Song of the Day: Peyote Ugly – Stranger

Photo by Rachel Bennett

Photo by Rachel Bennett

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Stranger” by Seattle act Peyote Ugly, from their 2017 self-released and self-titled EP.

Peyote Ugly – Stranger (MP3)

With a name like Peyote Ugly, there’s no shortage of imagery that comes to mind. The synth-psych trio lives up to the hype of their moniker. For the last couple of years, the band has cut their teeth in Seattle’s dives and playing a wealth of shows as they fine-tuned the songs that would eventually become the Peyote Ugly EP. The result is a collection of songs that feel like a rare cool breeze waving through the barren desert. Not really “ugly”, but you can feel notes of spacey peyote in the mix.

Maybe no song on the EP represents their sound better than “Stranger.” The track highlights the band’s greatest asset: subtlety. They clearly have the prowess to turn into a heavy, maximalist jam at any point, yet choose to take the desert road less traveled. Air synthesizers glisten over the steady chop of the guitar and the roll of the drums. Hints of twangy slide guitar eventually pop in later in the mix, adding a pained sense of melancholy to the song. “It’s strange and you like it that way,” lead vocalist Elliot Preston sings on the chorus. It might as well be a thesis statement for the band. They’re willing to take major departures and form them in their own image.

Peyote Ugly will be playing Barboza on July 12, opening for Close Encounters’ EP release show alongside BUHU. You can keep up to date with Peyote Ugly by following their Facebook page. In the meantime, check out their full EP below.

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