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 “Wartime” by Charms from their 2013 self-released EP Hillary.
Charms bring a brightness to the Seattle garage rock scene. Their fuzzy tunes have a uniquely jangling nature to them, keeping things upbeat and depending more on complex melody and bright energy than grit and gristle like many of their garage counterparts. Their Hillary EP, released January of this year, is chalk full of sunny, euphonic garage goodness that would compliment any summer playlist.
“Wartime” is the cream of the crop here, though. A bright guitar hook drives the tune forward, only ever building momentum over the track’s two and a half minutes. The harmony between guitar and bass echoes the intricacies of Seattle indie rock kings Minus the Bear, while the forward energy and garage tendencies put the track alongside contemporaries on their scene. Despite the brightness of the backing track, Eleazer Tolentino’s lyrics are pretty dark. “Your days are numbered” he sings with intensity, documenting some sort of unseen omen coming towards those that go about their daily American lives in naive bliss. The contrast between light and dark here makes for a more intense emotional experience. All around, it’s a great track.
You can check out the rest of Hillary at the Charms Bandcamp page and look for future tour dates on their Facebook page. Also, check out the video for “Wartime” below, featuring some footage of the band at Columbia City Theater: