Song of the Day: Wilsen – Garden

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Garden” by Wilsen, from the 2017 album I Go Missing In My Sleep on Secret City Records.

Wilsen – Garden (MP3)

“Garden,” the first single from Wilsen‘s debut, I Go Missing In My Sleep (the follow-up to the acclaimed 2014 EPs Sirens and Magnolia), finds Brooklyn songwriter Tamsin Wilson surveying a relationship that she’s not quite sure is worth saving. Beginning with circular, Sam-Beam-style guitar plucking over sparse, click-clack percussion, “Garden” builds to whirring strings and ghostly backing vocals, creating a full-bodied, but hazy, sound. Wilsen’s lyrics castigate both parties for never quite being completely invested: “We only took what was easy/we couldn’t carry the weight of the world/on our backs.”

Wilson wrote many of the songs for I Go Missing In My Sleep in the early morning, and she adroitly lends a freshly-awakened quality to her voice. But even when she sounds dazed and just a bit removed, there’s no disguising the passion boiling just below the surface; her band creates a forceful, if spectral, sound. Wilsen returns again and again to the titular image of a garden, a place where the pair can ride out the world and perhaps work out whatever is coming between them. Though at first Wilson seems a bit wary, flatly requesting, “say we’ll hold on to this time,” she later pleads the same phrase, and it seems she’s decided the relationship is worth fighting for after all.

No Seattle shows on the horizon yet, but if you live in New York City, you can catch her on November 1st at Baby’s All Right. Follow Wilsen on Twitter and Facebook, and check out a video for today’s featured song below, directed and edited by Stephen Michael Simon.

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