Song of the Day podkast

Cheekface - Reward Points

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3:26
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Cheekface - "Reward Points" from the 2021 Emphatically Mo' (b-sides) EP on New Professor Music. Los Angeles-based trio Cheekface specialize in quirky, upbeat songs with sharp-as-a-whip, sardonic lyrics delivered in talk-sing by frontman Greg Katz, seemingly (obviously?) influenced by Stephen Malkmus. (Sample line from a different track: "Life is long / like a CVS receipt.") But don't let their buoyant punk-pop and the colorful cover art by bassist/vocalist Amanda Tannen fool you. Cheekface was formed in the wake of the 2017 presidential inauguration, and lyrics touch on anxiety, political discourse, and protest culture.  "It's a challenge to write something meaningful when our terrible fascist government is destroying people's lives," Katz toldThe Grey Estates. "Personally, part of why I wanted to start this project was the desire to create something while the government is so destructive. Obviously the lyrics go to political places, and hopefully they capture some of the moral confusion that intelligent people are facing right now. But I also don't want the lyrics to be heavy-handed – I like heavy-handed political lyrics a lot actually, but with so much darkness in the world, we're not trying to add any more darkness with this particular band. Today's Song of the Day — a catchy ode to consumption — comes from their latest EP Emphatically Mo', a collection of b-sides from their 2021 full-length Emphatically No.  Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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

    4:20

    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.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • Song of the Day podkast

    Adeline - Stages (feat. KAMAUU)

    3:48

    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.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Guazú & Terror/Cactus - Almita

    5:11

    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.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • Song of the Day podkast

    Xenia Rubinos - Cógelo Suave

    3:24

    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.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • Song of the Day podkast

    Quantic & Nidia Góngora - Macumba de Marea

    5:12

    Quantic & Nidia Góngora - "Macumba de Marea," a 2021 single on Tru Thoughts. Since 2017, British producer Will Holland AKA Quantic and Colombian folk singer-songwriter Nidia Góngora have been joining forces to amplify each other’s respective crafts. Him, as a prolific expert in the art of electronic dance music. Her, as one of the foremost artists of the marimba music of the South Pacific region and a guardian of the oral tradition. Together, they’ve married their skills to offer something uniquely special. Four years after collaborating for the dancefloor-ready full-length Curao, the duo have joined forces again for a softer, more sultry single with “Macumba de Marea.” An offering from the pair’s forthcoming album Almas Conectadas, out October 22nd, the song swelters under the summer sun, stretching out languorously while a bevy of instruments shake, rattle, and moan. Góngora had this to say about the track:  “This song speaks of the importance of the rituals to say goodbye to our dead, through actions, charged with mysticism, spirituality and beliefs that define our cultural identity.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Susana Baca - Sorongo

    3:46

    Susana Baca - "Sorongo" from the 2021 album Palabras Urgentes on Real World Records. Singer, musicologist, writer, three-time Latin Grammy winner, and a former Minister of Culture in her native Peru, Susana Baca has been a treasure to the Peruvian people for five decades now. A champion of the revival of Afro-Peruvian music, Baca’s latest album “Palabras Urgentes,” is an enthralling 10 song set that pays homage to the heritage and tradition of those that once fought for a better world and features production by Snarky Puppy’s Michael League.  The record’s lead single and our Song of the Day, “Sorongo,” is Baca’s take on a song by salsa composer Tite Curet Alonso. Alonso was a prolific writer, originally from Puerto Rico, who penned more than 2,000 songs in a thirty year career and “Sorongo” was first released by his friend Rafael Cortijo Y Su Bonche in the late 1960s. More recently the song was recorded by Calle 13 (who also collaborated with Susana Baca on the Latin Grammy-winning song “Latinoamerica.”) “Within ‘Sorongo’, one can find intuition, strength, feeling and enunciation,” says Baca of the song. “I spent many nights trying to find the right way of singing ‘Sorongo’… in the end it is only with the presence of the musicians that accompanied me that it found vitality. I am sure that Sorongo’ is faith found at the crossroad between feelings and rhythm.” Michael League added: “Sorongo is a very interesting track because of its history with Calle 13 and because it’s a powerhouse track on a record that doesn’t really have powerhouse tracks. This is like a freight train and stands apart from the rest of the record in that way but Susana was really, really adamant about feeling Africa in Sorongo, so we made a lot of really interesting decisions during the recording process about textures and sounds and structure to make you feel the connection between the sugar fields in Peru and the African roots of the people who were enslaved and working them.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • Song of the Day podkast

    Sean Beaver - TECH-YES

    4:23

    Sean Beaver - "TECH-YES" from the 2020 self-released album Electric Turtle Dreams Sean Beaver is an indigenous Canadian electronic artist who is based in Calgary, Alberta. Originally from the Driftpile First Nation in northern Alberta and of Cree descent, Beaver is award-winning in the indigenous communities, with nominations for Best Instrumental Album at the Indigenous Music Awards in 2015 and 2017, Best Instrumental CD at the Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards in 2013, and Rap-Hip Hop-Electronica Album Of The Year at the 2021 Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards. In between producing his electronic work, Beaver was a key member of the distinguished Indigenous hip hop group REDDNATION, performing as DJ Hooligan and serving as tour manager / sound technician from 2002 until the group retired in October 2013. The group was influential in spreading music and inspiring Indigenous youth. Beaver’s Album of the Year nomination went to his fourth and most recent full-length, Electric Turtle Dreams. Today’s Song of the Day, “TECH-YES” is the second of fourteen throbbing, dancefloor-ready electronic tracks comprising the record. Moody and propulsive, the instrumental song glimmers whether there’s an actual disco ball radiating off it or not. Turn the lights down and the music up for a club experience wherever you are. Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • Song of the Day podkast

    Tracy J - Historia De Un Amor

    2:49

    Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Hiatus Kaiyote - Sip Into Something Soft

    1:43

    Hiatus Kaiyote - "Sip Into Something Soft" from the 2021 album Mood Valiant on Brainfeeder. Two-time Grammy nominated neo-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote have returned after a six-year... well... "hiatus." During that time, members of the Australian jazz/funk group explored solo and side projects. Then, in 2018, vocalist/guitarist Nai Palm (real name: Naomi Saalfield) was diagnosed with breast cancer, the same disease she confronted in her childhood when her mother was diagnosed and died from it. The band's new album, Mood Valiant, was named in tribute to her late mom.  “I don’t know how she afforded it, but she had two Valiant station wagons. And we were ratbags,” Saalfield toldNME. “A Valiant is like a Kingswood, a trashy Aussie car. I like the idea that it’s not a Lamborghini like you usually see. It’s a flex because it’s really daggy. The badass side of me comes from my mum being incredibly stylish. I also really like the word valiant – it’s so uplifting and righteous.” Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Moor Mother - Made A Circle (feat. Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela & Orion Sun)

    2:48

    Moor Mother - "Made A Circle (feat. Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela & Orion Sun)" from the 2021 album Black Encyclopedia of the Air on Moor Mother / Anti. While she couldn't physically engage with fellow artists during the pandemic, Moor Mother was able to virtually invite them to her latest LP, Black Encyclopedia Of The Air, out now via Anti- Records. The poet, artist, and musician — whose real name is Camae Ayewa — utilized more than 100 instrumentals from long-time collaborator Swedish producer Olof Melander, inviting vocals from artists lojii, Elucid, Brother May, Bfly, Yatta, Black Quantum Futurism, Elaine Mitchner, and Dudu Kouate, and on today's Song of the Day, Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela, and Orion Sun. "Collaboration to me is just community," she toldThe Fader. `"I love being a solo artist, and I love to really dwell in that. Of course, I've always been into multiple genres. Like right now, I'd like to create some small chamber orchestra, but they would play my music. I'm more into that now trying to create some sort of small orchestra, as far as collaboration. But collaboration to me is community, and it's very accidental. You're just hanging out with your friend. Your friends are talented. It's all about seeing how talented your community is. Then collaboration is very easy. So it's not like I'm out here seeking to collaborate with people, it's just how it happens through community." Read the full post on KEXP.org Support the show: https://www.kexp.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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