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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Sea of Glass” by Seattle’s Shelby Earl from her 2013 self-released album, Swift Arrows.
What began as Shelby Earl, a promoter who played her guitar whenever she wasn’t aiding other artists’ musical endeavors, has become Shelby Earl, a powerful presence on her own in the Seattle music scene, now with two outstanding albums under her belt. The local folk/Americana artist followed her acclaimed debut, Burn the Boats, with her recently released sophomore album, Swift Arrows. If Burn the Boats marked Earl’s independence as an artist, Swift Arrows, produced by fellow Seattle artist Damien Jurado, is evidence of Earl’s confidence in doing things her way. While it’s not all rainbows and puppies on Swift Arrows, Earl does weave a lighter tone into the album. Without losing the reflective feel of her first album, Earl gives off the vibe that she has come to terms with her somber subject matter. “Sea of Glass” certainly isn’t a song to wallow to, with its jaunty, hopeful beat. The accompanying horns and backup vocals might hook you but the reason you’ll come back for more lies in the compelling line “I’ll go swimming in your sea of glass/ Let it hurt, just make it last.” “Sea of Glass,” like all of Shelby Earl’s music, tells a sincere story.
Along with upcoming shows in Snoqualmie and Wenatchee, WA, Earl will perform at Bumbershoot with Mary Lambert and Le Wrens. Get more information about her upcoming shows and stay updated by visiting her website and Facebook page. Watch Earl play the new album’s title track in the offices of Fretboard Journal here: