Song of the Day: Gold Leaves – The Ornament

photo by Kyle Johnson

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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “The Ornament” by Gold Leaves, the title track to their forthcoming debut album on Hardly Art.

Gold Leaves – The Ornament (MP3)

You might recognize the voice from today’s song as Grant Olsen, one half of Arthur & Yu, a duo that charmed the hearts and ears of KEXP listeners with their 2007 release In Camera. Many folks have been waiting patiently for a follow up from them, but aside from a few solo performances by Mr. Olsen, (who also had a brief stint in Magic Mtns) over the years, things have been quiet on that front until Hardly Art announced they had welcomed Gold Leaves into the fold.

Though Olsen admits to taking a few different directions and scrapping unfinished albums, you’d never know it by listening to his first solo-ish album — he had a partner in crime in Jason Quever (Papercuts) who acted as co-producer, engineer, and played on the album, and features backing vocals by Thao Ngyuen (Thao and the Get Down Stay Down), Amy Blaschke, and members of The Moondoggies, and percussion by Ben McConnell (Beach House). Everything from the heartbeat rhythms to the cinematic swells of melodies to Olsen’s warm inviting voice give you the feeling the songs were conjured there for you. And it’s no wonder, as Olsen wanted these songs to be more intimate, a way for him to share personal reflections on the life he’s experienced these past four years. Today’s featured song, the title track from the forthcoming album, retains the essential elements of what you loved about Arthur & Yu but is delivered in a way that makes you feel he’s sitting across the table from you.

You can catch Gold Leaves when KEXP and Seattle Center present Concerts at the Mural on 8/12 with Seapony and Math & Physics Club (and it’s FREE!). You should also save the date for their release party: 9/1 at The Crocodile with Joseph Giant and Kevin Murphy. For more info and dates, check out their Facebook page.

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