Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song a 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 “Dark Passenger” by Teeel from the 2011 album Amulet on Moongadget.
Teeel, a.k.a. Jim Smith, is a California-born New Jersey raised DJ/producer/artists who has a serious passion for late 80’s electronic music and dreamy new wave pop. Upon initial listen, immediately evident are those fantastic 80’s synths; no doubt Jim Smith did a fair amount of New Order listening growing up. But retro isn’t the only name of the game; listeners of today’s featured song, “Dark Passenger”, are sure to hear the New Order influence, but they’re just as likely to think of electronic contemporaries like The XX and chill-wave crafters like Washed Out and Toro Y Moi. In his own bio, Jim credits his inspiration to marathon movie watching and being an obsessive gear head. That’s obvious from some of the dreamy and sophisticated soundscapes he’s able to create on his debut album, Amulet. If you have a pension for this type of European/electro dream-pop, you need to look no further than Teeel. This is an artist we’ll be paying close attention to.