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 “Lakeside” by BLK JKS from their 2009 Mystery EP available from Secretly Canadian.
Lets me be quite honest with you: I couldn’t tell you what your run-of-the-mill modern day South African band sounds like. Blame this on a questionable, lifelong aversion to genres of music marked with tags like “world” or “global,” but aside from Fela Kuti and Tony Allen, I’m struggling to even name another famous band born and raised on African soil. This I can say about BLK JKS though: this art-rock foursome from Johannesburg, South Africa, makes a beautiful mess of noise. “Lakeside” is a swirling cloud of a song, combining a bevy of sounds -- African township grooviness, double-bass pounding drums, and a sort of swelling, haunting vocal background -- to create a sound that teeters on the edge of modernity. There’s a definite TV On The Radio sound at play here, but BLK JKS are more admirers than imitators, adding layers of sound, seemingly culled from their South African roots to create, something equally as intricate, but entirely different.
Speaking of noise: there’s a lot of it going around about BLK JKS’ live show. Northwest listeners will be able to witness it for themselves when they perform as part of the astounding 2009 Sasquatch! lineup. Everyone else can see where they’re going to be next over on the band’s MySpace page and website. Next week, KEXP will broadcast a live set with BLK JKS from Austin during SXSW. Stay tuned for more details!
For now, you can catch more of them in this video for “Lakeside”: