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 “When It’s Time To Come Down” by The Black Hollies from the 2013 album Somewhere Between Here and Nowhere on Ernest Jenning Record Co.
Formed by three members of Rye Coalition, New Jersey’s Black Hollies eschewed most of their former band’s hard rock tendencies in favor of ’60s-style melodies and psychedelia. Originally enamored with the garage rock sounds that had been so successfully revived in New York half a decade prior, the early output from the band - singer/guitarist Justin Angelo Morey, keyboardist/guitarist Jon Gonnelli, guitarist Herbert Joseph Wiley, bassist Ashley Anderson Morey, and drummer Nick Ferrante - was more garage-influenced, but over the past eight years, the band has gradually embraced a more atmospheric, psychedelic approach to songwriting. This new angle has been most fully realized on Somewhere Between Here and Nowhere, the band’s fourth and most recent album, which balances its more ’60s pop leanings with noise- and art-rock tendencies. Using a vintage fade-in intro, “When It’s Time To Come Down” thankfully spends far more time going up than coming down. Layered with thick guitars, creeping organ, and a generally heady atmosphere, Morey’s reverberating vocals launch into floating, airy verses, letting the music expand over the song’s five-minute runtime. When it actually is time for the band to come down, they do it without warning, giving a song a twist, reverse “Hey Jane” ending that pulls the rug out from any listeners who may not be ready to return.
The Black Hollies will play a handful of East Coast shows in March, but the rest of their 2014 calendar has yet to be announced. Be the first to hear about any new tour dates or music over at their Facebook and Twitter pages, and watch the video for Somewhere Between Here and Nowhere’s title track below.