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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Saint Stephen” by Dylan In The Movies from the 2014 album Sweet Rebel Thee on DeeVeeUs Records.
Bostonian crooner Brian Sullivan, the driving force behind Dylan In The Movies (perhaps a reference to Bob Dylan’s 1967 film Don’t Look Back?), returned this year with his first release since 2006. With help from fellow East Coaster Tanya Donelly, indie favorite Jenny Lewis and others, Sweet Rebel Thee is a deep well of talent.
Summer nights call for the bittersweet nostalgia of today’s featured song, “Saint Stephen”, a gentle ballad fit for an aimless night drive. Sullivan’s rough vocals long for days past and flow effortlessly over his nuanced lyrics. He weaves fantastic little moments into the track, like the subtle change in melody with the lyrics “nobody knows when the melody will end,” or the intentionality of background vocals during the song’s peak. Its acoustic guitar riff and rolling keys cement the song’s alt-country vibe and make it the ideal background music for those sentimental moments in life.
If you missed Dylan In The Movies at the Triple Door opening for Throwing Muses and Tanya Donelly, check out their Facebook for upcoming live shows. For a blast from the past, you can listen to their last KEXP in-studio set here, and Brian Sullivan’s cover with Tonya Donelly of The Smiths’ “Shoplifters of the World”: