Song of the Day: Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter – Pleasuring the Divine

photo by Hilary Harris

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Pleasuring the Divine” by Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter from their latest album Marble Son, available from Station Grey Records.

Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter – Pleasuring the Divine (MP3)

Any successful band needs to strike the right balance between moving forward musically and retaining those intangible elements that attracted their fans to them in the first place. Seattle-based Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter just released their fourth full-length album, Marble Son, on their own imprint label, Station Grey, earlier this week, and it marks a bold turn from the alt-country/folk found on previous efforts. Though darker themes have always been present in her lyrics, these songs are heavier both in theme and musicality and seem to be tangled up somewhere between country and psych rock. This shouldn’t be a surprise to those who have followed her career for some time and noted recent collaborations and tours with bands part of the art metal movement surrounding LA label Southern Lord records, especially her collaboration with Sunn O)))/Boris on “Alter” which opened up a wider audience for this songstress.

But, the change on this new record isn’t all about Jesse. Long-time collaborator and co-founder Phil Wandscher co-produced the album with Jesse and co-wrote more of the music on this record than ever before, and on it he taps into that secret spot of you that wants more. Wandscher unleashes blazing guitar work on songs like today’s Song of the Day, “Pleasuring the Divine,” which takes listeners on a roller coaster ride between a sonic frenzy and cool, calm beauty to compliment Sykes’ powerful voice.

Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter just played their CD release show last night at Showbox at the Market with The Sadies, who will be sharing a bill with them for a few more West Coast dates this month. But never fear, if you missed them yesterday, you can check them out at a FREE in-store performance at Easy Street Records in Queen Anne on 8/21 or listen to their recent KEXP in-studio from our Live Performances archive. More dates and info can be found on their website.

We rushed this out just for you. Here they are playing “Come to Mary” from their in-studio session a few days ago:

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