Song of the Day: Speck Mountain - Badwater

photo by Julia Stotz

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Badwater” by Speck Mountain from the 2013 album Badwater on Carrot Top Records.

Speck Mountain - Badwater (MP3)

Formed in 2005 by vocalist Marie-Claire Balabanian and guitarist Karl Briedrick, Chicago’s Speck Mountain falls somewhere between the texture-based, psychedelic sounds of’60s and the ethereal, alluring haze of ’00s space rock. Containing echoes of Beach House’s hazy melodies and Tame Impala’s indie rock take on Sgt. Pepper’s, the duo’s songs are a game of back and forth, with Balabanian’s airy vocals and soft bass reflecting Briedrick’s spacious, soaring leads to create a ebullient swirl. Now backed by drummer Chris Dye and keyboardist Linda Malonis, the group’s third album, Badwater, stands as their most cohesive and accomplished achievement to date. The album’s title track is a soulful slow burn, driven by a warm, droning organ and insistent martial beat. Balabanian’s vocal performance carries the song in the verses, but when she moves off the mic, Briedrick’s Blake Sennett-meets-Kevin Parker guitar solo steals the show. Akin to The Mynabirds’ criminally underrated Generals, “Badwater” isn’t so much of a pastiche of their influences as much as it is a re-appropriation; it’s a psych-rock tune with pop smarts, a space rock tune with clear structure, a gorgeous tune that unfolds deeper and deeper without wearing out its welcome.

Speck Mountain just wrapped up an East Coast tour in support of Badwater, and they’re looking to make a West Coast trek in early spring, so if they make the trek out to the Pacific Northwest, you’ll find that information on their website and Facebook. Watch the Kayla Anderson-directed video for the Badwater track “Slow So Long” below.

This entry was posted in KEXP, Song of the Day Podcast and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Donate Now!
where the music matters

The KEXP Blog

  • Listen Live:

    High Quality AAC+
    Excellent for PC, Mac, iPhones/iPads, Android Devices, tables, iTunes, Winamp, and VLC. High quality audio, low bandwidth

    MP3 Stream
    Best for computers running OSX or Windows with iTunes or the open source VideoLAN Player installed

  • Breaking New Ground Together!

    Help Build Our New Home!
  • KEXP AND THE UW

    The University of Washington Logo KEXP is a service of the
    University of Washington
  • iTunes and KEXP

    iTunes Logo
    You can now find KEXP under "Eclectic" in iTunes after the demise of the "Public" category, to better represent the diversity of our daytime variety shows and numerous specialty programs.
Sponsored By
Become a KEXP Sponsor!
  • KEXP Post Categories