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, selected by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “Charm” by My bubba from their 2016 album, Big Bad Good, self-released on Cash Only.
On their first two albums – How It’s Done in Italy and Goes Abroader – Nordic “sensual folk” duo My bubba are global adventurers and day travelers, seeking steamy passion in the sultry heat of remote places like the Amazon and among leisurely pursuits like swimming and knitting. On their latest, and third, LP, Big Bad Good, these friends since school, Iceland’s Guðbjörg Tómasdóttir (Bubba) and Sweden’s My Larsdotter (actually pronounced “Me”), seek more of an emotional journey while stripping down their already minimal sound to go quieter, deeper, and more immediate. Big Bad Good was recorded at Figure 8 in Brooklyn with multi-instrumentalist and composer Shahzad Ismaily, who first met the pair while supporting Sam Amidon at Iceland Airwaves. Written on location, its songs were often performed for the first time as they were tracked live. Gentle songs like “Letter” and “Carolina” feel all the more intimate for it – as does today’s featured song, “Charm”. As My, the primary vocalist on this one, sings “All I’m promising you is my charm / and that can’t do you too much harm / I’m giving up the Waterloo”, and whether she’s referring to the ABBA song or the decisive European battle, you can’t help but feel utterly disarmed. To My bubba’s allure, you can’t help but surrender.
In person, your emotional armistice will have to wait, but only for a short while. My bubba will return to Seattle to play the Tractor Tavern on November 16th, following a string of East Coast dates starting in late October. Check their website and Facebook page for more info. For now, check out both their official video for “Charm” below and their version of it as performed live in the KEXP studio this summer here.