Song of the Day: Cock & Swan – Animal Totem

photo by Angel Ceballos

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 “Animal Totem” by Cock & Swan from their 2013 album Secret Angles on Hush Hush Records.

Cock & Swan – Animal Totem (MP3)

The Seattle duo known as Cock & Swan formed in 2003, recording together on a Tascan 4-track in Bothell, WA in a “white brick bunker by the Slough”. Since, the band has put out three full-lengths of their own, and helped to produce other bands’ work, perhaps most notably Seattle’s La Luz. There is a sincere mystery to what they produce, often using electronic-based music, musing and ethereal vocals, all wrapped is a sense of artistic (and playful?) demise.

“Animal Totem,” the first track released off Cock & Swan’s new album, Secret Angels, incorporates an almost hip-hop-style drum loop, buoyed by backdrop synths, far-off strings and singer Ola Hungerford’s sleep-dreamy vocals. Her musical partner, Johnny Goss, adds a dancing bass line and rising horns, which ties the composition together. “Amnesia,” Ola sings, so breathy. “I’m waiting to be shown.”

The band plays two all ages shows this month, the first on September 19 at the Heartland music space in Seattle’s University District, followed by a September 21 gig at the Cairo art space in Capitol Hill. Check their website and Facebook page for more information and future dates. Cock & Swan’s videos are abstract, as one might imagine, given their thoughtful production. Watch the video for their song “Melt Down” now:

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