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 “This Song is Called Ragged” by Jonathan Boulet from the 2012 album We Keep the Beat Found the Sound See the Need Start the Heart on Modular.
Plenty of musicians perform all of their instrumentation themselves in their studio sessions, but upon listening to one of 21 year-old Australian folk-pop musician Jonathan Boulet’s massive compositions, its easy to see why his studio prowess has drawn so much attention from the Australian press. Also a member of Sydney rock band Parades and powerviolence group Snakeface, Boulet’s solo career leans towards his pop and folk inclinations.
Despite what its title may suggest, “This Song Is Called Ragged” is doesn’t sound the least bit frayed or worn. Instead, it’s a vibrant, nearly overwhelming explosion of colorful sounds led by a chiming riff from, of all things, a marimba. Not unlike Passion Pit’s sugar-rush collage “I’ll Be Alright”, Boulet arranges layers upon layers to create a tidal wave of energy that peaks in the chorus, which appropriately enough, features a throng of voices shouting the song’s refrain. Urgently percussive and unashamedly melodic, “This Song Is Called Ragged” is a meticulously crafted gem that sounds just as good to someone listening to it on headphones as it does to a massive festival crowd.
Boulet doesn’t have any tour dates booked at the moment, but if you keep a tab on his website, you’ll be the first to know about any future shows he’ll play in support of the month-old We Keep The Beat. For now, watch the video for “This Song Is Called Ragged”: