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 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 “Oh, Naoko” by Sun Airway from their 2010 album Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier on Dead Oceans.
Philadelphia duo Sun Airway formed when Jon Barthmus and Patrick Marceill of The A-Sides decided to unstrap their guitars and go for, as Barthmus puts it, a more “pristine” sound, using nothing but drum machines, synths, and other electronic instrumentation. After The A-Sides split up, Barthmus recruited Marceill to form the new project and in late 2008 they began recording several songs Barthmus had already written. It took nearly two years, but their debut full-length Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier was finally released last Tuesday has been receiving glowing reviews.
It’s hard to avoid comparing Sun Airway to Animal Collective when you hear their sparkling electronic melodies, but Barthmus is a talented songwriter in his own right, and his vocals are truly unique. Despite the airy energy of their songs and the style of indie pop they play in general, Barthmus sings with an effortless, lazy nonchalance, almost mumbling as one line tumbles into the next. Today’s Song of the Day, “Oh Naoko” exemplifies his style perfectly – after a lightweight synth intro, the drum machine kicks in, followed by line after line of Barthmus’ delightful lyrics.
Sun Airway will be playing at The Crocodile this Tuesday, November 2nd, and can also be heard live on KEXP’s airwaves a day later on the November 3rd at noon. Visit their website for more info and to hear some of the songs from Nocturne of the Exploded Crystal Chandelier. Here’s there recently released video for “Put the Days Away”: