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 “Try To Be Better” by THE FAME RIOT from their 2014 self-released EP, DUST FUNK.
If you follow KEXP and the Seattle music scene (which you probably do if you’re reading this), chances are you’ve heard of THE FAME RIOT. This super glitzy duo took third place at last year’s fierce EMP Sound Off! competition, which has brought 13 years of local all-ages artists into the spotlight. Brothers Liz Scarlett and Shazam Watkins of THE FAME RIOT are totally captivating on and off stage – the pair’s aesthetic is like an early 2000s fantasy strongly inspired by Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. Musically, the two don’t stray far from this vibe, shaking up their hometown of Tacoma with a strong dose of glam rock. In an interview during Sound Off!, THE FAME RIOT described their music first and foremost as danceable, that “even if you’re deaf you can dance to [their] music – you don’t even hear, you can feel [the beat].”
Today’s featured song, “Try To Be Better”, is all kinds of groovy. Liz and Shazam share lead vocals, or as they say, “lead-screeching” duties. But I wouldn’t go so far as to call the brothers’ voices harsh, especially backed by their “rave-inspired” dance pop beats. They’re also not the kind of overproduced pop you know will sound all wrong live; listening to these guys makes you want to hear (and dance to) them in person – which you can do! On July 19th they’ll be inspiring everyone at Bite Of Seattle to dance.
Check out THE FAME RIOT’s Facebook and Twitter for endless entertainment and updates -- they’ll be all around the Seattle area this summer. They’ve just performed live at KEXP as well, which you can hear online. Watch their performance of “Try To Be Better” from their 2013 in-studio performance at KEXP here: