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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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Deserta - Lost In The Weight

Deserta - "Lost in the Weight" from the 2022 album Every Moment, Everything You Need on Felte. Matthew Doty is wasting no time building up a catalogue of work as Deserta. Quick on the heels of releasing his debut album under the moniker last year, Black Aura My Sun, the former Saxon Shore/Midnight Faces plans on releasing the follow-up titled Every Moment, Everything You Need in 2022. The record’s lead single and our Song of the Day is the Herculean track “Lost In the Weight.” At nearly six and a half minutes, the song is a slow burn of epic proportions that sludges as if carrying the weight of the world on its back. Endless layers of swelling textures ground the track while Doty’s wispy vocals float above, urging us to “Take a little time /Slow down” like an angelic spirit guiding us from the demons in our heads. Doty had this to say about “Lost In the Weight”: “This song came from a place of exhaustion, frustration and the necessity to create. LITW trudges away on the same bass note for most of its six and a half minutes. It has moments of release, but even those moments are meant to feel heavy. This was the first song I tracked with Chris Coady and while we were setting up mics I said something along the lines of “Please make this sound as good as possible, I can’t work as a nurse much longer.” And though I somehow doubt releasing seven-minute ‘singles’ will bring about financial independence, I feel that we created some beauty from all of those darker parts.”  Deserta will be in Seattle on Friday, November 5th to play the Central Saloon. Read the full post on KEXP.orgSupport the show: https://www.kexp.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


27 Oct 2021

Rank #1

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Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - The Distance

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - "The Distance" from the 2021 The Distance EP on Nice Age. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, the musical pseudonym of Orlando Higginbottom, returned last year with his first collection of songs since his 2012’s Trouble, a four-track EP called I Can Hear the Birds. After nearly a decade of releasing singles and collaborating with a horde of others including Amtrac, Bonobo, and Porter Robinson, the London-born producer is finally ready to give us the solo cuts we’ve been patiently waiting for. Our Song of the Day, “The Distance” is the title track from a forthcoming solo EP out October 27th. The blissful dance track is meditative and trancey with wistful glitched out vocals. “How long must I wait for this love?” T.E.E.D. beseeches. “I’m tired of breathing alone /Don’t you know this could be you and me forever?” Rarely has longing felt this good. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


26 Oct 2021

Rank #2

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Aeon Station - Queens

Aeon Station - "Queens" from the 2021 album Observatory on Sub Pop. After 18 years of waiting for the Wrens to follow up their beloved 2003 triumph, The Meadowlands, we’ve finally received new music from them. Well, sort of. Frustrated with his bandmate Charles Bissell’s endlessly tinkering with his half of the planned follow-up record alongside a dispute over money cuts, Kevin Whelan is releasing his portion of songs under the name Aeon Station on December 10th. It’s a heartbreaking way to receive them, but we’ll take what we can get! The lead single and our Song of the Day, “Queens,” was unveiled in September and is so much more than we could’ve expected. A climactic five-minute epic, the song opens as a synthy slow-burner but builds into a propulsive, thrashing rocker only to crash to its emotional guitar-strummed ending. With lines like, “You said it was all in,” it’s difficult to not read the song as Whelan’s pointed message to his former bandmate.  Whelan claims the song was inspired by one of his all-time favorite songs, “The Winner Takes it All” by ABBA. “It’s about betting on the real you,” he explains in the press release. “Like a game of high-stakes poker, you push all your chips to the center of the table and aren’t afraid to go “all in.” When the New York Times asked Whelan in their profile on his new project about whether the song was a breakup song, he responded “More like post-break-up,” Whelan said, “when you find the strength to get on with your life.” Read the full post on KEXP.orgSupport the show: https://www.kexp.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


25 Oct 2021

Rank #3

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J'von - Blacc Moses

J’von - "Blacc Moses" from the 2021 album KING CHEETAH on Empty Planet. “I need something that sounds like a win,” J’Von announces at the beginning of “Blacc Moses.” And, indeed, the story he weaves is one of triumph. Starting at the beginning, with his childhood, the Seattle rapper paints a picture of a mother stricken with grief but keeping it together for her four boys and how that molded him into an empathetic but unassailable human who would look at life with a keen and level-headed lens.  The song comes from J’Von’s 2021 album KING CHEETAH, his latest in a nearly annual record release string since 2015. More than solely a rapper, J’Von can count the titles of producer, animator, creative director, and father on his rapidly expanding resume. “They have that whole ‘jack of all trades master of none’… I hate that,” J’Von told KEXP’s Dusty Henry in 2019. “I don't want to be that. I don't want to be the dude that's alright at everything. I want to be amazing at everything.” That sounds like a win to me. Read the full post on KEXP.orgSupport the show: https://www.kexp.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


22 Oct 2021

Rank #4

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Tiawa - Life Is Not a Crime

Tiawa - "Life Is Not a Crime" from the 2021 album Moonlit Train on Tru Thoughts. Brighton-based musician Tiawa fuses hip hop, neo-soul, and the Latin folk of her Portuguese heritage for an exploratory yet unhurried experience on her debut album Moonlit Train. Released at the beginning of the summer, the album features production by collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Jack-Chi aka Jack Kingslake and a thematic concept that maps a metaphorical train journey from relationships through to healing and liberation. Our Song of the Day, “Life Is Not a Crime” focuses on the liberation from oppression. A gorgeous Spanish guitar riff and lackadaisical electronic beat ground the song while Tiawa’s woozy vocals float in a nearly imperceptible tone to create more “vibe” than message. What does come through, though, - words like “frightened” and “silenced” coupled with “life is not a crime” - paints a clear picture of Tiawa’s story and intention. "Each song on the album is an emotion,” Tiawa explains. “I hope it helps to heal people in serious situations and make them feel better when they listen.” Read the full post on KEXP.orgSupport the show: https://www.kexp.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


21 Oct 2021

Rank #5

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Helixx C. Armageddon - Rollercoaster

Helixx C. Armageddon - "Rollercoaster," a 2021 single on Creative Juices Music. While “Rollercoaster” might be the sole single one can currently find on streaming platforms by Helixx C. Armageddon, the New York-based artist has a wealth of songs, poems, and beats going back over 20 years. Probably best known as a member of The Anomolies, an all-women hip-hop supergroup founded in the late '90s NYC alongside Invincible, Pri the Honey Dark, Big Tara and DJ Kuttin Kandi,  Armageddon is a treasure trove of creative energy that has emersed herself in nearly every medium of artistry one can engage with over the years. “Rollercoaster” comes from the anticipated forthcoming full-length House of Helixx and wrestles with the dips in the proverbial rollercoaster of life. The low lows are something Armageddon knows well. Sleep paralysis, depression, and social media addiction are a few of the demons that plague her but Armageddon keeps her perspective by acknowledging that “There isn’t one person on Earth that isn’t riddled with holes.” Read the full post on KEXP.orgSupport the show: https://www.kexp.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


20 Oct 2021

Rank #6

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Cleo Sol - Don't Let It Go to Your Head

Cleo Sol - "Don't Let It Go to Your Head" from the 2021 album Mother on Forever Living Originals. If her name doesn’t sound familiar, her angelic vocals have been on full display here at KEXP as a contributor to the mysterious UK collective SAULT. But Cleo Sol is a star in her own right, with a penchant for intimate neo-soul that’s both heartwarming and spacious. Her latest record, August’s Mother, is especially personal as its subject matter is grounded in the beautiful yet overwhelming adventure of becoming a mother. Our Song of the Day, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head,” is smack dab in the middle of the record and one of the funkier tracks on the album, with an intricate drum beat leading the way rather than the twinkling piano, sparse guitar, and shimmering strings that fill the majority of the songs. “Don't let it go to your head,” Sol croons. “Love is stronger than fear /Don't let it change who you are /You are meant to be here.” While the song was likely written as a lesson to her baby girl about the importance of being willing to love without compromising yourself, it’s something we all likely need to be reminded of from time to time. Read the full post on KEXP.orgSupport the show: https://www.kexp.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


19 Oct 2021

Rank #7

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Adeline - Stages (feat. KAMAUU)

Adeline - "Stages (feat. KAMAUU)" from the 2021 album Adi Oasis on Unity Records. French Caribbean singer and bassist Adeline makes funk-fueled soul that’s as joyful as it is political. The Paris-born, New York-based artist might be best known for fronting the nu-disco band Escort but broke out on her own in 2018 with her debut self-titled album. In it, she tackles difficult subjects that are close to her heart, such as immigration and feminism, while still making your booty bounce. For her third record in almost as many years, Adeline channels the fear and confusion brought on by the pandemic but reveals those ideas in a groovy, dancefloor-ready way. The record’s opening track and our Song of the Day, “Stages,” blends a surfy guitar riff, funky bass line, and an exuberant verse from New York rapper KAMAUU for a song that touches on the challenges the music industry brings. Adeline says this about the song: “Stages” is about my journey in the music business as a young black woman, but it’s relevant to indie artists in general, and everyone who’s hustling to reach their goals. I’ve had many experiences of not being taken seriously, of people making me feel like I’m not good enough, and of being hit on by fake aspiring collaborators who turned out to have ulterior motives. ‘Stages’ is my self-affirming chant reminding me that ‘I’m not going to take sh*t from anybody anymore. I got this. I trust myself’. Having KAMAUU on the song felt perfect because not only is he talented beyond words, but he’s also been a great advocate for me as a female producer.”  “Stages is also a reminder to myself that no matter where I am in my musical journey, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. When people discover a “new artist”, they often don’t realize they’re actually seeing the result of years and years of hard work. And while it’s tempting as an artist to compare ourselves to other artists who might seem to be having more success, every stage is a win -- a necessary step towards the next one. There are so many different ways of measuring success, and every artist’s journey is unique. I get to create this story in the way that works for me.” Read the full post on KEXP.orgSupport the show: https://www.kexp.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


18 Oct 2021

Rank #8

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Guazú & Terror/Cactus - Almita

Guazú & Terror/Cactus - "Almita" from the 2021 EP Botanas: Guazú & Terror Cactus on Shika Shika Collective. “Almita” is one of three tracks on an EP that melds the simpatico genius of two Argentine-born producers living nearly seven thousand miles away from each other. With Lucas Page a.k.a GUAZÚ  in Buenos Aires and Martin Selasco aka Terror/Cactus in Seattle, it should have been difficult to find each other. Luckily, with the help of social media, the two recognized their shared history and influences as well as their individual styles and started exchanging remixes. Via email, a collaboration was sprung and, with the help of Berlin label Shika Shika, Botanas was born. GUAZÚ’s dark and mysterious sound is centered around the rich percussive legacy of Latin America with ample use of marimbas, bombo legüeros, warm guitars, kalimbas and birdsong . Terror/Cactus’ more upbeat sound takes its main inspiration from cumbia with a modern electronic flair. Together, they’ve made something that seems like it could fit just as comfortably in the techno clubs of their label’s hometown  as in the dancehalls of Buenos Aires. Read the full post on KEXP.orgSupport the show: https://www.kexp.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


15 Oct 2021

Rank #9

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Xenia Rubinos - Cógelo Suave

Xenia Rubinos - "Cógelo Suave," a 2021 single on Anti-. Renowned for forging a sound that’s completely her own, with influences ranging from R&B to punk, you never know what you’re gonna get from Xenia Rubinos. The Brooklyn-based daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban father uses her Berklee degree in jazz composition and early influences of classical music and opera to warp modern genres in unique yet timeless fashion.  One of the handful of singles the past year, “Cógelo Suave,” is one of those left-field songs that only Rubinos could pull off so well.  “It’s a gibberish spaceship ride, high speed chase, birds and stars whirring around your head at the end of a cartoon fight,” Rubinos said in a statement about the song and, really, it’s the most apt description. Made up primarily of swirling scat sounds, the few phrases dictated in the English language are “Well, I don’t know” and “I’m doing fine.” Which makes sense, considering the song was born during the height of the pandemic, Spring 2020, when despair and paranoia were the overwhelming feelings of the moment. “The more I think about it, the more I realize that the world was totally burning down around us while we were producing this track,” Rubinos shared on Twitter, “and in Cógelo Suave I guess I’m saying ‘I’m fine. THIS IS FINE.'” As the song whirls down from its psychedelic high, a vintage-sounding voice floats down from the heavens saying, “Penetrando los misterios del universo” - “Penetrating the mysteries of the universe” - which is part of a taped radio show that Rubinos found digging through her dad’s old cassettes. An appropriate addition considering when the present is so awful, it makes sense to turn to the past.  Read the full post on KEXP.orgSupport the show: https://www.kexp.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


14 Oct 2021

Rank #10