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 “Passage” by Exitmusic from the 2012 album Passage on Secretly Canadian.
If today’s Song of the Day seems familiar, it’s probably because we debuted it back in February. But now that the album is officially out, we wanted to re-introduce you to this great song.
Exitmusic is the New York City duo of Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church, who started writing together several years ago, when Church moved to New York following a year of teaching English in Taiwan and India. Palladino, a New York native, had been writing and recording her own songs since she was in her early teens. The pair spent pretty much all of their time writing together, but things really began to take shape when they moved to Los Angeles a year later. “We got a computer and recording software and really started to experiment with it and explore things together,” says Palladino. “That’s when it became a real project.” They self-released their first collection of songs, The Decline of the West, in 2008. The couple married that year, exchanging vows at a scenic overlook on Mulholland Drive. They had moved to Los Angeles so that Palladino, who has been acting professionally since fourteen, could be available for work there. But when she was cast in Martin Scorcese’s HBO series Boardwalk Empire as bohemian artist Angela Darmody, Exitmusic were thrilled to be able to move back east. Since returning to New York in 2009, the band — which currently performs as a four piece, with drummer Dru Prentiss and electronic musician Nicholas Shelestak — has both honed and expanded their sound, as well as their recording technique.
Passage is a longtime in the making and certainly worth the wait. The duo’s full-length debut was recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with mixer Nicholas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, Deerhunter), Church and Palladino, along with the assistance of new bandmates drummer Dru Prentiss and live electronics by Nicholas Shelestak, built on the chilling, beautiful aesthetic they had created as a duo when recording at home. The band describes opener and title track, “Passage,” as “Falling into something that you know won’t end well. like a moth to the flame, there’s an undeniable pull that lets you know you’re alive.” Think The Jesus & Mary Chain meets Zola Jesus.
You can find out more about the band and connect with them on Facebook. Their website shows only a handful of shows later this month in the Midwest, but hopefully they’ll be back in the Northwest on a tour of their own. For now, here’s the official video for today’s featured song: