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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Will You Be Sleeping?” by David Wax Museum from the 2012 album Knock Knock Get Up on Mark of the Leopard.
Named for co-leader David Wax, David Wax Museum was formed by Wax and fiddler Suz Slezak in Boston in 2007. After hearing Mexican son music for the first time while in the country for an academic trip, Wax spent a year down south to study the regional genres with actual Mexican musicians. He met Slezak soon after returning to Boston, and after kicking around the Boston folk scene for a few years, the pair first broke out nationally with a performance at the 2010 Newport Folk Festival. One trip to SXSW and some dates with The Avett Brothers later, David Wax Museum found itself on a stage bigger than one would expect a band with a donkey jawbone player to play on. The opening track on their fourth album, Knock Knock Get Up, “Will You Be Sleeping?” takes the band’s Mexo-American sounds and molds them into a classic pop song structure, resulting in a multicultural mix that appeals to fans of both styles. More layered and lush than many of their folk contemporaries, “Will You Be Sleeping?”‘s stabbing horns are only tempered by the soft chorus where Wax and Slezak’s harmonies take the spotlight from the authentic instrumentation, but as their voices fade out to let the swirl of instruments return to the forefront, the musical whirlwind fades out to the sound of a single horn resounding, as if the pair were merely recovering before they release their next globally influenced fever pitch.
David Wax Museum are currently touring in Europe, but they’ll be back in North America at the end of the month, and soon after, they’ll stop in Seattle for a show at the Sunset Tavern on December 4th. You can get more information on that show and any further dates by going to the band’s website and Facebook. Watch the first video for “Will You Be Sleeping?” here: