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 “So Long” by Thieving Irons from the forthcoming self-released album Behold, This Dreamer!.
Thieving Irons is the solo project from Nate Martinez, a name KEXP listeners might recognize as belonging to a part of station-favorite wayward indie rockers Pela. 2010 saw the release of The Midnight Hum, his debut under the new moniker, and it was instantly clear that this was not the arena-bound anthemic rock of his former group. Thieving Irons is conceptually more focused on melody and structure than sing-along choruses, and Martinez has ably stepped into the role of frontman and principle songwriter. New album Behold, This Dreamer! expands on the sonic palette established in Hum, forming dense textures that blend electric guitar picking, swirling analog synths, lo-fi percussion and moody bass.
Today’s song “So Long” begins with a My Bloody Valentine-style drumroll a la “Only Shallow,” before the rich atmospherics of the track kick in, with fuzzy strummed guitars and an instantly catchy chorus. The song almost has a western folky feel, perfectly suited for the brisk fall weather. The wanderer aspect of Pela is still present, but these aren’t songs that are trying to light the world on fire. Thieving Irons is much more humble and ultimately more engaging on a personal level. When the inevitable FX-pedal-laden breakdown occurs, it’s hard not to feel like it’s happening right next to you.
Currently, Thieving Irons has no planned Seattle dates, but you should keep an eye on the band’s website, where you can also listen to more songs. Right now, check out this acoustic performance of album track “Gentle Hands”: