Song of the Day: Rubblebucket - Carousel Ride

Song of the Day
08/28/2014
Jacob Webb
photo by Shervin Lainez

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Carousel Ride” by Rubblebucket from the 2014 album Survival Sounds on Communion Records.

Rubblebucket - Carousel Ride (MP3)

Although the number of genres their music touches on is too long to effectively list in one sentence, Rubblebucket's charisma and natural chemistry ties the band's most eclectic tendencies into an immediate and engaging style of pop. Formed by University of Vermont grads Alex Toth (band leader/trumpet) and Kalmia Traver (vocals/saxophone) in 2007, the duo shared a musical education and experience in reggae bands, which drove them to create a festive musical outfit that reflected their love of both a wide range of music and playing with other musicians. Currently augmented by trombone player Adam Dotson, drummer David Cole, and guitarist Ian Hersey, the band began touring not long after their formation, with their energetic live performances soon becoming a festival undercard staple. In June 2013, the band's momentum was briefly stopped when Traver was diagnosed with early-stage ovarian cancer, but by late August, she was back onstage, and later that year, the band entered the studio with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen) to create their fourth full-length, this year's Survival Sounds. Alternating between heavy, crunching synths and bouncy, bass-driven grooves, "Carousel Ride" is as whimsical and colorful as its name suggests. As Traver waxes poetic about the paths that her life has gone down ("I think I was a bird in another life/maybe that's why I'm prone to flight"), her band mates weave in and out through the verses, all coming together for a triumphant chorus that flows as smoothly as a seat on the titular attraction. Striking a thematic balance of lighthearted charm and emotional depth, "Carousel Ride" is a perfect post-script to Traver's last 12 months and a great beginning to Rubblebucket's next chapter.

Rubblebucket will bring Survival Sounds to Chop Suey on October 10, and earlier that morning, they'll be live on KEXP at 9:30AM. Get tickets and more info on that 21+ show here, keep up with the band on their website and Facebook, and below, watch the Alexis Boling-directed video for "Carousel Ride".

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