Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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. Today’s selection, featured on The Afternoon Show With Kevin Cole is “Three Days” by Phil Wilson from his 2010 release God Bless Jim Kennedy on Slumberland Records.
There must be countless Phil Wilsons in this world, but pare it down and we discover the songwriter and singer for the mid-80’s English pop group The June Brides. A brief three year career yielded no major label bites and The June Brides broke up, but not without leaving trace influence on the likes of Belle and Sebastian and Manic Street Preachers. Wilson ventured out on his own solo career, but after a spell of disappointment retired from the music industry. Wilson kept quiet until 2007 when the wheels started turning again. After performing a one-off reunion with The June Brides, he reentered the music scene releasing a solo EP followed by the latest, and first full-length from the man in nearly 20 years.
Some might say “Three Days” is reminiscent of The June Brides’ work with its upbeat tempo and powerpop folk twinge — and rightfully so because several tracks on the album employ former members of Wilson’s former outfit, ex-June Brides Jon Hunter and Frank Sweney (on trumpet and viola respectively), but the core trio consists of Wilson with Arash Torabi on bass and Andy Fonda on drums. The song charges forward and kicks off with a Spanish flair featuring the yearning trumpet paired with a flamenco-influenced guitar melody and a charging rhythm. With the vocals wavering on “what if we never try” again and again, this tune lays out a path perhaps toward some sort of doomed destiny, but the song withdraws with ease, implying it to be a small component of a bigger picture, one we can hope spells out a long continuation of Wilson’s career.
Considering the scarcity of Wilson’s current tour status — the one show listed on his MySpace page has just been canceled — take a peek at a video of today’s song of the day performed live at The Hippo in Plymouth, UK, for a taste of what it will be like when he eventually makes it to the States: