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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Electric Paradise” by Thieving Irons from the from the 2014 self-released Phenomena EP.
Nate Martinez, the man behind Brooklyn’s Thieving Irons, is probably familiar to most KEXP listeners as, formerly, one-fourth of the notable but now extinct band Pela. Five years and several celebrated releases have surely proved multi-instrumentalist Martinez’s significance as a solo artist, beyond his early days in one of KEXP’s favorite acts and his collaboration with another, The National. Amid his relative quietness since 2012, Martinez has stayed busy working on plenty of new material, including his latest EP, Phenomena, which he calls his most recent work some of the best under the Thieving Irons moniker.
Thieving Irons’ fourth song to be featured as KEXP’s Song of the Day, “Electric Paradise,” opens the new EP. The understated track opens with an easygoing, atmospheric beat backing ethereal “ah ah’s” and eventually Martinez’s silky vocals. Martinez’s methodical approach to his music is clear from the track’s subtle build and breezily layered textures. Thieving Irons’ serene charm buoys the listener somewhere between simplicity and mystery. What is this electric paradise? What at first seems like a straightforward message that things are “never black or white,” and we should “read between the lines/ change and compromise” downplays some cryptic commentary on Thieving Irons’ concept of “this new American life.” On top of vivid beats, the entire Phenomena EP delicately hints toward a vague fatigue with the state of world.
In a recent interview with KEXP’s John Richards, Martinez made it clear that his priority right now is in producing new material, which means no plans for the West Coast as of right now. Hopefully, with the new material will come some future live dates for Thieving Irons. Check up on the project on Facebook and Twitter. While there is yet to be a video illustrating “Electric Paradise,” you can watch Thieving Irons’ last in-studio performance at KEXP: