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 Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “The Earth Is Black” by Soft Black from the 2009 album The Earth Is Black on Plays with Dolls Records.
Brooklyn antifolkers Soft Black have a way with taking a simple phrase and building an entire song around it; a style that sets itself straight ahead and isn’t complicated without need. In the case of “The Earth Is Black,” from the band’s third album of the same name, lead vocalist Vincent Cacchione confronts listeners with the words “The earth is black and the sky is red” repeatedly while a simple, clean guitar line and equally sheer drum and bass cadence follow along. The album art and dark lyrical imagery practically beg for comparisons to bands like Black Heart Procession -- after all, the album is subtitled and Other Apocalyptic Lullabies for Children -- but more often than not, the music pops, jangles, and rocks with upbeat vigor that will make you shout along regardless of what you’re saying (try dropping this one during your next house party!). Think goth lyrics to Bobby Bare Jr. and Black Lips. Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound as good as it is... like with the songs of Soft Black, words can’t tell the whole story. Just “take the first bite of this rotten meat.” No wait, that didn’t sound good either. Just give this song a listen!
Vincent Cacchione is keeping his Soft Black project close to home with only a couple of shows listed on his MySpace page -- at Cake Shop in the Village on August 19th with A Fermata and Dizzy Spells Martian, and at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, New Jersey on August 25th with Werewolves and Gimmie Drugs. For a taste of his live show, here’s “I Am An Animal,” also from the new album, recorded at the Casbah: