Song of the Day: The Juan MacLean – I’ve Waited For So Long

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “I’ve Waited For So Long” by The Juan MacLean from the 2014 album In A Dream on DFA Records.

The Juan MacLean – I’ve Waited For So Long (MP3)

Reestablishing his ongoing project with Nancy Whang, John MacLean has dropped what, as far as we can tell thus far, is lined up to be the dance record of the year. On In A Dream, The Juan MacLean gives us a nine track, hour long beast of disco majesty. From beginning to end, the LP shakes you in a dozen different directions, sometimes tending towards the epic new wave narrations of the Human League, and at other times, bracing the cutting edge of modern house, giving bands like Disclosure a serious run for their money. The record is another in a long list of DFA winners, and the Juan MacLean keep their flawless track record for another couple years.

After the first half of the record closes with the sensual, dark slow burn of “Running Back To You”, “I’ve Waited For So Long” ups the energy back to a comfortable two step in shimmering, synthesized fashion. In A Dream lets John and Nancy take turns on the lead vocals, sometimes letting John dominate in monotone mystery, other times letting Nancy melt our hearts with her brilliantly unique, dynamic wonders. Here on “I’ve Waited”, the two are about half and half. John and Nancy switch off on the verses, crying out the pains of wronged love before Nancy takes the reins for the simple but poignant chorus line. Elsewhere, the steady new wave groove is the dominant voice, with a half dozen synthesizers all puncturing the air with punchy oscillations and razor sharp bells, while unmistakably 80s guitar gives one moving voice of legato behind the rest. The dynamic between sounds is echoed in the lyrics. “If you don’t walk away, it won’t be good enough”, the two sing towards the end, begging for validation in their heartbreak by putting one more nail in the coffin. The track is unadulterated 80s heartbreak, put to a danceable groove worthy of the Pet Shop Boys. Through and through, it’s just another piece of pure gold from the Juan MacLean’s latest masterpiece.

The Juan MacLean are playing a few dates next month in Europe, but nothing else has been scheduled yet. Keep an eye open for potential U.S. dates and look for more music on the duo’s website and Facebook page. For now, here’s the new video for “A Simple Design”, the first single of In A Dream:

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