Album Premiere: Manatee Commune – Manatee Commune

Manatee Commune

Forget anything you might already think about Northwest electronica. For all of our gloomy and rain-sodden days and our fern-covered evergreen terrain, we sometimes produce bubbly and even tropical music. Take, for instance, Bellingham producer/multi-instrumentalist Grant Eadie, who with his project Manatee Commune is among the latest rising stars, not just from our upper-left corner of the country but among new electronic artists anywhere. He first broke through our local scene in 2014 with his verdantly produced, blissfully shimmering debut LP, Brush. On it, he mixed the electronic with the organic, combining programmed beats with acoustic orchestration while allowing the sounds of nature creep in. (We are outdoorsy people up here, after all.)

Eadie has since left the forest but hasn’t lost sight of the trees, as the new songs on his Thistle EP, released earlier this year, kept his organic inspirations intact but were more likely to emulate chirping birds and gusting wind digitally. And now, Manatee Commune is about to release his second and self-titled LP, which is also his first full-length on Brooklyn label Bastard Jazz Recordings. You can expect the same dreamy psych-tinged electro-pop, bubbly synths, unhurried beats, and euphoric melodies, plus more frequent guest vocals. The overall approach is far more sophisticated. Says Grant of the recording process:

I grew up a lot over the eight months of making this album, finally settling into my studio, finding a routine that consistently gives me inspiration, and managing to maintain my health despite the physiological punishment of digging for creative energy every day. The bitterness and frustration I felt toward the sleepless nights in front of the monitors, hoping around on my viola, re-recording a thousand times only to scrap the final product, was replaced by contentment. The process became cathartic and fun and the reason why I get up every morning.

The new LP comes out this Friday, September 16th, but we are excited to share an exclusive premiere with you today! Have a listen to Manatee Commune’s Manatee Commune and bask in the glow of the sun-kissed Northwest:

Also, you can catch Manatee Commune for his KEXP sponsored CD release show at Neumos on Saturday, October 1st. Check his Facebook page for more info.

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KEXP Premiere: My Goodness – Islands

My Goodness

photo by Jake Gravbrot

Seattle power duo My Goodness are back! And KEXP is excited to premiere the single “Islands,” the title track from their forthcoming EP out Friday, November 4th via Votiv Music. Keep it tuned to The Morning Show on KEXP as DJ John Richards launches the track at 8:00 AM PT.

This will be the band’s first new release since 2014’s Shiver + Shake, an album KEXP Music Director Don Yates called a “first-rate set of punkish blues rock with a more confident and burnished sound that provides a bit more heft for their potent blend of primal grungy/bluesy guitar riffs, bashing drums and howling vocals.” For today’s premiere, drummer Andy Lum calls the track “a great example of what we worked to accomplish with this new record and our live show. With Shiver + Shake, our live show was almost identical to the album experience, whereas now we’re adding a ton of energy and expanding the sound of the new songs when we play them on stage.”
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Song of the Day: Kweku Collins – The Outsiders

photo by Andrew Zeiter

photo by Andrew Zeiter

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “The Outsiders” by Kweku Collins from his 2016 album, Nat Love, on Closed Sessions Records.

Kweku Collins – The Outsiders (MP3)
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Tuesday Music News

photo by James Bailey

  • The ever so talented Carrie Brownstein has written and directed a new short film for fashion house KENZO. The Realest Real is a hilariously creepy satire about our society’s insane social media obsession. The film stars Girl Meets World‘s Rowan Blanchard, House of Cards‘ Mahershala Ali, Orange is the New Black‘s Natasha Leyone, and Sonic Youth rocker Kim Gordon. [Rolling Stone]


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Midnight In A Perfect World: Southern Shores

SouthernShores

Toronto production duo Southern Shores stepped up as one of Cascine Records‘ earliest acts, helping establish the NYC label’s affinity for a dreamy, summery aesthetic with a pair of EPs at the turn of the decade. Four years since their latest release, they’ve recently resurfaced to unleash their debut album Loja that continues to explore a shimmery, tropical, windswept groove for an ideal end-of-summer vibe. Their exclusive guest DJ mix for Midnight in a Perfect World fittingly carries a breezy and sun-kissed touch throughout, accented by some of their own unreleased tracks alongside top-shelf selections from Sade, Leon Vynehall, Mark Barrott, John Beltran, Mariah, Ada, and more.


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Album Review: Wilco – Schmilco

Schmilco

Legacy is such a weird concept. “We tried so hard”, Wilco sing on Schmilco closer “Just Say Goodbye”, “as if I have the answers”. Back in a July 2009 interview with SPIN mag, describing the band’s self-titled record contract wrap-up seventh album, frontman Jeff Tweedy told the world, “I think people are ready to laugh with us more”. Chock it up to inhuman clairvoyance, but I’m not sure most people would have followed that train of thought to where we see Wilco now. Two discussions surrounding the band’s tenth full-length outing, Schmilco, have overpowered conversation over actual album content: that of the album’s name, and that of its cover. Last year, the band returned out of nowhere with the cat poster free download ninth album Star Wars, and in less than a full 12 months, they follow it with a deeper plunge into the non-sequitur. The name is a nod to Nilsson Schmilsson, the 70s staple from Harry Nilsson where the robed scruffy-looking icon (hash pipe in hand, mind you) stares off camera into the void and essentially asks “What now?”. The cover, lovingly drawn by Joan Cornellá, shows a loving middle-class father providing an electrifying solution to maintaining his daughter’s happiness and naive bliss. But past these two layers, we get an album where the laughs are only there as a cover up. Here, the band follow the modern times identity crisis of Star Wars with subsequent self-doubt. Wilco Schmilco… what’s in a name? On a lovely, deeply rewarding tenth effort, Wilco question their artistic and personal legacies, and make us all better people because of it.
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Song of the Day: Sam Vicari – Contact High

photo by Jim Vondruska

photo by Jim Vondruska

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Contact High” by Sam Vicari, from the 2016 album Blunt. on Sip City Records.

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Live Around Town This Week

Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley // photo by Chad Syme (view set)

Tuesday, September 13th:

The Julian Lage Trio at the Triple Door (more info)

Buyepongo, Elia, DJ Chilly at Nectar Lounge (more info)


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TV Eye: Week of 9/12

Tame Impala

Tame Impala // photo by Melissa Wax (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, September 12th:
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam
Last Call with Carson Daly: Wolf Parade

Tuesday, September 13th:
Jimmy Kimmel Live: Tame Impala
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: The Head and the Heart
The Late Late Show with James Corden: Grouplove
Last Call with Carson Daly: Classixx

Wednesday, September 14th:
Jimmy Kimmel Live: Kaleo (R)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Bon Iver
Last Call with Carson Daly: Mac Demarco

Thursday, September 15th:
Jimmy Kimmel Live: Schoolboy Q featuring E-40 (R)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Kiiara
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Phantogram
@midnight with Chris Hardwick: Reggie Watts

Friday, September 16th:
Last Call with Carson Daly: Wild Nothing (R)

Saturday, September 17th:
Austin City Limits: Angelique Kidjo (R)

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In Stores Now 9/12

Fall is kicking off with some heavy hitters. KEXP Music Director Don Yates calls the latest from Wilco, “one of their more modest-sounding releases, featuring a mostly low-key and acoustic-oriented folk-rock sound on bittersweet songs revolving around alienation and childhood memories.”

M.I.A. finally releases her fifth, and possibly last album, as she’s been claiming on social media. Yates calls it “an inconsistent but often-gripping set combining a variety of beats and Eastern textures and melodies with politically charged lyrics often revolving around the plight of refugees.” The tenth studio album from veteran Scottish band Teenage Fanclub is “a typically well-crafted set of melodic guitar-pop with a warm, inviting sound featuring strummed acoustic and jangly electric guitars, gentle harmonies and bittersweet melodies.” Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds return with their sixteenth album (and sadly, their first since the tragic passing of Cave’s 15-year-old son Arthur in July 2015). Not surprisingly, it’s “a powerful set of dark, mournful ballads combining a brooding, spare sound with Cave’s wounded vocals and emotionally raw lyrics reflecting upon death and loss.”

Seattle band The Head & the Heart share their third full-length, “a more polished and heavily produced sound for their anthemic folk-pop.” And Jack White shares a collection of 26 acoustic songs from throughout his career, including album tracks, B-sides, remixes, alternate versions, and previously unreleased tracks.
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