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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Halo” by Disappears from the 2011 album Guider on Kranky.
On Guider, their second full-length release in as many years (Lux was released in 2010), Chicago foursome Disappears settle into a droning groove of reverb-washed punk that comes about as naturally to the band as the band naturally came together. The group formed when lead man Brian Case was in between projects and making some recordings with Graeme Gibson. Gibson brought Jonathan van Herik into the mix, and van Herick brought Damon Carruesco and before they knew it, they had a band and were putting out 7″ singles over the internet. After signing to Touch & Go and playing at their SXSW showcase in 2009, they released their debut full-length Lux on Kranky a year later.
As for the music on Guider coming together naturally, the band recorded all but on of the six tracks on the album in one take. That good enough for you? The album is full of hypnotic grooves of distortion and reverb, punctuated by Case’s shout-y, punk-inspired vocals, and it’s not hard to imagine Disappears locking in and churning it out in the studio. Today’s featured song is no exception. It gets started quickly, and seems right on the edge of exploding into a cacophonous mess of distortion and reverb for its entire 3:54. “Halo” holds true to the groove, however, only experiencing a few brief tremors of cymbal crashing and Case’s voice expanding to fall in line with the drone of the other instruments before returning to what’s familiar.
Disappears current touring schedule sees them in Europe until the end of May. Let’s hope an America tour will follow soon after. While we’re waiting, here’s some quality home video of them playing “Halo” live in Philadelphia last year: