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 “Be My Girl” by El Goodo from the 2009 album Coyote on Grease Records.
Welsh band El Goodo are more than just wise lads choosing to name themselves after a Big Star song. The five-piece are filling a void left by alternative country. It was a mere 10 years ago that names such as Jeff Tweedy, Slaid Cleaves, Jay Farrar, Neil Halstead, and Ryan Adams were beginning to usurp tradition, bridging old-time country with modern riffage and future sound. But like all bubbles (dot-com, housing, gum), the soapy visage of alt-country burst. There were a few survivors and adaptors but soon casual fans returned to the safer confines of Adult Alternative, leaving the genre in a free fall with only niche supporters left to catch the remains.
El Goodo pick up where many of those alt-country pioneers left off, and though their latest album, Coyote, may seem to be kin to the likes of Beachwood Sparks’ reinterpretation of 1960s California country, it’s also excruciatingly Welsh. The islands that make up the UK have spawned a group of bands eager to diver deep into the Pacific Ocean’s recesses and blend it with their own Atlantic Ocean-based influences. While El Goodo will likely see comparisons to The Thrills based solely on sound and proximity, El Goodo is tapped more into the vivid side of country (whereas The Thrills were happier to re-imagine The Byrds as The Beach Boys). There are moments within “Be My Girl” that echo the sounds of Doug Sahm, Tony Joe White, and Poco while mixing the British garage rock that has led to countless musical invasions from our brothers from a Queenly mother.
Unless you plan on hitting up Cardiff or Northamptonshire in the coming months, there’s no chance you’ll be catching El Goodo live anytime soon — if their MySpace page is to be believed. What’s worse is no video evidence of the band’s existence can be found, leading us to believe that we’re dreaming all of this.