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 “What’s Your Name?” by NO from the 2012 7″ What’s Your Name/Eleven Eleven on White Iris.
For a band with such a negative sounding name, NO aren’t all doom and gloom. Like a less-maudlin version of the National stripped of their baroque tastes, the Echo Park quintet deliver their ambitious, post-punk songs with an admirable amount of earnestness and a healthy dose of optimism. Riding off a strong, brooding atmosphere their determined verses and their uplifting choruses resonate to a level that’s usually reached by bands who are already playing arenas. “What’s Your Name?” builds its elements into a tempest of militant drums and sweeping guitars that sustains the band’s anthemic rush. Similar to Interpol’s most grandiose moments but with a Los Angeles vibe instead of the chilly Brooklyn cool, “What’s Your Name?” is an immediate introduction to a quintet that are aiming for an Arcade Fire level of grandiosity, and they’re starting to get pretty close.
NO doesn’t have any 2013 dates booked yet, but you can expect some big developments from the band this year, so keep a tab on their website and Facebook. Watch the Ryan Reichenfeld-directed video for their song “Stay With Me” below.