Song of the Day: Lemolo – Whale Song

photo by James Bailey

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. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Whale Song” by Lemolo from their self-released effort The Singles Record.

Lemolo – Whale Song (MP3)

It’s been a long dark week of battling the elements and now it’s time to close your eyes, take a deep breath and take in the sparse, sweet melodies from the Seattle duo Lemolo. Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox are rapidly gaining attention from their latest release and seem to be in that magical time between obscurity and The Head and the Heart (who they’re playing with tonight) when band and new fans are so excited to discover each other’s existence. Grandall’s vocals are haunting and evoke a tinge of not sadness per se, but of longing which is not always easy to pull off.

She recently shared some of her inspiration for “Whale Song” and how Lemolo got started:

How did you guys come up with your name? Is that a hometown reference?

Lemolo is named after Lemolo Shore Drive in our hometown of Poulsbo, one of our favorite roads of all time. It is a beautiful quiet street that follows along the shore of Liberty Bay. The road has a lot of personal memories attached to it, so we thought it would be fitting for a band name. Then, after some research, we also found out that it means “wild and untamed” in Chinook Jargon, which we thought was kind of neat.

How did you and Kendra meet?

Kendra and I grew up in the same town, but we didn’t meet until four summers ago when we worked as sea kayaking instructors together. We had a very memorable first summer as friends… lots of camping, kayaking, bonfires and dance parties. We started playing music together two years ago when we were roommates in college. We entered Seattle University’s Battle of the Bands competition with two other friends, and won second place after only practicing together for two weeks in my tiny bedroom! We had so much fun and felt inspired to see where music would take us after that. I feel really lucky to have a friend like Kendra.

What can you tell me about “Whale Song?”

Kendra and I wrote “Whale Song” last spring, and it was written for my six year old neighbor friend, Isabella. I kind of see it as an anthem for childhood. It was inspired by a combination of my own experiences feeling like a kid, childhood memories and my experiences with Isabella. She is a free spirit, and spending time with her is a good reminder not to take things too seriously.

What’s next for Lemolo?

We have a lot of exciting plans for the coming year! We are kicking off 2011 with a show at Neumos’ opening for The Head and the Heart this Friday, January 14th. In two weeks, we will be filming a music video for “Open Air” (the accompanying track to “Whale Song” on our latest release, The Singles Record) with our friend James Bailey. On February 24th, we will be playing at the High Dive with Garage Voice and Washington Mile. We want to continue playing as many shows as we can, especially outside of Seattle. We are also looking at recording either an EP or full length album later this year, perhaps this spring. We have a lot of songs that aren’t recorded yet, so we are really looking forward to that. We are also in the process of writing a lot of new songs, which is something we are continually working on and enjoying. Then, we are hopefully topping it all off with a tour of some sort later this summer or fall.

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you can catch Lemolo TONIGHT at the SOLD OUT show with The Head and The Heart at Neumo’s. The rest of us will have to wait until Feb 24th to see them at the High Dive with Garage Voice and Washington Mile. You can find more info on their MySpace page and their website.

In the meantime, check out this live video of “Beautiful Night”:

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  1. Mark
    Posted January 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    thanks for putting me on to these girls. they are quality for sure.


  2. Jess
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely wonderful!

  3. Tracy
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    Fantastic video- perfect singing (plaintive & lovely voice), beat, mood…They nailed it.

    I love a female drummer, too. I knew Karen Carpenter couldn’t be the only one! ;)

    Good job, ladies- you’re simply brilliant. If you ever get to Perth, Western, AU- I’d love to see you at a nice, small venue somewhere.


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