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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole is “Under the Gun” by Apex Manor.
From the debut The Year of Magical Drinking on Merge, Apex Manor’s “Under the Gun” was a launching point for Ross Flournoy, the main man -- and until recently, the only member of the band.
Following a move from his beloved LA to Pasadena, and after the amicable breakup of his former Merge label band The Broken West, a bout of writer’s block struck and it was an NPR blog that got his engine revving again. Carrie Brownstein’s column Monitor Mix challenged listeners to write, record, and submit a song in the span of one weekend. If what they always say is to write what you know when you’re feeling stuck, Flournoy took that task dead on and literally. Writing about the process of the task at hand, “Under the Gun” was the result.
Its heavy, forward-driving rhythm and the ear-tickling lead guitar licks together create a jaunty, pop-forward melody. Flournoy contributes healthy vocals with an ear for rock that doesn’t apologize for its less-than-perfect delivery, but beckons more of a fuzzy proto-punk haze that ties the pieces together and makes it catchy, memorable, and inductive of a motivational frenzy. Whatever the means -- boredom, a radio-blog challenge, or his simplistic approach to writing the song that worked for it all, sparked a cascade of inspiration and the end was a plethora of songs ripe for some proper recording sessions and demos, and a full-length album, to be released January 25th.
Lucky for us in Seattle, Apex Manor will be kicking off their small U.S. tour in our town on February 4 at the Tractor Tavern. They’ll be live on KEXP that same day! To follow are a select few other dates, which you can see on the Apex Manor website and MySpace page