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 DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Right Now” by Amber Arcades from her forthcoming debut album, Turning Light, due June 3rd on Heavenly Recordings.
Given her day job as a legal aide in The Netherlands, often supporting UN war crime tribunals and cases involving Syrian refugees, you’d think Annelotte de Graaf might have a pretty strong serious streak. Her music, though, by contrast, is such blissfully produced, girl band influenced dream pop that you might be tempted by it to leave all your cares behind. Perhaps that’s the point, but the Dutch singer-songwriter isn’t at all about frivolity or disposability. Her recent single, “Right Now”, can get about as deep as you want it to, as de Graaf says herself:
Even now the precise meaning is hard for me to pin down and can shift over time, but generally I’d say it’s about the billions of different views there are to this life and whatever we’re doing here with our time and how all these differing views are probably equally true and false. I guess that’s kind of everything and nothing. And I think that might be the point.
To record “Right Now”, and the rest of her forthcoming debut – Turning Light, due June 3rd, on Heavenly Recordings – de Graaf hit up producer Ben Greenberg (The Men, Beach Fossils, Destruction Unit), whose work she admired. For a quick session at Williamsburg’s Strange Weather Recording Studio, she recruited guitarist Shane Butler and bassist Keven Lareau (both from Quilt), and drummer Jackson Pollis (from Real Estate), and the result is as dreamy as you’d imagine, and both as fresh and retro feeling as when Cults first hit the scene with “Go Outside”.
Amber Arcades will touring in Europe for most of the summer, with select dates supporting Nada Surf. There’s no news yet on any U.S. dates, but keeping checking her website and Facebook page for when they’re eventually released, hopefully not too long after Turning Light is released. For now, enjoy the official video for today’s featured song: