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 offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Break Up” by Kelli Scarr from the 2010 album Piece on Silence Breaks.
There are many reasons to know this Wednesday’s featured Song of the Day artist — from her time with indie darlings Moonraker, to her collaboration and touring with Moby, to her Emmy-nominated compositions for HBO’s In a Dream. Her artistic accomplishments are, like her voice, impossible to ignore. Having grown up in Folsom, CA, Ms. Scarr infuses her own compositions with the kind of solitude and introspection that hangs in the air of a prison town. Last month, she released her first solo LP, entitled Piece, for fledgling Brooklyn label Silence Breaks Records. Named early on as a way to visualize a moment in time, Piece is Scarr’s way of guiding herself back through the last several years of life. In songs like “Break Up,” we hear soulful piano filled country that despite its easy digestion never feels impersonal or heavy handed. These are lo-fi stories of relationships gone awry from the external pressures life. These are hushed songs about childbirth and reflections on one’s own youth. These are songs carefully done by a woman who has seen and done a lot in the last few years. In a word, Piece is catharsis for Scarr. With these melodies, she can give order to the events that once felt so terribly chaotic. The genius of it, though, lies in Ms. Scarr’s ability to hang the listener on his seat, wondering what images from his own life her next lyric might conjure.
Since she recently finished a tour with The Shivers, there are no upcoming performances scheduled as of yet on Kelli Scarr’s MySpace page, but hopefully the release and impending success of her new album will spark another round on the road. For now, here she is singing “Pale Horses” with Moby the last time he was live at KEXP: