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 “Weekend” by Smith Westerns from their 2011 album Dye It Blonde on Fat Possum.
A rock trio out of Chicago made up of brothers Cullen and Cameron Omori and Max Kakacek, Smith Westerns were just in their junior year of high school when they started listening to MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular, but just a few years later, they were adding MGMT as one of the bands they’ve toured with.
Their self-titled debut might have had a scrappy “garage” quality to it, but their sophomore release, Dye It Blonde, has got the sheen of a band who believes in themselves. Rather than the quality of thrown together basement recordings, which might work for some other bands, and work well, Smith Westerns wanted to go for something less dated, and something that would stand out more. “Weekend” truly does stand out with its big sound and poppy guitar hooks, and with subtleties like chimes and multi-layered instrumentation buried amongst all the noise and glee, seeps in an ounce of maturity. The jaunty, jollity of their Beatles, Bowie, T.Rex-influenced sound leaves more of a warm spot in my soul, than the cynical obviousness less talented bands might evoke.
After playing a slew of supporting dates to audiences who may have enjoyed their sound, but nevertheless weren’t there to see Smith Westerns, they now get a headlining tour of their own in support of the new album. You can catch them real soon in Seattle at the Crocodile on February 17 — and live on KEXP that same day! For various other dates and venues, check out their MySpace page. Now, to leave you with a video of today’s song: