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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Paradise” by Cub Sport from the 2013 self-released Paradise EP.
Initially formed under the name “Cub Scouts” in 2011, vocalist Tim Nelson, bassist Zoe Davis, keyboardist Sam Netterfield, drummer Daniel Puusaari, and guitarist Andrew Williams began playing shows in their native Brisbane, eventually becoming favorites of Aussie music champions Triple J. By the end of the year, the quintet were gearing up for their first international tour (which just ended last month) in support of the soon-to-be release Paradise, the follow up to the previous year’s Told You So EP. Right before the release of the former EP, the band were forced to change their name under legal pressure from the other Cub Scouts, eventually choosing the similar-sounding Cub Sport. The band picked their original name because of the youthful qualities of their music, and the dazzling pop gem “Paradise” only confirms this conjecture. Over New Order-style keyboards, Nelson’s mellifluous vocals smoothly transition between soft coo and a longing falsetto, often inflecting the band’s sunny backdrop with a sense of bittersweetness. Tempering the song’s bright colours with melancholy lyrics, the band elects to use one of pop’s most effective plays, but it suits the song well: rather than falling into a cliched amount of positivity on “Paradise”, Cub Sport choose to include both sides of youth - optimism and regret - in less than three minutes of melodic bliss. Hopefully, knowing they have a great song serves as some consolation for losing their name.
Cub Sport only have gigs booked in Australia at the moment, so unless you’re Down Under this month, you’ll have to keep an eye on their website and Facebook to hear about any new dates. But they did recently perform live on our broadcast from CMJ. Look for videos from that session on KEXP’s YouTube channel soon. For now, watch the video for “Paradise” below.