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 “Born at the Wrong Time” by Explone from their 2016 self-released album, Suicide Fences.
Seattle rock group Explone has been making airy pop with a classic rock undertow with great success since 2005. The four-piece flaunts a guitar driven sound that lead man Patrick Porter explores with his lofty voice and uplifting hooks. It’s certainly music that brings an element of euphoria to its listeners, so it’s no surprise that Porter described their newest album as a “quest for joy.” However, it is surprising that Porter credits the inspiration for the album to a suicide fence on the Aurora Bridge – a not exactly joy inducing object. But while the music of Explone has always been about making joy tangible through music, it has been equally committed to drawing it from a place of melancholy. The sentiment certainly explains why and how Porter found joy in the dark connotations of the bridge, seeing beauty in the possibility that the fence could prevent a suicide and lead to someone possibly living a longer, happier life. The inspiration of the fence, and the theme of generating joy through its absence that it led to, is displayed seamlessly throughout the album as Porter has crafted ten songs full of melancholy laced lyrics that swell and rise with joyous melodies.
Today’s Song of the Day, album cut “Born at the Wrong Time”, captures the duality of the album excellently, as the song generates pleasant sounds while Porter sings “its never going to get easier for you.” The guitar driven track displays both the punch of punk riffs and the guitar driven melodies of classic rock while Porter’s voice climbs and soars. The song’s classic rock tint certainly displays why the group may have been born in the wrong time, and the lyrics certainly highlight what a tragedy it is, but Exploner surely isn’t offended by listeners finding joy in their melancholy.
You can catch the group live and get a hard copy of Suicide Fences tomorrow, Saturday, August 27th, at their album release party at Columbia City Theater. Find out more on their website and Facebook page. For now, watch the video for their excellent cover of the Hüsker Dü track “Death Set On Destruction” below: