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 “Germany I & II” by Turtle Giant from the 2012 self-released EP All Hidden Places.
Based in Macau, China, but formed in São Paulo in 2009 by António Conceição, Beto Ritchie, and Frederico Ritchie, Turtle Giant make music that is free of any telling characteristics specific to either country; rather, it carries hallmarks of the storied traditions of American baroque-tinged indie rock. The trio incorporate jangling guitar, shimmering reverb-soaked tones, and hushed/howled vocals into a compelling tempest that recalls a rougher-around-the-edges version of Grizzly Bear or a less noir-savvy Interpol. The opening track on their latest EP, “Germany I & II,” is a two-part song that fuses two movements at two different tempos to form a tonally and thematically singular work that shows off Turtle Giant’s versatility. The first part (presumably “Germany I”) is a slow, guitar-driven shuffle that begins with a whisper, only to build into a wall of feedback that gives way to the song’s more agile second half (“Germany II”), a post-punk influenced rocker that agilely speeds up the tempo until the band reach a cathartic fever pitch that shrugs off any trepidation a listener may have about a seven-and-a-half minute song.
Turtle Giant had to cancel their recent American shows at CMJ due to a band member’s injury (they were tentatively scheduled for KEXP’s broadcast there), but they’ve promised to come back to North America next year. In the meantime, you can keep up with them and hear more music at their Facebook and Bandcamp pages, and watch the video for the Karate Kid-meets-Instagram video for the All Hidden Places EP track “We Were Kids” below: