Song of the Day: Handsome Furs – Cannot Get Started

photo by Aaron Miller

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection is “Cannot Get Started” by Handsome Furs, from their 2007 album Plague Park on Sup Pop. Catch their exclusive live set this Friday from KRLU Studios in Austin, as KEXP goes to South by Southwest!

Handsome Furs – Cannot Get Started (MP3)

Another Wolf Parade side project? You bet, and it’s a good one. WP’s Dan Boeckner slings guitar and handles the vocals while his wife, author Alexie Perry, works the electronics. The band’s debut Plague Park has gotten some unusual descriptions; the one I can’t get out of my head is “Springsteen meets Suicide” (let’s assume that refers to the band, not the act…) Simple and repetitive by design, “Cannot Get Started” eschews atmospherics in favor of immediate, catchy impact. It’s as if Boeckner and Perry came up with the song’s hook and simply decided to stop there and call it done. In the ProTools era, it’s almost jarring to hear a song built on a drum machine that doesn’t come weighted down with a full complement of digital bells and whistles as well. It sure does work — the pair have crafted an airtight pop gem. No doubt we’ll be treated to a cracking live version when Handsome Furs perform live at SxSW this Friday at 3:30 PM (Austin time!); catch it on 90.3 FM or streaming live at (Lucky enough to be going to the SxSW festival yourself? Stop by for the show — it’s free!)

Handsome Furs cover Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky” — live!

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