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, selected by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “They Told Me” by Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside from the 2013 album Untamed Beast on Partisan Records.
She’s a little bit country, she’s a little bit rock ‘n’ roll... she’s also a little bit soul, blues, rockabilly, garage, jazz, swing, and even a bit punk. That’s Sallie Ford, Portland area songstress and band leader of Sallie Ford & The Sounds Outside. Transplanted to the Northwest from the Carolinas, Ford found her voice and her band performing in clubs around PDX. Her mid-century patterned dresses and eyewear belie a sophistication and modern DIY aesthetic that, as soon as you hear her, seems less girl-out-of-time and more devil-may-care. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing act that works particularly well on her latest, and second, release, Untamed Beast. Unlike on her swingin’ debut, Dirty Radio, the songs on Beast roar with a punchy and gritty sound. On today’s featured song, guitars buzz, bass throbs and drums pound thanks to Sound Outside bandmates Jeffrey Munger, Tyler Tornfelt and Ford Tennis, while Sallie Ford herself stands defiant: “Never gonna change who I am / Just cause you’ll never understand / Never gonna apologize / For being so intense / How the hell would that make sense?” You’re certainly not going to tell her what she should look like or sound like -- not that you’d ever want to -- but just so you know.
Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside’s next NW appearance is at Canoe Ridge Vineyard in Walla Walla, WA. After that, they head out for a string of shows on the East Coast and will eventually head back to play at Pickathon in early August. Check for updates and more info on their website and Facebook page, and watch now as Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside perform today’s featured song live in the KEXP studio: