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 “Volcano Surfing” by Seattle band XVIII Eyes from their 2013 self-released album, I’ll Keep You.
The Seattle band XVIII Eyes (formerly known as Eighteen Individual Eyes) recently released their full-length I’ll Keep You, a big, bursting collection of music with layers and layers of instrumentation placed around one another to form an elaborate collage of songs. Each tune, crafted and woven together, is held by the springy vocals of singer Irene Barber. The band, comprised of Barber, Jamie Aaron, Samantha Wood and Andy King, formed in 2009 and I’ll Keep You is the group’s second LP, following the success of their debut album, Unnovae Nights, a 10-track, rhythm-heavy record.
The title “Volcano Surfing” invokes the idea of braving the molten magma of a fresh volcanic outburst, turning in and out as if magically down a slope, to what one can only assume is a place of safety. XVIII’s song lives up to the mental picture its name suggests. Sonic pitfalls combined with a sense of downward sailing, trees falling, leaves ablaze, mini meteors shooting up and diving, Irene Barber’s voice guiding us home. The track is playful, despite Barber’s tone, which seems to foretell of an uneasy ride through that which is mostly dangerous.
XVIII Eyes’ next Seattle show is slated for January 14 at Barboza. Check their website and Facebook page for more dates and more music. For now, watch their live video for their song “Xylophone” at the Columbia City Theater here: