Song of the Day: Headwaves – Mama

photo by Úna Blue

photo by Úna Blue

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 “Mama” by Headwaves, from their 2016 self-released, self-titled album.

Headwaves – Mama (MP3)While there’s not much argument that 2016 has been a difficult year, for Seattle-based Headwaves 2016 has brought a lot of good. They released their self-titled debut LP in October, toured all over the Northwest, West Coast, Montana, and Wyoming, and finished off the year playing a sold out show at The Crocodile with Helio Sequence. Not a bad start for the newly-formed band, led by Ryan Barber who merged the folk-rock sensibilities of his former project The Horde and the Harem with Larson Haakenstad’s soul-rock leanings from Imagine the Giant to make the lush synth rock of Headwaves, along with Chris Mahlstedt on drums and Farko Dosumov on bass.

“Mama” may seem like a light and bright song but the lyrics tell the story of a lover watching depression consume their partner. They’re trying to convince their partner that things will get better, all they have to do is try again just one more time. “You can’t hide in the hall if you wanna see the future” they tell them. This should be vehemently depressing but instead the buoyant drums, waning synth, and vibrant atmospherics leave you feeling optimistic. You know that this story must have a happy ending. The official video for “Mama” has a similar feeling. As we follow a girl who’s walking around the street alone, as though something is weighing quite heavily on her, occasionally cutting to snippets of old childhood videos where the child version of this girl seems immensely and constantly happy, we’re left wondering why the happiness of our youth can be so hard to sustain in our adulthood.

Headwaves are taking a much-earned hibernation period and currently have no scheduled shows, but thankfully these guys seem primed to take over 2017. In the meantime, check out the video for “Mama” below and keep up with them on Facebook. Don’t forget to support the artists by purchasing their debut album on Bandcamp.

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Review Revue: Ism – Constantinople

Ism - Constantinople

Every once in a while, I post an album from a band that’s been so minimally documented on the Internet that I feel I’m adding significantly to the body of public knowledge about them with one little blog post. This is dangerous because usually I know next to nothing about these bands. Take Ism, for instance. I was able to find some short reviews by the all-important Christgau and Trouser Press (and seriously, a secular blessing upon both of those entities for their copious archives), and an interesting sum-up of the band’s career allegedly written by someone from the Rare Record Investor Club and posted on The Punk Vault… and that’s about it. So, in the interest of not muddying the waters too much, I’m just going to hand it over to the KCMU DJs of almost exactly 32 years ago for their take on this 4-song EP. (Who, honestly, don’t add a wealth of information. Sorry. Just go back and read that Punk Vault post again.)

“Influenced by the Residents and Fugs and including a cover of the former’s ‘Constantinople’ [and the latter’s ‘CIA Man’].” It turns out to be a little harder and faster (and maybe more conventional) than its influences. Watch out for a Big Red Dot on CIA Man.”

“Pot LOW

“Bouncy…”

“Bouncy and bluesy. ‘Bedpan Hunting.'”

“Great, but warped/skips.” [Well the label is called Broken Records…]

“(We do want another copy)”

“Good version of ‘Constantinople.'”

“Skips like hell!”

“What does hell skip like?”

“I think the skip adds a certain… idiom.”

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Song of the Day: Weyes Blood – Used to Be

Weyes Blood

photo by Katie Miller

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 “Used to Be” by Weyes Blood from the 2016 album Front Row Seat to Earth on Mexican Summer.

Weyes Blood – Used to Be (MP3)
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Midnight In A Perfect World: Introcut

Introcut

A staple on the local DJ/producer scene for over a decade, Seattle’s Mathew Moroni (aka Introcut) has consistently pushed progressive cutting-edge beats and heady body-moving rhythms on dancefloors all around town, most notably at Lo-Fi where he’s been a key player in the highly-revered Stop Biting nights and as a member of the Trashy Trash DJs and their rowdy monthly 90s SNAP! parties. His exclusive guest DJ mix for Midnight in a Perfect World proudly showcases his affinity for diverse underground beats, mid-tempo boogie, cosmic synth voyages, and forward-thinking juke/footwork rhythms in a smooth, laid-back manner, and also bookends the set with a pair of his own tasty productions.


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Song of the Day: Hiss Golden Messenger – Biloxi

photo by Matthew B. Thompson

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 “Biloxi” by Hiss Golden Messenger, from Heart Like a Levee, out on Merge Records.

Hiss Golden Messenger – Biloxi (MP3)
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Song of the Day: TZECHAR – Bot

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 “Bot” by TZECHAR, from the 2016 EP, Ancestor, on Hush Hush.

TZECHAR – Bot (MP3)
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R.I.P. George Michael

Even on its way out, 2016 continues to take from us the things we love. Yesterday, we lost George Michael. The 53-year old pop singer reportedly “passed away peacefully at home” and “in bed”, in Oxfordshire, England, leaving behind a catalog of songs that inspired as much movement on the dance floor as in our souls. Yesterday, despite being Christmas Day, social media was ablaze with messages of remembrance for the teen-idol-turned-world-icon, who broke our hearts one last time. George, you’ll always be our first crush.

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Song of the Day: The Veils – Swimming With Crocodiles

photo by Alan Lawrence

photo by Alan Lawrence

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 “Swimming With Crocodiles” by The Veils, from their 2016 album, Total Depravity, on Nettwerk.

The Veils – Swimming With Crocodiles (MP3)
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Here’s Some Songs (at Christmas Time)

She & Him

Every year, the holiday season seems to inspire some of our favorite bands to write new music. KEXP has rounded up some of our favorites below. Need even more songs for rockin’ around your Christmas tree? Be sure to check out previous round-ups for 2015 and 2014. Happy holidays from everyone at KEXP!

She & Him – “Christmas Memories”
Is there any better band to kick off a list of holiday songs than She & Him? The retro-lovin’ duo of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel released a Christmas album back in 2013 titled A Very She & Him Christmas, and this year, they follow it up with Christmas Party, an LP out now on Columbia Records. They call the release a “unique gathering of friends and family,” and they’re not kidding. Drumming on the whole album is Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, The Chapin Sisters and Jenny Lewis bring the harmonies, and even Zooey’s husband Jacob and their daughter Elsie join in the merriment.


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Video Roundup: Happy Hanukkah 2016!

It’s Hanukkah time, and KEXP has your playlist of songs for the season! The eight-day festival of lights kicks off Saturday, December 24th and ends Sunday, January 1st, so spin these tracks while you spin the dreidel. Happy Hanukkah from everyone at KEXP!


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