Song of the Day


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 Aug 16, 2018

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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
J'von - Blacc Moses
J’von - "Blacc Moses" from the 2021 album KING CHEETAH on Empty Planet. “I need something that sounds like a win,” J’Von announces at the beginning of “Blacc Moses.” And, indeed, the story he weaves is one of triumph. Starting at the beginning, with his childhood, the Seattle rapper paints a picture of a mother stricken with grief but keeping it together for her four boys and how that molded him into an empathetic but unassailable human who would look at life with a keen and level-headed lens.  The song comes from J’Von’s 2021 album KING CHEETAH, his latest in a nearly annual record release string since 2015. More than solely a rapper, J’Von can count the titles of producer, animator, creative director, and father on his rapidly expanding resume. “They have that whole ‘jack of all trades master of none’… I hate that,” J’Von told KEXP’s Dusty Henry in 2019. “I don't want to be that. I don't want to be the dude that's alright at everything. I want to be amazing at everything.” That sounds like a win to me. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 22, 2021
Tiawa - Life Is Not a Crime
Tiawa - "Life Is Not a Crime" from the 2021 album Moonlit Train on Tru Thoughts. Brighton-based musician Tiawa fuses hip hop, neo-soul, and the Latin folk of her Portuguese heritage for an exploratory yet unhurried experience on her debut album Moonlit Train. Released at the beginning of the summer, the album features production by collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Jack-Chi aka Jack Kingslake and a thematic concept that maps a metaphorical train journey from relationships through to healing and liberation. Our Song of the Day, “Life Is Not a Crime” focuses on the liberation from oppression. A gorgeous Spanish guitar riff and lackadaisical electronic beat ground the song while Tiawa’s woozy vocals float in a nearly imperceptible tone to create more “vibe” than message. What does come through, though, - words like “frightened” and “silenced” coupled with “life is not a crime” - paints a clear picture of Tiawa’s story and intention. "Each song on the album is an emotion,” Tiawa explains. “I hope it helps to heal people in serious situations and make them feel better when they listen.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 21, 2021
Helixx C. Armageddon - Rollercoaster
Helixx C. Armageddon - "Rollercoaster," a 2021 single on Creative Juices Music. While “Rollercoaster” might be the sole single one can currently find on streaming platforms by Helixx C. Armageddon, the New York-based artist has a wealth of songs, poems, and beats going back over 20 years. Probably best known as a member of The Anomolies, an all-women hip-hop supergroup founded in the late '90s NYC alongside Invincible, Pri the Honey Dark, Big Tara and DJ Kuttin Kandi,  Armageddon is a treasure trove of creative energy that has emersed herself in nearly every medium of artistry one can engage with over the years. “Rollercoaster” comes from the anticipated forthcoming full-length House of Helixx and wrestles with the dips in the proverbial rollercoaster of life. The low lows are something Armageddon knows well. Sleep paralysis, depression, and social media addiction are a few of the demons that plague her but Armageddon keeps her perspective by acknowledging that “There isn’t one person on Earth that isn’t riddled with holes.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 20, 2021
Cleo Sol - Don't Let It Go to Your Head
Cleo Sol - "Don't Let It Go to Your Head" from the 2021 album Mother on Forever Living Originals. If her name doesn’t sound familiar, her angelic vocals have been on full display here at KEXP as a contributor to the mysterious UK collective SAULT. But Cleo Sol is a star in her own right, with a penchant for intimate neo-soul that’s both heartwarming and spacious. Her latest record, August’s Mother, is especially personal as its subject matter is grounded in the beautiful yet overwhelming adventure of becoming a mother. Our Song of the Day, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head,” is smack dab in the middle of the record and one of the funkier tracks on the album, with an intricate drum beat leading the way rather than the twinkling piano, sparse guitar, and shimmering strings that fill the majority of the songs. “Don't let it go to your head,” Sol croons. “Love is stronger than fear /Don't let it change who you are /You are meant to be here.” While the song was likely written as a lesson to her baby girl about the importance of being willing to love without compromising yourself, it’s something we all likely need to be reminded of from time to time. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 19, 2021
Adeline - Stages (feat. KAMAUU)
Adeline - "Stages (feat. KAMAUU)" from the 2021 album Adi Oasis on Unity Records. French Caribbean singer and bassist Adeline makes funk-fueled soul that’s as joyful as it is political. The Paris-born, New York-based artist might be best known for fronting the nu-disco band Escort but broke out on her own in 2018 with her debut self-titled album. In it, she tackles difficult subjects that are close to her heart, such as immigration and feminism, while still making your booty bounce. For her third record in almost as many years, Adeline channels the fear and confusion brought on by the pandemic but reveals those ideas in a groovy, dancefloor-ready way. The record’s opening track and our Song of the Day, “Stages,” blends a surfy guitar riff, funky bass line, and an exuberant verse from New York rapper KAMAUU for a song that touches on the challenges the music industry brings. Adeline says this about the song: “Stages” is about my journey in the music business as a young black woman, but it’s relevant to indie artists in general, and everyone who’s hustling to reach their goals. I’ve had many experiences of not being taken seriously, of people making me feel like I’m not good enough, and of being hit on by fake aspiring collaborators who turned out to have ulterior motives. ‘Stages’ is my self-affirming chant reminding me that ‘I’m not going to take sh*t from anybody anymore. I got this. I trust myself’. Having KAMAUU on the song felt perfect because not only is he talented beyond words, but he’s also been a great advocate for me as a female producer.”  “Stages is also a reminder to myself that no matter where I am in my musical journey, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. When people discover a “new artist”, they often don’t realize they’re actually seeing the result of years and years of hard work. And while it’s tempting as an artist to compare ourselves to other artists who might seem to be having more success, every stage is a win -- a necessary step towards the next one. There are so many different ways of measuring success, and every artist’s journey is unique. I get to create this story in the way that works for me.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 18, 2021
Guazú & Terror/Cactus - Almita
Guazú & Terror/Cactus - "Almita" from the 2021 EP Botanas: Guazú & Terror Cactus on Shika Shika Collective. “Almita” is one of three tracks on an EP that melds the simpatico genius of two Argentine-born producers living nearly seven thousand miles away from each other. With Lucas Page a.k.a GUAZÚ  in Buenos Aires and Martin Selasco aka Terror/Cactus in Seattle, it should have been difficult to find each other. Luckily, with the help of social media, the two recognized their shared history and influences as well as their individual styles and started exchanging remixes. Via email, a collaboration was sprung and, with the help of Berlin label Shika Shika, Botanas was born. GUAZÚ’s dark and mysterious sound is centered around the rich percussive legacy of Latin America with ample use of marimbas, bombo legüeros, warm guitars, kalimbas and birdsong . Terror/Cactus’ more upbeat sound takes its main inspiration from cumbia with a modern electronic flair. Together, they’ve made something that seems like it could fit just as comfortably in the techno clubs of their label’s hometown  as in the dancehalls of Buenos Aires. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 15, 2021
Xenia Rubinos - Cógelo Suave
Xenia Rubinos - "Cógelo Suave," a 2021 single on Anti-. Renowned for forging a sound that’s completely her own, with influences ranging from R&B to punk, you never know what you’re gonna get from Xenia Rubinos. The Brooklyn-based daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban father uses her Berklee degree in jazz composition and early influences of classical music and opera to warp modern genres in unique yet timeless fashion.  One of the handful of singles the past year, “Cógelo Suave,” is one of those left-field songs that only Rubinos could pull off so well.  “It’s a gibberish spaceship ride, high speed chase, birds and stars whirring around your head at the end of a cartoon fight,” Rubinos said in a statement about the song and, really, it’s the most apt description. Made up primarily of swirling scat sounds, the few phrases dictated in the English language are “Well, I don’t know” and “I’m doing fine.” Which makes sense, considering the song was born during the height of the pandemic, Spring 2020, when despair and paranoia were the overwhelming feelings of the moment. “The more I think about it, the more I realize that the world was totally burning down around us while we were producing this track,” Rubinos shared on Twitter, “and in Cógelo Suave I guess I’m saying ‘I’m fine. THIS IS FINE.'” As the song whirls down from its psychedelic high, a vintage-sounding voice floats down from the heavens saying, “Penetrando los misterios del universo” - “Penetrating the mysteries of the universe” - which is part of a taped radio show that Rubinos found digging through her dad’s old cassettes. An appropriate addition considering when the present is so awful, it makes sense to turn to the past.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 14, 2021
Quantic & Nidia Góngora - Macumba de Marea
Quantic & Nidia Góngora - "Macumba de Marea," a 2021 single on Tru Thoughts. Since 2017, British producer Will Holland AKA Quantic and Colombian folk singer-songwriter Nidia Góngora have been joining forces to amplify each other’s respective crafts. Him, as a prolific expert in the art of electronic dance music. Her, as one of the foremost artists of the marimba music of the South Pacific region and a guardian of the oral tradition. Together, they’ve married their skills to offer something uniquely special. Four years after collaborating for the dancefloor-ready full-length Curao, the duo have joined forces again for a softer, more sultry single with “Macumba de Marea.” An offering from the pair’s forthcoming album Almas Conectadas, out October 22nd, the song swelters under the summer sun, stretching out languorously while a bevy of instruments shake, rattle, and moan. Góngora had this to say about the track:  “This song speaks of the importance of the rituals to say goodbye to our dead, through actions, charged with mysticism, spirituality and beliefs that define our cultural identity.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 13, 2021
Susana Baca - Sorongo
Susana Baca - "Sorongo" from the 2021 album Palabras Urgentes on Real World Records. Singer, musicologist, writer, three-time Latin Grammy winner, and a former Minister of Culture in her native Peru, Susana Baca has been a treasure to the Peruvian people for five decades now. A champion of the revival of Afro-Peruvian music, Baca’s latest album “Palabras Urgentes,” is an enthralling 10 song set that pays homage to the heritage and tradition of those that once fought for a better world and features production by Snarky Puppy’s Michael League.  The record’s lead single and our Song of the Day, “Sorongo,” is Baca’s take on a song by salsa composer Tite Curet Alonso. Alonso was a prolific writer, originally from Puerto Rico, who penned more than 2,000 songs in a thirty year career and “Sorongo” was first released by his friend Rafael Cortijo Y Su Bonche in the late 1960s. More recently the song was recorded by Calle 13 (who also collaborated with Susana Baca on the Latin Grammy-winning song “Latinoamerica.”) “Within ‘Sorongo’, one can find intuition, strength, feeling and enunciation,” says Baca of the song. “I spent many nights trying to find the right way of singing ‘Sorongo’… in the end it is only with the presence of the musicians that accompanied me that it found vitality. I am sure that Sorongo’ is faith found at the crossroad between feelings and rhythm.” Michael League added: “Sorongo is a very interesting track because of its history with Calle 13 and because it’s a powerhouse track on a record that doesn’t really have powerhouse tracks. This is like a freight train and stands apart from the rest of the record in that way but Susana was really, really adamant about feeling Africa in Sorongo, so we made a lot of really interesting decisions during the recording process about textures and sounds and structure to make you feel the connection between the sugar fields in Peru and the African roots of the people who were enslaved and working them.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 12, 2021
Sean Beaver - TECH-YES
Sean Beaver - "TECH-YES" from the 2020 self-released album Electric Turtle Dreams Sean Beaver is an indigenous Canadian electronic artist who is based in Calgary, Alberta. Originally from the Driftpile First Nation in northern Alberta and of Cree descent, Beaver is award-winning in the indigenous communities, with nominations for Best Instrumental Album at the Indigenous Music Awards in 2015 and 2017, Best Instrumental CD at the Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards in 2013, and Rap-Hip Hop-Electronica Album Of The Year at the 2021 Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards. In between producing his electronic work, Beaver was a key member of the distinguished Indigenous hip hop group REDDNATION, performing as DJ Hooligan and serving as tour manager / sound technician from 2002 until the group retired in October 2013. The group was influential in spreading music and inspiring Indigenous youth. Beaver’s Album of the Year nomination went to his fourth and most recent full-length, Electric Turtle Dreams. Today’s Song of the Day, “TECH-YES” is the second of fourteen throbbing, dancefloor-ready electronic tracks comprising the record. Moody and propulsive, the instrumental song glimmers whether there’s an actual disco ball radiating off it or not. Turn the lights down and the music up for a club experience wherever you are. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 11, 2021
Tracy J - Historia De Un Amor
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Oct 08, 2021
Hiatus Kaiyote - Sip Into Something Soft
Hiatus Kaiyote - "Sip Into Something Soft" from the 2021 album Mood Valiant on Brainfeeder. Two-time Grammy nominated neo-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote have returned after a six-year... well... "hiatus." During that time, members of the Australian jazz/funk group explored solo and side projects. Then, in 2018, vocalist/guitarist Nai Palm (real name: Naomi Saalfield) was diagnosed with breast cancer, the same disease she confronted in her childhood when her mother was diagnosed and died from it. The band's new album, Mood Valiant, was named in tribute to her late mom.  “I don’t know how she afforded it, but she had two Valiant station wagons. And we were ratbags,” Saalfield toldNME. “A Valiant is like a Kingswood, a trashy Aussie car. I like the idea that it’s not a Lamborghini like you usually see. It’s a flex because it’s really daggy. The badass side of me comes from my mum being incredibly stylish. I also really like the word valiant – it’s so uplifting and righteous.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 07, 2021
Moor Mother - Made A Circle (feat. Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela & Orion Sun)
Moor Mother - "Made A Circle (feat. Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela & Orion Sun)" from the 2021 album Black Encyclopedia of the Air on Moor Mother / Anti. While she couldn't physically engage with fellow artists during the pandemic, Moor Mother was able to virtually invite them to her latest LP, Black Encyclopedia Of The Air, out now via Anti- Records. The poet, artist, and musician — whose real name is Camae Ayewa — utilized more than 100 instrumentals from long-time collaborator Swedish producer Olof Melander, inviting vocals from artists lojii, Elucid, Brother May, Bfly, Yatta, Black Quantum Futurism, Elaine Mitchner, and Dudu Kouate, and on today's Song of the Day, Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela, and Orion Sun. "Collaboration to me is just community," she toldThe Fader. `"I love being a solo artist, and I love to really dwell in that. Of course, I've always been into multiple genres. Like right now, I'd like to create some small chamber orchestra, but they would play my music. I'm more into that now trying to create some sort of small orchestra, as far as collaboration. But collaboration to me is community, and it's very accidental. You're just hanging out with your friend. Your friends are talented. It's all about seeing how talented your community is. Then collaboration is very easy. So it's not like I'm out here seeking to collaborate with people, it's just how it happens through community." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 06, 2021
Rochelle Jordan - LOVE YOU GOOD
Rochelle Jordan - "LOVE YOU GOOD" from the 2021 album Play With The Changes on UNDRGRND / Young Art Records. Seven years ago, London-born L.A.-based artist Rochelle Jordan released her debut album 1021, a knockout mix of R&B, hip-hop, and house. Sadly, a toxic business relationship and a moderate form of sickle cell disease delayed this artist-on-the-rise. Thankfully, she's returned, stronger than ever, with a brand new full-length, Play With the Changes, released on TOKiMONSTA’s Young Art imprint.  Today's Song of the Day is one of Jordan's favorites off the new release. As she toldPassion of the Weiss: I tend to wrap things up into kind of a bubble of a love interest if you will. But a lot of my songs, the inside of it, inside of it, I’m kind of speaking to kind of how I feel, or maybe other experiences that I’m going through. So for instance, with “Love You Good” I find that over the years, I’ve kind of turned into a little bit of an introvert, a little bit of a loner, which I actually loved, which is very strange. But at the same time, I feel like I’m misunderstood a lot of the time. And not necessarily when it comes to love, but maybe friendships and things like that because I go about things a certain way, right. And so I thought to myself, when I was writing, “Love You Good” I was thinking about that, but then I was thinking about also in a love aspect as well, maybe sometimes you feel misunderstood or no one can love you because you’re kind of a weird lover, in this weird pocket of energy and yeah, it’s just funny hearing some people respond to “Love You Good” too and be like, “Oh my God, like I relate to that so much.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 05, 2021
Cheekface - Reward Points
Cheekface - "Reward Points" from the 2021 Emphatically Mo' (b-sides) EP on New Professor Music. Los Angeles-based trio Cheekface specialize in quirky, upbeat songs with sharp-as-a-whip, sardonic lyrics delivered in talk-sing by frontman Greg Katz, seemingly (obviously?) influenced by Stephen Malkmus. (Sample line from a different track: "Life is long / like a CVS receipt.") But don't let their buoyant punk-pop and the colorful cover art by bassist/vocalist Amanda Tannen fool you. Cheekface was formed in the wake of the 2017 presidential inauguration, and lyrics touch on anxiety, political discourse, and protest culture.  "It's a challenge to write something meaningful when our terrible fascist government is destroying people's lives," Katz toldThe Grey Estates. "Personally, part of why I wanted to start this project was the desire to create something while the government is so destructive. Obviously the lyrics go to political places, and hopefully they capture some of the moral confusion that intelligent people are facing right now. But I also don't want the lyrics to be heavy-handed – I like heavy-handed political lyrics a lot actually, but with so much darkness in the world, we're not trying to add any more darkness with this particular band. Today's Song of the Day — a catchy ode to consumption — comes from their latest EP Emphatically Mo', a collection of b-sides from their 2021 full-length Emphatically No.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 04, 2021
The Shivas - Undone
The Shivas - "Undone," a 2021 single on Tender Loving Empire. Portland psych-rock band The Shivas return with their fifth full-length, Feels So Good // Feels So Bad, an album they say was inspired by self-acceptance. “I do think it’s about acceptance,” Drummer/vocalist Kristin Leonard says in a press release. “There’s a weird relaxation that comes with being at peace with things you can’t control or have regrets about.” Today's Song of the Day almost serves as the album's manifesto, a song about finding that peace and balance. “‘Undone’ was written by myself as a kind of homage to the times in our life when we rebound from periods of darkness to states of exuberance that easily go too far into the realm of darkness all over again,” Leonard toldFlood Magazine. “When we bounce back from times of depression and anxiety and then find ourselves enjoying life a whole lot… Life’s about finding balance. But in order to find that balance, some healthy reflection and acceptance about where we’ve been is necessary to push us forward with love and wisdom on our journey. So 'Undone' is me reflecting on those aspects of myself. And I think most of us can relate.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Oct 01, 2021
Geese - Low Era
Geese - "Low Era" from the 2021 album Projector on Partisan. Brooklyn youths Geese (the oldest band member is 19-years-old) are releasing their debut album, Projector, on October 29th, sharing a first listen with today's Song of the Day, a fun, dance-y post-rock groove, accompanied by a music video from Los Angeles director/designer and artist Fons Schiedon.  “We had been trying to get everything to sound super heavy, creepy crawly, and complicated, really because that’s all we knew how to do," the band said, via a press release. "Four-on-the-floor songs like 'Low Era' had felt a little like poison to us for a while, until we consciously tried to challenge ourselves to write something more danceable. Once we stopped enforcing certain boundaries, it ended up working out without us expecting it to, and even ushered in this psychedelic 3-D element that ends up appearing throughout the album." “We like the idea of confusing the listener a little, and trying to make every song a counteraction to the last, pinballing between catchy and complicated, fast and slow. 'Low Era' is one end of that spectrum, and ultimately broadened the scope of songs we thought we could make.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 30, 2021
Tom Morello - Driving to Texas (feat. Phantogram)
Tom Morello - "Driving To Texas (feat. Phantogram)" from the 2021 album The Atlas Underground Fire on Mom + Pop. Tom Morello has a lot of impressive guests on his forthcoming album, The Atlas Underground Fire, which will be out October 15th: Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Damian Marley, Sama’ Abdulhadi, and, on today's Song of the Day, Phantogram. “I’d worked with Josh from Phantogram on my first Atlas Underground album and I was thrilled when he and Sarah reached out about collaborating on this record," said the Rage Against the Machine guitarist. "This song is creepy as hell — a dark journey, a struggle for a tortured soul. The guitar solo needed to feel like a vengeful angel who has come down to decide the fate of the protagonist. Will they descend into the abyss or will they find redemption? 'Driving To Texas' really shows the breadth of the music you’ll hear on this record. Sarah has one of the most haunting and beautiful voices of anyone singing today, and Josh’s production is stylistically so fresh and eerie.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 29, 2021
EERA - Ladder
EERA - "Ladder" from the 2021 album Speak on Just Dust Recordings. Berlin-based Norwegian artist EERA (real name: Anna Lena Bruland) has announced her sophomore album, Speak, will be out December 3rd via Just Dust Recordings. “Speak is a search for a balance in life, acknowledging myself, and being proud of who I am,” she said via a press release. “To become braver and more confident, and stop questioning so much. Accept and move on instead. My debut was a little bit timid, like, am I doing this right? This album is more who I am.” For today's Song of the Day, Bruland works on that inner-strength, explaining, "‘Ladder’ is a song about opportunity and about trying to make someone else see that they have a lot to be grateful for, which they may not realise themselves; pushing down the ladder signifying sabotaging oneself.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 28, 2021
The War on Drugs - Living Proof
The War On Drugs - "Living Proof" from the 2021 album I Don’t Live Here Anymore on Atlantic. Long-running Philly-based band The War on Drugs have announced their fifth full-length, I Don’t Live Here Anymore, out October 29th via Atlantic Records. It'll be the group's first new album since 2017's A Deeper Understanding, not including last year's live LP, LIVE DRUGS.  The new album was constructed over the span of three years, recorded in more than a dozen sessions in seven different studios. Today's Song of the Day was conceived in May 2019 at Electro-Vox Recording Studios in Los Angeles. The track is accompanied by a video shot by director Emmett Malloy, using 16mm film. Watch as frontman Adam Granduciel drives around in Stinson Beach, California. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 27, 2021
Big Red Machine - Phoenix (feat. Fleet Foxes & Anaïs Mitchell)
Big Red Machine - "Phoenix (feat. Fleet Foxes & Anaïs Mitchell)" from the 2021 album How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? on 37d03d. Last month, The National’s Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon released their second album under the name Big Red Machine, titled How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?. The album features a heavyweight line-up of guests, including Taylor Swift, Sharon Van Etten, This Is The Kit, Ben Howard, Naeem, Lisa Hannigan, My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Nova, and on today's Song of the Day, Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes and Tony Award-winning singer/songwriter Anaïs Mitchell.  "'Phoenix' was one of the last songs we wrote for this record," Dessner says via a press release. "I was thinking about The Band and the Grateful Dead... maybe imagining this Big Red Machine album was some version of The Last Waltz. Justin first heard it while driving and immediately the chorus melody came into his head. I shared the sketch with Robin Pecknold, who I've been a fan of forever and who I'd been dreaming would join us on this record. Robin wrote the verses and pre chorus as a kind of dialogue with Justin, recalling a conversation they once had backstage in Phoenix. Later Anais wrote words to the chorus and The Westerlies added their magic to the instrumental. JT Bates rumbles around in rare form on the drums on this song. I think it's what I always imagined Big Red Machine would sound like." Pecknold adds, “It was a high, high honor to work on this song, and beyond that it was a really interesting creative challenge. Justin’s vocals and the beautiful chorus were already in place before I got my hands on it, so I felt my job melodically and lyrically was to set his entrance up in the best possible way. I felt like a pilgrim putting questions to an elusive sage, not needing clear answers, but happy for the chance to ask.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 24, 2021
Public Service Broadcasting - Blue Heaven (feat. Andreya Casablanca)
Public Service Broadcasting - "Blue Heaven (feat. Andreya Casablanca)" from the 2021 album Bright Magic on Play It Again Sam. London-based post-prog band Public Service Broadcasting pay tribute to silent-film actress and singer Marlene Dietrich on today's Song of the Day.  The inspiration was drawn from bandmember J. Willgoose, Esq.'s recent move to Berlin, which inspired the group's forthcoming full-length Bright Magic, out September 24th via Play It Again Sam. The track features guest vocals from Andreya Casablanca, of the Berlin band Gurr. “The lyrics highlight her power of self-manipulation, her ambition, her bravery and her lack of compromise on vital matters of character — ‘I am all my own invention /I’m in my blue heaven’ and so on,” he explained in a press release. “It’s named after the jazz number ‘My Blue Heaven’ which she sang regularly and which she said first made her dream of America.”  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 23, 2021
The Haunted Youth - Coming Home
The Haunted Youth - "Coming Home," a 2021 single on Mayway Records. Belgian dream-pop project The Haunted Youth (the creative outlet for musician Joachim Liebens) bring dreamy waves of synth and chiming guitar on their latest single "Coming Home." Today's Song of the Day is an irresistible end-of-summer anthem.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 22, 2021
The Violent Hearts - Everything and Nothing
 The Violent Hearts - "Everything and Nothing," a 2021 single on Dinner For Wolves. After the break-up of their previous band Sharks, musicians James Mattock (vocals/guitarist) and Carl Murrihy (bassist) teamed up with drummer Aidan Sinclair (of the band, Computers) to form the post-punk power-trio of The Violent Hearts. Channeling classic punk bands like The Clash, The Jam, and the Buzzcocks, The Violent Hearts breathe new life into the genre on today's Song of the Day.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 21, 2021
Goat - Fill My Mouth
Goat - "Fill My Mouth" from the 2021 album Headsoup on Rocket Recordings. Experimental Swedish group GOAT have just released the rarities collection Headsoup, a compilation of B-sides, standalone singles, and two brand new tracks. Today's Song of the Day is one of those new songs, the first music we've heard from the mysterious, masked musical collective since their 2016 full-length Requiem. The song's jazzy, percussion-heavy, trip-tastic sound shows the band haven't lost any of their psychedelic power.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 20, 2021
Tres Leches - Leaving My Light On
On their latest single, local duo Tres Leches reflect on the "positive changes that come to you when you start doing things for yourself instead of trying to prove other people wrong."  "Moving to the U.S. from Mexico when I was 14, I didn’t really know anything about the language or the culture," band member Ulises Mariscal said in a press release. "Even though there were barriers I still managed to find work and go to school. People would tell me that I wouldn’t make anything of myself and want me to conform to something I wasn’t. That’s what I think about during the part of the lyrics that say, 'si no te sientas ya veras'. "I found that after trying to please those people and do everything you are supposed to do, you still feel like you’re not enough. But in the end, those experiences taught me what is important is that the things you are doing make you happy. And those negative comments shouldn’t take away your time and energy; you need to conserve that for the things you love to do because those things are what are going to be the most impactful." Today's Song of the Day is a first listen at their next full-length, due out in early 2022 via Devil in the Woods. Tres Leches are playing September 18th at the Neptune Theatre, and November 11th at Freakout Festival. – Janice Headley Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 17, 2021
Sofia Kourtesis - La Perla
Berlin-based Peruvian artist Sofia Kourtesis turned towards her home on her latest EP, Fresia Magdalena. "Fresia" is her mother’s name, and "Magdalena" is the district of Lima, Peru, where her family currently resides. "Her whole life she’s fought hard for the people of Magdalena, Peru," Kourtesis says in a press release. "This is my tribute to her and the other activists around the world working hard to better the lives of others. We as musicians have a responsibility to help our communities to have their voices heard, changes are needed." Today's Song of the Day is a tribute to Kourtesis's father. "‘La Perla’ is about staring at the sea, It's the first thing I’ll do when I return to Peru," she continues. "My dad used to say staring at the sea is like meditation, it clears your head. This song is for him. It's hard for me to listen to La Perla as it wrote it during a time I lost my dad to leukaemia. This song is for him, descansa en paz papa." – Janice Headley Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 16, 2021
La Dame Blanche - Veneno
Cuban vocalist, flautist, and percussionist Yaité Ramos Rodriguez pays tribute to a folkloric legend with her musical moniker La Dame Blanche, or "the white lady" in French. "She doesn’t have a very good reputation but I wanted to pay tribute to her," she explained to French news and current affairs public radio station RFI. "I represent her as black, a mother, with a daily routine just like many other women in the world. People smile when I say I’m the white lady. It’s quite ironic." The daughter of Jesús 'Aguaje' Ramos, trombonist and bandleader of the Buena Vista Social Club orchestra, La Dame Blanche grew up around music, establishing herself as a classically-trained flautist. With her own music, she combines hip hop, cumbia, reggae, and more to her mastery of the flute.  Today's Song of the Day was inspired by lockdown. She writes on her Bandcamp page, "'Veneno' is one of the many songs I wrote during the pandemic, declaring my despair and the value of a caress, a kiss, a friend." – Janice Headley Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 15, 2021
Bizarrap, Duki & Nicki Nicole - YaMeFui
Today's Song of the Day is a promise kept: before the 2021 Copa América international men's football championship (or as Americans call it, "soccer"), Argentinean DJ/producer Gonzalo Julián Conde (better known as Bizarrap) proposed that if his country beat Brazil in the finals, he would record a song with rappers Nicki Nicole and Duki. True to his word, the trio released the track "YaMeFui" following Argentina's first win in 28 years in the Copa América. – Janice Headley Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 14, 2021
Omar Apollo - Go Away
Mexican-American singer-songwriter Omar Apollo [real name: Omar Apolonio Velasco] has had an inspiring rise to fame: while living in an attic and working two jobs (at Jimmy Johns and Guitar Center), he uploaded one of his songs to Spotify where it got 20,000 streams in a day. Shortly thereafter, his career blew up, culminating in his debut album Apolonio, released last year.  On today's Song of the Day, the 24-year-old singer/songwriter worked with producers Carter Lang and Chromeo to craft the lovesick synth-laden track.  Omar Apollo is scheduled to perform Sunday, October 17th at The Showbox in Seattle. – Janice Headley Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 13, 2021
Chris Carroll - Rose Colored Glasses
Chris Carroll - "Rose Colored Glasses," a 2021 single on Raindrop Sound. Seattle-based, Filipino-American artist Chris Carroll has his roots in the local hip-hop scene, as a producer for musicians like Gifted Youngstaz, Ra Scion of Common Market, Entendres, and MADlines. With his solo work, he adds a lo-fi romanticism, layering his crooner-style vocals to the mix, and crafting a track that sounds both contemporary and like a golden oldie.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 10, 2021
Mystic - The Life
Mystic - "The Life" ​​from the 2021 re-release Cuts For Luck and Scars For Freedom on Beautiful Soundworks. Twenty years ago, west coast MC Mystic (real name: Mandolyn Wind Ludlum) released her debut full-length Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom, an album that landed her a Grammy Award nomination for the track "W'' and a BET Awards nomination for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist. Despite the accolades, the album suffered from poor distribution, and after a 2014 LP (titled Beautiful Resistance), Mystic focused her energies as a member of the Hip Hop Caucus, a non-profit organization that promotes "political activism for young U.S. voters using hip-hop music and culture." Now, in 2021, the album sees a resurgence as Mystic is able to re-release it on her own Beautiful Soundworks label. "It is really special to me to have the music become available for the 20th anniversary, and even more beautiful because I own the masters," she shared on her Facebook page. "Imagine how it feels to have walked away from the masters that held my life, my healing, my joy, and everything about me, so that I could just have my freedom back, retain my love of my craft, continue my healing and, and go back to school to be of service to more children." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 09, 2021
MACK - Fire Among Us (feat. Akua Naru)
MACK - "Fire Among Us (feat. Akua Naru)," a 2021 single on Deposito Zero Studios. Italian duo MACK combines the talents of Federico Squassabia (keyboards/bass synth/composition) and Marco Frattini (acoustic and electronic drums/live sampling/composition), who craft a genre-defying blend of hip-hop, jazz, kraut-rock, freestyle rap, and more. On their 2019 self-titled debut EP, they invite collaborators to contribute their own creativity, including AVEX, Devon Miles and Rachel Doe on vocals, Federico Pierantoni on trombone, and Enrico Terragnoli on guitar. On today's Song of the Day, MACK allows U.S.-based artist Akua Naru to lace their laid-back electronic groove with her passionate, poetic rap. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 08, 2021
Gabriel Garzón-Montano - Agüita (Remix) (feat. Sampa The Great & Amber Mark)
Gabriel Garzón-Montano - "Agüita (Remix) (feat. Sampa The Great & Amber Mark)" from the 2021 Agüita EP: I on Jagjaguwar/Stones Throw. Last year, New York-based artist Gabriel Garzón-Montano released his sophomore full-length, Agüita, an ambitious "anti-genre" album with everything from reggae to post-punk to funk to folk. This year, he's begun releasing the Agüita EP series, featuring re-workings of songs from that album. Today's Song of the Day is a remix of the title track, featuring new verses from special guests Sampa The Great and Amber Mark. “This 'Agüita' remix is special. Sampa and Amber came with their magic in usual form,” Garzon-Montano said in a press release. “Estoy muy agradecido a estas reinas por este remix. Un aguacero.” (I am very grateful to these queens for this remix. A downpour.)  Amber Mark added: “I was speechless in absolute amazement when GGM played me the ‘Agüita’ demo years ago. He literally can tap into any sound he’s feeling and make it sound amazing. ‘Agüita’ is my motivational anthem; I’m so honored and excited that I get to be a part of this one.” Sampa The Great declared: "It’s always amazing to be able to connect across cultures and languages with music! 'Agüita' is one of those dope songs that does that and it was amazing being part of this remix.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 07, 2021
The Halluci Nation - It's Over (feat. Chippewa Travellers)
The Halluci Nation - "It's Over (feat. Chippewa Travellers)" from the 2021 self-released album One More Saturday Night. Back in 2016, Canadian duo A Tribe Called Red released the album We Are the Halluci Nation. Now, in 2021, they've shed their old moniker, re-emerging as The Halluci Nation, a phrase borrowed from artist/activist John Trudell to "describe the vast global community of people who remember at their core what it means to be human." In a social media post, they declared, "These words have come to mean much more to us than just an album title. The ideas that came from our work with John Trudell have served as a road map to the future of ATCR."  They add, "as we move into this next phase of our evolution, we also find it necessary to remember our past." Their new album One More Saturday Night pays tribute to the Electric Pow Wow gatherings at Ottawa’s Babylon nightclub that ran from 2007-2017. “We wanted to pay homage to the Electric Pow Wow and wrap that whole decade of experience up and close the cycle, and in doing so give direct coordinates of where the future was headed. In a nutshell, that’s what this album is about,” says co-founder Bear Witness in a press release. “We just wanted to make a party record, as well, one that people could dance to while still having the strong message we are known for.”  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 06, 2021
HOLLIS - Less Like
HOLLIS - "Less Like," a 2021 single on AntiFragile Music. Former-Seattleite/currently based in Los Angeles, Hollis has announced her highly-anticipated debut album, Subliminal, will be out this fall.  “The album is a document of the highs and lows, all of the self-consciousness and soul-seeking, cracking myself open to find hope within all of the unknowns," she shared in a press release. "It was also a period of growth for me as a music creator, a lyricist, and a singer, and an opportunity to work with dear friends.” On today's Song of the Day, she delves into her insecurities, adding, "This song is all about how even with all the time and space, we’re still just who we are — feeling like a counterfeit prodigy, wishing we could be lighter, brighter, more realized, all with a breezy sing-a-long vibe. It’s an anthem for us all to admit we’re not exactly who we wish we were but we’re just gonna keep rolling with it anyway.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 03, 2021
Ty Segall - Harmonizer
Ty Segall - "Harmonizer" from the 2021 album Harmonizer on Drag City. Wildly-prolific West Coast artist Ty Segall returned with his latest LP Harmonizer in early August. (Physical formats will be released via Drag City in October.)  The album was co-produced and co-mixed by Cooper Crain, at Segall's own Harmonizer Studios in Topanga, California. Segall’s wife, Denée, contributed vocals, lyrics, and album art, and the Freedom Band—bassist Mikal Cronin, drummer and percussionist Charles Moothart, guitarist Emmett Kelly, and pianist Ben Boye— assist on instrumentation.  Ty returns to Seattle on February 6th, 2022, at The Showbox. Check out today's Song of the Day below, and revisit last year's Live on KEXP at Home below that.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 02, 2021
Slothrust - Once More For The Ocean
Slothrust - "Once More For the Ocean," a 2021 single on Dangerbird Records. "This song felt like it was handed to me by the ocean," says Slothrust bandleader Leah Wellbaum about today's Song of the Day. The Brookline native continues: It came to me when I was sitting on some rocks and staring at one of my favorite oceans in the world, on Star Island off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire. The bass line arrived first, and then the melody and the lyrics came at the same time. I didn’t have an instrument with me that week so I sang what I had into my phone notes and carried on with my day, almost forgetting about it entirely. I have a unique relationship with this song because it felt like it came through me more than from me, though I recognize that really there is no difference. It is not the easiest song to sing or explain. At times I even wondered if it might be suited for a different artist. However after sitting with it for a while I have come to the conclusion that this song was meant for me and it is about the search for a greater consciousness in times of chaos. For me that feeling of oneness often shows up when I am spending time in nature.  "Once More For the Ocean" can be found on the band's fifth full-length, Parallel Timeline, out September 10th via Dangerbird Records.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Sep 01, 2021
Sleigh Bells - Locust Laced
Sleigh Bells - "Locust Laced," a 2021 single on Mom + Pop. Brooklyn noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells return with their sixth full-length this fall, Texis, out September 10th via Mom+Pop Music. If today's Song of the Day is any indication, it finds the pair returning to the highly-propulsive, anthemic sound of their 2010 debut Treats. “We stopped worrying about whether or not we’re in or out of our comfort zone, or if we were being repetitive or formulaic,” co-founder and guitarist Derek Miller said in a press release.  He adds that he hopes the new LP brings joy to listeners. “The thing I’m most attracted to is the juxtaposition of happy and sad, melancholy and hope,” he continues. “A lot of this is about trying to hold on to a shred of optimism through sheer force of will, and I hope this music can give people some joyful energy and confidence.”  Sleigh Bells will play The Showbox in Seattle on Thursday, October 28th. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 31, 2021
Wau Wau Collectif - Thiante
Wau Wau Collectif - "Thiante" from the 2021 album Yaral Sa Doom on Sahel Sounds. The Wau Wau Collectif was formed in 2018 by Swedish musician/producer Karl Jonas Winqvist and Senegal-based studio engineer Arouna Kane. Utilizing over 20 musicians from both hometowns, the two traded recordings via WhatsApp. carefully constructing the album Yaral Sa Doom. “It’s like diving into the sea,” explains Kane in an album statement. “There are all different species of fish swimming around, but together they make the ocean.” The phrase "Yaral Sa Doom" is a Wolof expression that means “educating young people,” and the theme of education can be heard amongst the traditional West African music. Contributing musician Djiby Ly offers, "Today you must educate children with an instrument and art, when you teach them an instrument you teach them to use their spirit."  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 30, 2021
Left at London - there is a place for you here.
Left at London - "there is a place for you here." from the 2021 self-released album t.i.a.p.f.y.h.. On her debut full-length, t.i.a.p.f.y.h., Seattle artist Left At London (aka Nat Puff) explores mental health against everything from folk to pop, punk, rock, hip hop, and electronica. “There are some days when you are angry in a way that you can’t describe and there are some days when you’re absolutely defeated in a way you can’t describe. Then there’s manic episodes, there’s dissociative episodes, all these sorts of things I feel are unintentionally represented in the genre switches,” Puff told KEXP'sSound & Vision. “Each track represents a different part of my mental state — from suicidal ideations, to hope and healing." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 27, 2021
The Marías - Hush
The Marías - "Hush" from the 2021 album CINEMA on Nice Life Recording Company and Atlantic Recording Corporation. Los Angeles band The Marías was formed in 2016 by vocalist María Zardoya and producer/drummer Josh Conway, and their relationship is at the heart of their highly-anticipated debut album, Cinema.  "We dedicated our whole lives to this album and we were completely devoted," Zardoya toldAL DÍA news. "This album is a direct reflection of Josh and I at this point in time, and our experience so far. I think this album has been living between us for a long time, waiting for the moment to come out. We want this album to be an experience for the listeners, an out of this world paradise. I want you to listen to this album, imagine the world and the scene in your head and feel it for yourself. To be honest, the whole album is just a feeling." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 26, 2021
La Luz - In the Country
La Luz - "In The Country" from the 2021 album In The Country on Hardly Art. Today's Song of the Day transports LA-via-Seattle trio La Luz to the countryside, adding a gentle folk feel to their signature surf sound. It's the band's first new music in three years, since their 2018 album Floating Features.  Principal songwriter Shana Cleveland explains in a press release, "I moved to the country a few years ago after living in cities for most of my life. Being out in the middle of nowhere makes it easy to imagine how it would be possible to leave society all together. I love how in this track some of the most unnatural elements of the arrangement (synthesizers, fuzz, effects) create an atmosphere around the instruments that ends up feeling very natural — I can hear bugs buzzing around and bird sounds in different directions." La Luz plays November 19th at the Neptune Theatre with Tropa Magica. Check out the video below, directed by band member Lena Simon. The band states, "This is a reminder to go outside, to stare at nature a little bit too long, and to appreciate what it shows you." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 25, 2021
L'Rain - Two Face
L'Rain - "Two Face" from the 2021 album Fatigue on Mexican Summer. Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist L’Rain (real name: Taja Cheek) follows her powerful 2017 self-titled debut with Fatigue, a new album that infuses soul, gospel, jazz, and other styles into her experimental sound. Today's Song of the Day finds her reflecting on a failed friendship. As she states on her Bandcamp: This is a song about a falling out with a friend. The friend was a gemini, hence the title ‘Two Face.’ The song is a disjointed imaginary conversation between us. The ‘spooky’ parts of the song have the most optimistic lyrics, and the ‘sunny’ parts have the bleakest lyrics. The song is mostly a reflection on regret, because the dissolution of our friendship was absolutely my fault and it still haunts me. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 24, 2021
Courtney Barnett - Rae Street
Courtney Barnett - "Rae Street" from the 2021 album Things Take Time, Take Time on Mom+Pop/Marathon Records. Long-time KEXP fave Courtney Barnett has announced her third album, titled Things Take Time, Take Time, out November 12th on Mom+Pop Music / Marathon Artists. Today's Song of the Day features the opening track, the languid rocker "Rae Street." Things Take Time, Take Time was written over a two-year period, marking what's called "a particularly joyful time in her life." It was recorded towards the end of 2020 and early 2021 with producer / drummer Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, and the comfort can be heard in the resulting intimate songs.  Courtney will be stopping by Seattle on Tuesday, December 14th with Bartees Strange at the Paramount. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 23, 2021
Nox Novacula - Victim
Nox Novacula - "Victim" from the 2021 album Ascension on Manic Depression. Seattle's Nox Novacula has brought a goth presence to the local music scene since 2017. On their debut full-length, Ascension, they combine electronic and post-punk sounds into a genre they call "Death Rock." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 20, 2021
Ash Code - Fear (Forever Grey Remix)
Ash Code - "Fear (Forever Grey Remix)" from the 2021 self-released EP Fear. Throughout the pandemic, the predominant feeling has been "fear," which is what inspired the new EP from Italian darkwave trio Ash Code. Twin brothers Alessando and Adriano Belluccio and Claudia Nottebella had an album almost finished, but the lockdown just changed the mood.  "We had a lot of songs almost finished and the plan was to release them in late summer 2020 as part of a US and Latin America tour," Adriano told German websiteRTL, "But everything was canceled, we spent the first half of the year planning live streams like 'Ash Code vs COVID-19' and the Gothicat festivals in order to generate donations. And then we realized that most of the songs no longer suited us and we decided to write something new. Somehow the pandemic changed us." The Fear EP features three remixes of the title track from Molchat Doma, Clan Of Xymox, and Forever Grey. Today's Song of the Day features the latter. "We met Forever Gray in Los Angeles in 2019," Alessandro explains. "Ever since we knew her we wanted to ask her if she would remix something for us. The track is very dark with an incredible bassline!" Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 19, 2021
Balvanera - ¿Cuánto resiste el cuerpo?
Balvanera - "¿Cuánto resiste el cuerpo?" from the 2021 album Courses of Action on DKA Records. Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the duo of Balvanera bring an EBM aesthetic to their dark electronic music. Vocalist Agustina and multi-instrumentalist Lucas both came from the DIY punk and hardcore scene before moving into electronics.  "For some reason, electronic music feels like a continuation of punk to me," Agustina explained in an interview withBrutal Resonance. "Like in the '80s a lot of ex punks and industrial musicians were drawn to raving. In that sense I feel there’s a lot of similarities in the communal experience, ethics, DIY, etc." Their latest album, Courses of Action, draws from the political fury of punk. "It’s a record that invites you to action, to movement; to gain consciousness of one's acts," Lucas said of the title. "We felt the record sounded and demanded 'action',"  Agustina continued, "And since last year was so hard, time itself put everything in perspective, demanding also to make choices in our own personal lives." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 18, 2021
NNHMN - Tomorrow's Heroine
NNHMN - "Tomorrow's Heroine" from the 2021 EP Tomorrow's Heroine on K Dream's. Berlin-based darkwave duo NNHMN (pronounced Non-Human) released the EP Tomorrow's Heroine earlier this year, a mini-album they describe as "five songs of hope, desire, and sheer electronic magic." Band members Lee Margot and Michal Laudarg (who's a techno DJ on the side) take a minimal approach to their sensual synth sound, drawing influence from "New Brutalists theatre, experimental electronic music, and techno culture," as they state on their website.   Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 17, 2021
Camlann - Metropolitan Boy
Camlann - "Metropolitan Boy" from the 2021 album Circa 1983 on Cold Transmission. It's fitting that the Jakarta-based darkwave trio Camlann named their latest album Circa 1983, because they easily channel the sounds of Depeche Mode and Soft Cell, despite the fact that its members weren't even born at the time. The self-described "dark disco" group consists of Ony Godfrey (17) on vocals and guitar, Bayu Triyudanto (17) on bass, and Fauzan Pratama (16) on synths. (There's also Chariszan (17), their producer and music collaborator.) As they declare on their Bandcamp page, the new LP is a "statement to the world that they are here to bring you their own version of modern nostalgia." Check out the lyric video for today's Song of the Day below, directed by band member Pratama.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 16, 2021
Tycho & Benjamin Gibbard - Only Love
Tycho & Benjamin Gibbard - "Only Love," a 2021 single on Mom + Pop. Step aside, Jimmy Tamborello. Death Cab for Cutie frontman Benjamin Gibbard is lending his distinctive voice to a new electronic producer, Tycho (real name: Scott Hansen).  In a press release, Hansen explained how the two came to collaborate: I had been a fan of Ben’s work for a long time when, in 2016, I had the chance to do a remix for Death Cab for Cutie’s track “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive.” Ben’s voice was a very inspiring element to work with from a production standpoint, I felt it really meshed well with the kinds of sounds and instrumentation I gravitate towards. ‘Only Love’ started life as an instrumental, but something was missing. I sent a rough demo to Ben and he recorded some vocals over it. The first time I heard the rough vocals the whole song suddenly made sense and the arrangement flowed out of that. After my early experimentations with vocals on Weather this felt like a great opportunity to put everything I had learned during that process into practice. It was certainly an honor to be able to work with such an iconic voice. Gibbard described how his lyrics came together: In 2014, while reading This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein, I came across a quote from Montanan goat rancher and environmentalist Alexis Bonogofsky that moved me immensely. Speaking about the fight to protect public lands in southeastern Montana from the mining company Arch Coal, she said: ‘(The) connection to this place and the love people have for it, that’s what Arch Coal doesn’t get. They underestimate that. They don’t understand it so they disregard it. And that’s what in the end will save that place. It’s not the hatred for the coal companies or anger, but love will save this place. When Scott sent me the music for ‘Only Love,’ it seemed perfect for this statement. Since reading Alexis’ words, I’ve carried them as a universal truth; that the only way we preserve the people, places or things we care for is with love, not hatred. This is often easier said than done, of course. But I find myself coming back to her statement as if it were a mantra. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 13, 2021
Mac McCaughan - Dawn Bends
Mac McCaughan - "Dawn Bends" from the 2021 album The Sound of Yourself on Merge. Superchunk frontman and Merge Records co-founder Mac McCaughan returns this fall with his second solo album, The Sound of Yourself. The release features a slew of guests including Mary Lattimore, Sabrina Ellis (A Giant Dog), TORRES' Mackenzie Scott, Telekinesis' Michael Benjamin Lerner, Annie Hayden, his brother Matt McCaughan, and on today's Song of the Day, drummer Jon Wurster and Yo La Tengo. ("I am aware of the irony of an album called The Sound Of Yourself with this many guests on it!," he shares in a press release.)  Like many great albums coming out right now, The Sound Of Yourself came out of the lockdown. "Each day is blurring into the next, so what are we doing today?” he would ask himself during the pandemic. “How can I disrupt this? I think what resulted was a theme of subdued… ‘joy’ is the wrong word, but it’s at least comforting if not propulsive to have something open-ended to work on every day without any kind of structure or deadline or rules.” The Sound of Yourself will be out September 24th via Merge Records (of course).  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 12, 2021
Penelope Isles - Sailing Still
Penelope Isles - "Sailing Still," a 2021 single on Bella Union. UK duo Penelope Isles — a project of siblings Lily and Jack Wolter — were able to use the pandemic lockdown to recover from the heavy touring they did for their 2018 debut album When The Tide Creeps In.  “Before the enforced break due to COVID we spent pretty much all of 2019 driving ourselves around Europe and America having some incredible adventures as a band and it seems that everything since then has been falling apart," Jack explained in a press release. Today's Song of the Day finds the Wolters reconnecting during the break. “I wrote the music for this song at my brother’s flat, on a really crappy electric piano, but always envisioned the whole thing as something widescreen, with a big sound to match," Lily remembers. "The lyrics took me a few months to finish, by which point the song had taken on many different meanings. Then I took it to band practice, where Jack and I wrote the end section together. It’s one of our favourite sounding songs on the record. We played around with pitch-shifting instruments to get it sonically sweet. Plus, it was the first time we ever heard strings with our music. That’s one tick off the bucket list.” For the video, Jack wanted to travel again, at least visually. "Writing and recording the new album was a huge part of the recovery process and making this film for 'Sailing Still' I wanted Lily and I to get back on the road somehow, as travelling has been such a massive part of our band ever since we began. So I had this idea of filming Lily in a myriad of places and scenarios, both urban and rural, coastal and inland. Mountains and rivers, council flats and tunnels, cafes and bridges. We drove up and down the country for a week, sleeping in the van, and waking up at the crack of dawn to start filming again. Reconnecting as a ‘band’ again but also spending time together as brother and sister was special for filming this real heartbreaker of a song.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 11, 2021
Film School - Superperfection
Film School - "Superperfection" from the 2021 album We Weren’t Here on Sonic Ritual. Long-running west coast shoegaze group Film School return this fall with the full-length We Weren’t Here, a nod to pandemic-related conditions in which they recorded the album. Band members — bassist Justin LaBo, guitarist Nyles Lannon, frontman Greg Bertens, and keyboardist Jason Ruck — were divided between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, recording their parts from their respective home studios and then emailing files back and forth.  We Weren’t Here will be released September 24th via Sonic Ritual.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 10, 2021
Shad - Storm (feat. pHoenix Pagliacci & George Elliott Clarke)
Shad - "Storm (feat. Phoenix Pagliacci & George Elliott Clarke)" from the 2021 album TAO on Secret City. When it comes to today's featured track, Toronto-based rapper Shad wrote on his Facebook, "Not even sure how to describe this next song." The powerful single draws inspiration from '70s icons "Marvin Gaye, The Last Poets, The Staples Singers, Sly Stone," and features collaborations with artist pHoenix Pagliacci, Canadian band Jane's Party, and former Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada, George Elliott Clarke.  "'Storm' is a feeling," he continued in a press release. "The feeling of a flood of memories. In the same way that a storm is the result of forces that gather strength quietly, often invisibly over time — this song is meant to hold a sense of the same sort of process as it relates to the storms in our lives and the storms in our world. The way storms can build up almost imperceptibly in our individual and collective unconscious. The song touches on a range of personal and political storms, both good and bad, through a range of voices, but most importantly it sees them all as inextricably tied." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 09, 2021
Jarv Dee & Bad Colours - Black Skin (feat. Stas THEE Boss)
Jarv Dee & Bad Colours - "Black Skin (feat. Stas THEE Boss)," a 2021 self-released single.   Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 06, 2021
Skyzoo - Bed-Stuy Is Burning (feat. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
Skyzoo - "Bed-Stuy Is Burning" from the 2021 album All the Brilliant Things on Mello. New York has long been embedded in the work of rapper Skyzoo. Born Gregory Skyler Taylor in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, he cites his hometown as an influence, tellingThe Living Room, "There’s certain values and morals that come with the neighborhood and era that I grew up in. Those are important musically and just in life." However, he laments the gentrification of his city on today's Song of the Day and the album it comes from, the new LP All The Brilliant Things. He explains in a press release: With All The Brilliant Things, the idea was truly to try and tackle the realities of gentrification and this new era of cultural appropriation, commonly known as “culture vulturing”. The way they intertwine with one another, parallel at times, and how us as the residents of our long-standing homes and creators of these cultures have been stripped of it, or at times let it happen, all for what we assumed was our best interest. The irony of it all is, despite how it all makes us feel in hindsight, one would have to admit that the orchestration of it was truly brilliant. Brutal, and heinous, but somehow pretty brilliant. Hence the title of the album. The cover art, illustrated by Matt Rockefeller, shows my 3 year-old-son and I on the corner of Fulton St. and Franklin Ave. in Brooklyn, and I’m showing him a condo being built in our neighborhood, a neighborhood that’s rapidly dying, explaining it to him and trying to make sense of it all. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 05, 2021
K.ZIA - Sanctuary
K.ZIA - "Sanctuary," a 2021 single on Groove Attack. Brussels-born, Berlin-based artist K.ZIA unveils a "place beyond the physical" in today's KEXP Song of the Day. Born to a Martinican father and a Belgo-Congolese mother, she weaves the influence of her upbringing into this soulful single.  “I am building a realm for the unheard," she explained in a press release. "For the ones that never found boxes to fit in because of their differences. To be able to exist freely, we will have our own boundless space. A Sanctuary where together we rise around authenticity, depth and love. This song is about a special place where we can disconnect, connect, and reconnect with a special person, a spirit, a community, a divinity and re center around the essentials of Love.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 04, 2021
George Riley - say yes (feat. Joe Armon-Jones)
George Riley - "say yes (feat. Joe Armon-Jones)" from the 2021 self-released album interest rates, a tape. She may only be 23-years-old, but West London-based artist George Riley draws on her lifetime of influences on her latest release, interest rates, a tape. Her Jewish mother and Jamaican father would play R&B icons like Stevie Wonder, Aretha, and Sade in the house, and her dad was briefly a drummer and backing vocalist in '70s reggae group Steel Pulse. She channels all of that into interest rates, a tape, explaining toCrack Magazine, “This is me wanting to show the breadth of sounds that have inspired me, because I don’t subscribe to just one thing.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 03, 2021
Khrysis - The Disrespect (feat. Rapsody & Sa-Roc)
Khrysis - "The Disrespect (feat. Rapsody & Sa-Roc)" from the 2021 album The Hour of Khrysis on Jamla. It's no surprise it took Khrysis 12 years to return with his fifth full-length, The Hour of Khrysis. The Durham, NC producer/rapper/engineer also serves on Jamla Records' in-house production team, The Soul Council; crafted beats for the Netflix dramedy The Forty-Year-Old Version; and has worked with Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, De La Soul, Redman, Problem, Bad Lucc, and more. The work has built connections with the star-studded line-up of guests on The Hour of Khrysis, including Busta Rhymes, Pharoahe Monch, De La Soul, and on today's Song of the Day, Rapsody and Sa-Roc.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Aug 02, 2021
Mia Day - Rosie
Mia Day - "Rosie," a 2021 self-released single. A self-described "groovy, fairy, cowgirl witch," Seattle singer/songwriter Mia Day recorded today's featured track in a barn outside of Seattle, with some of her closest friends. "It's a reverse perspective song that is a deeper exploration into my mental health," she explains via her Soundcloud. "I wrote it as an assignment for one of my college songwriting classes. I knew that I wanted to create a sad song that I could dance to. I was inspired by Oasis and Waxahatchee while recording it." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 30, 2021
The Suburbs - Summertime
The Suburbs - "Summertime" from the 2021 album Poet’s Party on Suburbs Music. The Suburbs have been crafting their unique brand of pop-punk joy since 1977. They've been credited as one of the godfathers of the "Minneapolis Sound,” a scene including bands like The Suicide Commandos, The Replacements, and Hüsker Dü.  While vocalist Chan Poling and drummer Hugo Klaers are the only remaining original members, they're accompanied by longtime saxophonist Max Ray, and new additions Stevie Brantseg and Jeremy Ylvisaker on guitars, Steve Price on bass, Janey Winterbauer on backup vocals, Rochelle Becker on baritone sax, and Stephen Kung on horns and keys. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 29, 2021
The Vega Bodegas - All My Fish Are Dead
The Vega Bodegas - "All My Fish Are Dead," a 2021 self-released single. Cardiff post-punk band The Vega Bodegas is led by Jimmy Watkins, formerly of Future Of The Left and Strange News From Another Star. They've been laying low since the 2018 release of their debut full-length, A Complete History of Witchcraft, but have re-emerged to share the single "All My Fish Are Dead." Watkins described toBirthday Cake Breakfast how today's featured track was inspired by two books: At the time I was reading a book called Strangers by Rebecca Tamás, and it was changing the way I thought about the modern world. It was terrifying, but at the same time it had answers about how we could change things like capitalism and the destruction of the planet. It introduced me to panpsychism and I was fascinated by this idea that our surroundings influence how we think. I was also reading a book called American Cosmic by D.W Pasulka. In that book she meets people who believe their great ideas have come from aliens. I used that for the lines about “operating on a whole other level… outside on my mile high decking” and about our body parts being full of galaxies. Together, those two books painted a picture of humans destroying the planet whilst also receiving messages of hope and innovation from outer space. That was a pretty surreal combo for me, so I went for it lyrically and described a modern world full of chaos and weird beauty. I wanted to paint a dreamlike landscape which was driven by capitalism and greed, but had a soft middle where it talks about how magical the human body can be. I have no idea if I succeeded, but for the first time in my life I can listen to a song we’ve recorded and think to myself that I’d put everything I could into the lyrics. Read the full behind-the-scenes story of the making of today's Song of the Day here. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 28, 2021
Polar Noir - If Everybody Listened
Polar Noir - "If Everybody Listened," a 2021 single on Polarness. June 8th marked World Oceans Day, a day designated to "inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean." German radio show host Sandra Gern seized the moment to unveil her recording project Polar Noir, sharing her love of water on her debut single.  "I‘ve learned that the music you make is never really complete as long as you don‘t share it," she stated on Facebook. "That‘s why I‘ve started this project. Some of the music I am sharing is brand new, some was written or started somewhen within the last 10 years. So you‘re warmly invited to keep me company making these songs complete." In the accompanying video for today's featured track, Polar Noir shares links to organizations working to preserving the ocean. She shares that in the month and a half since the video has been released, "the ocean caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico, a sunken container ship loaded with chemicals, oil and plastic pellets polluted the ocean and coast around Sri Lanka, and just recently some tourists held and petted one of the strictly protected whales in the Baltic Sea for pictures. Shortly after it died." "These are the things many of us have heard of because they sounded lurid enough to be put into a headline. But the ocean is much more at risk than we hear and see in the media. That’s why I put these words including different organisations at the end of my music video. You can support them, follow them, check their websites and read about their (actually our) topics." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 27, 2021
Chicano Batman - Pastel Sunrise
Chicano Batman - "Pastel Sunrise," a 2021 single on ATO. Psych/funk/soul band Chicano Batman return with a new single, featuring the powerful track "Dark Star" on the A-Side, and today's Song of the Day on the B-Side. It's the L.A. four-piece's first new music since their 2020 album Invisible People. Like last year's release, the new single finds them pairing up with Grammy-nominated producer John Hill (Portugal. The Man, Santigold, M.I.A.).  “The music got here collectively in John Hill’s studio,” frontman Bardo Martinez told Fader over email. “The band met up and instantly we began riffing on concepts.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 26, 2021
Hallows - All That Is True Dies
Hallows - "All That Is True Dies" from the 2021 album All That Is True on Cold Transmission Music. Formed in Minneapolis in 2018, and now based in Seattle, darkwave duo HALLOWS incorporate post-punk influences into their atmospheric synthpop on their latest album, All That Is True. Founding members Vanee D. and Dom R. wrote the songs during what they call "times of unrest in Seattle (and the world)," They explain in a press statement, "though the album is not explicitly political, it explores the emotional journey of existing in an unjust world." On today's Song of the Day, they explore impermanence. “The song is about the past and how it follows you around but, in the end, everything is temporary,” Dom “We really wanted this track to evoke a duality where the first part is tense and somewhat dark, with the second part being more hopeful and dancey.”  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 23, 2021
Yves Tumor - Jackie
Yves Tumor - "Jackie," a 2021 single on Warp. Enigmatic, experimental artist Yves Tumor returns with their new single "Jackie," a fierce glam-rock stomp with squalling guitars and an '80s dance beat. It's their first new solo work since their 2020 album Heaven To A Tortured Mind.  The track is accompanied by a psychedelic video clip created by Los Angeles-based visual artists Rick Farin and Claire Cochran from the studio Actual Objects. "We loved collaborating with Yves Tumor on 'Jackie' — we've been massive fans for years," they said in a press release. "Their work is always so forward-looking, and has always been a major inspiration for us. 'Jackie' was a chance for us to dig deep into our toolkit and work with some of our most experimental techniques." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 22, 2021
Ric Wilson - Fight Like Ida B & Marsha P
Ric Wilson - "Fight Like Ida B & Marsha P," a 2020 single on Free Disco / EMPIRE. On his latest single, released days before Juneteenth 2020, Chicago rapper Ric Wilson pays tribute to civil rights leader Ida B. Wells and LGBTQ+ activist Marsha P. Johnson.  He wrote on Twitter [sic]: “when I think about next level courage to ball your fist up & look Patriarchy, racist,sexism, homophobia & transphobia right in the eye & fight against it, I feel like blk folk like Ida B Well and Marsha P Johnson are of the bravest of us all and if ima fight any injustice I wanna have the courage of blk queer & femme freedom fighters like them. I believe the liberation of black womxn and black trans womxn lead to the liberation of all black people." He adds [sic]: "I encourage people to also study the History of policing and prisons here in the US & the laws made to keep Blk and Queer folk suppressed in this country for over 450 years. If we focus and start understanding the 'why', we will longer waste time arguing on the 'what.'" Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 21, 2021
Pixel Grip - Pursuit
Pixel Grip - "Pursuit," a 2021 single on Feeltrip Records. Chicago darkwave trio Pixel Grip return with their sophomore full-length ARENA, a soundtrack for the misfits out there. “Being in an audience of freaks, queers, fetish people, all in the same room sweating together,” is how vocalist Rita Lukea puts it, “and we all knew our purpose, and we were manic and arrogant.”  Lukea explains that today's Song of the Day has a specific feeling to her: "the feeling of surrendering power, the feeling of having your love chewed up and spit out, the feeling of getting toyed with. Sometimes love isn’t empowering; in fact it can be humiliating and disabling. The only way I can take my power back is to pretend like it’s my decision. This song is designed to be screamed along with by an audience who understands the pain." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 20, 2021
Emma-Jean Thackray - Say Something
Emma-Jean Thackray - "Say Something," a 2021 single on Movementt. An active artist and producer in South London’s nu-jazz scene, multi-instrumentalist Emma-Jean Thackray has just shared her latest LP Yellow on July 2nd via her own Movementt imprint. “It’s a record about togetherness, the oneness of all things in the universe, showing love and kindness, human connection," she explains via a press release. “I approached the record by trying to simulate a life-changing psychedelic experience, an hour where we see behind the curtain to a hidden dimension, where the physical realm melts away and we finally see that we are all one.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 19, 2021
Ya Tseen - Knives (feat. Portugal. The Man)
Ya Tseen - "Knives (feat. Portugal. The Man)" from the 2021 album Indian Yard on Sub Pop. Originally from Sheet’ka (Sitka, Alaska), artist Nicholas Galanin brings the influence of his Tlingit and Unangax̂ heritage to his spacey dance pop. Under the name Ya Tseen (which simultaneously translates to “be alive” and references his Tlingit name Yeil Ya Tseen), he uses his music to advocate for "Indigenous sovereignty, racial, social, and environmental justice, for present, and future generations." Today's Song of the Day is not about weaponry, but surrender. In a press release, Galanin shares, "“Knives is a love song about softening a calloused heart and experiencing the edge of magnetic desire, romantic connection, vulnerability, and risk that love opens us up to.” The song features guest vocals from John Baldwin Gourley of fellow Alaska-formed band Portugal. the Man, who he considers "friends and allies for social and environmental justice." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 16, 2021
The Joy Formidable - Into the Blue
The Joy Formidable - "Into the Blue" from the 2021 album Into The Blue on Enci Records. Welsh band The Joy Formidable return with their first new music in three years. Today's Song of the Day is the title track from their forthcoming fifth album, Into The Blue, out August 20th. While the song was written in their hometown of Wales, it was completed in their new adopted home of Utah, which is also where the accompanying music video was filmed.  “I am always daydreaming in the bathtub between recordings," frontwoman Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan says of the watery clip. “That diffuse thinking where your mind wanders freely — I always finish songs when I’m in that state. The idea that your imagination, that escape into another, deeper world can sometimes create a stronger connection with yourself.” She describes today's Song of the Day as being "about surrendering to love and magic," adding, “Having the courage to enjoy a new journey and the mystery and excitement of something unexpected. It’s about opening your eyes to beauty and love again. Making it to the other side. Whilst not conceived as a metaphor for the times we all live in now, it certainly turned out that way.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 15, 2021
Glüme - The Internet
Glüme - "The Internet" from the 2021 album The Internet on Italians Do It Better. When Glüme first heard the Chromatics come up on Spotify Shuffle, she knew that frontman Johnny Jewel was her sonic soulmate. It was destiny that she'd be signed to Jewel's record label Italians Do It Better for her debut album The Internet.  An artist/musician/actor and trained tap dancer, Glüme was diagnosed with Prinzmetal Angina, a rare heart disease. Confined to bed, she went online to escape, and to eventually reinvent herself as the ‘Wal-Mart Marilyn Monroe’ she calls herself. “I didn’t like the vision of myself as a sick person. So I went on The Internet," she shares in a press release. “My online presence was my truth even though it was a lie. I have this self at home who is sick & then this self on The Internet that’s doing amazing. The world wasn’t working for me. But online, I could live the life I wanted to live.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 14, 2021
Lightning Bug - The Right Thing Is Hard To Do
Lightning Bug - "The Right Thing Is Hard To Do" from the 2021 album A Color of the Sky on Fat Possum Records. On today's Song of the Day, Audrey Kang — lead vocalist for shoegaze sensations Lightning Bug — shares her personal battle with self-worth against a delicate wash of guitars.  "Here I wanted to connect how the struggles and flaws within the individual are mirrored in the greater problems of society," she reveals in a press release. "How do we as individuals know we are on the right path? How do we as a society, as a species, know we are on the right path? So I started with myself, and my own struggles, touching on how I hide myself away from other people, on my stage fright, on my inability to be vulnerable, on this feeling I used to have that I needed to prove I was worthy of being alive. Then I tried to connect these struggles outward to global issues like xenophobia, arbitrary borders, the lines we draw between ourselves and the environment, and the ways we sacrifice the health of the planet for human convenience." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 13, 2021
Mochipet - Godzilla League of Legends
Mochipet - "Godzilla League of Legends" from the 2021 self-released album Godzilla Resurgence. David Wang has long had an obsession with dinosaurs, from wearing a purple costume of the prehistoric creatures in his musical alias of Mochipet, to the recent release of his EP Godzilla Resurgence, named for the mythical kaiju who has starred in films since the 1950s.  “I saw my first Godzilla movie when I was around 10 years old in Taiwan. I think my cousin showed it to me or something," Wang toldMixMag Asia late last year. “I actually didn’t like it at first. I didn’t understand why Godzilla was destroying Japan and I didn’t like that it was in black and white. It was not till later in my life I began to appreciate Godzilla for its representation of the human need for control and the Atomic Bomb that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki and destroyed many lives during World War II. Godzilla is a constant reminder of man’s need for control which usually ends in death and destruction." The new EP is dedicated to the memory of Wang's father, who passed away as this release was nearing completion. Proceeds are going towards the cost of his funeral and burial costs. More information here. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 12, 2021
Hollis - Grace Lee
Hollis - "Grace Lee," a 2021 self-released single.   Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 09, 2021
Essam - Free Palestine
Essam - "Free Palestine," a 2021 self-released single. South Seattle-based rapper/poet and community organizer Essam wrote his first rap at the age of eight. “I wrote a personal narrative essay – it was the first time it wasn’t research – and I realized that writing is for me,” he told the University of Washington at Bothell.  He's since released two albums: 2018's 12.12 and last year's LP Chapter20six; early last month he shared the powerful new single "Free Palestine," stating, "my grandfather used to say when she calls then we always gotta answer." Check out the video below, shot/edited by Muzammil Siddiqee against a mural by artist Gabril.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 08, 2021
Little Simz - Woman (feat. Cleo Sol)
Little Simz - "Woman (feat. Cleo Sol)," a 2021 single on AGE 101 MUSIC / AWAL. U.K. rapper Little Simz returns with her fourth full-length this fall, the relatably-titled Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, out September 3rd. In a press release, today's Song of the Day has been called “a soulful love letter to women around the world.” “I love it when I see women doing their thing and looking flawless; I’m here for that!” Simz said. “It’s empowering, it’s inspiring; I wanted to say thank you and I wanted to celebrate them.” The 70s-tinged summer jam reunites Simz with vocalist Cleo Sol, who also guests on the track “Selfish” from Simz's 2019 LP GREY Area. And, the self-directed accompanying video features guest appearances from Jourdan Dunn, Joy Crookes, Denai Moore, two of her cousins (Zeze Millz, Kesewa Aboah), and her best friend of 15 years. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 07, 2021
Mara TK - Grew Up Inna Chaos (feat. 2MY)
Mara TK - "Grew Up Inna Chaos (feat. 2MY)" from the 2021 album Bad Meditation on Extra Soul Perception. Scottish-Māori artist Mara TK has lent his velvety vocals to neo-soul trio Electric Wire Hustle for years, and with his deeply personal debut solo album, Bad Medication, he takes center stage. The album brings him back to his home of Aotearoa (or "long white cloud," the Māori name for New Zealand). He says in a press release, “writing this album has been a form of therapy over the last few years trying to figure out what kind of music I wanted to make next.” He adds, "I was offered what was basically a whole studio worth of gear from a friend who was moving overseas. I took a gamble and bought that gear and have spent the last five years learning how to use this shit. I had to bet on my own ability to learn new things so it was scary, but also keep in mind that music, like any other creative form doesn’t have to be perfect — the brush strokes don’t have to be exactly straight.” Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 06, 2021
Children of Zeus - No Love Song
Children of Zeus - "No Love Song" from the 2021 album Balance on First Word Records. Manchester duo Children Of Zeus return with their first new music in three years, since the release of their acclaimed debut Travel Light.  Today's Song of the Day reunites band members Tyler Daley and Konny Kon with producer Beat Butcha (Jay-Z, Beyonce, Nipsey Hussle) who worked on their earlier album. The lush production adds a lush, soulful vibe to the smooth slow jam, providing a velvety platform for Daley's vocals and Kon's riffs. Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 05, 2021
Shine - Stare Into The Sun
Seattle shoegaze band Shine combines the talents of band members from Regional Justice Center and Seattle’s New Gods. This new project, they say, "channels the noise and driving aggression of these bands, but through a more playful, Britpop-tinged lens."  Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 02, 2021
Cold Cave - Psalm 23
Darkwave duo Cold Cave deliver their distinctive synth-driven psychedelic sound on their latest EP, Fate In Seven Lessons. Today's Song of the Day finds the long-running project of Wesley Eisold drawing influence from their former tour mates The Jesus and Mary Chain and Nine Inch Nails. The accompanying video was directed by Travis Shinn and Jeremy Danger, and finds the group encircled by 23 candles given to Eisold from his friend and collaborator Mark Lanegan. Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jul 01, 2021
Yola - Stand For Myself
With her sophomore LP Stand For Myself, Grammy-nominated artist Yola reclaims her crown as the self-described "queen of country soul." She teams up again with producer Dan Auerbach in his studio and on his record label, both named Easy Eye Sound.  On the album's title track, Yola finds her footing again. As she says in a press statement: "The song’s protagonist “token,” has been shrinking themselves to fit into the narrative of another’s making, but it becomes clear that shrinking is pointless. This song is about a celebration of being awake from the nightmare supremacist paradigm. Truly alive, awake and eyes finally wide open and trained on your path to self actualisation. You are thinking freely and working on undoing the mental programming that has made you live in fear. It is about standing for ourselves throughout our lives and real change coming when we challenge our thinking. This is who I’ve always been in music and in life. There was a little hiatus where I got brainwashed out of my own majesty, but a bitch is back." Stand For Myself will be released 7/30 on Easy Eye Sound. Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 30, 2021
Quivers - Hold You Back
On their new album Golden Doubt, Melbourne-via-Tasmanian quartet Quivers honor their resilience. Vocalist Sam Nicholson breaks down the LP title. “Golden, because musically we daydream with the guitars of Teenage Fanclub and The Cure, the singing of The Roches’ sisters, the basslines of Another Sunny Day, and the drums of Lower Dens or Car Seat Headrest,” he says. “Golden Doubt, because hitting your thirties after losing people knocks you off balance for a while, but no longer caring what the world thinks is always a breakthrough feeling.” On today's Song of the Day, the band reflects on the beauty in the world. They explain in a press statement, “It is a song about being overwhelmed by someone, and somewhere, but also overwhelmed by the beauty of those strange, new experiences we used to have when travel was possible.” Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 29, 2021
José González - Head On
After six years, Swedish singer-songwriter José González will return with his new album Local Valley, recorded in his home studio outside Gothenburg during quarantine. On today's Song of the Day, González taps into his hardcore past from the '90s. "I wrote 'Head On' as a combat song or a list of instructions…a manual," he explains in a press release. "I mean both 'straight ahead' and head ON — as in switching on your mind. It was inspired by Fela Kuti’s 'Zombie' and the way I used to write lyrics for my hardcore band. It’s also in the vein of my song “What Will” from 2015. That one and this one are both anti-dogma, pro-reason songs. Some of the terms I use, like 'rent seeker' or 'value extractor,' are from books on economics that I’ve been reading, like The Value Of Everything by Mariana Mazzucato." Local Valley will be released 9/17 on Mute. Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 28, 2021
Sleater-Kinney - Worry With You
Sleater-Kinney - "Worry With You" from the 2021 album Path of Wellness on Mom + Pop. Iconic Northwest duo Sleater-Kinney returned with the album Path of Wellness earlier this month, their tenth album overall, but their first that they've produced themselves. "The entire process relied upon taking stock of who and what was nearby, upon generosity of time, spirit, and input, but mostly upon a mutual love, need, and gratitude for making music," they shared on Facebook.  The album was written last Spring and Summer during the pandemic, and recorded in late Summer and early Fall. As such, the video for today's Song of the Day hints at the lockdown, with director Karen Murphy capturing a young couple (portrayed by Megan Watson and Fabi Reyna, editor-in-chief of She Shreds magazine) struggling with sheltering in place.  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 25, 2021
Elohim - Strut (feat. Big Freedia)
Elohim - "Strut (feat. Big Freedia)," a 2021 self-released single. Los Angeles-based producer Elohim has spoken publicly in the past about her struggles with anxiety. On today's Song of the Day, she encourages herself and others to confront those feelings, teaming up with the Queen of Confidence, New Orleans artist Big Freedia. “Her music and story have inspired and continues to inspire humans all over the world. I am moved by anyone who is true to who they are,” Elohim declared in a press release. She continues, “‘Strut’ is a daily reminder to all of us, myself included, that the power we hold within ourselves is infinite. It’s a story of self-discovery and I feel proud, excited, and empowered to share a record like this. I want to inspire others to own who they are, celebrate their uniqueness, and shine their wonderful light to the world!”  Big Freedia adds, "Elohim is something else. I was so excited to get to work with her. ‘Strut’ is about owning your attitude, no matter who you are!” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 24, 2021
Mykki Blanco - Free Ride
Mykki Blanco - "Free Ride," a 2021 self-released single. Innovative rapper Mykki Blanco returned last week with the EP Broken Hearts & Beauty Sleep, their first new release in five years and their first for Transgressive Records. On today's Song of the Day, they looked back to road trips with their mother.   "Some of the most intimate moments and conversations I have ever shared were with my mother on long drives in the Southern countryside when I was a teenager," they related in a press release. "The music that soundtracked these memories on our daily journey’s was the stuff of my mothers generation. I would find myself daydreaming, reflecting and envisioning the kind of life I would like to create for myself. These memories and the music of Luther Vandross were the first inspirations behind the creation of my new song 'Free Ride.'" In the accompanying video, director Hannah Rosselin captured footage in Paris over two days.  “It was one of my most enjoyable shooting experiences so far," Rosselin shared. "The collaboration with Mykki was based on trust and respect since day one. I met them by chance, and, as we like to say together, it had to happen. If I had to describe some of my intentions with this video, I think I would say that I wanted to picture my representation of the family experience: mixed, unstructured, messy, and yet full of love. I also aimed to break the traditional codes affiliated with a religious gathering like a christening, obviously to try to make it more fun. And finally, with humility and some derision, I wanted to overlap my idea of 'the world from before' and hopefully the world that will come after.” Mykki continued, “Seeing the first edit of this video for was actually very emotional for me personally. I’m at a place in my life now where I know I want to have a family of my own one day and that I have entered a more mature phase of my life where this is a kind of thing I think about now. And on a professional level, I know videos have been such a key part of my journey and this truly feels like a video which is showing the world something new from me. Especially in light of the year we have all been through with the pandemic with limited engagement in person with those we love, this just feels like such a warm and positive visual to be sharing with the world to recall the joy we’ve been missing from gatherings like this and an encouragement to remain optimistic in looking forward to be able to return to engaging like this with those who we love. I am so grateful and impressed by Hannah and Division and the rest of the team involved with bringing this video to life, the video has such a beautiful cinematic feel to it and really captured what I’d hoped we would be able to show with the video for this song.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 23, 2021
MAN ON MAN - It’s So Fun (To Be Gay)
MAN ON MAN - "It's So Fun (To Be Gay)" from the 2021 album MAN ON MAN on Polyvinyl. While others were baking banana bread or binging shows on Netflix, Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum and his boyfriend Joey Holman started the music project Man on Man during the pandemic.  “Roddy was just like, ‘We’re both musicians, let’s just do it to pass time.’ At first, we were just going to share with our friends,” Holman toldRolling Stone, but the online response to their debut single, "Daddy", was so enthusiastic. “They were like, ‘Thank you, I see myself in this. This is me.’ Which is so cool! People have never seen two gay guys who are a couple making the kind of music we’re making, writing about what we’re writing about, displaying it in the way we’re displaying it.” Today's Song of the Day is a charming pop tune with a heartwarming accompanying video. "We wanted 'It's So Fun (To Be Gay)' to feel organic and warm with a strong, universal message," the band shared via a press statement. "For the video we aimed to focus on our community. Getting through the hardships of the past year, we leaned heavily on what we mean to each other in terms of support and understanding. We were in the middle of launching our Chosen Family project and had just finished linking people up for our penpal program and sourcing art for our quarterly zine. We thought the best way to exhibit the joy in the song would be to have a video full of our chosen family — friends, peers, and heros. So, we asked friends to share their love and lives and these queer testimonials are what make up the bulk of the video. Our togetherness and bond is key to moving forward in these times especially and we aimed to capture that bond and essence, particularly with Gay Pride 2021 on the horizon. It felt fitting to donate the launch-day's sales to Born Perfect, which is a non-profit whose mission is to end conversion therapy." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 22, 2021
Fred again.. & The Blessed Madonna - Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)
Fred again.. & The Blessed Madonna - “Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)” from the 2021 album Actual Life (April 14 - December 17 2020) on Atlantic. When the clubs shut down during the pandemic, London producer Fred again.. wrote today's Song of the Day as a eulogy to the dancefloor, sampling a voice mail message from his dear friend The Blessed Madonna (real name: Marea Stamper).  "Marea and I met in Palestine around 5 years ago now. I call her my rave shaman," Fred again.. said in a press release. "I think she’s that for a lot of other people too to be honest! Her ability to tell stories and share things has always been a particularly beautiful part of her beautiful mind so I guess it makes sense that I ended up making a song out of sampling one of our conversations! She's a real hug of a human." Stamper continues, "Right from the second I met Fred there was a real closeness and even though I didn’t know him at all, I always felt like 'this is gonna be a person in my life.' On this particular night in lockdown, Fred asked how I was feeling and I just talked to him like I normally would. Somehow he digs in all my babble and makes it into something beautiful and personal. Fred is a singular artist. He had such a tender way of looking at sound. You can’t fake it. You gotta have real heart. No one has a heart like that." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 21, 2021
Shabazz Palaces - 20 Gear Science
Shabazz Palaces - "20 Gear Science," a 2021 self-released single. Seattle's Shabazz Palaces share "20 Gear Science," the first single from their forthcoming LP The Lost Vibes Of Shabazz: The Skrilla Scrolls, a collection of rarities and previously unreleased songs. True to their decade-long career, the song is a spacey, cinematic (or "sinematic", as their video production is called) journey of synths and swagger.  Accompanying the track is a video filmed by Stephan Gray and Shabazz vocalist/producer Ishmael Butler. As they explain in the YouTube description, "While on vacation at their Baška hideaway retired Cantù basketball star Capricio "Prici" Drogba and his girlfriend Glo Moonlit must deal with the strange interloper that has appeared down by the pool." (Both Drogba and the pool boy are portrayed by Butler.)  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 18, 2021
DAM - Hada yid'ie sitna
DAM - "Hada Yid’ie Sitna" from the 2019 album Ben Haana Wa Maana on Cooking Vinyl. Formed in the late '90s, DAM have been called "the first Palestinian hip hop crew and among the first to rap in Arabic." Since the very beginning, the group have used their lyrics to speak out about the trials of being Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. On their third and most recent release, Ben Haana Wa Maana (which translates to "Between Both Worlds"), DAM explore the subject of self-love.  “We know that we had hit hard times. We always talked about the darkness we live in,” founding member Tamer Nafar said in a press release. “But this time we changed our attitude. As we say in one of our songs 'Hada Yidi’e Sitna'; This is not a darkness of a tomb, we are in a darkness of a womb.” In an interview withThe National, they explain that today's Song of the Day is "the story of kids fighting on the streets before somebody calls their mothers." Songwriter and rapper Maysa Daw (who joined the collective in 2012) explains, "In that song, we’re calling for women to take the leadership and guide us in a better way." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 17, 2021
Thee Sacred Souls - Give Us Justice
Thee Sacred Souls - "Give Us Justice," a 2020 single on Daptone Records. With today's Song of the Day, San Diego-based trio Thee Sacred Souls reflect on the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, singing "there'll be no peace / until there's justice." The Grammy-nominated band The Black Pumas declared it "the song that will define 2020 for me" in Rolling Stone magazine.  "The song kind of wrote and spoke for itself," vocalist Josh Lane told KPBS. "I might not have been someone who was murdered... but in a certain situation I could've been any other people who lost their lives to police brutality or brutality in general."  As the band states on their Bandcamp page, "proceeds from this single will go to promoting the freedoms, rights, and wellbeing of black people, spread across various organizations which they will continue to research over time, starting with The Movement for Black Lives." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 16, 2021
Al-Bara'em - Ishraq
Al-Bara’em - "Ishraq" from the 2021 Al-Bara'em EP on SMNTCS. A few years ago, Houston-based music journalist Sama'an Ashrawi found out a surprising fact about his Dad: back in the 1960s-'70s, his father and all but one of his aunts and uncles were the founding members Al-Bara'em ("The Blooms" in Arabic), Palestine's first original rock band, and the first Palestinian rock band to feature women on stage.  “At a family gathering — either Thanksgiving or Christmas — one of my uncles told me that recordings of the band existed,” Ashrawi toldThe Arab News. “In that moment it became something very sacred to me. It was bigger than our family history; it became immediately clear that it was Palestinian cultural history. People needed to know about this.” After the revelation, Ashrawi headed to Palestine on a research trip, unearthing recordings and photographs, including the live shot seen above, from a sold-out performance at the Jerusalem YMCA in December 1973. He's currently filming a documentary of his discoveries, and hopes to recruit younger musicians under supervision of his uncles to record some previously unrecorded songs. “I’m so grateful, mashallah, that all the members of the band are still alive, and that’s what makes it even more urgent to get the full story of the band out as soon as possible.” Of today’s Song of the Day, Ashrawi explains to KEXP, “During Al-Bara’em member Samir’s recording of the demo in the early 1980s, a gospel choir happened to be just outside in the studio lobby while Samir was recording; when he stepped outside to take a break, he found that the choir were harmonizing to his melodies and was quite touched. He told them he’s from the same place as Jesus and asked if they’d like to record their harmonies, which you can now hear over the end of ‘Ishraq.’” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 15, 2021
Mndsgn - Hope You're Doin' Better
Mndsgn - "Hope You’re Doin’ Better," a 2021 single on Stones Throw Records. On his latest LP Rare Pleasure, L.A.-based producer Mndsgn (real name: Ringgo Ancheta) finds influence in the soundtracks of the '70s and '80s, stating the repetitions "echo the recurring motifs we experience in life, sometimes being revisited by the same lessons in different shapes and forms."  With today's Song of the Day, in particular, he channels an emotional experience into a laid-back summery groove. In a press statement, he shares: “During the holidays in 2018, my father had a complete mental breakdown. It was during a family party which made it all the more dramatic and equally traumatic for everyone that was there.  I stayed in LA that year so I received the news remotely.  It was heartbreaking to say the least. In the following months, he plunged into a deep downward spiral that involved him quitting his job, isolating himself from family, including myself & giving us an alarming concern that he could potentially end his life if he continued down the path he was on.   It was a desperate cry for help.” He adds, "Although communication between each other was severed, it allowed the opportunity to truly acquaint myself with the concept of loving from afar... a song I think many can relate to when we feel communication is still sought after even when we feel it isn’t available.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 14, 2021
Damien Jurado - Tom
Damien Jurado - "Tom" from the 2021 album The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania on Field Painting Music. On his 17th album, The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania, Seattle singer/songwriter Damien Jurado introduces the listener to ten stories filled with characters confronting different stressful scenarios: "hurricanes moving toward town, strained connections, amnesiacs in the front yard," his press release details. He credits his cast-driven songs with his childhood love of films and TV, tellingFolk Radio, "I’m still following that line with the new material I’m writing. I’m actually going to be recording a new album next month in June. It’s going to be a five-part album, sort of like I did with [his 2012 album] Maraqopa with the trilogy, but bigger. It’s focused around one person and a few other people, like your standard movie or TV show. It’s set in the past with the main character sort of going in-and-out of his own existence.” It's fitting that The Monster... is the first release from Damien’s own Maraqopa Records. “It seemed like the right thing to do financially. I want to be able to put out more music at a rate that’s quicker than I was in the past. Most record labels make you wait two years to release something and I write at such a high rate that there’s no real point in waiting that long. I want to put out two or more records a year and I wasn’t able to do that before,” he continues. "I’m most definitely releasing one or two next year. There’s also going to be some reissues as well. 2022 is going to be a giant, busy year for me.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 11, 2021
Yee Loi - Be Like Johnny
Yee Loi - "Be Like Johnny" from the 2021 self-released album No One Eats For Free. Taking their name from the Cantonese translation of "two girls," Yee Loi is just that: two sisters from Liverpool, England. Guitarist/bassist Rose is 13-years-old, and drummer Matilda just turned 12 last month. The pair credit learning songs by The Ramones with teaching them how to play music, so it's fitting that their debut single is an ode to frontman Johnny Ramone, who they say "inspired us to achieve our musical goals."  Their debut album No One Eats For Free was written and recorded during the pandemic, but the siblings promise it's not a bummer. "It's a special memory of getting through a difficult time," they toldLazie Indie Magazine. "The songs are written about our experiences and our family. One of the songs is about our Gran who passed recently. Every song has a meaning or a story. Sounds like it is a sad thing. But it certainly isn't a sad song album! It really rocks! Heavily influenced by some great rockers." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 10, 2021
Split Single - (Nothing You Can Do) To End This Love
Split Single - "(Nothing You Can Do) To End This Love" from the 2021 album Amplificado on Inside Outside Records. Jason Narducy can often be found playing bass for Superchunk and Bob Mould’s band; on his own, the Chicago-based musician records as Split Single, and he'll be releasing his third full-length, Amplificado, on June 25th. He continues the high-standard of musicianship he finds in his side projects by recruiting R.E.M.'s Mike Mills on bass and his usual bandmate Jon Wurster on drums.  For today's Song of the Day, Narducy sends out a “message of love and support to the LGBTQ+ community,” strengthened through its accompanying video, directed by Jamie Fleischel. In a press release, he shares: The chords and melody for this song sounded like defiance to me. I wanted to write a lyric that matched this sonic mood. The first words that came into my head were “She loves her and he loves him.” So it ended up being an unconventional love song. I’m expressing support and joy for diverse couples everywhere, including but not only my friends that appear in the video. I met Jamie Fleischel years ago but didn’t find out until recently that he was making these great videos for Wilco and Jeff Tweedy. He and his family joined me weekly last fall to write get-out-the-vote postcards and we grew close enough for me to feel comfortable asking him if he’d be interested in making a video. I love how he captured the unabashed joy in the song through the footage of the charismatic kids and loving couples. The visual narrative is in line with the lyrics but also evokes what many of us are feeling with vaccines, more sunshine, and the wicked witch out of office: finally something to look forward to. I hope it makes people smile and I hope it makes people feel less lonely. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 09, 2021
SPELLLING - Boys at School
SPELLLING - "Boys at School" from the 2021 album The Turning Wheel on Sacred Bones. Bay Area-based artist Chrystia Cabral, who records as SPELLLING, returns with her third full-length, The Turning Wheel, out June 25th via Sacred Bones. In a press release, she details that the album has “themes of human unity, the future, divine love, and the enigmatic ups and downs of being a part of this carnival called life.”  Today's Song of the Day is a dramatic seven-minute-long piano-led ballad, with Cabral reflecting on the early stages of her life. She explains that the track “steps back into my younger self, my teenage self to voice my angst, desires and disillusionments. I knew when I created the main motif on the piano that it was striking something really raw and both delicate and fierce. The notes just immediately transported me to the era of my youth, of this time when you are really beginning to confront the mirror of yourself to the outside world.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 08, 2021
Nasimiyu - Watercolor
Nasimiyu - "Watercolor" from the 2021 album P O T I O N S on Figureight. Brooklyn-based musician and dancer Nasimyu Murumba (who records as nasimiYu) returns with P O T I O N S, her first new solo album in seven years, a joyous release produced during a difficult time. “This album was being made while the world was on fire in all the ways,” she shared in a press statement, “and some of the most loving ways found their way into these songs because that’s what I was overflowing with throughout the experience. I just wanted to make the ‘me-est’ thing possible, undiluted, and to find my own healing in the process.” She explains that today's Song of the Day is a "psychedelic awakening." She adds: It’s about that tender place of vulnerability that’s always hiding behind our outer shell. The song is a celebration of how much bravery it takes to shed our armor and to choose to live in our softness. 'Watercolor' is about letting myself get all the way to the other side of a good cry, and finding complete elation on the other side. Crying as cleansing. Taking an 'inner shower.' This song is about being the opposite cool, the opposite of nonchalant. It’s about allowing yourself to be as fully human as you can be. Bursting open with every color of the emotional spectrum all at once. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
Jun 07, 2021