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 “Falling” by El Ten Eleven from the 2010 album It’s Still Like A Secret on Fake Record Label.
When L.A.’s El Ten Eleven produced their fourth and most recent LP, It’s Still Like a Secret, they took audience participation in the project to a whole new level: fans were asked to contribute financially to help get the album finished and offered, depending on the size of the gift, a signed CD copy, producer credit, lunch with the band, an hour-long helicopter ride, and even the opportunity to punch drummer Tim Fogarty in the face -- with a properly fitted boxing glove, of course! The band’s music, though, will hardly inspire you to violence. The duo of Fogarty and Kristian Dunn on double neck guitar/bass combo is far more likely to get you shaking your rump and hugging any stranger dancing beside you. Through a complicated series of looping pedals, a mix of analog and electronic sounds, and sheer musical wizardry (check out the technique on their last visit to KEXP here), El Ten Eleven create intricately layered yet ultimately groovy instrumental jams. It’s math rock for the dancefloor!
Last year, their single “Jumping Frenchmen of Maine” was a big hit with KEXP listeners, and no doubt tunes from their latest album will have a similar impact. Today’s featured song, “Falling,” builds more glacially than the bouncy “Frenchmen,” but it doesn’t take long for the listener to be elevated to Mogwai-ish grandeur, given a quick look around from the majesty of that height, and then plunged back down to earth. It’s like one of Kristian’s helicopter rides in convenient sonic form.
The band just wrapped up a two-month tour this fall, but starting in January they’ll be back on the road following up their new album. For updates, check their website and Facebook page. And they will soon release an official video for today’s featured song (in January), but for now here’s the video for “The Sycophants are Coming! The Sycophants are Coming!”: