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. Every Friday, we feature a song from a Northwestern artist. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “City” by Seattle’s Pocket Panda from the 2013 self-released EP Find Yourself A Stranger.
Formed in 2010 by singer/guitarist Eric Herbig, Pocket Panda’s rustic, orchestral-tinged folk is organic and passionate. The sextet - including Herbig, bassist Chris Allen, cellist Max Calabro, violinist David Cho, mandolinist Jordan Cunningham, keyboardist Mike Waller, and drummer Hazel Scher - craft rich tracks that paint vivid pictures in a fashion reminiscent of their Seattle compatriots The Head and The Heart and Hey Marseilles. Traces of jazz and country infiltrate “City”, a track that’s sonically more in line with the countryside than urban sprawl. Burning at a steady, mid-tempo driving pace, Herbig growls, “I wake up to you early in the morning/last night I dreamt I was running”, in his husky, weathered voice. Warmth radiates throughout the track, and as it fades out into an amber-streaked conclusion, Herbig has more than made his case for an early morning escape from his city.
Pocket Panda play their next show at the Columbia City Theatre with The Bony King of Nowhere on June 6th. Get tickets and info about that show here, and keep up with the band on their website and Facebook. For now, watch the band play “In The Snow”: