Song of the Day: Sleep Out - Graceland Cemetery

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. This week we are featuring songs from bands that will be performing at Engine Studios during our broadcast in Chicago on July 16-18. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Cheryl Waters, is Graceland Cemetery by Sleep Out from the 2008 album Not Even Dust on Two Thumbs Down Records.

Sleep Out - Graceland Cemetery (MP3)

To follow their brilliant 2006 debut, I Was Your Shroud, Sleep Out came up with Not Even Dust, an album devoted to Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery. Combine that with the inspiration for the Sleep Out name -- thinking about problems while going to bed, only to restlessly ponder those problems through the night and wake up with them in the morning -- and you might expect some pretty hopeless, dirge-y stuff. But Quinn Goodwillie (guitar/vocals) and his merry band are no poster children for gloom; instead they’re responsible for seriously catchy pop/rock melodies. Lyrically, they may skirt the border between sullenness and hope, proclaiming I feel nothing, and that’s just what I felt before/ Sorry if I let you down before, but in the end, the pulsating drums and silky smooth guitars steal the show. All in all, the new album shows a more assertive band (Graceland Cemetery), one branching out into denser, more complex songwriting (Not Even Dust). They’ll be live on the air from Engine Studios on July 16th @ 11AM CST, as well as performing free of charge that same night with several other bands at Darkroom @ 8PM CST during the KEXP listener event presented by Equalizer. For a tasted of what’s to come, here’s Sleep Outperforming “I’ll Take Care of It” on what may or may not be a kid’s show:

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