Song of the Day podkast

Tiawa - Life Is Not a Crime

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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 Support the show: See for privacy information.

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    Mandy, Indiana - Bottle Episode


    Mandy, Indiana - "Bottle Episode" from the … EP on Fire Talk. Mandy, Indiana aren't from Indiana at all — the post-rock quartet actually hail from Manchester, England, where founding members Scott Fair (guitar/production) and Valentine Caulfield (vocals/lyrics) met at a show their respective separate bands were playing. After deciding to team up, the new group began working on their debut EP '...', out physically on December 10th via Fire Talk Records.  On today's Song of the Day, Caulfield sought to capture a somber, armed forces inspiration. “I wanted to build up on the military style of the track, but in a very slow crescendo, and not in a very obvious way," she explained in a press release. "The lyrics talk of men waiting, moving forward; war is never mentioned, yet it is obvious that the men are waiting for death. The song ends with the men almost dancing as the bullets hit them.” Fair added, “The inspiration for the guitar line was based upon a recording of a flood siren in Todmorden. I was going to use the recording as a sample but then I decided to try and recreate it with the guitar.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
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    Chris Carroll - Blue (feat. Gabriel Teodros)


    Chris Carroll - "Blue (feat. Gabriel Teodros)," a 2021 single on Raindrop Sound. Seattle-based artist Chris Carroll made a name for himself with his impressive production work on music from Gifted Youngstaz, Ra Scion of Common Market, Entendres, and MADlines. And then in 2019, he began releasing his own music, first under the alias Spoke, and then under his own name. Today's Song of the Day showcases that balance between control and collaboration as he invites local artist (and KEXP DJ) Gabriel Teodros and musician Mario Luciano to the poignant single "Blue." Carroll writes on his Bandcamp page: I'm honored to have created this track featuring an artist that I deeply admire, Gabriel Teodros. When I was 16, he was the first artist I'd ever heard perform spoken word (alongside Khingz as Abyssinian Creole), and when I was 18, Gabriel gave me my first turntable for a ride home. Little did I know this would set the course of my musical journey on through to adulthood. This track also features the sample composition of a recent mentor of mine, Mario Luciano, who has been a tremendous influence in the last year. This song is for all those we have lost during the pandemic, and to those we've become estranged from. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
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    Snotty Nose Rez Kids - Change (feat. ebonEmpress & Jenny Lea)


    Snotty Nose Rez Kids - "Change (feat. ebonEmpress & Jenny Lea)" from the 2021 album Life After on Distorted Muse. Vancouver-based duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids live up to their name. The duo of Darren “Young D” Metz and Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce formed the group in 2016 after seeing a show headlined by fellow-Indigenous artists, the hip-hop collective First Ladies Crew. As members of the Haisla nation, the pair knew they could use music to both celebrate and elevate their heritage. “As Indigenous people who have been shit on year after year after year by the government, from the people, from our own people, the media, the police… I feel like Indigenous people have developed our own sense of humour that only we get,” Nyce toldRange. “For us, the way we grew up listening to rap and hip-hop, it was so dark and heavy and it just weighed on you. You couldn’t listen to it more than once unless you were in the right mindset. So for us, coming up, our message, our music, we wanted to talk about the heavy stuff but with a positive spin. And making sure that at the end of the day you left smiling — on a high note. We never want people to feel down on themselves. We want to lift our people up, not bring them down.” Metz adds: “It’s just like our name also, Snotty Nose Rez Kids; it explains who we are without having to explain who we are. You gotta have a sense of humour when you come through trauma.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
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    Jelly Cleaver - Black Line


    Jelly Cleaver - "Black Line," a 2021 single on Gearbox Records. On today's Song of the Day, South London-based artist/activist Jelly Cleaver uses her bluesy guitar rock to speak out on global warming. In a press release, she elaborates: “This song was especially inspired by the story of the Ogoni Nine and Shell oil corporation. Having poisoned the Niger Delta region with negligent oil spills, the Ogoni people who were indigenous there rose up and demanded Shell clean up the oil and compensate them. Shell worked with the military dictatorship government who raided villages killing 2,000 and displacing 80,000. Shell then bribed witnesses to provide false testimonies so that the leaders of the uprising were executed, who became known as the Ogoni nine.” “It was also inspired by the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests by the Standing Rock Sioux and the many times the fossil fuel industry has abused the world.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
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    Ivy Sole - One More Night (feat. Topaz Jones)


    Ivy Sole - "One More Night (feat. Topaz Jones)," a 2021 single on Les Fleurs Records. With her new single "One More Night", Philadelphia-based artist Ivy Sole teams up with Montclair, NJ-based rapper Topaz Jones for a soulful, R&B tinged exploration of romantic feelings. It's also the first listen to her just-announced full-length CANDID, which will be released February 2nd on Ivy's own Les Fleurs Music.  "CANDID explores the many ways I find myself endeavouring towards truth and clarity, and 'One More Night' is no different. It’s a song that speaks directly to the woman I had in mind, but still gives room for the listener’s imagination,” Sole explained toStereofox. “The song itself came out of the essence of someone appearing in your mind without you actively deciding to invite them there, and the longing that ends up dictating how you act upon the memories, images and feelings that are brought out from that initial spark. Topaz and I produced it together, which makes it even more special to me..." Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
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    Coco Peila - Pretty Girls (feat. Taj Mahal)


    Coco Peila - "Pretty Girls (feat. Taj Mahal)," a 2021 single on JuixeGRL Records. With her latest single "Pretty Girls," Bay Area-based artist Coco Peila has elevated a movement to challenge beauty norms. As she expresses on her Facebook page, “It’s an opportunity for us as Black women to have a heart to heart about what it’s been like for all of us, and to challenge the ideas and perceptions in our own minds about what 'Pretty' is, WHY it is, and who currently or historically has access to it.” It also launched the "Pretty Heist" media campaign, which Peila describes as "a music video and interview series centered around Black Women’s Liberation and the impacts of sexism, anti-black racism, white supremacy, and the beautification industry on Black Women & Girls’ lives, perception of ourselves and others, sense of worth, perception of beauty and access to resources. The series spotlights women and girls, and provides information about how to support the work we are doing in the world and our communities." Learn more about the campaign at her Facebook page here. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
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    Ruth B. - Moments in Between


    Ruth B. - "Moments in Between" from the 2021 album Moments in Between on Reb Music Productions / Downtown Records. Ethiopian-Canadian singer/songwriter Ruth B. explores the complexities of being a woman in her mid-twenties on her sophomore album Moments In Between. This is especially resonant on the title track, a wistful, laid-back song that really highlights Ruth's soulful voice. The new LP was executive produced by Patrick Wimberly (Beyonce, Solange, Blood Orange, Ellie Goulding). “Writing songs has always been therapeutic for me,” she says via a press release, “and I hope that hearing my songs helps other people in the same way. Whether they’re feeling lonely or heartbroken or happy, I want them to know that someone else understands what they’re going through.” Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
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    Maiah Manser - Walking Faster


    Maiah Manser - "Walking Faster," a 2021 self-released single. It’s been four years since Los Angeles-via-Seattle-via-Oregon musician Maiah Manser released her fantastic and far-too-succinct sophomore EP Second Skin. In that time, she’s been busy sharing stages with artists like CHVRCHES, Crystal Castles, and ODESZA, singing backup vocals alongside local luminary Mary Lambert for a few names you might recognize such as Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, and Pharrell Williams, and getting placements in the show Lucifer and at 2017’s Met Gala. It now appears that, finally, Manser is ready to release new music out to the world. Today’s Song of the Day, “Walking Faster” is her first single in two years and a perfect reintroduction to an artist who clearly hasn’t lost her touch. Without any hesitation or introduction, Manser comes in swinging with the softly and speedily sung lines, “Giving up all my love /Just because that was what i was taught / Even though I don’t know who even said that,” while a glitchy electronic beat fights to keep up. From there, the song builds as Manser belts the chorus while drenched in reverb for a cathartic and catchy track that’s only snag is that it’s over too soon. A new EP titled Third Degree is expected in 2022. Watch Manser’s 2017 KEXP in-studio performance on YouTube or at the link below. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
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    Combo Chimbita - Babalawo


    Combo Chimbita - "Babalawo," a 2021 single on Anti-. Combo Chimbita is the project for four first-generation New Yorkers who make tropical futurism inspired by the cumbia of their birth country of Colombia and the rock n’ roll of the American city they call home. Since the release of their incredible 2019 full-length Ahomale, the quartet have been steadily churning out singles that continually build upon their otherworldly mystique.  Our Song of the Day, “Babalawo,” is the latest single to be revealed and an incredible entry point for those unfamiliar with the band’s gorgeous genre fusion. While my sub-par Spanish skills prevent me from deciphering the song’s lyrics, the passion and fury with which frontwoman Carolina Oliveras sings bridges the language barrier by letting listeners into the cosmically spiritual world with which the song lives.  “We debuted ‘Babalawo’ when we played with Sun Ra Arkestra and it’s become a favorite song from our set,” explains guitarist Niño Lento. “It has some hints of trap, a bit of rock, but also carries influences from Haitian music and sounds. Carolina’s lyrics are also important since they describe some of our first encounters with Regla de Ocha (often known as Santeria). These intimate moments of spiritual guidance are incredibly important to us as a band with decolonial aspirations.” “This song narrates a dream I had in which an Eggun (deceased person) assuaged my fears and encouraged me to continue down my path,” Oliveras says of “Babalawo.” “They said ‘Ponte pa lo tuyo,’ a directive to follow that which is already mine — a message I felt important to share forward … While it may seem that this song is dedicated to a particular Babalawo (similar to a priest in a Yoruban context), it’s also an homage to the many teachers who form the Yoruban culture and religion around me and continue to inspire a deeper exploration from me.” The song comes with a video featuring multidisciplinary artist Edrimael Delgado Reyes in a fiery interpretative dance that draws from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave that heightens the drama of the “Babalawo” to celestial levels. Watch the video, directed by Oscar Diaz, on at the link below. Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.
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    JOHN - Šibensko Powerhouse


    JOHN - "Šibensko Powerhouse" from the 2021 album Nocturnal Manoeuvres on Brace Yourself Records / Pets Care Records. As one YouTuber comically remarked on the footage of JOHN’s Live on KEXP Performance from 2019’s International Clash Day celebration, “The best band with the worst SEO.” And they’re not wrong, trying to find a band that goes by the most common English first name in the world on the internet is an incredibly difficult task. But once discovered, the riches that the duo rewards you with are plentiful. Made up of John Newton and Johnny Healey, the duo are an absolute force to be reckoned with. Their latest album Nocturnal Manoeuvres, released in October, takes the explosive riffs the two Johns have a penchant for and spreads them out into maximalist, psychedelic new territories. Our Song of the Day is the album’s early single “Šibensko Powerhouse,” a turbulent thumper that features vocals from none other than IDLES bassist Adam Devonshire for an extra layer of fury.  “The lyrics came from a now-distant memory of visiting a festival in another country,” offers drummer and lead vocalist Newton. “I remembered standing alone in baking 40 degree heat on the hillside outside of my apartment – only to hear a familiar song echoing live in the distance from over the hill’s crest. It was a once in lifetime moment that just stuck with me, a reminder of my small scale in the greater scheme of the world.” Nocturnal Manoeuvres follows 2019’s Out Here on the Fringes. Watch the Ryan Gander-directed video for “Šibensko Powerhouse” on  Read the full post on Support the show: See for privacy information.

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