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 independent recordings from 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 Fistful of Mercy with “Fistful of Mercy” from their 2010 debut As I Call You Down on Hot Records.
Three guys, three days, three songs each. Going into Carriage House Studios in Los Angeles’ Silverlake neighborhood, Joseph Arthur, Dhani Harrison, and Ben Harper, each with their own musical clout to bring to the table, had no idea what to expect and not a single song or melody written. With three days already booked, they hunkered down and wrote and recorded As I Call You Down. By rationing out songwriting responsibilities and being each other’s “lyric police” a la Travelin’ Wilburys, it thus launched the latest in supergroup collaborations.
The concentrated, nose-to-the-grindstone songwriting work that went into this album emanates from each tone. “Fistful of Mercy” is laden with rich vocals, partly from all members singing together, and Harper’s falsettos streaming across the sonic landscape. Jessy Green’s violin lends another melodic layer to the bucolic and soothing. Closing with an building intensity that effortlessly bows out while lingering, like a recurring theme that may sneak right back into the foreground.
The live act is still very green — KEXP’s in studio last month was only their third live performance together. You’ll be able to catch more of them while on tour. Find a venue near you on their newly minted MySpace page, and check out the video below of their performance of today’s song in our studio: