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 “What a Drag” by Bear Hands from the 2010 7″ single on Cantora Records.
Wesleyan University seems to be a hotbed for amazing musical talent, so it’s only appropriate that Bear Hands came to be at this Connecticut University when Dylan Rau (vocals), joined forces with TJ Orscher to play drums and Val Loper on bass. Adding Ted Feldman on guitar, and you’ve got a hard-working band out of Brooklyn that has made quite a few memorable tracks including their debut single “What a Drag” released on Cantora Records. The single opens with boisterous rhythm guitars and percussion. Rau’s scraggly vocals coupled with the intermittent twang from the guitar makes for a deep-woodsian folk that seems unique coming out of Brooklyn, and more at home in the vast landscapes of say, the Pacific Northwest. Chalk it up to Rau’s striking sonic resemblance to Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock when he hits the falsetto while singing “you had your fingers so deep,” and the intricately styled guitar licks that contrast the otherwise heavily disbursed melody and barking lyrics.
Earlier this month, Bear Hands graced our studio with the pleasure of their raucous stylings. Currently, their rocking out SXSW at various locations through the 21st. Check out their myspace page for more tour info, and some cool videos. Here is a live performance in New York from The Studio at Webster Hall of “Can’t Stick ‘Em.”