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Song of the Day

Song of the Day

KEXP’s Song of the Day podcast features stand-out tracks from independent and emerging talent alongside the best new music from more established artists. Curated by KEXP DJs with listeners’ adventurous taste in mind, Song of the Day is delivered daily, Monday through Friday. Finding new music can be hard. Let KEXP help!

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WITCH - Waile

WITCH - "Waile" a 2022 single on Desert Daze/Partisan.

It's been almost 40 years since WITCH (which stands for "We Intend To Cause Havoc") caused some havoc.

The Zambia-based band were early adopters of the "Zamrock" sound, a combination of traditional African music with psychedelic rock, releasing seven albums back in the '70s and '80s. After Zambia-born hip-hop artist Sampa The Great featured them on her latest LP As Above, So Below, WITCH decided to reconvene, releasing the single "Waile."

"'Waile' was one of the songs that I brought to the WITCH when I joined in 1978," explained keyboardist Patrick Mwondela via a press release. "While it was played live often back in the day, it was never recorded until the new formation of the band picked it up 43 years later during a rehearsal on an island in Kenya, where the band embraced it and made it their own. A few months after that, they gave it a new lease of life by recording it in Lusaka?s legendary DB Studios. Sang in my native language Luvale, the subject matter is a nostalgic wailing for home of ancient African tribes that would eventually settle in Zambia."

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-11-09
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Cuffed Up - 10 for 10

Cuffed Up - "10 for 10," a 2022 single on Corduroy Recordings.

Los Angeles-based trio Cuffed Up return with a punk-pop pep-rally anthem for anyone struggling with imposter syndrome.

"It's deeply rooted in confidence," vocalist and guitarist Ralph Torrefranca told Atwood Magazine. "The dialogue in the song follows a creative, trying to understand the negative thoughts that plagues their mind every time they feel the imposter syndrome. The chorus is the heavy-handed conclusion that they arrive to every time but the bridge is the 'big aha! moment' where the character finally realizes that they are amazing at what they do and are in fact, 10/10."

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-11-08
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Winter - sunday

Winter - "sunday" from the 2022 album What Kind of Blue Are You? on Bar/None.

Songwriter Samira Winter (who records as Winter) returns with her sophomore full-length, What Kind of Blue Are You?, described as an "emotional excavation of [her] purest self." The new album features guest appearances from artists like Hatchie and Sasami. "?I feel like I?ve come full circle, making an album that my 22-year-old self who just started Winter would love," she says in a press release. "It?s my inner shadow girl, revealing herself in all her brokenness, despair, and beauty.?

Winter describes today's Song of the Day as "a fever dream meditation on social media toxicity," a topic she says is "always on my mind and generates a lot of fear and anxiety for me. It?s a critique on social media?s effect on mental health and contorted beauty standards for women."

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-11-07
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Lydia Ramsey - I Will Wait For You

Lydia Ramsey - ?I Will Wait For You? from the 2022 self-released album Like A Dream.

Lydia Ramsey is an Indianola, WA-born, Seattle-based Americana artist that?s been channeling the vintage folk sounds of Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt since 2016. Her wistful melodies and enchanting vocals and often simple in presentation: just a guitar or banjo, perhaps some twinkling piano, and showstealingly lovely coos.

Her latest record Like A Dream was released in September and hones in on the collective thoughts, anxieties, and loneliness felt during the pandemic. Our Song of the Day ?I Will Wait For You? is especially relatable looking back on those lockdown days but also for many still, as she speaks to a friend - or perhaps to herself - in the depths of despair, encouraging them to keep moving forward.

?Running through your head /What if this lasts forever,? Ramsey quavers. ?It?s bitter end in these days without being close together.? Resiliently, she presses on, hoping, waiting, and praying for the day in which things ?will be better than ever.?

Ramsey collaborated with a number of longtime musician-friends, engineer Johnny Bregar, and New York-based engineer/producer, D. James Goodwin (The National, Kevin Morby, Blitzen Trapper) on Like A Dream. Watch the intimate Jacob Rosen-directed video for ?I Will Wait For You" and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-11-04
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Rival Consoles - World Turns

Rival Consoles - ?World Turns? from the 2022 album Now Is on Erased Tapes.

Ryan Lee West has been making electronic music under the name Rival Consoles since 2007, experimenting with a diverse range of styles and influences primarily with analog equipment. His latest release Now Is was made during the pandemic and sees the English producer in a contemplative mood, painting an atmospheric kaleidoscope of occasionally glitchy sounds. He had this to say about the record:

?There are some pieces that are influenced quite strongly by the isolation and anxiety of these times. There are also pieces which are more optimistic and vibrant, which I think is a consistent attitude of my records, as I want art to express many aspects of life.?

Our Song of the Day, ?World Turns,? thrums with spacey energy, slowly unfolding and retracting. Not quite a dancefloor jam, the song mimics the spinning orb we live on and the twinkling stars that sit amongst it, making the song a perfect late-night headphones listen.

Check out Rival Consoles' Boiler Room set from 2016 and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-11-03
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Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - When the Lights Go

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - ?When the Lights Go? from the 2022 album When the Lights Go on Nice Age.

Over the past decade, Orlando Higginbottom has been thriving under the name Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. The British producer scored a Grammy nomination for his collaboration with Bonobo, and has released several singles and EPs since his 2012 debut LP Trouble.

Ten years later, he shares his sophomore full-length, When The Lights Go, which he says is "about love and the end of the world." 

?I think that the record starts and all the ideas are quite direct, and then it gets murkier and murkier as it goes on,? he told Rolling Stone UK. But as we move further away from the lockdown, the apocalypse isn't quite as front of mind. ?It?s kind of nice to get this material off my chest. The next record I?m working on is much more hopeful. I?ve come out and I?m very far over the other side now.?

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-11-02
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United Freedom Collective - MERCY (feat. FACESOUL)

United Freedom Collective - ?MERCY (feat. FACESOUL)? from the 2022 Am Ta EP on Dama Dama.

At the core of the United Freedom Collective are three musicians: Mathieu Seynaeve, WaiFung Tsang, and Robbie Redway. The trio convened in a remote barn in Cornwall, in South West England, to create music inspired by Zen Taoism, Buddhism, Jungian analysis, meditation, yoga, and more. ?It?s supposed to be something more than us? they explain in a press statement, ?it?s music with intention, music for healing?.

This open and experimental approach can be heard on their debut EP Am Ta. The intentional band name of "United Freedom Collective" leaves the door open for frequent collaborators, and on today's Song of the Day, we hear from Somali-born, U.K.-based singer/songwriter FACESOUL, who the band describe as "a dear brother who spent some time with us in Cornwall earlier this year to cook up some magic with his unbelievable voice." 

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2022-11-01
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Bill Callahan - Coyotes

Bill Callahan - ?Coyotes? from the 2022 album YTI?A?? on Drag City.

Singer/songwriter Bill Callahan is shaking up reality ? literally, with the backwards title of his latest LP, YTILAER, out now via his long-time label Drag City. 

?It felt like it was necessary to rouse people ? rouse their love, their kindness, their anger, rouse anything in them. Get their senses working again,? he shared in a press release.

On today's Song of the Day, that reality takes us to his backyard, where the titular animal made its presence known. ?We lived for awhile in a house in the hills,? he explained. ?Coyote hills. The coyotes would start their song at dawn. Dawn and dusk were their main appearance times. Our dog would sleep outside sometimes in the morning and our boy was still bite-size. The coyotes would come take notes, edging closer each day. Mornings on the kingsize outdoor daybed. Like a righteous floating tide the coyotes would drift into our world. Predator and prey, blurred. Past and present, blurred. The young, the aged are to be snatched and devoured. Past lives edge in closer to try to speak to us. Current lives eye the past ones like sleeping dogs. And love spans all, that is why the feeling is so deep ? deeper than one lifetime.?

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2022-10-31
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Grynch - Paper Route (feat. Sir Mix?A?Lot)

Grynch Paper Route (feat. Sir Mix?A?Lot) from the 2022 self-released album Born in '86.

Nearly fifteen years after dropping his debut full-length, My Second Wind, Grynch is back with his first solo record since 2014 titled Born in ?86. While it may be a solo record, that doesn?t mean the Seattle-born-and-bred rapper isn?t still open to sharing the mic. The deeply collaborative artist invited artists like Boom Bap Project, Blake Lewis, Prometheus Brown, and Daz Dillinger to help add color to the nostalgia-hued record.

But there?s no collaboration more deeply Seattle than our Song of the Day. ?Paper Route? sees none other than the big-booty-loving Sir Mix a Lot join Grynch for a song that recognizes the resilience it takes to continue on the winding and fickle journey of being a longstanding musician. ?I could never do a thing that I aint about,? Grynch spits on the chorus, ?Suckers out here running miles /Chasing clout /But when it?s all said and done and they faded out /I?m gonna still be getting mine on my paper route.?

Watch Grynch's KEXP in-studio performance of fan-favorite ?My Volvo? from all the way back in 2010 and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-10-28
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Bosq - Song for Ehi (feat. The Ibibio Horns and Kaleta)

4348 Kevin Cole Thursday 10/27/22 Bosq Song for Ehi (feat. The Ibibio Horns and Kaleta) a 2022 single on Canopy Limited.

Bosq is the musical pseudonym for Benjamin Woods, who has been utilizing Afro-Latin music in fusion with Funk, Disco, Reggae, House and Hip Hop to dazzling effect for a decade now. The Boston-bred, Colombia-based musician has released 4 full albums, heaps of EP's of original music, and countless collaborative singles and remixes with artists like Fania Records, Orchestre Poly Rhythmo de Cotonou, Poolside, Nickodemus, and many more.

He recently teamed up with the horn section of Ibibio Sound Machine as well as vocalist Kaleta for a fiery new single released via Portugal-based label Canopy Records, whose specialty is ?Sub-Saharan synth swagger, re-calibrated and re- celebrated.? Titled ?Song for Ehi,? the track is a combination of classic Edo-funk, Afro-disco and reggae disco with a groovy meandering bassline, soaring horns arrangements, and timbale breakdowns. While it may be cold outside, the group is bringing the heat!

Watch Ibibio Sound Machine?s recently-released KEXP in-studio session from September and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-10-27
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You Said Strange - So Sorry

You Said Strange - "So Sorry" from the 2021 album Thousand Shadows Vol.1 on Le Cèpe Records / Modulor.

For their debut album, Salvation Prayer, the French band You Said Strange recorded in Portland with Dandy Warhols guitarist Peter G Holmström. For they're latest LP, titled Thousand Shadows Vol?.?1, they hunkered down at home, building their own studio in Évreux, equipped with a vintage analog console and microphones gathered during previous tours. 

The band told Psychedelic Baby Magazine that the change enabled them to "become autonomous with our gear, build a cocoon and stretch our creation on a bigger space of time. Taking time to refine our sound and our compositions." As a result, the group's sophomore full-length is a thoughtful, intimate affair, produced by Daniel James Goodwin (This Is The Kit, Kevin Morby, Wand).

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-10-26
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Love?n?Joy - Psy Summer

Love'n'joy - "Psy Summer" from the 2022 self-released album Half Home.

Kyiv-based band Love?n?Joy completed their latest album Half Home just three days before the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Vocalist/guitarist Anton Pushkar explained to Psychdelic Baby Magazine, "The idea of ??the album title was mainly connected with the loss of Crimea, the place where me and Sergey (Zlobin, drummer) were born and raised and where our relatives live under russian occupation. After the events of February 24, when we had to leave our native Kyiv, this feeling multiplied.?

While touring in support of the new LP, the band established the Musicians Defend Ukraine fund, a way for them to support "Ukrainian artists who defend their cities and work as volunteers." 

?Different parts of the world [are] trying to support somehow,? Pushkar told Kerrang. ?[You] can sell your records, collect money, organise a show ? there?s lots of options available. And for [promoters] you can also just have a Ukrainian band play, because I guess all of the bands who are outside the Ukraine right now are raising money. We have a really big volunteer movement in Ukraine, and in a really horrible time it?s really nice to know and a really warm feeling that everybody cares for each other. And to see how people from Europe and U.S. help us, that?s really important.?

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-10-25
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Elsy Wameyo - River Nile

Elsy Wameyo - "River Nile" from the 2022 Nilotic EP on Music in Exile.

Over the past few years, Nairobi-born, Adelaide-based artist Elsy Wameyo has made a name for herself in hip-hop, garnering both the Young Kenyan of the Year award in 2018, and the People's Choice Best Hip Hop Award at the annual South Australian Music Awards in 2019.

Her debut EP, titled Nilotic, is a tribute to her indigenous roots to the people of the Nile Valley who speak Nilotic languages. In a press release, she explains that today's Song of the Day is an exploration of her newfound strength. ??River Nile? was a revelation, a turning point that led me to understand who I truly am. I had been so weak, fighting a battle that was never mine. This song came about after I learnt how to strategically use the power within. I journeyed with this song to find a place of rest. I reached a level where I no longer had to work. Instead, I used the forces around me to gain altitude. The moment I found it, it was game over for everyone else.?

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2022-10-24
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Enumclaw - Jimmy Neutron

Enumclaw - "Jimmy Neutron" from the 2022 album Save the Baby on Luminelle Recordings.

It can often be tough to trace exactly where and when a band ?broke? but for Enumclaw, it?s pretty straightforward. KEXP?s own Martin Douglas first wrote about the Tacoma band on KEXP?s website and, shortly after, major publications like Pitchfork, Stereogum, Gorilla vs. Bear, and The Fader followed suit. So, for all intents and purposes, we claim them as ours.

