Song of the Day: Midnight Masses – Walk on Water

photo by Gaelen Harlacher

photo by Gaelen Harlacher

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 “Walk on Water” by Midnight Masses from the 2010 album Rapture Ready, I Gazed At The Body on Collect Records/Team Love.

Midnight Masses – Walk on Water (MP3)

From the 2010 release Rapture Ready, I gazed at the Body, Midnight Masses’ “Walk on Water” is an eerie, melancholy, adrift sounding song that seems to be just a taste of what the EP stands for.

Midnight Masses spawned as an outlet for Atlanta born Autry Fulbright to express his sadness after the sudden death of his father. He began reflecting on the idea of death and its meaning when it happens close to home. Religion runs rampant in his music: Fulbright was raised going door-to-door with his mom preaching the word of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the simultaneous feeling of hope and impending doom was forefront in his mind while working on the album.

In late 2008, Fulbright joined forces with …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead‘s Jason Reece, as well as Eric Rogers (guitar/vocals), Miyuku Furtado (drums, bass guitar, vocals), and Destiny Montague (guitar, vocals, percussion). The initial recording sessions were done with the help of Conrad Keely (Trail of Dead) and features contributions from by Katie Eastburn and Here We Go Magic’s Peter Hale.

Throughout today’s Song of the Day, “Walk on Water,” the EP’s opener, high pitched, sonar-sounding tones keep the listener grounded as it moves along through a deep, lonely, cavernous place. TV on the Radio’s Jaleel Bunton provides achingly warm vocals. And when the guitar makes an entrance, it is muffled yet rhythmic, picking up the motivating beat before it slows back down again to its original pace. The cycle of treading along, and then becoming upbeat, repeats again and again. The message is simple, the instrumentation is sparse, and the melody, haunting. The song confronts the idea of loss squarely, yet its way of fading out before you even notice that it’s is over is unnerving to say the least.

Keep an eye out for this blossoming indie group out of New York on their MySpace page. There aren’t any live shows scheduled except for the NYC area, but you can listen to their recent performance live on KEXP from our In-Studio Performances Archive here. And check out this live performance of “Preacher’s Son” at Piano’s:

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