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 DJ John Richards, is “Sherman (Animals In the Jungle)” by Tom Vek from the 2014 album Luck on Moshi Moshi Records.
Multi-instrumentalist Tom Vek reappeared this year with his third album, Luck, three years since the British artist’s last release. Much of Vek is self-created; in childhood he experimented with lo-fi rock in his garage (which would unpredictably transform into an electro-punk hybrid). His latest album was mostly self-recorded, and even his unassuming name, Vek, (born Vernon-Kell) was a deliberate choice in the artist’s evolution.
One of the high points from Luck is its first single, and today’s featured song, “Sherman (Animals In the Jungle).” On it, Vek sings in a strident monotone over his characteristically punchy beats and screwy electronic motifs. It’s the intensity of Vek’s electronic stylings -- with an energy reminiscent of Depeche Mode -- that gives the track momentum. The anxiety-inducing keyboard and synth riffs carry Vek’s insistent crypticism and push the song out of the realm of simplicity. The lyrics are subtle, especially Vek’s subliminal hints at a larger meaning, with a memorable did-I-just-hear-what-I-think-I-heard moment in the first verse; “now that you’re out of calm/now that the rubber has erased it.” One can speculate about the specificities of Vek’s lyrics, but the real question is, who is Sherman?
Get more of Tom Vek by checking out his website, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook for updates as he tours the U.K. this fall. You can also watch the official video for “Sherman (Animals In the Jungle)” below: