Song of the Day: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band – Leaving Trails

photo by Jim Bennett

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 Midday Show Host Cheryl Waters, is “Leaving Trails” by Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band from their latest album Where the Messengers Meet available from Dead Oceans.

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band – Leaving Trails (MP3)

Seattle’s Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band are back with their second full-length release and are seemingly everywhere all at once. From our own studios where they did an awesome on-air performance yesterday, to the blogosphere (check out Seattle Weekly’s in-depth article about MSHVB’s 15-year-old drummer Marshall Verdoes who shared his thoughts of life and adolescence on the road), to their involvement with the ultra-hip film Grassroots being filmed here in Seattle. Given their track record of generating a well-deserved buzz it’s not surprising. But what is new, is the direction they are taking with their music. Whether it’s the departure of their guitarist Matthew Dammer, the experience they gleaned on the never-ending touring in support of their last record, or just the natural progression of the band’s tastes and style the new album is more layered and complex (a la Arcade Fire) than angsty and anthemic (Modest Mouse). Today’s song “Leaving Trails” is more textured underneath Benjamin Verdoes’ always compelling guitar work.

You can catch MSHVB tonight at the final KEXP Mural Concert with The Head and the Heart and Yuni in Taxco. It’s their last local show for awhile. They will be hitting the road with David Bazan, Dead Confederate, and Portugal The Man on their respective tours throughout September and October. A full tour schedule can be found on their MySpace page.

In the meantime, here’s MSHVB last year performing “En Fuego” live in the KEXP studios:

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