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 “No Destruction” by Foxygen from the 2013 album We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic on Jagjaguwar.
Los Angeles based friends, Sam France and Jonathan Rado, make up the entire roster for Foxygen, and duo really knows how to create a powerful and psychedelic sound that is undeniably unique. France is a 22-year-old native of Olympia, Washington, with a killer voice that sounds well beyond his years, and Rado definitely knows his way around a guitar and keyboard. But it’s their combined song writing abilities that really produce the magic. They’ve been writing and playing together since they were teenagers and self-releasing EPs since 2007. Their big break came when producer Richard Swift discovered them in 2011. Having Swift in their corner and the release of their first studio album, Let the Kids Off Broadway, has built a solid foundation for their blossoming career. Earlier this year they were even named by Fuse TV as one of the 30 must-see acts at SXSW.
Their entire debut album, We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, seems to go back in time to days where melodies were simpler but, at the same time, the music was so much more complex. “No Destruction” has a vintage 60′s vibe and carefully written narrative that is reminiscent of the Beatles. The track has a laid back sense of ease that makes lyrics like, “I’m talking to my Grandma who lost her arms in the war, the aliens and armory that bombed her cigar store,” seem almost ordinary. A feat like that proves the amazing versatility of Foxygen.
The coming months will have Foxygen performing all across the country at a wide variety of music festivals. These include the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Pickathon in Happy Valley, Oregon (August 2) and Woodsist Festival in Big Sur, California (September 23). You can check out their entire summer schedule here. And if you like today’s featured song, here’s the video for “Shuggie,” another song from We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ have released the video for the title track off of their new album, Mosquito. It literally shows a disturbingly large mosquito feeding on a little boy before it gets squished. It’s pretty cringe worthy. [Pitchfork]
It’s funny that while we’re getting some of our brightest days right now here in Seattle, some of this week’s most exciting new releases are some of the year’s darkest. Buzzy new British band Savages tops this week’s list with one of the best albums so far of the year. Our Music Director, Don Yates, calls their debut”a powerful set of dark, aggressive post-punk, with a lean, brutally efficient sound combining squalling, wiry guitar lines, taut rhythms, seething vocals and boldly uncompromising lyrics of self-empowerment.” Trust us, you’ll be hearing a lot of this band in the months to follow. Atlanta’s Deerhunter take a darker path on their “often-bracing” new album, Monomania, “by shifting towards a more raw and scuzzy sound with noisy garage-rock guitars and distorted vocals, though there are also some sweeter, more melodic moments... with lots of potent song hooks.” But if you are looking for something more suited to our seasonal days, check out the second LP from Bay Area rocker (and frequent Ty Segall collaborator) Mikal Cronin. The aptly titled MCII is “an excellent set of aggressive, hook-filled power-pop with well-crafted, sunnily melodic songs featuring crunchy guitars along with occasional piano and strings accompanying Cronin’s smooth vocals and bittersweet lyrics.” And if the sun’s got you dancing in the streets, try the latest from KEXP fav’s Fitz And The Tantrums, whose More Than Just a Dream will make your hip-shakin’ a reality.
If KEXP had a Five-Timers Club, Low would now be one of its key members. The long-running Duluth, Minnesota trio has been a KEXP favorite for the better part of the last 15 years, and while the trio was out in the Northwest promoting their tenth (!) full-length, The Invisible Way, they stopped by KEXP’s studios for their fifth in-studio session. Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker, and Steve Garrington have aged into their minimalist, echoing arrangements, but the group’s most arresting feature remains Sparhawk and Parker’s intimate harmonies. As aching as ever, the two singers’ intertwining melodies have not only grown stronger with time, but were made for venues like the KEXP studios to begin with. Watch the band play four songs from The Invisible Way below.
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 Future Hunter” by The Postal Service from the 2013 album Give Up (Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition) on Sub Pop.
The Postal Service - A Tattered Line of String (MP3)
Tycho, aka designer Scott Hansen, has an enthralling in new video for “Ascension” off his album Dive. The video is very similar to the visuals behind his show during 2012′s Decibel Festival - kaleidoscopic, colorful, psychedelic, clearly created with design, not just music, in mind. This video features a silhouetted woman wandering through a desert of rippling colors and a magnificent ruby red sun. [Pitchfork]
Al Doyle is a wunderkind. Whether he’s hopping between three or four different instrument setups at a Hot Chip show, turning the guitar part on “Losing My Edge” into a rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece at LCD Soundsystem’s last show, or having the time of his life jamming out with fellow Hot Chip member Felix Martin in his excellent side project New Build (as he and the band call it, the other seven man band), he’s a stellar musician and an excellent stage presence to marvel at. Doyle was born for the spotlight, and it’s a relief that with New Build, we finally get to see him take front and center and lead an extremely talented group of musicians and play some funky, danceable material of his own. Wednesday night was Doyle and company’s first time in Seattle in support of the 2012 debut New Build LP, Yesterday Was Lived and Lost, and for everyone present, it won’t be one that they will soon forget. Playing with all the professionalism of a band that’s been together for a decade, New Build brought the house down and showed us how much of a party a dance band can throw at Neumos. Joined by British newcomers No Ceremony/// and locals Anomie Belle, Wednesday night was one for the books, and we can’t wait for Doyle and his band to return.
Capsula return to Seattle on Wednesday / photo by Christopher Nelson
The weather is getting nicer in Seattle and the shows just keep getting better. Here are some of the highlights of the week: Tonight, Cloud Cult and JBM are at Neptune Theatre. Tuesday night, Alice Russell, Dice & The High Rollers, Mycle Wastman, and J-Justice are at Neumos. On Wednesday, Os Mutantes and Capsula are at Triple Door, and the BottleRock Napa Valley Festival starts in Napa Valley thru Sunday with some big headliners playing. On Thursday, Grand Hallway, Night Tapes, Drew Victor, and Keith Abbott are at Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Javelin, Helado Negro, and Jamaican Queens are at Barboza, and The Ruffled Feathers, Sad Little Men, Julia Massey & The 5 Finger Discount, and The Jesus Rehab are at Comet Tavern. On Friday night, Flight to Mars, Poor Moon, McCready & Friends Acoustic Medley are at Showbox Market. On Saturday night, Born Ruffians and Moon King are at Barboza, and Eilen Jewell and Joy Mills Band are at Tractor Tavern. On Sunday night, the Richard Thompson Electric Trio is at Showbox Market, Kurt Vile & The Violators, The Fresh & Onlys, and Steve Gunn are at Neumos, and Chris Thile & Michael Daves are at Crocodile. Here’s the the full list of recommended shows this week:
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 Future Hunter” by The Kingsbury Manx from the 2013 album Bronze Age on Odessa Records.
What exactly constitutes a festival “headliner” hasn’t really been an issue until recently, but no artist has ever raised more skepticism regarding their headlining slot at Coachella 2013 than Phoenix. Sure, there was a Tumblr dedicated to collecting tweets from people who were unaware of the Stone Roses’ existence, but music journalists at Stereogum, Grantland, and Billboard - not to mention the discussion it stirred up at the infamously fervent Coachella message board - seriously debated over whether or not Thomas Mars, Deck D’Arcy, Christian Mazzalia, and Laurent Brancowitz had really earned to be the Saturday night headliner at North America’s premier music festival. But April 13th arrived, and with a little help from R. Kelly, Phoenix drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend playing a set of mostly unreleased material against Sigur Ros and New Order. If Bankrupt!, the band’s fifth full-length, accomplishes one thing, it firmly entrenches Phoenix as one of the few modern bands who are making good albums full of songs that just so happen sound good on the radio. However, despite being their first album as a legitimate commercial force, Bankrupt! is their least immediate, and most experimental LP to date.