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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Seeing Stars” by Satchel from their self-released album Heartache & Honey.
Ok, so it’s collectively uncool to reference the “alternative music” scene of the early to mid nineties right? Well, it would be almost impossible to talk about today’s artist without doing so, and for those of us who were there at the time, it would be a travesty. Satchel got their start in the early nineties when Brad (another iconic player in the Seattle scene at the time) was on hiatus. Songwriter Shawn Smith along with drummer Regan Hagar (also of Malfunkshun fame) formed the band as Bliss but ran into copyright issues before settling on the name Satchel. They played all the legendary clubs of the time and were part of the ’96 Lollapalooza line-up before they too took a break when Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) wanted to re-kindle Brad.
Heartbreak & Honey is Satchel’s first release in fourteen years (with the exception of a 2005 release that featured previously unreleased songs by both Satchel and Brad (cleverly titled Brad vs Satchel) and it was greeted with much excitement when they started playing shows together earlier this year. Today’s song, “Seeing Stars,” has a nineties feel (alternating between power chord driven guitar work and a sweet chorus with drawn out notes) and harkens you back to the days of seeing shows at RCKNDY, Moe’s, and the Off Ramp, but parallels can be drawn to current bands like The Black Angels and Voyager One among others.
You can catch Satchel on August 13th at Neumos with Sky Cries Mary and Manoogah Hi. More info, classic show posters, and more on their website.
In the meantime, here’s a video from their ’94 debut album EDC called “Suffering”: