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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Painter” by The Kissaway Trail from the 2010 album Sleep Mountain on Bella Union.
Much acclaim was made about The Kissaway Trail‘s self-titled debut in 2007, so much so that Bella Union swept them up and a second album started brewing. For Sleep Mountian, guitarists Thomas Fagerlund, Soren Corneliussen, and Daniel Skjoldmose, Bassist Rune Pedersen and the band’s drummer, Hass Mydtskov, traveled far and wide to rehearse and record this one. From a desolate farm close to their Odense, Denmark home, to the French mountains, to Sweden. At the end of a year-long process, they trashed the near completed album. Perhaps dissatisfied with the direction it was going, The Kissaway Trail went back to their Danish home and Lydkraft Studio where their debut was born. Within two weeks, they completed their sophomore full-length with Peter Katis (Interpol, The National, Sigur Ros) at the mixing and production helm.
“Painter” moves along with a moseying rhythm. Charming chimes cut in and out like a faulty digital signal, gaining strength as the drums get louder and the chorus enters. Each member of the group piping in vocals fill the track with a sense of unity- anthemic, sure, but without the drama. All the separate sounds meld into one as the song crescendos toward its close. And in the last few seconds each piece of the quintet bow out to spotlight the songs final message, “I needed you around…” The album is full of featherweight atmospheres and passionate choruses that often evoke too easily Arcade Fire references. The music’s fluidity and effortless styling makes it too easy to jump to such comparisons. Fagerlund, the band’s lead vocalist and primary songwriter along with Corneliussen, however recalls his biggest influences came from The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana.
The Kissaway Trail just finished a few dates in the U.S. including SXSW, and will be heading into a European tour straight on through the summertime. Check out the dates on their myspace page, or keep yourself in the know and ollow the trail via twitter. In the meantime, check out the video for “SDP,” also from Sleep Mountain: