Song of the Day: Cheatahs - Su-Pra

Song of the Day
01/04/2016
Jacob Webb
photo by Alex de Mora

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Su-Pra” by Cheatahs from their 2015 album, Mythologies, on Wichita Recordings.

Cheatahs - Su-Pra (MP3)

Nathan Hewitt's gauzy solo recordings weren't always his first priority, so when the time came to name the project's output, Hewitt dubbed it Cheatahs, a half-serious take that the project was "cheating" on his main project, serving as the then-touring guitarist for Male Bonding. Around the same time that Male Bonding took a break from touring, Cheatahs began taking shape as a live band, with bassist Dean Reid, drummer Marc Raue, and guitarist James Wignall outfitting Hewitt. With that lineup cemented as a creative and live unit, Cheatahs quickly became a prolific outfit, releasing two EPs, a compilation, and two full-lengths across the last three years. Their latest LP, 2015's Mythologies, finds the band refining their psychedelic and Krautrock tendencies, both of which are front and center on "Su-Pra". Opening with a slew of layered samples that sound like the result of a Game Boy taking LSD, the track only spirals deeper into a wave of textural guitars from there. Hewitt moans and whispers across his bandmates' taught noise with a ghostly inflection in his voice, letting his and Wignall's guitars do the heavy lifting. "Su-Pra" chugs along with a strong pace, but it never feels rushed, allowing each sound to weave in and out of another, shifting from one kaleidoscope lens to the next with a gleaming smoothness.

Cheatahs will embark on a brief European tour at the end of the month, and if they announce any further touring plans, that news will be over at their website and Facebook. Below, watch the band play "Su-Pra" live at KEXP:

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