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 “Holdin’ On To Black Metal” by My Morning Jacket from their 2011 album Circuital on ATO Records.
My Morning Jacket front man Jim James (or Yim Yames, if you prefer, as he often does) has been involved in a number of different projects over the years. In addition to lending his angelic voice, guitar playing, and leading man showmanship to MMJ, he has released solo material, a George Harrison tribute album, and along with M. Ward and Conor Oberst he formed the super group Monsters of Folk. Though he is dynamic enough to effectively suffuse his talents across the modern rock landscape, he’s never as good as he is with Tom Blankenship on bass, Bo Koster on keys, Carl Broemel on guitar, and wild man Patrick Hallahan on the drums. My Morning Jacket has held this lineup since 2004, and the result is one of the tightest and most adored bands playing music today – just check out one of their live shows and you’ll know what I mean.
Circuital, the band’s sixth full-length release and first since 2008’s Evil Urges, will be released May 31 and sees MMJ playing within their comfort zone and exhibiting more of the classic MMJ sound that helped them gain such a devoted following over the course the past decade. It was recorded in their home state of Kentucky under the direction of producer Tucker Martine, who brings the band back to it’s roots and lets James’ crystalline voice soar in familiar fashion. Today’s featured song, “Holdin’ On To Black Metal” relies a catchy Blakenship bass line and good deal of vocal theatrics, including layered vocals, plenty of harmonizing, and even a chorus of children echoing James’ during the chorus.
My Morning Jacket will begin touring in support of their new release later this month, and will be playing in Seattle at The Paramount on June 26. For a complete tour schedule, click here. For more information on My Morning Jacket and Circuital, visit the band’s website here. While we’re waiting for them to come through Seattle, here’s their video for “Off The Record,” from 2005’s Z: