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 “Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood” by Wildbirds & Peacedrums from the 2010 album Rivers on The Control Group.
Despite its distinctively hippie sounding name Wildbirds & Peacedrums is more avante-garde experimental jazz than psychedelic free love. Present day husband and wife Andreas Werliin, and Mariam Wallentin first met while studying musical improvisation at the University of Gothenburg and soon after released their first two LP’s of sparsely mixed up samples and drum beats, Heartcore and The Snake, to hugely favorable reviews. In 2007, Werliin and Walentin were awarded with Årets Jazz i Sverige, Swedish Jazz Act of the Year, which eventually led to their first tour of America playing alongside big time undergrounders like Bonnie Prince Billy, Deerhoof and St. Vincent. The meat and potatoes of Wildbirds & Peacedrums are Mariam’s ethereal vocals and Andreas’s spontaneously vibrant drumming. While I am no hippie, I do have to warn you that Wildbirds & Peacedrums can best be described as other-worldy, spiritual, trippy, spacey, new-agey and experimental.
Today’s Song of the Day, “Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood,” comes from the duo’s recent pairing of EP’s Retina and Iris (all three on The Control Group). While the two EP’s stood well on their own, together they form a lengthier experience that runs the gamut of emotions. Even though it seems like Wallentin is singing in English, no matter how hard I try and can’t decipher the lyrics. Perhaps it’s better to just hear as another wind-powered instrument, complimenting Werliin’s deceptively primitive sounding percussion. If you’re the sort of listener who gravitates toward music that is unpredictably emotional, free-flowing, and at times hauntingly beautiful, Wildbirds & Peacedrums might be just what the doctor ordered.
The band is currently not touring the U.S., but recently they have been performing with choirs around the world, with which they are playing also for their two upcoming shows, in Reykjavik and in London. Check their MySpace page for details. For now, here’s their video for today’s Song of the Day: