Song of the Day: Weekend – Youth Haunts

photo by Marina Forte

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 tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday, we offer songs by locals artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Youth Haunts” by Weekend from their 2010 album Sports on Slumberland Records.

Weekend – Youth Haunts (MP3)

Three-piece San Francisco band Weekend was formed in 2009, and their debut LP, Sports, which was released earlier this month, has been gathering praise from outlets all over the nation. As the title of today’s Song of the Day might suggest, Weekend’s music can be characterized as haunting noise rock, most all of their songs featuring ambient, ever-present distortion that brings to mind bands such as My Bloody Valentine.

Today’s Song of the Day, “Youth Haunts,” is a perfect exemplar of Weekend’s sound and Sports as a whole. The song begins with percolating waves of distortion before exploding into motion with driving, tom-heavy drums, a simple but similarly driving two-note bass line, and occasional jolting paroxysms of heavily distorted guitar. The heart of the song, however, is singer Shaun Durkan’s muffled, faraway vocals, which lend it a vulnerability reminiscent of Joy Division. The song only increases in intensity as it progresses, eventually culminating with ratcheted-up, more freewheeling drums and Durkan’s voice elongating into a string of desolate wails. The intensity never lets up, there is no comedown, and the song ends abruptly, perhaps for no other reason than Durkan running out of breath.

Weekend was just in town about two weeks ago at the Vera Project. Tonight, they’re playing in Allston, MA, and still have a few shows left this week on the East Coast. Check their upcoming show dates and listen to other tracks off Sports on their MySpace page. Hopefully, they’ll be back again soon. Until then, here they are playing at a San Francisco house party last January:

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