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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Teach My Heart” by Charles Leo Gebhardt IV, from the 2011 album Begin Again on GGNZLA.
Outside of Unnatural Helpers, Seattle native Charles Leo Gebhardt IV has been fairly quiet since his 2008 solo release, Unfaithful. Fortunately, 2011 sees the DIY rocker return to form with Begin Again, a release that retains the lo-fi, raw sensibilities of his debut while bumping up the production value. Gebhardt effortlessly weaves together rockabilly, folk, and pop influences into a release that’s rocking with a hint of twang.
Begin Again is a record of concise statements — rarely do tracks venture past the 3-minute mark — but Gebhardt knows that his tunes pack enough hooks and catchy refrains as to keep listeners wanting more. Nowhere is this more evident than “Teach My Heart,” a short stomper that packs in electric guitars, bass, and drums into an intimate and moving combination. But lest you think that Begin Again is yet another melancholy anti-folk record, it’s Gebhardt’s unwavering cheerfulness and playful innuendo that keep him out of the bargain bin.
Currently, there are no shows scheduled on Gebhardt’s MySpace page, but keep checking it for future dates. Below, catch a glimpse of Gebhardt’s lighthearted attitude and magnetic stage presence from this fan video taken at the Tractor Tavern: