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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Giant Tortoise” by Pond from the 2013 album Hobo Rocket on Modular.
Emerging out of the current wave of Australian psych rock, Pond’s loose, energetic take on the movement reflects the group’s constantly fluctuating membership and shifting mentality. Formed by Tame Impala members Nick Allbrook and Jay Watson, along with Joseph Ryan, the trio created the group with the intention of making music with their friends, any of whom could come and go at any time, resulting in a frequent performance and recording schedule with whichever members happen to be involved at the moment. The band’s first three albums grew a local following in Perth, but in the wake of the success of Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker (the two groups share most of their members), the group signed to Modular Recordings and picked up a bigger presence with the 2012 LP, Beard, Wives, Denim. Earlier this year, Allbrook left Tame Impala to focus on Pond (he was replaced by Pond/The Growl member Cam Avery), resulting in the release of this month’s Hobo Rocket and a second, in-the-works album titled Man, It Feels Like Space Again. “Giant Tortoise” doesn’t have the slow chug that its title or spiritual cousin would suggest, but it is heavy, in an spontaneous, frenetic way. Calm, nearly whispered verses give way to searing guitar leads as Allbrook and the band thrash and swing through the rest of the song with the power and weight of, well, a monstrous reptile.
Pond are currently gearing up for the 2014 Australian festival season (which starts next January), but if they come to the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll hear about it on their website and Facebook. Watch the video for “Giant Tortoise” below.