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 Annexation of Puerto Rico” by Pepper Rabbit from the 2011 album Red Velvet Snow Ball on Kanine Records.
I think it’s safe to say that when most people see the name “The Annexation of Puerto Rico,” they think not of the United States becoming a colonial power following the Spanish American War, but of the game-winning play at the end of the 1994 Rick Moranis family comedy Little Giants...or maybe that’s just me? One way or another, the name is associated with triumph, and hopefully the trend will continue for indie rock duo Pepper Rabbit, the latest to tie their name to the phrase. Less than a year after the release of their debut album Beauregard, they have come out with a sophomore effort. Entitled Red Velvet Snow Ball after a flavor of snow cone, one of the album’s standout tracks - and today’s featured song - happens to be called, yes, “The Annexation of Puerto Rico.”
Comprised of Xavier Singh and Luc Laurnet, Pepper Rabbit came together in New Orleans to record Beuregard, but have since relocated to Los Angeles. Though they typically tour with New Orleans musician Jonathan Allen, the group records as a duo, with both Singh and Laurent playing a variety of instruments as well as looping significantly. The oddly juxtaposed words of the title of their new album Red Velvet Snow Ball can serve as a appropriate metaphor for their music: they are somehow able to cohere a variety of seemingly unrelated instruments and effects, along with Singh’s tinny voice, into mellifluous, tender, and incredibly affecting indie pop. If the Red Velvet Snow Ball snow cone tastes anything like the album sounds, we might have to figure out where we can get our hands on one.
Pepper Rabbit are currently on tour in support of Red Velvet Snow Ball and will be coming through Seattle on September 24, when they’ll be playing the Sunset Tavern in Ballard. For more tour info, visit their artist page on Kanine Records’ website. To tide us over until their show at the Sunset, here they are playing their song “Red Wine” live at KEXP in 2010: