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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Dirty Thing” by Seattle’s Vibragun from their self-titled 2014 album on No-Count Records.
The path to releasing the album Vibragun was definitely not an easy one. It’s heavy guitars and thick instrumentation exemplify the difficulty frontman Joel Bergstrom had to go through in order to bring the record into the world. In 2011, Vibragun was formed, a few songs were recorded and the band was headed for a trip to SXSW — simple enough, right? But not long after, in 2013, Berstrom went through a family tragedy, losing his grandmother. “I started to find I couldn’t focus on anything and I kept telling myself I was handling it, but it pushed me over the edge,” he explained. After seeking treatment for depression and alcohol abuse, Berstrom went on, thankfully, to release the 8-track self-titled record in January 2014.
With a renewed sense of purpose and an understanding that, while the songs were written about his own experience, they were really a testament to “how we affect each other”, Berstrom is ready to share the work he and his band have been producing. On the song “Dirty Thing”, for example, there is a recognition that we must understand what’s good and happy, as well as what’s hard and, yes, sad. “If you don’t look down, that’s a dirty thing,” the opening lyrics note. But there is such drive, such a push forward in the song that we know we can’t stop there, can’t get lost in any low rabbit hole. This is as important as any lesson music can teach us.
While the band doesn’t have any live dates scheduled at the moment — having come off a handful of recent 2014 shows — you can check back on their website for more information. In the mean time, you can watch their video for “All the Cool Kids” here: