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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Dead Animals” by The Young Evils from the 2012 self-released EP Foreign Spells.
Released earlier this month, Foreign Spells is the Young Evils’ second release, after their 2010 debut, the acoustic-leaning Enchanted Chapel. Foreign Spells finds the Seattle quintet turning the amps up and investigating pop sensibilities with a restless energy that never lets up throughout the EP’s four tracks. Propulsive and direct, “Dead Animals” is a two-and-a-half minute workout in fuzzy guitars and sweet vocal melodies. Beginning with only a guitar line and Mackenzie Mercer’s vocal, the song quickly ramps up to include a wall of thick guitars and clanging drums. The band saves their best trick for the chorus though, where Mercer and singer/guitarist Troy Nelson combine their voices to create harmonies that are both sinister and syrupy. “Dead Animals” carefully balances the band’s light and dark sides, resulting in the best kind of pop song - a melancholy tune that cleverly hides behind an expertly-crafted melodic exterior.
The Young Evils are currently promoting Foreign Spells with a string of shows in California, but will be returning to the Pacific Northwest to play at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland on July 31. Keep an eye on their website and Facebook to hear about further tour dates, and watch the video for “Dead Animals”, directed by band members Troy Nelson and Cody Hurd, below.