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 “Free Energy” by a band of the same name, Free Energy, from their forthcoming album, Stuck On Nothing on DFA Records, released early 2010.
Free Energy is the partial bastard spawn of Lookout! band Hockey Night. It’s weird; I haven’t thought about or even considered Lookout! in quite sometime. When I think of them, my mind returns East Bay road pavers like Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine and Green Day… god, I’m old. Anyway, like I was saying Free Energy emerged from the end-game of a band revered as one of Minnesota’s most unique rock outfits. They had two drummers and stuff. Led by the vocals and guitars of Paul Sprangers and Scott Wells, Free Energy heads down a similar 70’s era classic rock loving retrograde — like a kid that grew up watching his dad drink High Life’s and wear frayed jeans-shorts — the band’s sound takes up residence in the middle ground between simpler-times nostalgia and goofball glamor. Catching the eye of James Murphy’s DFA label, the band enlisted aforementioned LCD Soundsystem headmaster to fade faders and spin the knobby deals on their forthcoming release, Stuck on Nothing.
Taking the same name as the peeps that perform it, “Free Energy” serves a purpose one might expect. Introductory and anthemic in feel, the song summons a happy-go-lucky vision of life, reminiscent of first dreamgirls, summer nights and pink boxes, a unique sense of freedom unfettered by the constraints of Flickr updates , indecision and grocery shopping. “Free Energy” is simple and not immediately arresting, but after a few spins (can you spin an MP3?) I’m guessing you’ll find yourself in a similar place as I: bathed in the chords of my youth, pinged with the licky back tracks of bandanna clad dads… feet up in my yellow chair, this tiny (ahem, pinner) apartment actually feels sort of spacious. Now, who wants to stay up ‘til two with me? Scotch?
Free Energy is currently performing around the East Coast and Midwest, including a sold out show at the Mercury Lounge this Friday. Check their MySpace page for dates. Hopefully, the fall will bring them to the Northwest. For now, you can edify yourself with drummer Nick Shuminksy’s instructional video: