Monday Music News

photo by Amber Knecht

  • A mere week after we aired his KEXP in-studio session, and Boise-based artist Trevor Powers, a.k.a. Youth Lagoon, has announced he’s calling it quits. In a statement on Twitter, the bright young artist writes, “there is nothing left to say through Youth Lagoon. It will exist no more.” Read the complete statement below. If you missed his Midday Show in-studio set, check it out in our two-week streaming archive here. [Pitchfork]

  • If you’ve been listening to The Afternoon Show, you’ve surely heard DJ Kevin Cole spinning the latest from PJ Harvey, “The Wheel”, from her forthcoming full-length The Hope Six Demolition Project, out April 15th via Vagrant. Today we’ve got a powerful video for that track, filmed in Kosovo, a city that, along with Afghanistan and Washington, D.C., inspired the new album. Filmmaker and photojournalist Seamus Muprhy directed the clip, explaining via a press release, “The song “The Wheel” has the journey to Kosovo at its center. Who is to say what else has influenced and informed its creation? The sight of a revolving fairground wheel in Fushe Kosove/Kosovo Polje near the capital Pristina is the concrete reference point for the title. I can tell you its date — 4th August 2011 — from the piece of footage I made as we walked up the street to our parked car near the train station. It was a passing observation of a commonplace image, one of many that day. While Polly took notes I might have been more interested in something else happening across the street and not bothered to shoot or even have seen it. That day we were gathering material in a blind, optimistic endeavor; characteristic of the way we tend to work together. We had no idea if any of it would ever be seen, heard or would make sense.” Watch below: [Spin]

  • The David Lynch TV show revival may have been pushed to 2017, but the Chicago-based band of the same name Twin Peaks return this Spring with their third full-length Down in Heaven, out May 13th on Grand Jury. Recorded at Fawn Lake Studios in Bedford, Massachusetts, the track “Walk to the One You Love” captures the poppier side of their garage rock side. Listen below: [Consequence of Sound]

  • Duluth, MN’s finest trio Low share a video today for the track “Into You,” one of the delicately beautiful tracks from last year’s Sub Pop full-length Ones And Sixes. Directors Jim Burns and Beth Chalmers captured the band during a performance in Glasgow, Scotland, explaining via press release, “Inspired by the hypnotic reflections of the River Clyde on the archways beneath Glasgow’s city bridges, this film draws parallels between the power of a single beam of sunlight and the deeply affecting personal experience one feels during Low’s live performance. Despite being part of a crowd, Low’s music invokes within you a profound and unique individual perspective.” Just lovely. Watch below: [Stereogum]

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17 Women, 17 Voices: An Interview with Reykjavíkurdætur

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

Icelandic hip hop collective Reykjavíkurdætur (“Daughters of Reykjavik”) are a force to be reckoned with. A huge group of seventeen women, they work together to create songs about topics ranging from sexual politics to political ones. During KEXP’s broadcast at Iceland Airwaves last year, they played to a packed house at Kex Hostel in Reykjavik. Before their show, they sat down to discuss their music, sisterhood, being female rappers in Iceland, and the country’s political climate. I spoke with their manager, Alda Karen Hjaltalín, as well as three members of the collective: Vigdís Ósk Howser Harðardóttir, Anna Tara Andrésdóttir, and Steiney Skúladóttir.

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Song of the Day: Kyson – You

photo by Tonje Thilesen

photo by Tonje Thilesen

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 “You” by Kyson from the 2016 album A Book Of Flying, on Friends of Friends.

Kyson – You (MP3)

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Live Video: Sóley at Iceland Airwaves

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

KEXP can never get enough of Sóley. The charming Icelandic songstress has a knack for covering a deep emotional range and some occasionally morbid subjects in the most disarming and endearing way. In fact, we’ve recorded her six out of the past seven years we’ve been covering Iceland Airwaves, and she never fails to melt our hearts, or to find new ways to do so. During our broadcast this year, Sóley stripped it bare as she decided to give her band a break and leave the loop pedals behind and perform raw, impossibly delicate versions of songs, from her two LPs and most recent EP, solo on guitar and piano. And clearly we’re not the only ones smitten by her, as Sóley hushed the packed room at KEX Hostel in Reykjavik to pin-drop quiet. Enjoy this exquisite set, and be sure to listen to her previous sets at Kex Hostel here
and here.

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Music That Matters: Eyes on You

Check out some of the KEXP DJ’s favorite artists from the Pacific Northwest and around the world on-the-go. KEXP’s Music That Matters weekly podcast brings you an exclusive mix of new music from the world’s best independent artists.

photo by Melissa Wax

PWR BTTM // photo by Melissa Wax

Currently, you’ll hear:

Music That Matters, Vol. 497 – Eyes on You
Midday Show host Cheryl Waters has her eye on a bunch of great records coming out in early spring. Here’s a sneak peek at some songs she knows you will love.

1. M. Ward – Girl From Conejo Valley
2. Hey Marseilles – Eyes on You
3. GEMS – w/o U
4. Lucius – Born Again Teen
5. ANOHNI – 4 Degrees
6. Radiation City – Juicy
7. Damien Jurado – Exit 353
8. Thao & the Get Down Stay Down – Nobody Dies
9. Surf Rock Is Dead – Anymore
10. Talisco – The Keys
11. Nada Surf – Believe You’re Mine
12. PWR BTTM – Ugly Cherries
13. Petal – Heaven
14. Bob Mould – Voices In My Head
15. Yeasayer – I Am Chemistry

Listen here: (MP3)

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Friday Music News

photo by Dave Lichterman

  • Danish rock duo The Raveonettes are taking a more avant-garde approach to releasing new music. Instead of putting together a full LP, they’ve decided to shared one new song a month as part of their Rave-Sound-Of-The-Month series. Check out the first song of the series, “The World is Empty (Without You),” below. [Stereogum]

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Album Review: Savages – Adore Life

Post-punk gods Savages have done the unthinkable with their second outing: they made their sophomore record an unabashed anthem to embracing life and love. “Love is the answer” – this is the message of Savages’ first single off of Adore Life, their second LP and follow up to the highly acclaimed 2013 debut, Silence Yourself. If you think back to the post-punk heroes – Joy Division, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Birthday Party, Cocteau Twins, Siouxsie and the Banshees – every single one made their second record darker, heavier, murkier, more weighed down by the heaviness of life and struggling through it. But not Savages. Where Silence Yourself was the social assessment in a crowded room, Adore Life turns to the horizon and makes a declaration of togetherness. It is a hurtling, exuberant effort that all but outdoes its fantastic predecessor. With Tony Visconti describing David Bowie’s Blackstar as avoiding rock and roll, Savages give us the first great rock record of 2016, and it’s going to be hard to beat in the coming 11 months. Adore Life is nothing else if not meant to be adored.

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Song of the Day: La Luz – You Disappear

photo by Amber Knecht

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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “You Disappear” by La Luz, from the 2015 album Weirdo Shrine on Hardly Art.

La Luz – You Disappear (MP3)

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Review Revue: Ambitious Lovers – Greed


Arto Lindsay, the guitaring/singing half of the art-pop duo Ambitious Lovers, is one of my favorite – and one of the most underrated – musical artists of the late 20th century (he has gone relatively quiet in the past decade or so, although some recent posts on his facebook page instill hopes that he’s recording some exciting new work with an exciting group of musicians). Seriously, go dig into his solo catalog if you haven’t; O Corpu Sutil, Mundo Civilizado, Noon Chill, and The Prize are mixtape go-tos for me, but it’s all great. (Side note: Hat tip to Beauty Pill for covering “The Prize” on their near-perfect 2015 album Beauty Pill Describes Things as They Are. I knew Chad Clark and I were soulmates when he covered Arto Lindsay and Lungfish on the same album.)

For some reason – I’ll blame the relative difficulty of just listening to whatever you want in the ’90s – I never really went back and dug into Ambitious Lovers’ catalog beyond their contribution to Elektra’s splendid Rubaiyat compilation, a cover of Fred Neil’s “A Little Bit of Rain” (no room to go into it, but Fred Neil! – another fantastic confluence), which I’m trying to make up for now. They seem to have split the difference between the aggressively odd work of Lindsay’s previous band, no-wave weirdos DNA, and his later solo work, which is incredibly listenable but no less artful. In short, perfect fodder for college radio! Read More »

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Thursday Music News

photo by Laura Crosta

  • How many indie rock dudes does it take to cover a Sharon Van Etten song? By our count, four, as footage has surfaced of a 2010 concert where Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon, Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National, and Colin Stetson covered her single “Love More.” Watch below. The footage comes from a MusicNOW show; the festival was started eleven years ago by Bryce Dessner, and today they’ve announce the 2016 dates, March 18th-20th. [Pitchfork]

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