Song of the Day: The Ills – 4:17

The Ills

photo by Tatiana Lehocka

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.

In early February, I attended MENT Ljubljana, a three-day festival of new and emerging bands and artists from Europe and beyond—mostly Central and Eastern Europe. There’s a conference component to the festival too, and I was invited to share the KEXP story to delegates from the music industry in Europe gathered to discuss creativity, distribution, licensing, and the issues facing the music industry. KEXP is seen as a beacon of hope for independent artists and music lovers all over the world, and it was a great opportunity to discover new bands and to meet, connect, and engage with music makers from Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Scotland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia and more. The festival is lovingly curated, and I experienced a ton of excellent bands for the first time. I’m excited to share the highlights on the Afternoon Show, my recent Music That Matters podcast, and this week’s Song of the Day Podcasts.

Today’s pick is “4:17″ by The Ills, from the 2016 self-released album, Ornamental or Mental.

The Ills – 4:17 (MP3) The Ills, from Bratislava, Slovakia, create expressive, instrumental rock that ebbs and flows, with heads-down precision playing and exquisitely detailed tones. I had a hard time picking a song, because I love the whole damn album, Ornamental or Mental. Today’s featured song, “4:17″, surprises with light flourishes and transcendent riffage that explode out of the dark, relentless, heart-tripping propulsion that anchors the song. They were fantastic live… locked into the groove, riding a wave of sound. I hope they can make it to Seattle sometime soon to blow minds!

Find out more about The Ills on their website and Facebook page, and watch a live version of “4:17″ below.

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