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. Today’s song featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters is “Woods” by The Rosebuds from their forthcoming 2011 album Loud Planes Fly Low on Merge.
Even among the rubble of their breakup since their last release, Life Like, Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard managed to stay married to the music and The Rosebuds itself. The indie rock couple had been successfully turning out albums since their debut, Make Out, and taking them in inventive new directions each time together as The Rosebuds. But when Crisp left their North Carolina home for Brooklyn, the reinvention and new direction turned outward. During the marital fallout, the band was on hiatus. During that time, Howard collaborated with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and perhaps experimentally dabbled in R&B.
Now back with Loud Planes Fly Low, Howard and Crisp are united with an outlet to explore what had gone wrong, like most songwriters and ex-lovers do, in an even more inventive way. The album is revealing and personal, to say the least. Some people would like to forget the past and turn their back on relationships that didn’t work, but despite having to deal with the emotions of a complicated relationship, the duo came around and committed to continuing the band’s life. Like most songwriters, The Rosebuds wallow in it, and make songs about it, and they happen to do it together, though soley as bandmates this time around.
Today’s featured song, “Woods,” emits cheerfulness and tension between the chimes and the driving rhythm of the keys. It all builds up to the chorus where Howard wails over the dense instrumentation and expansive sound. The upbeat pop dwarfs the dark lyrics, fighting against any doubts that The Rosebuds wouldn’t last.
Loud Planes Fly Low will be released next Tuesday, June 7th, and the band will soon follow it with a tour. They’ll be in Seattle on July 9th, at the Tractor Tavern. More tour dates are available on their website. For now, here’s an intimate recording of the title track to their 2008 album, Life Like, from Ivan’s home Raleigh, NC: