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 during the 2012 Fall Fundraising Drive, is “Fool’s Gold” by Rocky Votolato from the 2012 album Television of Saints on Undertow Music Collective.
Now seven albums into his solo career, you’d think Seattle songwriter Rocky Votolato is well past his Waxwing early days. Yet, rumors abound that the punk and hardcore influenced group may someday return, rumors that are hardly quelled by the fact that Rocky has been performing a lot lately with his brother Cody, the former Waxwing second guitarist. Yet together, in a recent in-studio at KEXP, Rocky and Cody performed a handful of Rocky’s new songs in the hushed tones he’s become known for. Maybe it’s that Rocky is older now with a wife and two kids, maybe it’s that he has a lot more to express than he could in the more aggressive format, but each new album flirts with lush, lyrical rusticism as found on today’s featured song, “Fool’s Gold.” If the first jangling guitar chord or the brushed drums didn’t tip you off to the mood, the song’s opening line sure should: “Like dead leaves floating on black river water/your voice was carried by the current under the surface.” Brother Cody joins Rocky on this swooning song of regret, as does Telekinesis’ Michael Lerner and engineer/mixer/bassist Casey Foubert. Though the song’s narrator may be chasing “fool’s gold,” listeners will sure get a rich payoff with this and all of the new album.
It’s an ample reward, as Television of Saints was mostly funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign and is Rocky’s first to be self-released through his own Undertow Music Collective. It’s available on his Bandcamp page and right now, the price is right — whatever that may be to you — as you can name your price for the new album. Currently, Rocky is touring Europe, but you can bring him into your home with this intimate video of him performing “Little Spring,” the album’s first single: