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 song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Line of Fire” by Junip from the forthcoming self-titled album on Mute Records.
José González has long been making beautiful, thought-provoking music. But in his work with Junip, joined by Elias Araya and Tobias Winterkorn, his tinkering, quiet wisdom is elevated by glorious arrangement of Swedish folk origin and indie rock progression. Junip closed a five year hiatus in 2010 with their first full length record, Fields, where they caught critical praise with the excellent single “In Every Direction”. This year, they finally are planning a self-titled follow up, and if “Line of Fire” is any indication of what it will hold, we are in for a treat.
“What would you do, if it all came back to you?” González, contemplative as ever, opens “Line of Fire” with a question that begs for reminiscence. The track is perfect accompaniment, too – the quiet guitars are soaked through and through with organ textures while folk drums pad along in the background. But as reminiscing often does, the memories bring pain. “Standing on higher ground, when you hear the sound, you know it’s just a whim”, González croons. There, the track builds into a majestic landscape, one whose depth is something grandiose beyond what we saw on Fields. The build accompanies a huge chorus narrating a main character backed up against a wall. “Step back from the line of fire”, González cries, trying to bring some sense to light. The climactic outro is simply breathtaking – without a doubt some of the band’s best work yet. Junip is back with new vision and new clarity, and finding yourself in their “Line of Fire” may prove a spectacular happening.