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 “What Makes A Good Man?” by The Heavy from the 2012 album The Glorious Dead on Counter Records/Ninja Tune.
The Bath, England-bred quartet The Heavy, combine garage rock roughness, Soulquarians-style funk dynamics, and indie rock sensibilities to make a raging soul-inflected style with an intensity that rivals the passion of the records that inspired the group. Formed when friends Dan Taylor and Kelvin Swaby bonded over classic R&B records, The Heavy first released a pair of singles in late 2007, released their debut the next year, and since then, they’ve torn up stages all across the world baptizing fans into the church of rock and soul.
When The Heavy played “What Makes A Good Man?” on the Late Show with David Letterman earlier this year, Dave quickly walked over to the stage and proceeded to do something that he had never done in his 19 seasons on the Late Show – request an encore. After watching the video below, it’s easy to see why he did. “What Makes A Good Man?” features crunching guitar riff, thick bass, call and response sections from backing singers, and fiery revival preacher-style proclamations from Swaby. In other words, it features everything great about soul music packaged into a modern format.
The Heavy are currently finishing up a tour of Europe, but David Letterman might be able to lure them back to North America in the near future, so keep an eye on their website and Facebook. Watch the aforementioned video of the band performing “What Makes A Good Man?” on Letterman below.