Song of the Day: The Kills – DNA

photo by Shawn Brackbill

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “DNA” by The Kills from the 2011 album Blood Pressures on Domino Record Co.

The Kills – DNA (MP3)

VV and Hotel are back! Or, as they’re probably better known, The Kills, a.k.a. Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince. Now on their fourth album, Blood Pressures, the duo maintain their dangerously seductive combination of garage rock, blues, and post punk tendencies. Although Mosshart does perform with Jack White in her other project, The Dead Weather, she and Hince separate themselves distinctly from the ‘Stripes not only in their wider ranging sound and instrumentation but also in the fact that neither seems to take the forefront for long. The two share vocals on most tracks, and while Mosshart’s voice may be alluring to some listeners, Hince’s wrong-side-of-the-tracks guitarwork is enticing others. Also setting the duo apart is their continued dependence on a drum machine. For the new album, Hince took his time at the desolately located Key Club Recording Studio in Benton Harbor, Michigan, experimenting and getting the electronic rhythms just right, freeing the pair to focus on their intoxicating performance.

Compared to their previous album, 2008’s Midnight Boom, Blood Pressures is a bit of a darker album, at least relatively. Hince and Mosshart have always struck at the heart from darkness, but the new album is less concerned with potential pop hits and more at maintaining a particular mood. That’s not to say the album doesn’t rock — this is The Kills, after all. “Nail In My Coffin” is probably the most resembling a high speed car crash, but even the slower numbers, like their first single, “Satellite,” smolder with with a molten intensity. Today’s featured song, “DNA,” is of the latter variety, with lyrics written by Hince but sung almost exclusively by Mosshart. The hypnotic repetition of the click track and Jamie’s scuzzed out riffs bring out some of the most intense singing Mosshart has done on any album.

The Kills are about to begin a U.S. leg of their tour starting this Friday in San Diego. They’ll be in Seattle at the Showbox on May 9. Check out their website, Facebook and MySpace pages for details and more dates, as well as more music. For now, here’s the official video of “Satellite”:

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