Song of the Day

By KEXP

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 Aug 16, 2018

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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
Quelle Chris - Alive Ain't Always Living
242
Quelle Chris - "Alive Ain't Always Living" from the 2022 album Deathfame on Mello Music Group. Fresh off co-composing part of the score for the Oscar-winning film Judas and The Black Messiah, rapper Quelle Chris returned last week with his latest full-length, DEATHFAME. The Detroit-based artist (real name: Gavin Tennille) describes the genre-defying new LP like "an incredible lost tape found at a flea market." Guests include Navy Blue, Pink Siifu, and Quelle's longtime collaborator Chris Keys co-produces a few of the album's tracks.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 23, 2022
Damien Jurado - Taped In Front Of A Live Studio Audience
120
Damien Jurado - Taped in Front of a Live Studio Audience from the 2022 album Reggae Film Star on Maraqopa. Longtime KEXP-favorite Damien Jurado is on the heels of releasing his 18th album Reggae Film Star this June. The album comes 25 years after his debut album Waters Ave S. and is just one of seven albums the prolific songwriter wrote and recorded during the pandemic. 2021’s The Monster Who Ate Pennsylvania was the first of those to be released. Our Song of the Day is the short but sweet “Taped In Front of a Live Studio Audience.” Over a softly driving beat and warm, thrumming guitars, Jurado paints a picture of a day in the life of an exhausted working mother, doing her best to keep it together or at least stay awake. With lines like “Who's screaming at the top of their lungs? /Well I don't have time, and my patience is running thin,” the song is a relatable story for those familiar with the comedy of parenting. Reggae Film Sta is due digitally and on CD June 24 via his own Maraqopa Records, with vinyl arriving July 8. Damien produced it himself alongside multi-instrumentalist Josh Gordon and recording engineer Alex Bush. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 20, 2022
James and the Cold Gun - Seven
237
James and the Cold Gun - "Seven" from the 2022 False Start EP on Venn Records. With a sound that’s miles away from the Kate Bush song they’re named after, the two James’ of James and the Cold Gun - James Joseph and James Bliss - are making blistering rock n’ roll that harkens back to the early aughts alt-rock scene. The duo individually formerly fronted other bands but have been making waves in their Cardiff scene for their balls-to-the-wall pub shows as well as outside of it, touring with bands like Salem and Therapy. Our Song of the Day, “Seven” is the opening track off their debut EP False Start, released in April. Immediately, the song sets the tone for the searing set of tracks to follow. Stomping drums and fiery, distortion-laden guitars accompany James squared’s howling vocals. The band had this to say about the song: “‘Seven’ is a song about being angry, but only because you care about something so much. We really enjoy this one, it’s a real thumper—we aimed to write a proper, driving riff.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 19, 2022
Nina Kohout - Moonlight
254
Nina Kohout - "Moonlight" from the 2022 Pandemonium EP on Deadred Records. When Slovakian artist Nina Kohout released her first single "Blue Sunray" back in 2020, she landed the Newcomer of the Year award from her hometown Rádio FM's annual Radio_Head Awards. More accolades are sure to be on the way with the release of her long-awaited debut EP, Pandemonium. She describes today's Song of the Day as a "Vampiric Waltz" in this YouTube clip.  Kohout currently resides in London, attending The Brit School where she studies music production and music technology. (A few alumni of this prestigious institution include Amy Winehouse, Adele, and FKA Twigs.) In an interview with Hudba.sk, she shares, "I'm an intense person. I think a lot, I feel, and so I turn to music as my personal valve," adding, "it is the personal demons with whom we are slowly becoming friends that I explore through music." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 18, 2022
alyona alyona - Рідні мої (feat. Jerry Heil)
155
alyona alyona - "Ridni moi (feat. Jerry Heil)," a 2022 single on ENKO. For Easter this year, Ukrainian rapper alyona alyona shared a plea to celebrate and to uphold traditions with her latest single "Рідні мої." She writes on YouTube: The warmest memories of most people in Ukraine during their lives are warm family gatherings for Easter. Opportunity to get away from business, to see the closest ones, to visit distant relatives, to take part in creation of Easter eggs, to taste mother's or grandmother's dishes from the childhood, to unite in continuation of national and family traditions... This year has radically changed us, changed everything around us. Many families will no longer reunite, many grandparents will no longer please their grandchildren, and many ovens will no longer bake Easter cakes. We have changed our values, changed our attitude to many things. But we will always carry the traditions of our nation and our families through the years. May the memory of them be eternal. This track is about pain, sadness, memories and family warmth. And about that things which unite us all, wherever we are. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 17, 2022
Hazel English - Summer Nights
186
Hazel English - "Summer Nights," a 2022 self-released single. On her forthcoming EP Summer Nights (out June 17th), Hazel English teams up with producer Jackson Phillips (Day Wave) for a "short story"-like collection of songs whose narratives interweave with another. Today's Song of the Day is “about the intoxicating feeling of developing a crush on someone. I thought it would be interesting to explore the buildup of tension sonically because to me, the anticipation is the best part.” “Jackson and I have such a great flow when it comes to working on music that it was easy to essentially pick up where we had left off,” English said in a press release about the EP. “Our process together is very quick and fun, no second guessing. I also think the pandemic and time at home got me thinking a lot about my past and remembering high school experiences and those kinds of feelings that were so vivid at that time. So I found myself writing lyrics that were inspired by some of those experiences and then I kind of created a whole new story out of it.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 16, 2022
Ben Zaidi - Jerusalem.
349
Ben Zaidi - "Jerusalem" from the 2022 album Acre of Salt on Nettwerk. “What are you?” is an eye-rolling question people of mixed heritages never cease to get asked and often have no idea how to answer. Seattle’s Ben Zaidi tackles his unique background and the internal conflict of not knowing how to identify in today’s Song of the Day, “Jerusalem.” Born to a Jewish father, Pakistani mother, and with Muslim grandparents, Zaidi candidly unpacks his familial stories and the complicated feelings surrounding them in the downtempo guitar strummer. “Sometimes I feel like Jersualem /There’s three religions trickling through my veins,” sings Zaidi in the chorus. “By the time they sort it out /There’ll be nothing left to claim.” “It is a strange fate being of mixed heritage in the whitewash of America,” Zaidi explains of the song. “Often it feels like the many cultures of my ancestors have been diluted, and I have been left with no heritage rather than many... I am starting, however, to see this disorientation as an identity of its own. Manzur Zaidi was my grandfather I never met. He and his family were Pakistani, and lived through the partition of India... I use their Arabic family name and my Hebrew first name to try to combine the two lineages that most describe my parents. It was only later that I discovered 'Ben' means 'son.' and that 'Zaidi' is also a Yiddish word, for 'grandfather.'" The song comes from his upcoming debut album Acre of Salt, set for release on June 3rd. Produced by Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Peter Gabriel, Beck), the record was recorded at Los Angeles' Sound City Studios along with backing band members Ethan Gruska, Sebastian Steinberg (Fiona Apple,) saxophonist Sam Gendel and Kane Ritchotte (Portugal. The Man). Watch the video for “Jersualem” at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 13, 2022
Fontaines D.C. - Roman Holiday
267
Fontaines D.C. - "Roman Holiday" from the 2022 album Skinty Fia on Partisan. In April, Irish post-punkers Fontaines D.C. released their third studio album Skinty Fia. Their first record since relocating to London, the album titleis an Irish phrase that translates to “the damnation of the deer" and delves deep into the minds of transplants reckoning with their feelings around identity and belonging. Our Song of the Day, “Roman Holiday,” really drives that home with a bittersweet ode to discovering a new city while in the midst of young love. One of the many surprsingly downtempo songs on the record, wailing guitars provide a bed for Grian Chatten’s wistful croons about weddings, high heels, and getting stoned to lay upon. “‘Roman Holiday’ makes me think of the wide streets of north London in the summer and the urge to discover them at night time,” explains Chatten. “The thrill of being a gang of Irish people in London with a bit of a secret language and my first flat with my girlfriend.” Fontaines D.C. will be in Seattle this Saturday, May 14th to play Showbox SoDo with Just Mustard. They’ll be stopping by KEXP that afternoon to play a live in-studio at 12:30pm. Watch their 2019 KEXP in-studio performance at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 12, 2022
Say Sue Me - 꿈에 To Dream
269
Say Sue Me - "꿈에 To Dream" from the 2022 album The Last Thing Left on Damnably. South Korean dream-pop quartet Say Sue Me will release their third LP The Last Thing Left this coming Friday, May 13th via long-time label Damnably. The group states the new release "has the theme of some realization, eventually the realization of love. Love in relationships, love for oneself, and the ultimate love gained after realizing those two things!” On today's Song of the Day, they surrender to slumber, with vocalist/guitarist Sumi Choi explaining in a press release, “I dreamed that everyone was alive, and I came to think that there might be no end. One day everyone will come back and meet somewhere.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 11, 2022
Camp Cope - Running with the Hurricane
255
Camp Cope - "Running With the Hurricane" from the 2022 album Running with the Hurricane on Run For Cover. Melbourne, Australia-based trio Camp Cope find the calm within the storm on their latest full-length Running with the Hurricane.  While their 2018 album How to Socialise & Make Friends channeled the intensity of '90s artists like Alanis Morissette or Courtney Love, the new LP takes a quieter approach. During the pandemic, guitarist/vocalist Georgia Maq returned to her post-rock world of nursing. Her work in COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration had an impact on her songwriting. As she explained to NPR, "Before when we'd made records, it was just like, 'Let's just record us live so that when people see us live, they won't be disappointed.' This was more like, 'Well, we're all gonna die of coronavirus, so let's just try to make something quite beautiful.'" Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 10, 2022
Gracie Gray - Happiness
240
Gracie Gray - "Happiness" from the 2022 album Anna on Hand In Hive. Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Gracie Gray looks back on her youth on this wistful acoustic track off her latest LP anna. The accompanying music video features VHS footage from her family's archive, alongside footage of her today. (Watch below.) "'happiness' is about longing for childhood innocence," she explained in a press release. "It's something that can never be fully recaptured, but the video shows that these younger versions of ourselves are still alive inside of us."  "I think 'happiness' is going to mean different things to me as time goes on," she continued. "When I wrote it I was processing a lot of hard memories. When I finished it, I felt like I was just beginning an ugly process of letting go. I am really proud of how we were able to resolve the song sonically." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 09, 2022
Moon Palace - It's a Shame
248
Moon Palace - "It’s a Shame" from the 2022 self-released Love Lost EP. We’ve written about Moon Palace a number of times since the release of their 2017 self-titled debut. In fact, today marks the third time that the Seattle band has received the Song of the Day treatment! If they get to five, they get a jacket! (Or, at least, should. In my opinion.) Today’s Song of the Day “It’s a Shame” is actually quite a departure from the rambling psychedelia Moon Palace has released over the past five years. Slow and sensual, the song is led by a throbbing bass riff while twin sisters Cat and Carrie Biell croon about a torrid experience with an elusive sweetie. “With this track we took our dreamy psychedelic garage vibes to the disco club,” explains Moon Palace in the song’s Bandcamp description. “We slowed way down and summoned the sultry lyrics Carrie wrote about having a chance encounter with a mysterious babe at our local Seattle lesbian bar, The Wildrose. Inspirations were Solange, Taylor Swift & Prince.” The song comes from the Love Lost EP, released today, May 6th. Moon Palace will be playing with Tomo Nakayama and Coral Grief at the Tractor Tavern on Friday, June 3rd. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 06, 2022
Night Shop - Let Me Let It Go
248
Night Shop - "Let Me Let It Go" from the 2022 album Forever Night on Dangerbird Records. Night Shop is the solo project of Justin Sullivan, who can often be seen hitting the skins as the touring drummer for Kevin Morby, in addition to playing with Waxahatchee, Hand Habits, The Babies, Anna St. Louis, and LA post-punk outfit Flat Worms. This past February, he unveiled Night Shop’s debut album Forever Night via Dangerbird Records which saw a lot of these prior collaborators give back to their favorite drummer. Early single and Song of the Day “Let Me Let It Go” features Meg Duffy of Hand Habits on guitar, Jess Williamson, Anna St. Louis and Woods/Purple Mountains’ Jarvis Taveniere providing engineering and co-production alongside Sullivan so it truly is a family affair. The rollicking horn-laden track its inspiration from Dante and Beatrice’s love and “the concept of courtly love,” according to Sullivan. “A journey to hell, the pursuit of art, the Shangri-Las, and finding peace in what is, not how we think things should be.” The video for the track sees Sullivan fleeing directors Jeff Davenport and Cooper Kenward, sprinting through the streets of LA. “I think we just wanted to offer a sense of escape and abandon that comes with both loving someone and also surrendering our attachment to a certain outcome in regards to that love,” Sullivan explains. “I'm just trying to get at the proper expression of a feeling; in this case, a deep yearning. So I think visually, you want to complement that sense. A desire to see and feel everything and escape from the smallness of your own thoughts.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 05, 2022
Spiritualized - The Mainline Song
357
Spiritualized - "The Mainline Song" from the 2022 album Everything Was Beautiful on Fat Possum. Long-running space rock pioneers Spiritualized return with their ninth studio album, the appropriately titled Everything Was Beautiful. Founding and sole constant member Jason Pierce (aka J. Spaceman) plays 16 different instruments on the recording, which was done at 11 different studios (not including his home), and employing 30 different collaborators.  “There was so much information on it that the slightest move would unbalance it," he admits in a press release, "but going around in circles is important to me. Not like you’re spiraling out of control but you’re going around and around and on each revolution you hold onto the good each time. Sure, you get mistakes as well, but you hold on to some of those too and that’s how you kind of... achieve. Well, you get there.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 04, 2022
Death Of The High Street - Synergy
232
Death Of The High Street - "Synergy," a 2022 self-released single. Midlands-based post-punk band Death Of The High Street hit the scene last year with a very strong vote of confidence: their debut single was released by Creation Records empresario Alan McGee, on his new label named It’s Creation Baby. Their latest single continues their reign of dark, driving, pulsating sound.  “Synergy is a mantra. A reminder that the collective struggle is more important than the individual," the band shared in a press statement. "We should remember, no matter the importance we place on the person, no matter how much the powers that be attempt to single us out and turn us into consumerist automations, we will only really know ourselves properly when we interact with those around us.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 03, 2022
Dazy & Militarie Gun - Pressure Cooker
171
Dazy & Militarie Gun - "Pressure Cooker," a 2022 single on Very Loud Sounds. Combine the talents of LA-based hardcore band Militarie Gun and James Goodson's punk/pop project Dazy, and what you get is "Pressure Cooker," a collaborative single out now. A conflict of interest? Perhaps, as Goodson also serves as Militarie Gun's publicist, but the creativity could not be contained.  “Ever since I met Ian [Shelton, frontman of Militarie Gun], we’ve had a tendency to veer off into long conversations about songwriting, but when he suggested we should try to do something together I thought he was just being friendly,” Goodson shared in a press release, that maybe he wrote. “He kept bringing it up so finally I showed him a song I’d been working on, and in no time at all he was sending back vocals and new ideas. I’m always blown away by the amount of energy and personality that Militarie Gun can pack into a song, and it was really cool to work together and see that happening in real time.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 02, 2022
Rigmor - Det er lige meget
176
Rigmor - "Det er lige meget" from the 2022 album Glade blinde børn on Mermaid Records. This week's Songs of the Day were selected by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time, spotlighting artists playing the SPOT Festival in Aarhus, Denmark, May 6-7th.  This past February, two years after they dropped the Rebel EP, Danish indie pop band Rigmor unveiled their debut record Glade blinde børn. In English the title translates to “Happy Blind Children” which is telling of the poetic melancholy the band paints through their lyrics and dramatic, airy soundscapes. Our Song of the Day “Det er lige meget” translates to “It Doesn’t Matter” but rather than being a narrative of cynicism, it’s simply admittance that, when looking out at the stars and nature and the vastness of the universe, our petty little bullshit is just not that important. Frontwoman Sarah Wichmann’s celestial vocals paired with shimmering guitars serve well as angelic advisors, whispering in our ears, “It doesn’t matter.” The song comes with a video directed by Peter Sørensen in which our protagonist seemingly has this revelation. Watch it at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 29, 2022
La Dame Blanche - Mata Sede (feat. Amanda Magalhaes)
196
La Dame Blanche - "Mata Sede (feat. Amanda Magalhaes)," a 2021 single on Nacional. This week's Songs of the Day were selected by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time, spotlighting artists playing the SPOT Festival in Aarhus, Denmark, May 6-7th.  Cuban singer, flautist, and percussionist Yaite Ramos Rodriguez makes a distinctive mix of cumbia, hip hop, dancehall, and feminist lyrics as La Dame Blanche. The daughter of the artistic director of the Buena Vista Social Club orquestra and a loving mother who imparted incredible wisdom upon her daughter, it was inevitable that Rodriguez would become the rebellious powerhouse musician she is. For “Mata Sede,” the Paris-based artist teamed up with Brazilian actress Amanda Magalhães, of the immensely popular Brazilian series 3% for a sweet ballad of sisterhood. The downtempo track was produced by Babylotion, the Paris-based producer, beat maker, and sound engineer who mans production for the majority of La Dame Blanche’s music. Magalhães had this to say about “Mata Sede”: “It’s a song about the longing to love nowadays. It’s an honor to sing alongside an artist whose work I admire so much. La Dame Blanche has a special way of composing and this musical encounter was special for me. ‘Mata Sede’ is about love. It speaks of us.” La Dame Blanche’s latest full-length was 2020’s Ella, which was made as a tribute to her mother as well as women everywhere. At the link below, watch her Live on KEXP At Home session from November 2021.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 28, 2022
Lydmor - Nevada
231
Lydmor - "Nevada" from the 2021 album Capacity on hfn music. This week's Songs of the Day were selected by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time, spotlighting artists playing the SPOT Festival in Aarhus, Denmark, May 6-7th.  Danish artist Lydmor [real name: Jenny Rossander] examines the space she's in on her fourth album Capacity, a Björk-inspired expression of futuristic electro-pop. On today's Song of the Day, she's joined by Faroese singer Eivør on guest vocals. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 27, 2022
Les Filles de Illighadad - Eghass Malan
289
Les Filles de Illighadad - "Eghass Malan" from the 2017 album Eghass Malan on Sahel Sounds. This week's Songs of the Day were selected by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time, spotlighting artists playing the SPOT Festival in Aarhus, Denmark, May 6-7th.  Hailing from the secluded commune of Illighadad, located in central Niger, Les Filles de Illighadad tap into their "desert blues" heritage on their most recent album, Eghass Malan. The band breaks the mold of the typical male Tuareg guitarist with lead vocalist/musician Fatou Seidi Ghali, the first professional female Tuareg guitarist, and still one of a very few in general.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 26, 2022
Verdens Sidste Idé - Marianne
272
Verdens Sidste Idé - "Marianne" from the 2022 self-released album Strå. This week's Songs of the Day were selected by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time, spotlighting artists playing the SPOT Festival in Aarhus, Denmark, May 6-7th.  Danish pop band Verdens Sidste Idé [translation: The World's Last Idea] is a seven-member orchestra led by songwriter/frontman Asbjørn Hvelplund. They debuted with the full-length Den Indre By [translation: The Inner City] at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, but forged ahead during the global lockdown to create their sophomore full-length Strå [or Straw], just released in February.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 25, 2022
K!MMORTAL - K I'm Mortal
220
Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 22, 2022
Missy D - Case Départ
186
Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 21, 2022
Robert Glasper - Why We Speak (feat. Q-Tip & Esperanza Spalding)
379
Robert Glasper - "Why We Speak (feat. Q-Tip & Esperanza Spalding)," a 2022 single on Loma Vista / Concord. In 2012, jazz pianist Robert Glasper's fifth album, Black Radio, was a breakout success. It landed him the Grammy for Best R&B Album, while at the same time, hitting #1 on the Billboard jazz charts. The following year, Black Radio 2 was met with similar success, winning the Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance for the track "Jesus Children of America" featuring Lalah Hathaway and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Now, in 2022, he's released the latest installment, Black Radio III, where he continues to defy categorization and embrace collaboration. Featured guests include India.Arie, Meshell Ndegeocello, Killer Mike, Common, Ty Dolla $ign, and on today's KEXP Song of the Day, Esperanza Spalding and Q-Tip. “When I’m working on Black Radio, I’m not interested in who’s the hot new artist at the time,” Glasper toldRelix. “It’s more about people who are open to pushing the music. I’m interested in, ‘Are you actually talented? Do you actually work on your craft?’ Black Radio has become a bar. If you’re on Black Radio, you have to be a certain thing. Who really has something to say?” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 20, 2022
Sarah MK - MITTOS (Make It To The Other Side)
272
Sarah MK - "MITTOS (Make It To The Other Side)," a 2022 self-released single. Montreal-based soulstress Sarah MK shares an uplifting new single, the first from her sophomore full-length Wax & Gold, out later this month on April 27th. “I wrote this song a few years back for a friend of mine going through a difficult time in her life,” Sarah MK told theTinnitist. “I just wanted her to know that no matter what she’s facing, she’s going to get through it and make it out. The song seems just as poignant now speaking to the whole world as we try to navigate living through a global pandemic.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 19, 2022
Rell Be Free -$FreeMunny
179
Rell Be Free - "$FreeMunny" from the 2022 self-released album Sow What? (Phase 3). South Seattle-based musician/educator/entrepreneur Rell Be Free (real name: Jerrell Davis) returns this month with Sow What? (Phase 3). On this latest installment of the series, he teams up again with local producer Noah Coinflip for their atmospheric, mysterious sound.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 18, 2022
Mala Suerte - Habla Mierda de Mi
139
Mala Suerte - "Habla Mierda de Mi" from the 2022 album Mala Suerte on Freakout Records. Back in October, KEXP shared the debut single from brand new PNW meets MEX supergroup Mala Suerte. Made up of members of Carrion Kids, Acid Tongue, Los Honey Rockets, and Grizzled Mighty, the band is an international fusion of spirited sounds and talents. Our Song of the Day, “Habla Mierda de Mi” takes the psychedelic sounds of Acid Tongue, the bluesy riffs of Grizzled Mighty, the grittiness of Carrion Kids, and firey intensity of Los Honey Rockets and throws them in a blender for a song that smacks you in the face. Sung en español by Miguel Servin, the title translates to “Talk Shit About Me,” which is exactly the kind of bratty, no-fucks-given attitude that you’d expect from this quartet. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 15, 2022
Crows - Garden Of England
129
Crows - "Garden of England" from the 2022 album Beware Believers on Bad Vibrations Records. London-based quartet Crows released their sophomore dark and fuzzy post-punk record Beware Believers in early April. Written during the summer of 2019, Song of the Day “Garden of England” takes its inspiration from the complicated and controversial Brexit elections. “This is straight-up our Brexit anthem,” frontman James Cox explains. “Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t care less which way you voted, your vote, your choice. I just hated how much Brexit had become so ingrained in our day to day life. First thing I’d hear about when I woke up and the last thing I’d read before I went to sleep at night. It became all people spoke about. ‘Garden of England’ is more of a comment about the divisiveness it caused, splitting families, friends, widening the north-south divide and empowering nationalism. Public figures’ ability to lie publicly and not be held accountable, it’s just dangerous dog-whistle politics that doesn’t belong in the UK.” The song is accompanied by a video directed by Joe Hoffman and Phoebe May, with Hoffman explaining, “When chatting with a boxer mate one day, he mentioned a friend at his club who was a career ‘Journeyman’. He explained this was a boxer who was not skilled enough to go pro, but was all the same good enough to fight around that level. The Journeyman makes a career by being paid, often weekly, to lose fights (unbeknownst to many of the crowd). When up-and-coming boxers are looking to progress to the next stage of their career, they need an unbroken streak of say 12 wins. When they are nearing this streak after maybe 10 wins, the coach often doesn’t want to risk them losing at this point so they will employ a Journeyman to put on a good show, and ultimately lose the fight.” “I found this to be a fascinating concept,” he continues. “As I imagine it to be a real battle of the psyche for a Journeyman. They love the sport, but to partake and make a living in it they must fight to lose, and with this often lose the respect of their peers too. Many Journeymen work hard during the week, as low paid labourers or similar, and then will be paid a few hundred quid at the weekend to step into the losing ring. I’m sure it must be a battle in their head, but ultimately it will put food on the table and get them in the ring. The idea that he is a loser out of choice, and the fact he gets paid for it, brings into question who in this story is the actual loser? Is it the Contender? Is it the Journeyman? Or is it the crowd? I think maybe it’s all of them and none of them.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 14, 2022
Francis of Delirium - The Funhouse
255
Francis of Delirium - "The Funhouse," a 2022 single on Dalliance Records. Fronted by 20-year-old dynamo Jana Bahrich, the Luxembourg-based band Francis of Delirium brings a moody, yet driving alt-rock sound to today's Song of the Day. On their latest single, Bahrich says she was inspired by the disarray we experience daily.  “'The Funhouse' is largely about how we are adapting to the chaos that is present in our everyday lives," she shared in a press release. "The way it can feel that the world is crashing down around us and in order to protect ourselves, we become numb to the sheer terror of it all. Sort of like walking through a funhouse and attempting to remain unphased by the mayhem that surrounds you.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 13, 2022
Chaka Gettz - Incinerate for KG
305
Chaka Gettz - "Incinerate for KG" from the 2022 self-released Daytime Eraser EP. Ukrainian band Chaka Gettz admits: "If someday a series is made about us 🎬, then the beginning of the first series (our 2-year activity before the release of the first track) will not be very dynamic in visual terms. Probably, the director should just turn on the camera and shoot at an accelerated pace, as we play, compose, change and improve our songs day after day, sitting in our cozy studio in Kharkov (Ukraine) and looking for our sound 🎸." The young trio released their first single in late 2021, and have since self-released their debut EP Daytime Eraser, featuring three fun, frenetic '90s-inspired songs. It's no surprise that today's Song of the Day is dedicated to none other than indie-rock icon Kim Gordon.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 12, 2022
Hello Mary - Sink In
238
Hello Mary - "Sink In," a 2022 self-released single. Today's Song of the Day comes from Brooklyn trio Hello Mary, who formed when band members Helena Straight (vocalist/guitarist), Mikaela Oppenheimer (bassist), and Stella Wave (drummer/vocalist) were still teenagers. They released their debut album Ginger back in 2020. Earlier this year, we were thrilled to premiere this latest single, along with its sister song "Stinge." As KEXP's Tia Ho reported, the singles were produced by Bryce Goggin, who brought his experience working with '90s guitar-heavy bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement to the studio.  Wave told KEXP, “‘Stinge’ is a passion-filled, sad/angry song focusing on the polarizing emotions and back and forth feelings that come with nearing the end of a relationship (friend, romantic partner etc.), “Sink In” puts the relationship to rest. The feeling is less angry, and more accepting of the new state of things.”  She added that the two new tracks are "more mature on all fronts," adding, "Most of the songs on Ginger were written when Helena and Mikaela were 14 years old. The song writing, even though it can be catchy and fun, is pretty amateur in comparison to the new songs. Our ‘sound’ has become more unique since we have been playing together for longer. It’s more Hello Mary.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 11, 2022
The Black Tones - The End of Everything
191
The Black Tones - "The End of Everything," a 2022 single on Sub Pop. Seattle twin sibling duo The Black Tones made a splash in 2019 with their gritty debut full-length Cobain & Cornbread which saw Eva and Cedric Walker utilize blues, soul, and grunge to explore topics both light and heavy. While “Ghetto Spaceship” and “Mama! There’s a Spider in My Room” veered towards the former, songs like “The Key of Black (They Want Us Dead)” swung so dramatically towards the latter that it was clear the Walkers have important things to say. Since then, they’ve been using their art primarily just for that - to voice their concerns about the issues, be it political or personal, of the present moment. The George Floyd protests inspired them to write “My Name’s Not Abraham Lincoln” in the summer of 2020 and, most recently, the culmination of two years of personal anxieties, grief, and anger led to our Song of the Day, “The End of Everything.” Named after the book The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie Mack, the song confronts the fact that, whether it’s the second coming of who or whatever you believe in, this will all end. A variety of gods and religious symbols - Jesus, Buddah, Allah, Confucious - are shouted out in the sludgey ‘90s-indebted scorcher that features vocals from former Talking Heads backing singer and member the 1970s disco group The Ritchie Family, Edna Holt. “This song is not a jab at religion or anything like that,” Eva Walker told American Songwriter in an interview. “This song is saying, it doesn’t matter what you believe in, the second coming of whoever or whatever, this is all going to be over and it feels like humans might be speeding up that process.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 08, 2022
Quinton Brock - There For You
134
Quinton Brock - "There For You," a 2022 single on Shadow Panther. With an ambitious goal to “change rock music forever,” Quinton Brock is clearly not shy about his pursuits. The former singer of the bluesy surf rock duo The Get Money Squad has been slowly releasing singles under his government name over the past couple of years that prove he just might do it too. With a penchant for breezy R&B-tinged indie rock that’s typically played by artists of a paler complexion, Brock is on an ever-growing list of black artists reclaiming rock. Highly influenced by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the lost godmother of rock and roll, who melded spiritual lyrics with electric guitar (shredding long before Elvis gyrated his way to becoming to the “King” of rock n’ roll), Brock similarly fuses genres. Our Song of the Day, “There For You,” utilizes surf rock guitar tones with R&B production for a sunny ditty about love. “This song is so close to me,” explains Brock. “An ode to a past love. The song fades out in the end the same way love sometimes fades away. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.” Watch the video for “There For You,” directed by Allen Jiang, at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 07, 2022
Magdalena Bay - Secrets (Your Fire)
246
Magdalena Bay - "Secrets (Your Fire)" from the 2021 album Mercurial World on Luminelle Recordings. Electro-pop duo Magdalena Bay share their struggles with social media on today's Song of the Day. “‘Secrets’ is about interconnectivity, privacy, and digital anxiety,” band members Mica Tenenbaum and Matthew Lewin shared in a press release. “It’s also about a need to keep sharing, to keep giving up more and more of yourself to faceless strangers in the hopes of making friends or fans.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 06, 2022
Congotronics International - Where's The One?
230
Congotronics International - "Where's The One?," a 2022 single on Crammed Discs. Congotronics International is truly a global affair: this supergroup comprises members of Konono Nº1, Kasai Allstars, Deerhoof, Juana Molina, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, and Skeletons’ Matt Mehlan. Their forthcoming full-length, Where’s The One (due April 29th via Crammed Discs), was crafted over ten years, with files being emailed across four continents, sent from Kinshasa DRC, Buenos Aires, New Mexico, New York, Stockholm and Brooklyn.  “There was no rational explanation behind what was going on, it was just direct, immediate experience on both sides. Things you think are impossible just happen,” Vincent Kenis of Crammed Discs said in a press release (Kenis is the co-founder of Kasai Allstars and curator/producer of the Congotronics series). Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 05, 2022
TV Girl x Jordana - Jump the Turnstile
222
TV Girl x Jordana - "Jump the Turnstile" from the 2021 album Summer's Over on Summer's Over. Los Angeles-based group TV Girl have a long history with NYC artist Jordana. The pair have toured together, and a collaborative EP seemed like a natural next step. Titled Summer’s Over, the seven-song release combines Jordana's heavenly voice with the west coast trio's sample-heavy style.  TV Girl set off for their first headlining European tour later this year, and Jordana releases her debut studio album, Face The Wall, on May 20th via Grand Jury. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 04, 2022
ODESZA - The Last Goodbye (feat. Bettye LaVette)
360
ODESZA - "The Last Goodbye (feat. Bettye LaVette)," a 2022 single on Foreign Family Collective/Ninja Tune. In Early February, ODESZA returned from a four-year hiatus to drop the cinematic soulful single, “The Last Goodbye.” Featuring reworked vocals from Bettye LaVette’s 1965 soul/R&B track “Let Me Down Easy,” the track is a six-minute spine-tingling epic blending the Grammy-nominated duo’s electronic grooves with LaVette’s heartwrenching vocals to stirring effect. “This song was born out of the concept of trying to bring these lasting, defining musical pieces like the 1965 release of “Let Me Down Easy” by Bettye LaVette into a modern and contemporary electronic setting,” explained Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills of the song. “The idea of bringing two worlds together, that at first seem distant, has always been something we’ve been drawn to. It was an absolute honor to be able to work with Bettye’s voice over the course of writing the track. She’s able to convey emotion with her vocal work unlike any other. To date, this has been one of the more fulfilling songs we’ve had the chance to work on as artists.” The song comes from ODESZA’s forthcoming fourth studio album of the same title, which according to a press release, is said to be their most ambitious and personal album to date and includes contributions from a number of notable artists including Låpsley, Ólafur Arnolds, Julianna Barwick, Izzy Bizu, and Charlie Houston. The video for “The Last Goodbye” artfully highlights the power of the instrumentation (including KEXP’s Eva Walker on bass!) and features archival footage of LaVette performing “Let Me Down Easy.” Watch it at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 01, 2022
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - The Way It Shatters
238
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - "The Way It Shatters" from the 2022 album Endless Rooms on Sub Pop. In early February, Australian rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever announced their third studio album, Endless Rooms, due out May 6 via Ivy League/Sub Pop. Following up 2020’s acclaimed Sideways to New Italy, the record is described by the band as “almost an anti-concept album,” with the title reflecting “our love of creating worlds in our songs. We treat each of them as a bare room to be built up with infinite possibilities.” The first room to be shared by Rolling Blackouts C.F. and today’s Song of the Day is “The Way It Shatters.” Automatically, it’s clear that the extra time the band had during lockdown to work on their new record has paid off because the song is an expansive new step. Adding synth for the first time into their usual jangle-rock, the song is blistering but also has darker lyrical undertones, dealing with the human race and our various places within it.  The band had this to say about the song: “It’s about how ending up in your particular situation in life is the result of absolute randomness. If you happen to be born into wealthy Australia or happen to be born into a war zone in Syria. That’s just the way it shatters. So it’s when this good luck is mistaken for a sense of pride in one’s self or their country they become confused and deluded about what’s important. It’s when those on the other side of the luck scale are completely othered and considered not worthy.” The song comes with video by Nick Mckk, who also worked with RBCF on the videos for “Sideways To New Italy,” “Cameo,” “Cars In Space,” and “She’s There.” He had this to say about the video: “The new album has a night time feeling, so we wanted to explore shooting the whole thing from sundown. Fran [Keaney, vocals/guitar] had the idea of revisiting memories, of resetting groundhog day style, but each time we come back the world is a little different. The attraction of light works as a narrative device, coaxing Joe into this house of memories, and back out again.” Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are, at long last, embarking on an international tour this summer, with dates in the US starting in August. Catch them in Seattle on August 18th at Neumos. Watch the video for “The Way It Shatters” at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 31, 2022
Body Type - Buoyancy
190
Body Type - "Buoyancy" from the 2022 album Everything is Dangerous But Nothing's Surprising on Poison City Records. You never know when creative inspiration will strike, and for Australian quartet Body Type, it was over text.  “'Buoyancy' started as a playful text message exchange between Annabel and me," bassist/vocalist Georgia Wilkinson Derums said of her bandmate, guitarist/vocalist Annabel Blackman. "In many ways, the song is about grappling with internal inconsistencies and moral ambiguities in an incoherent style. It’s had a few iterations – when I brought it to the group it had more of a slow Big Star spirit. Soph and Annabel made it more angular, more tongue in cheek with the guitar, which further injects the song with distorted meaning. It’s also a personal reminder that when certain things are rendered uncertain those you love are an eternal rudder.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 30, 2022
Mitski - The Only Heartbreaker
185
Mitski - "The Only Heartbreaker" from the 2022 album Laurel Hell on Dead Oceans. Mitski's latest album, Laurel Hell, went through a few different phases during its creation. "This album has been a punk record at some point, and a country record," she told Rolling Stone. "Then, after a while, it was like, 'I need to dance.' Even though the lyrics might be depressing, I need something peppy to get me through this." Today's Song of the Day definitely fits the bill. "I needed that Breakfast Club dance-sequence music." Today's Song of the Day also marks the first time Mitski has teamed up with another songwriter: Dan Wilson, formerly of the band Semisonic. "I was just sitting on it forever. I have so many iterations of it. Nothing felt right," she told Apple Music. Wilson was able to give her the guidance she needed. "It turned out he's really good. He helped me solve so many of the problems and kind of lead me out of the labyrinth of it. And yeah, I'm really glad that I took that chance with him." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 29, 2022
Fresh off the Spaceship: The Story of the Black Constellation
304
What is the Black Constellation? If you know, you'll want to listen to this podcast. If you don't, you'll want to listen, too. "Fresh off the Spaceship" is the newest podcast from KEXP, telling the story of the highly influential yet scarcely documented artist collective. The Black Constellation has included such varied musical acts as Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, Ya Tseen and Porter Ray. Hosted by KEXP's Larry Mizell Jr. and Martin Douglas, each episode in this 10-part series takes listeners on an audio journey connecting the stars of the Constellation, shedding light on their art and their ethos along the way. New episodes come out every Friday from March 18 - May 27, 2022. Find out more at KEXP.org/fresh-off-the-spaceship. Watch a video version of the trailer and explore more work from the artists of the Constellation on KEXP's Fresh off the Spaceship YouTube playlist. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 28, 2022
Sudan Archives - Home Maker
232
Sudan Archives - "Home Maker," a 2022 single on Stones Throw. Leave it to Sudan Archives to make domestic life sultry and seductive. After making the move from Cincinnati to her current home of Los Angeles, the acclaimed violinist/vocalist/producer (real name: Brittney Denise Parks) turned to home making to feel more grounded. Her first new single in three years reflects that. “It took nesting — building a home, investing in partners that were worth my investment — to shake my anxiety and depression,” she said in a press release. “For me, homemaking is a service to mental health and coping with fear and isolation. This song is about the effort put into making a relationship work and giving love a place to live.” Check out the video at the link below, directed by Jocelyn Anquetil, and revisit her 2019 KEXP session, filmed at THING! Fest in Fort Worden, WA.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 28, 2022
Acid Tongue - Take Me To Your Leader (feat. Death Valley Girls)
153
Acid Tongue - "Take Me To Your Leader (feat. Death Valley Girls)" from the 2021 album Arboretum on Freakout Records. This past November, local chairmen of psych-rock Acid Tongue dropped their celebrated third record Arboretum. Their most fully-formed album to date, Arboretum is a joyful, intoxicating psychedelic glam rock opus that employs the many friendships Guy Keltner and Ian Cunningham have made in the music scene for a highly collaborative effort. Our Song of the Day, “Take Me to Your Leader,” sees L.A.-based psych-garage group Death Valley Girls jump in for one of the most rousing tracks on the album. Furious and rollicking, the song blazes in with a message that essentially says, “If the country’s burning down, we might as well have fun while it lasts.” Something I can certainly get behind. Watch the VHS-style, cult-themed video by CULT NUG at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 25, 2022
King Hannah - Big Big Baby
182
King Hannah - "Big Big Baby" from the 2022 album I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me on City Slang. While the duo that make up King Hannah - Craig Whittle and Hannah Merrick - hail from Liverpool, the music they make feels more fitting for the deep American south. Taking inspiration from the dark, mystical elements of that region, the band makes smokey, heavy Americana with tinges of dusky, rambling post-rock. Our Song of the Day, “Big Big Baby,” epitomizes this, utilizing slow, ominous drums, fuzzy guitars, and Merrick’s sultry vocals for an ominous effect. But these tones belie the song’s darkly humorous lyrics. Lines like “I heard you got a lady pregnant, well I can only wish her well /‘Cause soon you’ll have a bigger baby, in the family than yourself” and “I hope you choke on a dumpling, at least that would be mildly fun” read as the punchlines of some harsh burns. The video for the song leans into the elements of the songs sound rather than lyrics, with Merrick slow dancing in a dark, slighted distorted room. The clip was directed by Whittle, proving the duo are a creative force to be reckoned with. Watch it at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 24, 2022
The Lazy Eyes - Fuzz Jam
267
The Lazy Eyes - "Fuzz Jam" from the 2022 self-released album SongBook. Australian psych band The Lazy Eyes chose a fitting title for today's Song of the Day: the song is, indeed, a fuzzy jam, making it a fitting introduction to their forthcoming debut full-length SongBook, to be released on April 22nd. In an interview withHappy Mag, vocalist/guitarist Harvey Geraghty remembers the genesis of the track. "I’ve got a pretty random story about how this song started. I was brushing my teeth at home, and I was looking in the bathroom mirror and I was just like beatboxing to myself. I don’t know if anyone else does that, but like, you know, when people sing to themselves, I was just doing a bit of a beatbox." "And then I started doing that like rhythm, which is what the bass line is. And then I think I just went to my room and recorded it on the guitar. And then maybe a few days later, recorded a GarageBand demo to show the boys. But yeah, the bass line, it’s all based around the bass line. No pun intended." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 23, 2022
Death Valley Girls - When I'm Free
180
Death Valley Girls - "When I’m Free," a 2022 single on Suicide Squeeze. Earlier this year, Seattle's Suicide Squeeze Records released a split single featuring two bands off their roster: Death Valley Girls and Le Butcherettes. Side A features the Guadalajara-based Le Butcherettes covering an old DVG song titled "The Universe," and side B features a brand new track from Death Valley Girls, the psychedelic, introspective song "When I’m Free." In a press release, frontwoman Bonnie Bloomgarden shares, “We’ve talked a lot about trauma, mental health, and how hard it is to live in a human body! One concept that has really been helping during the daily struggle is the perspective shift – that things aren’t ‘happening to me,’ they’re ‘happening for me.’ Sometimes if you can, squint your eyes, alter your view, try to see experiences as opportunities to learn and grow! Sometimes that’s the best we can do!” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 22, 2022
Bambara - Birds
216
Bambara - "Birds" from the 2022 Love On My Mind EP on Wharf Cat. Brooklyn-based band Bambara — a trio of twins Reid and Blaze Bateh with their childhood friend William Brookshire on bass — have just released their six-song mini-album, Love Is On My Mind, in advance of their European tour with IDLES.  On today's Song of the Day, Reid shares in a press release, “‘Birds’ compresses the events of many months into three and a half minutes, spanning time when the couple we follow throughout the record are growing closer. On the train, they fall in and out of sleep, reliving shared moments. Then a childhood memory bubbles up to the surface of the protagonist’s mind, revealing his complex relationship to the idea of love.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 21, 2022
King Khazm - Gone Away From Here (feat. Abstract Rude, Moka Only & Myka 9)
282
King Khazm - "Gone Away From Here (feat. Abstract Rude, Moka Only & Myka 9)" from the 2022 album Return of a MAD on Fresh Chopped Beats / MADK Productions. For over 25 years, King Khazm has been using hip hop as a means to amplify not just his voice but the voices of many in the Seattle community. A multifaceted artist, community organizer, performer, and educator, Khazm first rose to prominence in 1995 when he founded MAD Krew, a hip hop crew that quickly evolved into an influential multimedia production company. While his prevalence on the scene has been long-lasting, full projects from the emcee have been slow to be unveiled. His last record, 2016’s Diaries of a Mad took nearly a decade to drop which is what makes his most recent release, Return of a MAD, all the more thrilling. Our Song of the Day, “Gone Away From Here” is a posse cut featuring Canada’s Moka Only and Los Angeles-based rappers Abstract Rude and Myka 9 and produced by Third Eye Bling (an incredible artist name, if I’ve ever heard one). The quartet take their turns on the mic to speak on their experiences with oppression and struggles to live within a racist society. The song comes with a video directed by Will Lemke that sees the emcees in the studio while pulling their influences off the shelves. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 18, 2022
A. Billi Free & The Lasso - Thrive, Despite
181
Billi Free & The Lasso - "Thrive, Despite" from the 2022 album Holy Body Roll on Mello Music Group. Holy Body Roll, released this March, is a collaborative record between New Mexico vocalist A. Billi Free and Michigan producer The Lasso that leans into the duo’s love for funk, pop, hip hop, and R&B for a record that’s free-flowing and boundaryless. Joined by The Lasso’s studio team made up of saxophonist The Saxsquatch, cellist Jordan Hamilton, and pianist Grayson Nye, Holy Body Roll is meant to serve as a “groove-filled guidebook for healing, the soundtrack to help you move from tear-streaming breakdown to full-body boogie.” Our Song of the Day, “Thrive, Despite,” embodies this both in title and spirit. Led by a jazzy piano line from Nye, the song morphs into a downtempo R&B track that has incredible warmth as A. Billi Free croons, “I know you carrying this weight /This thang so deep can’t touch the base /After you take a little break, get up and face another day.” “We’ve been building this project since late 2020,” explained Free in an interview. “We used this record to process difficult personal/collective feelings and embody the celebration of little victories with honest lyrics, layered vocals and a unique sonic homage to R&B, funk, rock and pop using our shared love of hip-hop as a foundation.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 17, 2022
Samora Pinderhughes - Masculinity (feat. Immanuel Wilkins)
339
Samora Pinderhughes - "Masculinity (feat. Immanuel Wilkins)" from the 2022 album GRIEF on Stretch Music / Ropeadope. GRIEF is more than just an album — it's a third of "The Healing Project," a multimedia effort from composer/artist Samora Pinderhughes, which also includes a forthcoming digital archive and an exhibition, opening on March 24th at the Yerba Buena Center For The Arts in San Francisco. (Watch the accompanying film below, directed by filmmaker Christian Padron, and inspired by the black-and-white photography of Roy DeCarava.) A Juilliard-trained musician, Pinderhughes wrote all the songs on the LP, inspired by artists from the '60's and '70s, like Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, and Curtis Mayfield. He tellsBandcamp, “What I love about Nina’s Pastel Blues, and Dylan’s first three or four records, is that when you listen individually, each song is a whole world about different ideas. But when you put them together, you get a picture of the time period.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 16, 2022
K.ZIA - JFMB
188
K.ZIA - "JFMB" from the 2022 album Genesis on Groove Attack. Born in Berlin to a father from Martinique and a Belgo-Congolese mother (Marie Daulne, of the acclaimed Zap Mama), K.ZIA brings a worldliness to her debut full-length, Genesis. Not only does she adopt the alter ego of "Zia," a feistier version of her own self, but she sings for the first time in French, like on today's Song of the Day "JFMB" or "J’Fais Mes Bails." "So I’d translate J’fais mes bails into 'I do my thing,'" she toldEssentially Pop. "Zia is someone that lives unapologetically. She knows her values and will not bend herself to try to explain or justify her ways to ignorant or close minded people who criticize and downgrade when they don’t understand the other. That’s the vibe of the song “des fois je fais des choses qui ne sont pas trop acceptés, je connais mes valeurs je ne vais pas m’éxcuser” – Sometimes I do things that aren’t quite accepted, I know my values I won’t apologize for it. While growing up in France very often I was perceived as strange, coming from an artistic background and having grown in foreign countries. Younger, i would try so hard to blend in, and detach myself from all these eccentric traits. Today, I no longer do that, this is what 'JFMB' is about." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 15, 2022
Yugen Blakrok & Kanif The Jhatmaster - Pedestal
214
Yugen Blakrok & Kanif The Jhatmaster - "Pedestal," a 2022 single on I.O.T. Records. Hailing from the Eastern Cape, rapper Yugen Blackrok shot to stardom with her 2013 debut album Return of the Astro-Goth, landing three nominations in the South African Hip-Hop Awards for Best Lyricist, Best Newcomer, and Best Female Artist.​ Here in the States, she was a stand-out on 2018's Black Panther: The Album, appearing on the track "Opps" alongside heavy-hitters Kendrick Lamar and Vince Staples. Earlier this year, she returned with the single "Pedestal," which finds her reunited with long-time producer Kanif the Jhatmaster. In a press release, she states:  Concepts. Idols. Civilizations. We build and we destroy. ‘Pedestal’ is about building oneself and breaking the mould. Growing, expanding and still remaining true to the spark. The pedestal is a physical framework for the senses. Civilization after civilization, it carries the weight of great symbols and the foundation of cultural and social edifices. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 14, 2022
Arlo Parks - Softly
189
Arlo Parks - "Softly," a 2022 single on Transgressive. This week's Song of the Day were selected by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time, in honor of International Women's Month. Re-listen to our kick-off day of programming, and explore articles and live sessions from some of our favorite female artists here.  Last year, Arlo Parks - the musical nom de plume of Anais Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho - released her highly anticipated debut record Collapsed in Sunbeams. The intimate, compassionate lyricism combined with earworm pop musicality made the album an instant classic that was a KEXP favorite of 2021. Parks recently returned with the single “Softly,” which while bubbly and upbeat in tone, is, in reality, a heartbreaking story of a relationship on the verge of cessation. “‘Softly’ is a song about yearning, about how fragile you feel in the dying days of a relationship when you’re still desperately in love,” the Grammy-nominated singer - who’s up for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album - explained in a statement. “The song is about how it feels to brace yourself before the blow of a break up and reminisce about the days where it all felt luminous.” The song was released alongside a video by Zhang and Knight that sees a cityscape disintegrate behind Parks. The directorial duo had this to say about the video: “For us ‘Softly’ explored the idea of wanting something that was once perfect to end in a gentle way, and we wanted to express this using the world surrounding Arlo. We were instinctively drawn to the warm toned, hazy nostalgia of the 1960s, as we loved the idea of something universally romantic being slowly stripped away throughout the film. We based the colors of the bricks, trims and doors on mid-century painting in order to bake this romanticism into everything. The production itself was a huge challenge, as everything was captured in-camera with each piece of the set built on wheels operated by several production crew. However, we knew it was all worth it when we saw the skyscrapers dancing around Arlo for the first time.” Arlo Parks will be in Seattle on Wednesday, March 23rd to play the Paramount supporting Clairo. The 64th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, April 3rd. Watch the video for “Softly” at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 11, 2022
50 Foot Wave - Staring Into The Sun
316
50 Foot Wave - "Staring Into the Sun," a 2022 single on Fire Records. This week's Song of the Day were selected by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time, in honor of International Women's Month. Re-listen to our kick-off day of programming, and explore articles and live sessions from some of our favorite female artists here.  Two years after the long-awaited 10th studio album from Throwing Muses, frontwoman Kristin Hersh is back with a new record from her heavier side project 50 Foot Wave. Titled Black Pearl, the record is out April 15th and follows the 2016 EP Bath White. Our Song of the Day is Black Pearl’s lead single “Staring Into the Sun.” Joined by Throwing Muses member Bernard Georges on bass and drummer Rob Ahler, Hersh creates a massively lush and gloomy soundscape for their first new music in six years. Featuring throbbing, droney, distortion-filled riffs, “Staring Into the Sun” is 50 Foot Wave at their most metal. Kristin Hersh is doing a long run of solo shows starting this March at SXSW and then jumping over to the UK and Europe into early Summer. Check out a full list of dates here and watch Hersh’s KEXP in-studio session from 2017 at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 10, 2022
Adwaith - ETO
248
Adwaith - "ETO," a 2022 single on Libertino Records. This week's Song of the Day were selected by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time, in honor of International Women's Month. Re-listen to our kick-off day of programming, and explore articles and live sessions from some of our favorite female artists here.  Post-punk trio Adwaith have announced their sophomore full-length Bato Mato will be out July 1st via Libertino Records, their eagerly-awaited follow-up to their Welsh Music Prize-winning 2019 debut Melyn. The album's first single (and today's Song of the Day) was written the day after performing at the UU.Sound festival in the city of Ulan-Ude, Siberia in 2020. “We really wanted to write a heartfelt song about being infatuated with someone," the band said in a press release. "This isn't something we normally write about and we wanted to approach this song differently to our other ones. We felt inspired to write a big pop song." In fact, the entire album is colored by that impactful trip. Vocalist Hollie Singer shared in a press release, "Our journey through the Siberian and Mongolian wilderness influenced the writing and sound of the album to be as open and big as the limitless sky around us there." Bassist Gwenllian Anthony added, "It was a life changing trip that really inspired us to write this album. The barren landscape and brutalist architecture really seeped into these songs and the use of world instruments was heavily inspired by this journey." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 09, 2022
LOTTA - Léonard
208
LOTTA - "Léonard" from the 2021 Seafarer EP on Deadred Records. This week's Song of the Day were selected by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time, in honor of International Women's Month. Re-listen to our kick-off day of programming, and explore articles and live sessions from some of our favorite female artists here.  On her debut EP, Seafarer, Slovakian singer/songwriter LOTTA (real name: Dagmar Mišíková) presents four songs inspired by the seasons, with today's Song of the Day capturing the fading days of autumn. The release is a collaboration with producer/multi-instrumentalist STROON (real name: Dalibor Kocián), who says via a press release, "Some moments of cooperation were so inspiring and informative for me that I approach my work even more experimentally... I feel a personality about it. It's not structured pop, it's stories.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 08, 2022
Clarissa Connelly - Holler
206
Clarissa Connelly - "Holler" from the 2020 self-released album The Voyager. This week's Song of the Day were selected by KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, host of Drive Time, in honor of International Women's Month. Re-listen to our kick-off day of programming, and explore articles and live sessions from some of our favorite female artists here.  Combining the technology of her Korg M1 synthesizer with inspiration from ancient lands, Copenhagen-based artist Clarissa Connelly crafts beautiful baroque pop songs, highlighting her diaphanous melodies with lyrics that sow the seeds of Celtic folklore. In fact, the album was released simultaneously with an app named Vandringen that spotlights these foregone Danish locations, not viewable on Google Maps.  "Many of the places are forgotten to some extent, at least when I was there back in 2018," Connelly told The Wire last year. "Since the pandemic, people’s interests have turned back to what’s around them in a really beautiful way. But I’ve always been interested in how the landscape was formed, either by humans or by the ice age pushing the soil back and forth creating mountains, or ice holes that become a lake two ice ages later. Imagining that timespan gives me a huge feeling of wanting to create. I’m fascinated by old buildings in cities – like a church, looking at the stones and wondering who built it – but they’re only maybe a thousand years old. Looking at these more ancient sites, the burial mounds and Viking fortresses, that’s even further back into history. I just get awestruck and want to sing or write about it." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 07, 2022
BRoc - Black Rainbow (feat. Porter Ray)
127
BRoc - "Black Rainbow (feat. Porter Ray)," a 2022 self-released single. Brian Ovalles, AKA BRoc, is a Seattle-based producer and DJ who’s worked extensively with Central District Seattle MC Porter Ray. He is a part of the label/collective called Intratecque, family to the Black Constellation. Read the full post on KEXP.org Take a journey through the Black Constellation on KEXP's new podcast, Fresh off the Spaceship (coming March 18) Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 04, 2022
Sevdaliza - High Alone
229
Sevdaliza - "High Alone," a 2022 single on Twisted Elegance. It's been two years since her stunning sophomore release Shabrang, but Dutch-Iranian artist Sevdaliza re-emerges on the new EP, Raving Dahlia. On today's Song of the Day, she continues to explore the gothic electronic sound of those earlier releases, adding cinematic elements like the spoken-word piece against an ethereal harp background.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 03, 2022
Fly Anakin - Ghost (feat. Nickelus F)
200
Fly Anakin - "Ghost (feat. Nickelus F)" from the 2022 album Frank on Lex Records Ltd. Described by Madlib as "one of the illest MCs," anticipation has been high for the debut full-length from Richmond, VA-based rapper/producer Fly Anakin.On March 11th, that release will drop, titled Frank, via Lex Records. He notes the album draws inspiration from the "classic R&B and Soul" his dad played for him when he was a child.  Today's Song of the Day features guest vocals from his "hero and mentor", as well as a fellow Richmond resident, Nickelus F, a seven-time "Freestyle Friday" champion on BET's weekly hip-hop show 106 & Park. Together, with Grammy-nominated producer Like (of Pac Div), they deliver a somber track befitting of the title "Ghost."  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 02, 2022
High Pulp - All Roads Lead To Los Angeles
282
High Pulp - "All Roads Lead to Los Angeles" from the 2022 album Pursuit of Ends on ANTI-. With today's Song of the Day, Seattle's experimental jazz septet High Pulp share a sneak preview of their forthcoming full-length Pursuit Of Ends, which will be released April 15th via ANTI- Records. The album draws inspiration from "bebop, punk rock, shoegaze, hip-hop, and electronic music," and came together in spite of the pandemic. “Having to start working remotely actually allowed us to try things that I don’t think we ever would have otherwise,” keyboard player Rob Homan says in a press release. “The process enabled us to walk the line between our more freewheeling, improvisatory jazz instincts and our more highly composed, electronic impulses, and what we ended up with was a really satisfying balance between the individual and the collective.” “We’re a bunch of outsiders who refused to be kept out,” adds drummer Bobby Granfelt. “We’ve never had an academic approach to jazz as most of us grew up playing in DIY bands, so it was the rawness and the energy and the absolute freedom of the music that called to us in the first place.” Check out the video at the link below (directed by Sara Jade Alfaro and starring Zaahira Joseph), and revisit the band's 2020 in-studio performance, filmed before the global shut-down. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 01, 2022
Blue Lab Beats - Motherland Journey (feat. Killbeatz & Fela Kuti)
258
Blue Lab Beats - "Motherland Journey (feat. Killbeatz & Fela Kuti)" from the 2022 album Motherland Journey on Blue Note / Blue Adventure. London-based duo Blue Lab Beats released their Blue Note Records debut last week with Motherland Journey, an album they described as "extremely special album to us."  “This album took us two-and-a-half years to finish, our longest process to make an album, but it was so worth it," they explain in a press release. "On this album you’ll hear many fusions of genres and inspirations that we gathered throughout that time frame and especially to work on so many of the songs during the first lockdown it was a test in itself. We had to figure out so many different ways to achieve what we exactly wanted sonically and having Blue Note to help us achieve that was an absolute blessing. Many of the vocal features and instrumentalists on this album are great friends of ours and it’s just so amazing to have family on this album.” Today's Song of the Day spotlights one of those amazing finds: the vocals of the late Afrobeat-pioneer Fela Kuti, taken from his song “Everything Scatter.”  “When we got confirmation to have Fela Kuti‘s vocals from his publishers in Nigeria we were honestly blown away that he could really feature on our tracks," they continue. "An absolute dream come true. When we got [collaborators] Poppy [Daniels] and Kaidi [Akinnibi] to play the horn line then we definitely got the song we wanted.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 28, 2022
F!RES - The Lonely Sea
267
F!RES - "The Lonely Sea" from the 2021 self-released album High Tide. Ballard-based band F!RES pay tribute to the late Shawn Smith on today's Song of the Day. The local legend had lent his distinctive vocals to bands like Brad, Satchel, Pigeonhed, and The Twilight Singers, as well as his solo material. And he also appears on the new F!RES full-length High Tide. "High Tide really is a love letter to Seattle and to the memory of our friend @shawnsmithsinger," the band wrote on their Instagram account. "Shawn was so giving of his talent and we were honored that he wanted to join us in the studio on some of the tracks." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 25, 2022
Cloud Cult - One Way Out of a Hole
302
Cloud Cult - "One Way Out of a Hole," a 2022 single on Earthology Records. After a six-year hiatus, Cloud Cult return with the album Metamorphosis, to be released March 4th via their own Earthology Records. Like all albums from this orchestral-folk-rock group, nature plays a big role in the LP. Founding member/frontman Craig Minowa wrote and recorded the new album in the remote woods of Wisconsin, tracking the album from an old Amish cabin he converted to a recording studio. The sounds from outdoors can be heard throughout the songs on Metamorphosis. Cloud Cult return to Seattle on Saturday, August 27th at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral. Check out the video for today's Song of the Day at the link below, and enjoy a Throwback Thursday to the band's 2014 KEXP in-studio session.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 24, 2022
Yard Act - The Overload
200
Yard Act - "The Overload" from the 2022 album The Overload on Zen F.C. This might be the debut album from Leeds band Yard Act, but its members have been kicking around the scene for a while — frontman James Smith in Post War Glamour Girls, and bassist Ryan Needham as a member of Menace Beach. They're hardly the latest post-punk band to come out of the UK, but Smith brings a sarcastic sense of humor and gift for lyrics that sets them ahead of the pack.  "‘The Overload’ serves as an overture to the album," he says of today's Song of the Day to NME. "It’s written from the perspective of someone sitting in a pub overhearing snippets of all these different conversations from different characters and acting as a vessel, a medium even, for their own thoughts and opinions. That cut and paste approach means it’s hard to decipher where one person’s musings end and another’s statement begins, and that feels like a fairer representation of why human existence is at the point it is right now. Society doesn’t prevail because of the absolute, it struggles on in spite of it. It’s our ability to compromise which helps us to coexist." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 23, 2022
Dehd - Bad Love
152
Dehd - "Bad Love" from the 2022 album Blue Skies on Fat Possum. Post-punk trio Dehd return this spring with Blue Skies, their fourth album overall, but their first for Fat Possum Records. Today's featured track finds the Chicago-based band channeling an '80s new wave vibe, calling to mind The Jesus & Mary Chain led by Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons.  “‘Bad Love’ is about recovering from love addiction and making a decision to stop choosing and aligning with people who aren’t your energetic match,” said vocalist Emily Kempf in a press release. “I wrote it for myself and for everyone who needed to hear a song about choosing new forms of love. It’s about chasing a relationship with oneself rather than an unhealthy one, one that just doesn’t quite fit, or a codependent one. Everyone experiences loneliness and everyone needs connection. I wished to reclaim loneliness for myself and others as something not embarrassing or to be a kept dark secret. I wanted to embrace loneliness and being alone, alchemizing it with friendship and behaviors with self that don’t involve romance or sex.” Blue Skies hits store shelves on May 27th, preceded by a May 5th appearance at Neumos in Seattle. Check out the video for the song at the link below, and revisit their Live on KEXP at Home session from 2020. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 22, 2022
The Head and the Heart - Virginia (Wind in the Night)
205
The Head and the Heart - "Virginia (Wind in the Night)" from the 2022 album Every Shade of Blue on Warner. Beloved local band The Head and the Heart return this spring with their fifth full-length, Every Shade of Blue, recorded at Studio Litho here in Seattle, where they made their first two albums back in 2011 and 2013. “It was almost like coming back home,” guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Russell told Consequence of Sound. “We used the same engineer, Shawn Simmons. There was this balance of old and new, being familiar with the studio but bringing somebody much newer in his relationship with us.” On today's Song of the Day, Russell pays tribute to his home state. "Being from Virginia, for me this song represents a long and winding relationship to place – a place that is grounding. I’m often drawing on my life through symbolism as a way into someone else’s psyche,” he said via a press statement. “It’s part of my search for a deeper connection without having to compare our experiences directly. There is a reason this song has two titles. One is literal and one is symbolic. Not everyone is from Virginia, I know that. But I bet you have walked home and heard the wind in the night.” The Head and the Heart perform two nights – August 12th and 13th – at Marymoor Park. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 21, 2022
Weep Wave - Synthetic Dreams
331
Weep Wave - "Synthetic Dreams," a 2022 self-released single. Over the five years since we first coveredWeep Wave, a lot has changed for the Seattle band. They went on to release their debut album, S.A.D., in 2019, a concept album based on the changing seasons and corresponding moods that take place over the course of a year in the Pacific Northwest, that KEXP’s Martin Douglas had a lot to say about. Since then, a series of lineup changes have occurred but the band, led by Dylan Fuentes, continues to constantly churn out a new single at least every six months or so. One of Weep Wave, currently a quartet,’s most recent singles is the synth-fueled, “Synthetic Dreams.” Putting aside their signature Modest Mousian guitar riffs for this one, the song is a stripped-down version of the band, utilizing ‘80s style synthesizers and a thrumming analog drum machine for a haunting and altogether different sound for the band. “It was interesting to write and record a style of song that’s pretty different from what we would normally do,” explains Fuentes. “With the synth there’s a lot of textures and tones that I can’t do with the guitar.” Weep Wave has big plans for 2022 including releasing a new EP and going on tour. Keep up with release dates and tour announcements here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 18, 2022
Warpaint - Champion
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Warpaint - "Champion" from the 2022 album Radiate Like This on Heirlooms/Virgin. After six long years, Los Angeles quartet Warpaint are set to release a new album. Due out on May 6th, the heavily anticipated Radiate Like This follows 2016’s Heads Up. Alongside the announcement, the band shared the lead single “Champion,” which is just too good to not be our Song of the Day. “Champion” continues Warpaint’s penchant for brooding anthems, with a slow-burning smooth groove leading the way with angelic harmonies floating amongst the thrumming beats for a haunting soundscape. The final minute builds the groove into a slightly rollicking post-rock instrumental for a cinematic ending. “Being a champion to oneself and for others,” is the band’s description of the meaning of the song. “We are all in this together, life is too short not to strive for excellence in all that we do.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 17, 2022
Widowspeak - Everything Is Simple
259
Widowspeak - "Everything is Simple" from the 2022 album The Jacket on Captured Tracks. Brooklyn-based duo Widowspeak are gearing up to release their sixth studio album, The Jacket, on March 11th via longtime label Captured Tracks. Initially intended to be a concept album based on a fictional band, The Jacket morphed into a more personal and biographical meditation on performance and past lives. The record’s lead single, “Everything is Simple,” is a gentle alt-folk strummer that sees frontwoman Molly Hamilton wistfully ruminate on constantly shifting perspectives. “Everything is simple 'til it's not,” is the phrase that Hamilton hauntingly bookends the song with, describing a whole variety of possible situations. She had this to say about the meaning behind the “Everything is Simple”: “At the beginning of something (a relationship, a project, a job, a new place) you have this very pure feeling toward it. Everything feels less complicated because you’re oriented wholly toward that potential. It’s undefined, and that makes it easier to understand, because you can’t see the problems yet. As time goes on, you learn more, you experience more, and you see where the limitations exist: not even necessarily ones imposed upon you, but where you draw your own lines. Maybe you can’t see what was holding you back until it’s in the past, and by then others’ perspectives contradict your own. Everyone is constructing their own versions of reality. The song was originally going to feed into the drama of the imaginary band, but it’s about our own band too. I was thinking about how I’m an inherently unreliable narrator about my own life, and at the same time maybe there are no ‘true’ stories.” The song comes with a bullriding-themed video directed by OTIUM. Watch it at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 16, 2022
The Devil and Her Chauffeur - Never Let Me Go
239
The Devil and Her Chauffeur - "Never Let Me Go," a 2021 self-released single. Seattle-based duo The Devil and Her Chauffeur was a project born out of the pandemic and the necessity of creative projects to stay sane. Jacqueline Kasbohm was in-between recording with her proper band Echodrone and brought in a revolving door of collaborators to flesh out her ideas. Now two years into the band, the string of singles released show a strong affinity for ‘90s indebted shoegaze and atmospheric post-rock. Our Song of the Day, “Never Let Me Go,” is dreampop gold, with densely interwoven vocal layers, spacious synths, and dreamy guitars. Kasbohm’s Rachel Goswellian vocals are light and airy, initially leading the song but then settling amongst the instruments as just an additional layer in the thick wall of sounds. The track was initially recorded with Daniel Dieters handing guitars and percussion but now has Virginia-born, Bay Area-based musician Tosh Enders handling that load. The Devil and Her Chauffeur are currently working on their first full-length album with producer and fellow musician, Fran Lora from the Saville, Spain band Flu Flu and is set to be released by end of summer 2022. Watch the video for “Never Let Me Go” at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 15, 2022
Pom Pom Squad - Popular (feat. Matthew Caws of Nada Surf)
207
Pom Pom Squad - "Popular (feat. Matthew Caws of Nada Surf)," a 2021 single on City Slang. Back in December, Pom Pom Squad turned a joke tweet into reality when they covered Nada Surf’s “Popular” and remade the classic video shot by shot. “I’m gonna recreate the video for “Popular” by Nada Surf but I’m gonna play every character,” Mia Berrin tweeted in March 2021. Nine months later, that dream was realized. It’s a fitting tribute for a band that’s built their imagery around cheer parody. Their latest album Death of a Cheerleader saw Berrin explore the coming-of-age high school stories that Matthew Caws was subversing on Nada Surf’s 1996 hit. There are different implications or meanings, though, hearing some of these lines from the voice of a queer woman of color rather than a straight white man. “Being attractive is the most important thing there is,” goes one the more iconic spoken-word lines from the song. “If you wanna catch the biggest fish in your pond, you have to be as attractive as possible.” For the video, Pom Pom Squad journeyed back to the same high school the original video was shot and enlisted real students to star alongside Berrin, who plays the teacher, football star, coach, and, of course, cheerleader. For an extra boost of authenticity, Caws joins the band on the football field to play guitar and sing backing vocals. Watch the video for “Popular” at the link below and catch Pom Pom Squad at Neumos on Friday, March 11th. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 14, 2022
Greg Cypher & Def Dee - Right On (feat. 10isee Williams)
303
Greg Cypher & Def Dee - "Right On (feat. 10isee Williams)" from the 2021 album Third Stone on Nine Six Intl. For over a decade Greg Cypher climbed the ranks of Seattle hip hop as one-half of Kung Foo Grip alongside fellow rapper Eff Is H. Never disappointing with their live show, the duo concocted a hip hop, trap rap, and punk cocktail that saw them looking beyond a single genre for influences. Everyone from Pink Floyd to Nirvana had a hand in shaping their sound. Since releasing their celebrated 2018 record 2KFG, it’s been quiet on the KFG front. Cypher, on the other hand, has been busy releasing his debut solo material. In 2020, he dropped the vibey EP Homebass featuring contributions from Aaron King, Dex Amora, Rick Rude, and even Mr. Hentvii aka Eff is H himself. A year later, his debut album Third Stone was unveiled. A collaboration with producer Def Dee, the record once again sees a number of names hop on the mic over its seven tracks. Our Song of the Day, “Right On,” features the very clever yet possibly not yet recognizable name 10isee Williams. The Seattle-based artist joins Cypher on the loungey track for effortless flows about ignoring what others say and focusing on elevating yourself. On February 25th Cypher is throwing a cassette release/birthday show at Vermillion featuring performances by AJ Suede, Blake Anthony, Edibles, and Mile. Watch Kung Foo Grip’s KEXP in-studio performance from 2018 at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 11, 2022
A La Una - On My Way (feat. Kimmortal)
194
A La Una - "On My Way (feat. Kimmortal)," a 2022 single on Palms High Records. A La Una is the just the latest iteration of a long-running collaboration between Lex Junior and Romeo Candido. Formerly known as DATU, the duo has progressed from focusing on contemporizing traditional Filipino music to a vast landscape of various tempos, stories, and textures as A La Una. Our Song of the Day, “On My Way,” represents just one side or facet of the sounds A La Una is making and sees the duo put Vancouver rapper Kimmortal to the front. Over a ferocious beat, Kimmortal spits a story of resilience in the face of hardship with an allegory for being considered too short to play basketball. Written for the NBA, the song is the lead track in a short film directed by Candido called “Shorty.” Kimmortal said this about the song on Instagram: “Wagkang Mahiya!” - my parents would say this to my siblings and i growing up. It would jolt me up and forward to just do it, to not be shy, to use my voice. Don’t hesitate, don’t hold back, Go in! i wish you all fearlessness, courage and bravery when navigating this terrain. Practise being in your power because you are not powerless, you are powerful, divine and whole.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 10, 2022
Lucius - Next To Normal
191
Lucius - "Next To Normal" from the 2022 album Second Nature on Mom + Pop Records. After spending the past few years lending their voices to their friends’ records such as The War on Drugs’ I Don’t Live Here Anymore and Brandi Carlile’s In These Silent Days, Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe are finally unveiling their latest album as Lucius. Titled Second Nature, the record is due out April 8th and features contributions from Drew Erickson, Rob Moose, and Gabriel Cabezas, plus backing vocals from Carlile and Sheryl Crow. Our Song of the Day is the album's lead single “Next to Normal.” An absolute banger of a track, the song is a groovy disco earworm that sees the duo channel the Bee Gees to great effect. If this is what the whole album sounds like then there’s no way it doesn’t end up on all the year-end lists! “It is a record that begs you not to sit in the difficult moments, but to dance through them,” Wolfe said of Second Nature in a statement. “It touches upon all these stages of grief—and some of that is breakthrough, by the way. Being able to have the full spectrum of the experience that we have had, or that I’ve had in my divorce, or that we had in lockdown, having our careers come to a halt, so to speak. I think you can really hear and feel the spectrum of emotion and hopefully find the joy in the darkness. It does exist. That’s why we made Second Nature and why we wanted it to sound the way it did: our focus was on dancing our way through the darkness.” Watch the appropriately kaleidoscopic video for “Next to Normal” at the link below and check out Lucius’ upcoming tour dates here (unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a Seattle show). Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 09, 2022
Lady Wray - Melody (feat. Melody Bloom Bacote)
228
Lady Wray - "Melody (feat. Melody Bloom Bacote)" from the 2021 album Piece of Me on Big Crown Records. Nicole Wray’s musical career is a long and winding one, with a series of highs like collaborating with Missy Elliot and then getting signed to her label, a certified gold single with 1998’s “Make It Hot,” and doing background vocals for The Black Keys and Lee Fields. Her lows, on the other hand, were devastating. A series of re-signings to various labels from Goldmind to Roc-A-Fella to Def Jam to Dame Dash Music Group led to album pushback after album pushback, stalling her career in a massive way. In truth, she should’ve been an R&B superstar. Thankfully, Wray didn’t give up because her latest record under the name Lady Wray, January’s Piece of Me, is a brilliant blend of soul, R&B and hip hop that feels like an instant classic. Our Song of the Day, “Melody,” is a touching ode to the profound love she’s come to feel from her daughter. A stripped-down guitar ballad, Wray exudes raw emotion over the finger-picked melody. The voice of her daughter sweetly asking, “Is that a star?’ comingles with her sometimes strained, cracked voice for a moment that feels intimate and very real. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 08, 2022
JusMoni - Reckoning
191
JusMoni - "Reckoning," a 2021 self-released single. Here at KEXP, we’ve long been fans of JusMoni aka Moni Tep. Back in 2018, alongside the release of her latest album Sweet to Me, she curated a Midnight in a Perfect World set, the track “Characters” was chosen as Song of the Day, and she played her first KEXP in-studio. Finally, after three years, she’s ready to release something new. Released in November, “Reckoning” appears to be the first taste of an upcoming album titled your body, your skin tone. While a release date has yet to be revealed, this single is great enough to tide us over until she decides to deliver. Typically vibey and celestial, the track is led by a downtempo beat by frequent collaborator Martín Saucelíto that pairs perfectly with JusMoni’s heavenly hums about the effort it takes to heal. “I remember laying on my living room floor, high as hell, piecing all these words together,” JusMoni said in an Instagram post about the song. “I hadn’t started therapy yet. My triggers were creepin up on all sides of me and I was just trying to make way. Sitting in grief, swallowing me full. But for whatever reason, all the reasons- I seen somethin better for me.” Watched the video for “Reckoning,” directed by Abdul Kassamali, at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 07, 2022
Chastity Belt - Fear
257
Chastity Belt - "Fear," a 2021 self-released single. Local faves Chastity Belt recently returned with the limited 7” ‘Fake/Fear,’ the quartet’s first release since 2020’s “The Process,” a digital split release with Melbourne trio Loose Tooth. “Fear” was the first of the two to be shared and is an anxiously dreamy slow-burner about going through life with uneasy trepidation. Lead guitarist Lydia Lund penned this one and had this to say about the song: “I wrote the song a few summers ago based around a dream I had. At one point in the dream, I was opening door after door, noticing the fear build, then dissipate upon opening, then build again when I realized there was yet another door. It felt like my dream was giving me practice in noticing my fear as something separate from the thing causing the fear, as something potentially more harmful and unbearable. About a year later I was recording vocals out at my parents’ place. My mom knocked on the door – ‘is there anything you want to talk to me about? Is there something you’re afraid of?’ At that point I’d become so detached from the lyrics of the song it took me a minute to realize she thought I was doing some kind of primal scream therapy. And I guess in a way I am.” The song came with a medieval-themed video directed by Eleanor Petry, who chatted with KEXP about her relationship with Chastity Belt and the making of the videos for both “Fear” and “Fake” back in December. Watch the video at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 04, 2022
Boy Harsher - Give Me a Reason
266
Boy Harsher - "Give Me a Reason" from the 2022 album The Runner on NUDE CLUB. The Northampton, MA-via-Savannah, GA duo Boy Harsher recently added filmmaker to their resume with the release of their debut feature film The Runner. Obviously, any arthouse horror film wouldn’t be complete without a killer soundtrack and vocalist/lyricist Jae Matthews and producer Augustus Muller have been readying themselves since 2013 by making cold darkwave that makes for a perfect backdrop to horrifying tension. Our Song of the Day, “Give Me a Reason,” is the second track on the original soundtrack for the film and strikes a perfect balance of spooky and sensual with its throbbing, droney ambiance. “Did you mean to touch me that way?” asks Matthews with a gruff. “Come and tell me /I'm the only one /Speak of the devil /And she will appear.” “With ‘Give Me a Reason,’ we wanted to write something that encapsulates that feeling of yearning — the way we feel when we catch eyes from across the room,” said Matthews in a statement. “Our music can be flirty and crushable, and it’s fun to play with that.” Boy Harsher is taking The Runner on tour this spring, with a date in Seattle on April 15th at the Crocodile. Watch the trailer for The Runner at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 03, 2022
Dijon - Talk Down
152
Dijon - "Talk Down" from the 2021 album Absolutely on Warner. LA-based artist and former half of the alt R&B duo Abhi//Dijon, Dijon released his debut album Absolutely back in November, perhaps just a smidge too late in the year for listeners to spend the appropriate time cozying up with it for the album to end up on the 2021 year-end lists that it absolutely should have been on. A home-run of a first record, Absolutely is a brilliant blend of smooth R&B and downtempo pop, with flourishes of Americana. Our Song of the Day, “Talk Down,” is just one of the many highlights on Absolutely. Built upon a shuffling breakbeat, Dijon huskily croons out an arresting story of a couple on a road trip, where landscapes change, arguments ensue, and the radio is constantly playing music in the background. Gillian Welch, the Band, and Liz Phair soundtrack their journey, often distracting the narrator from their conversation who pleads to turn the music down. Dijon will be on tour starting late April 2022, with a stop in Seattle on May 22nd at the Crocodile. Watch an abbreviated live version of “Talk Down” at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 02, 2022
Parris - Skater's World (feat. Eden Samara)
213
Parris - "Skater's World (feat. Eden Samara)" from the 2021 album Soaked In Indigo Moonlight on Can You Feel The Sun. Parris is a London-born-and-raised producer who has been using his grime, drum 'n' bass, and pop influences to weave diverse soundscapes since his 2017 split single release Burr / Blue. 2021 saw him finally unveil his debut full-length, Soaked in Indigo Moonlight, which intertwines stripped-down, airy compositions, jittery experiments, and club-rooted pop for a dynamic, exciting listen. Our Song of the Day, “Skater’s World,” is one of the poppiest, upbeat, and carefree tracks on the record. Featuring upcoming London-via-Toronto singer/producer Eden Samara, the track is a frenetic eulogy to friendship and skateboarding. Parris aka Dwayne Parris-Robinson says this about the album: “The only constant truth is change. This is a record about understanding yourself. This is a record about finding the support you trust so you can have the confidence to start building. It is a record about friendship. About hanging out, about skating. This is an album built on Pop, then torn into my thing. Charli XCX, Lana Del Rey, Frank Ocean, Kewngface, Digga D, SL, Unknown T, Vince Staples, Lil Peep, Denzel Curry and Emmy the Great: if you’ve known me then you’ve known these are the reverberations in my head. I write music in blue, this album is my indigo. They say only moonlight shows your true reflection, that is the light of this record.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 01, 2022
serpentwithfeet - Down Nuh River
127
serpentwithfeet - "Down Nuh River" from the 2021 EP DEACON'S Grove on Secretly Canadian. In March of 2021, Los Angeles-via-Baltimore experimental soul artist serpentwithfeet released his sophomore album DEACON, which ended up on both KEXP’s Larry Rose and Larry Mizell Jr.’s top albums of 2021. While that one incredible record would’ve been quite sufficient for one year’s release, the artist who’s legally known as Josiah Wise quickly followed that up with a companion EP this past October titled DEACON'S Grove featuring reinterpretations of two DEACON songs, a remix of “Fellowship” featuring Ambre and Alex Isley, and the new songs “Down Nuh River” and “Shoot Ya Shot.” Our Song of the Day, “Down Nuh River,” is characteristically hushed but playful in its sing-song manner. “When working on ‘Down Nuh River’ I was thinking of all the songs that me, my friends and cousins made up as kids," serpentwithfeet said of the song. "We had so much fun creating and reinventing songs on the playground and the porch. I wanted to channel that energy in this track." The song comes with a video that channels that youthful spirit. Directed by Keith Nedd, the video sees Wise a few friends performing a choreographed dance routine on a school football field, dressed in matching outfits made for the playfield. Watch the video for “Down Nuh River” as well as serpentwithfeet’s Live on KEXP at Home session with Larry Mizell Jr. from 2020 at the link below and catch serpentwithfeet in Seattle on Saturday, February 26th at Neumos. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 31, 2022
Friedberg - Yeah
175
Friedberg - "Yeah" from the 2021 album YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH on Marathon Artists. Indie pop quartet Friedberg is named after frontwoman Anna F.’s Austrian hometown and is just the latest project from the musician, who had a successful solo career in her native country that included two chart-topping records and four Amadeus Austrian Music Awards, before joining forces with Emily Linden, Laura Williams and Cheryl Pinero as Friedberg. One could say that Anna F.’s prestigious history is the reason Friedberg has been making major waves despite only having a string of singles and one five-song EP out but that would be extremely reductive to the incredible music the band is making. Our Song of the Day, the abridged title track off 2021’s Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah, is pure, unadulterated fun. What the song lacks in depth, it makes up for in spades with its catchy dance groove and joyful exuberance. Anna F. had this to say about the song: “‘Yeah’ is my personal anthem for letting go – of everything and anything. From voices in your head, pictures popping up and patterns you have learnt. When we wrote the song we were just dancing to the groove in the studio until all those voices and things disappeared and basically only the yeahs, the beat and bassline remained. Dancing yourself clean I suppose.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 28, 2022
Qlowski - Folk Song
218
Qlowski - "Folk Song" from the 2021 album Quale Futuro? on Maple Death Records. London-by-way-of-Italy art-punk outfit Qlowski is led by Michele Tellarini and Cecilia Corapi. Friends since the age of 16, the duo have dabbled with a number of sounds and influences over the past decade, which is apparent on their debut full-length Quale Futuro? which eccentrically fuses new wave and post-punk with just a flourish of twee for a sound that’s both nostalgic and refreshing. Our Song of the Day, “Folk Song,” is deceptive in its titling because, for all the genres the band meshes together, folk is not one of them. Abrasive rhythms coincide with motorik guitar strums while Tellarini mumble-roars nearly imperceptible lyrics, sounding like a fusion of Robert Smith, Joe Talbot, and Hamish Kilgour. The song comes with a video directed by Eli Hart. The band had this to say about it: "The original idea was to recreate a late 70s/early 80s Top of the Pops scenario - but given the nature of the song we opted for a more dreamy/nightmarish vibe. The presenter is struggling pronouncing our name and no one in the crowd is even slightly touched by our performance and music. Everyone is actually frozen in time, as if our music wasn’t even reaching their reality. For once we wanted to be ironic and funny, but it turned out quite Lynchian I'm afraid!" Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 27, 2022
Amelie Siba - hold on to me
219
Amelie Siba - "hold on to me" from the 2021 self-released EP when is our time. Prague-based singer-songwriter Amelie Siba makes quiet, intimate songs that are simple in instrumentation so as to focus on Siba’s childlike falsetto which belies the maturity of her songwriting. Following 2019’s introductory EP titled It Was Nice to Meet You, Siba’s 2020 debut full-length Dye My Hair arrived when the musician was just 17 years old and went on to earn her the critics’ choice Apollo award for the Czech album of the year. 2021 saw Siba release both the EP when is our time and the full-length Love Cowboys. Our Song of the Day, “hold on to me,” comes from the latter release. While the EP continues Siba’s penchant for gentle melodies and airy vocals, she sets aside the guitar to incorporate electronic beats for just the smallest hint of danceability over the EP’s four songs. “hold on to me” closes out the EP with spacious, layered vocals with the wistful sentiment of yearning to be loved and held. Amelie Siba played the Netherlands-based non-profit showcase for European artists Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) this past weekend. At the link below, watch Siba’s video for “New Normal,” a song off the Czech film of the same name from the Laterna for Camera series. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 26, 2022
Meskerem Mees - Joe
193
Meskerem Mees - "Joe" from the 2021 album Julius on Mayway Records. Belgium-based singer-songwriter Meskerem Mees first appeared on the scene in 2020 with her debut single, “Joe.” A sweet and simple guitar ballad, Mees’ soft, clear voice takes center stage and pulls listeners in with her saccharine coos, making it an easy choice for Song of the Day. “Joe” went on to become a massive commercial and critical success in Belgium and its neighboring countries and set Mees up to release her debut album Julius in November 2021. At only 22 years old, the 13 songs that make up Julius show an artist fully formed in her timeless delivery of catchy, well-crafted folk-pop gems. With just her voice, an acoustic guitar, and the cello of her sister-in-arms Febe Lazou, the sparse songs carry so much more weight than their simplicity belies. Meskerem Mees played the Netherlands-based non-profit showcase for European artists Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) this past weekend, where they were also awarded with the Grand Jury MME Award for the Music Moves Europe Awards. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 25, 2022
LADANIVA - Vay Aman
199
LADANIVA - "Vay Aman" from the 2020 EP Ladaniva on Planete B. Ladaniva is the musical partnership between Armenian singer Jacqueline Baghdasaryan and French multi-instrumentalist Louis Thomas. Founded by the duo in 2019, they went viral in the early days of the pandemic with the release of the video for our Song of the Day, “Vay Aman.” Set in a sunny locale with faces full of joy, it’s hard not to smile while watching their effervescent playing. Ladaniva’s music takes influences from all around the world, from traditional Balkan music to maloya, jazz and reggae, with strong roots in Armenian folk. It reflects Baghdasaryan’s DNA, of Armenian and Belarussian descent while Thomas came from a family of musicians and began to play trumpet at the age of 7. After a jazz course at the conservatory, he traveled with his instruments around Africa and Latin America and got introduced to a long list of musical genres through meetings with traditional musicians. The two fused their backgrounds and styles after meeting in Lille, France, where Baghdasaryan is a vocal teacher at the MusicaLille music school.  Ladaniva played the Netherlands-based non-profit showcase for European artists Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) this past weekend, where they were also awarded with the esteemed prize of Public Choice Award for the Music Moves Europe Awards. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 24, 2022
Jayomi - Julia
186
Jayomi - "Julia" from the 2021 self-released album Midnight Love Note. Local band Jayomi has been wowing underground audiences with their dreamy take on indiepop for a few years now but didn’t release recorded music until 2019’s Wet Burrito. The album was the band’s attempt to recreate the sad yet beautiful nature of those late romantic composers through the lens of modern day indie pop music. Since the pandemic, the lineup has slimmed to just frontman Jon Wu and his partner Ruka Bleu. Together, they created Jayomi’s latest release midnight love note, released in September 2021. Our Song of the Day, “Julia,” is the opening track off the record and displays a sense of longing. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 21, 2022
Parcels - Somethinggreater
200
Parcels - "Somethinggreater" from the 2021 album Day/Night on Because Music. Australia-born, Berlin-based five-piece Parcels make groovy electropop, blending funk and disco in intoxicating fashion. Their 2018 self-titled debut blew up with a little help from Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, better known as Daft Punk, who produced the album’s lead single “Overnight.” But the assist from one of the world’s most popular disco duos hasn’t led Parcels to rest on their laurels. With their latest album, Day/Night, the band created an ambitious double album that plays out like a sweeping movie soundtrack. Our Song of the Day, “Somethinggreater,” is the album’s lead single and proves that the Aussies picked up a thing or two from their French friends. Slinky and sexy, the bouncey track has a natural groove that ebbs between subdued emotional moments and energetic dancefloor bursts. The band had this to say bout the song: “In early 2020, Noah showed us a demo that contained a chorus line that had us all particularly excited. It had an anthem-like quality and felt really fitting to what we were channelling through the albums. We jammed out the track in our rehearsal room in Berlin and fell upon the chorus groove all at once, a special instantaneousness that seems to be only achieved in a live jam, and as a result we proceeded to play it for hours. Anatole began to cry with the tears that usually come from when you are lost in a night-club, alas, we felt we had hit something really special. With the song’s clear message of search and discovery, it felt absolutely right to record ‘Somethinggreater’ first upon entering La Frette studios.” The song comes with a video directed by Carmen Crommelin. Watch it at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 20, 2022
Bully - Just for Love
198
Bully - "Just For Love," a 2021 single on Sub Pop. If you somehow missed SUGAREGG, the third studio album from Nashville’s Bully, when it was released a year and a half ago then it’s definitely time to circle back. Furious and fiery, Alicia Bognanno put her all into the record, which just finally got to be played on live stages this past December. Ahead of that nine-date east coast tour, Bognanno revealed a new single called “Just For Love.” Co-produced by John Congleton during the SUGAREGG sessions, the song is similarly raw and wiry, with Bognanno’s lyrics half-obscured by her coarse expressions. While it’s not exactly clear, my interpretation of the song is it’s a conversation with one’s self about wanting to grow and change and to do it for yourself this time rather than for a partner (if so, great advice). Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 19, 2022
Ibibio Sound Machine - Electricity
288
Ibibio Sound Machine - "Electricity," a 2021 single on Merge. Just about three years ago, when the world was in a very different place, KEXP celebrated International Clash Day by venturing across the pond to London for a showcase of upcoming artists that radiate the spirit of the Clash in vibrant, diverse ways. One of the most electrifying performances over those four days came from electro Afro-funk ensemble Ibibio Sound Machine. Fusing the polyrhythms of West African funk, highlife, disco, and post-punk, the Nigeria-born, London-based band light stages figuratively on fire with their genre-bending sound. This fall, the band released their first single since their 2019 LPDoko Mienwith a title fitting for a band with this much kinetic energy. “Electricity” sees Ibibio Sound Machine team up with Hot Chip for a pulsing electronic track with elements of West African instrumentation. ISM vocalist Eno Williams had this to say about “Electricity”: “Even in trying times, ‘without love, there’s no electricity.’ This one started out as an idea to mix Afrobeat with Giorgio Moroder–style synth vibes. The end section with Alfred’s korego (Ghanaian 2-stringed folk guitar) solo was already there when we got into the studio, but then we added the big kick drum that happens underneath and Owen from Hot Chip’s crazy drum machine percussion at the end, which gave it a futuristic Afro feel when mixed with the more talking drum parts.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 18, 2022
Beach House - Once Twice Melody
285
Beach House Once - "Twice Melody" from the 2022 album Once Twice Melody on Sub Pop. As longtime fans and champions of Baltimore-based band Beach House, the excitement over the dream pop duo’s partially-released double LP Once Twice Melody is feverish, to say the least. With two of the four chapters already released, it’s clear to see Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have a masterpiece on their hands with their eighth studio record. Our Song of the Day is the album’s title track and the lead single off the album. As also the opening track, “Once Twice Melody” sets the dreamy, cinematic mood that Beach House has made their signature over the past 18(?!) years. For the first time, a live string ensemble is brought in to back the sparkling synths and arpeggiated guitar strums, adding lush texture and drama. Legrand’s lyrics are similarly illusory, telling the story of a girl who lives in her head - preferring romantic daydreams over the dull realities of life. The third chapter of Once Twice Melody is out this Wednesday, January 19th. The full release is Friday, February 18th with an option of a Limited “GOLD” Edition 2xLP in a gold-embossed, hinged box on gold and clear vinyl with full-color booklet and 2 exclusive posters if you want to go all in. Beach House is (hopefully, depending on Covid) heading out on tour this February, with a date in Seattle on Sunday, April 3rd at the Paramount. Watch the lyric video for “Once Twice Melody” at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 17, 2022
Floored Faces - I'd Be Broke
225
Floored Faces - "I'd Be Broke" from the 2021 self-released album Kool Hangs. Floored Faces are the latest to emerge from Seattle’s heavy rock scene, drawing influence from Northwest greats like the Melvins, Tad, and the Sonics. Fusing that heavy rock energy with psychedelic and indie, the trio makes songs just as melodic as they are dense. Our Song of the Day, “I’d Be Broke,” is an excellent example of this harmonious fusion. Anchored by a sludgy, throbbing riff, flourishes of bright guitar and harmonic vocals lightens the load for a vibey head-bobber of a track. The song comes off of Floored Faces’ November release, Kool Hangs. Somewhat of a concept album, Kool Hangs “explores the absurd yet tangible fantasy of an apocalyptic world where the only personal belongings that remain are a motocross bike and a cassette copy of Monster Magnet's 'Dopes to Infinity', and a shotgun,” according to Bandcamp. In an interview, the band described “I’d Be Broke” as, “A love song to time and space —fleeting experiences with a flash flood of life always coming at us full steam. It’s about holding people and memories we love close. Dedicated to a close friend who passed away too soon: never spend your time unwisely, never go broke.” The song was released alongside a video that starts out in a winter wonderland starring a very pale girl in red but then makes the stark transition to the complete opposite terrain - sunny beaches and the surfers who ride the waves. Watch the video, directed by Floored Faces, at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 14, 2022
Constant Smiles - Run To Stay
158
Constant Smiles - "Run to Stay" from the 2021 album Paragons on Sacred Bones. Since 2009, Constant Smiles have been churning out roughly an album a year, amassing a pretty enormous discography that’s now 15 records deep. Led by Ben Jones, the band is more of a collective, with more than 50 members providing contributions over the past 13 years. While Constant Smiles have tried out a number of varying sounds over the years, their latest release sees the collective join the Sacred Bones family for a 13-track record of dynamic indie rock titled Paragons. Our Song of the Day is the album’s lead single “Run to Stay,” a mid-tempo strummer with a shimmering, wistful tone. “‘Run To Stay’ is about not being present in the moment, and struggling with antisocial tendencies,” explains Jones. “Like when you’re at a party or talking to someone but you’re only half paying attention to what they’re saying because you can’t stop thinking about other things you need to do. Or when you avoid hanging out with friends because you want to work on music or something, but nothing comes to you so you just end up sitting around all day.” The song comes with a video self-directed by the band that sees its members traveling separately, in various modes of transportation. Says Jones of the video, “We were trying to capture that anxious feeling of always needing to be somewhere or be doing something else but realizing that it isn’t ever that important.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 13, 2022
Lætitia Sadier - New Moon
247
Lætitia Sadier - "New Moon," a 2021 single on Drag City. Laetitia Sadier’s heavenly croons became familiar to us via Stereolab back when they appeared on the scene in the early ‘90s. On our Song of the Day, “New Moon,” Sadier proves her vocals have not only remained intact but, like a fine wine, have grown with age. The lead single off her forthcoming, as yet untitled, solo record is founded by a sultry bossa nova beat with dreamy guitar strums and poetic, somewhat esoteric, lyricism. “Dreaming you fall /Into being /Turbulent transition /Evade /Overriding /The feelings,” Sadier calls out. Recorded in London by Sadier and Hannes Plattmeier, she had this to say about "New Moon": "The nature of trauma - by going through a process of feeling the emotions of all of that has stricken or afflicted us, individually. By not avoiding these feelings, it's a way to evolve and cut the ties of the past, that are keeping us down and into the turmoil we are currently experiencing.” The new record follows 2017’s Find Me Finding You, which was released under the name Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble. Stereolab released the compilation album Electrically Possessed, which collected the band's rarities spanning from 1999 to 2008, in early 2021. Watch the video for “New Moon,” directed by Sadier and Tanya Small, at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 12, 2022
Bonobo - Rosewood
243
Bonobo - "Rosewood" from the 2022 album Fragments on Ninja Tune. Since the late ‘90s, Simon Green has been sharing his sweeping electronic grooves as Bonobo to much acclaim. 2022 will see him unveil his hotly anticipated seventh full-length Fragments. Created during the pandemic, the songs were made out of fragmented pieces of ideas the British-born, LA-based producer put together while on lockdown with the help of some notable names like Jamila Woods, Joji, Kadhja Bonet, and Jordan Rakei. Our Song of the Day is the record’s lead single, “Rosewood.” Customarily warm and woozy, the song has a locked groove with the repeating phrase, “I won’t leave you,” providing emotional resonance until the song’s cathartic dance floor build-up. It’s a lesson in restraint, letting the subtle flourishes of the song shine while never fully releasing or doing too much. Fragments is out this Friday, January 14 via Ninja Tune. It follows up Bonobo’s 2020 collaborative EP with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Heartbreak / 6000 Ft. and his Grammy-nominated 2017 full-length Migration. Watch Bonobo’s KEXP in-studio session from 2017 at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 11, 2022
Carrie Biell - Come By
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Carrie Biell - "Come By" from the 2022 self-released album We Get Along. As one-quarter of Moon Palace, which she founded with her twin sister Cat Biell, Carrie Biell makes warm and rambling indie rock with a hint of desert psychedelia. For her solo work, which she’s been releasing since 2001’s treasured and difficult to find Symphony of Sirens, her music is much more intimate, stripped-down, and nearly always downtempo. Our Song of the Day, “Come By,” sounds like it could easily be a Sharon Van Etten track, with Biell’s gravelly voice leading slow-chugging guitar strums with just the faintest twang. The song comes from Beill’s forthcoming pandemic-made record We Get Along, out in February 2022. The record will be her first solo full-length in 14 years, following 2008’s When Your Feet Hit the Stars. Biell had this to say about “Come By”: “This song means the world to me because it is the first song I wrote in the whole collection for the record. It was after playing a show with my friend, Sera Cahoone. She suggested that we should collaborate on a song and then I ran with it. Sera added harmonies, and also came up with ideas for some of the song’s instrumentation. “‘Come By’ is about the moment a long flirtation crosses over into more between two people who are both healing from long partnerships that ended unexpectedly. It’s a new beginning, that none of them envisioned for themselves. It’s a much-needed leap forward, and although there may be a lot of past relationship baggage hanging over, or seem too soon after a breakup, there is an ask to set that all aside and go for it. To let yourself enjoy the moment and take a leap with a new person.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 10, 2022
Eternia & Rel McCoy - Home (feat. Shad & SHEAL)
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Eternia & Rel McCoy - "Home (feat. Shad & SHEAL)" from the 2021 album FREE on Fat Beats. This past September saw two of Toronto’s hip hop stars team up for a collaborative album titled FREE. Juno-nominated rapper Eternia and Juno-winning producer Rel McCoy put together twelve tracks that flex their skills while shining a light on some of the criminally underrated talent that’s coming out of Canada. Our Song of the Day, “Home,” sees two of those underrated talents join them, Juno-winning rapper Shad and angelic vocalist SHEAL. Inspired by and built off of the latter artist’s 2016 track of the same name, the song samples SHEAL’s emotional hook and is led by Eternia’s opening bars exploring displacement, loneliness, and homelessness. Shad then joins in for an incredible verse about his idea of home and the struggle to plant seeds while Rel’s downtempo instrumental guides them, well, home. The song comes with a video by Noisemaker Media’s Mark Carrenceja, who focuses squarely on the faces of the artists while journeying through two of Eternia’s homes - her former Queens and, now, Toronto. Watch the video at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 07, 2022
NeONE the Wonderer - Nose Dive
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NeONE the Wonderer - "Nose Dive" from the 2021 album Future Bubblers 5.0 on Brownswood Recordings. Nathan Lawrence might have a limited body of work at NeONE the Wonderer, just a smattering of singles going back to early Summer 2020, but what the UK-based artist has out showcases a fully-formed artist with a captivating point of view. Our Song of the Day, “Nose Dive,” displays his penchant for jazzy, grooves, intoxicating soulful croons, and effortless flows on topics both personal and metaphysical. The song comes from the 5th edition of the Future Bubblers compilation. An expansion of Gilles Peterson’s network supported by Arts Council England and the PRS Foundation, Future Bubblers is an ongoing talent discovery and artist development scheme focuses on developing unsigned talent and building audiences for new left-field music. The compilation acts as a springboard for the musician’s careers with the cooperative model providing direct revenue to the artists by a share of the profits resulting in a sustainable income to work from. Previous Future Bubblers include artists such as Yazmin Lacey, Skinny Pelembe, MC Snowy, Forest Law and Kayla Painter to name a few. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 06, 2022
Earl Sweatshirt - Tabula Rasa (feat. Armand Hammer)
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Earl Sweatshirt - "Tabula Rasa (feat. Armand Hammer)" from the 2022 album Sick on Tan Cressida, inc/Warner. Former Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt is gearing up to release his latest album, Sick, this month and the anticipation couldn’t be higher. His first release since 2019’s introspective Feet of Clay, Sick is still mostly a mystery other than the two singles released ahead of its arrival, “2010” and “Tabula Rasa.” The latter track is our Song of the Day and for good reason. Featuring the duo that made one of the biggest marks on hip hop in 2021, Armand Hammer, the song is a woozy spectacle of talent. An unchanging repeating piano line and fractured sample make a perfect bed for Earl, Elucid, and billy woods to lay their lyrics on. Each politely taking his own turn, they lethargically spit their individual truths for a poetic manifesto. “Sick is my humble offering of 10 songs recorded in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns,” Earl Sweatshirt said in a statement. “Before the virus, I had been working on an album I named after a book I used to read with my mother (The People Could Fly). Once the lockdowns hit, people couldn’t fly anymore. A wise man said art imitates life. People were sick. The People were angry and isolated and restless. I leaned into the chaos cause it was apparent that it wasn’t going anywhere. These songs are what happened when I would come up for air.” Sick is out January 14 via Tan Cressida/Warner Records. “Tabula Rasa” was released alongside a lo-fi video of the rappers in the studio, making magic happen (or, in the case of billy woods, grilling ribs). Watch it at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 05, 2022