We were afraid when Eric D. Johnson announced the demise of the beloved indie pop band Fruit Bats that we’d heard the last of him. But as he put that project to bed, during a recent in-studio, he assured KEXP listeners he’d be back with more music. We just had no idea how soon! Barely six months since the final Fruit Bats shows, Johnson is back with a solo project under the moniker EDJ. More personal than Fruit Bats, EDJ songs are, in his own words, “simple stories, some about losses, a few about disappointment and regret, but also of hope and perseverance”. Earlier this month, we offered an early peek of the self-titled debut with a Song of the Day podcast featuring one of those very songs about loss: “Lose It All, All The Time“. Today, we offer a second glimpse with the premiere of the albums’s opening track, the wistful “For The Boy Who Moved Away”, rendered beautifully by Eric Johnson and his many friends, including Neal Casal on guitar and backup vocalist James Mercer of The Shins.
You’ll hear more “melancholy grooves and existential make-out songs” when EDJ comes out August 5th on Easy Sound Recording Co., and when Eric performs LIVE on The Midday Show on KEXP on Thursday, August 7th at 1:00 PM PST. You can and should also catch him next weekend, on August 1st-3rd, at Pickathon Music Festival in Happy Valley, Oregon. For now, listen to exclusive premiere of “For The Boy Who Moved Away”:
As if we needed an excuse to get Cloud Cult on our airwaves again... The longtime KEXP favorites released an acoustic album earlier this year featuring live recordings of acoustic sets the band performed at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. Seattle, though, was their inspiration, as band re-tooled the songs from their entire catalog to play an all-natural set during the Arts in Nature festival last summer (watch our video here). And they came back again this year to headline the KEXP sponsored benefit Little Big Show #9. So yeah, we had to ask them back into the KEXP studio to perform newly acoustic versions of four songs from four different albums. Unplug but recharge with this gorgeous and inspiring session now:
Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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 “Saint Stephen” by Dylan In The Movies from the 2014 album Sweet Rebel Thee on DeeVeeUs Records.
Highlights for this sleepy summer week include the debut from Toronto-based band Alvvays (pronounced “always,” if you were wonderin’). KEXP Music Director Don Yates describes the release as “a promising set of hazy, surf-inflected dream-pop. Produced by Chad VanGaalen, the album features a reverb-drenched sound with fuzzy guitars, energetic rhythms, wistful melodies, melancholy lyrics and Molly Rankin’s soaring vocals.”
Los Angeles artist Tim Presley, aka White Fence, is back with his sixth full-length, but his first to be recorded in an actual studio with a live drummer. Produced by Ty Segall, Yates notes the new one “the album is a more focused, polished and melodic take on Presley’s jangly, ‘60s-steeped blend of garage-rock, psych-pop and folk-rock.” Ontario duo PS I Love You bring “a more dynamic, diverse and slightly more polished approach to their visceral blend of energetic post-punk and anthemic garage-rock.” Dan “The Automator” Nakamura and actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead team up as the duo Got a Girl, whose debut of retro, lounge-y pop has one of the best album titles of the year: I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now. Read More »
Today, indie rock duo The Raveonettes pulled a Beyonce and surprise released their album Pe’ahi,named after a surfing spot in Maui. The opening track “Endless Sleeper” according to Sune Rose Wagner refers to “a horrific near-drowning experience I had in Hawaii some years ago. It’s about taking risks in order to exist.” Watch the song’s lyric video below. [Pitchfork]
Timber! Outdoor Music Festival brings together musicians, scholars, outdoors folk, star enthusiasts, campers and lovers of root beer to enjoy a weekend of music and nature. To help celebrate this weekend’s wonderful outdoor music experience, we at KEXP wanted to ask some of the musicians performing at Timber! this weekend a few questions about their festival expectations, their favorite camping food, what instruments they’re bringing and more!
If you could collaborate with any of the artists at Timber!, who would it be?
Damien Jurado. In a heart beat. I own every one of his records, and his music was a huge part of what inspired me to be a songwriter. His voice has become a kind of comfort blanket for me when I find myself somewhere unfamiliar. The dark, calm of “And Now that I’m in Your Shadow” along with Jason Molina’s “Pyramid Electric Co.” taught me about how uplifting and powerful a sad song can be. Also, the way he can adapt to a full band with a choir or just him and his guitar, it’s amazing to watch and I love not knowing what comes next.
What’s the one thing each of you are bringing that you couldn’t live with out over the weekend?
I’ll be bringing my journal and a pen (I always have a notebook handy) and my stuffed animal dog. I never ended up naming it for some reason, but I’ve had him since I was like 10 years old and it fits into the curve of my neck so perfectly I still take it with me on all my travels. I’m weird... I know.
Up above Whistler in British Columbia, Pemberton Music Festival returns this year for the first time since 2008. It’s ambitious tag line, “The Coachella of Canada”, isn’t too bold at all. In a triumphant return, the festival features one of the best overall music and comedy lineups of the year, and we are proud to provide coverage through photos and summaries all weekend.
It never ceases to amaze me how much love the Flaming Lips have to offer their fans in the live setting. Battling sound with Snoop Dogg on Saturday evening was no problem for them or their massive crowd. With each marvelous track of their extremely festival-friendly set, everything else seemed to fade away, and there was only the band, the stage, and the crowd. The Flaming Lips’ music echoed through the valley and up over the mountains and everything was grand. Wayne Coyne remarked over and over again that this was one of the most beautiful settings possible. Meanwhile, the crowd facing the opposite direction of the band agreed completely. Read More »
This weekend was without a doubt the best music festival I’ve ever been to. I still haven’t been to the greats like SXSW or Primavera Sound, but All Tomorrow’s Parties Iceland went above and beyond your run-of-the-mill weekend festivals like Coachella, Sasquatch, Outside Lands, and Lollapalooza. Thoughtful curation of music, film, and DJs, and a location unlike any other made it a unique and beautiful experience. Held in an airplane-hangar-turned-film-studio on a former NATO base, the venue hosted two stages, a DJ tent, and a movie theater playing films curated by Portishead. Festival goers could also go to daytime events such as trivia, bingo, and 5-a-side football. Attendees and performers alike were encouraged to take part in these “extra-curricular” activities.
Barry Hogan DJ Set
All Tomorrow’s Parties was founded in England in 1999 by Barry Hogan in the hopes of creating an alternative to larger, corporate festivals. Tómas Young of Iceland was involved in a group in 2011 which brainstormed possibilities for reinvigorating the former NATO base, and the idea sprang up to host a festival there based on the style of ATP. Young contacted Hogan to collaborate, and the festival ended up becoming a part of ATP’s official events. To get a sense of the laid back, familiar vibe of the festival, check out the rules page from the pamphlet: Read More »
Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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 DJ John Richards, is “The Wizard” by Brownout from the 2014 album Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath out now on Ubiquity Records.
Brownout presents Brown Sabbath - The Wizard (MP3)
No spoilers, but you’ll probably never guess what happens at the end of this new Spoon video. Check out the clip for the track “Do You” below, directed by Hiro Murai (who’s done similarly-weird videos for Earl Sweatshirt, St. Vincent, Cults). The new album, They Want My Soul, comes out August 5th via Loma Vista. Hear an exclusive in-studio session from the band on KEXP Tuesday, August 5th at Noon PT, and catch them at the 2014 Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend. [Spin]