Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of 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. This week, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we would like to thank our local music community by offering songs exclusively from Northwest artists. Today’s featured selection is “Bless This Mess” by Seattle singer/songwriter Dave Bazan from his 2009 album Curse Your Branches on Barsuk.
Seattle singer/songwriter Dave Bazan has always let his faith burn bright. As frontman of the now defunct evangelical indie rock band Pedro the Lion, Bazan confronted Christians and non-Christians alike with convicting questions and raw personal stories of struggle. Now four years later, Bazan’s beliefs still blaze strong on his new album Curse Your Branches. But this time, he’s glowing with skepticism.
At first listen, I thought the album was just another Pedro the Lion record with Bazan’s signature sad voice and feel good acoustic guitar. “Bless This Mess” was especially non-offensive with the cheery repetition of “God bless” through out the chorus and Napoleon Dynamite meets funky church organ synthesized keyboard. I honestly thought, man, this is one of those safe songs that you can play anywhere -- at parties, for parents, for grandparents, on a date or even at a religious gathering -- without feeling lame or nervous of what everyone would think. But, as soon as I dug deeper into his lyrics, I quickly realized Bazan’s message was neither jolly nor simple. He sings all about his battle with drinking, the deterioration of his family and falling out of faith. Despite all the messiness, I still think “Bless This Mess” can make it on your safe song playlist as a sweet, catchy tune.
Since Bazan won’t be performing again in Seattle for a while, check out the KEXP archives for his September live in-studio performance of Curse Your Branches.