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. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole is “Troubles Like Mine” by Gun Outfit from their debut album, Dim Light, available from Post Present Medium.
One listen to today’s song “Troubles Like Mine” and it’s easy to see why they have been getting some good responses from KEXP djs and fans alike. With their fuzzy guitars, swooning melodies and understated vocals, it’s no surprise they’ve already been snatched up by Dean Spunt of No Age via his LA label Post Present Medium (also home to Abe Vigoda, Liars, Wavves). Not much is know about today’s artist other than they hail from Olympia and they have been written up by Fader and Rolling Stone where they have been compared to early Sonic Youth. Not bad for a band who doesn’t even have a myspace page huh? Luckily the band was more than happy to let us take a peek at who they are and what’s in store for this talented local band.
KEXP: How and when did Gun Outfit form and where does the name derive from?
Carrie: Gun Outfit formed after the dissolving of Study Buddies in the summer of 2006. Initially, it was just Carrie and Dylan both singing and playing guitar. Reuben joined on drums in the fall of 2007. Gun Outfit is old west slang. The name came from the pages of a book that came from the coolest bookstore on the face of the earth just outside Butte, Montana. Carrie made her Dad stop there on their road trip out west. You can’t get much further west then we are though, not without falling into the ocean.
How did you guys hook up with Post Present Medium?
Carrie: Last summer we played a show at Dad’s Fortress with Sex Vid and No Age. Dean Spunt contacted our manager Judd Taylor and asked if we were interested in releasing a 7″ on his label. We were, obviously. There wasn’t really much interest from labels in Olympia. It’s kind of weird playing in LA five times as much as we’ve played Seattle even though we all live up here. It’s a strange world.
What was the concept or influences behind the album Dim Light? Is there a primary songwriter or do you guys work pretty collaboratively?
Carrie: There was no agreed upon concept driving the record. The main influence musically and lyrically is the experience of growing up and living in small towns in Washington. Carrie grew up in Olympia, and Dylan’s from Carnation, and Reuben’s from rural Louisiana, but everyone’s lived in the South Sound for quite awhile.
A lot of the themes arise from the perceptual shift between the fantasy world we live in, where everything seems ok and the realization of the immensity of the world around us — a world which goads and taunts you into confused actions. Being overwhelmed but compelled to stammer out a garbled answer. Guitars and drums are crude tools. It’s like trying to paint a beautiful picture with a blunt crayon clutched in your fist.
The songs generally started with one writer but developed collaboratively. We started playing together because it just made perfect sense to, it was make a record or make a feature film and the record just happened first. Step up to the prism, please…
Is there anything you’re hoping listeners will take away from
Troubles Like Mine? Is it autobiographical?
Dylan: It’s a reflection on the difficulties that come from sharing the world with other beings that don’t experience things like you do and the imbalance of power in relationships. I’m hoping people will take away the memory of whatever they were doing when the song played. We just put it out there. If people end up listening to it in traffic and find it strangely aggravating, I don’t blame them. I recommend listening to it on the way to the beach or something though.
Carrie: It’s about horses and a failing relationship. That was one of the first songs we wrote all together. The idea wasn’t there before we put all our minds to it.
I hear you have a tour coming up. Are you touring with anyone or embarking on your own?
Carrie: We are in the midst of hammering out the details for our US tour that will happen in late July and early August. The show dates and info will soon be posted to our crude web page.