Song of the Day: Cass McCombs – Opposite House

photo by Rachel Pony Cassells

photo by Rachel Pony Cassells

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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Opposite House” by Cass McCombs from his eight studio record, and debut on Anti Records, entitled Mangy Love.

Cass McCombs – Opposite House (MP3)

Cass McCombs has been humbly hiding out under the underground, with tip-of-the-iceberg fame, for fifteen years now. Aside from his melodious, easy-listening psych rock that religiously flirts with reverb and lyrical slow jams, the LA-based musician is known for being reclusive, but respected –  mellow, but meticulous – dissent-prone, but decent. With eight studio albums now to his name, the last five previously on Domino Records, he’s recently released Mangy Love out on Anti Records, which is yet another peak of perfection in his seemingly valley-less career.

A song like “Opposite House” demonstrates the established smooth sound and aphoristic gravitas that Cass McCombs has been chasing and mastering for handfuls of years. He’s somehow able to turn the rock, reggae, pop, psych, and alt country genres (and cultures) on their heads and flip them back over to create his own shaken-up style that incorporates R&B-like humidity, jazzy hooks, twinkling piano, atmospheric synth, vulnerable singing, and earnest lyricism. His brut vocal style is balanced with his honest-honeyed crooning and his vocal range spans two octaves on a lot songs. To boot, his virtuoso musicality and musicianship are virtually undetectable due to them being so second nature to him.

One of Anti- Records’ public taglines is “Real musicians creating records on their own terms,” which sums up Cass McCombs pretty well. He’s the real deal, a real straight shooter. He collaborates with whoever he wants, like Angel Olsen Blake Mills, and nineteen others, on Mangy Love, and he’s not afraid to speak his mind. Moreover, it doesn’t take a laundry list of venerable musicians selecting their favorite song of his (which exists) and claiming him to be a venerable musician in his own right to know that Cass McCombs is a musician’s musician. His songs levitate and resonate on many levels; dreamy and down to earth, playful and profound, apolitical and political, merry and melancholic, the list goes on.

Cass McCombs is currently on a US tour, currently in the Midwest and then embarking on European and Australian tours throughout February 2017.  Stay tuned to his whereabouts on his Facebook page or check out the cool content on his website. For some extra listening, check out the official video below for “Run Sister Run” off Mangy Love below.

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