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 Chery Waters , is “Beautiful People” by The Books from the 2010 album The Way Out on Temporary Residence Limited.
New Yorkers Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong have been making music together since the end of the century when they formed the genre-hopping stylistic project The Books in 1999. Shortly after, the duo released their debut album, 2002’s Thought for the Food, categorizing them as a very unique band, and of which Pitchfork commented that it “splits the difference between a joke and a revelation.” That contrast of foolishness and genius has followed the band through their use of unconventional sources and thoughtful lyrics on their following records: 2003’s The Lemon Of Pink and 2005’s Lost And Safe. After a long break, the band has returned with The Way Out, which itself is a smooth continuation of the band’s remarkable trademark sound.
Today’s Song of the Day, “Beautiful People,” features a collage of found snippet from “Talkboy” tapes, musical instruments, mathematical equations and folktronica vocals. The band sayt it best on their Tumblr page, describing the song as “a three-part Christian harmony mixed with a sort of euro-disco-trash beat, an orchestra’s worth of sampled brass and lyrics about the 12th root of two trigonometry and tangrams which will make up the video portion of the song for the live show.” Yes, if you will be able to witness that yourself when The Books will be visiting Seattle on December 4th, performing at the Moore Theatre. To find out more, visit their MySpace page and check out this other another example of The Books’ cut-up technique, both in song and video, with “A Cold Freezin’ Night,” also from the new album: