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 “Life Coach” by Fang Island from their 2010 self-titled album on Sargent House.
Fang Island sort of reminds me of being young. But, Brian, despite your sore knees and fatty cankles, you are still quite young. True as that may be, this music makes me think about a time when music spoke to me from a more light-hearted youthful place — a place where worry was fleeting and life seemed so full of promise. Feeling a little grouchy (clearly I am)? These five Brooklyners will reach out to you with joyous musical arms to shake free the stress and frustration of being all grownsed-up. This is the kind of music people with temperaments like mine should listen to more often!
Borne from one of indie rock’s more famous incubators, Fang Island got its start as an art project between five students at the Rhode Island School of Design. According to guitarist Jason Bartell, the band’s only goal was to “make music for people that like music” — to create songs that recall the uplifting classic rock harmonies of days gone by — minus the melodramatic cheese.
Today’s song of the day, “Life Coach,” is the perfect illustration of Fang Island’s triumphantly positive demeanor. Taken from their recently released self-titled debut LP, the song lifts off quickly, floating along just above Bob Ross-like happy trees. Three guitars, drums keyboards and various vocal layers add up to a density that holds the song relatively close to the Earth. Combining the anthemic emo-pop of old with fresh, unique instrumentation, Fang Island delivers an album that is buoyant (read: catchy, soaring, honest, infectious) without drifting off into the stratosphere of stupid (dramatic, formulaic, corny, played). These guys are clearly trying to have a little fun. Listening to their songs and watching their videos (one with a classroom of kindergartners, one with Andrew WK) it’s clear to me that this band would be a pretty good time live. And if you’re in Seattle, you’re in luck: they play Neumos with Red Sparrows & Caspian tomorrow night! (You can find more dates on their MySpace page.) If the show feels anything like this track, I might just have to shoulder-tap myself a Mickey’s 40 on the way home.
You can also hear Fang Island live on KEXP tomorrow! Tune in at 12PM. But while you wait, be sure to check out this video for today’s Song of the Day: