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 “Big Man” by Threatmantics from their forthcoming album Upbeat Love on Domino Records.
It is quite the play on words that the three-piece band from Cardiff, Wales, has named their debut release “Upbeat Love.” Even though it is only eight songs long, the album is quite the rocky ride. As tangled and torturous as it seems, you would think that lead singer, Heddwyn Davies, has amassed numerous lovers and has at least 40 jaded years of heartbreak under his belt age to harbor such resentment and strife. But that’s what makes it easy to fall for this latest UK import -- and it doesn’t hurt that Davies’ dark and forward lyrical delivery, which lingers in the back of his throat, has a hearkening a resemblance to the exceptional Ian Curtis, at least not in a bad way. Most strikingly, the outfit includes the instrument of the viola, wielded under the will of Ceri Mitchell, who also commands the electric guitar with a squealing proficiency that calls to mind Jack White (just listen to “Sali Mali” on their MySpace page). Huw Alun Davies, brother to vocalist Heddwyn, keeps the band on point with his tempered drum beats. Now signed to Domino Records, the lads should be soon surfing the summer festival market and are sure to gain much more attention soon, especially if they keep writing bleeding and festering yet lovelornly swooning ballads... the kind that always get the best of us in the end. For the immediate future, be sure to check out this video for the menacing “Big Man”: