Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of 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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Shake Your Sign” by The Little Ones from the 2013 album The Dawn Sang Along on Branches Recording Collective.
The indie pop sextet The Little Ones’ wiry, guitar-driven pop tunes draw as much influence from the sun-baked pop of 1960s Californian groups as they do from the legendary C86 tape, forming a sharp and shimmering take on ’00s indie not unlike the work of James Mercer or Carl Newman. After being asked to open for Matt Costa’s 2006 show at the Bowery Ballroom, the band released their first EP, and not long after that, their second EP and more touring led them to eventually release their debut album, 2008’s Morning Tide. 2013 has already been a busy year for the group, who released their second album, The Dawn Sang Along, on their own label in February, and made a trip out to Austin earlier this month for SXSW. Featuring a more grandiose sound than their previous material, “Shake Your Sign” is a bright and limber slice of indie pop. When the drums kick into a pounding rhythm and the multi-part harmonies croon, “You know we have ourselves”, it resonates in the same way that the best sad pop lyrics do; although appealingly bittersweet, the words don’t matter because the melody says more anyway.
The Little Ones don’t have any shows booked at the moment, but if they announce any, those dates will be posted on their Facebook and website. Watch the video for band’s 2006 single “Lovers Who Uncover” below.