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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Higher Palms” by My Best Fiend from the 2012 album In Ghostlike Fading on Warp.
My Best Fiend is the latest entry to the Warp Records family, and with words like “dreamy” and “hypnotic” used to describe their sound, they seem like a nice distraction from many of their beat-driven fellow roster mates. Named for a Werner Herzog directed documentary about the actor Klaus Kinski, the Brooklyn five-piece scores soundtracks of sonic textures on their nine-track debut, In Ghostlike Fading, whose songs mix atmospheric keyboards, gritty guitars, and amazing lead vocals overtop music that’s hushed at one moment, and bold at the next. A lo-fi mix of this dynamic package completes the sound. Today’s featured song, “Higher Plains,” is the opening track on the new album and features a distinct Rhodes piano that gives it a great retro feel, just as the mix of other instrumentations makes it seem relevant today. In a recent interview, frontman Frederick Coldwell said of the “Higher Palms”:
Lyrically, the song is built around a sense hopeful of defiance, as the chorus declares that the ‘angels’ and ‘sun’ will be eventually rendered irrelevant, like some purposeful sense of Hubis. The opening line is meant to illustrate the feeling of being supervised, of your actions being overseen, and the suspense of an impending collapse, a vase wobbling on a shelf, about to topple, when actually the truth of the matter is that all things will settle. All things will endure.
This sounds a lot like the way music should be made.
Connect with the band on their Facebook and Tumblr pages or their website. Unfortunately, the only tour dates scheduled are in Europe, but for now, at least, you can listen to another new song, “Cracking Eggs,” here: