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 “Cold” by Gerhardts from the 2013 self-released Gerhardts EP.
Although they were formed in 2009, the members of Seattle’s Gerhardts have known each other since the late ’90s, taking the musical influences they’ve absorbed throughout their friendship to make a mix of roughly melodic indie rock and second wave emo. Vocalist/guitarist Joshua Hollander, bassist/keyboardist Paul Hermann, guitarist/vocalist Justin Desilet, guitarist/keyboardist Andrew Hackett, and drummer/vocalist Justin Wilmore have been playing together in some combination since their initial meeting in high school, but Gerhardts is the first project to have all five members concurrently on board. Because they’re longtime music fans who know each other’s tastes - the blocky guitars of OK Computer-era Radiohead, shifting dynamics of Sunny Day Real Estate, and the subtly orchestrated pop craftsmanship of the Cure - their chemistry is palpable, both in the strength of their songwriting and their loose, muscular performances. “Cold”, a track from their recently released self-titled EP, takes notes from some of the aforementioned bands, but doesn’t play it too safe. Over an elliptical guitar riff and a swinging rhythm, Hollander’s clear vocals pierce through a wave of layered guitars. When Hollander sings, “memories that are not your own/but still make you feel it all”, it feels like a call out to the days where the five of them would sit around listening to a CD on the way to a show, but also a resolution for the group to write a series of new chapters.
Gerhardts are working on lining up some gigs for 2014, so keep an eye on their Facebook and Bandcamp for any news about those shows or new music. Watch the band practice an early version of “Cold” below.