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. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “Surprise Hotel” by Fool’s Gold from their 2009 self-titled album on IAMSOUND.
Although the brainchild of two L.A. musicians, Luke Top and Lewis Pesacov, Fool’s Gold quickly grew into a collective that could reach 15 or 16 members at times and would openly invite people at their shows to play percussion on stage. Despite its free spirited birth, the group now maintains 11 core members, including Pesacov’s Foreign Born bandmates, We Are Scientists’ Michael Tapper, and other students and fans of African and World music. And the sound is predominantly African influenced, but what keeps Fool’s Gold fresh among the growing popular African styled bands (Vampire Weekend, The Very Best, and even Pesacov’s less overtly influenced Foreign Born) is their balance between their desire to understand various African styles (from Balinese Gamelan to Ethiopian to Malian, and so on) and their free spiritedness that keeps them from getting too academic. Fool’s Gold is meant to be fun, and you can feel it in today’s Song of the Day, “Surprise Hotel,” which is a perfect example of the warm tones and tribal sounds that make their music so unique. But the most brilliant part of being unfettered from any one style is the unlimited potential, which allows Fool’s Gold to bring in other “World” influences, such as Top’s frequent Hebrew lyrics (he lived his early life in Israel), and leaves the door wide open for any future possibilities. Who knew that a band already so large could leave themselves infinite room to grow?
Fool’s Gold is currently on tour and is scheduled to play in Seattle at Nectar -- and Live on KEXP! -- on Oct 12th. You can listen to additional tracks and find out more about the band on their MySpace page. For now, enjoy the silly fun of the official video for “Surprise Hotel”: