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 song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “The Way Through” by Robb Benson & The Shelk from the 2013 self-released album Cursive Falls From The Sky.
Cursive Falls From The Sky marks the fifth solo record by the prolific Robb Benson. The album is also the 17th release by the Seattle songwriter, who began his career in town in 1997 on PopLlama Records with his band The Nevada Bachelors. The man knows hooks and how to write hits, often combining his ability to make music with various poets he meets who compose the lyrics. While the lyrics for “The Way Through” are his own, he has also worked with writers like Liz McDonald for Cursive’s melancholy track “Let Them Eat Cake” and previously with Michele Price in their band Dear John Letters. Cursive is a 13-track record with dancey, electronic-based tunes like “Gone” mixed with rock tunes like “Road Song”, which features drummer Dominic Cortese. The album ends with the tune “The Shelk,” about a mythological creature of Benson’s creation, a half-elk, half-shark, meant to embody the amalgamation of bandmates Robb has worked with over his long and lustrous career.
“The Way Through” is a positive, up-lifting track from the Seattle native, touching on the difficulty of knowing anything, yet the need to keep moving forward. “I am not strange yet a stranger as me approaches,” he sings over synth tones and electric guitars. “Oh, we must feel our way through. We must feel our way though,” he repeats. The song peaks with Robb’s signature large voice for the bridge, a big, full and bright explosion of sound two-thirds of the way in. Truly, there is no knowing anything for certain, but, as Benson advises, we must keep moving, keep feeling our way through.
The album release show for Cursive is set for July 13th at Fremont’s High Dive and will feature The Great Um, The Jesus Rehab, The Royal We and Benson surrounded by a plethora of Seattle musicians sitting in on songs from the record and other songs Benson has made well-known throughout his career. Tour dates for Cursive have been slated this summer with guitar-player and friend Tim Dijulio. The duo will be playing in Portland August 7th, Eugene August 8th, Oakland August 9th and L.A. on the 10th. For more information and music, visit his website. See Benson’s official video here: