Song of the Day: Iska Dhaaf - All The Kids

photo by Trent Moorman

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 featured song, selected by Morning Show host John Richards, is “All The Kids” by Iska Dhaaf from the 2013 single “All The Kids” on Brick Lane Records.

Iska Dhaaf - All The Kids (MP3)

Local duo Iska Dhaaf take their name from Somali words meaning “let it go” and say that they’re inspired by Sufi poetry and the ideas of limitations and patience. “It’s very rare that we finish a song in a couple days or weeks,” says singer Nathan Quiroga, who also goes by Buffalo Madonna when he’s part of the Mad Rad crew. “Mostly it takes months, and in some cases, years or more. We’re not interested in rushing the process.” Despite this, Quiroga and his bandmate Ben Verdoes, who you also know from Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, have been busy lately, releasing the new single, working on a music video, playing live. They’ve ale had the luxury of having their song “Two Oceans” remixed by the OCnotes, which you can hear here.

“All The Kids” is an amalgamation of indie rock, electronica and sonic cinema – in other words, quite different than what either Quiroga and Verdoes have done with their other projects. The song moves in many directions, yet the bass line, which begins the song, centers it. The lyrics are thoughtful, almost brooding, and seem to be about isolation, or social distance, with the chorus repeating, “You wouldn’t belong, you wouldn’t belong.” Nothing about the track is unpleasant, however. And there is enough going on, crashing and booming, behind the instrumentation that the listener’s imagination is given space to run.

Iska Dhaaf just played last night and doesn’t have another Seattle date scheduled until October 10 at Barboza followed by a show in Everett at Kroakers Bar on October 11. But they will be live on KEXP this Iska Dhaaf LIVE on KEXP this Saturday, September 21, at 6:30 PM. Tune in then and watch them perform live (via unsteady camera at Redmond’s Old Firehouse) below. After that, listen to more songs on their Bandcamp page.

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