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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters is “Sex with an X” by The Vaselines from their 2010 album of the same name on Sub Pop.
Scottish duo Eugene Kelly and Frances Mckee gained widespread recognition in the early 90s after Kurt Cobain developed a predilection for the band’s simple but energetic pop built around interminably catchy melodies, hooks, and vocal harmonies — Nirvana favorites “Molly’s Lips”, “Son of a Gun” and “Jesus Don’t Want me For a Sunbeam” were all Vaselines covers. After an extended hiatus, Kelly and McKee went back into the studio after a few successful reunion shows to record their second full-length album, nearly 20 years after their first, Dum Dum, was released. Fortunately, The Vaselines picked up right where they left off. Their new material is the same brand of high spirited, catchy, and simply pop that so many had fallen in love with back in the early 90s.
Sex with an X was released on September 14th and it’s clear that the Kelly and McKee aren’t trying to take their music in a new direction; they even hired on Dum Dum producer Jamie Watson to fill the same role on their “sophomore” effort. Of course, then, Sex with an X is filled with more of the same Vaselines goodness, including the title track and today’s Song of the Day “Sex with an X”. Kelly sings clearly and easily about nothing more than the basics of sex with an ex, with McKee’s vocal harmonies hovering underneath throughout: “Feels so good, it must be bad for me / Feels so good, it must be bad for me / Let do it, let’s do it again.” The music is similarly to the point, bubbling along and highlighted by a brief guitar solo that basically mimics the vocal progression. As a whole though, “Sex with an X”, both the song and the album, make up a refreshing trip back to The Vaselines as we’ve always known them. Change is not always a good thing.
The Vaselines are currently touring touring the U.S. and will be in Seattle for the City Arts Festival at Neumo’s on October 22. They will also be LIVE on KEXP that same day at 4PM. Check their MySpace page for other dates. For now, here’s a video of them playing “Molly Lips” in-studio at KEXP: