Song of the Day: Human Highway – The Sound

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 The Sound by Human Highway from the 2008 album Moody Motorcycle on Suicide Squeeze.

Human Highway – The Sound (MP3)

As Islands toured through Tucson, AZ, frontman Nick Thorburn and former Islands’ guitarist Jim Guthrie sat down in the Hotel Congress and penned My Beach, one of the dozen tracks that would later make up the duo’s debut album as Human Highway. The harmonies and rootsy, acoustic folk-pop of Moody Motorcycle easily bring to mind the great pop duo’s of the ’50s and ’60s, namely the Everly Brothers and Simon & Garfunkel. One look at the album’s cover art reveals yet again that era’s inspiration. Moody Motorcycle was pieced together in the studio in about a week’s time, bringing to light the great chemistry these two have developed over the years. Lyrically, Thorburn and Guthrie focus on themes of failure, loss and wanting, letting often spare guitar melodies drive the point home. But the album’s modernity shines through on the more upbeat tracks, particularly Moody Motorcycle and Pretty Hair. To close the album, the boys chose to cover one of the greatest songs from the Civil Rights Movement, Billy Taylor’s I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free. Head over to the band’s MySpace page where you can currently hear the entire album. Human Highway will play New York’s Cake Shop and Joe’s Pub September 15th & 16th, respectively. While no official videos for Human Highway have been made, “The Sound” inspired two fans to take it upon themselves to create their own. You can watch one here, and the other here:

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