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 Midday Show with DJ Cheryl Waters, is “Real People” by Small Black, and featuring Frankie Rose, from the 2014 Real People EP on Jagjaguwar.
Can you remember the infamous “Barefoot Bandit?” Washington’s own plane-thieving tween’s the subject for today’s featured song. In it, the Brooklyn-based Small Black imagines what it might be like to embody the life of Colton Harris-Moore, and what his perception of our lives, the lives in which no one steals planes shoeless, may consist of. The topic’s enticing and seems like a great subject for a Brookyln garage-punk song but, they do it in a 80’s-style danceclub-influenced pop song, mirroring the styles of LCD Soundsystem and College & Electric Youth along the way. Over the top of the song’s gooey synths and minimalistic drum pattern the conceptual lyrics float dreamlike, at times supported by the slight pinging of an electronic steel drum. Plus, Frankie Rose (previously of Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and the Vivian Girls) adds her talented vocals to the mix, diversifying the band’s all-male pop sound. In fact, Small Black’s whole EP, Real People, has been influenced by Rose’s work, and her lyrics on the track “Lines of Latitude” show exactly what these two powerhouses are capable of when collaborating.
In all their 80’s glory, Small Black will be playing at Capitol Hill Block Party on July 27th. Check for more dates on Small Black’s website, and follow Small Black on Facebook and Twitter (there’s a picture of the band with Jim Gaffigan). For now, here’s their music video for “Real People”.