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 “Strictly Game” by Harlem Shakes from the 2009 release Technicolor Health on Gigantic Music.
It seems comfortably odd that children of the 80s were able to shun the allure of hair metal bands and embrace the music of their parent (unless those parents were into the Crue and Poison). Harlem Shakes seemingly fall into the category of Vampire Weekend and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah — bands that devoured the canons of Paul Simon, Talking Heads, and Peter Gabriel. There’s an old soul to Harlem Shakes; the sort that lends the band to creating pop-centric and dance-heavy grooves like the patriarchs of a neglected time. Some may find this niche of past meeting present well-mined but it seems as if Harlem Shakes have found a few more golden nuggets to spare.
Harlem Shakes have a loaded dance card according to their MySpace page, complete with a full slate of SXSW shows — yet they snub Seattle like we’re the braced-faced wallflowers. We just want a little love! I suppose we’ll just have to cuddle up to our video of the band performing “Old Flames” live at the Bowery: