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 “Sun Flower Sun Kissed” by Yppah from the 2009 album They Know What Ghost Know on Ninja Tune.
Sun flower Sun kissed. The song opens with a quartet of chords that suggest you might be listening to a Yardbirds single. The drop to a minor campanion chord and the wash of the echo and reverb of a large room with high ceilings throws you off the course you thought you were headed. The tamborine skips and drums drive in and the guitar changes from an introduction to an invitation to stay. Yppah (née Joe Corrales) gives you a riff without warning and rides it out in a way that makes you think, “I should know this riff. If I didn’t, I do now.” Corrales himself wears the harmonica around his neck. If you were watching him play the song live you might spend the whole time waiting and wondering when he’d use it. “What will it sound like? I hope it doesn’t ruin the chemistry that’s been built between the guitars and the bass.” Things you might say to yourself. There’s always a way a harmonica can ruin a good song. In this instance, however, the power and the conviction in the simple blows and draws that accompany the strings and drums were worth it. John Popper he’s not but everyone secretly wishes that guy would scale it back a little bit. Corrales is known for his work with the entire gamut of instruments you’d find in Western music but don’t go into this one without expectations leaning towards power psych grooves that make you wonder what if “For Your Love” had been this inspired.
Yppah is currently on a very short three-day stint in Texas (one date in Houston and two in Austin) to celebrate the release of the new album, You Are Beautiful At All Times, out on Ninja Tune records. Catch them at Mohawk tonight in Austin and Waterloo Records tomorrow. Check their MySpace page for more info. For now, here’s the video for “Gumball Machine Weekend,” also from the new album: