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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “We Came To” by The Crystal Ark from the 2012 self-titled Crystal Ark LP on DFA Records.
If you know DFA rockstar Gavin Russom from nothing else, you probably saw him onstage in Shut Up and Play The Hits for LCD Soundsystem’s last hurrah. In fact, that was the last of a long history of LCD shows that Russom collaborated for – he goes way back with DFA and has been releasing music under different aliases on the label since the early 2000’s. With that introduction, we see the Crystal Ark’s LP with a bit more context. The Crystal Ark is chalk full of deliberately awesome dance music, mixing house, disco, and latin to create a truly unforgettable experience. The Spanish sprinkles on top of the cake make The Crystal Ark a unique offering, but it’s never enough to scare off any listeners who don’t like latin or salsa. The art is in the accents, and Russom’s latest offering shows he is just as impressive and progressive as he has ever been.
“We Came To” is a great example of the balance Russom has struck. It’s an 8 minute dance opus of epic proportions. The build is unpredictable and jostles between genres and emphases. At first, the quirky groove makes itself known with sultry vocals by Russom’s collaborator, Viva Ruiz, and the track builds on minimalism like a Factory Floor track. But then Russom comes in and brings a LCD-esque sing-a-long factor that amps up the enjoyability of the track until it’s almost unbearable. The track never gives up its mystery or its finesse – it doesn’t explode into a campy club anthem. Rather, the disco groove maintains throughout and makes for a sexy slow burner, despite the high tempo. Russom’s newest offering is no doubt his strongest yet, and “We Came To” is a great introduction to it.
There are currently no shows listed for The Crystal Ark, but you can check out their Facebook page for more music and info. But for now, watch the zany video for “We Came To” below: