Song of the Day: The Cairo Gang – Real Enough to Believe

photo by Nancy Neil

photo by Nancy Neil

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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Real Enough to Believe” by The Cairo Gang, from their 2017 album, Untouchable, on Drag City Records.

The Cairo Gang – Real Enough to Believe (MP3)The Cairo Gang are no strangers to the modern music scene, or the KEXP airwaves. The longtime project of Emmett Kelly, The Cairo Gang has frequently collaborated with artists such as Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Ty Segall (Kelly currently plays in Mr. Segall’s current Freedom Band.) Untouchable, released back in March, marks Kelly’s first record under The Cairo Gang moniker since 2015, and his second LP released on Drag City. Though connected to his past records, which contain undertones of 1980s British and New Zealand pop/punk, Untouchable finds Kelly in particularly strong form, working with producer Ty Segall to craft an album of meticulous, yearning yet spirited pop music.

“Real Enough to Believe,” today’s featured Song of the Day, finds Kelly’s precise croon taking center stage, the song guided by the energy and rhythm of his voice. Kelly’s vocals recall Edwyn Collins of Orange Juice, perhaps if he was raised on a steady diet of The Byrds. The wavering quality of Kelly’s voice compliments his melodic, jangling guitar, as well as laid-back, but precise drumming from Ty Segall. The track floats along, leaving behind an intricate, gentle haze in its wake.

The Cairo Gang will embark on a tour in late June, along with fellow garage-revivalists (and fellow Freedom Band member) CFM. For more information, check out the band’s Facebook and Bandcamp. In the meantime, here’s a nice acoustic recording of Kelly performing live at Pickathon last year:

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