Last week, the quartet - made up of Aramis Johnson, Nathan Cornell, Eli Edwards, and Ladaniel Gipson - released their debut full-length Save the Baby. Produced by Gabe Wax, who?s also manned the boards for Soccer Mommy, Palehound, and Ian Sweet, the highly anticipated record continues their streak of ?90s-inspired indie rock. Our Song of the Day, ?Jimmy Neutron,? is a dreamy rocker about the desire for love and the pitfalls of making it a reality.

"This song is about getting so close to love that you can almost taste it," says Johnson of the track. "All the highs of being in love and how ridiculously unlike yourself it can make you act. All the daydreaming you do about what things could be and how they might go. There's always a catch though and in this story as soon as you reach out to grab 'love' and have it in your hands you drop it."

Enumclaw is currently touring the US, check out their scheduled dates to make sure you don't miss "the best band since Oasis." Recently, Martin Douglas spoke with Enumclaw and revisited the beginning of his relationship with the band for KEXP. Read the full post and watch the John C. Peterson-directed video for ?Jimmy Neutron" at KEXP.org.

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2022-10-21
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Cheekface - I Feel So Weird!

Cheekface - "I Feel So Weird!" from the 2022 album Too Much To Ask on New Professor.

In times like we?ve been living through the past handful of years, humor has become more and more tantamount to survival. Cheekface understands that and displays it with aplomb. The Los Angeles-based band made up of Greg Katz, Amanda Tannen, Mark ?Echo? Edwards channels Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman, and Stephan Malkmus with their speak-singing but has plenty of wisdom behind their absurdist, critical, and, dare I say, cheeky lyricism.

Our Song of the Day ?I Feel So Weird!,? off the band?s recently released third record Too Much To Ask, is an excellent example of Cheekface?s ability to make you spit-take with laughter at the same time as saying to yourself, ?I feel that.? Over a mellow, bass-heavy rhythm Katz spews goofy statements like, ?The difference between me and a dog is I am taller /Think about it, just think about it? before getting into a pretty great allegory for the feelings that anxiety often riddles upon a body, which is also an allusion towards dogs. Plus the Das Racist reference of ?I'm at the combination Jamba Juice and therapist? makes it the gold standard of satirical lyricism.

While Cheekface isn?t big on music videos currently, watch the lyric video for other Too Much To Ask highlight ?Featured Singer? and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-10-20
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PVA - Untethered

PVA - "Untethered" from the 2022 album BLUSH on Ninja Tune.

South London trio PVA have gained a reputation for their live sets, with their dark, industrial-tinged dance music and frontwoman Ella Harris' deadpan vocals. (Early in their career, the band came up with the term ?country-friend techno? to describe their sound.)

With their debut LP BLUSH, the group channels the raw energy of their shows, while displaying an increased confidence in the studio. ?We wanted to surprise people and do something more than just get across how we sound at a gig,? percussionist Louis Satchell conveyed in a press release. ?It?s quite an anxious record sometimes that is relating to mental health issues but also an everyday anxiety of making the album. It?s been a rocky ride but we always pick ourselves up.? 

Harris says today's Song of the Day is about "being in a straight relationship that is restrictive and closed off. It?s basically an expression of this really frustrated anger at masculinity and a resentment at being unable to free yourself from that heteronormative situation and explore the world.? The group elaborates, "'Untethered' is a song about release. It?s our current set opener and an introduction to our industrial arm. We wrote it in one session in a burst of chaotic catharsis. The lyrics follow a character being freed from imaginary tethers and experiencing the earth under their feet again."

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2022-10-19
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Benedek - Emotional (feat. Devin Morrison)

Benedek - "Emotional (feat. Devin Morrison)" from the 2022 Zebrano EP on Apron Records.

Los Angeles-based producer/musician Benedek (real name: Nicholas Benedek) began playing guitar at the age of nine, and first started composing beats using his Nintendo Game Boy Camera software. With admiration for artists like Herbie Hancock and Jeff Beck, he's developed a unique style drawing from funk, hip-hop, soul, house, as well as science fiction and '90s video games. 

On today's Song of the Day, Benedek teams up with the soulful singer Devin Morrison for this '80s-inspired jam. (Do I detect a Bell Biv DeVoe inspiration?) Bandcamp calls the track a "slow burning ode to the West Coast," and with Morrison's laid-back vocals and that smooth R&B groove, it's the perfect song to make you forget it's autumn now. 

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2022-10-18
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STR4TA - Turn Me Around

STR4TA - "Turn Me Around" from the 2022 album STR4TASFEAR on Brownswood.

Just before the world shut down in 2020, renowned DJ/record label owner Gilles Peterson joined acid jazz legend Jean-Paul Maunick (better known as "Bluey") for an improvised jam session in Bluey's parents? garden shed in London. The result became STR4TA, and last year's debut LP, Aspects, draws influence from the '70s/'80s Brit-Funk sound they both grew up with. 

Their sophomore full-length, STR4TASFEAR, will be released on November 10th via Peterson's own Brownswood Recordings, and is described by Peterson in a press release as "a continuation from our first project, celebrating the ground breaking Brit-Funk era of the late 70s/ early 80s while continuing the story with the rise of the drum machine; paying homage to the Acid Jazz and Electro Soul that followed and the evolution that inspired club culture and new Jazz of recent times." He continues, "For me it's a record of parallels, not only in music but a lot of the issues we are experiencing today began in that Brit-Funk era. The parallels in the political landscape of that time and today are poignant and the moment of overall change we are living in is reflected in this record. Bluey is a significant executer of exhibiting the important social questions through music from a Black British perspective and it's an honour to work with him."

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2022-10-17
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Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Taabu, Shad - Red Sky at Night - Remix

Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Taabu, Shad - Red Sky at Night - Remix a 2022 single on Distorted Muse.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids are a Polaris and Juno Award-nominated indigenous hip hop duo that are beacons amongst their community for addressing the generational trauma affecting indigenous people with wit, humor, and bars for days. Their most recent album Life After dropped in 2021 but recently they unveiled a remix of standout track ?Red Sky at Night? featuring veteran emcee Shad and producer Taabu.

While the original was a vibey late-night track that showed off the duo?s dexterous verbal ability and is absolutely incredible on its own, the remix is a fiery hard-hitting journey meant to melt faces. Shad?s gracious opening verse sets the tone before Yung Trybez and Young D speak their truth, ?Rez Kids on that red carpet /Tell the homies that this feature is free /Get best bargain like red target, all love.?

Turns out, Shad was actually supposed to be on the original version of the track but submitted his verse too late. ?He showed us mad love when he heard it,? says SNRK to Complex of Shad. ?...and sent us a verse back a little late when it came to getting it on the original [song], but that?s what remixes are for! His verse was recorded before we even thought about ours, and he set the damn bar!?

Snotty Nose Rez Kids were featured on an episode of Sound & Vision last year to discuss the change they want to be in their community. Check it out and watch the visualizer for ?Red Sky at Night (Remix)? at KEXP.org.

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2022-10-14
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Bobby Sanchez - Trans 101 (Scarim)

Bobby Sanchez - Trans 101 (Scarim) from the 2022 Prophecy EP on Harawiq Records.

Bobby Sanchez carries a plethora of identities on their shoulders - poet, musician, painter, model, activist. The American-Peruvian Indigenous artist is vocal about speaking on the topics close to their heart such as Indigenous displacement, gentrification, environmentalism, and gender identity. Their most recent EP Prophecy covers all of these in just four short yet vibey tracks.

Based solely on the number of Tik Toks that have used ?Trans 101 (Scarim)? over the past few months, our Song of the Day has clearly hit home for a lot of trans people. Over a jazzy piano sample, Sanchez effortlessly flows about the beauty and danger of being trans. In one of the more triumphant verses, Sanchez coos, ?Trans bodies are like temples I could see you worshipping /Trans bodies sentimental more beneath the surfaces /Trans bodies love each other and the love is permanent /Trans bodies will prevail and you cannot circumvent.?

Watch the video for 2018 single ?Plutonomy? and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-10-13
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Byron Nicholai - Tengauryugtua (I Want To Fly)

Byron Nicholai - "Tengauryugtua (I Want To Fly)" from the 2022 album Ayagnera (The Beginning) on Tuallu Entertainment.

Back in 2014, a young Byron Nicholai went viral when he began posting videos of himself singing in the Indigenous Yup'ik language on Facebook. The media even dubbed him the "Justin Bieber of Alaska." 

Since then, he's relocated from the coastal town of Toksook Bay to Anchorage, to "get faster internet," he confessed to KYUK. ?I feel like it would mess with my momentum a little bit, 'cause sometimes I?d be excited to work on a track, but then having internet problems would just kind of wash that away.?

The move worked, because now, almost ten years later, he's returned with a new album, titled Ayagnera [The Beginning], a collection of rap, R&B, and dance songs, all sung in Yugtun, the Indigenous language he grew up speaking.

?I came up with the title Ayagnera [The Beginning] because I felt like it was the start of Yup?ik modern music," he told Rolling Stone India. "There?s currently no other Yup?ik music that is released like this other than what I?ve put out.? 

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-10-12
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Digging Roots - Tall Grass

Digging Roots - "Tall Grass" from the 2022 album Zhawenim on Ishk?dé Records.

Canadian duo Digging Roots returned this summer with their fourth LP Zhawenim. Since 2004, the husband-and-wife team of Raven Kanatakta Polson-Lahache and Sho-Shona Kish have crafted an award-winning blend of folk, hip-hop, and more with traditional Indigenous music. (Sho-Shona is Anishinabe, from Batchewana First Nation, while Raven is Anishinabe and Mohawk, from Winneway, Quebec.)

The album title of "zhawenim" translates from Anishinabemowin to "to love unconditionally." As they write on their Facebook page, "Each of us has a thousand Ancestors standing with us. This collection of songs is for all our Ancestors, past, present and future. We?re dedicating Zhawenim to the children. Those living now, those yet to come and to those little ones who were stolen and never made it home to their families. We will always live life to its fullest for them, play music and dance for them, and feast for them. Niikaanaagaanah." 

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2022-10-11
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Mare Advertencia - Escribiendo La Historia

Mare Advertencia - "Escribiendo La Historia" from the 2022 Siempreviva EP on Derretida Ent / MuyMAL.

An Indigenous Zapotec artist, rapper and activist Mare Advertencia Lirika has been using her voice to amplify underrepresented communities since she burst onto the scene in 2003 alongside Dj TBear. "My life context has taught me that I can use my voice,? she told Refinery 29 last year, ?And maybe that?s a privilege of mine, one I shouldn?t have, but I trust very much what I have to say. I don?t fear what I have to say.?

On her 2020 EP SiempreViva, she combines rap and funk to help express her reflections on feminism, cultural identity, and social inequality. She said in a press release at the time, "It is a material that invites us to learn to live despite death and violence, proposes a metaphor with the everlasting flower that reminds us that, despite adversity, hope is always with us. We have the possibility to reinvent our reality, the way life is presented to us and to find ourselves in community."

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2022-10-10
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TeZATalks - Lex Luthor

TeZATalks - Lex Luthor a 2022 self-released single.

Since 2016, TeZATalks has been enchanting fans with her unique genre-blending sound that explores electronic, hip-hop, metal, and dark pop in bewitching fashion. The self-described ?Hard-Core Popstar? was born in Oahu but calls Seattle home and we?re more than happy to have her represent the diversity of music that breeds here.

?Lex Luther? is the artist?s most recent release and the first taste from her upcoming debut full-length, of which she currently hasn?t dropped any details on yet. What we do know is that if this what we can expect the record to sound like, then we?re in for a wild ride. Produced by Grammy-nominated artist, writer, and producer Blakksoul, ?Lex Luther? taps into the hardest, grimiest aspects of TeZATalks? sound, turning the heat up full throttle for a breakup song zeroed in on the anger and resentment felt for her ex.

In a recent interview with American Songwriter, who premiered the track, she calls the song an, ?anthem for victims of a fuck boy.? And goes on to say, ?I found myself reminiscing on a past relationship. The experience was so bad I guess there was some left over hurt on my mind that needed to get out. I decided to write a 20 reason letter as to why I should have dumped him sooner.?

Now, That?s What I Call Therapy.

Watch TeZATalks? absolutely mindblowing KEXP in-studio performance from February 2020 (right in the nick of time) and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-10-07
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Disq - Cujo Kiddies

Disq - "Cujo Kiddies" from the 2022 album Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet on Saddle Creek.

Wisconsin-based quintet Disq are releasing their sophomore record Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet this Friday two years after dropping their debut Collector. Our Song of the Day and the album?s lead single ?Cujo Kiddies? emphasizes the band?s ability to craft eclectic art rock but is also a deeply personal song for vocalist/bassist Raina Bock. In a lengthy statement, Bock had this to say about the song:

?I wanted to make a song that sounded like a freight train full of clowns and silly toys, barreling through the dark, observing and taking note of the various gloomy landscapes of my brain (without dwelling too long or taking any of it too seriously).I wrote the first half of ?Cujo? from deep inside the hole of substance abuse and loneliness. The song was meant to function as a blueprint for how I wished my reality could look. Six months later, sitting in an ocean of boxes all packed up for what would be my fourth time moving that year, I wrote the second half.The experience inspired what I hope to be my lifelong approach to songwriting going forward? To write songs not with the goal of reflecting on where I am at a given moment, but as a tool to pull myself out of the way things are and toward the way I?d like them to be.I wrote ?Cujo Kiddies? for nobody else?s ears but my own, so while it is now making its way out into a strange world where I am not the only living person on earth, I truly from the bottom of my heart hope you all enjoy? but if you don?t, rest easy in knowing that it is no skin off the author?s back either way. This song has already done everything I could have ever hoped it would.?

Disq will be in Seattle on Tuesday, December 6th to play Barboza with opening support from local band Sea Lemon. Watch the official video for other Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet single ?The Hardest Part? and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-10-06
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Miss Grit - Like You

Miss Grit - "Like You," a 2022 single on Mute.

New York-based, Korean-American artist Miss Grit (real name: Margaret Sohn) shares the new single "Like You," her first track released since signing to Mute Records. ?Mute is one of the labels I put on a pedestal in my mind, so the fact I was even on their radar was really flattering,? Sohn said in a press release. ?And then to think they believed in my music enough to want to work together made me so happy.?

Today's Song of the Day is an electropop groove that builds into a radiant burst of synths. The lyrics take inspiration from the 2014 film Ex Machina, the story of a computer programmer interacting with a beautiful robot.  ?I had the character of Ex Machina in mind as the voice I was singing from. Her arc in the movie felt really beautiful to me, and I wanted to reach the same ending as her in this song.?

Listen to song below, and check out their 2021 Live on KEXP at Home session, too. 

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-10-05
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Ty Segall - Distraction

Ty Segall - "Distraction" from the 2022 album "Hello, Hi" on Drag City.

From glam rock to garage to experimental noise, Ty Segall has covered it all over his 14-album discography. On his latest, titled ?Hello, Hi?, he takes an intimate acoustic approach to songs that gestated during the pandemic. The album title itself acknowledges the strange isolation of that period, and how he missed just talking to people.

?It?s a simple sentiment,? Segall told Esquire. ?A salutation. And just, how nice that is. When you can?t do it. And it?s like, you don?t ever think about it, until it?s gone. Just saying, ?Hey!? It?s a simple thing.? He adds, "It was like, ?now here I?m in this room, and I?m daydreaming about all this weird shit around me, just, the window and the cement floors. And I just want to say hi.? 

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-10-04
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MorMor - Seasons Change

MorMor - "Seasons Change," a 2022 single on Don't Guess / AWAL.

On today's Song of the Day, Toronto-based artist MorMor (real name: Seth Nyquist) encourages listeners to seize the day. "I won't leave it to fate / as seasons change," he sings against a laid-back, electro-pop groove, reminiscent of fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene.

"?Seasons Change? is a song about the constraints of time," he explained via a press release. "The sentiment is that if you are to live once, why not give into your natural desires.?

The track will appear on his long-awaited debut album Semblance, out November 4th. You can catch him next year on February 1st at Neumos.

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-10-03
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Cumulus - Sunbeam

Cumulus - "Sunbeam" from the 2022 album Something Brighter on Share It Music.

KEXP?s love and respect for Cumulus has been at least a decade in the making, spanning before the release of their 2013 debut I Never Meant to Be Like This. Back in 2018, our coverage of Cumulus? sophomore record Comfort World was glowing and persistent, and for good reason. Alexandra Lockhart (née Niedzialkowski)?s ability to convey a wide range of introspective feelings while keeping every single song immensely catchy is a skill few have.

At long last, Cumulus is releasing their third record Something Brighter on October 21st via Share It Music. The name is an apt representation of the tone of the record because, despite being written and recorded during the darkness of the pandemic, Lockhart?s ability to find hope and light is stronger than ever.

A big catalyst for that lightness is the love Lockhart found with her now-husband and that comes out in our Song of the Day, ?Sunbeam.? ?When you?re next to me /It?s like I?m sleeping in a sunbeam,? coos Lockhart. ?Oh, the way you love me /It gets into my bloodstream.? It?s *almost* too sweet and pure for those of us not currently in the throes of love but also conjures hope, just knowing that Lockhart and her husband have found that.

She told Atwood Magazine this about the song:

??Sunbeam? is probably the purest love song I have ever written, or at least it is the first time that I have written and released a song in the throes of love,? Lockhart tells Atwood Magazine. ?Not looking back longingly, not heartbroken and missing something, just in it, appreciative, feeling wrapped in safety and reflecting on all the time I spent wondering if I?d ever find it. Finding your person is such a wild journey. I come from a family of divorce, and I think I built up some walls and codependent notions in my pursuits of young love as a result, and my journey with partnership wasn?t always healthy.?

?This is a song about the realization that when you do meet the right person, it?s not complicated. It?s easy. It?s not that it doesn?t take hard work, but it doesn?t feel like work. I also wrote this song in pandemic times, and wanted to write something to document how good this person makes me feel, how grateful I am to have them next to me.?

?Sunbeam? comes with a video directed by Sébastien Deramat, of Special Explosion and Seacats, in which Lockhart and her husband lock eyes amongst a horde of animal sculptures made of driftwood. Watch the video and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-09-30
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Big Joanie - In My Arms

Big Joanie - "In My Arms" from the 2022 album Back Home on Kill Rock Stars.

British punk trio and International Clash Day alums Big Joanie are releasing this sophomore record Back Home on November 4th via Thurston Moore and Eva Prinz?s Daydream Library Series (UK) and Kill Rock Stars in the US. Ahead of its release, they?ve dropped a string of singles including ?Happier Still? and our Song of the Day, ?In My Arms.?

Led by a rambling guitar, the nostalgic track looks back on a past relationship with regret and melancholy. ?I?ve compromised too many times /In my life,? sings Stephanie Phillips. ?One day I?ll make the great escape /And send another you away /But now I dream /Of you in my arms.? Frontwoman Stephanie Phillips said this of the song in a statement:

?At this point I was getting tired of living in London and dreaming about another life. It?s about knowing you should go another way in life but you end up dreaming about the road you?ve already travelled down even though you know it won?t take you where you need to go.?

On the flip side, the Lydia Garret-directed video for the track is joyful in celebrating queer love and friendships. Focusing on a group of teens over the course of an exhilarating day where they explore a theme park, have a bonfire on the beach, and finish off with a personal dance party with Big Joanie as the entertainment.

Watch the video and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-09-29
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Peter Matthew Bauer - Skulls

Peter Matthew Bauer - "Skulls" from the 2022 album Flowers on Fortune Tellers.

With The Walkmen still on hiatus, multi-instrumentalist Peter Matthew Bauer continues their anthemic style of indie rock on his latest solo LP, Flowers. On today's Song of the Day, he displays the ways he's developed musically since the band took a break.

"'Skulls' was inspired by a new style of guitar playing that I stumbled on," he told Under the Radar. "In all the years I?d made music, I?d never figured out a way to take a guitar solo before. I started using a distortion pedal and a space echo, playing these kind of waterfalling guitar riffs over some farfisa chords. It felt really loose and brought me a lot of joy. From there, I tried to write a very joyous melody to match it. There?s a record by Peter One and Jess Sah Bi, it?s a kind of 1980s country rock record from the Cote d?Ivoire. I feel like their style of melodies really inspired me throughout this album. Just the rhythm and the way they?re both laid back but really letting go."

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-28
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Rocky Votolato - Little Black Diamond

Rocky Votolato - "Little Black Diamond" from the 2022 album Wild Roots on Spartan.

Long-beloved local artist Rocky Votolato returns with his most personal album yet. Wild Roots is his first new album in seven years. Written during the pandemic, Votolato sought to craft an album about "family connection," adding to People magazine, "but on a deeper level, it's about the human struggle and overcoming and surviving anything that is handed to you." (You can hear and read more about this album in an upcoming interview here on KEXP!)

Today's Song of the Day was inspired by Votolato's niece Carissa. As he writes on social media, "it?s a song about loyalty and how much keeping your word and telling the truth means to the ones closest to you. I wrote it after we went for a walk one day and she helped me find a little stone that I carried around with me in my pocket for years and years on every tour I did. That little rock came to represent loyalty to me and was a constant reminder of all the people in my life who love me and why I was trying to stay alive and do the work on myself to become a better person."

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-27
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Karate, Guns and Tanning - Enchanter

Karate, Guns and Tanning - "Enchanter," a 2022 self-released single.

Indianapolis-based band Karate, Guns & Tanning formed out of the 15-year friendship of bassist/vocalist Valerie Green and keyboardist/vocalist Paige Shedletsky. ?We basically share a brain,? Shedletsky told Post-Punk.com.

Together, they craft a dark, riot grrrl-tinged shoegaze, influenced by David Lynch and Hunter S. Thompson. On today's Song of the Day, they evoke the chilly synths of Ladytron with a soaring '80s-style guitar solo in the center. It's a first look at the band's next EP, slated for release this fall. 

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-26
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LIV? - Let It Go (feat. Dave B)

Livt - Let It Go (feat. Dave B) from the 2022 album Pink and Orange on LIV Free Media / DAY ONE ENT.

If you weren?t able to make it to our KEXP 50th anniversary party earlier this summer, then you missed an incredible performance by local artist LIVt kicking the festivities off. KEXP has become a major champion of the Tacoma, WA-raised musician?s poetic lyricism touting messages of radical self-love and acceptance.

Her most recent record, 2022?s Pink and Orange expands on the soulful soundscapes LIVt created on 2020?s Flowers in the Void. Our Song of the Day ?Let It Go? sees her team up with another local hero, Dave B, for a laid-back bop with the cathartic (if not exactly radio-friendly) message of, ?Fuck it /Let it go.?

LIVt stopped by KEXP back in March for an in-studio with Gabriel Teodros. Watch it and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-09-23
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Lil Silva - Still (feat. Sampha & Ghetts)

Lil Silva - Still (feat. Sampha & Ghetts) from the 2022 album Yesterday Is Heavy on Nowhere Music Ltd.

It may have taken Lil Silva over a decade to finally drop his debut full-length, but he proved it was worth the wait. Since 2010, the UK producer has been winning over fans as a beatmaker who could bring emotion to the dancefloor. Eventually, Silva started to incorporate his airy vocals into his work, expanding his tapestry of sounds.

Yesterday Is Heavy is not only a tapestry of sounds but also collaborators. Lil Silva is clearly well-liked because everyone from Little Dragon, BADBADNOTGOOD, Charlotte Day Wilson, and serpentwithfeet join him on the record. Our Song of the Day, ?Still,? is just one of two tracks South London singer Sampha lends his vocals to alongside some help from grime MC Ghetts.

The smooth track gently grooves until the beat kicks in and Sampha leads with anxiety-riddled lyricsm about wanting to love but knowing he?s not in the right mental place for it. Ghetts backs him on the sentiment with his compelling verse, ?Just come back from my therapist /Wouldn't recommend it /I opened up too much /Book in every sentence /I don't need an analyst /To tell me I'm an anarchist.? Silva?s touch is light but his gentle coos back the boys for the intimate posse cut.

Watch the video for Yesterday Is Heavy opening track "Another Sketch" and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-09-22
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Son Little - 6 AM

Son Little - "6 AM," a 2022 single on ANTI-.

Philadelphia-based R&B artist Son Little (real name: Aaron Livingston) found inspiration from acclaimed sci-fi author Octavia Butler for today's Song of the Day. 

?Dawn is my favorite Octavia Butler book,? he said in a press release. ?It?s also my favorite time of the day? the time I have my clearest most exciting ideas and also the time when I sometimes spiral into emotional/mental chaos. Wrote a song about it.?

"6 AM" is available on his latest LP Like Neptune, out now via ANTI- Records. You can catch him Monday, November 7th at Neumos in Seattle. 

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-21
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Mystic - Here, Alive (Spirits High)

Mystic - "Here, Alive (Spirits High)" from the 2022 album Dreaming In Cursive: The Girl Who Loved Sparklers on Beautifull Soundworks.

As KEXP's Gabriel Teodros says, "Every Mystic album is an event, and something to come back to for years and years."

The long-running Bay Area-based artist/activist (real name: Mandolyn Wind Ludlum) returns with her third full-length Dreaming In Cursive: The Girl Who Loved Sparklers, another release of "healed Black woman music," as she puts it.  

Her debut full-length ? 2001's Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom ? had a huge impact on Teodros. As he writes on Instagram, "Mystic?s debut album was a record that changed me, an album that made me feel loved in a way I hadn?t felt from other hip-hop albums before: that real kind of love that will hold you accountable, see your flaws and your beauty and just love you to your best self? all in the music though!"

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-20
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Kingsley Ibeneche - Asked for Light

Kingsley Ibeneche - "Asked For Light" from the 2022 album Udo on Dirty Deity.

Nigerian-American artist Kingsley Ibeneche truly opens his heart on his debut album Udo, which was released last Friday. In a press statement, the full-length is described as an "emotional experience of an empathic person who stays bound to their kin sometimes to the detriment of themselves, but who refuses to give up the quest for elation, personal peace and self-actualization in the process."

Today's Song of the Day, in particular, is "very special" to him and his longtime collaborator, Lee Clarke. It's a beautiful, meditative piece, with a plaintively plucked acoustic guitar and serene washes of soul. As he stated on Instagram, "We spent a good amount of time carving and molding the shape of this song. I?m a lucky dude to be able to work with Lee. He has always believed in me and supported me in the fullest way possible. I learn from him up close and from afar." 

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-19
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Nada Rosa - The Process of Dying

Nada Rosa - "The Process of Dying" from the 2020 Personas EP on OTHERWORLDS.

Brandi Diaz is a Seattle-based musician and first-generation Cuban/Dominican American making intimate surf-tinged cosmic soul under the moniker Nada Rosa. The name takes inspiration from the concept of infinite potential (everything comes from nothingness/nada) as well as the name of her maternal Grandmother Rosa, who represents authenticity, power, and strength.

Our Song of the Day ?The Process of Dying? is a gentle strummer that hinges on Diaz?s angelic vocals that pack a punch in just a little over two minutes, harkening a gentle rally towards finding freedom from the anxieties that plague the mind. ?I give myself /What I need /And I set myself free,? she coos before admitting, ?I may not know what?s coming /But I set myself free.?

In an exclusive quote for KEXP, Diaz says this of ?The Process of Dying?:

?This song came to me in the middle of a bubble bath actually?. It was the middle of 2020, and I had a whole lot of time of my hands. I decided to take mushrooms that day and go inward. Submerged in the water, I began to notice my hair, and realized how hair lives on even after it leaves our body. For some reason, that moment sparked something in me, and the lyrics to Process of Dying began pouring in. I jumped out of the water, ran to my bedroom and began recording. It was one of those songs that came out almost like a birth, completely intact, and as a total release. The lyrics were a profound realization for me that I have the power to take care of myself always, and that the only certainly in life is that there IS no certainty, other than the fact that this time on earth is temporary. For me, that is the most freeing thing to know. My wish for this song is for it to be a meditation and reminder for everyone that hears it, that we always hold the key to our own freedom, if we can let go of certainty, care for ourselves, and fully belong to this moment.?

Watch the video for "The Process of Dying," co-directed by Diaz and Jane Urban, and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-09-16
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Meridian Brothers - Metamorfosis (feat. Grupo El Renacimiento)

Meridian Brothers - "Metamorfosis (feat. Grupo El Renacimiento)" from the 2022 album Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento on Ansonia Records.

For Eblis Álvarez, frontman and figurehead behind Bogotá band Meridian Brothers, the imaginary is a primary source of inspiration. His latest record, and 11th since the band?s inception in 1998, is a collaboration with a fictional band called Grupo El Renacimiento. Creating an entire backstory for the band, Álvarez claims them to be a 1970s salsa group from a small village in Colombia who had a small amount of fame but then were forgotten after the band delved further into drugs and partying.

But that?s not the only story on Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento. There?s also a Kafka-esque storyline on today?s Song of the Day ?Metamorfosis,? in which the formerly-human protagonist wakes up to find themselves transformed into a robot. ?Memory is dying,? reads the English translation of the lyrics. ?They?ve already connected the internet to my lung /To my heart.?

?Salsa singers in the '70s, they used to sing about, you know, like, actual problems,? Álvarez told NPR in an interview. ?Social problems, political problems, human problems of emotional problems. So I decide to imitate that attitude - ?Metamorfosis? - that tells about this dystopian world where technology takes over the human brain, takes over the human body, takes over the human societies and control it.?

This record is also important because it marks the first release in 30 years from long-standing label Ansonia Records. Created in 1949 by Puerto Rican immigrant Rafael ?Ralph? Pérez, the New York-based label was the home for a surprisingly large, diverse, and important catalog of seminal recordings featuring traditional and popular Latin rhythms and sounds. Genres such as música jíbara, plena, bomba, danza, son, guajira, bolero, danzón and merengue are well represented, as are guaracha, mambo, cha-cha-cha, pachanga and boogaloo.

Watch the lyric video (in both English and Spanish) for ?Metamorfosis? and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-09-15
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Omar Apollo - Archetype

Omar Apollo - "Archetype" from the 2022 album Ivory (Marfil) on Warner.

This week's Songs of the Day were selected by KEXP DJs Albina Cabrera and DJ Chilly, hosts of El Sonido, in honor of Aquí y Ahora: Without Borders. Join KEXP September 12 through October 14 for a month dedicated to amplifying the contributions, resilience, and music of Latinx, Hispanic and Latino-identified communities worldwide. More info here.

Only four months after releasing his debut album, IVORY, Mexican-American artist Omar Apollo returned with a deluxe edition ? titled IVORY (Marfil) ?featuring five bonus tracks, including today's Song of the Day. 

As KEXP's Albina Cabrera described in her Living Singles segment back in July, "It?s a classic Omar Apollo love song, which is definitely a way we should start defining songs that show up, interpret your feelings, turn into constant soundtracks, and stay by your side for at least half a year."

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-14
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mediopicky - quien te llamo

Mediopicky - "quien te llamo" from the 2022 album mediopicky on Salsa Fegol.

This week's Songs of the Day were selected by KEXP DJs Albina Cabrera and DJ Chilly, hosts of El Sonido, in honor of Aquí y Ahora: Without Borders. Join KEXP September 12 through October 14 for a month dedicated to amplifying the contributions, resilience, and music of Latinx, Hispanic and Latino-identified communities worldwide. More info here.

"I was borned, i learned to pruduce, and now you are dancing."

This is the Bandcamp bio for Dominican Republic-based artist mediopicky (real name: Pablo Alcántara). Since 2011, he's been releasing some serious bangers, combining tropical rhythms with hip-hop, funk with electronica. Today's Song of the Day is a fuzz-heavy, reggae-tinged trip with eerie overtones.

Throughout it all, his ultimate goal is to get you moving. As he says on his website, "What interests me is that people feel something from what I can create, no matter what it is, but that they feel something and dance without thinking about what kind of music they are listening to."

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-13
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Doris Anahi? - Aprendiendo por las Malas

Doris Anahí - "Aprendiendo por las Malas" from the 2022 Aprendiendo por las Malas EP on Casa Mija.

This week's Songs of the Day were selected by KEXP DJs Albina Cabrera and DJ Chilly, hosts of El Sonido, in honor of Aquí y Ahora: Without Borders. Join KEXP September 12 through October 14 for a month dedicated to amplifying the contributions, resilience, and music of Latinx, Hispanic and Latino-identified communities worldwide. More info here.

Doris Anahí Muñoz was a long-time music manager, overseeing emerging Latinx artists like Cuco and La Doña. She's the founder of Casa Mija (FKA mija mgmt), a program for BIPOC youth interested in a career in the music business. Her story is detailed in the Disney original documentary Mija, which follows this ambitious activist on her mission to change the industry. 

Now, she's taking the mic herself, recording under the name Doris Anahí. Her debut EP is titled Aprendiendo por las Malas, or "Learning the Hard Way," which is something she surely did during her time as a music manager.

In an interview with LatinPlug, she says the EP "really tells the different stories of that whole chapter of my life." She adds, "Where I felt like all these repressed songs came from all these lessons that I had to learn the hard way these last few years. Largely because I didn't follow my gut, because I was so stubborn and clinging to a version of myself, the version that people wanted me to be. In the end, you end up learning the hard way. When you're not honest with yourself, you're not honest with others, and that's exactly where the hard lessons come in." 

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-12
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Beverly Crusher - Vacuum

Beverly Crusher - "Vacuum" from the 2022 album Waste of Waves on Freakout.

Seattle punk rock band Beverly Crusher has been chipping away and threatening a full album for about three years and finally have come to the point they can share said forthcoming new album Waste of Waves, out on Freakout Records.

Said Cozell Wilson (guitar and vocals) of their brand new LP,

"We had so many set backs, development, and growth working on this album that all we can be is ecstatic that it finally printed in its final form on a sick record label that really believes in us and bends over backwards to support independent music. 17 year old us wouldn't believe this is real."

Watch their KEXP in-studio session and read the full post at KEXP.org

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2022-09-09
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Manny Noir & Psychedelic Ensemble - Where Were You...

Manny Noir & Psychedelic Ensemble - "Where Were You?" from the 2022 album Nocturne on Everything Is Perfect / LIVE AT THE CLINIC.

Southeast London emcee Manny Noir recently teamed up with producer Psychedelic Ensemble to release the collaborative record Nocturne in June. True to the album?s name, Nocturne is ten tracks of vibey downtempo hip hop perfect for the late hours of the evening. The combination of Manny Noir?s silky flows with Psychedelic Ensemble?s smooth, softly grooving production makes for a sexily uneasy nighttime soundscape.

Our Song of the Day ?Where Were You?? hones in on the feelings of longing and betrayal that often permeate the brain upon nightfall. ?Where were you when I was hurting / I was hurting /I was hurt,? questions Noir over a thrumming beat punctuated by ghostly synths mimicking the fog of memories best left in the past.

Read the full post and watch the video for Nocturne closing track "Let the Love In," directed by Marlon Francis, at KEXP.org.

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2022-09-08
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Meskerem Mees - Best Friend

Meskerem Mees - "Best Friend," from the 2022 Caesar EP on Mayway.

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Belgium (where she still resides today), 23-year-old artist Meskerem Mees displays a maturity beyond her years in her beautiful compositions. She's won the Emerging Artists Award from Humo's Rock Rally, the Music Moves Europe 2022 Grand Jury Prize, as well as the Montreux Jazz Talent Award in 2021.

On today's Song of the Day, she calls to mind Courtney Barnett with her speedy talk-singing style, but musically, it's stripped down to just her acoustic guitar and cello accompaniment by Frederik Daelemans. Against the minimal folk-pop instrumentation, her lyrics reflect on middle school days to just a year ago, and how her life has changed. 

Today's Song of the Day will appear on the Caesar EP, to be released November 10th via Mayway.

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-07
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S H I R A N - Habibi Inta ????? ???

S H I R A N - "Habibi Inta ????? ???" from the 2022 album Fadaytak on Batov.

Tel Aviv-based artist S H I R A N (real name: Shiran Avraham) uses her music to explore her Middle Eastern roots, combining the influences with hip-hop, Afrobeats, and more. Her production partner Ron Bakal returns on this latest LP to help her carry these songs to new heights, in a style they call ?Electro Hafla,? a reference to "the large ?'hafla' get-togethers full of music and dancing, common at family gatherings and religious ceremonies."

She declares on Facebook:

I am so proud of what we created Ron Bakal?. The album?s creation process was very special for me because all the songs were written in collaboration with a song writer from Yemen and been through a journey in all the places Ron and I love?s to travel. The truth is that the album was ready two years ago, it needed to release outside a long time ago but it postponed by a lot of reasons. COVID-19, our life routine and all kind of challenges that we have been through. We worked on it so hard and during our work I went through a process of my own that thought me a lot. I have learned that it is good to let go and not hold in.. listen to myself and let the art burst out without a lot of questions and thoughts. But I do believe that everything is happening in it?s time. After all, the album was made with love! Thanks to amazing people that took part If it and brought there talent and heart 

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-06
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Jitwam - The Get Down

Jitwam - "The Get Down" from the 2022 album Third on Roya Records.

As KEXP's DJ Alex mentioned in 2018 when Jitwam contributed a Midnight in a Perfect World mix to us, "Jitwam is a bit of an enigma. He was born in Northeast India, he's currently based in Brooklyn, he spent his formative years in New Zealand and Australia, and has lived in monasteries in Thailand, orphanages in South Africa, and washed out apartments in London."

On his third album ? helpfully titled Third ? Jitwam focuses on nights in London and New York, specifically, while still infusing a lifetime of global influences into his rich tapestry of disco-funk. Today's Song of the Day is such a fast-paced dance delight, you can almost picture the Soul Train dancers doing one of their infamous line dances to it. 

As he told Mixmag, "Being a diaspora kid, Third, for me, also has a lot of references to third culture. I?m trying to blur the lines between what we think of as different cultures, rhythms, and genres, and show that despite how different these genres are ? or how different we are as people ? we?re all grounded in the same drumbeat really."

Read the full story at KEXP.org

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2022-09-05
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Franklin Gothic - Mr. Hangman

Franklin Gothic - Mr. Hangman from the 2022 album Into the Light on #veryjazzed.

Franklin Gothic is the solo project of Portland-based artist Jay DiBartolo. In August, he released his debut record Into the Light via split release with Very Jazzed ad Pleasure Tapes. Made in collaboration with producer/local luminary Erik Blood (Shabazz Palaces, Tacocat, Pickwick), the album covers a variety of genres including ?90s indie, Americana, and shoegaze for a dynamic and colorful listen.

Our Song of the Day is the early single ?Mr. Hangman.? Influenced by DiBartolo?s childhood and using the game Hangman as an analogy for feeling cut off from the world and left hanging, the song is, conversely, one of the more vibrant tunes on the record. DiBartolo had this to say about the song:

"The original version we intended to record for "Mr. Hangman" was this sweet, little boppy tune, which had been bugging me because it felt inauthentic. After laying down the drums in the studio, I took the song back home and experimented a bit on guitar by noodling with various phrasings over the existing chord progression. That's when this dissonant feeling emerged that juxtaposed the original version and captured what the song's about. I sent it to Erik and he replied back with a champagne emoji, so I knew that was it."

The song comes with a glitchy VHS-style video directed by Sean McGuirk. Watch it and read the full post at KEXP.org.

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2022-09-02
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Brijean - Take A Trip

Brijean - Take A Trip from the 2022 album Angelo on Ghostly International.

Vocalist/percussionist Brijean Murphy and producer/multi-instrumentalist Doug Stuart have been making sweltering groovy soundscapes as Brijean since 2019 and recently followed up their 2021 full-length Feelings with the EP Angelo. Named after their 1981 Toyota Celica, Angelo was born out of a period of immense grief, in which the duo leaned heavily on each other and music as a way to cope.

Our Song of the Day ?Take a Trip? celebrates those moments of cruising windows-down, as well as the more psychedelic types of trips, in which the journey is through the mind. ?Travel with me down, down, down /Hear the colors, taste the sounds /Through the window, out the door /Spaces in my mind I've never seen before,? coos Murphy. A meandering bassline leads the scorchingly sunny song while a bevy of sounds including hand-claps, cuíca hiccups, whip-cracks, even a horse neigh add color to the already-heated track.

?This song is an inquiry into shifting perspectives?a way to deepen our lived experience by becoming aware of the unexplored facets of our own perception,? says the duo of ?Take a Trip? which comes with a music video from Nathan Castiel inspired by Dreamcast-era video games that interplays lo-fi 3D animation with the warmth of 16mm film.

Watch the video and read the full post at KEXP.org

Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate

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2022-09-01
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