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
Mandy, Indiana - Bottle Episode
280
Mandy, Indiana - "Bottle Episode" from the … EP on Fire Talk. Mandy, Indiana aren't from Indiana at all — the post-rock quartet actually hail from Manchester, England, where founding members Scott Fair (guitar/production) and Valentine Caulfield (vocals/lyrics) met at a show their respective separate bands were playing. After deciding to team up, the new group began working on their debut EP '...', out physically on December 10th via Fire Talk Records.  On today's Song of the Day, Caulfield sought to capture a somber, armed forces inspiration. “I wanted to build up on the military style of the track, but in a very slow crescendo, and not in a very obvious way," she explained in a press release. "The lyrics talk of men waiting, moving forward; war is never mentioned, yet it is obvious that the men are waiting for death. The song ends with the men almost dancing as the bullets hit them.” Fair added, “The inspiration for the guitar line was based upon a recording of a flood siren in Todmorden. I was going to use the recording as a sample but then I decided to try and recreate it with the guitar.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 30, 2021
Chris Carroll - Blue (feat. Gabriel Teodros)
205
Chris Carroll - "Blue (feat. Gabriel Teodros)," a 2021 single on Raindrop Sound. Seattle-based artist Chris Carroll made a name for himself with his impressive production work on music from Gifted Youngstaz, Ra Scion of Common Market, Entendres, and MADlines. And then in 2019, he began releasing his own music, first under the alias Spoke, and then under his own name. Today's Song of the Day showcases that balance between control and collaboration as he invites local artist (and KEXP DJ) Gabriel Teodros and musician Mario Luciano to the poignant single "Blue." Carroll writes on his Bandcamp page: I'm honored to have created this track featuring an artist that I deeply admire, Gabriel Teodros. When I was 16, he was the first artist I'd ever heard perform spoken word (alongside Khingz as Abyssinian Creole), and when I was 18, Gabriel gave me my first turntable for a ride home. Little did I know this would set the course of my musical journey on through to adulthood. This track also features the sample composition of a recent mentor of mine, Mario Luciano, who has been a tremendous influence in the last year. This song is for all those we have lost during the pandemic, and to those we've become estranged from. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 29, 2021
Snotty Nose Rez Kids - Change (feat. ebonEmpress & Jenny Lea)
251
Snotty Nose Rez Kids - "Change (feat. ebonEmpress & Jenny Lea)" from the 2021 album Life After on Distorted Muse. Vancouver-based duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids live up to their name. The duo of Darren “Young D” Metz and Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce formed the group in 2016 after seeing a show headlined by fellow-Indigenous artists, the hip-hop collective First Ladies Crew. As members of the Haisla nation, the pair knew they could use music to both celebrate and elevate their heritage. “As Indigenous people who have been shit on year after year after year by the government, from the people, from our own people, the media, the police… I feel like Indigenous people have developed our own sense of humour that only we get,” Nyce toldRange. “For us, the way we grew up listening to rap and hip-hop, it was so dark and heavy and it just weighed on you. You couldn’t listen to it more than once unless you were in the right mindset. So for us, coming up, our message, our music, we wanted to talk about the heavy stuff but with a positive spin. And making sure that at the end of the day you left smiling — on a high note. We never want people to feel down on themselves. We want to lift our people up, not bring them down.” Metz adds: “It’s just like our name also, Snotty Nose Rez Kids; it explains who we are without having to explain who we are. You gotta have a sense of humour when you come through trauma.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 26, 2021
Jelly Cleaver - Black Line
324
Jelly Cleaver - "Black Line," a 2021 single on Gearbox Records. On today's Song of the Day, South London-based artist/activist Jelly Cleaver uses her bluesy guitar rock to speak out on global warming. In a press release, she elaborates: “This song was especially inspired by the story of the Ogoni Nine and Shell oil corporation. Having poisoned the Niger Delta region with negligent oil spills, the Ogoni people who were indigenous there rose up and demanded Shell clean up the oil and compensate them. Shell worked with the military dictatorship government who raided villages killing 2,000 and displacing 80,000. Shell then bribed witnesses to provide false testimonies so that the leaders of the uprising were executed, who became known as the Ogoni nine.” “It was also inspired by the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests by the Standing Rock Sioux and the many times the fossil fuel industry has abused the world.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 25, 2021
Ivy Sole - One More Night (feat. Topaz Jones)
233
Ivy Sole - "One More Night (feat. Topaz Jones)," a 2021 single on Les Fleurs Records. With her new single "One More Night", Philadelphia-based artist Ivy Sole teams up with Montclair, NJ-based rapper Topaz Jones for a soulful, R&B tinged exploration of romantic feelings. It's also the first listen to her just-announced full-length CANDID, which will be released February 2nd on Ivy's own Les Fleurs Music.  "CANDID explores the many ways I find myself endeavouring towards truth and clarity, and 'One More Night' is no different. It’s a song that speaks directly to the woman I had in mind, but still gives room for the listener’s imagination,” Sole explained toStereofox. “The song itself came out of the essence of someone appearing in your mind without you actively deciding to invite them there, and the longing that ends up dictating how you act upon the memories, images and feelings that are brought out from that initial spark. Topaz and I produced it together, which makes it even more special to me..." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 24, 2021
Coco Peila - Pretty Girls (feat. Taj Mahal)
228
Coco Peila - "Pretty Girls (feat. Taj Mahal)," a 2021 single on JuixeGRL Records. With her latest single "Pretty Girls," Bay Area-based artist Coco Peila has elevated a movement to challenge beauty norms. As she expresses on her Facebook page, “It’s an opportunity for us as Black women to have a heart to heart about what it’s been like for all of us, and to challenge the ideas and perceptions in our own minds about what 'Pretty' is, WHY it is, and who currently or historically has access to it.” It also launched the "Pretty Heist" media campaign, which Peila describes as "a music video and interview series centered around Black Women’s Liberation and the impacts of sexism, anti-black racism, white supremacy, and the beautification industry on Black Women & Girls’ lives, perception of ourselves and others, sense of worth, perception of beauty and access to resources. The series spotlights women and girls, and provides information about how to support the work we are doing in the world and our communities." Learn more about the campaign at her Facebook page here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 23, 2021
Ruth B. - Moments in Between
234
Ruth B. - "Moments in Between" from the 2021 album Moments in Between on Reb Music Productions / Downtown Records. Ethiopian-Canadian singer/songwriter Ruth B. explores the complexities of being a woman in her mid-twenties on her sophomore album Moments In Between. This is especially resonant on the title track, a wistful, laid-back song that really highlights Ruth's soulful voice. The new LP was executive produced by Patrick Wimberly (Beyonce, Solange, Blood Orange, Ellie Goulding). “Writing songs has always been therapeutic for me,” she says via a press release, “and I hope that hearing my songs helps other people in the same way. Whether they’re feeling lonely or heartbroken or happy, I want them to know that someone else understands what they’re going through.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 22, 2021
Maiah Manser - Walking Faster
184
Maiah Manser - "Walking Faster," a 2021 self-released single. It’s been four years since Los Angeles-via-Seattle-via-Oregon musician Maiah Manser released her fantastic and far-too-succinct sophomore EP Second Skin. In that time, she’s been busy sharing stages with artists like CHVRCHES, Crystal Castles, and ODESZA, singing backup vocals alongside local luminary Mary Lambert for a few names you might recognize such as Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, and Pharrell Williams, and getting placements in the show Lucifer and at 2017’s Met Gala. It now appears that, finally, Manser is ready to release new music out to the world. Today’s Song of the Day, “Walking Faster” is her first single in two years and a perfect reintroduction to an artist who clearly hasn’t lost her touch. Without any hesitation or introduction, Manser comes in swinging with the softly and speedily sung lines, “Giving up all my love /Just because that was what i was taught / Even though I don’t know who even said that,” while a glitchy electronic beat fights to keep up. From there, the song builds as Manser belts the chorus while drenched in reverb for a cathartic and catchy track that’s only snag is that it’s over too soon. A new EP titled Third Degree is expected in 2022. Watch Manser’s 2017 KEXP in-studio performance on YouTube or at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 19, 2021
Combo Chimbita - Babalawo
342
Combo Chimbita - "Babalawo," a 2021 single on Anti-. Combo Chimbita is the project for four first-generation New Yorkers who make tropical futurism inspired by the cumbia of their birth country of Colombia and the rock n’ roll of the American city they call home. Since the release of their incredible 2019 full-length Ahomale, the quartet have been steadily churning out singles that continually build upon their otherworldly mystique.  Our Song of the Day, “Babalawo,” is the latest single to be revealed and an incredible entry point for those unfamiliar with the band’s gorgeous genre fusion. While my sub-par Spanish skills prevent me from deciphering the song’s lyrics, the passion and fury with which frontwoman Carolina Oliveras sings bridges the language barrier by letting listeners into the cosmically spiritual world with which the song lives.  “We debuted ‘Babalawo’ when we played with Sun Ra Arkestra and it’s become a favorite song from our set,” explains guitarist Niño Lento. “It has some hints of trap, a bit of rock, but also carries influences from Haitian music and sounds. Carolina’s lyrics are also important since they describe some of our first encounters with Regla de Ocha (often known as Santeria). These intimate moments of spiritual guidance are incredibly important to us as a band with decolonial aspirations.” “This song narrates a dream I had in which an Eggun (deceased person) assuaged my fears and encouraged me to continue down my path,” Oliveras says of “Babalawo.” “They said ‘Ponte pa lo tuyo,’ a directive to follow that which is already mine — a message I felt important to share forward … While it may seem that this song is dedicated to a particular Babalawo (similar to a priest in a Yoruban context), it’s also an homage to the many teachers who form the Yoruban culture and religion around me and continue to inspire a deeper exploration from me.” The song comes with a video featuring multidisciplinary artist Edrimael Delgado Reyes in a fiery interpretative dance that draws from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave that heightens the drama of the “Babalawo” to celestial levels. Watch the video, directed by Oscar Diaz, on KEXP.org at the link below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 18, 2021
JOHN - Šibensko Powerhouse
171
JOHN - "Šibensko Powerhouse" from the 2021 album Nocturnal Manoeuvres on Brace Yourself Records / Pets Care Records. As one YouTuber comically remarked on the footage of JOHN’s Live on KEXP Performance from 2019’s International Clash Day celebration, “The best band with the worst SEO.” And they’re not wrong, trying to find a band that goes by the most common English first name in the world on the internet is an incredibly difficult task. But once discovered, the riches that the duo rewards you with are plentiful. Made up of John Newton and Johnny Healey, the duo are an absolute force to be reckoned with. Their latest album Nocturnal Manoeuvres, released in October, takes the explosive riffs the two Johns have a penchant for and spreads them out into maximalist, psychedelic new territories. Our Song of the Day is the album’s early single “Šibensko Powerhouse,” a turbulent thumper that features vocals from none other than IDLES bassist Adam Devonshire for an extra layer of fury.  “The lyrics came from a now-distant memory of visiting a festival in another country,” offers drummer and lead vocalist Newton. “I remembered standing alone in baking 40 degree heat on the hillside outside of my apartment – only to hear a familiar song echoing live in the distance from over the hill’s crest. It was a once in lifetime moment that just stuck with me, a reminder of my small scale in the greater scheme of the world.” Nocturnal Manoeuvres follows 2019’s Out Here on the Fringes. Watch the Ryan Gander-directed video for “Šibensko Powerhouse” on KEXP.org.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 17, 2021
Trentemøller - All Too Soon
244
Trentemøller - "All Too Soon" from the 2022 album Memoria on In My Room. Danish producer Anders Trentemøller has been making cinematic electronic soundscapes for over 20 years now and is constantly finding new avenues of traversing genre-bending lush landscapes. The latest singles off his forthcoming sixth studio album, Memoria, “In the Gloaming” and our Song of the Day “All Too Soon,” find him employing textured dream pop and the glistening vocals of his girlfriend Lisbet Fritze for a majestic and mysterious mood.  According to Trentemøller’s Bandcamp: “‘All Too Soon’ examines ostensibly diametric relationships of light and dark, life and death, day and night, love and hate, while actually presenting them as dualistic, and symbiotic, influencing each other as they interrelate. What might appear to be a dispiriting take on our mortality could just as easily be interpreted as its acceptance being liberating.” Memoria follows up 2019’s Obverse, which featured Rachel Goswell of Slowdive and Jenny Lee Linberg of Warpaint. Watch the video for “All Too Soon,” directed by Fryd Frydendahl on KEXP.org. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 16, 2021
Mr Twin Sister - Polvo
242
Mr Twin Sister - "Polvo" from the 2021 album Al Mundo Azul on Twin Group. For over a decade now, Mr Twin Sister have been constantly reinventing their sound in completely underrated fashion. From the dreamy baroque indie of their debut under the name Twin Sister to the infectious electro pop of 2014’s Mr Twin Sister to the eclectic groove and slow jams on their last full-length, 2018’s Salt, the band has been constantly pushing forward while remaining almost completely under the radar. Their newest forthcoming album, Al Mundo Azul, sees the New York-based band continuing this trajectory in dazzling fashion. Our Song of the Day, “Polvo,” might be the best representation of this new direction towards sheeny dance pop. Influenced by the cumbia of frontwoman Andrea Estella’s maternal homeland of El Salvador, the song is a strutting dance track and one of the few in the band’s discography sung entirely in Spanish.  “‘Polvo’ is about how death fuels life, how we’re all connected, and how we must die in order to live,” Estella says of the song. “Polvo” is one five singles off of Al Mundo Azul shared ahead of the album’s November 19th release. Watch the video for single “Beezle,” directed by Estella, on KEXP.org. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 15, 2021
Tina Bell: Unsung Goddess of Grunge
1583
Today, we bring you the story of Tina Bell, from KEXP's Sound & Vision podcast. Bam Bam was a Black woman-fronted grunge band in Seattle in the early '80s — before grunge was a defined genre. Larry Mizell Jr. tells the story of Bam Bam and the life of frontwoman Tina Bell. He also explores why we’ve never heard of this group before and why their story has been erased from Seattle music history. For more stories like these, including recent interviews with The War On Drugs, Tori Amos, and Mudhoney's Guy Maddison, check out KEXP's Sound & Vision wherever you listen to podcasts. Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 12, 2021
Talaya. - Sola Fide + No Way (feat. Brandon Marsalis & Crissy P)
326
Talaya. - "Sola Fide + No Way (feat. Brandon Marsalis & Crissy P)" from the 2021 album Existential Soul on Talaya's Music. “Sola Fide + No Way” is an exemplification in song of a whole new crop of young, self-taught, self-made artists that is currently rising in the Seattle area. The hypnotic track off of Talaya’s debut full-length Existential Soul sees the R&B soul songstress team up with rappers Brandon Marsalis of Tacoma and Kent-based Crissy P for a sophisticated and spiritual quest to find the light. An audio engineer by day, Talaya first gained recognition for her vocal prowess at 2020’s Sound Off! The 21-and-under competition has been the symbolic birthplace of artists like Naked Giants, Dave B, Emma Lee Toyoda, and Travis Thompson and is seen as one of the main opportunities that young artists in the Northwest can get exposure. Crissy P also falls into that category, as a finalist in 2019’s competition and now an activist using his insightful voice on his 2020 debut full-length The East Coordinate to amplify the causes close to his heart.  “Is you Christian all the way?” Marsalis ponders on “Sola Fide +No Way,” questioning the intentions behind performative religion. Reflection is big for the 24-year-old artist, who beautifully articulates the big questions in life on his 2019 album Ouroboros. While none of these artists have yet lived a quarter century on this planet, their ability to express larger-than-life concepts bodes very well for the next generation. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 12, 2021
Liv.e - Bout It
230
Liv.e - "Bout It," a 2021 single on In Real Life / AWAL. Dallas-born singer/songwriter Liv.e may have only just released her debut album Couldn’t Wait to Tell You in 2020 but she’s been quietly gaining traction underground since 2017, with marquee names like Janelle Monae, Earl Sweatshirt, and Tyler, The Creator singing her praises. And, listening to Couldn’t Wait to Tell You, it’s easy to see why. The 20-track record is hypnotic in its fusion of soul, jazz, and R&B with loose song structures that fade like dreams. Her latest single and KEXP’s Song of the Day, “Bout It” continues that dreamy feeling with hazy downtempo production by Mndsgn that repeats the same spacey line over and over like an incantation and Liv.e following suit with the recurrent question of “Is you ‘bout it?” to spell-binding effect. If you weren’t before, you certainly are about it now. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 11, 2021
Dora Jar - Scab Song
181
Dora Jar - "Scab Song," a 2021 single on Original Sin. 24-year-old Dora Jar may only have a handful of songs out currently but she’s poised to become the Next Big Thing. Take our Song of the Day, for example. “Scab Song” ingeniously uses an actual scab on Dora’s 19-year-old leg as an inspiration for an infectiously blissful pop banger that investigates the odd and interesting aspects of the human form.  The track follows Dora Jar’s 2021 mini album Digital Meadow, a flawless debut that melds intellectually quirky songwriting with electronic flourishes and hip-hop beats for a sound we can only unjustly describe as “bedroom pop.” Keep your eyes and ears peeled because if she can make a song about a scab sound like a top 40 hit then there’s no telling what else she can do. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 10, 2021
Angélica Garcia - Llorona
245
Angélica Garcia - "Llorona" from the 2021 Echo Eléctrico EP on Spacebomb. Los Angeles-born, Richmond-based singer/songwriter Angélica Garcia uses music to explore her many identities as an American with Mexican and Salvadoran descent. Garcia’s 2016 debut, Medicine for Birds, was a folksy affair where her vocals twinkled in harmony with both banjos and synth beats and 2020’s Cha Cha Palace, released only weeks before the world shut down, is a powerful and unique pop record that stomps with fury. So commanding were the tracks, that even Barack Obama couldn’t help but take notice. Continuing her journey of constant evolution, Garcia’s latest release, Echo Eléctrico, couldn’t be further from her prior records. An interpretation of traditional Mexican ranchera songs, Garcia uses richly textured synth and vocal loops to layer the passionately sung ballads. Our Song of the Day, “Llorona,” sits smack dab in the middle of the 5-song EP and uses cascading looped vocals as the sole instrumentation behind Garcia’s intensely emoted quavers. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 09, 2021
Pink Siifu - Big Ole (feat. BbyMutha)
151
Pink Siifu - "Big Ole (feat. BbyMutha)" from the 2021 album GUMBO'! on Dynamite Hill. Pink Siifu is just one of the musical pseudonyms that Livingston Matthews has taken on over the years. The 29-year-old Birmingham-bred rapper/singer/producer has been making a massive splash the past couple of years, most notably with 2020’s NEGRO, which was an experimental excercise in catharsis, taking the years of pain and discrimination and turning it into a battle cry of recordings. In August, Matthews quickly followed NEGRO up with GUMBO, which departs massively from the free jazz experimentation and caustic howls for an incredibly smooth and bouncy Southern rap record. Our Song of the Day and GUMBO highlight, “Big Ole,” features bass-heavy, blown out production from Conquest Tony Phillips and an effortless verse from Chatanooga rapper BbyMutha. The song comes with a bright and distorted video, directed by 30onme. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 08, 2021
MAITA - Pastel Concrete
149
MAITA - "Pastel Concrete" from the 2022 album I Just Want To Be Wild For You on Kill Rock Stars. MAITA is the full-band project of Portland-based artist Maria Maita-Keppeler. Quickly following up the release of her fantastic debut album Best Wishes, unveiled only just last year, this February her sophomore record I Want To Be Wild For You will be revealed.  Our Song of the Day is the early single “Pastel Concrete.” What appears to be an intimate, possibly somber guitar strummer in the opening lines grows into a jaunty tune that grows and eventually cathartically erupts. Known for her mercurial lyricism, Maita-Keppeler turns the task of driving through Santa Monica for work as a study of the unique culture and landscape of Southern California.  “Pastel Concrete was written at a time when I had a job that periodically sent me to Santa Monica, Maita-Keppeler says of the song. “A place that felt more foreign to me than any other. The outdoor mall, the kitschy boardwalk, the actors and artists I worked with who seemed so different from me and yet so understood the struggle of trying to get paid, and the infamous mythology of LA—I found it all uncomfortable and fascinating.” I Want To Be Wild For You is out February 18, 2022 via Kill Rock Stars.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 05, 2021
Breeze - Come Around (feat. Cadence Weapon)
231
Breeze - "Come Around (feat. Cadence Weapon)" from the 2021 album Only Up on Hand Drawn Dracula. Toronto-based producer Josh Korody has a long list of credits to his name including Dilly Dally, Beliefs, and Nailbiter but his main solo project is the monosyllabically titled Breeze. For his latest album as Breeze, Only Up, Korody recruited pretty much anybody and everybody in the Toronto scene to join him in collaboration to make a record in only eight days. Members of Orville Peck, Tallies, Vallens, Zoon, Sauna, Fake Palms, Rapport, Praises, Civic TV, Moon King, Blonde Elvis, For Jane, Ducks Ltd, TOPS and Broken Social Scene all have their fingers on the frenetically fun album. Our Song of the Day is the record’s early single “Come Around.” Energetic and eclectic, the song mashes genres together in a way that makes “Come Around” sound so wrong that it’s right. Psychedelic guitar strums meld with hard-hitting tribal beats and post-punk howls that feels caustic on first listen but gets soothing on repeated spins.  Then, just when your brain is starting to comprehend what’s happening, Cadence Weapon (the musical pseudonym of rapper/writer Rollie Pemberton) jumps in halfway through for an unexpected verse of nonsensical but clever as hell lines like, “On the web I surf like Brian Wilson.” After a cool 40 seconds, he dips out and we’re back to Korody’s trippy nightmarish yowls. Korody had his to say about the song: “Come Around” is about someone that has done something horrible and has not shown any accountability or true remorse and the fear they – or have the nerve – to be able to jump back into a community that no longer feels comfortable around them. So, as I’m singing the song I’m picturing performing it live with them walking into the room and making people, especially the people closest to them, extremely uncomfortable and angry. The lyrics: ‘Yeah, you really did a number on this one’ references the trauma they imposed upon the community. When Rollie (Cadence Weapon) comes in, his lyrical dialogue is a bit more separate, it’s more fun but still comes from frustration as well and it quickly takes myself and others out of that dark place with the hope of trying to move on and to enjoy the life we have.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 04, 2021
Abiodun Oyewole - Harlem
381
Abiodun Oyewole - "Harlem" from the 2021 album Gratitude on Fire Records. Abiodun Oyewole’s legendary history can be traced back to one very important day, May 19, 1968, when he read poetry in Harlem’s Mount Morris Park with David Nelson and Gylan Kain in honor of Malcolm X’s birthday and became what is now considered the first hip hop group - The Last Poets. In honor of this sacred day and Oyewole’s love for the New York neighborhood that gave him life, Oyewole recently released a single expressing his appreciation for Harlem and the people that live there. Appropriately titled “Harlem,” the song is locked in a singular groove for nearly six and a half minutes while Oyewole waxes poetic about the music, food, history, and culture that makes this neighborhood so special. Backup singers provide meditative coos of “Harlem, sweet Harlem” behind Oyewole’s shout outs to soul food at Sylvia’s, hanging out at the Jazzmobile, the Apollo, shopping on 125th street, children jumping double dutch, high fives, and real hugs. It’s a spiritual and inspirational journey of a man with a singular legacy. In a recent interview with Pat Thomas, Oyewole had this to say about the inspiration behind the song: “You gotta realize, Harlem was the place I wanted. It was like a desire, a dream. I was raised in Queens, New York. I would see Harlem every Sunday of my life because we went to church in Harlem. The energy of Harlem was exciting, electric. I told myself, 'I got to be here,' because there was no place in New York City that had that kind of energy and I really wanted that. “When the opportunity arose that The Last Poets were gonna happen and Dahveed Nelson, a brother who I consider part of the group because it was his idea, he told me that we were going to read poetry at Mount Morris Park in Harlem, there was a part of me that was very happy and a part of me that was very scared. I was intimidated because I thought Harlem was a tough place to do anything.  “Harlem was where everything was going to happen. When we set up our home base in Harlem, I spent all my time in Harlem, I got an apartment in Harlem - Harlem became everything to me.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 03, 2021
alt-J - U&ME
197
 alt-J - "U&ME," from the 2022 album The Dream on Atlantic. After a surprisingly sunny weekend, a cheery indie pop single about hanging with your friends at a music festival seems most appropriate. Alt-J, Mercury Prize winners and one of the early 2010’s leading festival headliners, are back after four years to provide that ebulliant and light-hearted feeling with their latest single “U&ME.” Their first release since 2017’s Relaxer (if you don’t count the following year’s remix album Reduxer) and the lead single off their forthcoming album The Dream, “U&ME” hits all the notes that Alt-J fans search for. Groovy percussion - check. Blissed out guitar riffs - you know it. A woozy melody - gotta have it. A nostalgic repeating chorus with slightly esoteric verses - wouldn’t be alt-J without em.  “It’s about being at a festival with your best friends, having a good time, togetherness, and the feeling in life that nothing could be any better than it is right now,” explains keyboardist/vocalist Gus Unger-Hamilton. The video, directed Unger-Hamilton’s brother, Prosper, captures that sort of bonding-with-the-buds feeling by featuring the band ripping at the skatepark. Kicks are flipped, blood is shed, and - wait - concrete is floating? Just a typical day with the guys!  The Dream is out February 11th via Canvasback/Infectious Music. Alt-J will be in Seattle on Tuesday, March 29th to play WaMu Theatre with Portugal. The Man.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 02, 2021
Sneaker Pimps - So Far Gone (feat. Simonne Jones)
321
Sneaker Pimps - "So Far Gone (feat. Simonne Jones)" from the 2021 album Squaring The Circle on Unfall. It might have taken almost two decades, but Sneaker Pimps are finally back with their first record since 2002’s Bloodsport. Titled Squaring the Circle, the album is a lengthy 16 tracks that sees founding members Chris Corner and Liam Howe team up with LA-born, Berlin-based musician Simonne Jones on vocals. Our Song of the Day,  “So Far Gone” probably best utilizes her emotive voice to haunting effect. Harkening back to the trip-hop that put them on the map in the ‘90s, “So Far Gone,” is cemented by a downtempo electronic beat while arpeggiated synth flourishes sparkle around Jones’ yearning cries of nostalgia. “So far gone, never return, no safe ground,” she coos with a deeper timbre than the band’s original singer Kelli Alli’s wispy vocals rang on iconic songs like “6 Underground.” The textured dynamics and affecting vocals make “So Far Gone” an album highlight and an exciting return for a band that some (wrongly) think of as a one-hit-wonder.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 01, 2021
Danny Newcomb - This World
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Danny Newcomb - "This World," a 2021 single on Rock Candy Mountain. Danny Newcomb’s musical journey goes all the way back to 1981, when the hair was bigger, the music simultaneously messy and glam, and Seattle wasn’t even a footnote in the music zeitgeist. At that time, Newcomb was a member of a KISS-inspired Seattle-area band called Shadow made up of four teens, one with a particularly now-recognizable name - Mike McCready. Since then, Newcomb’s gone on to play in a number of bands including dark pop outfit Goodness and the McCready and Nancy Wilson-featuring short-lived side project. Under his own name, Newcomb makes straightforward guitar strummers, with his last release, 2020’s Mackerel Sky, departing from his long-standing rock-n-roll, singer-songwriter roots for a drum-less, introspective, piano and acoustic-guitar led record.   On our Song of the Day, “This World,” he is back to playing with a full band, bringing the piano into the sound as well. “I’ve always been a fan of classic songwriting and so many are written on the piano,” Newcomb explains. “It’s such a great instrument to have in the mix when there is a strong main melody — you can call and respond with the vocals, echo a chorus subtly, while adding a driving percussive feel at the same time. It’s made the sound bigger, and it feels a little more finished to me.”  Last year, he started gathering material for a new release, writing for the band, and “This World” is the first single of 10 songs recorded with producer John Goodmanson, (Sleater-Kinney, Wolf Parade, Quasi) and drummer Eric Eagle, bassist Jeremy Lightfoot, and Erin Rubin on piano. “My good friend Carrie Akre [who played with Newcomb in Goodness and The Rockfords] will be singing with me on a track as well  — its a bit of a throwback, (that song) but maybe in the best possible way."  "I wrote ‘This World’ last fall after being shut in for 10 months or so on the small farm on the small island where I live,” Newcomb continues. “I think there was line that drew me in — the one that says: ‘Don’t ever let the Strangers in’ — because that’s what it was, I saw my family every morning, the sheep, the chickens, my geese, my neighbors, but not anyone outside my immediate circle. And I missed seeing people in that larger circle, people at shows, people on the ferry, talking to people i didn’t know, making connections. Felt like the whole world was lonely — literally — but it was also a state of mind.”  The single is the first song off the upcoming LP in Spring 2022 tentatively titled The Islander. Watch Danny Newcomb & the Sugarmakers’ KEXP in-studio performance from 2019 below. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 29, 2021
Makthaverskan - This Time
250
Makthaverskan - "This Time" from the 2021 album För Allting on Run For Cover. Makthaverskan don’t sound at all like they belong in this era. Heavily inspired by mid ‘80s post punk and baroque pop, they sound like they should be a Factory Records-signee alongside Joy Division rather than their (albeit great) home of Run For Cover. Even the slight crack in their recordings make them sound like a long-lost cassette import your cousin sent you when they went to Sweden for the summer. But, indeed, the Gothenburg-based band is completely of this time and on the verge of releasing their fourth studio album and first since 2017’s III. Titled För Allting, the album was recorded with HOLY’s Hannes Ferm and will be out on November 12th via Run For Cover. Our Song of the Day is the record’s lead single “This Time” that soars in the band’s typical theatrical fashion, with frontwoman Maja Milner’s voice going to Kate Bushian lengths to convey, well, something important. “It won’t matter/ This time, it’s too late/ This time, it won’t matter.” While the song sounds squarely within the wheelhouse of the Makthaverskan’s previously melodramatic dream pop, the band say the recording process for the new album was a very new direction for them. “When we started the songwriting process for this album, I think we all were pretty determined to take the music in a new direction. Not necessarily that we would sound ‘different,’ but to work on the songs using somewhat different methods than before. For our previous albums, we wrote the songs in our rehearsal space and pretty much recorded them the way they were. For this album, we intended the songs to be finalized in the studio and left some more room to work with.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 28, 2021
Deserta - Lost In The Weight
380
Deserta - "Lost in the Weight" from the 2022 album Every Moment, Everything You Need on Felte. Matthew Doty is wasting no time building up a catalogue of work as Deserta. Quick on the heels of releasing his debut album under the moniker last year, Black Aura My Sun, the former Saxon Shore/Midnight Faces plans on releasing the follow-up titled Every Moment, Everything You Need in 2022. The record’s lead single and our Song of the Day is the Herculean track “Lost In the Weight.” At nearly six and a half minutes, the song is a slow burn of epic proportions that sludges as if carrying the weight of the world on its back. Endless layers of swelling textures ground the track while Doty’s wispy vocals float above, urging us to “Take a little time /Slow down” like an angelic spirit guiding us from the demons in our heads. Doty had this to say about “Lost In the Weight”: “This song came from a place of exhaustion, frustration and the necessity to create. LITW trudges away on the same bass note for most of its six and a half minutes. It has moments of release, but even those moments are meant to feel heavy. This was the first song I tracked with Chris Coady and while we were setting up mics I said something along the lines of “Please make this sound as good as possible, I can’t work as a nurse much longer.” And though I somehow doubt releasing seven-minute ‘singles’ will bring about financial independence, I feel that we created some beauty from all of those darker parts.”  Deserta will be in Seattle on Friday, November 5th to play the Central Saloon. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 27, 2021
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - The Distance
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Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - "The Distance" from the 2021 The Distance EP on Nice Age. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, the musical pseudonym of Orlando Higginbottom, returned last year with his first collection of songs since his 2012’s Trouble, a four-track EP called I Can Hear the Birds. After nearly a decade of releasing singles and collaborating with a horde of others including Amtrac, Bonobo, and Porter Robinson, the London-born producer is finally ready to give us the solo cuts we’ve been patiently waiting for. Our Song of the Day, “The Distance” is the title track from a forthcoming solo EP out October 27th. The blissful dance track is meditative and trancey with wistful glitched out vocals. “How long must I wait for this love?” T.E.E.D. beseeches. “I’m tired of breathing alone /Don’t you know this could be you and me forever?” Rarely has longing felt this good. Read the full post on KEXP.org   Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 26, 2021
Aeon Station - Queens
239
Aeon Station - "Queens" from the 2021 album Observatory on Sub Pop. After 18 years of waiting for the Wrens to follow up their beloved 2003 triumph, The Meadowlands, we’ve finally received new music from them. Well, sort of. Frustrated with his bandmate Charles Bissell’s endlessly tinkering with his half of the planned follow-up record alongside a dispute over money cuts, Kevin Whelan is releasing his portion of songs under the name Aeon Station on December 10th. It’s a heartbreaking way to receive them, but we’ll take what we can get! The lead single and our Song of the Day, “Queens,” was unveiled in September and is so much more than we could’ve expected. A climactic five-minute epic, the song opens as a synthy slow-burner but builds into a propulsive, thrashing rocker only to crash to its emotional guitar-strummed ending. With lines like, “You said it was all in,” it’s difficult to not read the song as Whelan’s pointed message to his former bandmate.  Whelan claims the song was inspired by one of his all-time favorite songs, “The Winner Takes it All” by ABBA. “It’s about betting on the real you,” he explains in the press release. “Like a game of high-stakes poker, you push all your chips to the center of the table and aren’t afraid to go “all in.” When the New York Times asked Whelan in their profile on his new project about whether the song was a breakup song, he responded “More like post-break-up,” Whelan said, “when you find the strength to get on with your life.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 25, 2021
J'von - Blacc Moses
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J’von - "Blacc Moses" from the 2021 album KING CHEETAH on Empty Planet. “I need something that sounds like a win,” J’Von announces at the beginning of “Blacc Moses.” And, indeed, the story he weaves is one of triumph. Starting at the beginning, with his childhood, the Seattle rapper paints a picture of a mother stricken with grief but keeping it together for her four boys and how that molded him into an empathetic but unassailable human who would look at life with a keen and level-headed lens.  The song comes from J’Von’s 2021 album KING CHEETAH, his latest in a nearly annual record release string since 2015. More than solely a rapper, J’Von can count the titles of producer, animator, creative director, and father on his rapidly expanding resume. “They have that whole ‘jack of all trades master of none’… I hate that,” J’Von told KEXP’s Dusty Henry in 2019. “I don't want to be that. I don't want to be the dude that's alright at everything. I want to be amazing at everything.” That sounds like a win to me. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 22, 2021
Tiawa - Life Is Not a Crime
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Tiawa - "Life Is Not a Crime" from the 2021 album Moonlit Train on Tru Thoughts. Brighton-based musician Tiawa fuses hip hop, neo-soul, and the Latin folk of her Portuguese heritage for an exploratory yet unhurried experience on her debut album Moonlit Train. Released at the beginning of the summer, the album features production by collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Jack-Chi aka Jack Kingslake and a thematic concept that maps a metaphorical train journey from relationships through to healing and liberation. Our Song of the Day, “Life Is Not a Crime” focuses on the liberation from oppression. A gorgeous Spanish guitar riff and lackadaisical electronic beat ground the song while Tiawa’s woozy vocals float in a nearly imperceptible tone to create more “vibe” than message. What does come through, though, - words like “frightened” and “silenced” coupled with “life is not a crime” - paints a clear picture of Tiawa’s story and intention. "Each song on the album is an emotion,” Tiawa explains. “I hope it helps to heal people in serious situations and make them feel better when they listen.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 21, 2021
Helixx C. Armageddon - Rollercoaster
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Helixx C. Armageddon - "Rollercoaster," a 2021 single on Creative Juices Music. While “Rollercoaster” might be the sole single one can currently find on streaming platforms by Helixx C. Armageddon, the New York-based artist has a wealth of songs, poems, and beats going back over 20 years. Probably best known as a member of The Anomolies, an all-women hip-hop supergroup founded in the late '90s NYC alongside Invincible, Pri the Honey Dark, Big Tara and DJ Kuttin Kandi,  Armageddon is a treasure trove of creative energy that has emersed herself in nearly every medium of artistry one can engage with over the years. “Rollercoaster” comes from the anticipated forthcoming full-length House of Helixx and wrestles with the dips in the proverbial rollercoaster of life. The low lows are something Armageddon knows well. Sleep paralysis, depression, and social media addiction are a few of the demons that plague her but Armageddon keeps her perspective by acknowledging that “There isn’t one person on Earth that isn’t riddled with holes.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 20, 2021
Cleo Sol - Don't Let It Go to Your Head
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Cleo Sol - "Don't Let It Go to Your Head" from the 2021 album Mother on Forever Living Originals. If her name doesn’t sound familiar, her angelic vocals have been on full display here at KEXP as a contributor to the mysterious UK collective SAULT. But Cleo Sol is a star in her own right, with a penchant for intimate neo-soul that’s both heartwarming and spacious. Her latest record, August’s Mother, is especially personal as its subject matter is grounded in the beautiful yet overwhelming adventure of becoming a mother. Our Song of the Day, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head,” is smack dab in the middle of the record and one of the funkier tracks on the album, with an intricate drum beat leading the way rather than the twinkling piano, sparse guitar, and shimmering strings that fill the majority of the songs. “Don't let it go to your head,” Sol croons. “Love is stronger than fear /Don't let it change who you are /You are meant to be here.” While the song was likely written as a lesson to her baby girl about the importance of being willing to love without compromising yourself, it’s something we all likely need to be reminded of from time to time. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 19, 2021
Adeline - Stages (feat. KAMAUU)
228
Adeline - "Stages (feat. KAMAUU)" from the 2021 album Adi Oasis on Unity Records. French Caribbean singer and bassist Adeline makes funk-fueled soul that’s as joyful as it is political. The Paris-born, New York-based artist might be best known for fronting the nu-disco band Escort but broke out on her own in 2018 with her debut self-titled album. In it, she tackles difficult subjects that are close to her heart, such as immigration and feminism, while still making your booty bounce. For her third record in almost as many years, Adeline channels the fear and confusion brought on by the pandemic but reveals those ideas in a groovy, dancefloor-ready way. The record’s opening track and our Song of the Day, “Stages,” blends a surfy guitar riff, funky bass line, and an exuberant verse from New York rapper KAMAUU for a song that touches on the challenges the music industry brings. Adeline says this about the song: “Stages” is about my journey in the music business as a young black woman, but it’s relevant to indie artists in general, and everyone who’s hustling to reach their goals. I’ve had many experiences of not being taken seriously, of people making me feel like I’m not good enough, and of being hit on by fake aspiring collaborators who turned out to have ulterior motives. ‘Stages’ is my self-affirming chant reminding me that ‘I’m not going to take sh*t from anybody anymore. I got this. I trust myself’. Having KAMAUU on the song felt perfect because not only is he talented beyond words, but he’s also been a great advocate for me as a female producer.”  “Stages is also a reminder to myself that no matter where I am in my musical journey, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. When people discover a “new artist”, they often don’t realize they’re actually seeing the result of years and years of hard work. And while it’s tempting as an artist to compare ourselves to other artists who might seem to be having more success, every stage is a win -- a necessary step towards the next one. There are so many different ways of measuring success, and every artist’s journey is unique. I get to create this story in the way that works for me.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 18, 2021
Guazú & Terror/Cactus - Almita
311
Guazú & Terror/Cactus - "Almita" from the 2021 EP Botanas: Guazú & Terror Cactus on Shika Shika Collective. “Almita” is one of three tracks on an EP that melds the simpatico genius of two Argentine-born producers living nearly seven thousand miles away from each other. With Lucas Page a.k.a GUAZÚ  in Buenos Aires and Martin Selasco aka Terror/Cactus in Seattle, it should have been difficult to find each other. Luckily, with the help of social media, the two recognized their shared history and influences as well as their individual styles and started exchanging remixes. Via email, a collaboration was sprung and, with the help of Berlin label Shika Shika, Botanas was born. GUAZÚ’s dark and mysterious sound is centered around the rich percussive legacy of Latin America with ample use of marimbas, bombo legüeros, warm guitars, kalimbas and birdsong . Terror/Cactus’ more upbeat sound takes its main inspiration from cumbia with a modern electronic flair. Together, they’ve made something that seems like it could fit just as comfortably in the techno clubs of their label’s hometown  as in the dancehalls of Buenos Aires. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 15, 2021
Xenia Rubinos - Cógelo Suave
204
Xenia Rubinos - "Cógelo Suave," a 2021 single on Anti-. Renowned for forging a sound that’s completely her own, with influences ranging from R&B to punk, you never know what you’re gonna get from Xenia Rubinos. The Brooklyn-based daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban father uses her Berklee degree in jazz composition and early influences of classical music and opera to warp modern genres in unique yet timeless fashion.  One of the handful of singles the past year, “Cógelo Suave,” is one of those left-field songs that only Rubinos could pull off so well.  “It’s a gibberish spaceship ride, high speed chase, birds and stars whirring around your head at the end of a cartoon fight,” Rubinos said in a statement about the song and, really, it’s the most apt description. Made up primarily of swirling scat sounds, the few phrases dictated in the English language are “Well, I don’t know” and “I’m doing fine.” Which makes sense, considering the song was born during the height of the pandemic, Spring 2020, when despair and paranoia were the overwhelming feelings of the moment. “The more I think about it, the more I realize that the world was totally burning down around us while we were producing this track,” Rubinos shared on Twitter, “and in Cógelo Suave I guess I’m saying ‘I’m fine. THIS IS FINE.'” As the song whirls down from its psychedelic high, a vintage-sounding voice floats down from the heavens saying, “Penetrando los misterios del universo” - “Penetrating the mysteries of the universe” - which is part of a taped radio show that Rubinos found digging through her dad’s old cassettes. An appropriate addition considering when the present is so awful, it makes sense to turn to the past.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 14, 2021
Quantic & Nidia Góngora - Macumba de Marea
312
Quantic & Nidia Góngora - "Macumba de Marea," a 2021 single on Tru Thoughts. Since 2017, British producer Will Holland AKA Quantic and Colombian folk singer-songwriter Nidia Góngora have been joining forces to amplify each other’s respective crafts. Him, as a prolific expert in the art of electronic dance music. Her, as one of the foremost artists of the marimba music of the South Pacific region and a guardian of the oral tradition. Together, they’ve married their skills to offer something uniquely special. Four years after collaborating for the dancefloor-ready full-length Curao, the duo have joined forces again for a softer, more sultry single with “Macumba de Marea.” An offering from the pair’s forthcoming album Almas Conectadas, out October 22nd, the song swelters under the summer sun, stretching out languorously while a bevy of instruments shake, rattle, and moan. Góngora had this to say about the track:  “This song speaks of the importance of the rituals to say goodbye to our dead, through actions, charged with mysticism, spirituality and beliefs that define our cultural identity.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 13, 2021
Susana Baca - Sorongo
226
Susana Baca - "Sorongo" from the 2021 album Palabras Urgentes on Real World Records. Singer, musicologist, writer, three-time Latin Grammy winner, and a former Minister of Culture in her native Peru, Susana Baca has been a treasure to the Peruvian people for five decades now. A champion of the revival of Afro-Peruvian music, Baca’s latest album “Palabras Urgentes,” is an enthralling 10 song set that pays homage to the heritage and tradition of those that once fought for a better world and features production by Snarky Puppy’s Michael League.  The record’s lead single and our Song of the Day, “Sorongo,” is Baca’s take on a song by salsa composer Tite Curet Alonso. Alonso was a prolific writer, originally from Puerto Rico, who penned more than 2,000 songs in a thirty year career and “Sorongo” was first released by his friend Rafael Cortijo Y Su Bonche in the late 1960s. More recently the song was recorded by Calle 13 (who also collaborated with Susana Baca on the Latin Grammy-winning song “Latinoamerica.”) “Within ‘Sorongo’, one can find intuition, strength, feeling and enunciation,” says Baca of the song. “I spent many nights trying to find the right way of singing ‘Sorongo’… in the end it is only with the presence of the musicians that accompanied me that it found vitality. I am sure that Sorongo’ is faith found at the crossroad between feelings and rhythm.” Michael League added: “Sorongo is a very interesting track because of its history with Calle 13 and because it’s a powerhouse track on a record that doesn’t really have powerhouse tracks. This is like a freight train and stands apart from the rest of the record in that way but Susana was really, really adamant about feeling Africa in Sorongo, so we made a lot of really interesting decisions during the recording process about textures and sounds and structure to make you feel the connection between the sugar fields in Peru and the African roots of the people who were enslaved and working them.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 12, 2021
Sean Beaver - TECH-YES
263
Sean Beaver - "TECH-YES" from the 2020 self-released album Electric Turtle Dreams Sean Beaver is an indigenous Canadian electronic artist who is based in Calgary, Alberta. Originally from the Driftpile First Nation in northern Alberta and of Cree descent, Beaver is award-winning in the indigenous communities, with nominations for Best Instrumental Album at the Indigenous Music Awards in 2015 and 2017, Best Instrumental CD at the Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards in 2013, and Rap-Hip Hop-Electronica Album Of The Year at the 2021 Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards. In between producing his electronic work, Beaver was a key member of the distinguished Indigenous hip hop group REDDNATION, performing as DJ Hooligan and serving as tour manager / sound technician from 2002 until the group retired in October 2013. The group was influential in spreading music and inspiring Indigenous youth. Beaver’s Album of the Year nomination went to his fourth and most recent full-length, Electric Turtle Dreams. Today’s Song of the Day, “TECH-YES” is the second of fourteen throbbing, dancefloor-ready electronic tracks comprising the record. Moody and propulsive, the instrumental song glimmers whether there’s an actual disco ball radiating off it or not. Turn the lights down and the music up for a club experience wherever you are. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 11, 2021
Tracy J - Historia De Un Amor
169
Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 08, 2021
Hiatus Kaiyote - Sip Into Something Soft
103
Hiatus Kaiyote - "Sip Into Something Soft" from the 2021 album Mood Valiant on Brainfeeder. Two-time Grammy nominated neo-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote have returned after a six-year... well... "hiatus." During that time, members of the Australian jazz/funk group explored solo and side projects. Then, in 2018, vocalist/guitarist Nai Palm (real name: Naomi Saalfield) was diagnosed with breast cancer, the same disease she confronted in her childhood when her mother was diagnosed and died from it. The band's new album, Mood Valiant, was named in tribute to her late mom.  “I don’t know how she afforded it, but she had two Valiant station wagons. And we were ratbags,” Saalfield toldNME. “A Valiant is like a Kingswood, a trashy Aussie car. I like the idea that it’s not a Lamborghini like you usually see. It’s a flex because it’s really daggy. The badass side of me comes from my mum being incredibly stylish. I also really like the word valiant – it’s so uplifting and righteous.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 07, 2021
Moor Mother - Made A Circle (feat. Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela & Orion Sun)
168
Moor Mother - "Made A Circle (feat. Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela & Orion Sun)" from the 2021 album Black Encyclopedia of the Air on Moor Mother / Anti. While she couldn't physically engage with fellow artists during the pandemic, Moor Mother was able to virtually invite them to her latest LP, Black Encyclopedia Of The Air, out now via Anti- Records. The poet, artist, and musician — whose real name is Camae Ayewa — utilized more than 100 instrumentals from long-time collaborator Swedish producer Olof Melander, inviting vocals from artists lojii, Elucid, Brother May, Bfly, Yatta, Black Quantum Futurism, Elaine Mitchner, and Dudu Kouate, and on today's Song of the Day, Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela, and Orion Sun. "Collaboration to me is just community," she toldThe Fader. `"I love being a solo artist, and I love to really dwell in that. Of course, I've always been into multiple genres. Like right now, I'd like to create some small chamber orchestra, but they would play my music. I'm more into that now trying to create some sort of small orchestra, as far as collaboration. But collaboration to me is community, and it's very accidental. You're just hanging out with your friend. Your friends are talented. It's all about seeing how talented your community is. Then collaboration is very easy. So it's not like I'm out here seeking to collaborate with people, it's just how it happens through community." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 06, 2021
Rochelle Jordan - LOVE YOU GOOD
234
Rochelle Jordan - "LOVE YOU GOOD" from the 2021 album Play With The Changes on UNDRGRND / Young Art Records. Seven years ago, London-born L.A.-based artist Rochelle Jordan released her debut album 1021, a knockout mix of R&B, hip-hop, and house. Sadly, a toxic business relationship and a moderate form of sickle cell disease delayed this artist-on-the-rise. Thankfully, she's returned, stronger than ever, with a brand new full-length, Play With the Changes, released on TOKiMONSTA’s Young Art imprint.  Today's Song of the Day is one of Jordan's favorites off the new release. As she toldPassion of the Weiss: I tend to wrap things up into kind of a bubble of a love interest if you will. But a lot of my songs, the inside of it, inside of it, I’m kind of speaking to kind of how I feel, or maybe other experiences that I’m going through. So for instance, with “Love You Good” I find that over the years, I’ve kind of turned into a little bit of an introvert, a little bit of a loner, which I actually loved, which is very strange. But at the same time, I feel like I’m misunderstood a lot of the time. And not necessarily when it comes to love, but maybe friendships and things like that because I go about things a certain way, right. And so I thought to myself, when I was writing, “Love You Good” I was thinking about that, but then I was thinking about also in a love aspect as well, maybe sometimes you feel misunderstood or no one can love you because you’re kind of a weird lover, in this weird pocket of energy and yeah, it’s just funny hearing some people respond to “Love You Good” too and be like, “Oh my God, like I relate to that so much.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 05, 2021
Cheekface - Reward Points
206
Cheekface - "Reward Points" from the 2021 Emphatically Mo' (b-sides) EP on New Professor Music. Los Angeles-based trio Cheekface specialize in quirky, upbeat songs with sharp-as-a-whip, sardonic lyrics delivered in talk-sing by frontman Greg Katz, seemingly (obviously?) influenced by Stephen Malkmus. (Sample line from a different track: "Life is long / like a CVS receipt.") But don't let their buoyant punk-pop and the colorful cover art by bassist/vocalist Amanda Tannen fool you. Cheekface was formed in the wake of the 2017 presidential inauguration, and lyrics touch on anxiety, political discourse, and protest culture.  "It's a challenge to write something meaningful when our terrible fascist government is destroying people's lives," Katz toldThe Grey Estates. "Personally, part of why I wanted to start this project was the desire to create something while the government is so destructive. Obviously the lyrics go to political places, and hopefully they capture some of the moral confusion that intelligent people are facing right now. But I also don't want the lyrics to be heavy-handed – I like heavy-handed political lyrics a lot actually, but with so much darkness in the world, we're not trying to add any more darkness with this particular band. Today's Song of the Day — a catchy ode to consumption — comes from their latest EP Emphatically Mo', a collection of b-sides from their 2021 full-length Emphatically No.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 04, 2021
The Shivas - Undone
294
The Shivas - "Undone," a 2021 single on Tender Loving Empire. Portland psych-rock band The Shivas return with their fifth full-length, Feels So Good // Feels So Bad, an album they say was inspired by self-acceptance. “I do think it’s about acceptance,” Drummer/vocalist Kristin Leonard says in a press release. “There’s a weird relaxation that comes with being at peace with things you can’t control or have regrets about.” Today's Song of the Day almost serves as the album's manifesto, a song about finding that peace and balance. “‘Undone’ was written by myself as a kind of homage to the times in our life when we rebound from periods of darkness to states of exuberance that easily go too far into the realm of darkness all over again,” Leonard toldFlood Magazine. “When we bounce back from times of depression and anxiety and then find ourselves enjoying life a whole lot… Life’s about finding balance. But in order to find that balance, some healthy reflection and acceptance about where we’ve been is necessary to push us forward with love and wisdom on our journey. So 'Undone' is me reflecting on those aspects of myself. And I think most of us can relate.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 01, 2021
Geese - Low Era
219
Geese - "Low Era" from the 2021 album Projector on Partisan. Brooklyn youths Geese (the oldest band member is 19-years-old) are releasing their debut album, Projector, on October 29th, sharing a first listen with today's Song of the Day, a fun, dance-y post-rock groove, accompanied by a music video from Los Angeles director/designer and artist Fons Schiedon.  “We had been trying to get everything to sound super heavy, creepy crawly, and complicated, really because that’s all we knew how to do," the band said, via a press release. "Four-on-the-floor songs like 'Low Era' had felt a little like poison to us for a while, until we consciously tried to challenge ourselves to write something more danceable. Once we stopped enforcing certain boundaries, it ended up working out without us expecting it to, and even ushered in this psychedelic 3-D element that ends up appearing throughout the album." “We like the idea of confusing the listener a little, and trying to make every song a counteraction to the last, pinballing between catchy and complicated, fast and slow. 'Low Era' is one end of that spectrum, and ultimately broadened the scope of songs we thought we could make.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 30, 2021
Tom Morello - Driving to Texas (feat. Phantogram)
326
Tom Morello - "Driving To Texas (feat. Phantogram)" from the 2021 album The Atlas Underground Fire on Mom + Pop. Tom Morello has a lot of impressive guests on his forthcoming album, The Atlas Underground Fire, which will be out October 15th: Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Damian Marley, Sama’ Abdulhadi, and, on today's Song of the Day, Phantogram. “I’d worked with Josh from Phantogram on my first Atlas Underground album and I was thrilled when he and Sarah reached out about collaborating on this record," said the Rage Against the Machine guitarist. "This song is creepy as hell — a dark journey, a struggle for a tortured soul. The guitar solo needed to feel like a vengeful angel who has come down to decide the fate of the protagonist. Will they descend into the abyss or will they find redemption? 'Driving To Texas' really shows the breadth of the music you’ll hear on this record. Sarah has one of the most haunting and beautiful voices of anyone singing today, and Josh’s production is stylistically so fresh and eerie.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 29, 2021
EERA - Ladder
225
EERA - "Ladder" from the 2021 album Speak on Just Dust Recordings. Berlin-based Norwegian artist EERA (real name: Anna Lena Bruland) has announced her sophomore album, Speak, will be out December 3rd via Just Dust Recordings. “Speak is a search for a balance in life, acknowledging myself, and being proud of who I am,” she said via a press release. “To become braver and more confident, and stop questioning so much. Accept and move on instead. My debut was a little bit timid, like, am I doing this right? This album is more who I am.” For today's Song of the Day, Bruland works on that inner-strength, explaining, "‘Ladder’ is a song about opportunity and about trying to make someone else see that they have a lot to be grateful for, which they may not realise themselves; pushing down the ladder signifying sabotaging oneself.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 28, 2021
The War on Drugs - Living Proof
294
The War On Drugs - "Living Proof" from the 2021 album I Don’t Live Here Anymore on Atlantic. Long-running Philly-based band The War on Drugs have announced their fifth full-length, I Don’t Live Here Anymore, out October 29th via Atlantic Records. It'll be the group's first new album since 2017's A Deeper Understanding, not including last year's live LP, LIVE DRUGS.  The new album was constructed over the span of three years, recorded in more than a dozen sessions in seven different studios. Today's Song of the Day was conceived in May 2019 at Electro-Vox Recording Studios in Los Angeles. The track is accompanied by a video shot by director Emmett Malloy, using 16mm film. Watch as frontman Adam Granduciel drives around in Stinson Beach, California. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 27, 2021
Big Red Machine - Phoenix (feat. Fleet Foxes & Anaïs Mitchell)
248
Big Red Machine - "Phoenix (feat. Fleet Foxes & Anaïs Mitchell)" from the 2021 album How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? on 37d03d. Last month, The National’s Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon released their second album under the name Big Red Machine, titled How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?. The album features a heavyweight line-up of guests, including Taylor Swift, Sharon Van Etten, This Is The Kit, Ben Howard, Naeem, Lisa Hannigan, My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Nova, and on today's Song of the Day, Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes and Tony Award-winning singer/songwriter Anaïs Mitchell.  "'Phoenix' was one of the last songs we wrote for this record," Dessner says via a press release. "I was thinking about The Band and the Grateful Dead... maybe imagining this Big Red Machine album was some version of The Last Waltz. Justin first heard it while driving and immediately the chorus melody came into his head. I shared the sketch with Robin Pecknold, who I've been a fan of forever and who I'd been dreaming would join us on this record. Robin wrote the verses and pre chorus as a kind of dialogue with Justin, recalling a conversation they once had backstage in Phoenix. Later Anais wrote words to the chorus and The Westerlies added their magic to the instrumental. JT Bates rumbles around in rare form on the drums on this song. I think it's what I always imagined Big Red Machine would sound like." Pecknold adds, “It was a high, high honor to work on this song, and beyond that it was a really interesting creative challenge. Justin’s vocals and the beautiful chorus were already in place before I got my hands on it, so I felt my job melodically and lyrically was to set his entrance up in the best possible way. I felt like a pilgrim putting questions to an elusive sage, not needing clear answers, but happy for the chance to ask.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 24, 2021
Public Service Broadcasting - Blue Heaven (feat. Andreya Casablanca)
234
Public Service Broadcasting - "Blue Heaven (feat. Andreya Casablanca)" from the 2021 album Bright Magic on Play It Again Sam. London-based post-prog band Public Service Broadcasting pay tribute to silent-film actress and singer Marlene Dietrich on today's Song of the Day.  The inspiration was drawn from bandmember J. Willgoose, Esq.'s recent move to Berlin, which inspired the group's forthcoming full-length Bright Magic, out September 24th via Play It Again Sam. The track features guest vocals from Andreya Casablanca, of the Berlin band Gurr. “The lyrics highlight her power of self-manipulation, her ambition, her bravery and her lack of compromise on vital matters of character — ‘I am all my own invention /I’m in my blue heaven’ and so on,” he explained in a press release. “It’s named after the jazz number ‘My Blue Heaven’ which she sang regularly and which she said first made her dream of America.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 23, 2021
The Haunted Youth - Coming Home
265
The Haunted Youth - "Coming Home," a 2021 single on Mayway Records. Belgian dream-pop project The Haunted Youth (the creative outlet for musician Joachim Liebens) bring dreamy waves of synth and chiming guitar on their latest single "Coming Home." Today's Song of the Day is an irresistible end-of-summer anthem.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 22, 2021
The Violent Hearts - Everything and Nothing
178
 The Violent Hearts - "Everything and Nothing," a 2021 single on Dinner For Wolves. After the break-up of their previous band Sharks, musicians James Mattock (vocals/guitarist) and Carl Murrihy (bassist) teamed up with drummer Aidan Sinclair (of the band, Computers) to form the post-punk power-trio of The Violent Hearts. Channeling classic punk bands like The Clash, The Jam, and the Buzzcocks, The Violent Hearts breathe new life into the genre on today's Song of the Day.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 21, 2021
Goat - Fill My Mouth
182
Goat - "Fill My Mouth" from the 2021 album Headsoup on Rocket Recordings. Experimental Swedish group GOAT have just released the rarities collection Headsoup, a compilation of B-sides, standalone singles, and two brand new tracks. Today's Song of the Day is one of those new songs, the first music we've heard from the mysterious, masked musical collective since their 2016 full-length Requiem. The song's jazzy, percussion-heavy, trip-tastic sound shows the band haven't lost any of their psychedelic power.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 20, 2021
Tres Leches - Leaving My Light On
194
On their latest single, local duo Tres Leches reflect on the "positive changes that come to you when you start doing things for yourself instead of trying to prove other people wrong."  "Moving to the U.S. from Mexico when I was 14, I didn’t really know anything about the language or the culture," band member Ulises Mariscal said in a press release. "Even though there were barriers I still managed to find work and go to school. People would tell me that I wouldn’t make anything of myself and want me to conform to something I wasn’t. That’s what I think about during the part of the lyrics that say, 'si no te sientas ya veras'. "I found that after trying to please those people and do everything you are supposed to do, you still feel like you’re not enough. But in the end, those experiences taught me what is important is that the things you are doing make you happy. And those negative comments shouldn’t take away your time and energy; you need to conserve that for the things you love to do because those things are what are going to be the most impactful." Today's Song of the Day is a first listen at their next full-length, due out in early 2022 via Devil in the Woods. Tres Leches are playing September 18th at the Neptune Theatre, and November 11th at Freakout Festival. – Janice Headley Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 17, 2021
Sofia Kourtesis - La Perla
327
Berlin-based Peruvian artist Sofia Kourtesis turned towards her home on her latest EP, Fresia Magdalena. "Fresia" is her mother’s name, and "Magdalena" is the district of Lima, Peru, where her family currently resides. "Her whole life she’s fought hard for the people of Magdalena, Peru," Kourtesis says in a press release. "This is my tribute to her and the other activists around the world working hard to better the lives of others. We as musicians have a responsibility to help our communities to have their voices heard, changes are needed." Today's Song of the Day is a tribute to Kourtesis's father. "‘La Perla’ is about staring at the sea, It's the first thing I’ll do when I return to Peru," she continues. "My dad used to say staring at the sea is like meditation, it clears your head. This song is for him. It's hard for me to listen to La Perla as it wrote it during a time I lost my dad to leukaemia. This song is for him, descansa en paz papa." – Janice Headley Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 16, 2021
La Dame Blanche - Veneno
153
Cuban vocalist, flautist, and percussionist Yaité Ramos Rodriguez pays tribute to a folkloric legend with her musical moniker La Dame Blanche, or "the white lady" in French. "She doesn’t have a very good reputation but I wanted to pay tribute to her," she explained to French news and current affairs public radio station RFI. "I represent her as black, a mother, with a daily routine just like many other women in the world. People smile when I say I’m the white lady. It’s quite ironic." The daughter of Jesús 'Aguaje' Ramos, trombonist and bandleader of the Buena Vista Social Club orchestra, La Dame Blanche grew up around music, establishing herself as a classically-trained flautist. With her own music, she combines hip hop, cumbia, reggae, and more to her mastery of the flute.  Today's Song of the Day was inspired by lockdown. She writes on her Bandcamp page, "'Veneno' is one of the many songs I wrote during the pandemic, declaring my despair and the value of a caress, a kiss, a friend." – Janice Headley Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 15, 2021
Bizarrap, Duki & Nicki Nicole - YaMeFui
183
Today's Song of the Day is a promise kept: before the 2021 Copa América international men's football championship (or as Americans call it, "soccer"), Argentinean DJ/producer Gonzalo Julián Conde (better known as Bizarrap) proposed that if his country beat Brazil in the finals, he would record a song with rappers Nicki Nicole and Duki. True to his word, the trio released the track "YaMeFui" following Argentina's first win in 28 years in the Copa América. – Janice Headley Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 14, 2021
Omar Apollo - Go Away
207
Mexican-American singer-songwriter Omar Apollo [real name: Omar Apolonio Velasco] has had an inspiring rise to fame: while living in an attic and working two jobs (at Jimmy Johns and Guitar Center), he uploaded one of his songs to Spotify where it got 20,000 streams in a day. Shortly thereafter, his career blew up, culminating in his debut album Apolonio, released last year.  On today's Song of the Day, the 24-year-old singer/songwriter worked with producers Carter Lang and Chromeo to craft the lovesick synth-laden track.  Omar Apollo is scheduled to perform Sunday, October 17th at The Showbox in Seattle. – Janice Headley Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 13, 2021
Chris Carroll - Rose Colored Glasses
169
Chris Carroll - "Rose Colored Glasses," a 2021 single on Raindrop Sound. Seattle-based, Filipino-American artist Chris Carroll has his roots in the local hip-hop scene, as a producer for musicians like Gifted Youngstaz, Ra Scion of Common Market, Entendres, and MADlines. With his solo work, he adds a lo-fi romanticism, layering his crooner-style vocals to the mix, and crafting a track that sounds both contemporary and like a golden oldie.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 10, 2021
Mystic - The Life
221
Mystic - "The Life" ​​from the 2021 re-release Cuts For Luck and Scars For Freedom on Beautiful Soundworks. Twenty years ago, west coast MC Mystic (real name: Mandolyn Wind Ludlum) released her debut full-length Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom, an album that landed her a Grammy Award nomination for the track "W'' and a BET Awards nomination for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist. Despite the accolades, the album suffered from poor distribution, and after a 2014 LP (titled Beautiful Resistance), Mystic focused her energies as a member of the Hip Hop Caucus, a non-profit organization that promotes "political activism for young U.S. voters using hip-hop music and culture." Now, in 2021, the album sees a resurgence as Mystic is able to re-release it on her own Beautiful Soundworks label. "It is really special to me to have the music become available for the 20th anniversary, and even more beautiful because I own the masters," she shared on her Facebook page. "Imagine how it feels to have walked away from the masters that held my life, my healing, my joy, and everything about me, so that I could just have my freedom back, retain my love of my craft, continue my healing and, and go back to school to be of service to more children." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 09, 2021
MACK - Fire Among Us (feat. Akua Naru)
231
MACK - "Fire Among Us (feat. Akua Naru)," a 2021 single on Deposito Zero Studios. Italian duo MACK combines the talents of Federico Squassabia (keyboards/bass synth/composition) and Marco Frattini (acoustic and electronic drums/live sampling/composition), who craft a genre-defying blend of hip-hop, jazz, kraut-rock, freestyle rap, and more. On their 2019 self-titled debut EP, they invite collaborators to contribute their own creativity, including AVEX, Devon Miles and Rachel Doe on vocals, Federico Pierantoni on trombone, and Enrico Terragnoli on guitar. On today's Song of the Day, MACK allows U.S.-based artist Akua Naru to lace their laid-back electronic groove with her passionate, poetic rap. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 08, 2021
Gabriel Garzón-Montano - Agüita (Remix) (feat. Sampa The Great & Amber Mark)
227
Gabriel Garzón-Montano - "Agüita (Remix) (feat. Sampa The Great & Amber Mark)" from the 2021 Agüita EP: I on Jagjaguwar/Stones Throw. Last year, New York-based artist Gabriel Garzón-Montano released his sophomore full-length, Agüita, an ambitious "anti-genre" album with everything from reggae to post-punk to funk to folk. This year, he's begun releasing the Agüita EP series, featuring re-workings of songs from that album. Today's Song of the Day is a remix of the title track, featuring new verses from special guests Sampa The Great and Amber Mark. “This 'Agüita' remix is special. Sampa and Amber came with their magic in usual form,” Garzon-Montano said in a press release. “Estoy muy agradecido a estas reinas por este remix. Un aguacero.” (I am very grateful to these queens for this remix. A downpour.)  Amber Mark added: “I was speechless in absolute amazement when GGM played me the ‘Agüita’ demo years ago. He literally can tap into any sound he’s feeling and make it sound amazing. ‘Agüita’ is my motivational anthem; I’m so honored and excited that I get to be a part of this one.” Sampa The Great declared: "It’s always amazing to be able to connect across cultures and languages with music! 'Agüita' is one of those dope songs that does that and it was amazing being part of this remix.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 07, 2021
The Halluci Nation - It's Over (feat. Chippewa Travellers)
225
The Halluci Nation - "It's Over (feat. Chippewa Travellers)" from the 2021 self-released album One More Saturday Night. Back in 2016, Canadian duo A Tribe Called Red released the album We Are the Halluci Nation. Now, in 2021, they've shed their old moniker, re-emerging as The Halluci Nation, a phrase borrowed from artist/activist John Trudell to "describe the vast global community of people who remember at their core what it means to be human." In a social media post, they declared, "These words have come to mean much more to us than just an album title. The ideas that came from our work with John Trudell have served as a road map to the future of ATCR."  They add, "as we move into this next phase of our evolution, we also find it necessary to remember our past." Their new album One More Saturday Night pays tribute to the Electric Pow Wow gatherings at Ottawa’s Babylon nightclub that ran from 2007-2017. “We wanted to pay homage to the Electric Pow Wow and wrap that whole decade of experience up and close the cycle, and in doing so give direct coordinates of where the future was headed. In a nutshell, that’s what this album is about,” says co-founder Bear Witness in a press release. “We just wanted to make a party record, as well, one that people could dance to while still having the strong message we are known for.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 06, 2021
HOLLIS - Less Like
174
HOLLIS - "Less Like," a 2021 single on AntiFragile Music. Former-Seattleite/currently based in Los Angeles, Hollis has announced her highly-anticipated debut album, Subliminal, will be out this fall.  “The album is a document of the highs and lows, all of the self-consciousness and soul-seeking, cracking myself open to find hope within all of the unknowns," she shared in a press release. "It was also a period of growth for me as a music creator, a lyricist, and a singer, and an opportunity to work with dear friends.” On today's Song of the Day, she delves into her insecurities, adding, "This song is all about how even with all the time and space, we’re still just who we are — feeling like a counterfeit prodigy, wishing we could be lighter, brighter, more realized, all with a breezy sing-a-long vibe. It’s an anthem for us all to admit we’re not exactly who we wish we were but we’re just gonna keep rolling with it anyway.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 03, 2021
Ty Segall - Harmonizer
289
Ty Segall - "Harmonizer" from the 2021 album Harmonizer on Drag City. Wildly-prolific West Coast artist Ty Segall returned with his latest LP Harmonizer in early August. (Physical formats will be released via Drag City in October.)  The album was co-produced and co-mixed by Cooper Crain, at Segall's own Harmonizer Studios in Topanga, California. Segall’s wife, Denée, contributed vocals, lyrics, and album art, and the Freedom Band—bassist Mikal Cronin, drummer and percussionist Charles Moothart, guitarist Emmett Kelly, and pianist Ben Boye— assist on instrumentation.  Ty returns to Seattle on February 6th, 2022, at The Showbox. Check out today's Song of the Day below, and revisit last year's Live on KEXP at Home below that.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 02, 2021
Slothrust - Once More For The Ocean
217
Slothrust - "Once More For the Ocean," a 2021 single on Dangerbird Records. "This song felt like it was handed to me by the ocean," says Slothrust bandleader Leah Wellbaum about today's Song of the Day. The Brookline native continues: It came to me when I was sitting on some rocks and staring at one of my favorite oceans in the world, on Star Island off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire. The bass line arrived first, and then the melody and the lyrics came at the same time. I didn’t have an instrument with me that week so I sang what I had into my phone notes and carried on with my day, almost forgetting about it entirely. I have a unique relationship with this song because it felt like it came through me more than from me, though I recognize that really there is no difference. It is not the easiest song to sing or explain. At times I even wondered if it might be suited for a different artist. However after sitting with it for a while I have come to the conclusion that this song was meant for me and it is about the search for a greater consciousness in times of chaos. For me that feeling of oneness often shows up when I am spending time in nature.  "Once More For the Ocean" can be found on the band's fifth full-length, Parallel Timeline, out September 10th via Dangerbird Records.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 01, 2021
Sleigh Bells - Locust Laced
151
Sleigh Bells - "Locust Laced," a 2021 single on Mom + Pop. Brooklyn noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells return with their sixth full-length this fall, Texis, out September 10th via Mom+Pop Music. If today's Song of the Day is any indication, it finds the pair returning to the highly-propulsive, anthemic sound of their 2010 debut Treats. “We stopped worrying about whether or not we’re in or out of our comfort zone, or if we were being repetitive or formulaic,” co-founder and guitarist Derek Miller said in a press release.  He adds that he hopes the new LP brings joy to listeners. “The thing I’m most attracted to is the juxtaposition of happy and sad, melancholy and hope,” he continues. “A lot of this is about trying to hold on to a shred of optimism through sheer force of will, and I hope this music can give people some joyful energy and confidence.”  Sleigh Bells will play The Showbox in Seattle on Thursday, October 28th. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 31, 2021
Wau Wau Collectif - Thiante
194
Wau Wau Collectif - "Thiante" from the 2021 album Yaral Sa Doom on Sahel Sounds. The Wau Wau Collectif was formed in 2018 by Swedish musician/producer Karl Jonas Winqvist and Senegal-based studio engineer Arouna Kane. Utilizing over 20 musicians from both hometowns, the two traded recordings via WhatsApp. carefully constructing the album Yaral Sa Doom. “It’s like diving into the sea,” explains Kane in an album statement. “There are all different species of fish swimming around, but together they make the ocean.” The phrase "Yaral Sa Doom" is a Wolof expression that means “educating young people,” and the theme of education can be heard amongst the traditional West African music. Contributing musician Djiby Ly offers, "Today you must educate children with an instrument and art, when you teach them an instrument you teach them to use their spirit."  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 30, 2021
Left at London - there is a place for you here.
233
Left at London - "there is a place for you here." from the 2021 self-released album t.i.a.p.f.y.h.. On her debut full-length, t.i.a.p.f.y.h., Seattle artist Left At London (aka Nat Puff) explores mental health against everything from folk to pop, punk, rock, hip hop, and electronica. “There are some days when you are angry in a way that you can’t describe and there are some days when you’re absolutely defeated in a way you can’t describe. Then there’s manic episodes, there’s dissociative episodes, all these sorts of things I feel are unintentionally represented in the genre switches,” Puff told KEXP'sSound & Vision. “Each track represents a different part of my mental state — from suicidal ideations, to hope and healing." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 27, 2021
The Marías - Hush
182
The Marías - "Hush" from the 2021 album CINEMA on Nice Life Recording Company and Atlantic Recording Corporation. Los Angeles band The Marías was formed in 2016 by vocalist María Zardoya and producer/drummer Josh Conway, and their relationship is at the heart of their highly-anticipated debut album, Cinema.  "We dedicated our whole lives to this album and we were completely devoted," Zardoya toldAL DÍA news. "This album is a direct reflection of Josh and I at this point in time, and our experience so far. I think this album has been living between us for a long time, waiting for the moment to come out. We want this album to be an experience for the listeners, an out of this world paradise. I want you to listen to this album, imagine the world and the scene in your head and feel it for yourself. To be honest, the whole album is just a feeling." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 26, 2021
La Luz - In the Country
201
La Luz - "In The Country" from the 2021 album In The Country on Hardly Art. Today's Song of the Day transports LA-via-Seattle trio La Luz to the countryside, adding a gentle folk feel to their signature surf sound. It's the band's first new music in three years, since their 2018 album Floating Features.  Principal songwriter Shana Cleveland explains in a press release, "I moved to the country a few years ago after living in cities for most of my life. Being out in the middle of nowhere makes it easy to imagine how it would be possible to leave society all together. I love how in this track some of the most unnatural elements of the arrangement (synthesizers, fuzz, effects) create an atmosphere around the instruments that ends up feeling very natural — I can hear bugs buzzing around and bird sounds in different directions." La Luz plays November 19th at the Neptune Theatre with Tropa Magica. Check out the video below, directed by band member Lena Simon. The band states, "This is a reminder to go outside, to stare at nature a little bit too long, and to appreciate what it shows you." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 25, 2021
L'Rain - Two Face
247
L'Rain - "Two Face" from the 2021 album Fatigue on Mexican Summer. Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist L’Rain (real name: Taja Cheek) follows her powerful 2017 self-titled debut with Fatigue, a new album that infuses soul, gospel, jazz, and other styles into her experimental sound. Today's Song of the Day finds her reflecting on a failed friendship. As she states on her Bandcamp: This is a song about a falling out with a friend. The friend was a gemini, hence the title ‘Two Face.’ The song is a disjointed imaginary conversation between us. The ‘spooky’ parts of the song have the most optimistic lyrics, and the ‘sunny’ parts have the bleakest lyrics. The song is mostly a reflection on regret, because the dissolution of our friendship was absolutely my fault and it still haunts me. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 24, 2021
Courtney Barnett - Rae Street
271
Courtney Barnett - "Rae Street" from the 2021 album Things Take Time, Take Time on Mom+Pop/Marathon Records. Long-time KEXP fave Courtney Barnett has announced her third album, titled Things Take Time, Take Time, out November 12th on Mom+Pop Music / Marathon Artists. Today's Song of the Day features the opening track, the languid rocker "Rae Street." Things Take Time, Take Time was written over a two-year period, marking what's called "a particularly joyful time in her life." It was recorded towards the end of 2020 and early 2021 with producer / drummer Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, and the comfort can be heard in the resulting intimate songs.  Courtney will be stopping by Seattle on Tuesday, December 14th with Bartees Strange at the Paramount. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 23, 2021
Nox Novacula - Victim
215
Nox Novacula - "Victim" from the 2021 album Ascension on Manic Depression. Seattle's Nox Novacula has brought a goth presence to the local music scene since 2017. On their debut full-length, Ascension, they combine electronic and post-punk sounds into a genre they call "Death Rock." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 20, 2021
Ash Code - Fear (Forever Grey Remix)
220
Ash Code - "Fear (Forever Grey Remix)" from the 2021 self-released EP Fear. Throughout the pandemic, the predominant feeling has been "fear," which is what inspired the new EP from Italian darkwave trio Ash Code. Twin brothers Alessando and Adriano Belluccio and Claudia Nottebella had an album almost finished, but the lockdown just changed the mood.  "We had a lot of songs almost finished and the plan was to release them in late summer 2020 as part of a US and Latin America tour," Adriano told German websiteRTL, "But everything was canceled, we spent the first half of the year planning live streams like 'Ash Code vs COVID-19' and the Gothicat festivals in order to generate donations. And then we realized that most of the songs no longer suited us and we decided to write something new. Somehow the pandemic changed us." The Fear EP features three remixes of the title track from Molchat Doma, Clan Of Xymox, and Forever Grey. Today's Song of the Day features the latter. "We met Forever Gray in Los Angeles in 2019," Alessandro explains. "Ever since we knew her we wanted to ask her if she would remix something for us. The track is very dark with an incredible bassline!" Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 19, 2021
Balvanera - ¿Cuánto resiste el cuerpo?
212
Balvanera - "¿Cuánto resiste el cuerpo?" from the 2021 album Courses of Action on DKA Records. Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the duo of Balvanera bring an EBM aesthetic to their dark electronic music. Vocalist Agustina and multi-instrumentalist Lucas both came from the DIY punk and hardcore scene before moving into electronics.  "For some reason, electronic music feels like a continuation of punk to me," Agustina explained in an interview withBrutal Resonance. "Like in the '80s a lot of ex punks and industrial musicians were drawn to raving. In that sense I feel there’s a lot of similarities in the communal experience, ethics, DIY, etc." Their latest album, Courses of Action, draws from the political fury of punk. "It’s a record that invites you to action, to movement; to gain consciousness of one's acts," Lucas said of the title. "We felt the record sounded and demanded 'action',"  Agustina continued, "And since last year was so hard, time itself put everything in perspective, demanding also to make choices in our own personal lives." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 18, 2021
NNHMN - Tomorrow's Heroine
389
NNHMN - "Tomorrow's Heroine" from the 2021 EP Tomorrow's Heroine on K Dream's. Berlin-based darkwave duo NNHMN (pronounced Non-Human) released the EP Tomorrow's Heroine earlier this year, a mini-album they describe as "five songs of hope, desire, and sheer electronic magic." Band members Lee Margot and Michal Laudarg (who's a techno DJ on the side) take a minimal approach to their sensual synth sound, drawing influence from "New Brutalists theatre, experimental electronic music, and techno culture," as they state on their website.   Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 17, 2021
Camlann - Metropolitan Boy
237
Camlann - "Metropolitan Boy" from the 2021 album Circa 1983 on Cold Transmission. It's fitting that the Jakarta-based darkwave trio Camlann named their latest album Circa 1983, because they easily channel the sounds of Depeche Mode and Soft Cell, despite the fact that its members weren't even born at the time. The self-described "dark disco" group consists of Ony Godfrey (17) on vocals and guitar, Bayu Triyudanto (17) on bass, and Fauzan Pratama (16) on synths. (There's also Chariszan (17), their producer and music collaborator.) As they declare on their Bandcamp page, the new LP is a "statement to the world that they are here to bring you their own version of modern nostalgia." Check out the lyric video for today's Song of the Day below, directed by band member Pratama.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 16, 2021
Tycho & Benjamin Gibbard - Only Love
286
Tycho & Benjamin Gibbard - "Only Love," a 2021 single on Mom + Pop. Step aside, Jimmy Tamborello. Death Cab for Cutie frontman Benjamin Gibbard is lending his distinctive voice to a new electronic producer, Tycho (real name: Scott Hansen).  In a press release, Hansen explained how the two came to collaborate: I had been a fan of Ben’s work for a long time when, in 2016, I had the chance to do a remix for Death Cab for Cutie’s track “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive.” Ben’s voice was a very inspiring element to work with from a production standpoint, I felt it really meshed well with the kinds of sounds and instrumentation I gravitate towards. ‘Only Love’ started life as an instrumental, but something was missing. I sent a rough demo to Ben and he recorded some vocals over it. The first time I heard the rough vocals the whole song suddenly made sense and the arrangement flowed out of that. After my early experimentations with vocals on Weather this felt like a great opportunity to put everything I had learned during that process into practice. It was certainly an honor to be able to work with such an iconic voice. Gibbard described how his lyrics came together: In 2014, while reading This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein, I came across a quote from Montanan goat rancher and environmentalist Alexis Bonogofsky that moved me immensely. Speaking about the fight to protect public lands in southeastern Montana from the mining company Arch Coal, she said: ‘(The) connection to this place and the love people have for it, that’s what Arch Coal doesn’t get. They underestimate that. They don’t understand it so they disregard it. And that’s what in the end will save that place. It’s not the hatred for the coal companies or anger, but love will save this place. When Scott sent me the music for ‘Only Love,’ it seemed perfect for this statement. Since reading Alexis’ words, I’ve carried them as a universal truth; that the only way we preserve the people, places or things we care for is with love, not hatred. This is often easier said than done, of course. But I find myself coming back to her statement as if it were a mantra. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 13, 2021
Mac McCaughan - Dawn Bends
244
Mac McCaughan - "Dawn Bends" from the 2021 album The Sound of Yourself on Merge. Superchunk frontman and Merge Records co-founder Mac McCaughan returns this fall with his second solo album, The Sound of Yourself. The release features a slew of guests including Mary Lattimore, Sabrina Ellis (A Giant Dog), TORRES' Mackenzie Scott, Telekinesis' Michael Benjamin Lerner, Annie Hayden, his brother Matt McCaughan, and on today's Song of the Day, drummer Jon Wurster and Yo La Tengo. ("I am aware of the irony of an album called The Sound Of Yourself with this many guests on it!," he shares in a press release.)  Like many great albums coming out right now, The Sound Of Yourself came out of the lockdown. "Each day is blurring into the next, so what are we doing today?” he would ask himself during the pandemic. “How can I disrupt this? I think what resulted was a theme of subdued… ‘joy’ is the wrong word, but it’s at least comforting if not propulsive to have something open-ended to work on every day without any kind of structure or deadline or rules.” The Sound of Yourself will be out September 24th via Merge Records (of course).  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 12, 2021
Penelope Isles - Sailing Still
310
Penelope Isles - "Sailing Still," a 2021 single on Bella Union. UK duo Penelope Isles — a project of siblings Lily and Jack Wolter — were able to use the pandemic lockdown to recover from the heavy touring they did for their 2018 debut album When The Tide Creeps In.  “Before the enforced break due to COVID we spent pretty much all of 2019 driving ourselves around Europe and America having some incredible adventures as a band and it seems that everything since then has been falling apart," Jack explained in a press release. Today's Song of the Day finds the Wolters reconnecting during the break. “I wrote the music for this song at my brother’s flat, on a really crappy electric piano, but always envisioned the whole thing as something widescreen, with a big sound to match," Lily remembers. "The lyrics took me a few months to finish, by which point the song had taken on many different meanings. Then I took it to band practice, where Jack and I wrote the end section together. It’s one of our favourite sounding songs on the record. We played around with pitch-shifting instruments to get it sonically sweet. Plus, it was the first time we ever heard strings with our music. That’s one tick off the bucket list.” For the video, Jack wanted to travel again, at least visually. "Writing and recording the new album was a huge part of the recovery process and making this film for 'Sailing Still' I wanted Lily and I to get back on the road somehow, as travelling has been such a massive part of our band ever since we began. So I had this idea of filming Lily in a myriad of places and scenarios, both urban and rural, coastal and inland. Mountains and rivers, council flats and tunnels, cafes and bridges. We drove up and down the country for a week, sleeping in the van, and waking up at the crack of dawn to start filming again. Reconnecting as a ‘band’ again but also spending time together as brother and sister was special for filming this real heartbreaker of a song.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 11, 2021
Film School - Superperfection
235
Film School - "Superperfection" from the 2021 album We Weren’t Here on Sonic Ritual. Long-running west coast shoegaze group Film School return this fall with the full-length We Weren’t Here, a nod to pandemic-related conditions in which they recorded the album. Band members — bassist Justin LaBo, guitarist Nyles Lannon, frontman Greg Bertens, and keyboardist Jason Ruck — were divided between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, recording their parts from their respective home studios and then emailing files back and forth.  We Weren’t Here will be released September 24th via Sonic Ritual.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 10, 2021
Shad - Storm (feat. pHoenix Pagliacci & George Elliott Clarke)
342
Shad - "Storm (feat. Phoenix Pagliacci & George Elliott Clarke)" from the 2021 album TAO on Secret City. When it comes to today's featured track, Toronto-based rapper Shad wrote on his Facebook, "Not even sure how to describe this next song." The powerful single draws inspiration from '70s icons "Marvin Gaye, The Last Poets, The Staples Singers, Sly Stone," and features collaborations with artist pHoenix Pagliacci, Canadian band Jane's Party, and former Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada, George Elliott Clarke.  "'Storm' is a feeling," he continued in a press release. "The feeling of a flood of memories. In the same way that a storm is the result of forces that gather strength quietly, often invisibly over time — this song is meant to hold a sense of the same sort of process as it relates to the storms in our lives and the storms in our world. The way storms can build up almost imperceptibly in our individual and collective unconscious. The song touches on a range of personal and political storms, both good and bad, through a range of voices, but most importantly it sees them all as inextricably tied." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 09, 2021
Jarv Dee & Bad Colours - Black Skin (feat. Stas THEE Boss)
173
Jarv Dee & Bad Colours - "Black Skin (feat. Stas THEE Boss)," a 2021 self-released single.   Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 06, 2021
Skyzoo - Bed-Stuy Is Burning (feat. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
308
Skyzoo - "Bed-Stuy Is Burning" from the 2021 album All the Brilliant Things on Mello. New York has long been embedded in the work of rapper Skyzoo. Born Gregory Skyler Taylor in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, he cites his hometown as an influence, tellingThe Living Room, "There’s certain values and morals that come with the neighborhood and era that I grew up in. Those are important musically and just in life." However, he laments the gentrification of his city on today's Song of the Day and the album it comes from, the new LP All The Brilliant Things. He explains in a press release: With All The Brilliant Things, the idea was truly to try and tackle the realities of gentrification and this new era of cultural appropriation, commonly known as “culture vulturing”. The way they intertwine with one another, parallel at times, and how us as the residents of our long-standing homes and creators of these cultures have been stripped of it, or at times let it happen, all for what we assumed was our best interest. The irony of it all is, despite how it all makes us feel in hindsight, one would have to admit that the orchestration of it was truly brilliant. Brutal, and heinous, but somehow pretty brilliant. Hence the title of the album. The cover art, illustrated by Matt Rockefeller, shows my 3 year-old-son and I on the corner of Fulton St. and Franklin Ave. in Brooklyn, and I’m showing him a condo being built in our neighborhood, a neighborhood that’s rapidly dying, explaining it to him and trying to make sense of it all. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 05, 2021
K.ZIA - Sanctuary
185
K.ZIA - "Sanctuary," a 2021 single on Groove Attack. Brussels-born, Berlin-based artist K.ZIA unveils a "place beyond the physical" in today's KEXP Song of the Day. Born to a Martinican father and a Belgo-Congolese mother, she weaves the influence of her upbringing into this soulful single.  “I am building a realm for the unheard," she explained in a press release. "For the ones that never found boxes to fit in because of their differences. To be able to exist freely, we will have our own boundless space. A Sanctuary where together we rise around authenticity, depth and love. This song is about a special place where we can disconnect, connect, and reconnect with a special person, a spirit, a community, a divinity and re center around the essentials of Love.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 04, 2021
George Riley - say yes (feat. Joe Armon-Jones)
261
George Riley - "say yes (feat. Joe Armon-Jones)" from the 2021 self-released album interest rates, a tape. She may only be 23-years-old, but West London-based artist George Riley draws on her lifetime of influences on her latest release, interest rates, a tape. Her Jewish mother and Jamaican father would play R&B icons like Stevie Wonder, Aretha, and Sade in the house, and her dad was briefly a drummer and backing vocalist in '70s reggae group Steel Pulse. She channels all of that into interest rates, a tape, explaining toCrack Magazine, “This is me wanting to show the breadth of sounds that have inspired me, because I don’t subscribe to just one thing.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 03, 2021
Khrysis - The Disrespect (feat. Rapsody & Sa-Roc)
195
Khrysis - "The Disrespect (feat. Rapsody & Sa-Roc)" from the 2021 album The Hour of Khrysis on Jamla. It's no surprise it took Khrysis 12 years to return with his fifth full-length, The Hour of Khrysis. The Durham, NC producer/rapper/engineer also serves on Jamla Records' in-house production team, The Soul Council; crafted beats for the Netflix dramedy The Forty-Year-Old Version; and has worked with Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, De La Soul, Redman, Problem, Bad Lucc, and more. The work has built connections with the star-studded line-up of guests on The Hour of Khrysis, including Busta Rhymes, Pharoahe Monch, De La Soul, and on today's Song of the Day, Rapsody and Sa-Roc.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 02, 2021
Mia Day - Rosie
233
Mia Day - "Rosie," a 2021 self-released single. A self-described "groovy, fairy, cowgirl witch," Seattle singer/songwriter Mia Day recorded today's featured track in a barn outside of Seattle, with some of her closest friends. "It's a reverse perspective song that is a deeper exploration into my mental health," she explains via her Soundcloud. "I wrote it as an assignment for one of my college songwriting classes. I knew that I wanted to create a sad song that I could dance to. I was inspired by Oasis and Waxahatchee while recording it." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 30, 2021
The Suburbs - Summertime
213
The Suburbs - "Summertime" from the 2021 album Poet’s Party on Suburbs Music. The Suburbs have been crafting their unique brand of pop-punk joy since 1977. They've been credited as one of the godfathers of the "Minneapolis Sound,” a scene including bands like The Suicide Commandos, The Replacements, and Hüsker Dü.  While vocalist Chan Poling and drummer Hugo Klaers are the only remaining original members, they're accompanied by longtime saxophonist Max Ray, and new additions Stevie Brantseg and Jeremy Ylvisaker on guitars, Steve Price on bass, Janey Winterbauer on backup vocals, Rochelle Becker on baritone sax, and Stephen Kung on horns and keys. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 29, 2021
The Vega Bodegas - All My Fish Are Dead
297
The Vega Bodegas - "All My Fish Are Dead," a 2021 self-released single. Cardiff post-punk band The Vega Bodegas is led by Jimmy Watkins, formerly of Future Of The Left and Strange News From Another Star. They've been laying low since the 2018 release of their debut full-length, A Complete History of Witchcraft, but have re-emerged to share the single "All My Fish Are Dead." Watkins described toBirthday Cake Breakfast how today's featured track was inspired by two books: At the time I was reading a book called Strangers by Rebecca Tamás, and it was changing the way I thought about the modern world. It was terrifying, but at the same time it had answers about how we could change things like capitalism and the destruction of the planet. It introduced me to panpsychism and I was fascinated by this idea that our surroundings influence how we think. I was also reading a book called American Cosmic by D.W Pasulka. In that book she meets people who believe their great ideas have come from aliens. I used that for the lines about “operating on a whole other level… outside on my mile high decking” and about our body parts being full of galaxies. Together, those two books painted a picture of humans destroying the planet whilst also receiving messages of hope and innovation from outer space. That was a pretty surreal combo for me, so I went for it lyrically and described a modern world full of chaos and weird beauty. I wanted to paint a dreamlike landscape which was driven by capitalism and greed, but had a soft middle where it talks about how magical the human body can be. I have no idea if I succeeded, but for the first time in my life I can listen to a song we’ve recorded and think to myself that I’d put everything I could into the lyrics. Read the full behind-the-scenes story of the making of today's Song of the Day here. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 28, 2021
Polar Noir - If Everybody Listened
216
Polar Noir - "If Everybody Listened," a 2021 single on Polarness. June 8th marked World Oceans Day, a day designated to "inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean." German radio show host Sandra Gern seized the moment to unveil her recording project Polar Noir, sharing her love of water on her debut single.  "I‘ve learned that the music you make is never really complete as long as you don‘t share it," she stated on Facebook. "That‘s why I‘ve started this project. Some of the music I am sharing is brand new, some was written or started somewhen within the last 10 years. So you‘re warmly invited to keep me company making these songs complete." In the accompanying video for today's featured track, Polar Noir shares links to organizations working to preserving the ocean. She shares that in the month and a half since the video has been released, "the ocean caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico, a sunken container ship loaded with chemicals, oil and plastic pellets polluted the ocean and coast around Sri Lanka, and just recently some tourists held and petted one of the strictly protected whales in the Baltic Sea for pictures. Shortly after it died." "These are the things many of us have heard of because they sounded lurid enough to be put into a headline. But the ocean is much more at risk than we hear and see in the media. That’s why I put these words including different organisations at the end of my music video. You can support them, follow them, check their websites and read about their (actually our) topics." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 27, 2021
Chicano Batman - Pastel Sunrise
200
Chicano Batman - "Pastel Sunrise," a 2021 single on ATO. Psych/funk/soul band Chicano Batman return with a new single, featuring the powerful track "Dark Star" on the A-Side, and today's Song of the Day on the B-Side. It's the L.A. four-piece's first new music since their 2020 album Invisible People. Like last year's release, the new single finds them pairing up with Grammy-nominated producer John Hill (Portugal. The Man, Santigold, M.I.A.).  “The music got here collectively in John Hill’s studio,” frontman Bardo Martinez told Fader over email. “The band met up and instantly we began riffing on concepts.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 26, 2021
Hallows - All That Is True Dies
239
Hallows - "All That Is True Dies" from the 2021 album All That Is True on Cold Transmission Music. Formed in Minneapolis in 2018, and now based in Seattle, darkwave duo HALLOWS incorporate post-punk influences into their atmospheric synthpop on their latest album, All That Is True. Founding members Vanee D. and Dom R. wrote the songs during what they call "times of unrest in Seattle (and the world)," They explain in a press statement, "though the album is not explicitly political, it explores the emotional journey of existing in an unjust world." On today's Song of the Day, they explore impermanence. “The song is about the past and how it follows you around but, in the end, everything is temporary,” Dom toldPost-Punk.com. “We really wanted this track to evoke a duality where the first part is tense and somewhat dark, with the second part being more hopeful and dancey.”  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 23, 2021
Yves Tumor - Jackie
176
Yves Tumor - "Jackie," a 2021 single on Warp. Enigmatic, experimental artist Yves Tumor returns with their new single "Jackie," a fierce glam-rock stomp with squalling guitars and an '80s dance beat. It's their first new solo work since their 2020 album Heaven To A Tortured Mind.  The track is accompanied by a psychedelic video clip created by Los Angeles-based visual artists Rick Farin and Claire Cochran from the studio Actual Objects. "We loved collaborating with Yves Tumor on 'Jackie' — we've been massive fans for years," they said in a press release. "Their work is always so forward-looking, and has always been a major inspiration for us. 'Jackie' was a chance for us to dig deep into our toolkit and work with some of our most experimental techniques." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 22, 2021
Ric Wilson - Fight Like Ida B & Marsha P
188
Ric Wilson - "Fight Like Ida B & Marsha P," a 2020 single on Free Disco / EMPIRE. On his latest single, released days before Juneteenth 2020, Chicago rapper Ric Wilson pays tribute to civil rights leader Ida B. Wells and LGBTQ+ activist Marsha P. Johnson.  He wrote on Twitter [sic]: “when I think about next level courage to ball your fist up & look Patriarchy, racist,sexism, homophobia & transphobia right in the eye & fight against it, I feel like blk folk like Ida B Well and Marsha P Johnson are of the bravest of us all and if ima fight any injustice I wanna have the courage of blk queer & femme freedom fighters like them. I believe the liberation of black womxn and black trans womxn lead to the liberation of all black people." He adds [sic]: "I encourage people to also study the History of policing and prisons here in the US & the laws made to keep Blk and Queer folk suppressed in this country for over 450 years. If we focus and start understanding the 'why', we will longer waste time arguing on the 'what.'" Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 21, 2021
Pixel Grip - Pursuit
235
Pixel Grip - "Pursuit," a 2021 single on Feeltrip Records. Chicago darkwave trio Pixel Grip return with their sophomore full-length ARENA, a soundtrack for the misfits out there. “Being in an audience of freaks, queers, fetish people, all in the same room sweating together,” is how vocalist Rita Lukea puts it, “and we all knew our purpose, and we were manic and arrogant.”  Lukea explains that today's Song of the Day has a specific feeling to her: "the feeling of surrendering power, the feeling of having your love chewed up and spit out, the feeling of getting toyed with. Sometimes love isn’t empowering; in fact it can be humiliating and disabling. The only way I can take my power back is to pretend like it’s my decision. This song is designed to be screamed along with by an audience who understands the pain." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 20, 2021
Emma-Jean Thackray - Say Something
230
Emma-Jean Thackray - "Say Something," a 2021 single on Movementt. An active artist and producer in South London’s nu-jazz scene, multi-instrumentalist Emma-Jean Thackray has just shared her latest LP Yellow on July 2nd via her own Movementt imprint. “It’s a record about togetherness, the oneness of all things in the universe, showing love and kindness, human connection," she explains via a press release. “I approached the record by trying to simulate a life-changing psychedelic experience, an hour where we see behind the curtain to a hidden dimension, where the physical realm melts away and we finally see that we are all one.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 19, 2021
Ya Tseen - Knives (feat. Portugal. The Man)
239
Ya Tseen - "Knives (feat. Portugal. The Man)" from the 2021 album Indian Yard on Sub Pop. Originally from Sheet’ka (Sitka, Alaska), artist Nicholas Galanin brings the influence of his Tlingit and Unangax̂ heritage to his spacey dance pop. Under the name Ya Tseen (which simultaneously translates to “be alive” and references his Tlingit name Yeil Ya Tseen), he uses his music to advocate for "Indigenous sovereignty, racial, social, and environmental justice, for present, and future generations." Today's Song of the Day is not about weaponry, but surrender. In a press release, Galanin shares, "“Knives is a love song about softening a calloused heart and experiencing the edge of magnetic desire, romantic connection, vulnerability, and risk that love opens us up to.” The song features guest vocals from John Baldwin Gourley of fellow Alaska-formed band Portugal. the Man, who he considers "friends and allies for social and environmental justice." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 16, 2021
The Joy Formidable - Into the Blue
230
The Joy Formidable - "Into the Blue" from the 2021 album Into The Blue on Enci Records. Welsh band The Joy Formidable return with their first new music in three years. Today's Song of the Day is the title track from their forthcoming fifth album, Into The Blue, out August 20th. While the song was written in their hometown of Wales, it was completed in their new adopted home of Utah, which is also where the accompanying music video was filmed.  “I am always daydreaming in the bathtub between recordings," frontwoman Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan says of the watery clip. “That diffuse thinking where your mind wanders freely — I always finish songs when I’m in that state. The idea that your imagination, that escape into another, deeper world can sometimes create a stronger connection with yourself.” She describes today's Song of the Day as being "about surrendering to love and magic," adding, “Having the courage to enjoy a new journey and the mystery and excitement of something unexpected. It’s about opening your eyes to beauty and love again. Making it to the other side. Whilst not conceived as a metaphor for the times we all live in now, it certainly turned out that way.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 15, 2021