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 Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is “Cafetorium” by Anathallo from the 2008 album Canopy Glow on Anticon Records.
The definition of canopy: “a covering, usually of cloth, suspended over a throne or bed” — the music of the enlightened ensemble from Mt. Pleasant, Illinois, that calls itself Anathallo is each musician’s personal canopy and sanctuary. The band’s leader, Matt Joynt (vocals, guitar, auxiliary percussion, piano), formed the band officially in 2000 after spending many seasons within play production and dance companies, taking music lessons, and joining singing competitions (mostly between him and his big sister). Cunning and ambition led Joynt on to release four independent and cleverly packaged (sometimes dusted with earth and seeds) EPs, supported by a rotating cast of friends and musicians alike. It took six long years and eighteen national tours for the band to release their full-length debut, Floating World. Their next step was a move to the windy city of Chicago and into a church, Berry United Methodist to be exact, under the invite and guidance of fellow friend and artist Tim Lowly. Upon that hallowed ground, the members of Anathallo — Bret Wallin (tambourine, auxiliary percussion, vocals), Danny Bracken (guitar, auxiliary percussion, vocals), Seth Walker (bass, vocals), Jeremiah Johnson (drums, percussion, vocals), Erica Froman (vocals, auxiliary percussion) and Jamie Macleod (trumpet, piano, auxiliary percussion, vocals) — joined hands with Joynt between their various day jobs and together rehearsal the resulting sounds of reaffirmation, hope and joy, cultivating and capturing the lyrics and sounds that became Canopy Glow. Released in 2008 via Anticon Records, it is the perfect album to hunker down with during the dark winter days where the earth seems to slumber at peace, but where actually just below the surface is the band, living true to their name, taken from the Greek, meaning “to renew, refresh or bloom again,” waiting to build and burst forth with life.
Beginning in February, Anathallo will tour the east half of the country extensively and and will be performing as part of this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. You can find the details on the band’s MySpace page, where they promise to head out west some time soon. For now, here’s a beautifully performed and filmed version of “Italo” live at the Cockpit in Leeds: