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 “Blood Relations” by The Maldives from the group’s 2009 album, Listen to the Thunder, on Mt. Fuji Records.
The maudlin twang of “Blood Relations” is a striking rearranging of mid-90s alt-country, and that it’s done from local country rockers The Maldives only makes the track more rewarding. With the slow evolution of longtime twang rag No Depression from paper to internet and the scene’s leaders (Jeff Tweedy, Ryan Adams, Jay Farrar) happy to escape the slides, dubros, and drinking that imbues alt-country for dalliances with tamer genres, it’s the welcoming embrace by The Maldives to not abandon the scene. Rather, The Maldives are gradually building on the grand traditions of twang and the dark sounds of “Blood Relations” is the sort of ebon country story that is lost within modern country of every ilk. “Blood Relations” isn’t a stereotypical jukebox crier or wide-eyed love story; the edge it carries is the sort of razor sharp line that made the genre such a magnetizing deviant of the 90s pop-rock alternative. It’s comforting to know that when you need a good drinking song with no fuss, no mess, and no tears, The Maldives are ready to tell you a story and give you a dry shoulder to cry on while they rock you to reality.
The boys have been busy with record releases and KEXP studio performances but according to the Maldives’ MySpace page, the only show lined up happens tonight at The Fremont Abbey. Get excited, grab some tickets, and watch this live performance of “I Have Found” from a recent in-store at Sonic Boom: