Song of the Day

By KEXP

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 Aug 16, 2018

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Description

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


Episode Date
Jeff Parker - Build a Nest (feat. Ruby Parker)
134
Jeff Parker - "Build a Nest (feat. Ruby Parker)" from the 2020 album Suite for Max Brown on International Anthem. With his 2016 album The New Breed, guitarist Jeff Parker paid tribute to his Dad, who passed away while he was recording it. With his latest release, Suite For Max Brown, he wanted to dedicate something to his Mom while she was still alive to hear it. "Maxine Brown is her maiden name and everybody calls her Max," Parker explained in a press statement. "The picture on the cover is her when she was 19." Today's Song of the Day makes it a family affair as it features guest vocals from Parker's daughter, Ruby. Parker has shown his dexterity as a member of experimental post-rock bands Tortoise and Isotope 217. With Suite For Max Brown, he utilizes a mix of digital and analog instruments. He explains: I used to deejay a lot when I lived in Chicago. I was spinning records one night and for about 10 minutes I was able to perfectly synch up a Nobukazu Takemura record with the first movement of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and it had this free jazz, abstract jazz thing going on with a sequenced beat underneath. It sounded so good. That’s what I’m trying to do with Suite For Max Brown. It’s got a sequenced beat and there are musicians improvising on top or beneath the sequenced drum pattern. That’s what I was going for. Man vs. machine. It’s a lot of experimenting, a lot of trial and error. I like to pursue situations that take me outside myself, where the things I come up with are things I didn’t really know I could do. I always look at this process as patchwork quilting. You take this stuff and stitch it together until a tapestry forms. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 25, 2021
Madison McFerrin - Hindsight
224
Madison McFerrin - "Hindsight," a 2020 single on Mexican Summer. Brooklyn-based artist Madison McFerrin says she wrote today's Song of the Day as “a love letter to Bernie Sanders.” She explained the inspiration for the track toAfropunk.com: It was back in May when it was clear that both A) this pandemic wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and B) Bernie Sanders, the only Democratic Presidential candidate advocating for Medicare for All (something that seems beyond important in the middle of a global pandemic), had officially dropped out of the race. I was feeling like the possibility for true progress had, once again, slipped through our fingers. That’s what’s behind the refrain of “coulda said we went for it.” Regardless, we have to move on and move forward with conviction. The single was released as part of Mexican Summer’sLooking Glass series, a project they launched as a response to the pandemic where all proceeds from the digital singles on Bandcamp are given straight back to the artist or the charity of their choice.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 24, 2021
Navy Blue - 224
190
Navy Blue - "224" from the 2020 album Song of Sage: Post Panic! on Freedom Sounds. Skateboarder/graphic designer/streetwear model Sage Elsesser explores his musical side under the alias Navy Blue. Last year's full-length, Àdá Irin, was a confident debut (read KEXP's Martin Douglas' review here), and less than a year later, he returned with his sophomore album, Song of Sage: Post Panic!, another collection of introspective hip-hop. As Martin describes it in the February edition ofIn Our Headphones, it's "an illuminating tapestry of meditations on self-harm, colonization and ancestral weight, gentrification, anxiety attacks, the grief we carry throughout our lives, and the ties that bind Black people together."  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 23, 2021
Gary Bartz, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Adrian Younge - Spiritual Ideation
238
Gary Bartz, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Adrian Younge - "Spiritual Ideation" from the 2020 album Gary Bartz JID006 on Jazz is Dead. Last year, Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest) launched the label and series Jazz Is Dead, where the duo pair up with a legendary jazz musician, recording new music using the vintage studio equipment that artist originally used in their discography. So far, they've collaborated with Roy Ayers, Marcos Valle, Azymuth, and several others, and for the label's first release of 2021, they've recruited legendary saxophonist Gary Bartz.  Bartz just turned 80 years old last year, and Gary Bartz JID006 is his first new album in eight years, to be released April 2 via Jazz is Dead. “Working with Gary Bartz epitomizes the ethos behind Jazz Is Dead,” says Younge via a statement. “He’s a luminary that has contributed so much to music culture, for decades. His musical ability is expanding with age and we’re honored to be a part of his world.” (In fact, Bartz's 1975 album The Shadow Do and his 1977 album Music Is My Sanctuary were produced by the Mizell Brothers, our DJ's Dad and Uncle!)  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 22, 2021
Dark Time Sunshine - Familiars
301
Dark Time Sunshine - "Familiars" from the 2021 album LORE on Fake Four Inc. Dark Time Sunshine combines the talents of Seattle's own Onry Ozzborn (of Grayskul and Oldominion) and Chicago producer Zavala. It's been nine years since their last album, ANX, but they return this month with Lore.  While the lyrics on the new album mostly reflect on trauma and recovery, today's Song of the Day looks at resilience. In a track-by-track withFlood Magazine, the duo describe the meaning behind today's Song of the Day, stating simply, "ignore the negative voices in your head, and outside of it." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 19, 2021
Yazmin Lacey & Congi - Follow Me
235
Yazmin Lacey & Congi - "Follow Me" from the 2020 self-released Two Takes EP. Nottingham-based duo Congi have teamed up again with vocalist Yazmin Lacey for another soulful set of R&B jams. Their latest EP, titled Two Takes, is the result of just that: the artists did everything from home — "production and songwriting to the recording and mixing." Then, they kept things minimal in the studio, explaining, "by finishing each song in 'two takes' we kept the process as raw and organic as possible."  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 18, 2021
Grove - Ur Boyfriend's Wack
185
Grove - "Ur Boyfriend's Wack," a 2021 single on Memorials of Distinction x Spinny Nights. Bristol-based producer Grove celebrates their "queerness" in today's Song of the Day. In a press release, they claim the song is “part satire about wack boyfriends who do The Bare Minimum, part informed by the experience of rejecting my own sexuality when younger. It is a steezy reclaiming of pride in that queerness, and departing the space where shame was part and parcel of my lived experience.” Grove will release a new EP titled QUEER + BLACK on February 23 via Memorials of Distinction/Spinny Nights. The release is described as "an exploration of personal and political identity." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 17, 2021
Jasik - Black Sands
199
Jasik - "Black Sands" from the 2021 album Forest of Spirit on Preference Records. Pianist/producer Jamael Dean is only in his early 20s, but he already boasts a lengthy discography, both as Jira >< and, for his rap/spoken word material, as Jasik, a combination of "jah", the creator, and "seek," as in, a disciple or student. He uses this alias "for writing," he explains, "to pay homage to the students of creation seeking to leave something of service in their wake." The grandson of legendary jazz drummer Donald Dean, Jasik grew up in an environment where music was encouraged, and his parents bought him a keyboard for Christmas when he was just eight-years-old. Since then, he's gone on to collaborate with musicians like Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and Carlos Niño. (He was also part of Thundercat's touring band for a while.) On his latest album Forest of Spirit, Jasik displays his introspective side, demonstrating a mastery of wordplay against a soothing, jazzy soundtrack. On today's Song of the Day, he seemingly meditates on the preservation of culture. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 16, 2021
SPELLLING - Secret Thread
306
SPELLLING - "Secret Thread" from the 2019 album Mazy Fly on Sacred Bones Records. Oakland-based artist Tia Cabral, who records under the name Spellling, found inspiration for today's Song of the Day in both a children's book and her dog. She toldCulture Collide: I remember reading this book called Brown Angels. It’s a little book of poetry, and it has these old photos of black kids just being joyful. There’s a poem in there called "Secret Thread," about the unspoken bond between people and ideas. This thing that tethers you to someone else, that you don’t need words for. So it’s not weightless, it’s the opposite, really. The secret thread is what tethers me. Even though I’m up in the sky, it’s what keeps me tethered to this world. It’s between both- you’re rooted in the earth and looking up into the sky. Today's featured track is also where the title of her latest album originates from. She continued: This was the last song I wrote for the record. It felt like I was collecting a lot of little treasures from other songs. I was inspired by this idea of what the spirit of this record would look like. Mazy Fly was the name I came up with for the music on this record. It’s a creature-like thing, something with wings, something that can transport you to this world. I got the idea from my dog. At the end of writing sessions, we’d go out to this field and she’d run like a maniac. I was inspired by her being in this state of crazy energy. She was running, and it was like she didn’t even know where she was running. It’s like she was flying. And I just loved that moment of the day. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 15, 2021
Jason McCue - First Time
196
Jason McCue - "First Time," a 2021 single on Fluff and Gravy Records. Back in 2017, Seattle singer/songwriter Jason McCue won the annual Sound Off! competition at MoPop, stunning audiences with his solo performance on acoustic guitar. Since then, he's grown as an artist, evidenced by his most recent releases WASTELAND and PANGAEA. Today, our Song of the Day is his latest single "First Time," his first new music since last year's Apocalypse EP.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 12, 2021
The Lounge Society - Burn the Heather
211
The Lounge Society - "Burn the Heather," a 2020 single on Speedy Wunderground. Last year, Yorkshire-based band The Lounge Society released their debut single, which ended up being the fastest-selling 7” on their label Speedy Wunderground. The teenage quartet returned back in November with today's Song of the Day.  “‘Burn the Heather’ is a song deeply rooted in where we come from,” they say in a press release. “The lyrics are our interpretation of some of the darker aspects of where we live, and our personal reaction to them. Musically, ‘Burn the Heather’ is intended to be an adrenaline shot to the brain. We wanted this to be the second single all along. We don’t want to be just another post-punk band, and we knew Heather would keep people on their toes. Unlike a lot of our tracks, the guitars are quite minimal and the rhythm really carries it, and we think it works really well. We want to make people move.” The single was released alongside a video directed by Nick Farrimond who details the concept: “Born from the sense of injustice surrounding irresponsible land owners who clear heather from the moorland for grouse hunting, (resulting in increased flood risks below in the valley where we all live) we decided to portray caricatured versions of grouse hunters, dressed head to toe in tweed and showing total disregard for the landscape and devoid of any values, morals or ethics. The band play the parts of grouse, making their way across the moors, dressed in fetching red boiler suits and unaware of the impending danger they face. What ensues is general carnage as the grouse are hunted one by one, each meeting a grizzly, untimely end…or do they? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 11, 2021
Cherry Glazerr - Rabbit Hole
179
Cherry Glazerr - "Rabbit Hole," a 2020 single on Secretly Canadian. “‘Tried too hard not to be distasteful but it led me down a rabbit hole’ That line sums it up.” On her latest single “Rabbit Hole,” Cherry Glazerr frontwoman Clementine Creevy reflects on her tendency to be someone she's not. “‘Rabbit Hole’ is about clawing back my identity,” Creevy says in a press release. “I often find myself acting a certain way to get someone else’s approval. Then it’s hard for me to find myself again. I have to climb my way out of that conformity and embrace myself, even if that means not everyone is going to like me. Easier said than done! But it’s what I was meditating on with this song.”  “Change and discomfort are something I thrive in but I’ve come to realize that there’s a futility of doing things just to please other people,” she adds. “You can’t sacrifice your true self, it’s just unsustainable. Realizing this has been a big pill to swallow for me but it has given me a wealth of perspective. I feel like I’m growing into the artist that I’ve always wanted to be, it feels better than anything to do what you want with your own art.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 10, 2021
Sevdaliza - Wallflower
182
Sevdaliza - "Wallflower" from the 2020 album Shabrang on Twisted Elegance. Iranian-born, Dutch-based artist and producer Sevdaliza began her career as a professional basketball player before turning her discipline and talent to music, combining Persian mythology with trip-hop, crafting sensual soundscapes with hypnotic vocals. She describes her second full-length, Shabrang, as "kind of like a letter that I wrote to myself."  She continues to French fashion magazine L'Officiel, "It is my own holy grail. I had to write and record this album in order to regain my trust and belief in life and in love. I always felt like an observer, and I think that with this album I'm materializing my observations of life and love in that particular period of my life — the past few years have been a roller coaster ride. But I think that with the album, I'm always trying to return to my life. With this record, I also hope that it will bring light and hope to the people that are listening to it. My first record was kind of like a very long therapy session and this is more of a jump towards conveying the light that I found in those first few years and always trying to go back to it." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 09, 2021
Claud - Soft Spot
188
Claud - "Soft Spot" from the 2021 album Super Monster on Saddest Factory. This Friday, February 12th, singer/songwriter Claud Mintz (who records as Claud) will release their debut album Super Monster via Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, and what could be a better endorsement than being the first album released by Bridgers’ new imprint for Dead Oceans?  Today's Song of the Day is a dreamy rumination on a relationship gone. Claud confirms in a press release, stating “‘… Sigh. I have a soft spot for lots of people, places, and things. This song is about knowing I can’t be with this one specific person, but my feelings won’t go away… I still hope I run into them, or they randomly text me about something. It’s just me romanticizing what I can’t have and being like ‘but what if…’”  The accompanying video, directed by Brad Bischoff, captures that wistfulness. "Something I’ve come to realize in the last couple years is that moving away is VERY different than moving on (seems obvious but is really not … ). This video is about the stuff that you can’t seem to leave behind and that comes with you wherever you go, whether they’re good things or not so good things." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 08, 2021
Gibraltar - O, Devilish Sailor
192
Gibraltar - "O, Devilish Sailor" from the 2021 self-released album Modern Mischief. It's been a few years since we last heard from Seattle post-rockers Gibraltar, but the trio return this March with the new full-length Modern Mischief. The album's first single features guest horn players Sari Breznau on trumpet, and Nate Henry on tenor sax, adding a soulful touch to the angular guitar and punchy percussion. In a statement to theBig Takeover, frontman and founding member Aaron Starkey shares the story behind the track:  “Lyrically, [“O Devilish Sailor”] is about feeling powerless with the decisions that our bodies make for us. I tried to, lyrically, have a conversation about the frustrations I have with my own body. The generation of the song though, musically, came from a challenge that [drummer] Nick [Biscardi] put forth to me about writing song ideas at home versus jamming in the rehearsal room.” “My approach had always been to just get in a room and sweat it out, and he (strongly) suggested that I play around with ideas and structures on my own… and so the gauntlet was thrown and I dug in over a weekend and tried to compose more of the concept. What we ended up recording became far more than my modest home recording attempt, but I’m grateful for finally getting past the hurdle of how I’d been writing up to that point.” Modern Mischief will be out digitally on March 22nd, with a physical product shipping out on or around March 26th. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 05, 2021
Mogwai - Ritchie Sacramento
252
Mogwai - "Ritchie Sacramento"from the 2021 album As the Love Continues on Temporary Residence Ltd. Today's Song of the Day gets its title from someone's mispronunciation of the name Ryuchi Sakamoto, famed Japanese composer. Scottish post-rock band Mogwai transformed the flub into a tribute for David Berman, the musician behind the Silver Jews who passed away in 2019.  “I was inspired by a story that Bob Nastanovich put online on the anniversary of the death of Dave Berman from Silver Jews,” frontman Stuart Braithwaite toldNME. “When they were students, Dave threw a shovel at a sports car. That’s the first line of the song: ‘Rise crystal spear’. Obviously Dave was an amazing poet, songwriter and musician. I took the lead from there. I wouldn’t pretend to be able to write songs as good as him, but he’s definitely a huge inspiration.” Braithwaite continued: “It’s been a hard few years. There are a lot of people that we played with and were friends with that just aren’t around now. This songs is about those people, imagined conversations… and Dave Berman throwing a shovel at a sports car!” Mogwai’s tenth album, As the Love Continues, will be out February 19th via Temporary Residence Ltd./Rock Action.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 04, 2021
Barbarossa - Iris2Iris
226
Barbarossa - "Iris2Iris" from the 2021 album Love Here Listen on Memphis Industries. Barbarossa – aka UK-based musician/producer James Mathé – returns this March with his sixth album, Love Here Listen. Today's Song of the Day gives a first listen to the forthcoming full-length.  In a statement, Mathé explains the track: "I was thinking about how I have moments of clarity more and more as I get older of what is really meaningful in my life and how I can best use my time in this life. The moments are often short-lived though, so I look at ways of accessing this mental state more. My kids bring me into this state and nature too. I jump in icy water now I live by the sea and it brings me into fight or flight, it brings what’s important to the forefront of my mind. The song is about spending more of your life with your eyes open, confronting everything that you are dealt with."  As he did with his 2018 album Lier, Mathé again teamed up with fellow producer Ghost Culture (Daniel Avery, Kelly Lee Owens), using vintage synths to craft their dreamy electronica sound. "It was probably the most stress-free record to date and so much fun just messing around with synth arps," Ghost Culture toldThe Line of Best Fit. "It’s easy with James as we really understand each other and I trust him totally. He lives five minutes’ walk along the seafront from me. We even jumped in the sea a couple of times after lunch." Love Here Listen will be out March 5th via Memphis Industries. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 03, 2021
El Michels Affair - Murkit Gem
193
El Michels Affair - "Murkit Gem" from the 2021 album Yeti Season on Big Crown Records. Multi-instrumentalist, writer, and producer Leon Michels has a long history in the Brooklyn music scene, with too many credits to list, but a few include being a touring member of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and The Black Keys, a co-founder of the The Menahan Street Band, a co-producer on Aloe Blacc’s album Good Things, and he was even a credited writer on Adele’s blockbuster album, 19. With his current project El Michels Affair, he brings his decades of experience together for a unique instrumental soul sound. His upcoming album, Yeti Season, combines R&B and jazz with Turkish and Persian psych-funk. Today's featured track features guest vocals from artist Piya Malik. "When Piya started singing in Hindi, she had a different voice, a different tone," Michels said in a press release. "I knew we had to do something together." Yeti Season is out on Big Crown Records on March 18th. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 02, 2021
Nation of Language - Deliver Me From Wondering Why
245
Nation of Language - "Deliver Me From Wondering Why," a 2021 self-released single. Brooklyn synth-pop duo Nation Of Language sent us swooning with last year's debut full-length, titled Introduction, Presence. Earlier this month, they returned with the new single "Deliver Me From Wondering Why," another new wave-inspired track that sounds straight from a '80s film soundtrack. The band layer video game-esque sounds against the programmed beats, adding soaring out-of-this-world effects. In a press statement, frontman/songwriter Ian Devaney shared more about the song: “Deliver Me From Wondering Why” is a bit of an exploration, rooted in a desire for something repetitious and a bit spacey — something that would make you really want to zone out or go for a long drive on the highway. (Ideally not at the same time.) We worked on it with Nick Millhiser (Holy Ghost!) and it was just a really fun exercise in letting the track carry us wherever it was going to go. The backbone of the steady synth arpeggios and rhythms just leads endlessly forward and lets the mind wander around it. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 01, 2021
Toni Banx - Chanel No. 5
195
Toni Banx - "Chanel No. 5" from the 2020 album I Like It Here on Fifth House Media. And you know I get down on myself / I ain’t better that nobody else / But I’m better than what I done been through / Too late to say that I miss you Seattle's Fifth House is both a media outlet, and a duo (as featured in KEXP's October 2020 edition of In Our Headphones). Half of that duo — the richly-voiced Toni Banx — has emerged with the solo EP I Like It Here. Today's Song of the Day is a soulful ode to the loss of a relationship, and the stories, and scents, left behind.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 29, 2021
Ciscero - Beautiful Mind (feat. Oddisee)
155
Ciscero - "Beautiful Mind (feat. Oddisee)," a 2021 single on We Are Not The Same. They don't give a fuck about us / They're not feeling what we say / “They don’t give no fuck about us / 'cause we come from 'round the way”  On "Beautiful Mind," two emcees from Prince George's County, Maryland team up to reflect on where they're from and how they rise above. The soulful, sun-drenched single features production by Tee-WaTT, Latrell James, J.Robb, with guest violinist April George adding a melancholy touch.   The accompanying music video, directed by Adam Hahn, juxtaposes images of Ciscero and his crew with shots of children playing in the street. Watch now on KEXP.org.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 28, 2021
KAMAUU - MANGO (feat. Adeline)
246
KAMAUU - "MANGO (feat. Adeline)," a 2021 single on Atlantic Records. Born in D.C. and raised in Maryland, the parents of Kamau Mbonisi Kwame Agyeman sought to introduce him and his brother to African music, history, and culture at a young age. Now based in Brooklyn, rapper/artist KAMAUU incorporates those lessons into his genre-defying music. (His brother also grew up to pursue music, recording under the name Nkō Khélí.) On one of his most recent singles, "MANGO," he teams up with vocalist Adeline (who is also half of the production duo Nightshade). In an interview withLadygunn, he explains the inspiration behind the song: “MANGO” was inspired by the realization that in relationships, many of us think we want what’s best for our partners, though we often, more accurately, want to be with our partners in the way that feels the best or most right to us. I found this to be dangerous for many reasons. One being that how things feel can be deceptive. When you have a fever, you feel cold even though your body may very well be a human torch (hot). It’s also dangerous because most of us have trouble figuring out what best for ourselves. To know what’s best for another, to me, especially in situations where I/we can be massively emotionally biased, seems unlikely.  This led me to build more relationships with people who thoroughly studied themselves. If I can trust that someone has really studied and worked on and with themselves, I can trust they have a good grasp on what’s best for them. If what’s best is someone else, who am I to block a blessing.  Now I’m not saying go and cheat, but what I am saying is that, it’s better to be fully transparent about what we want from our partners, and what we can and cannot, and/or will and will not offer. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 27, 2021
Mumu Fresh - A Healing
216
Mumu Fresh - "A Healing," a 2021 self-released single. Maimouna Youssef (aka Mumu Fresh) is a GRAMMY-Nominated singer, songwriter, and activist, who mines her rich heritage for inspiration. She grew up singing gospel and jazz in an African-American Muslim household in Baltimore, and learned traditional songs from her Choctaw and Muscogee grandparents. Lately, she has been collaborating with "everyone from Salaam Remi to Tobe Nwigwe" as DJ Gabriel Teodros reports, and today's featured track is "her first solo single in a minute." Teodros adds, "She did this amazing NPR Tiny Desk concert a few years ago here. Hopefully we'll have a KEXP Live at Home with her soon!"  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 26, 2021
I Self Devine - The Disruptor Suite
462
I Self Devine - "The Disruptor Suite," a 2021 single on Improvised Weaponry. Born Chaka Mkali in Minneapolis, I Self Devine has been called "one of the most influential voices in Minnesota hip hop" by alt-weekly City Pages. In addition to being a talented musician and MC, he is also a "community organizer, racial justice trainer, graffiti artist, muralist, program coordinator and director of organizing and community building at Hope Community Center in Minneapolis," as detailed in his artist bio. (Learn more about I Self Devine in this Sound & Vision interview by Gabriel Teodros.) Today's Song of the Day is a six-part song, produced and engineered by Medium Zach. On his SoundCloud page, he explains: "The Disruptor Suite" is one of many creative reflections from democracy TBD, a series of scenario planning working groups designed to help the Democracy Fund keep pace with the rapid and unpredictable changes to social, political, and economic systems. Democracy Fund wanted to start thinking through how the current pandemic, racial unrest, and election concerns might spark a cycle of disruption and reorganization. Which aspects of our democratic system might prove more resilient, and which might be fundamentally altered. This working group consisting of architects, professors, journalist, organizers, urban planners, strategists, futurists, artists, policy directors, and researchers were led by Democracy Fund, Dot Connector studio, and 8 bridges workshop in two facilitated discussion sessions. The first session was around events that could trigger systems level disruptions. Participants picked a disruptor to think and imagine across the STEEP+C sectors which is looking at the possible intended/ unintended negative and positive impacts of a disruptor from a Societal, Technological, Environmental, Economic, Political, and Creative lens.  In the second session there was reflection on the potential impact of a given disruptive event using the Democracy Funds Healthy Democracy Framework. The disruptor chosen for this song was defunding the police state. The soundscape created by Medium Zach is a suite consisting of six parts capturing all of the elements of the STEEP+C sectors. This song was done in the spirit of Gang Starr’s “I’m the Man”, and “Speak Ya Clout” . Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 25, 2021
Erik Blood - Rent is Due (feat. Gary V)
372
Erik Blood - "Rent is Due (feat. Gary V)," a 2020 self-released single. Currently based in Los Angeles, but forever a local artist in KEXP's heart, Erik Blood teams up with Anti- Records recording artist Gary V for today's Song of the Day. (Born Garett van der Spek in Durban, South Africa, Gary V is also a former Seattleite residing in the City of Angels.) Using an original instrumental track that Blood created for The Stranger's SPLIFF film festival trailer, Gary V implores the listener to "Take time / Slow down." Via Twitter, Blood confirmed that "all of the money from the purchase of 'Rent is Due' will be going to our mutual friend [Garek Druss]," who was diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma located in his esophagus and stomach. Blood adds, "Rent can wait." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 22, 2021
SHYGIRL - SLIME
159
SHYGIRL - "SLIME" from the 2020 ALIAS EP on Because Music. London-based artist SHYGIRL is anything but. Born Blane Muise, she avoided using her real name – “which would come with its own set of implications and prejudices,” she explained toLondon in Stereo – and adopted the new moniker, explaining "like Picasso had his blue period, this is my Shygirl period." Her latest release – a 7-song EP appropriately titled ALIAS – she continues to explore her other identities, crafting four sub-personalities she calls Baddie, Bovine, Bonk, and Bae. She toldStereogum, "For me, it accentuates different sides of myself and I wanted to explain that better in giving them a whole entire life.” She adds, "At some point the lines are really blurry about what came before, and what exists now, I’m very much in Shygirl — that is my everyday. I’m still learning about what is wholly real for me. That’s the journey I’m on. I don’t know what other parts of myself are yet to rear their heads, but right now these are the most prominent.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 21, 2021
Blu & Exile - The American Dream
280
Blu & Exile - "The American Dream" from the 2020 album Miles on Dirty Science Records. Rapper Blu and hip hop producer Exile returned last year for their first new full-length in eight years: Miles: From An Interlude Called Life (or just Miles for short), an expansive 20-track double LP. “We planted the seeds of creativity and grew about 40 plants,” Exile said in a press release. “We picked the ones that we thought were the best for an album, but that didn’t mean that the other flowers weren’t beautiful.” Today's Song of the Day is a reflective, yearning track features guest vocals from The Last, Artful Dodger, and Blu‘s childhood friend Miguel, now a Grammy Award winning artist in his own right.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 20, 2021
Romero - Troublemaker
235
Romero - "Troublemaker," a 2020 self-released single. Australian power-pop group Romero follow up last year's debut  “Honey / Neapolitan” 7" single with the new track "Troublemaker," a fun, upbeat, '80s-style sing-a-long about a frenemy making eyes at your man. The band's frontwoman Alanna Oliver explained toNME:  “Troublemaker” was born after a conversation I was having with my mum about a girl I knew… we both came to the conclusion that she was in love with my boyfriend and my mother called her a troublemaker hah! I was like “Yesssss mum!” I hung up the phone immediately, pulled over my car and started writing these lyrics. I was on my way to rehearsal and when I arrived Ferg was playing this new riff he had just written and it all fell into place that afternoon. It felt very serendipitous. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 19, 2021
Sen Morimoto - Love, Money Pt. 2
170
Sen Morimoto - "Love, Money Pt. 2" from the 2020 album Sen Morimoto on Sooper Records. Chicago-based artist Sen Morimoto's sophomore self-titled release is a genre-blending mix of hip-hop, pop, R&B, and jazz (Morimoto is also a classically-trained saxophonist). Today's Song of the Day is a sequel to a track off his 2017 EP It’s Late, a follow-up he explained to KEXP's Dusty Henry in this 2020 interview.  “The reason there can be a part two is because that thought never goes away,” Morimoto says. “How you define love for yourself and look for love for yourself is constantly changing. And I think also our understanding of why we need money or what the expectation is to have money or what richness is to your life – even outside of money – is constantly changing. How you survive under capitalism, how you shift your thinking under capitalism... These things are always changing.” Watch Morimoto perform LIVE on KEXP at Home here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 18, 2021
Melenas - No puedo pensar
183
Melenas - "No puedo pensar" from the 2020 album Dias Raros on Trouble in Mind Records. Hailing from Pamplona, Spain, indiepop quartet Melenas released their second album Dias Raros last year, their first to be released outside of their homeland. Today's Song of the Day combines garage rock with jangle-pop for a melodic, melancholy track.  “Waking up with an idea that has been looping around your brain since you went to sleep and stays there all day long, day by day. Who hasn’t been in that situation? Well, this is what this song is about: being in a mental block, emotionally down and trying to get out of that washing machine of thoughts, even if you have to take shortcuts,” the band says in a press release.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 15, 2021
SASSY009 - Maybe in the Summer
201
SASSY 009 - "Maybe In The Summer" from the 2019 album KILL SASSY 009 EP on Luft Recordings. Once a trio, SASSY 009 is the solo project of 23-year-old Norwegian artist Sunniva Lindgård. Her latest EP KILL SASSY 009 is her first released alone. “I must say working by myself feels very natural,” she says in a press release. “For the past few years I've learnt to live with a lot of unexpected wavy stuff turning me upside down emotionally, while also seeing my musical career blossom. This two-sided lifestyle makes me create music for some reason, and the process evolves itself by my strong will of wanting to cut through the membrane between confusion and clarity.” For today's Song of the Day, she uses relentless beats to reflect her inner conflict. "'Maybe in the Summer' is a song about realizing you’re being taken advantage of by someone you thought had good intentions," Lindgård told The FADER. "The fast BPM and the intense movement in the song is a symbol of wanting to move on quickly, while also trying to understand how and what you feel towards this person and yourself as a result of this confusing behavior. Basically the sound of a confused mind and an eager will to shake this destructive pattern off." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 14, 2021
Lina & Raül Refree - Destino
190
Lina & Raül Refree - "Destino" from the 2020 album Lina_Raül Refree on Glitterbeat Records. In a career spanning over five decades, Amália Rodrigues established herself as the "Queen of Fado," a genre of music in Portugal. On their debut album Lina_Raül Refree, classically-trained Portuguese vocalist Lina and European producer Raül Refree team up to reinterpret songs from Rodrigues' expansive catalog. Together, they abandon the traditional acoustic guitars and substitute soaring synths to help update the sound.  “The record is different,” Lina says via their BandCamp page. “That was all we wanted to do. We’ve updated fado. But we only tried to make music that moves people.” “I didn’t know much fado before this,” Refree adds. ‘Now I feel it’s part of my life. Now I listen to Amália and I understand it more.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 13, 2021
alyona alyona - Дикі танці
177
alyona alyona - "Дикі танці" from the 2019 album В ХАТІ МА on Hitwonder. It's impressive enough that Alyona Alyona was nominated for the 2021 Music Moves Europe Talent Awards, but what's even more notable is, it's the very first time a Ukrainian artist has appeared on their list of nominees. The rapper, whose real name is Alyona Savranenko, became a break-out star in Europe since leaving behind her job as an elementary school teacher to follow her pre-teen dreams of performing hip-hop. Her lyrics cover topics of body positivity and female empowerment, all sung in her homeland's language.  “That’s part of my life,” she toldThe World public radio program. “I’ve encountered a lot of body shaming, fat shaming, bullying in my life. But mostly it’s people who motivate me because they keep asking, 'How can you be so cool?' I tell them I’m like everyone else, I just accepted myself the way I am. I realized people need my experience and I started sharing it. With some — in messages, with others — in songs.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 12, 2021
Julia Bardo - I Wanna Feel Love
219
Julia Bardo - "I Wanna Feel Love" from the 2020 Phase EP on Wichita Recordings. From singing between shifts at her father's bar in Northern Italy, to joining the post-punk band Working Men’s Club in Manchester, England, songwriter Julia Bardo now emerges on her own with her debut solo EP Phase, co-produced by Henry Carlyle Wade of The Orielles. Today's Song of the Day is an exuberant, '60s-girl-group-inspired track, with lyrics that draw from Bardo's personal experience with love. “I was in a relationship that didn’t work for me,” Bardo explains, via a press release. “I felt like I lost my inspiration —there was no colour in my life. I started to think, 'Is this how I want my life to be? Is my life over at 24? Is this really the way I want to be loved?' So, I started to write about the way I see love. I’ve always wanted to feel special for someone, I’ve always wanted a fiery and intense, passionate love. And eventually I got it." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 11, 2021
Hi Crime - World's Fair
228
Hi Crime - "World's Fair," a 2020 self-released single. Seattle's Hi Crime was formed in the summer of 2015 when songwriters Brielle Rutledge and Mitch Etter met. Their debut EP, Foreign Hours, was written, recorded, and mixed entirely from their bedrooms, with Rutledge commuting back-and-forth every few weeks while she finished college. They expanded into a full band with the addition of Cody McCann and Jesse Botello, and their 2018 full-length debut album, The Kids Still Got It, found them evolving their DIY home recordings with Deep Sea Diver’s mixing engineer Luke Vander Pol and KEXP's own mastering engineer Matt Ogaz. Today's Song of the Day is their first new music in a year.  The accompanying video below was directed by the band themselves with shooting and editing by Dylan Randolph, and was inspired when Etter found a Ferris Wheel toy on OfferUp. In a press release, he explains, "I liked the idea of building a small set out of toys with that Ferris wheel, my old model train set, and anything else childlike we could dig up. I’m not sure if it comes across in the video, but in my mind, all of the real world footage is actually taking place on that cheap looking set. It’s fictional world building where your tiny ideas can grow to the scale limits you’re capable of imagining." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 08, 2021
Maxband - Cut It Loose
186
Maxband - "Cut It Loose," a 2020 single on Maximum Band Recordings. With his side project Maxband, Max Savage of Parquet Courts steps out from behind the drum kit and grabs a guitar. He shares vocal duties with co-founder and bassist Patrick Smith of A Beacon School. Their first release was a limited-run cassette EP titled Perfect Strangers in 2018, but they reemerged in late 2020 with a new EP titled Top of the Stairs.  Today's featured track follows the Parquet path of lo-fi post-punk. Maxband explained toUnder the Radar: “‘Cut It Loose’ was the first song we wrote for Top of the Stairs, and it functions as a good mission statement for where we are as a band: it was our first fully collaborative effort that was fleshed out from an idea that Patrick brought into a practice space, and the first song where Max and Patrick split vocal duties.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 07, 2021
Knox Fortune - Come Over
193
Knox Fortune - "Come Over" from the 2020 album Stock Child Wonder on Nice Work. Chicago-bred artist Knox Fortune (real name: Kevin Rhomberg) broke out of the Windy City's hip-hop scene after guest appearances on tracks by Chance the Rapper and Kami. Now based in Brooklyn, Knox returns with his genre-jumping sophomore release Stock Child Wonder. In an interview withDocument, he explains the genesis of the album title and how it reflects his approach to songwriting: It came from a song I wrote in 2012. It was written in a different context. As I got older, it stuck with me as a tongue-in-cheek way to mean the ‘next big thing’ in a generic form. On a monthly basis we get hit with the same cookie cutter pop personality, and someone’s like, ‘oh, you’re gonna love this,’ and it’s force fed. No one likes it. It’s just a funny thing to me: the idea of the “next big thing,’ but I’m not saying that I’m that. It was also just an alternate personality I could take on which helped with songwriting. When you do solo albums, it’s very emotionally draining. You have to pull so much from yourself, and if the project fails it’s on you. If you succeed, it’s on you. Creating the character of Stock Child Wonder helped me create, while not divulging too much on some things I’m not too comfortable talking about.  Read the full post on KEXP.org   Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 06, 2021
Oneohtrix Point Never - Long Road Home
212
Oneohtrix Point Never - "Long Road Home" from the 2020 album Magic Oneohtrix Point Never on Warp. After scoring the soundtrack to the 2019 Adam Sandler film Uncut Gems, Oneohtrix Point Never (real name: Daniel Lopatin) returns to his roots with his ninth full length, Magic Oneohtrix Point Never, a nod to the Boston-based FM radio station Magic 106.7 that inspired his own band name. “I wanted to make a cohesive, punchy, 50-minute record that was very personal, but pulled from FM palettes that I was personally interested in," he told Apple Music. "I think it works really well as a metaphor for how I've changed. The things that I try to understand about my own life and being an avid musical listener and how much that's influenced me as a musician is kind of apparent on this record. That metaphor of transformation is something that I came to by thinking about the radio.” For today's Song of the Day, which features guest vocals by Caroline Polachek, he continues: “I imagined it as the beginning of the album’s journey. It's setting the thesis of the whole record up, which is sort of embracing transformation, even if it's kind of disturbing and the future is vast and unfortunately filled with question marks. But that's it. That's the game. That's where we are. That's who we are. And so, how to live alongside your incompleteness, instead of fight against it or to think that you can overcome it. There's no home you come to. There's just this kind of road, and the road is the thing. That's what that song is for me.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 05, 2021
Yung - Such A Man
184
Yung - "Such A Man" from the 2021 album Ongoing Dispute on PNKSLM. Danish indie rock quartet Yung return later this month with their sophomore full-length Ongoing Dispute, the highly anticipated follow-up to 2016's A Youthful Dream.  The band describe today's featured track as "a songwriting potluck of sorts, written in roughly an hour whilst Mikkel [Holm Silkjær, frontman] frantically roamed the corridors outside our rehearsal space working out the lyrics." Silkjær describes the results, via a press release: "A recent personal experience had sparked a train of reflection on manhood, fuelling the writing process and making its way into the song. Growing up, masculinity was portrayed to me as something very one-sided. The experience referenced in the lyrics helped me realise a pattern in coping with loss and pain in the archetypal man. I think from a subconscious point of view I needed to address that in order to fully reevaluate my childhood image of manliness." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 04, 2021
Tomo Nakayama - Paper Snowflakes
235
Despite the perils of 2020, Seattle’s Tomo Nakayama had a momentous musical year. Alongside his excellent synth-pop turn with his third solo LP, Melonday, Nakayama released some stirring singles, including a December release of “Paper Snowflakes.” The song finds Nakayama back in the familiar territory of the acoustic guitar, providing the perfect foundation for his pristine, effortless vocals. It’s a winter song of longing, wishing the best for someone far away and detached. While the song references Christmas, its emotional core is timeless. As we enter the new year, “Paper Snowflakes” offers a moment to reflect and look back.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 01, 2021
The Hold Steady - Family Farm
223
It’s the last day of 2020 and a new year is ahead of us. To bring on the transition, we get a little bit of something familiar and something new with The Hold Steady’s “Family Farm.” The indie rock legends make a momentous return with the first single from their upcoming album ‘Open Door Policy.’ A barrage of guitars and horns underscore Craig Finn’s impassioned, talk-singing vocals. It’s a triumphant last call for the year, feeling like the concussion of fireworks in the sky while we ride out into the sunset. More than that, it’s a harbinger of all the good music to come in the year ahead.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 31, 2020
Pom Poko - Like A Lady
167
With all of our top albums of 2020 lists behind us, it’s already time to start looking forward to the records that will consume our ear canals in 2021. Pom Poko give us an early frontrunner for future obsession with “Like a Lady’ from their upcoming album ‘Cheater.’  “The lyrics for the song slowly grew out from just jamming together, and are about what makes, or what one thinks makes, a woman, what even being a woman means, and it’s also a kind of tribute to all the different ways of being a woman that are out there,” the band said of the song in a statement on its release.  The song is thrillingly experimental, with bouts of furious distortion, spastic melodies, and a cacophony of glorious noise. This early look at the record gives us plenty to look forward to.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 30, 2020
KOKOROKO -Baba Ayoola
239
We’re in the final days of 2020, a year that’s been physically and emotionally taxing for the world at large. While there’s been much tragedy and desperation throughout this year, KOKOROKO urges us to look ahead and celebrate life with their single “Baby Ayoola.” The group – which blends together Afrobeat, Highline, and Jazz music – wrote the track in tribute to the group’s saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi’s grandfather. The jubilant arrangement with a lively blend of horns, woodwinds, and sensationally groovy rhythms.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 29, 2020
Lost Under Heaven - Goin' Broke For Christmas
206
Christmas may be just behind us (and thankfully 2020 will be following suit soon), but DJ John Richards is keeping the holiday spirit alive with today’s Song of the Day, “Goin’ Broke for Christmas” by duo Lost Under Heaven. The song is the perfect salve for the post Christmas blues, with the festive sounds of jingle bells crashing the dirge-like marching rhythm and the duo’s mournful vocals. It’s the perfect song for soundtracking a foggy, egg nog afterglow or putting the season behind you for hopefully brighter futures.  Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 28, 2020
Michelle David & The Gospel Sessions - It's a Soulful Christmas
217
Michelle David & The Gospel Sessions - "It's a Soulful Christmas" from the 2020 album It's a Soulful Christmas on MDGS Records. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected byBrian Foss, one of the hosts of KEXPs punk showSonic Reducer, lover of off-brand holiday tunes, and owner of pants. Brian has been doing a punk rock Christmas special every year since 2004 and has been a Christmas Day on-air DJ since 2012. No standards are played, only original X-Mess songs, most with a humorous bent. Hear him this holiday season from 12-7 PM PT on Friday, December 25th, and get even more seasonal songs on his 17th annual Punk Rock Christmas show on Sonic Reducer, available in KEXP's two-week Streaming Archive (scroll down to the December 20th show). Brian says: Merry Christmas! Michelle David is a US born entertainer with a varied history. In the 1990's she's performed in touring theater groups, in the 2000's was a member of "Big Black & Beautiful" (a Female vocal group based in the Netherlands)  & has released 4 previous albums with The Gospel Sessions prior to this year's Christmas album. Here's to a hopeful 2021. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 25, 2020
Professor and The Madman - Christmas Eve
194
Professor and The Madman - "Christmas Eve" from the 2018 album Disintegrate Me on Fullertone Records. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected byBrian Foss, one of the hosts of KEXPs punk showSonic Reducer, lover of off-brand holiday tunes, and owner of pants. Brian has been doing a punk rock Christmas special every year since 2004 and has been a Christmas Day on-air DJ since 2012. No standards are played, only original X-Mess songs, most with a humorous bent. Hear him this holiday season from 12-7 PM PT on Friday, December 25th, and get even more seasonal songs on his 17th annual Punk Rock Christmas show on Sonic Reducer, available in KEXP's two-week Streaming Archive (scroll down to the December 20th show). Brian says: Over their two full length albums Professor and the Madman ‎show to be masters of writing strong pop hooks. The funny thing is the band is made up of old school punk veterans and even though there is some punch in their music, PATM prefers to focus on melody as opposed to aggression. Writing a story about becoming homeless on Christmas Eve, the band shows off their deft songwriting ability and biting lyrics in todays pick. Professor and the Madman is: Alfie Agnew - vocals/guitar/keyboards (Adolescents, D.I.) Sean Elliott – vocals/guitar/keyboards (D.I., Mind Over Four) Paul Gray – bass (The Damned, Eddie & The Hot Rods, UFO) Rat Scabies – drums (One Thousand Motels, The Sinclairs, The Damned) Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 24, 2020
David King Jones - The Covid 19 Christmas Song
120
David King Jones - "The Covid19 Christmas Song," a 2020 self-released single. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected byBrian Foss, one of the hosts of KEXPs punk showSonic Reducer, lover of off-brand holiday tunes, and owner of pants. Brian has been doing a punk rock Christmas special every year since 2004 and has been a Christmas Day on-air DJ since 2012. No standards are played, only original X-Mess songs, most with a humorous bent. Hear him this holiday season from 12-7 PM PT on Friday, December 25th, and get even more seasonal songs on his 17th annual Punk Rock Christmas show on Sonic Reducer, available in KEXP's two-week Streaming Archive (scroll down to the December 20th show). Brian says: This year there's an uncounted amount of holiday themed songs dealing with the pandemic, but this one is a stand out favorite. Written, performed & produced by himself, David King Jones mix of humor, sincerity and hook writing make for an undeniably enjoyable song. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 23, 2020
Kelly Finnigan - Santa's Watching You
163
Kelly Finnigan - "Santa's Watching You" from the 2020 album A Joyful Sound on Colemine Records. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected byBrian Foss, one of the hosts of KEXPs punk showSonic Reducer, lover of off-brand holiday tunes, and owner of pants. Brian has been doing a punk rock Christmas special every year since 2004 and has been a Christmas Day on-air DJ since 2012. No standards are played, only original X-Mess songs, most with a humorous bent. Hear him this holiday season from 12-7 PM PT on Friday, December 25th, and get even more seasonal songs on his 17th annual Punk Rock Christmas show on Sonic Reducer, available in KEXP's two-week Streaming Archive (scroll down to the December 20th show). Brian says: Formally from the bay area band Monophonics, Kelly Finnigan's new holiday album is a solid soulful release. His reworking of the The Sacred Four track is a keeper. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 22, 2020
Michael M - Humans Are Not Worth Saving (Merry Christmas)
154
Michael M - "Humans Are Not Worth Saving (Merry Christmas)" from the 2020 self-released album A Digital Christmas Gift For You. This week, we are featuring Christmas-themed songs selected byBrian Foss, one of the hosts of KEXPs punk showSonic Reducer, lover of off-brand holiday tunes, and owner of pants. Brian has been doing a punk rock Christmas special every year since 2004 and has been a Christmas Day on-air DJ since 2012. No standards are played, only original X-Mess songs, most with a humorous bent. Hear him this holiday season from 12-7 PM PT on Friday, December 25th, and get even more seasonal songs on his 17th annual Punk Rock Christmas show on Sonic Reducer, available in KEXP's two-week Streaming Archive (scroll down to the December 20th show). Brian says: I don't know much about Michael M (except he's from Glasgow) but I find his humor dark and endearing. The song we are sharing today is super catchy and I find myself singing it way too much. If the world is going to burn will you laugh with me at least? He has a whole youtube channel committed to making snarky Christmas videos. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 21, 2020
Draze - The Main Thing
182
Draze - "The Main Thing," a 2020 self-released single. Earlier this year, attorney, CNN political commentator, and activist Angela Rye launched a new series for TIDAL titled The Main Thing, where Rye sits down with "high-profile celebrities, entertainers, history makers, athletes, organizers, and more" for candid, intimate conversations. And noneother than Seattle's own Draze has composed the show's opening theme song.  Draze was just nominated for "Best Hip-Hop Artist" by the African Achievement Awards; winners will be announced this Saturday, December 19th at 6 PM PST.   Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 18, 2020
Mystic - We Are the People (All Around the World)
268
Mystic - "We Are The People (All Around The World)," a 2020 single on Beautifull Soundworks. Bay Area-based hip-hop artist Mystic (real name: Mandolyn Wind Ludlum) is a veteran of the scene, from participating in rap battles in the early '90s to touring with Digital Underground in the late '90s. She was nominated for a Grammy and a BET Award for "Best Female Hip-Hop Artist" in the early 2000s, and her work has appeared on TV soundtracks and commercials.  She's also an activist, serving as the Bay Area Coordinator for the Hip Hop Caucus, a non-profit organization that aims to promote political activism for young U.S. voters using hip-hop music and culture. Her latest single, and today's Song of the Day, she continues to use her music to speak out against injustice. As she said on her Facebook page, "I really made this song for all of us around the world fighting for justice and reimagining new futures — those of us who believe shifting paradigms is possible." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 17, 2020
Astu - Source of Her (feat. Salami Rose Joe Louis)
232
Astu - "Source of Her (feat. Salami Rose Joe Louis)" from the 2020 album ALTARS on Boyish Records. On her debut full-length ALTARS, Eritrean-American artist ASTU combines soul and synth-pop to craft her confident and thought-provoking grooves.  Astu now resides in Oakland, but arrived there from Oklahoma where she attended seminary college, married a minister, and then became a minister herself. She had been singing gospel music since she was a pre-schooler, but hadn't pursued non-secular music until her 2017 debut EP Patterns. With ALTARS, she opens up even more, writing on Facebook: "this album is filled with me..every part of me..the parts i’ve been too afraid to see most of my life. and i want to give it to you."  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 16, 2020
Ivy Sole - BITTERSWEET
205
Ivy Sole - "BITTERSWEET" from the 2020 album SOUTHPAW on Les Fleurs Records. Ivy Sole wasn't even sure she wanted to release a new album this year, but thankfully, she did, with her brand new release SOUTHPAW. "Me and my manager have been hesitant to release any music to distract or make light of what is happening, and this is prior to George Floyd and how that has changed the COVID era," she admitted toDJBooth.net. "To be honest, I was gonna drop an album this year and decided to hold off on that to sit with what is happening right now. I don’t want to 'lend' my voice to the movement. By virtue of being an abolitionist and endeavoring to be a radical thinker, anything that I would release was going to add to that conversation. With 'Bittersweet,' I wanted to release something that spoke directly to it rather than shying away from it." She adds, "I started writing it just on some, 'Damn, I miss the feeling of summer.' This summer feels bittersweet to me. I can’t touch and be touched the way I’m usually experiencing summer. Summer is such a sensory period — it’s hot, you sweat, you’re in the park, on rooftops. I was on some nostalgic shit with the first verse, and then the George Floyd uprising happened, and I was like… At this point, everything is changing, so I don’t want the change to be piecemeal at all. I don’t want the minimum. That’s what the powers that be tend to expect us to accept. I’m in a headspace where I finally have a taste of what it could be like to be free, so I just refuse to settle in any way, shape, or form. All of us deserve that. More and more people are starting to realize they don’t have to accept what they’ve been given." Proceeds from the track are being donated to Black womxn experiencing housing instability or facing eviction in the NY/NJ/PA area. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 15, 2020
Ego Ella May - Girls Don't Always Sing About Boys
247
Ego Ella May - "Girls Don't Always Sing About Boys" from the 2020 album Honey For Wounds on UpperRoom Records. On her debut album Honey For Wounds, South London-based artist Ego Ella May provides sweet relief from troubling times with her jazzy neo-soul sound. On today's Song of the Day, she asks listeners, "What if I wanna talk about suffering?" “I will, of course, continue to write about love,” May said in an interview withBandcamp. “But I’m also conscious of other things that happen in life, and I like to address them in song form. There are so many different themes on the album that it felt like a diary, even. ‘Girls Don’t Always Sing About Boys’ came about because I was sick of hearing songs about relationships on the radio. I wanted to talk about other things, and at the time I wasn’t thinking about love. Grenfell [the 2017 West London Tower fire that killed 72 people and injured just as many] had just happened, and my mind was awake. I was reading about sustainability and pollution, and training to be a counsellor — I just had lots to think about. I wanted to challenge myself to put it all into song form.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 14, 2020
Byland - Mine
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Byland - "Mine" from the 2020 self-released album Gray. For her latest LP Gray, Albuquerque-based artist Alie Renee Byland (who records under the name Byland) immersed herself in the Seattle music scene, collaborating with producer and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Yaccino (known for his work with Soundgarden, Noah Gundersen, Brandi Carlile). For today's featured track, she invited local musicians Abby Gundersen and Meagan Grandall (aka Lemolo) into the Ballard recording studio.  In a press release, she tells us: “Mine” is about realizing that my energy is finite and that I have permission to say “no”. I grew up idealizing the notion of giving without limit. When I felt drained, I thought there was something wrong with me. Last Summer, I was feeling especially emotionally and relationally exhausted. I wrote this song while I had an overwhelming amount of calls, emails and texts to respond to. I intentionally wanted “Mine”’s rhythm and offset melody to feel abrupt at times, to express the sense of being pulled in polarizing directions. I was nervous to bring another track to my producer, Nathan Yaccino, given that we were well into the recording process already. But after sharing a simple phone demo, we promptly sat down together and fleshed out the piano tracks, vocals and overall vision for this song. Abby Gunderson’s cinematic strings and the haunting harmonies of Meagan Grandall helped fortify and exemplify the internal expanse this song symbolizes. A liberating anthem, “Mine” is perhaps the most emblematic of the record’s ode to prioritizing mental health, by giving a voice to subconscious thoughts, and creating space within, a space that’s mine.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 11, 2020
The Weather Station - Tried To Tell You
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The Weather Station - "Tried To Tell You" from the 2020 album Ignorance on Fat Possum. The Weather Station (a project of Toronto-based artist Tamara Linderman) returns early next year with her fifth full-length, titled Ignorance, out February 5, 2021 via Fat Possum; today, we get a sneak peek at the new release with today's Song of the Day, "Tried To Tell You." In a press release, Linderman tells us the track is about “reaching out to someone; a specific person, or maybe every person, who is tamping down their wildest and most passionate self in service of some self (and world?) destructive order​.” The accompanying video was directed by Lindeman herself, and was set near the house where she grew up. She adds: The video portrays a person who is beset by miracles and visions of beauty, which emanate from inside of and all around him, but rather than reacting with awe or joy, he reacts with annoyance, indifference, and mistrust​. ​We are taught not to see the natural world that we still live in, preferring instead to dwell on the artificial, which is so often a poor substitute for the vibrant real. Flowers really do rise up from mud, and many of us are full of treasures and beauty, but we often discount these things or throw them away.​  Read the full post on KEXP.org   Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 10, 2020
GDRN - Vorið
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GDRN - "Vorið" from the 2020 album GDRN on Les Freres Stefson. When GDRN (real name: Guðrún Ýr Eyfjörð Jóhannesdóttir) played KEXP Iceland Airwaves broadcast last year, she had just swept the Iceland Music Awards with her debut Hvað Ef, scoring best female artist, best pop song, best pop album, and music video of the year. With her follow-up full-length, released earlier this year, Jóhannesdóttir experiments with a new approach. As she told KEXP's Dusty Henry last year: The next album is a bit more... It has more live instruments in it and more of me singing with more power. Just the lyrical ideas – they're all in Icelandic, I'm sorry for your English speaking listeners – but they are just fully formed ideas, I would say. They have this uptempo feel and a little bit more jazz, live instruments and everything. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 09, 2020
Molchat Doma - Discoteque / Дискотека
245
Molchat Doma - "Discoteque" from the 2020 album Monument on Sacred Bones. Belarusian trio Molchat Doma (a phrase that translates to “Houses Are Silent”) formed in 2017, crafting darkwave synth-pop from their hometown of Minsk. Their just-released third full-length Monument was written and recorded in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, but with today's featured track "Discotheque", they invite the listener to imagine the now-forbidden dance floor. In a press release, they describe the song as “a light dance composition, which was created in order to make the listener move to the beat of the music. A kind of answer to 'Just Can’t Get Enough' by Depeche Mode…Ideal for both mood elevation and unbridled fun.” The accompanying music video, directed by Alexey Terehoff, was filmed at the Memorial Museum-Studio of Z. Azgur, and while the clip finds the band performing to statues of Lenin and Stalin, Terehoff aimed to focus on the aesthetic. “This is the city that embalmed and revived all the idols from the era of the Soviet dictatorship,” he declared. “There are no politics in the video, only the STYLE, a mixture of pure, concentrated neo-totalitarian aesthetics and acidic post-punk.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 08, 2020
Young Jesus - Faith
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Young Jesus - "Faith" from the 2020 album Welcome to Conceptual Beach on Saddle Creek. Earlier this year, Los Angeles-based quartet Young Jesus released their fifth full-length Welcome to Conceptual Beach; turns out, it's a sandy shore frontman John Rossiter has visited for years, originally as a physical zine in 2016. He told Uproxx.com:  It became a kind of diary, where I could become a character — as it turns out, is really helpful for sorting out your own health and psychology and soul, to be able to separate yourself out a little bit into different figures. It would really help me sort through my feelings, anger, guilt, sadness, shame, unworthiness, creativity, joy. At that point in time, I was living really deeply in my own mind, and that’s a really isolating place to be. So it helped me dive into the heart of that. This record, I hope, is my life opening up a little bit, and leaving my mind, joining a community, and being more in my body. As an album, Welcome to Conceptual Beach finds the band expanding on their emo roots, adding jazzy elements to their post-rock sound, while Rossiter explores a new vulnerability. He confides to music blog Grandma Sophia's Cookies:  This is the first record where I’m not just saying how good I want to be, or what I want the world to be, or if only people did this it would be great, or look at all these people who are fucking up, or look at how much I’ve fucked up, but it’s more this is what’s happening and there’s so much work to be done. But there’s also so much that’s being done, and a lot of it is beautiful. A lot of what’s within me and what’s within my friends and loved ones is beautiful. It’s the first time — I’m emotional right now — that I believe it. I don’t know if I really believed it before. I didn’t really listen to our music and its lyrics, and especially their delivery, until a year ago. When I listened, I was like, Oh my god, I’m screaming the whole time, I’m so angry. This is the first album where I’m emerging from that and being like, Okay, I could do better myself. I want to hear these lessons that are on the album and keep living them. I hope some people get some of that from it. I hope they see how much I love other people.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 07, 2020
SassyBlack - Therapy
280
SassyBlack - "Therapy" from the 2020 self-released EP Stuck. Throughout her career, Seattle's own SassyBlack has tackled the topic of mental health, from her 2019 song “Depression” and the accompanying short film released early in 2020. On her latest EP Stuck, and today's featured track, in particular, she continues the conversation around self care, encouraging listeners to reach out when they're feeling "nothing at all," repeating the lyric "lay it on me" in a soothing rhythm.  In conjunction with KEXP’s Music Heals: Mental Health, we’re asking Song of the Day artists to spotlight a different organization, and in a perfect complement to today's Song of the Day, SassyBlack chose the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective, a "collective of advocates, yoga teachers, artists, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, teachers, psychologists and activists committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities."  Learn more about the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective here. Donations are accepted here. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 04, 2020
Nailah Hunter - Black Valhalla
399
Nailah Hunter - "Black Valhalla," a 2020 self-released single. With "Black Valhalla", Los Angeles-based composer/harpist Nailah Hunter imagines a place where Black people "are safe and exalted." In this interview with KEXP's Dusty Henry, Hunter explains: I mean, again, Valhalla being the place where the Nordic gods live and the people... Actually just kidding, they don't live there, but it's a place where warriors go. I have always loved that idea. And I love Vikings and all of that stuff. But I realized how Black people are left out of that narrative. So obviously, the name of the song had to be 'Black Valhalla.' But I think the idea initially was like to speak to the fallen, the slain black people. But then at the same time, not wanting to martyr them in that way where it's like, 'Oh, they're fallen soldiers.' It's like, no, that was someone's son that's now dead. That was someone's daughter who's now dead. So I'm not trying to glorify it in that way, but just thinking of an official place where their sacrifice, what happened to them is actually recognized for what it is. And just a 'safe and glorious hall' – we all deserve that, Black people deserve that. We've been through a lot. So that's where that was coming from. And yeah, just this idea that it's not quite safe here on this plane for black people. Maybe somewhere else is safe. It's a global thing, but maybe it's different on another plane. In conjunction with KEXP’s Music Heals: Mental Health, we’re asking Song of the Day artists to spotlight a different organization. Hunter chose the Loveland Foundation, an organization that provides therapy for young Black girls and women. (Proceeds from today's featured track are being donated to the Foundation.) In her KEXP interview, she explains: I was just searching for the right organization and that came up and I was like, "Yes, this is exactly it." Because black girls need to talk about what's going on. It is so difficult to be a black woman in this world. And you need to be able to talk about that with someone else. And I just know for me, like when I found my African-American therapist, I was literally changed. I had been to therapists before who were white and it just didn't work because they didn't understand... they couldn't understand certain aspects. So I'm just thankful for any organization that is connecting black girls to therapists. So that's why I chose them. Learn more about the Loveland Foundation here. Donations are accepted here. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 03, 2020
Kassa Overall - Darkness in Mind
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Kassa Overall - “Darkness In My Mind” from I THINK I’M GOOD on Brownswood Recordings. Originally hailing from Seattle and now based out of New York, Kassa Overall has used his inimitable blend of jazz, hip-hop, and experimental leanings to explore heady and existential topics. With his latest record, I THINK I’M GOOD, he’s at his most personal and revealing. On the record he explores his own experiences with mental illness, having experienced manic episodes and subsequent hospitalizations in his youth.  “Mental instability or hyper-sensitivity was something that felt too taboo to talk about," Kassa Overall says in the record’s Bandcamp description. "I want to show the world that mentally sensitive people are the innovators of our society, and hopefully set a new standard that includes a healthy way of life and embracing our unique perspective on reality.” He addresses these themes directly on the LP’s standout track, “”Darkness In My Mind.” Joined by jazz pianist Sullivan Fortner, the two create an atmosphere that veers into the gothic with elegant-yet-nightmarish piano keys cascading against Overall’s mournful, vocoder-effected vocals. The song veers drastically between moments of beauty and bliss to skittering, hectic rhythms and electronic fever dreams. The musical tension is an apt complement to Overall’s musings over his troubles, recreating that troubling and inescapable dream that can come in our most difficult mental moments.  In conjunction with KEXP’s upcoming Music Heals: Mental Health, we’re asking Song of the Day artists to spotlight a different organization. Overall has chosen the Jazz Foundation of America’s Musicians Emergency Fund. The foundations outlined goal is to create a program that protects artists and “turns despair into hope.” They do this by ensuring blues, jazz, and roots artists are given the housing assistance they need, the care they need to stay healthy, and financially security to keep their basic needs met.  Learn more about the Jazz Foundation of America here. Donations are accepted here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 02, 2020
Orion Sun - mama's baby
180
Orion Sun - “mama’s baby,” a 2020 self-released single. Philadelphia-based songwriter Orion Sun’s latest single, “mama’s baby,” was written after experiencing police brutality during a protest earlier this year in late May. Thrown into the ground multiple times and her arm twisted, she left with not just physical injuries but emotional pain from the trauma she lived.  As she details in the description on her Bandcamp page, it took her some time to recover and process what happened to her. Some healing finally came as she turned to music. Less than a week after the event, she recorded and released “mama’s baby” with proceeds going to Breonna Taylor’s GoFundMe page. She explains the writing process below:  “i've been in pain physically and emotionally but upon completing this song a wave of peace came over me. it was the first time my anxiety subsided in a long while and i thought if this did that for me then it might for other people. i want to share this song with you today in hopes that you can find some peace during this time. even when people can look at the world burning and feel nothing because the fire hasn't touched their skin, there are people feeling deeply and fighting in their own important way for the change that is inevitable. keep your head up and breathe and know that evil will never prevail long enough to be forever.” The hum of turntable needle wavers above Sun’s plaintive keyboard and the steady roll of her voice. Echoes and reverb come in and out of the mix, but Sun stays constant and hardly ever raises her voice or deviates from the soothing melody. “I’ve seen it all, it don’t affect me,” she repeats on the song before ending with, “I mean we all pass on, at least respect me.” While there is a mournful sorrow ruminating in the track, that sense of peace resonates throughout like a slow exhale.  In conjunction with KEXP’s upcoming Music Heals: Mental Health, we’re asking Song of the Day artists to spotlight a different organization. Sun has chosen the Loveland Foundation. Loveland Foundation supports healing and mental health services for communities of color, with a particular focus on Black women and girls, including giving financial assistance for therapy, offering fellowships, residency programs, and more.  Learn more about Loveland Foundation here. Donations are accepted here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 01, 2020
Sampa the Great - Time's Up (Remix) feat. Junglepussy
144
Sampa The Great - “Time’s Up (Remix) feat. Junglepussy,” a 2020 single on Ninja Tune. While music can be healing, oftentimes the industry is quite the opposite. As Sampa The Great (aka Sampa Tembo) addresses on “Time’s Up,” it can be even more perilous for Black artists working against systemic racism within the industry.  “‘Time’s Up’ is a track that was made to reflect a conversation between two young Black artists about the Australian music industry,” Tembo said in a statement upon the song’s release in 2019. “With the current atmosphere it’s an important time to address systemic racism within the music industry, especially as it slowly rebuilds. She continues, “Allyship should never be performative and as we continue past blackout day, all music orgs/labels should be put to task in bringing forward their initiatives for real change within their industry.” A year after the song’s release, Tembo is continuing to open up the conversation and giving the song new life with a remix competition, encouraging Black women and non-binary artists to hop on the track and share their own experiences. She set things off with this remix featuring New York rapper Junglepussy, who calls out bluntly that there are people “making money off our pain, it must be the protocol.” It’s the ideal complement to Tembo’s original verse, speaking her truth on how female rappers are often grouped together and rising above expectations and outdated norms.  In conjunction with KEXP’s upcoming Music Heals: Mental Health, we’re asking Song of the Day artists to spotlight a different organization. Tembo has chosen Pola Psychology. Tembo and Pola Psychology have partnered together with the goal of ensuring African youth have access to safe, appropriate, and responsive mental health care.  “At a time when it is needed the most, this is not just about raising the much needed funds, but also about letting my friends and the wider African and black community know that this service exists,” Tembo says on the organizations website. Their current goal is to raise $20,000 to pay for a year of therapy for 16 African youth. Learn more about Pola Psychology here. Donations are accepted here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 30, 2020
Stas THEE Boss - Rotary Style
112
Stas THEE Boss - “Rotary Style” from the 2020 EP Sang Stasia! on LucidHaus. Sang Stasia!, one of two outstanding EPs from the former Seattle resident and host of KEXP’s Street Sounds, was crafted from beats made for other singers but for some reason never recorded. The Black Constellation representative weaves her trademark multisyllabic rhymes over a cosmic sample looped to psychedelic effect, calling out corporate shills for churning out weak music for profit. The way Stas builds her rhyming sounds over the loopy harmonies of the beat is truly hypnotic. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 27, 2020
Seth Bogart - Men on the Verge of Nothing
211
Seth Bogart - “Men on the Verge of Nothing” from Men on the Verge of Nothing on Wacky Wacko Records. Inspired in equal measure by Pedro Almodóvar and Poly Styrene, the artist formerly known as Hunx spins the former’s classic 1988 dark comedy (titled Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) into a treatise on the uselessness of male privilege. The album’s title track zeroes in on this concept through the vehicle of lighthearted new wave while Bogart takes Mr. Know-It-Alls to task as they fail upwards.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 26, 2020
STR4TA - Aspects (Demus Dub)
466
STR4TA - "Aspects (Demus Dub)," a 2020 single on Brownswood Recordings. While 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have kept us from dancing out our sorrows, artists and producers around the globe are still holing up in their studios to give us sensational, future dance floor hits. Case in point, the new Brit-Funk project STR4TA. The project’s debut single ‘Aspects’ was recorded in a London shed just before lockdown went into effect before getting a release this fall. The infectious grooves get even more dazzling with the b-side dub mix by producer Demus. Funk and psychedelia instrumentation collide with raw, dance rhythms for a perfect impromptu at-home dance party to tide us over until we can all return to the clubs. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 25, 2020
Nubya Garcia - The Message Continues
405
Nubya Garcia - "The Message Continues" from the 2020 album SOURCE on Concord. British jazz wunderkind Nubya Garcia made an awe-inspiring debut this year with her LP, ‘SOURCE.’ Her jazz bona fides and prowess are in full view with “The Message Continues,” a stirring instrumental that sees Garcia’s saxophone taking center stage amongst a wondrous fray of sensational drumming and hypnotic keys and bass lines. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 24, 2020
Blue Hawaii - Not My Boss!
290
Blue Hawaii - "Not My Boss!" from the 2020 EP Under 1 House on Arbutus Records. With one member in Berlin and one in Montreal, Blue Hawaii fuses together a globe-spanning dance party with each new record. “Not My Boss” from their latest release, ‘Under 1 House,’ finds the duo bringing together sultry synth pads with classic house rhythms and battlecry: “You’re not my boss, I’m my own damn woman.” It’s the fuel to dance off frustration and find strength on the dancefloor. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 23, 2020
Antonioni - Malcomer
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Antonioni - "Malcomer," a 2020 self-released single. Seattle’s Antonioni are on their way up! With a couple EPs under their belt, the indie band recently signed with Lauren Records and are on the verge of releasing their debut album. The latest single to be shared is “Malcomer,” a dark and dreamy odyssey that burns and builds with shimmering textures and showcases frontperson Sarah Pasillas’ haunting voice that brings to mind the unique, quavering tones of Adrianne Lenker and Frances Quinlan. Pasillas had this to say about “Malcomer”: "This song is about the journey of finding validation in the self, in what you love and do, in the face of everything you feel is against you. It’s kind of a peek into how I feel when I think about men in music and men in general: it feels they have automatic permission and authority to be and express. This song is supposed to be a celebration of finding and knowing the self, finding and knowing vulnerability and moving forward with it, even more sure of yourself than before.” The song was shared alongside a video of the band hanging out and playing music. Read the full post and watch the video on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 20, 2020
Julia Jacklin - to Perth, before the border closes
177
Julia Jacklin - "to Perth, before the border closes," a 2020 single on Sub Pop. For some artists, the idea of being on the road and the constant change is a high unlike any other. Which would make the current situation with Covid-19 a difficult one, to say the least. Julia Jacklin is one of those artists and she expresses the idea of chasing the high of change via locale on last month’s “to Perth, before the border closes,” a 7” release for Sub Pop Singles Club, Vol. 5 alongside the song “CRY.” “I’ve moved around a lot the last 5 years,” explains Jacklin. “Chasing things, love, work, something new, whatever and there’s always this fear that I’m leaving good things behind just to go somewhere else and be lonely. Whispering ‘everything changes’ to myself helps get me to sleep at night. I started writing this song in Melbourne and finished it in Perth. It was like a little song bridge between the two cities to make the change easier.” The song comes with a self-directed video of interesting signs, trinkets, and relics found on a recent road trip that epitomize these “unprecedented times” from an abandoned Dr. Phil book, a news report about Trump testing positive for COVID-19, and a sign reading “We’re all in this together.” Read the full post and watch the video on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 19, 2020
MorMor - Don't Cry
203
MorMor - "Don't Cry," a 2020 single on Don't Guess Inc. For the past couple of years, Toronto’s MorMor (musician Seth Nyquist) has been crafting spellbindingly evocative music that has the power to cut your heart in two. Following up 2018’s Heaven’s Only Wishful EP and last year’s Some Place Else EP comes the single “Don’t Cry.” Pulsating with a feverish darkness, the raw lyrics capture the anxiety of lockdown during which the song was made. “I’m tired of the days/ They came and went/ We were left alone/ Finding it hard to breathe,” warbles Nyquist, who had this to say about the song:  “I had started to write again in December with a few songs underway, but in March the world as we knew it came to a halt. Though I tried to continue writing it didn’t feel right. I was told I was being hard on myself, but I have always used music as a way of making sense of things. Suddenly there were just too many things to make sense of: A Global pandemic, the sudden lockdown, shortly followed by the protests. "Voices were raised around the world because people have had enough. Mourning has become so painful that people are demanding changes. I felt I had to reflect that. Tears have fallen and we can no longer pretend that we’re not all in this together." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 18, 2020
Nilüfer Yanya - Crash
232
Nilüfer Yanya - “Crash” from the 2020 Feeling Lucky? EP on ATO Records. After a momentous 2019 with her excellent, critically acclaimed debut ‘Miss Universe,’ Nilüfer Yanya is coming back for more. The English songwriter recently announced the ‘Feeling Lucky?’ EP, due out Dec. 11 through ATO Records. The first offering from the record comes with the anthemic single “Crash.” Co-written by Nick Hakim, “Crash” showcases layers of Yanya enigmatic vocals swirling above some of her most fuzzed-out instrumental arrangements yet. Seemingly pulling influence from noise rock, Yanya still maintains the pop-leanings that made ‘Miss Universe’ such a rousing success. Even while the distortion of the instrumentation seems to shake the room, Yanya sounds steady and unphased, even as she threatens to “crash” if prompted with one more question. We can all only aspire to stay so cool and nonchalant as Yanya does while the world around us crumbles. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 17, 2020
Loma - Half Silences
226
Loma - “Half Silences” from the 2020 album Don’t Shy Away on Sub Pop. Loma never anticipated going this far. The project began as an impromptu collaboration with songwriter Emily Cross, recording engineer Dan Duszynski, and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg, converging to record their 2018 self-titled debut. After releasing the record and touring, each member intended to go back to their own projects. However, it only took a few months away from each other before they realized they wanted to keep Loma going. The trio holed up in Duszynski’s Texas home studio to record their sophomore effort, ‘Don’t Shy Away,’ which was recently released on Sub Pop. “Don’t Shy Away” vindicates the bands decision to keep moving forward. The brooding, slow dirge finds the band at their best. Cross’ voice wields a stark intensity, looming over the restrained but tense instrumentation. It’s a marvel of studio wizardry, with static and eerie distortion and synth drones crashing over the steady pulse of drums and bass. It’s Loma at their best, pushing each other into bold, luminous new sonic territories. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 16, 2020
Weep Wave - Bury the Bones
228
Weep Wave - "Bury the Bones," a 2020 self-released single. If you've been missing the casual acquaintanceship of neighborhood pups during the quarantine, you are not alone. Local psych-rock trio Weep Wave feel your pain.  “I started missing it being socially acceptable to approach strangers with dogs," frontman Dylan Fuentes admitted toMelted Magazine. "I do not have a dog of my own so I have to solely rely on the generous free pets of strangers and their adorable dogs,” said Dylan Fuentes. “I figured I wasn’t alone and this inspired the lyrics to the song. I also felt bad for all the dogs out there who haven't seen their doggy pals in a while and have no idea why.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 13, 2020
Beabadoobee - Sorry
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Beabadoobee - "Sorry" from the 2020 album Fake It Flowers on Dirty Hit. Last month, British-based singer/songwriter Beabadoobee (real name: Bea Kristi) released her full-length debut Fake It Flowers, and it fulfilled all the anticipation that began brewing with her earlier EPs. "Fake It Flowers is pretty much my whole life in one album," she told i-D Magazine. "People are gonna know a lot, and it’s fun because I finally feel like this is really genuine -- the music and the way it sounds is something I’ve always wanted to make." On Twitter, Beabadoobee revealed that today's KEXP Song of the Day is one of her faves off the new album, and a song the means a lot to her. In a press release, she shares: ’Sorry’ is an apology, confessing my mistakes in a friendship and watching someone who I love breakdown and fade away as a person. It’s the idea of dismissing something because it felt too close home and a personal reminder to never take for granted what that person could have had. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 12, 2020
The Churchhill Garden - birds
436
The Churchhill Garden - "birds," a 2020 self-released single.  Under the stay-at-home order, many bands have taken to the internet in order to create and record new music, e-mailing each other files and rehearsing via Zoom calls. But for shoegaze duo The Churchhill Garden, collaborating across the ocean has long been their modus operandi. Vocalist Krissy Vanderwoude explained the process toFade Away Radiate in 2018: “With [bandmate] Andy [Jossi] being in Switzerland and me in the US (Indiana), he writes the song structure and then sends it to me via dropbox. I write and record the vocals (usually scratch tracks at first, to see if he likes the direction), and send them back to him. We are both very honest with each other, so if there is something that we do not like, or think would sound better another way, we are sure to offer up that feedback. There is never any hard feelings or wounded pride, as we both value constructive criticism and want the tracks to be perfect in the end. Once we agree on a direction, I record the vocals raw and then send him the vocal tracks back, via dropbox. He then begins the mixing process (which he is also genius enough to know how to do himself), and then we send out the track for mastering to Andrew Rose once it is done! Thankfully, it’s actually very easy to write together, because of these advances in modern technology!” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 11, 2020
TV Priest - This Island
224
TV Priest - "This Island" from the 2021 album Uppers on Sub Pop. With today's Song of the Day, London-based post-punk quartet TV Priest share an early look at their forthcoming full-length Uppers, out February 5th via Sub Pop. In a press statement, frontman Charlie Drinkwater calls the track "an unrequited love letter, and a howl of frustration; a mea culpa and a call to arms." He adds: "'This Island' is about incoherence and inarticulate responses, both personal and political, in a time and place you don’t fully understand anymore... We wrote this to an increasingly nationalistic and isolationist drum beat playing out at home and abroad, and frankly we are scared and appalled. As artists we aren’t offering up solutions for living, but maybe we can extend a hand and let someone know that you aren’t alone in feeling under prepared in your responses yet powerful in your convictions. That small boats can still make big waves. That we have a world to win." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 10, 2020
Ghost of Vroom - Rona Pollona
192
Ghost of Vroom - "Rona Pollona" from the 2020 Ghost of Vroom 2 EP on Mod y Vi Records. Back in the '90s, NYC-based band Soul Coughing combined improvisational jazz with samples and the stream-of-consciousness poetry of frontman Mike Doughty. Decades later, Doughty returns with Ghost of Vroom (the band name a nod to SC's debut 1994 album Ruby Vroom), a project with bassist and longtime collaborator Andrew “Scrap” Livingston.  "This is the Soul Coughing stuff that was never made," Doughty explained toStereogum. "It’s a very specific return to ’94, ’95 Soul Coughing. I’m getting deep, but the way the band sounded at the end of the Ruby Vroom tour, but before we went in with David Kahne to make 'Super Bon Bon' and 'Lazybones,' all those songs." On today's Song of the Day, Ghost of Vroom take a lighthearted look at the current pandemic. "If you dig enough, there’s darkness in there, but it’s essentially jokes about coronavirus," Doughty confirms. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 09, 2020
J'Von - cnn
154
J'Von - "cnn" from the 2020 album THUNDERBOY on PLZCOMEAGAIN. Seattle's own J'Von returned last month with his latest LP of lo-fi hip-hop titled Thunderboy. True to his history of multidisciplinary approach, J'Von wrote, arranged, produced, recorded, and mixed the album himself (with one track co-produced by grady), as well as created all the art, characters, and animations.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 06, 2020
Dave B - Worthy
162
Dave B - "Worthy," a 2020 self-released single. With his single "Worthy," Renton, WA-based rapper Dave B wanted to remind the Black community that they are worthy of love and respect.  "A lot of people post their black squares and do what they do and they get to throw it to the side they don't have to live it," he said to King 5 News. "We have to wake up every day and start to do this. I got to walk outside every day and I'm still worried about what might happen if I do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing." Proceeds from the track are being donated to Acts On Stage, WA Black Trans Task Force, and the Black Trans Travel Fund.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 05, 2020
Quetzal - Justice Never Dies
358
Quetzal - "Justice Never Dies," a 2020 self-released single. As we rebuild the world around us As others still fight and die We keep doing all we can “We don’t just survive We wanna thrive!” Since forming in the early '90s, East L.A.-based band Quetzal have long used their musical platform to speak out about social justice and education. Frontwoman Martha Gonzalez is an associate professor at Scripps College and just released the book Chican@ Artivistas: Music, Community and Transborder Tactics in East Los Angeles. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 04, 2020
Tiffany Wilson - America (feat. Lady Tasz & Vitamin D)
263
Tiffany Wilson - "America (feat. Lady Tasz & Vitamin D)," a 2020 single on Loosegroove Records. You know a song is good when it brings a record label out of a twenty year hiatus, which is just what happened with Tiffany Wilson and Loosegroove Records, a label founded by Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) and Regan Hagar (Malfunkshun, Brad). Based in Seattle, Wilson is also a former member of local gospel group SOUL. On her latest single (a first-listen to her forthcoming full length coming in 2021), Wilson recruits the powerful voices of Lady Tasz and Vitamin D to convey a somber message. She writes on her YouTube page: “This song is a question. Is this how they keep America great? With violence and hatred? What role do you play in interrupting and addressing that? I’m thinking about the stigma placed on black people as ‘Dangerous killers and blah blah blah.’ All of the mass shootings and big bombs…those weren’t us. Instead, we’re deemed a threat. The hatred has become so much more prevalent. We’ve gone back in the past. I want to make people aware.  It speaks from the perspective of a young or old white killer and how ‘hard’ their life is having been given everything. It keeps everyone subdued and afraid to fight back. Is this America’s secret weapon?” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 03, 2020
Sa-Roc - The Black Renaissance (feat. Black Thought)
275
Sa-Roc - "The Black Renaissance (feat. Black Thought)" from the 2020 album The Sharecropper's Daughter on Rhymesayers. The first time Sa-Roc met Black Thought of The Roots, he was pulling her up on stage at the 2014 A3C Hip Hop Festival in front of tens of thousands of people.  “We had a mutual friend who’s close to him and had been sharing music or whatever," the Atlanta-based MC remembered toHipHopDX. "He was anticipating meeting us there and Thought, being the Hip Hop icon who went through the fire and came up doing cyphers and freestyles, he completely believed in making sure an MC is up to par with going through that cold trial-by-fire thing. The impromptu performance set the stage for the collaboration on today's Song of the Day. She told ABC Australia: "I knew as soon as I started writing this album, I wanted Black Thought to feature and when [producer] Sol Messiah showed me this track, I was like, 'This is the one.' I have such high regard for Black Thought as an MC and how he elevates lyricism to an extent that's really not seen within the mainstream industry. So, we got on the track, we recorded in the studio, and just went crazy: back and forth bar for bar. So, this is lyricism at its finest." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 02, 2020
Rell Be Free - Paythefeee
225
Rell Be Free - "Paythefeee" from the 2020 self-released album P.T.F.D. Rell Be Free (real name: Jerrell Davis) is a self-described "musician, underground educator, and multifaceted entrepreneur" from the South End of Seattle. A rapper since the age of 12, Davis utilizes his skills to speak out for social justice. He's the Restorative Justice Director and co-founder of the youth organization WA-BLOC (Washington Building Leaders of Change), serves as a Corner Greeter Coordinator for Rainier Beach, and was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People bySeattle Magazine in 2018. "I’m very comfortable with who I am and so I’m not trying to perpetuate a false image," Davis told theSouth Seattle Emerald. "When you front, you’ve got to keep it up and I’m not prepared to keep up a façade. I’d rather keep up who I really am. No matter how popular my music gets, I’ve got to remember that it’s really not about me. Honestly, I use music as art, but I really see music as a tool toward revolution – a way to change the material conditions of our people." Watch Rell Be Free perform today's Song of the Day from an event held by Decriminalize Seattle.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 30, 2020
Harleighblu x Bluestaeb - Queeen Dem (feat. Janne Robinson)
192
Harleighblu & Bluestaeb - "Queeen Dem (feat. Janne Robinson)" from the 2019 self-released album She. British R&B vocalist Harleighblu teams up with German producer Bluestaeb on the collaborative album She. On today's Song of the Day, the duo find inspiration in the poetry of Janne Robinson. Harleighblu toldHighsnobiety in an email: I wrote the track Queeen Dem (pronounced like ManDem), after being inspired by a poem called 'This is for the women that don’t give a fuck' by Janne Robinson. The poem reads ‘this is for the women who drink too much whisky, stay up too late and have sex like they mean it — it really spoke to me. I tried to capture the strength of the poem, with a nod to Janne and then elaborate with my own take on completely owning your own womanhood. Within writing the first few lines, I entitled the piece 'Queeen Dem.' Queeen gets 3 E’s to accentuate the fact you are a queen. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 29, 2020
Fugazi - Burning Too
171
Fugazi - "Burning Too" from the 1989 album 13 Songs on Dischord Records. We have a responsibility / To use our abilities to keep this place alive / Right here right now / Do it. Now. Do it. Since forming in 1986, DC punk band Fugazi have become synonymous with DIY ethics and progressive political perspectives. “I was born in 1962 and I was here in Washington right through the civil rights stuff, the anti-war stuff, gay rights," frontman Ian MacKaye said in a rare interview withLoud & Quiet. “My parents and I went to a church that was radical liberation – very, very left, it had a woman saying mass in 1972, gay marriage in 1974, the Black Panthers spoke there, rock bands played there – it was radical. I was raised in that environment so I thought that’s how society would be. Then the ’70s came along and you had this period of people partying and disco music and such obsolescence, it was such a bummer and I felt so disconnected from it. I was like, ‘where’s the counter-culture?’ It seemed so real to me as a child but as a teenager it was gone.” MacKaye was able to revitalize a conscientious way of life through music. And while the now-legendary group are reticent when it comes to the meaning behind their lyrics, frontman Ian Mackaye's call to action in today's featured Song of the Day is undeniable. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 28, 2020
Stella Donnelley - Beware of the Dogs
215
Stella Donnelly - "Beware of the Dogs" from the 2019 album Beware of the Dogs on Secretly Canadian. Following the breakout success of her debut EP Thrush Metal, Australian artist Stella Donnelly knew she wanted to use her first full-length, Beware of the Dogs, to address larger issues in the world. "My generation had this 'enough is enough' kind of feeling and a lot of the women I was working with were finding their ways of expressing that," she toldUnder the Radar last year. "Whether it was my friends who were artists, or in punk bands, or were poets, it just felt like I was part of a community that was speaking out at that moment." With the title track of the album, Donnelly sums it up, tellingDIY Magazine:  This song is about the historic and continuing racism that flows through the Australian media and government. As a white Australian I am extremely privileged to have the platform that I do and whilst I occupy this space that in my opinion is far too often occupied by white people, I am going to use it to speak up. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 27, 2020
Noname - Song 33
70
Noname - "Song 33," a 2020 self-released single. With her first single of 2020, Chicago artist Noname works with producer Madlib to craft a track referencing the murder of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter activist Oluwatoyin Salau, and to, well, call out fellow rapper J. Cole, whose own single “Snow on Tha Bluff” seemed to criticize her social media presence.  "i've been thinking a lot about it and i am not proud of myself for responding with song 33," she tweeted. "i tried to use it as a moment to draw attention back to the issues i care about but i didn't have to respond. my ego got the best of me. i apologize for any further distraction this caused."   She added, "madlib killed that beat and i see there’s a lot of people that resonate with the words so i’m leaving it up but i’ll be donating my portion of the songs earnings to various mutual aid funds. black radical unity." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 26, 2020
Sango - Eu Vou Passando (feat. Jé Santiago)
184
Sango - "Eu Vou Passando (feat. Jé Santiago)" from the 2020 album Da Rocinha 4 on Soulection Records. Former Seattleite, current Michigander, Kai "Sango" Wright continues his Da Rocinha series, described as his "love letter to Rio De Janeiro Funk Carioca.”  “I’ve always been a person of culture through connecting dots and bridging gaps,” Sango says via a press release. “With the Da Rocinha series, it is about highlighting the history of Funk Carioca and paying homage to the creation of the funk sound. With this fourth installment, I wanted to reach out to the community of Rocinha, local areas in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil to give and receive support while I push this North American & South American sound.” On today's featured track, he teams up with São Paulo-based artist Jé Santiago, known for soulful trap-influenced hip hop. It's “from the people, for the people,” he concludes. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 23, 2020
Working Men's Club - A.A.A.A.
186
Working Men's Club - A.A.A.A. from the 2020 album Working Men's Club on Heavenly Recordings. Yorkshire band Working Mens Club was formed by a bunch of Working Teens last year. Eighteen-year-old frontman Sydney Minsky-Sargeant explains in a press release, "We grew up in northern towns trying to get in to pubs in social clubs because that's all we had. The name is an ode to that. Our surroundings and their differences has influenced us a lot on these tracks." Their self-titled debut album was produced by Ross Orton (The Fall, Arctic Monkeys). Minsky-Sargeant elaborates, “There’s not much going on, not much stuff to do as a teenager. It’s quite isolated. And it can get quite depressing being in a town where in the winter it gets light at nine in the morning and dark at four.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 22, 2020
Jessica Winter - Sad Music
214
Jessica Winter - "Sad Music" from the 2020 Sad Music EP on Roya Records. Brixton-based artist Jessica Winter stuns with her debut EP Sad Music, a perfect blend of introspective lyrics and infectious synth beats. “Music helps me realise that you are not alone that every one of us is capable of the best and worst feelings and actions in this world," Winter said via a press release. "This song was born out of a particularly bad day and how music was a saviour at that time.” Winter captures that feeling in the accompanying music video; she says: “This video was made over a year ago. Nan Moore (the director) and I started it with zero budget so we sweet talked our way into Specsavers and took a National Express down to Portsmouth beach to film the initial scenes... a year went past and we hustled, we toured together and eventually convinced someone to give us the cash to finish it off. The only reason we got into Spescavers was because I was there so often with a health condition called blepharitis, you treat it by using artificial tears. I think that reflects how as an artist, a woman putting out pop music, you always feel like there’s an element of being performative. 'Sad Music' is performative, it’s getting through heartbreak with a song and a dance.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 21, 2020
Dark Tropics - Moroccan Sun
195
Dark Tropics - "Moroccan Sun," a 2020 single on Quiet Arch. Self-described "pop-noir" duo Dark Tropics return with their second single "Moroccan Sun," just in time to stretch out summer just a little bit longer. While the musicians, Rio and Gerard, reside in Belfast, Ireland, they first met in Morocco, and bring a sultry, sunny Mediterranean feel to today's featured track. In a press release, Rio shares: “’Moroccan Sun’ was written somewhat as a narrative for my first travelling experience fully on my own. It’s letting go of what you believed to be your comfort, your light in life and understanding that you will always have some constants, but by the same measure things will change and mould around you, and embracing this brings a new sense of happiness. Taking the step to leave the old behind, move forward into the new and embracing a new chapter.” “I did take a lot of inspiration from my travel diary, especially my night sleeping under the stars in the Sahara and the 12hr drive back to the city the next day where I spent a lot of time thinking about the life I was coming back to and what I really wanted.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 20, 2020
Adia Victoria - South Gotta Change
225
Adia Victoria - "South Gotta Change," a 2020 single on Atlantic Records. 'Cause I love you, I won't leave you Won't let you slip away Come what may We're gonna find a way Nashville-based artist Adia Victoria takes an introspective look at her city on her latest single, "South Gotta Change." The song, executive produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett, is not only a love letter to her town, but a plea for change. On Twitter, she declared, "this isn’t a song about hope, this is a howl for change." She continues in a press statement: In 2020 I have watched as the world became irreversibly altered. The upheaval COVID-19 caused has allowed for a sacred pause in our daily life. During this lapse we lost Congressman John Lewis. In the days following his death I pondered the work he accomplished and the work left to us who remain. "South Gotta Change" is a prayer, an affirmation, and a battle cry all at once. It is a promise to engage in the kind of ‘good trouble’ John Lewis understood necessary to form a more perfect union. No other place embodies the American experiment with the precision of the South. It is home to both unspeakable horror and unshakable faith. It is up to us, those who are blessed enough to be Southern, to take up the mantle Brother Lewis left us. As the old saying goes, “As the South goes, so goes the nation.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 19, 2020
Of Mexican Descent - All Turn Native
197
Of Mexican Descent - "All Turn Native" from the 2006 self-released album Exitos Y Mas Exitos (Edicion De Lujo). Of Mexican Descent is a collaboration between Los Angeles-based artists, rapper 2Mex (real name: Alejandro Ocana) and Xololanxinxo (real name: Daniel Rodriguez). They began the project in 1991, and quickly became an elemental part of the rising Los Angeles underground hip hop movement. Their debut EP Exitos y Mas Exitos was originally released in 1998, and was recently re-released digitally via 2Mex's Bandcamp page. KEXP's DJ Gabriel Teodros says: "Of Mexican Descent is the duo of 2Mex and Xololanxinxo, two legendary underground Los Angeles MC's who cut their teeth performing at the famed Good Life Cafe, as documented in Ava DuVernay's 2008 film This Is The Life. As I was just coming into making music myself in the late '90s, OMD's work found its way to my Walkman via dubbed cassettes that friends were passing around, as we were all big fans of the styles coming out of the Good Life and Project Blowed. This was in a time when independent hip-hop had to physically travel to reach you; the internet wasn't used to distribute music the way it is now. 2Mex and Xololanxinxo both had such a courageous vulnerability in their approach, they kept love at the center of everything they did, and they represented an Indigenous perspective in hip-hop I hadn't yet heard at that point. The impact their music had on me then is something you can still see and feel in everything I do today. It only felt right to help shine a light on my OGs. "2Mex and Xololanxinxo are both very active today, Xololanxinxo has brand new music with The Psychic Temple you can listen to here and you can check the latest solo work from 2Mex here. "There's rumors of a new Visionaries album coming soon, too!" Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 16, 2020
Dioganhdih - Native New Yorker
182
Dioganhdih - "Native New Yorker," a 2019 self-released single. A self-described "queer, non-binary, indigenous rapper, activist, and diversity consultant", Dioganhdih uses their music to celebrate the Haudenosaunee culture. On their latest single, they explain, "this single release details the life of a water protector living in a constant state of emergency and being propelled into action while living in occupation at Oceti Sakowin, Standing Rock in 2016." The track was recorded in Los Angeles with Ziibiwan, an Anishinaabe electronic artist, on beat and post production. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 15, 2020
Ill-ēsha - Como la Chicha (feat. Fabian Arias & Dakota Camacho)
254
Ill-ēsha - "Como la Chicha (feat. Fabian Arias & Dakota Camacho)" from the 2020 self-released album Songs from the Sweat Shed. Last year, veteran DJ/producer Ill-ēsha helped create the Tribal Gathering Festival Recording Studio in the middle of the jungle in Panama, using the new space to record indigenous tribes and artists from all over the world. On her new double EP, Songs from the Sweat Shed, she incorporates samples from these sessions into her infectious electronic beats, with 100% of proceeds to "help continue funding to get tribes from all over the world to Tribal Gathering." On today's Song of the Day, Ill-ēsha features Fabian Arias and Dakota Camacho. Camacho, in particular, was born and raised in Coast Salish Territory, resides in South Seattle, and is of Matao/CHamoru ancestry. A "multi-disciplinary artist/researcher", Camacho also co-founded I Moving Lab, "an inter-national, inter-cultural, inter-tribal, and inter-disciplinary arts collective that creates community and self-funded arts initiatives to engage and bring together rural & urban communities, Universities, Museums, & performing arts institutions." You can see the wide range of projects Camacho leads here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 14, 2020
DJ Shub - The Social (feat. pHoenix Pagliacci)
358
DJ Shub - "The Social (feat. pHoenix Pagliacci)," a 2020 single on Shub Music. Award-winning producer DJ Shub has teamed up with Toronto-based artist Phoenix for a powerful new track, with proceeds going to organizations benefiting Black Lives Matter and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. In an interview withBillboard, DJ Shub (who is a Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River, Canada's largest First Nations reserve) explained: "Indigenous people in Canada are like the Black Lives Matter movement in the States. It’s pretty bad here, especially when it comes to shootings by police. The statistics are crazy, so I think we [as First Nations people] can relate to what’s happening. That’s why Phoenix [who is Black] gets it so deeply, we’ve both experienced the same struggle in Canada." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 13, 2020
A Tribe Called Red - Land Back (feat. Boogey The Beat & Northern Voice)
204
A Tribe Called Red - "Land Back (feat. Boogey the Beat & Northern Voice)," a 2020 self-released single. Canadian DJ duo A Tribe Called Red have a long history of using their public platform to amplify the indigenous community, and with today's Song of the Day, they're showing their support for the Wet’suwet’en people, whose sovereign lands are being invaded by the RCMP and the Coastal GasLink pipeline. They're offering this song for free on their Soundcloud page and are encouraging listeners to donate to the Unist'ot'en 2020 Legal Fund in return. The band also shared this statement alongside the release: We oppose the invasion of sovereign Indigenous lands by the RCMP and the Coastal GasLink pipeline. We stand with the Wet’suwet’en people and their hereditary chiefs. We stand with all the people working to support their fight.  We will be making this song available to download for free and free to be used for anyone working to defend the Wet’suwet’en territories and all action that defend the right of Indigenous land sovereignty and to promote a true nation to nation discussion between the Indigenous nations of Turtle Island and our Canadian settlers.  Until our Canadians are willing to treat the Indigenous nations of this land with the respect due, a sovereign people’s reconciliation will remain an empty gesture.  It was the work of our good friend Whess Harman that inspired us to give the song away to the movement. Not only because of their work in the frontlines of resistance in Vancouver, but also because they are using their art for the movement. Whess designed the “Land Back” patch that is featured in our cover art, and has been selling them to raise money for the Unist'ot'en Camp Legal Fund. We will be making a donation to the same fund for our use of Whess' art. We encourage you to donate to the legal fund as well by following this link: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising... The Halluci Nation would like to thank our friends and collaborators who have helped make this possible. Without our community we are nothing. Boogey the Beat, Northern Voice, Whess Harman and Valeo Arts Management. #Alleyesonwetsuweten #LandBack #WaterIsLife #Standwithwetsuweten #unistotencamp #unistoten #unistotensolidarity #indigenousrights #wetsuwetenstrong Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 12, 2020
Warren Dunes - Fishbowl
171
Warren Dunes - "Fishbowl," a 2020 self-released single. KEXP is a listener-funded nonprofit, and we need your help to keep creating podcasts like this one. Donate now for our Fall Fundraising Drive!  Seattle surf-pop trio Warren Dunes are currently working on their debut full-length, but in the meantime, they've shared the stand-alone single “Fishbowl,” a song frontwoman and local-music-veteran Julia Massey tellsAmerican Songwriter, “It’s about admitting your weaknesses and asking for help. It’s about making yourself vulnerable during dark times and finding strength in the little things, like taking a walk with someone and holding their hand.” Massey, along with her spouse, Jared Cortese; and his brother, Dominic Cortese, share more details about the new track on their Facebook page. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 09, 2020