Song of the Day: Quasi – You Can Stay But You Got To Go

photo by Christopher Nelson

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 is “You Can Stay But You Got To Go” by Quasi from the 2013 album Mole City on Kill Rock Stars.

Quasi – You Can Stay But You Got To Go (MP3)

One of the hardest working bands in the Northwest, Quasi has a new album out for fans called Mole City, their first since 2010’s American Gong. The new record, released in October, is a 24-track sonic maze complete with short, screeching instrumental skits that weave in and out of the new material. While their songs often seem to have underpinning messages aimed at American gluttony and shortsightedness, they’re also catchy and expertly crafted, a mixture of The White Stripes, Elliot Smith and Howlin’ Wolf.

“You Can Stay But You Got To Go” is a great example of Quasi’s body of work. It begins almost with a space shuttle-like liftoff ruckus, leading into the sticky guitar lick. The song points to confusion, time passing and a general whatthehellisgoingonhere? feeling. But Quasi is smart — the message is delivered as most important messages should, with a bit of clever, catchy flair that makes one want to go back and hear it over and over again. “Now, everybody comes, everybody goes, what’s it all about, no one really knows,” belts singer/organist Sam Coomes.

The band is currently on tour, celebrating 20 years together. With shows upcoming in Texas, Arizona, California and the UK, Quasi is playing Seattle 11/22 at The Tractor Tavern and 11/23 at Doug Fir in Portland. Check their website and Facebook page for more dates and info. For now, watch the video for today’s featured song here:

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