Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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 offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)” by Wolf Parade from the 2010 album EXPO 86 on Sub Pop.
A dubious bio claims that Wolf Parade was first conceived at the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication in Vancouver, British Columbia, where the band members first met, supposedly at the exhibit for Cars of the Future, and as pre-teens made a pact for their own future… to form a rock band in the new century. A more likely story is that keyboard and guitarist Spencer Krug, who recently had left Victoria band Frog Eyes, met up with guitarist Dan Boeckner, drummer Arlen Thompson and keyboardist Hadji Bakara in 2003 to form a new project, one that has lasted endured a couple of lineup changes — Bakara has left and Dante DeCaro (formerly of Hot Hot Heat) has joined — and various side projects, including Krug’s Sunset Rubdown, Boeckner’s Handsome Furs, and DeCaro’s Johnny and the Moon. Perhaps it’s these excursions that keep Wolf Parade fresh because the despite the relatively quick recording time, as compared to their last album, At Mount Zoomer, EXPO 86 is their most energetic and exciting yet. Whereas in the past, Krug and Boeckner have seemed to be trading song back and forth, the new songs feel more cohesive and just rock harder than before.
Today’s Song of the Day, “What Did My Lover Say?,” demonstrates both the live feel of the album’s recording process (thanks to Howard Bilerman and Montreal’s Hotel2Tango) and another goal Krug and Boeckner had in mind: to make EXPO 86 something you could dance to. Jerky guitar licks meld with fuzzed out and swaying keyboard lines as the song builds to a mutual sing-along of the title’s parenthetical line: “It Always Had to Go This Way.” And we’d like to believe that it also had to go this way as the band seems destined to grow tighter and more captivating with each new release.
You’ll get your chance to see Wolf Parade in July, when they begin a North American tour in hometown Montreal. They’ll be hitting the Showbox in Seattle on July 26. Check their MySpace page for more dates and to listen to more songs. For a taste of what their live show will be like, here’s a recording of today’s song from The Phoenix in Toronto this past April: