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 tracks, 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 the title track to the 2011 album I Am the Assassin by Dag för Dag from the 2011 album Boo on Ceremony Recordings.
American siblings Jacob and Sarah Snavely have lived in many different cities across the world, most often separate from each other, but the two finally connected in London just a few years ago, after sharing mixtapes by mail, and started writing music together. However, it wasn’t until the two moved to Stockholm, Sweden, that their band was born. Meaning “day by day” in Swedish and sounding a bit like “dog for dog” in English, Dag för Dag just released its official full-length debut, Boo, a mostly moody collection of songs that draw comparisons to The Raveonettes, The Jesus & Mary Chain, PJ Harvey, and a lot of other bands that you’d typically wear black to go see if they were playing in a club nearby. That’s not to say the music is bleak or slow — on the contrary, songs like “Ring Me, Elise” and today’s featured song, “I Am the Assassin” are downright rocking — but the same sort of tempestuousness that comes from examined inner turmoil permeates the album.
The songs they’ve collected are varied enough to be interesting, thanks to Jacob and Sarah distinct vocal styles: Jacob’s talk-singing turns “Silence As The Verb” into something like Wall of Voodoo meets Joy Division, while Sarah’s reverb-rich voice recalls early 4AD and tends to climax with a Harvey-esque wail, as on “Seven Stories.” Today’s featured song is admittedly one of the shortest on Boo, but it’s also one of the most intense due mostly to its propulsive drumming and to Sarah’s brashly defiant vocals.
Dag för Dag has no upcoming shows listed on their website, Facebook or MySpace pages, but keep checking back as the duo’s travels are bound to bring them Stateside again. For now, here are two videos, the first being a sort of promo piece and narrative about the band and the second, the official video for “Hands & Knees,” another song from Dag för Dag’s debut album: