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 “Jumping Frenchmen of Maine” by El Ten Eleven from their 2009 album These Promises are Being Videotaped on Vopar Music.
The song title alone elicits thoughts of dancing; El Ten Eleven are a two-piece from Los Angeles who waste no time getting right to the point. The experimental dance/rock/electronica outfit has been producing sounds together since 2003. These Promises are Being Videotaped is only their third release, but Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogarty have already adopted the DIY ethics of some other more established groups by embracing the “pay what you want” model to their music. It’s a refreshing approach and proves their passion and level of commitment as musicians. Sonically, El Ten Eleven enlists a minimalist set-up that’s reminiscent of bands like Radiohead and Sigur Ros. Guitar, drums, bass and an array of foot pedals are the glue that holds their sound together, and they do it all well. These guys can do more with two people than most bands could do with five. The rocking bass lines feel like they are ready to explode with lyrics, but they never come. They’re instead replaced by complicated, deeply textured musical landscapes on top of the ever present dance rhythms that leave no more room for vocals, as in the case of our Song of the Day. Put on the headphones and dancing shoes and give a listen. This is instrumental dance rock at its finest.
The bands is currently on tour and scheduled to play live in-studio at KEXP this Thursday, April 16, at 4PM and later that evening at the Sunset Tavern. More information is available on their website or you can listen to additional tracks on their MySpace page. For now, here’s the band’s video for “Hot Cakes” from their previous release, Every Direction Is North: