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 featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show Host Kevin Cole, is “I Don’t Believe You” by The Thermals from their latest release Personal Life available from Kill Rock Stars.
Songs about love are as old as the hills and yet there seems to be a never-ending supply of things to write about. For their fifth studio release, Portland-based power trio The Thermals focus on that ever inspiring topic in the aptly titled Personal Life coming out early next month. Though they are mostly known for tackling topics such as politics, religion, and death, a few songs about love and relationships inevitably eeked onto the effort, but Personal Life focuses entirely on the subject making it a shall we say concept album. The song titles are taken directly from things lovers have said or felt about each other and are at times antagonistic and optimistic “I’m Gonna Change Your Life,” Your Love Is So Strong,” and “You Changed My Life,” to “Never Listen to Me,” and today’s song “I Don’t Believe You.”
For Personal Life, The Thermals returned to the studio with Death Cab For Cutie guitarist-turned-producer Chris Walla who was an early supporter (not to mention producer) of The Thermals. Audiophiles will be pleased to note that this album was recorded live straight to tape to vinyl similar to their other Walla-produced 2004 release Fuckin’ A.
You can catch The Thermals at this year’s Bumbershoot Music Festival on the Broad Street Stage on Monday 9/6. Later this fall (October) they will be touring with KEXP faves Cymbals Eat Guitars across the country.
In the meantime, here’s The Thermals performing “We Were Sick” live at KEXP studios last year: