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 Morning Show host John Richards, is “Now You’re Gone” by Secret Machines from their self-titled 2008 album on TSM Recordings.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, and since transplanted to New York, strong>Secret Machines have been making their own blend of psychedelic/progressive rock since the late 90’s. Surviving the departure of their exceptionally talented guitarist Ben Curtis (now with School of Seven Bells), the band has moved towards a more straightforward rock sound with less of the shoegazing and production of their previous efforts. Their third album is strangely enough self-titled (seriously, who self-titles their third album?) but maybe this was intentionally meant to signify a new beginning for the guys. After all, this is the first album to feature the band’s new guitarist Phil Karnats.
Now You’re Gone — clearly a sad song about a breakup — might call to mind Curtis’ departure from the band, the split was reportedly amicable. Yet the song itself, which can help anyone put a past relationship in perspective, begins as if an intentional tribute to their trademark sound, almost painfully slow at first. Then, it finally breaks away with its soft but heavily modulated vocals over a synth lead that builds into more of a traditional prog rock love song. The Secret Machines may have lost a band member, but they’ve gained a new confidence in themselves and a new sound they can brand their own. If you haven’t heard Secret Machines in a while, it’s time to give them a listen again. Apparently, even David Bowie is a fan!
The band recently swept through town with a show at Neumo’s earlier this month before they ended their North American tour. They’re now filling the opening in Mexico for Oasis. Check in with their MySpace page for more. Here’s the video for “Atomic Heels,” their first single from their self-titled release: