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. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Dancing on TV” by Bad Veins from the 2012 album The Mess We’ve Made on Modern Outsider Records.
Cincinnati’s Benjamin Davis and Sebastien Schultz have been playing together since 2006, and this year, they are finally getting some of the credit they deserve. While their 2009 self-titled release was praised by those who heard it, the record went under the radar for most. The single from that release, “Gold and Warm,” made its way onto the soundtrack for the superhero film Chronicle this year. Now, Bad Veins have a great new record out complete with the great single “Dancing on TV.”
“Dancing on TV” opens with harmonizing strings going back and forth with a Atari-esque synthesizer. In the same way, Davis combines classic songwriting talent with a fresh styling and sound to make a great pop song. It’s a great guise for a clever song about how media attention skews relationship and intention. “I love you but you don’t love me. You love people dancing on TV,” Davis sings. In this way, “Dancing on TV” is a contemplative single, that at first glance may seem typical. But if you dive into Davis’s lyrics and the emotional motive behind it, the song is entirely fitting for itself and is a great climax to an album about self-reflection amongst showbiz.
Bad Veins’ new album, The Mess We’ve Made, is out in stores now, and they’ll be playing tomorrow night, May 22, at the new Capitol Hill venue Barboza. They’ll also be LIVE on KEXP on the Morning Show with John tomorrow at 9:30AM. Tune in then, and while you’re waiting, watch the seriously ridiculous video for today’s featured song here: