this alias "for writing," he explains, "to pay homage to the students of creation seeking to leave something of service in their wake." The grandson of legendary jazz drummer Donald Dean, Jasik grew up in an environment where music was encouraged, and his parents bought him a keyboard for Christmas when he was just eight-years-old. Since then, he's gone on to collaborate with musicians like Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and Carlos Niño. (He was also part of Thundercat's touring band for a while.) On his latest album Forest of Spirit, Jasik displays his introspective side, demonstrating a mastery of wordplay against a soothing, jazzy soundtrack. On today's Song of the Day, he seemingly meditates on the preservation of culture. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 16, 2021
SPELLLING - Secret Thread
306
SPELLLING - "Secret Thread" from the 2019 album Mazy Fly on Sacred Bones Records. Oakland-based artist Tia Cabral, who records under the name Spellling, found inspiration for today's Song of the Day in both a children's book and her dog. She toldCulture Collide: I remember reading this book called Brown Angels. It’s a little book of poetry, and it has these old photos of black kids just being joyful. There’s a poem in there called "Secret Thread," about the unspoken bond between people and ideas. This thing that tethers you to someone else, that you don’t need words for. So it’s not weightless, it’s the opposite, really. The secret thread is what tethers me. Even though I’m up in the sky, it’s what keeps me tethered to this world. It’s between both- you’re rooted in the earth and looking up into the sky. Today's featured track is also where the title of her latest album originates from. She continued: This was the last song I wrote for the record. It felt like I was collecting a lot of little treasures from other songs. I was inspired by this idea of what the spirit of this record would look like. Mazy Fly was the name I came up with for the music on this record. It’s a creature-like thing, something with wings, something that can transport you to this world. I got the idea from my dog. At the end of writing sessions, we’d go out to this field and she’d run like a maniac. I was inspired by her being in this state of crazy energy. She was running, and it was like she didn’t even know where she was running. It’s like she was flying. And I just loved that moment of the day. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 15, 2021
Jason McCue - First Time
196
Jason McCue - "First Time," a 2021 single on Fluff and Gravy Records. Back in 2017, Seattle singer/songwriter Jason McCue won the annual Sound Off! competition at MoPop, stunning audiences with his solo performance on acoustic guitar. Since then, he's grown as an artist, evidenced by his most recent releases WASTELAND and PANGAEA. Today, our Song of the Day is his latest single "First Time," his first new music since last year's Apocalypse EP.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 12, 2021
The Lounge Society - Burn the Heather
211
The Lounge Society - "Burn the Heather," a 2020 single on Speedy Wunderground. Last year, Yorkshire-based band The Lounge Society released their debut single, which ended up being the fastest-selling 7” on their label Speedy Wunderground. The teenage quartet returned back in November with today's Song of the Day.  “‘Burn the Heather’ is a song deeply rooted in where we come from,” they say in a press release. “The lyrics are our interpretation of some of the darker aspects of where we live, and our personal reaction to them. Musically, ‘Burn the Heather’ is intended to be an adrenaline shot to the brain. We wanted this to be the second single all along. We don’t want to be just another post-punk band, and we knew Heather would keep people on their toes. Unlike a lot of our tracks, the guitars are quite minimal and the rhythm really carries it, and we think it works really well. We want to make people move.” The single was released alongside a video directed by Nick Farrimond who details the concept: “Born from the sense of injustice surrounding irresponsible land owners who clear heather from the moorland for grouse hunting, (resulting in increased flood risks below in the valley where we all live) we decided to portray caricatured versions of grouse hunters, dressed head to toe in tweed and showing total disregard for the landscape and devoid of any values, morals or ethics. The band play the parts of grouse, making their way across the moors, dressed in fetching red boiler suits and unaware of the impending danger they face. What ensues is general carnage as the grouse are hunted one by one, each meeting a grizzly, untimely end…or do they? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 11, 2021
Cherry Glazerr - Rabbit Hole
179
Cherry Glazerr - "Rabbit Hole," a 2020 single on Secretly Canadian. “‘Tried too hard not to be distasteful but it led me down a rabbit hole’ That line sums it up.” On her latest single “Rabbit Hole,” Cherry Glazerr frontwoman Clementine Creevy reflects on her tendency to be someone she's not. “‘Rabbit Hole’ is about clawing back my identity,” Creevy says in a press release. “I often find myself acting a certain way to get someone else’s approval. Then it’s hard for me to find myself again. I have to climb my way out of that conformity and embrace myself, even if that means not everyone is going to like me. Easier said than done! But it’s what I was meditating on with this song.”  “Change and discomfort are something I thrive in but I’ve come to realize that there’s a futility of doing things just to please other people,” she adds. “You can’t sacrifice your true self, it’s just unsustainable. Realizing this has been a big pill to swallow for me but it has given me a wealth of perspective. I feel like I’m growing into the artist that I’ve always wanted to be, it feels better than anything to do what you want with your own art.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 10, 2021
Sevdaliza - Wallflower
182
Sevdaliza - "Wallflower" from the 2020 album Shabrang on Twisted Elegance. Iranian-born, Dutch-based artist and producer Sevdaliza began her career as a professional basketball player before turning her discipline and talent to music, combining Persian mythology with trip-hop, crafting sensual soundscapes with hypnotic vocals. She describes her second full-length, Shabrang, as "kind of like a letter that I wrote to myself."  She continues to French fashion magazine L'Officiel, "It is my own holy grail. I had to write and record this album in order to regain my trust and belief in life and in love. I always felt like an observer, and I think that with this album I'm materializing my observations of life and love in that particular period of my life — the past few years have been a roller coaster ride. But I think that with the album, I'm always trying to return to my life. With this record, I also hope that it will bring light and hope to the people that are listening to it. My first record was kind of like a very long therapy session and this is more of a jump towards conveying the light that I found in those first few years and always trying to go back to it." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 09, 2021
Claud - Soft Spot
188
Claud - "Soft Spot" from the 2021 album Super Monster on Saddest Factory. This Friday, February 12th, singer/songwriter Claud Mintz (who records as Claud) will release their debut album Super Monster via Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, and what could be a better endorsement than being the first album released by Bridgers’ new imprint for Dead Oceans?  Today's Song of the Day is a dreamy rumination on a relationship gone. Claud confirms in a press release, stating “‘… Sigh. I have a soft spot for lots of people, places, and things. This song is about knowing I can’t be with this one specific person, but my feelings won’t go away… I still hope I run into them, or they randomly text me about something. It’s just me romanticizing what I can’t have and being like ‘but what if…’”  The accompanying video, directed by Brad Bischoff, captures that wistfulness. "Something I’ve come to realize in the last couple years is that moving away is VERY different than moving on (seems obvious but is really not … ). This video is about the stuff that you can’t seem to leave behind and that comes with you wherever you go, whether they’re good things or not so good things." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 08, 2021
Gibraltar - O, Devilish Sailor
192
Gibraltar - "O, Devilish Sailor" from the 2021 self-released album Modern Mischief. It's been a few years since we last heard from Seattle post-rockers Gibraltar, but the trio return this March with the new full-length Modern Mischief. The album's first single features guest horn players Sari Breznau on trumpet, and Nate Henry on tenor sax, adding a soulful touch to the angular guitar and punchy percussion. In a statement to theBig Takeover, frontman and founding member Aaron Starkey shares the story behind the track:  “Lyrically, [“O Devilish Sailor”] is about feeling powerless with the decisions that our bodies make for us. I tried to, lyrically, have a conversation about the frustrations I have with my own body. The generation of the song though, musically, came from a challenge that [drummer] Nick [Biscardi] put forth to me about writing song ideas at home versus jamming in the rehearsal room.” “My approach had always been to just get in a room and sweat it out, and he (strongly) suggested that I play around with ideas and structures on my own… and so the gauntlet was thrown and I dug in over a weekend and tried to compose more of the concept. What we ended up recording became far more than my modest home recording attempt, but I’m grateful for finally getting past the hurdle of how I’d been writing up to that point.” Modern Mischief will be out digitally on March 22nd, with a physical product shipping out on or around March 26th. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 05, 2021
Mogwai - Ritchie Sacramento
252
Mogwai - "Ritchie Sacramento"from the 2021 album As the Love Continues on Temporary Residence Ltd. Today's Song of the Day gets its title from someone's mispronunciation of the name Ryuchi Sakamoto, famed Japanese composer. Scottish post-rock band Mogwai transformed the flub into a tribute for David Berman, the musician behind the Silver Jews who passed away in 2019.  “I was inspired by a story that Bob Nastanovich put online on the anniversary of the death of Dave Berman from Silver Jews,” frontman Stuart Braithwaite toldNME. “When they were students, Dave threw a shovel at a sports car. That’s the first line of the song: ‘Rise crystal spear’. Obviously Dave was an amazing poet, songwriter and musician. I took the lead from there. I wouldn’t pretend to be able to write songs as good as him, but he’s definitely a huge inspiration.” Braithwaite continued: “It’s been a hard few years. There are a lot of people that we played with and were friends with that just aren’t around now. This songs is about those people, imagined conversations… and Dave Berman throwing a shovel at a sports car!” Mogwai’s tenth album, As the Love Continues, will be out February 19th via Temporary Residence Ltd./Rock Action.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 04, 2021
Barbarossa - Iris2Iris
226
Barbarossa - "Iris2Iris" from the 2021 album Love Here Listen on Memphis Industries. Barbarossa – aka UK-based musician/producer James Mathé – returns this March with his sixth album, Love Here Listen. Today's Song of the Day gives a first listen to the forthcoming full-length.  In a statement, Mathé explains the track: "I was thinking about how I have moments of clarity more and more as I get older of what is really meaningful in my life and how I can best use my time in this life. The moments are often short-lived though, so I look at ways of accessing this mental state more. My kids bring me into this state and nature too. I jump in icy water now I live by the sea and it brings me into fight or flight, it brings what’s important to the forefront of my mind. The song is about spending more of your life with your eyes open, confronting everything that you are dealt with."  As he did with his 2018 album Lier, Mathé again teamed up with fellow producer Ghost Culture (Daniel Avery, Kelly Lee Owens), using vintage synths to craft their dreamy electronica sound. "It was probably the most stress-free record to date and so much fun just messing around with synth arps," Ghost Culture toldThe Line of Best Fit. "It’s easy with James as we really understand each other and I trust him totally. He lives five minutes’ walk along the seafront from me. We even jumped in the sea a couple of times after lunch." Love Here Listen will be out March 5th via Memphis Industries. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 03, 2021
El Michels Affair - Murkit Gem
193
El Michels Affair - "Murkit Gem" from the 2021 album Yeti Season on Big Crown Records. Multi-instrumentalist, writer, and producer Leon Michels has a long history in the Brooklyn music scene, with too many credits to list, but a few include being a touring member of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and The Black Keys, a co-founder of the The Menahan Street Band, a co-producer on Aloe Blacc’s album Good Things, and he was even a credited writer on Adele’s blockbuster album, 19. With his current project El Michels Affair, he brings his decades of experience together for a unique instrumental soul sound. His upcoming album, Yeti Season, combines R&B and jazz with Turkish and Persian psych-funk. Today's featured track features guest vocals from artist Piya Malik. "When Piya started singing in Hindi, she had a different voice, a different tone," Michels said in a press release. "I knew we had to do something together." Yeti Season is out on Big Crown Records on March 18th. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 02, 2021
Nation of Language - Deliver Me From Wondering Why
245
Nation of Language - "Deliver Me From Wondering Why," a 2021 self-released single. Brooklyn synth-pop duo Nation Of Language sent us swooning with last year's debut full-length, titled Introduction, Presence. Earlier this month, they returned with the new single "Deliver Me From Wondering Why," another new wave-inspired track that sounds straight from a '80s film soundtrack. The band layer video game-esque sounds against the programmed beats, adding soaring out-of-this-world effects. In a press statement, frontman/songwriter Ian Devaney shared more about the song: “Deliver Me From Wondering Why” is a bit of an exploration, rooted in a desire for something repetitious and a bit spacey — something that would make you really want to zone out or go for a long drive on the highway. (Ideally not at the same time.) We worked on it with Nick Millhiser (Holy Ghost!) and it was just a really fun exercise in letting the track carry us wherever it was going to go. The backbone of the steady synth arpeggios and rhythms just leads endlessly forward and lets the mind wander around it. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 01, 2021
Toni Banx - Chanel No. 5
195
Toni Banx - "Chanel No. 5" from the 2020 album I Like It Here on Fifth House Media. And you know I get down on myself / I ain’t better that nobody else / But I’m better than what I done been through / Too late to say that I miss you Seattle's Fifth House is both a media outlet, and a duo (as featured in KEXP's October 2020 edition of In Our Headphones). Half of that duo — the richly-voiced Toni Banx — has emerged with the solo EP I Like It Here. Today's Song of the Day is a soulful ode to the loss of a relationship, and the stories, and scents, left behind.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 29, 2021
Ciscero - Beautiful Mind (feat. Oddisee)
155
Ciscero - "Beautiful Mind (feat. Oddisee)," a 2021 single on We Are Not The Same. They don't give a fuck about us / They're not feeling what we say / “They don’t give no fuck about us / 'cause we come from 'round the way”  On "Beautiful Mind," two emcees from Prince George's County, Maryland team up to reflect on where they're from and how they rise above. The soulful, sun-drenched single features production by Tee-WaTT, Latrell James, J.Robb, with guest violinist April George adding a melancholy touch.   The accompanying music video, directed by Adam Hahn, juxtaposes images of Ciscero and his crew with shots of children playing in the street. Watch now on KEXP.org.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 28, 2021
KAMAUU - MANGO (feat. Adeline)
246
KAMAUU - "MANGO (feat. Adeline)," a 2021 single on Atlantic Records. Born in D.C. and raised in Maryland, the parents of Kamau Mbonisi Kwame Agyeman sought to introduce him and his brother to African music, history, and culture at a young age. Now based in Brooklyn, rapper/artist KAMAUU incorporates those lessons into his genre-defying music. (His brother also grew up to pursue music, recording under the name Nkō Khélí.) On one of his most recent singles, "MANGO," he teams up with vocalist Adeline (who is also half of the production duo Nightshade). In an interview withLadygunn, he explains the inspiration behind the song: “MANGO” was inspired by the realization that in relationships, many of us think we want what’s best for our partners, though we often, more accurately, want to be with our partners in the way that feels the best or most right to us. I found this to be dangerous for many reasons. One being that how things feel can be deceptive. When you have a fever, you feel cold even though your body may very well be a human torch (hot). It’s also dangerous because most of us have trouble figuring out what best for ourselves. To know what’s best for another, to me, especially in situations where I/we can be massively emotionally biased, seems unlikely.  This led me to build more relationships with people who thoroughly studied themselves. If I can trust that someone has really studied and worked on and with themselves, I can trust they have a good grasp on what’s best for them. If what’s best is someone else, who am I to block a blessing.  Now I’m not saying go and cheat, but what I am saying is that, it’s better to be fully transparent about what we want from our partners, and what we can and cannot, and/or will and will not offer. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 27, 2021
Mumu Fresh - A Healing
216
Mumu Fresh - "A Healing," a 2021 self-released single. Maimouna Youssef (aka Mumu Fresh) is a GRAMMY-Nominated singer, songwriter, and activist, who mines her rich heritage for inspiration. She grew up singing gospel and jazz in an African-American Muslim household in Baltimore, and learned traditional songs from her Choctaw and Muscogee grandparents. Lately, she has been collaborating with "everyone from Salaam Remi to Tobe Nwigwe" as DJ Gabriel Teodros reports, and today's featured track is "her first solo single in a minute." Teodros adds, "She did this amazing NPR Tiny Desk concert a few years ago here. Hopefully we'll have a KEXP Live at Home with her soon!"  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 26, 2021
I Self Devine - The Disruptor Suite
462
I Self Devine - "The Disruptor Suite," a 2021 single on Improvised Weaponry. Born Chaka Mkali in Minneapolis, I Self Devine has been called "one of the most influential voices in Minnesota hip hop" by alt-weekly City Pages. In addition to being a talented musician and MC, he is also a "community organizer, racial justice trainer, graffiti artist, muralist, program coordinator and director of organizing and community building at Hope Community Center in Minneapolis," as detailed in his artist bio. (Learn more about I Self Devine in this Sound & Vision interview by Gabriel Teodros.) Today's Song of the Day is a six-part song, produced and engineered by Medium Zach. On his SoundCloud page, he explains: "The Disruptor Suite" is one of many creative reflections from democracy TBD, a series of scenario planning working groups designed to help the Democracy Fund keep pace with the rapid and unpredictable changes to social, political, and economic systems. Democracy Fund wanted to start thinking through how the current pandemic, racial unrest, and election concerns might spark a cycle of disruption and reorganization. Which aspects of our democratic system might prove more resilient, and which might be fundamentally altered. This working group consisting of architects, professors, journalist, organizers, urban planners, strategists, futurists, artists, policy directors, and researchers were led by Democracy Fund, Dot Connector studio, and 8 bridges workshop in two facilitated discussion sessions. The first session was around events that could trigger systems level disruptions. Participants picked a disruptor to think and imagine across the STEEP+C sectors which is looking at the possible intended/ unintended negative and positive impacts of a disruptor from a Societal, Technological, Environmental, Economic, Political, and Creative lens.  In the second session there was reflection on the potential impact of a given disruptive event using the Democracy Funds Healthy Democracy Framework. The disruptor chosen for this song was defunding the police state. The soundscape created by Medium Zach is a suite consisting of six parts capturing all of the elements of the STEEP+C sectors. This song was done in the spirit of Gang Starr’s “I’m the Man”, and “Speak Ya Clout” . Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 25, 2021
Erik Blood - Rent is Due (feat. Gary V)
372
Erik Blood - "Rent is Due (feat. Gary V)," a 2020 self-released single. Currently based in Los Angeles, but forever a local artist in KEXP's heart, Erik Blood teams up with Anti- Records recording artist Gary V for today's Song of the Day. (Born Garett van der Spek in Durban, South Africa, Gary V is also a former Seattleite residing in the City of Angels.) Using an original instrumental track that Blood created for The Stranger's SPLIFF film festival trailer, Gary V implores the listener to "Take time / Slow down." Via Twitter, Blood confirmed that "all of the money from the purchase of 'Rent is Due' will be going to our mutual friend [Garek Druss]," who was diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma located in his esophagus and stomach. Blood adds, "Rent can wait." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 22, 2021
SHYGIRL - SLIME
159
SHYGIRL - "SLIME" from the 2020 ALIAS EP on Because Music. London-based artist SHYGIRL is anything but. Born Blane Muise, she avoided using her real name – “which would come with its own set of implications and prejudices,” she explained toLondon in Stereo – and adopted the new moniker, explaining "like Picasso had his blue period, this is my Shygirl period." Her latest release – a 7-song EP appropriately titled ALIAS – she continues to explore her other identities, crafting four sub-personalities she calls Baddie, Bovine, Bonk, and Bae. She toldStereogum, "For me, it accentuates different sides of myself and I wanted to explain that better in giving them a whole entire life.” She adds, "At some point the lines are really blurry about what came before, and what exists now, I’m very much in Shygirl — that is my everyday. I’m still learning about what is wholly real for me. That’s the journey I’m on. I don’t know what other parts of myself are yet to rear their heads, but right now these are the most prominent.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 21, 2021
Blu & Exile - The American Dream
280
Blu & Exile - "The American Dream" from the 2020 album Miles on Dirty Science Records. Rapper Blu and hip hop producer Exile returned last year for their first new full-length in eight years: Miles: From An Interlude Called Life (or just Miles for short), an expansive 20-track double LP. “We planted the seeds of creativity and grew about 40 plants,” Exile said in a press release. “We picked the ones that we thought were the best for an album, but that didn’t mean that the other flowers weren’t beautiful.” Today's Song of the Day is a reflective, yearning track features guest vocals from The Last, Artful Dodger, and Blu‘s childhood friend Miguel, now a Grammy Award winning artist in his own right.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 20, 2021
Romero - Troublemaker
235
Romero - "Troublemaker," a 2020 self-released single. Australian power-pop group Romero follow up last year's debut  “Honey / Neapolitan” 7" single with the new track "Troublemaker," a fun, upbeat, '80s-style sing-a-long about a frenemy making eyes at your man. The band's frontwoman Alanna Oliver explained toNME:  “Troublemaker” was born after a conversation I was having with my mum about a girl I knew… we both came to the conclusion that she was in love with my boyfriend and my mother called her a troublemaker hah! I was like “Yesssss mum!” I hung up the phone immediately, pulled over my car and started writing these lyrics. I was on my way to rehearsal and when I arrived Ferg was playing this new riff he had just written and it all fell into place that afternoon. It felt very serendipitous. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 19, 2021
Sen Morimoto - Love, Money Pt. 2
170
Sen Morimoto - "Love, Money Pt. 2" from the 2020 album Sen Morimoto on Sooper Records. Chicago-based artist Sen Morimoto's sophomore self-titled release is a genre-blending mix of hip-hop, pop, R&B, and jazz (Morimoto is also a classically-trained saxophonist). Today's Song of the Day is a sequel to a track off his 2017 EP It’s Late, a follow-up he explained to KEXP's Dusty Henry in this 2020 interview.  “The reason there can be a part two is because that thought never goes away,” Morimoto says. “How you define love for yourself and look for love for yourself is constantly changing. And I think also our understanding of why we need money or what the expectation is to have money or what richness is to your life – even outside of money – is constantly changing. How you survive under capitalism, how you shift your thinking under capitalism... These things are always changing.” Watch Morimoto perform LIVE on KEXP at Home here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 18, 2021
Melenas - No puedo pensar
183
Melenas - "No puedo pensar" from the 2020 album Dias Raros on Trouble in Mind Records. Hailing from Pamplona, Spain, indiepop quartet Melenas released their second album Dias Raros last year, their first to be released outside of their homeland. Today's Song of the Day combines garage rock with jangle-pop for a melodic, melancholy track.  “Waking up with an idea that has been looping around your brain since you went to sleep and stays there all day long, day by day. Who hasn’t been in that situation? Well, this is what this song is about: being in a mental block, emotionally down and trying to get out of that washing machine of thoughts, even if you have to take shortcuts,” the band says in a press release.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 15, 2021
SASSY009 - Maybe in the Summer
201
SASSY 009 - "Maybe In The Summer" from the 2019 album KILL SASSY 009 EP on Luft Recordings. Once a trio, SASSY 009 is the solo project of 23-year-old Norwegian artist Sunniva Lindgård. Her latest EP KILL SASSY 009 is her first released alone. “I must say working by myself feels very natural,” she says in a press release. “For the past few years I've learnt to live with a lot of unexpected wavy stuff turning me upside down emotionally, while also seeing my musical career blossom. This two-sided lifestyle makes me create music for some reason, and the process evolves itself by my strong will of wanting to cut through the membrane between confusion and clarity.” For today's Song of the Day, she uses relentless beats to reflect her inner conflict. "'Maybe in the Summer' is a song about realizing you’re being taken advantage of by someone you thought had good intentions," Lindgård told The FADER. "The fast BPM and the intense movement in the song is a symbol of wanting to move on quickly, while also trying to understand how and what you feel towards this person and yourself as a result of this confusing behavior. Basically the sound of a confused mind and an eager will to shake this destructive pattern off." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 14, 2021
Lina & Raül Refree - Destino
190
Lina & Raül Refree - "Destino" from the 2020 album Lina_Raül Refree on Glitterbeat Records. In a career spanning over five decades, Amália Rodrigues established herself as the "Queen of Fado," a genre of music in Portugal. On their debut album Lina_Raül Refree, classically-trained Portuguese vocalist Lina and European producer Raül Refree team up to reinterpret songs from Rodrigues' expansive catalog. Together, they abandon the traditional acoustic guitars and substitute soaring synths to help update the sound.  “The record is different,” Lina says via their BandCamp page. “That was all we wanted to do. We’ve updated fado. But we only tried to make music that moves people.” “I didn’t know much fado before this,” Refree adds. ‘Now I feel it’s part of my life. Now I listen to Amália and I understand it more.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 13, 2021
alyona alyona - Дикі танці
177
alyona alyona - "Дикі танці" from the 2019 album В ХАТІ МА on Hitwonder. It's impressive enough that Alyona Alyona was nominated for the 2021 Music Moves Europe Talent Awards, but what's even more notable is, it's the very first time a Ukrainian artist has appeared on their list of nominees. The rapper, whose real name is Alyona Savranenko, became a break-out star in Europe since leaving behind her job as an elementary school teacher to follow her pre-teen dreams of performing hip-hop. Her lyrics cover topics of body positivity and female empowerment, all sung in her homeland's language.  “That’s part of my life,” she toldThe World public radio program. “I’ve encountered a lot of body shaming, fat shaming, bullying in my life. But mostly it’s people who motivate me because they keep asking, 'How can you be so cool?' I tell them I’m like everyone else, I just accepted myself the way I am. I realized people need my experience and I started sharing it. With some — in messages, with others — in songs.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 12, 2021
Julia Bardo - I Wanna Feel Love
219
Julia Bardo - "I Wanna Feel Love" from the 2020 Phase EP on Wichita Recordings. From singing between shifts at her father's bar in Northern Italy, to joining the post-punk band Working Men’s Club in Manchester, England, songwriter Julia Bardo now emerges on her own with her debut solo EP Phase, co-produced by Henry Carlyle Wade of The Orielles. Today's Song of the Day is an exuberant, '60s-girl-group-inspired track, with lyrics that draw from Bardo's personal experience with love. “I was in a relationship that didn’t work for me,” Bardo explains, via a press release. “I felt like I lost my inspiration —there was no colour in my life. I started to think, 'Is this how I want my life to be? Is my life over at 24? Is this really the way I want to be loved?' So, I started to write about the way I see love. I’ve always wanted to feel special for someone, I’ve always wanted a fiery and intense, passionate love. And eventually I got it." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 11, 2021
Hi Crime - World's Fair
228
Hi Crime - "World's Fair," a 2020 self-released single. Seattle's Hi Crime was formed in the summer of 2015 when songwriters Brielle Rutledge and Mitch Etter met. Their debut EP, Foreign Hours, was written, recorded, and mixed entirely from their bedrooms, with Rutledge commuting back-and-forth every few weeks while she finished college. They expanded into a full band with the addition of Cody McCann and Jesse Botello, and their 2018 full-length debut album, The Kids Still Got It, found them evolving their DIY home recordings with Deep Sea Diver’s mixing engineer Luke Vander Pol and KEXP's own mastering engineer Matt Ogaz. Today's Song of the Day is their first new music in a year.  The accompanying video below was directed by the band themselves with shooting and editing by Dylan Randolph, and was inspired when Etter found a Ferris Wheel toy on OfferUp. In a press release, he explains, "I liked the idea of building a small set out of toys with that Ferris wheel, my old model train set, and anything else childlike we could dig up. I’m not sure if it comes across in the video, but in my mind, all of the real world footage is actually taking place on that cheap looking set. It’s fictional world building where your tiny ideas can grow to the scale limits you’re capable of imagining." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 08, 2021
Maxband - Cut It Loose
186
Maxband - "Cut It Loose," a 2020 single on Maximum Band Recordings. With his side project Maxband, Max Savage of Parquet Courts steps out from behind the drum kit and grabs a guitar. He shares vocal duties with co-founder and bassist Patrick Smith of A Beacon School. Their first release was a limited-run cassette EP titled Perfect Strangers in 2018, but they reemerged in late 2020 with a new EP titled Top of the Stairs.  Today's featured track follows the Parquet path of lo-fi post-punk. Maxband explained toUnder the Radar: “‘Cut It Loose’ was the first song we wrote for Top of the Stairs, and it functions as a good mission statement for where we are as a band: it was our first fully collaborative effort that was fleshed out from an idea that Patrick brought into a practice space, and the first song where Max and Patrick split vocal duties.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 07, 2021
Knox Fortune - Come Over
193
Knox Fortune - "Come Over" from the 2020 album Stock Child Wonder on Nice Work. Chicago-bred artist Knox Fortune (real name: Kevin Rhomberg) broke out of the Windy City's hip-hop scene after guest appearances on tracks by Chance the Rapper and Kami. Now based in Brooklyn, Knox returns with his genre-jumping sophomore release Stock Child Wonder. In an interview withDocument, he explains the genesis of the album title and how it reflects his approach to songwriting: It came from a song I wrote in 2012. It was written in a different context. As I got older, it stuck with me as a tongue-in-cheek way to mean the ‘next big thing’ in a generic form. On a monthly basis we get hit with the same cookie cutter pop personality, and someone’s like, ‘oh, you’re gonna love this,’ and it’s force fed. No one likes it. It’s just a funny thing to me: the idea of the “next big thing,’ but I’m not saying that I’m that. It was also just an alternate personality I could take on which helped with songwriting. When you do solo albums, it’s very emotionally draining. You have to pull so much from yourself, and if the project fails it’s on you. If you succeed, it’s on you. Creating the character of Stock Child Wonder helped me create, while not divulging too much on some things I’m not too comfortable talking about.  Read the full post on KEXP.org   Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 06, 2021
Oneohtrix Point Never - Long Road Home
212
Oneohtrix Point Never - "Long Road Home" from the 2020 album Magic Oneohtrix Point Never on Warp. After scoring the soundtrack to the 2019 Adam Sandler film Uncut Gems, Oneohtrix Point Never (real name: Daniel Lopatin) returns to his roots with his ninth full length, Magic Oneohtrix Point Never, a nod to the Boston-based FM radio station Magic 106.7 that inspired his own band name. “I wanted to make a cohesive, punchy, 50-minute record that was very personal, but pulled from FM palettes that I was personally interested in," he told Apple Music. "I think it works really well as a metaphor for how I've changed. The things that I try to understand about my own life and being an avid musical listener and how much that's influenced me as a musician is kind of apparent on this record. That metaphor of transformation is something that I came to by thinking about the radio.” For today's Song of the Day, which features guest vocals by Caroline Polachek, he continues: “I imagined it as the beginning of the album’s journey. It's setting the thesis of the whole record up, which is sort of embracing transformation, even if it's kind of disturbing and the future is vast and unfortunately filled with question marks. But that's it. That's the game. That's where we are. That's who we are. And so, how to live alongside your incompleteness, instead of fight against it or to think that you can overcome it. There's no home you come to. There's just this kind of road, and the road is the thing. That's what that song is for me.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 05, 2021
Yung - Such A Man
184
Yung - "Such A Man" from the 2021 album Ongoing Dispute on PNKSLM. Danish indie rock quartet Yung return later this month with their sophomore full-length Ongoing Dispute, the highly anticipated follow-up to 2016's A Youthful Dream.  The band describe today's featured track as "a songwriting potluck of sorts, written in roughly an hour whilst Mikkel [Holm Silkjær, frontman] frantically roamed the corridors outside our rehearsal space working out the lyrics." Silkjær describes the results, via a press release: "A recent personal experience had sparked a train of reflection on manhood, fuelling the writing process and making its way into the song. Growing up, masculinity was portrayed to me as something very one-sided. The experience referenced in the lyrics helped me realise a pattern in coping with loss and pain in the archetypal man. I think from a subconscious point of view I needed to address that in order to fully reevaluate my childhood image of manliness." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 04, 2021
Tomo Nakayama - Paper Snowflakes
235
Despite the perils of 2020, Seattle’s Tomo Nakayama had a momentous musical year. Alongside his excellent synth-pop turn with his third solo LP, Melonday, Nakayama released some stirring singles, including a December release of “Paper Snowflakes.” The song finds Nakayama back in the familiar territory of the acoustic guitar, providing the perfect foundation for his pristine, effortless vocals. It’s a winter song of longing, wishing the best for someone far away and detached. While the song references Christmas, its emotional core is timeless. As we enter the new year, “Paper Snowflakes” offers a moment to reflect and look back.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 01, 2021
The Hold Steady - Family Farm
223
It’s the last day of 2020 and a new year is ahead of us. To bring on the transition, we get a little bit of something familiar and something new with The Hold Steady’s “Family Farm.” The indie rock legends make a momentous return with the first single from their upcoming album ‘Open Door Policy.’ A barrage of guitars and horns underscore Craig Finn’s impassioned, talk-singing vocals. It’s a triumphant last call for the year, feeling like the concussion of fireworks in the sky while we ride out into the sunset. More than that, it’s a harbinger of all the good music to come in the year ahead.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 31, 2020
Pom Poko - Like A Lady
167
With all of our top albums of 2020 lists behind us, it’s already time to start looking forward to the records that will consume our ear canals in 2021. Pom Poko give us an early frontrunner for future obsession with “Like a Lady’ from their upcoming album ‘Cheater.’  “The lyrics for the song slowly grew out from just jamming together, and are about what makes, or what one thinks makes, a woman, what even being a woman means, and it’s also a kind of tribute to all the different ways of being a woman that are out there,” the band said of the song in a statement on its release.  The song is thrillingly experimental, with bouts of furious distortion, spastic melodies, and a cacophony of glorious noise. This early look at the record gives us plenty to look forward to.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 30, 2020
KOKOROKO -Baba Ayoola
239
We’re in the final days of 2020, a year that’s been physically and emotionally taxing for the world at large. While there’s been much tragedy and desperation throughout this year, KOKOROKO urges us to look ahead and celebrate life with their single “Baby Ayoola.” The group – which blends together Afrobeat, Highline, and Jazz music – wrote the track in tribute to the group’s saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi’s grandfather. The jubilant arrangement with a lively blend of horns, woodwinds, and sensationally groovy rhythms.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 29, 2020
Lost Under Heaven - Goin' Broke For Christmas
206
Christmas may be just behind us (and thankfully 2020 will be following suit soon), but DJ John Richards is keeping the holiday spirit alive with today’s Song of the Day, “Goin’ Broke for Christmas” by duo Lost Under Heaven. The song is the perfect salve for the post Christmas blues, with the festive sounds of jingle bells crashing the dirge-like marching rhythm and the duo’s mournful vocals. It’s the perfect song for soundtracking a foggy, egg nog afterglow or putting the season behind you for hopefully brighter futures.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 28, 2020
Michelle David & The Gospel Sessions - It's a Soulful Christmas
217
Michelle David & The Gospel Sessions - "It's a Soulful Christmas" from the 2020 album It's a Soulful Christmas on MDGS Records. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected byBrian Foss, one of the hosts of KEXPs punk showSonic Reducer, lover of off-brand holiday tunes, and owner of pants. Brian has been doing a punk rock Christmas special every year since 2004 and has been a Christmas Day on-air DJ since 2012. No standards are played, only original X-Mess songs, most with a humorous bent. Hear him this holiday season from 12-7 PM PT on Friday, December 25th, and get even more seasonal songs on his 17th annual Punk Rock Christmas show on Sonic Reducer, available in KEXP's two-week Streaming Archive (scroll down to the December 20th show). Brian says: Merry Christmas! Michelle David is a US born entertainer with a varied history. In the 1990's she's performed in touring theater groups, in the 2000's was a member of "Big Black & Beautiful" (a Female vocal group based in the Netherlands)  & has released 4 previous albums with The Gospel Sessions prior to this year's Christmas album. Here's to a hopeful 2021. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 25, 2020
Professor and The Madman - Christmas Eve
194
Professor and The Madman - "Christmas Eve" from the 2018 album Disintegrate Me on Fullertone Records. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected byBrian Foss, one of the hosts of KEXPs punk showSonic Reducer, lover of off-brand holiday tunes, and owner of pants. Brian has been doing a punk rock Christmas special every year since 2004 and has been a Christmas Day on-air DJ since 2012. No standards are played, only original X-Mess songs, most with a humorous bent. Hear him this holiday season from 12-7 PM PT on Friday, December 25th, and get even more seasonal songs on his 17th annual Punk Rock Christmas show on Sonic Reducer, available in KEXP's two-week Streaming Archive (scroll down to the December 20th show). Brian says: Over their two full length albums Professor and the Madman ‎show to be masters of writing strong pop hooks. The funny thing is the band is made up of old school punk veterans and even though there is some punch in their music, PATM prefers to focus on melody as opposed to aggression. Writing a story about becoming homeless on Christmas Eve, the band shows off their deft songwriting ability and biting lyrics in todays pick. Professor and the Madman is: Alfie Agnew - vocals/guitar/keyboards (Adolescents, D.I.) Sean Elliott – vocals/guitar/keyboards (D.I., Mind Over Four) Paul Gray – bass (The Damned, Eddie & The Hot Rods, UFO) Rat Scabies – drums (One Thousand Motels, The Sinclairs, The Damned) Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 24, 2020
David King Jones - The Covid 19 Christmas Song
120
David King Jones - "The Covid19 Christmas Song," a 2020 self-released single. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected byBrian Foss, one of the hosts of KEXPs punk showSonic Reducer, lover of off-brand holiday tunes, and owner of pants. Brian has been doing a punk rock Christmas special every year since 2004 and has been a Christmas Day on-air DJ since 2012. No standards are played, only original X-Mess songs, most with a humorous bent. Hear him this holiday season from 12-7 PM PT on Friday, December 25th, and get even more seasonal songs on his 17th annual Punk Rock Christmas show on Sonic Reducer, available in KEXP's two-week Streaming Archive (scroll down to the December 20th show). Brian says: This year there's an uncounted amount of holiday themed songs dealing with the pandemic, but this one is a stand out favorite. Written, performed & produced by himself, David King Jones mix of humor, sincerity and hook writing make for an undeniably enjoyable song. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 23, 2020
Kelly Finnigan - Santa's Watching You
163
Kelly Finnigan - "Santa's Watching You" from the 2020 album A Joyful Sound on Colemine Records. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected byBrian Foss, one of the hosts of KEXPs punk showSonic Reducer, lover of off-brand holiday tunes, and owner of pants. Brian has been doing a punk rock Christmas special every year since 2004 and has been a Christmas Day on-air DJ since 2012. No standards are played, only original X-Mess songs, most with a humorous bent. Hear him this holiday season from 12-7 PM PT on Friday, December 25th, and get even more seasonal songs on his 17th annual Punk Rock Christmas show on Sonic Reducer, available in KEXP's two-week Streaming Archive (scroll down to the December 20th show). Brian says: Formally from the bay area band Monophonics, Kelly Finnigan's new holiday album is a solid soulful release. His reworking of the The Sacred Four track is a keeper. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 22, 2020
Michael M - Humans Are Not Worth Saving (Merry Christmas)
154
Michael M - "Humans Are Not Worth Saving (Merry Christmas)" from the 2020 self-released album A Digital Christmas Gift For You. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected byBrian Foss, one of the hosts of KEXPs punk showSonic Reducer, lover of off-brand holiday tunes, and owner of pants. Brian has been doing a punk rock Christmas special every year since 2004 and has been a Christmas Day on-air DJ since 2012. No standards are played, only original X-Mess songs, most with a humorous bent. Hear him this holiday season from 12-7 PM PT on Friday, December 25th, and get even more seasonal songs on his 17th annual Punk Rock Christmas show on Sonic Reducer, available in KEXP's two-week Streaming Archive (scroll down to the December 20th show). Brian says: I don't know much about Michael M (except he's from Glasgow) but I find his humor dark and endearing. The song we are sharing today is super catchy and I find myself singing it way too much. If the world is going to burn will you laugh with me at least? He has a whole youtube channel committed to making snarky Christmas videos. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 21, 2020
Draze - The Main Thing
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Draze - "The Main Thing," a 2020 self-released single. Earlier this year, attorney, CNN political commentator, and activist Angela Rye launched a new series for TIDAL titled The Main Thing, where Rye sits down with "high-profile celebrities, entertainers, history makers, athletes, organizers, and more" for candid, intimate conversations. And noneother than Seattle's own Draze has composed the show's opening theme song.  Draze was just nominated for "Best Hip-Hop Artist" by the African Achievement Awards; winners will be announced this Saturday, December 19th at 6 PM PST.   Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 18, 2020
Mystic - We Are the People (All Around the World)
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Mystic - "We Are The People (All Around The World)," a 2020 single on Beautifull Soundworks. Bay Area-based hip-hop artist Mystic (real name: Mandolyn Wind Ludlum) is a veteran of the scene, from participating in rap battles in the early '90s to touring with Digital Underground in the late '90s. She was nominated for a Grammy and a BET Award for "Best Female Hip-Hop Artist" in the early 2000s, and her work has appeared on TV soundtracks and commercials.  She's also an activist, serving as the Bay Area Coordinator for the Hip Hop Caucus, a non-profit organization that aims to promote political activism for young U.S. voters using hip-hop music and culture. Her latest single, and today's Song of the Day, she continues to use her music to speak out against injustice. As she said on her Facebook page, "I really made this song for all of us around the world fighting for justice and reimagining new futures — those of us who believe shifting paradigms is possible." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 17, 2020
Astu - Source of Her (feat. Salami Rose Joe Louis)
232
Astu - "Source of Her (feat. Salami Rose Joe Louis)" from the 2020 album ALTARS on Boyish Records. On her debut full-length ALTARS, Eritrean-American artist ASTU combines soul and synth-pop to craft her confident and thought-provoking grooves.  Astu now resides in Oakland, but arrived there from Oklahoma where she attended seminary college, married a minister, and then became a minister herself. She had been singing gospel music since she was a pre-schooler, but hadn't pursued non-secular music until her 2017 debut EP Patterns. With ALTARS, she opens up even more, writing on Facebook: "this album is filled with me..every part of me..the parts i’ve been too afraid to see most of my life. and i want to give it to you."  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 16, 2020
Ivy Sole - BITTERSWEET
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Ivy Sole - "BITTERSWEET" from the 2020 album SOUTHPAW on Les Fleurs Records. Ivy Sole wasn't even sure she wanted to release a new album this year, but thankfully, she did, with her brand new release SOUTHPAW. "Me and my manager have been hesitant to release any music to distract or make light of what is happening, and this is prior to George Floyd and how that has changed the COVID era," she admitted toDJBooth.net. "To be honest, I was gonna drop an album this year and decided to hold off on that to sit with what is happening right now. I don’t want to 'lend' my voice to the movement. By virtue of being an abolitionist and endeavoring to be a radical thinker, anything that I would release was going to add to that conversation. With 'Bittersweet,' I wanted to release something that spoke directly to it rather than shying away from it." She adds, "I started writing it just on some, 'Damn, I miss the feeling of summer.' This summer feels bittersweet to me. I can’t touch and be touched the way I’m usually experiencing summer. Summer is such a sensory period — it’s hot, you sweat, you’re in the park, on rooftops. I was on some nostalgic shit with the first verse, and then the George Floyd uprising happened, and I was like… At this point, everything is changing, so I don’t want the change to be piecemeal at all. I don’t want the minimum. That’s what the powers that be tend to expect us to accept. I’m in a headspace where I finally have a taste of what it could be like to be free, so I just refuse to settle in any way, shape, or form. All of us deserve that. More and more people are starting to realize they don’t have to accept what they’ve been given." Proceeds from the track are being donated to Black womxn experiencing housing instability or facing eviction in the NY/NJ/PA area. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 15, 2020
Ego Ella May - Girls Don't Always Sing About Boys
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Ego Ella May - "Girls Don't Always Sing About Boys" from the 2020 album Honey For Wounds on UpperRoom Records. On her debut album Honey For Wounds, South London-based artist Ego Ella May provides sweet relief from troubling times with her jazzy neo-soul sound. On today's Song of the Day, she asks listeners, "What if I wanna talk about suffering?" “I will, of course, continue to write about love,” May said in an interview withBandcamp. “But I’m also conscious of other things that happen in life, and I like to address them in song form. There are so many different themes on the album that it felt like a diary, even. ‘Girls Don’t Always Sing About Boys’ came about because I was sick of hearing songs about relationships on the radio. I wanted to talk about other things, and at the time I wasn’t thinking about love. Grenfell [the 2017 West London Tower fire that killed 72 people and injured just as many] had just happened, and my mind was awake. I was reading about sustainability and pollution, and training to be a counsellor — I just had lots to think about. I wanted to challenge myself to put it all into song form.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 14, 2020
Byland - Mine
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Byland - "Mine" from the 2020 self-released album Gray. For her latest LP Gray, Albuquerque-based artist Alie Renee Byland (who records under the name Byland) immersed herself in the Seattle music scene, collaborating with producer and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Yaccino (known for his work with Soundgarden, Noah Gundersen, Brandi Carlile). For today's featured track, she invited local musicians Abby Gundersen and Meagan Grandall (aka Lemolo) into the Ballard recording studio.  In a press release, she tells us: “Mine” is about realizing that my energy is finite and that I have permission to say “no”. I grew up idealizing the notion of giving without limit. When I felt drained, I thought there was something wrong with me. Last Summer, I was feeling especially emotionally and relationally exhausted. I wrote this song while I had an overwhelming amount of calls, emails and texts to respond to. I intentionally wanted “Mine”’s rhythm and offset melody to feel abrupt at times, to express the sense of being pulled in polarizing directions. I was nervous to bring another track to my producer, Nathan Yaccino, given that we were well into the recording process already. But after sharing a simple phone demo, we promptly sat down together and fleshed out the piano tracks, vocals and overall vision for this song. Abby Gunderson’s cinematic strings and the haunting harmonies of Meagan Grandall helped fortify and exemplify the internal expanse this song symbolizes. A liberating anthem, “Mine” is perhaps the most emblematic of the record’s ode to prioritizing mental health, by giving a voice to subconscious thoughts, and creating space within, a space that’s mine.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 11, 2020
The Weather Station - Tried To Tell You
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The Weather Station - "Tried To Tell You" from the 2020 album Ignorance on Fat Possum. The Weather Station (a project of Toronto-based artist Tamara Linderman) returns early next year with her fifth full-length, titled Ignorance, out February 5, 2021 via Fat Possum; today, we get a sneak peek at the new release with today's Song of the Day, "Tried To Tell You." In a press release, Linderman tells us the track is about “reaching out to someone; a specific person, or maybe every person, who is tamping down their wildest and most passionate self in service of some self (and world?) destructive order​.” The accompanying video was directed by Lindeman herself, and was set near the house where she grew up. She adds: The video portrays a person who is beset by miracles and visions of beauty, which emanate from inside of and all around him, but rather than reacting with awe or joy, he reacts with annoyance, indifference, and mistrust​. ​We are taught not to see the natural world that we still live in, preferring instead to dwell on the artificial, which is so often a poor substitute for the vibrant real. Flowers really do rise up from mud, and many of us are full of treasures and beauty, but we often discount these things or throw them away.​  Read the full post on KEXP.org   Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 10, 2020
GDRN - Vorið
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GDRN - "Vorið" from the 2020 album GDRN on Les Freres Stefson. When GDRN (real name: Guðrún Ýr Eyfjörð Jóhannesdóttir) played KEXP Iceland Airwaves broadcast last year, she had just swept the Iceland Music Awards with her debut Hvað Ef, scoring best female artist, best pop song, best pop album, and music video of the year. With her follow-up full-length, released earlier this year, Jóhannesdóttir experiments with a new approach. As she told KEXP's Dusty Henry last year: The next album is a bit more... It has more live instruments in it and more of me singing with more power. Just the lyrical ideas – they're all in Icelandic, I'm sorry for your English speaking listeners – but they are just fully formed ideas, I would say. They have this uptempo feel and a little bit more jazz, live instruments and everything. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 09, 2020
Molchat Doma - Discoteque / Дискотека
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Molchat Doma - "Discoteque" from the 2020 album Monument on Sacred Bones. Belarusian trio Molchat Doma (a phrase that translates to “Houses Are Silent”) formed in 2017, crafting darkwave synth-pop from their hometown of Minsk. Their just-released third full-length Monument was written and recorded in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, but with today's featured track "Discotheque", they invite the listener to imagine the now-forbidden dance floor. In a press release, they describe the song as “a light dance composition, which was created in order to make the listener move to the beat of the music. A kind of answer to 'Just Can’t Get Enough' by Depeche Mode…Ideal for both mood elevation and unbridled fun.” The accompanying music video, directed by Alexey Terehoff, was filmed at the Memorial Museum-Studio of Z. Azgur, and while the clip finds the band performing to statues of Lenin and Stalin, Terehoff aimed to focus on the aesthetic. “This is the city that embalmed and revived all the idols from the era of the Soviet dictatorship,” he declared. “There are no politics in the video, only the STYLE, a mixture of pure, concentrated neo-totalitarian aesthetics and acidic post-punk.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 08, 2020
Young Jesus - Faith
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Young Jesus - "Faith" from the 2020 album Welcome to Conceptual Beach on Saddle Creek. Earlier this year, Los Angeles-based quartet Young Jesus released their fifth full-length Welcome to Conceptual Beach; turns out, it's a sandy shore frontman John Rossiter has visited for years, originally as a physical zine in 2016. He told Uproxx.com:  It became a kind of diary, where I could become a character — as it turns out, is really helpful for sorting out your own health and psychology and soul, to be able to separate yourself out a little bit into different figures. It would really help me sort through my feelings, anger, guilt, sadness, shame, unworthiness, creativity, joy. At that point in time, I was living really deeply in my own mind, and that’s a really isolating place to be. So it helped me dive into the heart of that. This record, I hope, is my life opening up a little bit, and leaving my mind, joining a community, and being more in my body. As an album, Welcome to Conceptual Beach finds the band expanding on their emo roots, adding jazzy elements to their post-rock sound, while Rossiter explores a new vulnerability. He confides to music blog Grandma Sophia's Cookies:  This is the first record where I’m not just saying how good I want to be, or what I want the world to be, or if only people did this it would be great, or look at all these people who are fucking up, or look at how much I’ve fucked up, but it’s more this is what’s happening and there’s so much work to be done. But there’s also so much that’s being done, and a lot of it is beautiful. A lot of what’s within me and what’s within my friends and loved ones is beautiful. It’s the first time — I’m emotional right now — that I believe it. I don’t know if I really believed it before. I didn’t really listen to our music and its lyrics, and especially their delivery, until a year ago. When I listened, I was like, Oh my god, I’m screaming the whole time, I’m so angry. This is the first album where I’m emerging from that and being like, Okay, I could do better myself. I want to hear these lessons that are on the album and keep living them. I hope some people get some of that from it. I hope they see how much I love other people.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 07, 2020
SassyBlack - Therapy
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SassyBlack - "Therapy" from the 2020 self-released EP Stuck. Throughout her career, Seattle's own SassyBlack has tackled the topic of mental health, from her 2019 song “Depression” and the accompanying short film released early in 2020. On her latest EP Stuck, and today's featured track, in particular, she continues the conversation around self care, encouraging listeners to reach out when they're feeling "nothing at all," repeating the lyric "lay it on me" in a soothing rhythm.  In conjunction with KEXP’s Music Heals: Mental Health, we’re asking Song of the Day artists to spotlight a different organization, and in a perfect complement to today's Song of the Day, SassyBlack chose the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective, a "collective of advocates, yoga teachers, artists, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, teachers, psychologists and activists committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities."  Learn more about the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective here. Donations are accepted here. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 04, 2020
Nailah Hunter - Black Valhalla
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Nailah Hunter - "Black Valhalla," a 2020 self-released single. With "Black Valhalla", Los Angeles-based composer/harpist Nailah Hunter imagines a place where Black people "are safe and exalted." In this interview with KEXP's Dusty Henry, Hunter explains: I mean, again, Valhalla being the place where the Nordic gods live and the people... Actually just kidding, they don't live there, but it's a place where warriors go. I have always loved that idea. And I love Vikings and all of that stuff. But I realized how Black people are left out of that narrative. So obviously, the name of the song had to be 'Black Valhalla.' But I think the idea initially was like to speak to the fallen, the slain black people. But then at the same time, not wanting to martyr them in that way where it's like, 'Oh, they're fallen soldiers.' It's like, no, that was someone's son that's now dead. That was someone's daughter who's now dead. So I'm not trying to glorify it in that way, but just thinking of an official place where their sacrifice, what happened to them is actually recognized for what it is. And just a 'safe and glorious hall' – we all deserve that, Black people deserve that. We've been through a lot. So that's where that was coming from. And yeah, just this idea that it's not quite safe here on this plane for black people. Maybe somewhere else is safe. It's a global thing, but maybe it's different on another plane. In conjunction with KEXP’s Music Heals: Mental Health, we’re asking Song of the Day artists to spotlight a different organization. Hunter chose the Loveland Foundation, an organization that provides therapy for young Black girls and women. (Proceeds from today's featured track are being donated to the Foundation.) In her KEXP interview, she explains: I was just searching for the right organization and that came up and I was like, "Yes, this is exactly it." Because black girls need to talk about what's going on. It is so difficult to be a black woman in this world. And you need to be able to talk about that with someone else. And I just know for me, like when I found my African-American therapist, I was literally changed. I had been to therapists before who were white and it just didn't work because they didn't understand... they couldn't understand certain aspects. So I'm just thankful for any organization that is connecting black girls to therapists. So that's why I chose them. Learn more about the Loveland Foundation here. Donations are accepted here. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 03, 2020
Kassa Overall - Darkness in Mind
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Kassa Overall - “Darkness In My Mind” from I THINK I’M GOOD on Brownswood Recordings. Originally hailing from Seattle and now based out of New York, Kassa Overall has used his inimitable blend of jazz, hip-hop, and experimental leanings to explore heady and existential topics. With his latest record, I THINK I’M GOOD, he’s at his most personal and revealing. On the record he explores his own experiences with mental illness, having experienced manic episodes and subsequent hospitalizations in his youth.  “Mental instability or hyper-sensitivity was something that felt too taboo to talk about," Kassa Overall says in the record’s Bandcamp description. "I want to show the world that mentally sensitive people are the innovators of our society, and hopefully set a new standard that includes a healthy way of life and embracing our unique perspective on reality.” He addresses these themes directly on the LP’s standout track, “”Darkness In My Mind.” Joined by jazz pianist Sullivan Fortner, the two create an atmosphere that veers into the gothic with elegant-yet-nightmarish piano keys cascading against Overall’s mournful, vocoder-effected vocals. The song veers drastically between moments of beauty and bliss to skittering, hectic rhythms and electronic fever dreams. The musical tension is an apt complement to Overall’s musings over his troubles, recreating that troubling and inescapable dream that can come in our most difficult mental moments.  In conjunction with KEXP’s upcoming Music Heals: Mental Health, we’re asking Song of the Day artists to spotlight a different organization. Overall has chosen the Jazz Foundation of America’s Musicians Emergency Fund. The foundations outlined goal is to create a program that protects artists and “turns despair into hope.” They do this by ensuring blues, jazz, and roots artists are given the housing assistance they need, the care they need to stay healthy, and financially security to keep their basic needs met.  Learn more about the Jazz Foundation of America here. Donations are accepted here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 02, 2020
Orion Sun - mama's baby
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Orion Sun - “mama’s baby,” a 2020 self-released single. Philadelphia-based songwriter Orion Sun’s latest single, “mama’s baby,” was written after experiencing police brutality during a protest earlier this year in late May. Thrown into the ground multiple times and her arm twisted, she left with not just physical injuries but emotional pain from the trauma she lived.  As she details in the description on her Bandcamp page, it took her some time to recover and process what happened to her. Some healing finally came as she turned to music. Less than a week after the event, she recorded and released “mama’s baby” with proceeds going to Breonna Taylor’s GoFundMe page. She explains the writing process below:  “i've been in pain physically and emotionally but upon completing this song a wave of peace came over me. it was the first time my anxiety subsided in a long while and i thought if this did that for me then it might for other people. i want to share this song with you today in hopes that you can find some peace during this time. even when people can look at the world burning and feel nothing because the fire hasn't touched their skin, there are people feeling deeply and fighting in their own important way for the change that is inevitable. keep your head up and breathe and know that evil will never prevail long enough to be forever.” The hum of turntable needle wavers above Sun’s plaintive keyboard and the steady roll of her voice. Echoes and reverb come in and out of the mix, but Sun stays constant and hardly ever raises her voice or deviates from the soothing melody. “I’ve seen it all, it don’t affect me,” she repeats on the song before ending with, “I mean we all pass on, at least respect me.” While there is a mournful sorrow ruminating in the track, that sense of peace resonates throughout like a slow exhale.  In conjunction with KEXP’s upcoming Music Heals: Mental Health, we’re asking Song of the Day artists to spotlight a different organization. Sun has chosen the Loveland Foundation. Loveland Foundation supports healing and mental health services for communities of color, with a particular focus on Black women and girls, including giving financial assistance for therapy, offering fellowships, residency programs, and more.  Learn more about Loveland Foundation here. Donations are accepted here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 01, 2020
Sampa the Great - Time's Up (Remix) feat. Junglepussy
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Sampa The Great - “Time’s Up (Remix) feat. Junglepussy,” a 2020 single on Ninja Tune. While music can be healing, oftentimes the industry is quite the opposite. As Sampa The Great (aka Sampa Tembo) addresses on “Time’s Up,” it can be even more perilous for Black artists working against systemic racism within the industry.  “‘Time’s Up’ is a track that was made to reflect a conversation between two young Black artists about the Australian music industry,” Tembo said in a statement upon the song’s release in 2019. “With the current atmosphere it’s an important time to address systemic racism within the music industry, especially as it slowly rebuilds. She continues, “Allyship should never be performative and as we continue past blackout day, all music orgs/labels should be put to task in bringing forward their initiatives for real change within their industry.” A year after the song’s release, Tembo is continuing to open up the conversation and giving the song new life with a remix competition, encouraging Black women and non-binary artists to hop on the track and share their own experiences. She set things off with this remix featuring New York rapper Junglepussy, who calls out bluntly that there are people “making money off our pain, it must be the protocol.” It’s the ideal complement to Tembo’s original verse, speaking her truth on how female rappers are often grouped together and rising above expectations and outdated norms.  In conjunction with KEXP’s upcoming Music Heals: Mental Health, we’re asking Song of the Day artists to spotlight a different organization. Tembo has chosen Pola Psychology. Tembo and Pola Psychology have partnered together with the goal of ensuring African youth have access to safe, appropriate, and responsive mental health care.  “At a time when it is needed the most, this is not just about raising the much needed funds, but also about letting my friends and the wider African and black community know that this service exists,” Tembo says on the organizations website. Their current goal is to raise $20,000 to pay for a year of therapy for 16 African youth. Learn more about Pola Psychology here. Donations are accepted here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 30, 2020
Stas THEE Boss - Rotary Style
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Stas THEE Boss - “Rotary Style” from the 2020 EP Sang Stasia! on LucidHaus. Sang Stasia!, one of two outstanding EPs from the former Seattle resident and host of KEXP’s Street Sounds, was crafted from beats made for other singers but for some reason never recorded. The Black Constellation representative weaves her trademark multisyllabic rhymes over a cosmic sample looped to psychedelic effect, calling out corporate shills for churning out weak music for profit. The way Stas builds her rhyming sounds over the loopy harmonies of the beat is truly hypnotic. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 27, 2020
Seth Bogart - Men on the Verge of Nothing
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Seth Bogart - “Men on the Verge of Nothing” from Men on the Verge of Nothing on Wacky Wacko Records. Inspired in equal measure by Pedro Almodóvar and Poly Styrene, the artist formerly known as Hunx spins the former’s classic 1988 dark comedy (titled Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) into a treatise on the uselessness of male privilege. The album’s title track zeroes in on this concept through the vehicle of lighthearted new wave while Bogart takes Mr. Know-It-Alls to task as they fail upwards.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 26, 2020
STR4TA - Aspects (Demus Dub)
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STR4TA - "Aspects (Demus Dub)," a 2020 single on Brownswood Recordings. While 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have kept us from dancing out our sorrows, artists and producers around the globe are still holing up in their studios to give us sensational, future dance floor hits. Case in point, the new Brit-Funk project STR4TA. The project’s debut single ‘Aspects’ was recorded in a London shed just before lockdown went into effect before getting a release this fall. The infectious grooves get even more dazzling with the b-side dub mix by producer Demus. Funk and psychedelia instrumentation collide with raw, dance rhythms for a perfect impromptu at-home dance party to tide us over until we can all return to the clubs. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 25, 2020