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. This week we’re featuring bands playing at this year’s CMJ Music Festival in New York City, where KEXP will host a series of intimate live performances in the lobby of the Ace Hotel New York, sponsored by Toyota Free Yr Radio. Today’s selection is “Headlong into the Abyss” by We Are Augustines from the 2011 album Rise Ye Sunken Ships on Oxcart Records.
Billy McCarthy and Eric Sanderson are the driving force behind Brooklyn, New York’s We Are Augustines. You may be more familiar with them as one of KEXP favorite bands - Pela, which achieved significant success with their debut (and only) album Anytown Graffiti before splitting. With We Are Augustines, much of the material on their debut album Rise Ye Sunken Ships was written and recorded when Pela still existed – documenting perhaps some of Billy McCarthy’s most traumatic periods of life. Coming out the other side, it’s clear the passion left over from Pela has found a new home and a new (yet comfortably familiar) sound. McCarthy talks about our featured song “Headlong into the Abyss” as:
“A story about my brother in a car and running from cops. It’s a refusal to comply with doctors, police and the dregs of small-town life. Sometimes pills kill the spirit, and often the individual is very aware of that fact. The song seeks to envision the moments of exhilaration at taking a stand against authority and driving hard and fast away from one’s fate“.
We Are Augustines perform live on KEXP from the Ace Hotel tomorrow, Wednesday, October 18, at 9:30am PDT / 12:30pm EDT. Find out more information about KEXP’s broadcast here and read more about the band here.
For now, here’s their new video for “Book of James”: