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 “And the Birds…” by Light Heat from the 2013 self-titled album on Ribbon Music.
It is rumored that Light Heat’s self-titled album was recorded partially in a stone barn, partially in a yurt in the Virginia back woods and partially in frontman Quentin Stoltzfus’ home in Philadelphia. The result is a jangly-pop record full of inspiration and yet reasons to relax. Stoltzfus, who grew through the ranks of the Philadelphia music scene, known mainly for his early 2000’s band Mazarin, had been absent from the public eye for seven years before releasing this new record on Ribbon Music. But he has reemerged and with vigor.
In the time between records, it’s said Stoltzfus was producing other artists’ music as well as working odd jobs. His re-emergence, though, is welcomed and his collaboration impressive. Using the Walkmen as his backing band, Light Heat’s single “And the Birds…” is not like a Walkmen song, forgoing some of that band’s pulsing darkness in favor of an alluring, bright piano line and a simple, heavy bassline. Stoltzfus voice chimes, “And the birds will sing / you are everything!” There are catchy Ooo’s and Ahhh’s mixed between his verses and the song drifts on until you quickly decide to play it again. There’s just something about that sparkling guitar rhythm that feels comfortable. “And the Birds…” is like fingers through the hair of a lover, like the breeze picking up through the tops of trees, a colorful daydream.
Currently, Light Heat does not have tour dates scheduled, but they are coming off two June shows in Philly, including one with Tame Impala. Keep checking their website and Facebook page for future dates. For now, watch the official video for “And the Birds…” here: