Song of the Day: The Afghan Whigs – Demon In Profile

photo by Chris Cuffaro

photo by Chris Cuffaro

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Demon In Profile” by The Afghan Whigs from their upcoming 2017 album, In Spades, on Sub Pop.

The Afghan Whigs – Demon In Profile (MP3)Cincinnati band The Afghan Whigs got their start in 1986, and made a name for themselves by incorporating an untraditional slew of influences (R&B being the most prominent) into their dark brand of rock. Following a hiatus in 2001, the group made a comeback in 2014 with the album Do the Beast. Throughout this span, the group has never stopped growing. No two albums have been the same, and while Do the Beast received mixed reviews, no one could claim it wasn’t a fresh new take on The Afghan Whigs sound. But when it was announced that guitarist Dave Rosser was diagnosed with inoperable cancer, it would have been understandable — if not expected — that the band take a break or call it quits. Instead, they are marching ahead with upcoming album In Spades, which features Dave Rosser and promises to be an introspective look at the bands journey and growth through a “spooky” spectral theme. Album single and song of the day, “Demon In Profile,” holds to that promise well. On it, chilling piano is echoed by a sparse bass line, soundtracking the songs initial sparseness. Lead man Greg Dulli’s vocals roll out like a smothering fog, and horns fuel a powerful crescendo that peaks in squealing guitar. The track may be spooky, but it is equally triumphant, echoing the resilience of the band and its members’ will to keep growing, no matter the circumstances.

The Afghan Whigs are about to tour Europe, but keep an eye on their Facebook and website for a possible U.S. tour. In the meantime, check out the official video for “Demon In Profile” (featuring Har Mar Superstar) below.

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