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 comes from progressive Seattle group The Animals At Night, lead by Graig Markel. “Bare Feet and Summer Teeth” comes from their 2012 self-released, self-titled EP.
Graig Markel has his hand in quite a bit of the Seattle music scene at this point. He runs the Seattle recording studio The Recovery Room, where he’s worked with Blue Scholars, Stone Gossard, Nada Surf, and Band of Horses. He also runs Recovery Hand Wired Effects, a line of effects pedals and doodads (including a telephone looking lo fi microphone). In whatever time is left, he’s working on his own tunes, whether it be for just himself, Dead Ship Sailing, or The Animals at Night. Animals may be his most ambitious project of the three, heralded in 2011 for creating a new genre called “broken soul”, mixing R&B, downtempo, rock, and pieces of hip-hop for a unique and refreshing sound. With their 2012 self-titled EP, The Animals At Night continue the powerful projection seen on their full-length Cut To Chase Chorus and Fade.
“Bare Feet and Summer Teeth” starts the new EP off with a bang. Right off the bat, we get a smorgasbord of guitar noise all synchronized to form a pattern of sorts. This is only necessary until a driving drum kits pounds it’s way forward towards Markel’s first verse. Here, he sings with desperation as he name drops Queen Anne and describes the weird beauty of the Seattle summer. He draws an interesting parallel between the summer/winter dichotomy and a personal hibernation as the tune builds towards summer’s end. At this point, Markel rips into a killer guitar solo, tinged with blues but driven by math rock soul and electronic effects. As it goes on, “Bare Feet and Summer Teeth” gets more complex and more captivating. At it ends, you’ll definitely want to hit repeat and catch what you didn’t the first time around. As a Renaissance man of the musical craft, Markel sure hasn’t forgotten how to write excellent songs.
The Animals at Night EP is available now on pink 12″ vinyl and CD. Grab it at The Animals at Night website here. For now, watch this video for “One Down, One to Go”: