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 “Freak Out” by Stellastarr* from the 2009 album Civilized on their own Bloated Wife Records.
Yet another band with art school ties, Stellastarr* is a fantastic four-piece from Brooklyn. The band was formed in 2000 and did a couple albums on major label RCA before finally breaking ties and self-producing their latest release: Civilized. More than four years have passed since their sophomore album, Harmonies for the Haunted, and the new music is actually a refreshing reminder to some of the great music they’ve made in the past. Not so much of a departure from their previous work as it is an optimistic upgrade. It’s an upbeat style that seems to fit them well. Without the support of a major label, you’d expect to hear the production falter, but the new album sounds just as good as their previous work, just with a little less sizzle. Today’s Song of the Day is a straight up rock tune that features the backing vocals and killer bass lines of Amanda Tannen. It’s a perfect soundtrack to your summer and a great excuse to re-discover this band. If this is progress, maybe more bands should take a break from music and quit their labels.
The band is currently on tour and scheduled to play at Chop Suey in Seattle on August 4th. You can read more about the band on their website or listen to additional tracks on their MySpace page. Look for video of their recent in-studio at KEXP very soon!