Enter to Win a Trip to Iceland Airwaves 2017

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Iceland is hands down the most beautiful place I have ever visited and even though I know there are many great festivals happening all around the world, I have a difficult time imagining something as special as Iceland Airwaves.”

– Miyuki (2013 Iceland Airwaves Flyaway winner)

KEXP wants to send you and a friend to explore the land of ice, fire, and groundbreaking music. Since the 1999 inception of Iceland Airwaves, this tastemaker festival has presented Florence and the Machine, the Flaming Lips, and TV on the Radio as well as Icelandic icons like Sigur Rós, GusGus, and Of Monsters and Men.

With that kind of track record, you’re sure to return from Iceland Airwaves with a slew of new favorite artists. Enter now to win airfare, festival passes, and three nights hotel accommodations. While you’re waiting, here’s a sampling of some of this year’s eclectic musical offerings.


It’s been a long wait for fans of Fleet Foxes between albums. Six years to be exact. But Robin Pecknold and his fellow foxes have returned with Crack-Up, a batch of rich, melancholic folk rock that stands up alongside their finest work.

New Zealand’s Aldous Harding is one of the fresh discoveries we’ve come to expect from the curators at Iceland Airwaves. The intensely theatrical artist’s debut album on 4AD — titled Party — is making all kinds of waves with the music press.

Songwriter Benjamin Clementine is only 26 but he’s packed a lot of living into his quarter century on the planet. The UK-born artist has already won the Mercury Music Prize 2015 for ‘Album of the Year’. Along the way, At Least For Now has received accolades from numerous sources including Sunday Times which called the release “a remarkable, beyond-categorization debut album — genuinely heart-wrenching.”

KEXP DJ Kevin Cole raved about Finnish artist Mikko Joensuu in a recent NPR roundup, describing his music as “a deeply cathartic release of pent-up emotions,” and “worth traveling 4,808 miles for — a small price for total transcendence.” Listen for yourself and prepare to be transported.

Lonely Parade is a band of three childhood friends who’ve been playing post-punk indie music together since 2012. Their most recent record No Shade was released on their own label Sleepwalk Tapes on September 18th, 2016. The trio toured eastern Canada and Ontario to support the release.

JFDR is the latest project from Jófríður Ákadóttir (Samaris, Pascal Pinon, Gangly), an artist who has received praise from no less than Icelandic legend Björk. “I got obsessed with her band Samaris a few years ago,” says Björk, “and then it was amazing to see her do her own stuff.”

You could win the opportunity to see all these bands live at the Iceland Airwaves Festival in November! Enter for your chance to win this extraordinary adventure!

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Song of the Day: Mammút – “The Moon Will Never Turn On Me”

photo by Jim Bennett (view set)

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 “The Moon Will Never Turn On Me” by Mammút, from their brand new album, Kinder Versions, out now on Bella Union.

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Tuesday Music News

photo by Renata Steiner (view set)

  • The War On Drugs are following up 2014’s critically acclaimed album Lost In The Dream this fall with A Deeper Understanding and today we have another single off the record, “Strangest Thing.” The epic atmospheric song comes with a 8mm visual directed by Shawn Brackbill. A Deeper Understanding will be out August 25 via Atlantic. The War On Drugs will play two nights at The Moore Theatre on Monday, October 9 and Tuesday, October 10. [ Pitchfork ]

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Access to the Arts: Spotlight on Rain City Rock Camp for Girls

access_for_allOn August 1st, King County voters will have a chance to vote for Proposition 1, also known as Access for All. This fund would provide arts, science, and heritage organizations like KEXP with significant new resources to sustain existing programs, greatly expand free and reduced-price access to programming, and create new long-term partnerships with King County public schools and school districts. Access for All would be paid for with a .1% sales tax levy (1 penny on every $10 spent) which would cost the average King County household about $3 per month. If a majority of King County voters approve it, Prop 1 will create a new fund for arts, science, and heritage education and access for residents and public school students. Over the next week, we’ll be spotlighting a few of the other local organizations who will also see an impact from Prop 1, like today’s profile on Rain City Rock Camp for Girls.

Since 2009, Rain City Rock Camp for Girls has been on a mission to empower girls, women, and gender non-conforming individuals to engage their creative potential through music. It’s about more than just learning to play an instrument: Rain City Rock Camp for Girls strives to foster self-esteem, create community, and encourage social change. We asked Executive Director Natalie Walker to tell us more:

Over the past year, what are some of your organization’s highlights in education, events, or programs for Seattle?

Over the past year, we had over 250 youth and 75 adults who identify as female or gender non-conforming participate in our programs, including leadership and activism for our mission. Over 200 volunteers from a diverse array of backgrounds and geographic locations contributed nearly 7,000 hours to our summer programs alone, doing everything from teaching instrument skills to facilitating challenging, but necessary discussions on body image and media influence on self-image.

Our showcases and events serve as fundraising tools, but we have begun messaging admission as “suggested donation” to support all of the families taking part in celebrating the accomplishments of their loved ones and members of their community. For the last 6 years, we have run 3-4 programs a year that are free to the participants. These include school partnership programs and youth leadership cultivation programs.

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Song of the Day: Songhoy Blues – Voter

photo by Renata Steiner (view set)

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 “Voter” by Songhoy Blues from Résistance, out now on Fat Possum Records.

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Monday Music News

photo by Matt Barnes

  • Broken Social Scene released their first album in seven years, Hug Of Thunder, a couple of weeks ago and now they’ve shared a video for the track “Vanity Pail Kids.” BSS’s Kevin Drew directed the rather strange video, which seems to be a commentary on the music industry via a toilet who’s trying to become a star. Broken Social Scene is coming to Seattle on Monday, October 23 to play the Neptune. [ Under the Radar ]

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In Stores Now 7/17

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Last Friday saw the release of not one, but two albums from local duo Shabazz Palaces. KEXP Music Director Don Yates calls Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star “an impressive set of adventurous hip hop combining an ominous, shape-shifting sound with often heavily processed and reverbed vocals and dystopian lyrics.” He notes Quazarz vs The Jealous Machines is “another strong set of adventurous hip hop combining brooding, beat-driven soundscapes with heavily processed vocals and lyrics revolving around social-media addiction and narcissism.”

Alabama-bred, Philly-based artist Katie Crutchfield — better known as Waxahatchee — releases her fourth full-length, “a more muscular, live in-studio sound and some of her most memorable songs to date, with deeply personal, brutally honest lyrics about moving on from a busted relationship.”

Seattle supergroup Lo Tom — that’s David Bazan and TW Walsh of Pedro The Lion along with Jason Martin and Trey Many of Starflyer 59 — release their debut LP, “a promising 8-song set of ’90s-steeped indie-rock with chugging guitars, muscular rhythms, offhand lyrics and potent song hooks.” Philadelphia band Sheer Mag unleash a “knockout full-length featuring a punkish blend of ’70s-inspired power-pop, classic rock and high-energy soul, along with a bit of funk and disco, combining Thin Lizzy guitar riffs, energetic rhythms and Tina Halladay’s urgent, powerhouse vocals on hook-filled songs alternating between politically militant anthems and fevered, love-fueled rockers.” And Melbourne, Australia band The Stevens deliver “a potent set of scrappy, lo-fi post-punk” on their sophomore LP.
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TV Eye: Week of 7/17

Car Seat Headrest // photo by Amber Knecht (view set)

KEXP has our TV eye set for this week in late night television. Set your DVR, TiVo, or just drink some coffee to stay awake for these musical guest performances on your favorite talk shows. Here are the highlights:

Monday, July 17th:
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Portugal. The Man
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner & James McAlister
The Late Late Show with James Corden: Green Day (R)
Last Call with Carson Daly: Potty Mouth (R)
Conan: Car Seat Headrest (R)

Tuesday, July 18th:
Last Call with Carson Daly: Split Single (R)
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson

Wednesday, July 19th:
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: The Who

Thursday, July 20th:
Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Run the Jewels
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: SZA

Friday, July 21st:
Jimmy Kimmel Live!: The Kills (R)

Saturday, July 22nd:
Austin City Limits: Ryan Adams / Jenny Lewis (R)

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KEXP DJs Sound Off: 2017 Capitol Hill Block Party Picks

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The 2017 Capitol Hill Block Party is on the horizon, this Friday, July 21st through Sunday, July 23rd. Have you plotted out your schedule yet? We asked our esteemed DJs for their musical picks to help you navigate the stages over the weekend. Check out their suggestions below!

And, KEXP is bringing a little bit of Block Party to the airwaves this weekend, Friday through Sunday, with LIVE in-studio sessions from Run the Jewels, Torres, My Goodness, and more. These four-song sets are open to the public to watch from the Viewing Space, FREE + All Ages. More info on attending here.

Cheryl Waters:

Wolf Parade!!!!!
Angel Olsen
Perfume Genius
Torres
Cherry Glazerr
Cloud Nothings
Noname

Stas THEE Boss, host of Street Sounds on KEXP:

Kung Foo Grip, ILLFIGHTYOU, Thundercat, and Danny Brown.

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Access to the Arts: Spotlight on Seattle Music Partners

access_for_allOn August 1st, King County voters will have a chance to vote for Proposition 1, also known as Access for All. This fund would provide arts, science, and heritage organizations like KEXP with significant new resources to sustain existing programs, greatly expand free and reduced-price access to programming, and create new long-term partnerships with King County public schools and school districts. Access for All would be paid for with a .1% sales tax levy (1 penny on every $10 spent) which would cost the average King County household about $3 per month. If a majority of King County voters approve it, Prop 1 will create a new fund for arts, science, and heritage education and access for residents and public school students. Over the next week, we’ll be spotlighting a few of the other local organizations who will also see an impact from Prop 1, like today’s profile on Seattle Music Partners.

Founded in 2000, Seattle Music Partners is dedicated to bringing more music-learning opportunities to students in low-income schools, through a free afterschool program that uses music and mentorship to empower young people. Students are given the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument, read music, and develop a sense of belonging. We asked Program Director Meaghan Leferink to share more about Seattle Music Partners:

Over the past year, what are some of your organization’s highlights in education, events, or programs for Seattle?

This past year was a year of overall growth for Seattle Music Partners — our after-school program worked with over 100 students at our four schools in the Central District and expanded to additional grade levels with our middle school program. We had more students than ever participate in our summer program, and more volunteers than ever to make it all happen! In total over 150 people from the Seattle music community came together to make SMP the quality educational experience that it is for our students.

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