Song of the Day: Moon Palace – Shapeshifter

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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Shapeshifter” by Moon Palace, from the 2017 album Moon Palace out now on Plume Records.

Moon Palace – Shapeshifter (MP3)

On their self-titled debut album, Seattle quintet Moon Palace embrace a style of psychedelia achieved not through hallucinogens and intoxicants, but a sobering awe of nature. It’s the sound of sunset-splashed desert vistas, of a full moon’s hypnotic glow, of frosty breaths on a crisp night. Or in the case of the climactic cut “Shapeshifter,” it’s the sound of an ocean ripple slow cascading into a tsunami.

Atop gently crashing drum rolls and dreamy guitar discord, sisters Cat and Carrie Biell harmonize in a tone that’s both heavenly and haunting, while Darcey Zoller’s omnipresent cello hum creeps in like a black cloud illuminated by silent electrical flickers. But even as the drumbeat tightens up into a tense thrust and a kick of the distortion pedal summons the storm, Moon Palace navigate these choppy waters with poise and grace, the song’s mesmerizing melody guiding them to safe passage like a lighthouse’s beam.

The band just played an album release show earlier this week at Chop Suey; no other dates listed yet. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, and check out another track from the new LP below, “Canyon.”

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