Wednesday Music News

photo by Kevin Krein

photo by Kevin Krein

  • Beach House are releasing a compilation called B-Sides and Rarities, which features (you guessed it) previously unreleased B-sides and rarities on June 30 via Sub Pop. Today, they shared a video for the track “Chariot,” which was self-directed by the band. The video depicts a movie theater audience watching stock footage prominently featuring former President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy, with a few appearances by Marilyn Monroe, while selected lyrics from the song occasionally flash beneath. The band explained the compilation in a statement, saying: “The idea for a B-sides record came when we realized just how many non-album songs had been made over the years, and how hard it was to find and hear many of them. This compilation contains every song we have ever made that does not exist on one of our records.” [ Under the Radar ]


  • Last night, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. The group performed “Rings of Saturn,” a standout from last year’s fantastic Skeleton Tree.  The band recently released the career-spanning compilation Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 1984-2014. Skeleton Tree was released along with the intimate documentary One More Time With Feeling. Nick Cave and Bad Seed Warren Ellis recently scored Brad Pitt’s new film, War Machine. The band is on tour right now but is, unfortunately, skipping Seattle. If you’re willing to road trip, you can either see them in Portland on Wednesday, June 21st at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall or in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday, June 22nd at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. [ Stereogum ]

  • Death From Above (f.k.a. Death From Above 1979) have shared their first music video since their name change for the single “Freeze Me.” The video directed by Corey Adams follows what seems like a body-building cult as they spend a lavish day hanging out in a mansion while dancing, eating corn dogs (served by Death From Above’s Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler), swimming, and, of course, working out before watching the rest of the world go up in flames. DFA are playing a handful of dates but none that include Seattle. [ Consequence of Sound ]

  • Last year, Rostam Batmanglij announced that he was leaving Vampire Weekend to work on a solo project and we now have an official announcement of that project. The debut solo album will be called Half-Light and will be released under just his first name Rostam. The album includes the previously released single “Gwan” as well as the just-released “Bike Dream.” In a press statement, Rostam explained his choice of the title Half-Light. “When I read its definition, and found that it had a double meaning—that it referred to both dawn and dusk—I started to think of how those times of day are part of so many lyrics on this album,” he said. The idea of dualities also refers to ethnicity and sexuality, he said: “Any person growing up in America with immigrant parents experiences this dichotomy, of feeling both double and half. It’s something a lot of us who identify as queer experienced growing up as well, slipping between straight and gay worlds, code-switching. I say experienced in the past tense because I don’t know that that’s the experience today’s kids will have. Things are changing.” Half-Light is out September 8 from Nonesuch. [ Spin ]

  • Arcade Fire are never ones to do simple and straightforward promotion for an album or single release. For their upcoming single “Creature Comfort” they’ve created Creature Comfort Cereal, which they shared an advertisement for yesterday. They’ve now taken it another step by hiding the boxes of cereal around Dublin. Fans who locate the cereal gain admittance to a party after their show at Dublin’s Malahide Castle today. “Creature Comfort” will likely appear on Arcade Fire’s forthcoming album Everything Now (out July 28 via Columbia). [ Pitchfork ]

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Local Artist Spotlight: Koga Shabazz

koga shabazz

Every week, KEXP features a new local artist with an interview and suggested tracks for where to start. This week, we are featuring artists performing during Block Party at The Station, this Saturday, June 17 in Beacon Hill.

What were you doing your senior year of high school? Were you dropping mixtapes and playing stages to crowds at local music festivals? If yes, chances are you’re Koga Shabazz, the moniker of local rapper Angel Cielos, who has had a massive year as he heads into graduation. He started 2017 dropping his first official debut, ’17 Bastards, and has gone on to perform in the Sound Off! competition and at this year’s Upstream Music Festival. As a native to the Central District, he’s a part of the next generation of local hip-hop emerging with a vital perspective on the evolution of the city. We caught up with Cielos about his rapid ascent, the neighborhood he grew up in, and what’s next in his emerging career.
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Midnight In A Perfect World: Dauwd

Dauwd

Dauwd is the alias of Dauwd Al Hilali, a US-born, UK-raised, Berlin-based electronic producer who has provided a steady supply of stellar tech-house grooves over the past six years, releasing high-quality EPs for Pictures Music, Ghostly International, and Berlin’s renowned Kompakt Records along the way. His exclusive guest DJ mix for Midnight in a Perfect World comes hot on the heels of the release of his long-awaited debut album Theory Of Colours, his first release on Ninja Tune‘s Technicolour imprint. Setting the tone early with one of his own tracks from the new record, Dauwd expertly weaves through cerebral, atmospheric, immersive tech-house tracks, featuring both top-tier contemporary underground selections as well as choice deep cuts from the 1990s. Regardless of the decade, Dauwd smoothly pieces them all together for a thoroughly magnetic listening experience.


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KEXP Suggests: Block Party at The Station 6/17

station block party

Seattle hip-hop has always been vital, maybe even underrated, but these day’s it’s undeniable. As we saw at Upstream this year, it’s poised for an overdue breakout. The only issue at this point is being overwhelmed with the sheer volume of artists to parse through. For those ready to fully immerse themselves in this electric, bold, and beautiful wave of music, this weekend you’ll have a chance to take it all in in one place.

Block Party at The Station is a FREE annual festival celebrating South Seattle’s music and arts community, returning on June 17 from 12-8 PM at The Station coffee shop in Beacon Hill. This year’s lineup is brimming over with some of Seattle’s reigning talent and vital voices. One of Seattle hip-hop’s greatest assets has been it’s lack of homogeneity, with each artist forging their own sound and approach. It’s a lineup that boosts up longtime favorites rappers like Dave B alongside young upstarts like Koga Shabazz. B-boy crew Massive Monkees will unite with the world/soul-fusion band Big World Breaks for a headlining performance. Poet-turned-mayoral candidate KO Nikkita (a.k.a. Nikkita Oliver) will grace the stage in the evening for what’s sure to be a rousing performance.
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Song of the Day: Spiral Stairs – Trams (Stole My Love)

photo by Brady Harvey

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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Trams (Stole My Love)” by Spiral Stairs, from the 2017 album Doris and the Daggers on Nine Mile Records.

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Tuesday Music News

photo by Laura Crosta

  • Fresh from her feature on this week’s episode of “Twin Peaks,” Sharon Van Etten has shared a remix to a track she wrote and released last year in honor of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, which happened one year ago yesterday. Titled “Not Myself,” Etten explained the reasoning for its release: “During the journey of making this song and finding the best way to share it with the world, a fellow musician recommended I reach out to someone to remix the song to share with the club community. In this way, a version can exist where even more people can connect to this song in a more positive and healing light.” Proceeds from the track go towards the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. [ Stereogum ]

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Local Artist Spotlight: Taylar Elizza Beth

photo by April Sol

Every week, KEXP features a new local artist with an interview and suggested tracks for where to start. This week, we are featuring artists performing during Block Party at The Station, this Saturday, June 17, in Beacon Hill.

When rapper Taylar Elizza Beth (a.k.a. Taylar White) dropped her Fresh Cut Flowers EP last month, there was a wave of enthusiasm booming from the local hip-hop community. Her fellow Seattle rappers and producers all changed their Twitter avatars to her album cover in support and fans have been quick to vocalize just how good the record is. The hype is real and the hype is deserved. No one quite sounds like White when she jumps on the mic. Her vocals come through the spacious beats with celestial inflection. It’s a beautiful dichotomy as she grapples with her own identity while sounding completely unique. We caught up with White to talk about the formation of her new record, building up Seattle’s hip-hop community, and making music that makes her audience feel seen and acknowledged.
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Song of the Day: Palm – Walkie Talkie

Palm

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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Walkie Talkie” by Palm, from their forthcoming EP, Shadow Expert, due June 16th on Carpark Records.

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Monday Music News

photo by Sarah O’Connor

  • Last night Death Cab For Cutie played a benefit show for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood at the Paramount. During their performance they paid tribute to Chris Cornell by covering Soundgarden’s “Fell On Black Days.” Before launching into the song, Ben Gibbard shared a few words about Cornell: “What an unbelievable talent he was, what fucking insane singer he is.” Cornell passed on May 18, after a show in Detroit. Gibbard previously shared a note on his Facebook after Cornell’s passing remembering Cornell, calling him “the most sophisticated lyricist of his Seattle contemporaries.” [ Pitchfork ]


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In Stores Now 6/12

instoresnow_612

This week, French band Phoenix rises with their sixth album to date, KEXP Music Director Don Yates loves Ti Amo enough to call it “another sharply crafted set of buoyant pop-rock with a warm, streamlined sound featuring fizzy synths, glistening guitars, bouncy beats and sunny pop hooks”. Brooklyn band Big Thief returns with their second release of “expansive folk-pop with a mostly intimate and hushed sound accompanying [lead singer] Adrianne Lenker’s soothing soprano and imagistic lyrics countering life’s hardships with resiliency and hope”. And just what you need to follow that – Brooklyn-via-El Paso band Cigarettes After Sex debut with “an evocative set of noirish, bleary-eyed dream-pop combining an atmospheric, slow-burning sound with smoky, androgynous vocals and often-melancholy lyrics of love and heartbreak”.

Also in stores this week is the galactic amalgam of neo-classical, prog-rock, ambient, folk, space-rock and other styles as seasoned composers Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister join for Planetarium. Another stellar album this week comes from KEXP faves London Grammar, whose second album, Truth Is A Beautiful Thing is “a sleeker, more polished take on their stately pop, combining a spacious, slow-burning sound with Hannah Reid’s elegant, soaring vocals and downcast lyrics”. And from the recently departed rock pioneer Chuck Berry is his final album (and first studio album since 1979’s Rock It), which is “a wide-ranging set that occasionally hearkens back to the fire and wit of his classic recordings”.

Look for all of these and new music from Ani DiFranco, Boogarins, Dave Depper, Kronos Quartet, Pantha Du Prince, Tindersticks, The Ruby Suns, and many others.
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