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. Every Friday, the Song of the Day podcast spotlights local musicians. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is “Break Myself in Two” by Hazelwood Motel on their self-released, self-titled debut album.
In 2006, songwriter Ed Vierda met songstress Megan Pickerel (Swoon 23) at an open-mic in Bozeman, Mt. The two quickly bonded as they both had children the same age and were planning on a move to Seattle. Ed had been looking for a female singer in Bozeman’s thriving music and art scene to record songs he had written. Once in Seattle, the two met drummer Patrick Smail through friends who knew him from Easy Street Records in West Seattle. The result is their debut album which is a blend of dreamy pop music with quiet guitar riffs and beautiful harmonies. Their boy/girl dynamics and band name often get them compared to 60’s icon Lee Hazlewood (“These Boots are Made for Walking,” “Some Velvet Morning”). The band’s name is actually a combination of pseudonyms that Megan and Ed performed under while in Montana. Ed was dubbed Flapjack Hazelwood while Megan frequently used Maggie Motel. Incidentally, Megan’s brother Mark Pickerel has one of the largest Lee Hazlewood memorabilia collections in the world, but neither Mark nor Lee provide any direct influences for the band’s music.
Hazelwood Motel is self-releasing their album now, but they have garnered interest from a few labels. Each of their 1,000 original copies is hand stamped and stickered and features original artwork by Megan. It can be purchased at local record stores or via their website. You can catch them at the Sunset Tavern on May 3rd with Conrad Ford or June 5th at the Rebar for the Little Pieces CD release party. Check their Myspace page for more information. They will also be featured on an upcoming NadaMucho compilation.
Here they are performing the beautiful “Long Way Down” live at the Filling Station in Bozeman, MT: