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, selected by DJ Shannon and featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Eyeballs” by Seattle’s Pillar Point from their 2014 self-titled album on Polyvinyl.
Named for both a bay in California and a town in Washington, Pillar Point was first conceived as an outlet for songs Seattle’s Scott Reitherman felt wouldn’t fit his other project, indie pop group Throw Me The Statue. Decidedly more darker and dance-oriented than that band’s catalog, Pillar Point’s songs focus primarily around a theme of dissolution (during its writing and recording, his parents divorced and he split, and later reconciled, with his longtime girlfriend). Accordingly, the buouyant, indie rock tones and moods that dominated Throw Me The Statue have been replaced with analog synthesizers and DFA-type rhythms, and perhaps because of Reitherman’s natural pop instincts, the transition between the two styles feels like a natural next chapter in Reitherman’s story. “Eyeballs”, a smooth, melodic track that splits the difference between early 2000s’ bedroom electronic music and early ’80s New Wave, benefits from a clockwork construction; taking a cue from the unpredictable, but never obtrusive, drum programming, Reitherman’s vocal melodies run seamlessly from one into the next, working with the buzzing melancholy sounds of his keys to create a sense of emotional urgency. “Eyeballs” is somewhat less grave in tone than most of the album (it’s about the negative feelings caused by social networks rather than the aforementioned topics), but it broadcasts its relative melancholy with such daft precision that any chance of overbearing gloominess is erased by the first undeniable chorus.
Right now, Pillar Point are in the middle of a West Coast tour that will bring them to Seattle on May 15th supporting Katie Kate. (They’ll be playing at the 2014 Capitol Hill Block Party and Sasquatch Music Festival too.) Get tickets and more info on that 21+ show at Neumos here, keep track of Reitherman on his Facebook and website, and below, watch the band play “Diamond Mine” live on KEXP late last year.