Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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 “Fall Apart” by Withered Hand from the 2014 album New Gods, on Slumberland Records.
Scotland’s Dan Willson plays pop music, but with a twist. His project Withered Hand is not of a cookie-cutter sort, despite the fact his melodies are supremely palatable and his vocal lines smooth as clouds. Maybe that’s because Willson came late to songwriting, starting at age 30, and has taken his time to follow up his acclaimed confessional lo-fi debut, Good News. Five years since, after performing regularly and building his fan base, Withered Hand returns with a more polished pop-rock sound yet featuring the same fragile vocals and smart, introspective lyrics that first appealed so much to listeners.
Today’s featured song, “Fall Apart”, describes the plight of feeling a sort of absence despite feeling a sort of love for another person. The idea then? Fall apart — since the idea of some staying together only creates the reality of ramming yourself against something. Better become the puzzle pieces than the completed puzzle, right? Because there is no play when the puzzle is finished. And who wants to move on to another puzzle when you’re in love with this one? Exactly. This is the trance “Fall Apart” puts you in.
Currently, Withered Hand has a handful of Edinburgh dates slated on their Facebook page. Check back there for possible U.S. tour updates in the future. In the meantime, here’s their fun video for “Horseshoe”, another song from the new album: