The summer I turned 16, I spent many afternoons driving aimlessly, just happy to be behind the wheel. I’d often end up at Twist & Shout, a record store near downtown Denver, where I’d wander between listening stations for hours. Drive. Listen. Repeat.
At the record store, I’d rifle through the FREE bin, searching for promo tapes or posters. It was from this box near the exit that I snagged a cassette of the title single from Spiritualized’s 1997 album, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.
I’d never heard of the British space pop outfit, but I was instantly swept up in the dreamy refrain. I didn’t want it to end. And... it didn’t. There was no B-side! The same song was featured on both sides of the tape, and I would let it flip, uninterrupted, for weeks. There was something so satisfying about looping myself into the song, listening over and over. And over. And over...
My tendency to fixate on a single song hasn’t faded in adulthood. One of my latest monogamous obsessions has actually lasted several years. Since KEXP’s team of curators scoured Iceland’s living rooms and practice spaces for the best emerging talent during 2010’s Iceland Airwaves Festival, I’ve watched one video in particular nearly every day.
The video of this intimate performance of “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men has been viewed more than 682,000 times on KEXP’s YouTube channel, and approximately 681,000 of those views are mine. Okay, not really... in the years since this recording, Of Monsters and Men have found a large and devoted audience. They have collected prestigious awards, released their full-length album to much acclaim, and have been selling out venues across the US. But it all started in their living room, and KEXP was there, connecting these talented artists with a worldwide audience, myself included.
As you listen to the Spring Membership Drive this week, think about the songs you’ve discovered listening to KEXP. I know that because of this amazing resource, I don’t need to go digging through trash bins at record stores to discover new music—I’m certain that I’ll find my next favorite song through KEXP.
To make your gift to support musical discovery, visit KEXP.ORG/Donate.