Song of the Day: Editors – Papillion

photo by Kevin Westenberg

photo by Kevin Westenberg

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. Each and every Friday we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Papillion” by Editors from their 2010 album, In This Light and on This Evening, on Fader Label.

Editors – Papillion (MP3)

In This Light and on This Evening is the latest album from one of our UK favorites: Editors. It seems like only yesterday we were watching this band explode on the tiny Chop Suey stage (2006), the venue barely able to contain the massive crowd. I can still picture the ceiling dripping from the heat, people nearly passing out, and a constant flash up front from all the cameras. This was the epitome of a big band in a small space. The show couldn’t have happened at a better time — the band had just released their amazing debut album The Back Room and were on a whirlwind tour of the states and talk show TV circuit. You could call it the “perfect storm” of show conditions. Anyone at that first show will probably never forget it, so to see the band filling auditoriums and putting out platinum records comes with little surprise. And that was just the first time they played here.

For those unfamiliar with the band, Editors are a four-piece from Birmingham who take standard fare Brit pop and add to it dark lyrics and big soaring arena anthems. It’s a little more complicated than that, but think of bands like U2 and Echo & the Bunnymen. After having a ton of success with their first two albums though, you’d figure a band like Editors wouldn’t mess with a successful formula. Like they say “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”! But on their latest release In This Light and on This Evening, it sounds like the band did just the opposite. Lead singer Tom Smith hinted at a new direction for their latest creation and he wasn’t kidding, with their signature guitar sound being replaced almost entirely by synthesizers. “Papillion” is the first single from the new album — definitely a showcase of the new material and a great place to start. Their signature darkness still exists, but a new direction seems clearer. If we had to label the new album, we might file it under: “Factory Records meets Depeche Mode”. In other words, we loved it.

To kick off the new album, the band is schedule to play an intimate performance at the London Hard Rock at the end of the month. Editors begin their 2010 full UK tour at the Lincoln Engine Shed on Mar. 6th and are scheduled to play just before then in Seattle at Showbox on Feb 5th. This is a band you must see live to fully appreciate (and now in a larger venue!).

You can read more about the band on their official website or listen to some additional tracks on their MySpace page. You can also check out their cool Google Street View. If you want another taste of Editors’ new sound, here’s the video for their latest single, “You Don’t Know Love”:

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