Song of the Day: Weekend – July

photo by Eli Marias

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. This week’s featured songs come from artists performing during KEXP’s broadcast from CMJ. Today’s song is “July” by San Francisco shoegaze band Weekend from their sophomore LP, Jinx, out now on Slumberland Records.

Weekend – July (MP3)

As time passes, Weekend only come to show more promise. Their 2010 debut Sports cleverly mixed garage rock and shoegaze to make for a noisy and enjoyable introduction to their sound. With following EPs and singles, the band danced around deciding on a direction to go next, musically (their Garage Swim demo “Teal Kia” went almost as far as Disco Inferno-esque psychedelic noise rock). But this year, Weekend have dialed into something wonderful with Jinx. “It’s Alright”, one of the first offerings we heard from the record, channeled early My Bloody Valentine for a late 80s shoegaze wonder. But elsewhere, Weekend is going left of the dial in the second half of the 80s in a lot of different places, and the resulting, eclectic mixture is a delightful one. Jinx mixes post-punk, garage, and shoegaze into a record that they can really call their own.

“July” is a prime cut from the record, following the dark, brooding album introduction of “Mirror” with a brutal twilight jam session. From the start, a wall of sound hits you as a massive drum track and a crunchy, snarling bass line sound the alarm. Then, with a machine gun snare lead off, Weekend explode into an 80s garage hook for the books. It’s like a tidal wave of guitar crashing on top of you. As the introduction subsides into the first verse, Shaun Durkan croons like a gothic Michael Stipe, leading the track forward with a haunting hollowness that plays wonderful counterpart to the impressionist wall of sound in the background. The tension builds and builds with off-kilter harmonies and more layers of guitar and drums until everything combusts into the chorus. As Durkan screams “July” and the band pounds forward with brutal bloodlust, it’s one of the cooler shoegaze tracks we’ve heard this year (and that’s saying something – we’ve heard a lot of shoegaze this year). If “July” doesn’t get your tastebuds begging for more of Weekend, I don’t know what will.

Weekend will perform live on KEXP from CMJ on Wednesday, October 16th, on 11AM PST (2PM EST) at Judson Memorial Church. Listen live on KEXP and find out more about KEXP at CMJ here. For now, check out “It’s Alright”, another song from Jinx:

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