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 “Snowblind” by +/- from their newly released album Xs On Your Eyes on Absolutely Kosher Records.
Fans have been anticipating a new +/- album since their brilliant 2006 release Let’s Build A Fire, which managed to squeeze together power pop, sparsely used electronic layering, and a genuine sensitivity in a way that tugged at the heart strings while simultaneously getting your feet tapping. Since that disc earned heavy rotation in many households, the arrival of a new album from the threesome is certainly cause for celebration. Xs Over Your Eyes retains the melodic churning pop of Let’s Build A Fire but smooths out some the rougher, higher-energy edges. Whereas the previous album resonated with a gritty sweetness brought on by the gentle application of a sunny keyboard sound, Xs Over your Eyes is tinged with a reserved sadness. Lead singer James Baluyut’s voice is earnest and pretty as ever, but it seems far more steeped in melancholy. On “Snowblind”, the sadness of Baluyut’s discourse on aimless, maybe lost, love is buoyed by the sort of driving faux punk guitars +/- is known for, but at its core, there’s a bittersweet emotion unheard before. But don’t be mislead: the track, as well as the album, is beautiful, just a bit heavier than previous efforts.
The band just wrapped up a tour of Asia and will play a couple of shows in the Northeast before settling in for the holidays. New Englanders can check them out at the Middle East in Cambridge on Dec. 13, and then back at home in Brooklyn at the Music Hall of Willliamsburg on Dec. 18. Find out more on their website and MySpace page. For now, enjoy the new video for “Snowblind”: