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 by San Francisco electronic shoegaze artist Mikey Maramag, who records as Blackbird Blackbird. “All” comes from his 2012 EP Boracay Planet, out on Lavish Habits.
Blackbird Blackbird have created a pretty cool fusion between shoegaze and chilled out electronic and house beats in the last couple years. With new EP Boracay Planet, we see the band, really the project of San Francisco’s Mikey Maramag, more at home with their own sound than ever before. “All” is a great example of how Blackbird Blackbird is transitioning to a bigger sound with more forward locomotion. While earlier releases like Summer Heart are pleasing to the ear and have an addictive vibe, the discontinuity of an 18 song collection of short chillwave offerings didn’t carry the longevity of anything we see on Boracay Planet. As “All” shows us, though, this release tells quite a different story. “All” is a danceable 80s shoegaze pop track that will have you hook line and sinker within the first 30 seconds. But the instant gratification pop aesthetic is only the outer shell.
“All” builds as the track goes on, and around the 2:50 mark, we see Blackbird Blackbird revisit their offhand experimental ways within a more distinguishable set of walls. This short electronic breakdown provides a perfect contrast to the guitar-driven nature of the first half of the track. Here, we see a synthesis between Blackbird Blackbird’s old sound and a new, more polished songwriting style that speaks wonders for them as artists. Altogether, it fits wonderfully in the context of the EP and will fit wonderfully in your music library.
Check out the rest of Boracay Planet over at the Blackbird Blackbird Bandcamp page, and follow Mikey Maramag on his Facebook page. Make sure to catch Blackbird Blackbird at Neptune on February 26 at the Neptune when they play with STRFKR. Watch the epic story-driven video for “All” below: