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 Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is “Quick Canal” by Atlas Sound from the 2009 album Logos on Kranky.
Atlas Sound is the little known solo side project of Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox. Atlas Sound is clearly a departure for Cox, a place he can take his own musical ideas -- ones he wouldn’t be able to pursue with the four-member Deerhunter -- and run with them. It’s a project he’s obviously invested a lot of work into and the name Atlas Sound seems to have stuck with him for a long time (he used to record on an “Atlas Sound” tape machine as a kid). Surprisingly, his solo music is much more approachable than you might imagine -- a delicately layered mix of shoegaze, pop, and electronica. According to Cox himself, the new album, Logos, is a more “panoramic” and far less “introverted” compared to the first Atlas Sound release, much of which is the result of his collaborations with tourmates and friends like Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox, Sian Alice Group’s Sasha Vine, and Stereolab’s Andy Ramsay and Laetitia Sadier. Every song, according to Cox, has its own story, and Ramsay’s and Sadier’s contributions to “Quick Canal” came as Cox had “zero ideas” for the vocals and handed off a 15-minute instrumental track to the pair to complete. The result? A moodier Stereolab... a more aetherial Atlas Sound.
Live, Cox can either play solo or enlist plenty of help to out the noise when he takes Atlas Sound on the road. You’ll have to see what he brings on is current tour when he’s scheduled to play Neumo’s in Seattle on Oct 31st. You can find out more dates and listen to additional tracks on their Myspace page.
In the spirit of the 2009 Music Countdown, here’s Atlas Sound’s cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror”: