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 “Start Talking” by Aye Nako from the 2013 self-released album Unleash Yourself.
Although the tag “pop punk” isn’t too far of a stretch for Brooklyn-based quartet Aye Nako’s spunky, uptempo rock, their modern take on the genre falls closer somewhere between second wave emo and late-80s indie rock. The LGBT group (who refer to their music humorously as “homopop”) certainly wears their identity on their sleeves, but their songwriting isn’t necessarily LGBT-exclusive, embodying some of the same Millennial themes of uncertainty and self-confidence that Vampire Weekend and Waxahatchee have also tacked this year. Like Swearin’s “Kill Them With Kindness”, “Start Talking” isn’t so much a command as it is a rallying cry. Blistering guitars and tumbling drums push Mars’ lead vocal performance to a dizzying speed, and as the band shifts from one section of the song to another, the breakneck pace builds tension that only releases at the song’s end. Crafted with an imprecise mixture of anxiety and adrenaline, “Start Talking” is of candidness over conviction.
Aye Nako has shows booked through next month, but there aren’t any Northwestern dates on their docket at the moment. Keep an eye on their website and Facebook for any updates. For now, watch the band play a stripped-down version of “The Rind” below.