Song of the Day: Neil Halstead – Queen Bee

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, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is Queen Bee by Neil Halstead from the 2008 album Oh! Mighty Engine on Brushfire Records.

Neil Halstead – Queen Bee (MP3)

As though being largely responsible for the founding of 90s shoegazers Slowdive and the subsequent, more country-minded Mojave 3 weren’t enough, Neil Halstead is set to release his second solo record, entitled Oh! Mighty Engine, tomorrow. The new album, his first for Jack Johnson‘s Brushfire Records, was co-produced by Robert Carranza (Bjork, Blackalicious) and features some of Halstead’s most serene moments. Apparently, Halstead and Johnson share an affinity for surfing, providing the stimulus for their eventual business connection. Capitalizing on past experience, Halstead here finds the perfect balance of barn-burning folk tunes and tranquil pop ditties. Fear not Mojave 3 fans, while Halstead is currently busy with a solo summer tour, the band has every intention of playing and recording together again. But since it took six years for Halstead to release his second solo record, I suggest flocking to your nearest music venue now to see this incarnation. Know now that Halstead is scheduled to perform the Sunset Tavern 8/23. Check out his MySpace page for specific dates on the remainder of his tour. Otherwise, enjoy this video for High Hopes, a song from his debut as captured by the ever-tasteful folks at La Blogotheque:

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