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 “Deep Set Eyes” by Reputante from the 2013 Oceanside EP on Cult Records.
Blending noirish tones with restless romanticism, New York City’s Reputante carries their home city’s sonic hallmarks with finesse. James Levy, Jimmy Giannopoulos, Raviv Ullman and Emiliano Ortiz (the former three are also members of Lolawolf with Zoe Kravitz) formed Reputante less than a year ago, but they’ve already built a reputation for themselves in NYC (they’re signed to a certain NYC icon’s label) through songwriter Levy’s (ex Levy, J. Levy and the Blood Rose) melodic craft and the band’s consistent live presence. Produced by Ash’s Tim Wheeler, the band’s debut EP, Oceanside, is a slick, five-song dose of ’80s inspired . Lighter in tone than an icy-cool Johnny Jewel project but still just as hook-filled, “Deep Set Eyes” rallies around Levy’s midnight croon to slowly reveal itself as a pop gem. Balancing atmosphere with efficiency, Levy and his bandmates use their 3 minutes and 16 seconds the the fullest, creating a song that channels both the florescent tone of ’80s New York City and modern Brooklyn. By the time “Deep Set Eyes” reaches the end of its driving pulse, it’s conjured a Cure-esque melodic melancholy that’s hard to deny.
Reputante’s next gig is at the Echo in LA next January, but if they make a run up to the Pacific Northwest, that news will be posted on their Facebook and Tumblr. Watch the video for the Oceanside track “Lock Me Up” below.