Song of the Day: Kate Tempest - Don't Fall In

Song of the Day
11/16/2016
Jasmine Albertson

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Don't Fall In” by Kate Tempest from her 2016 album, Let Them Eat Chaos, on Lex Records.

Kate Tempest - Don't Fall In (MP3)Kate Tempest, the celebrated poet, novelist, playwright, and rapper, has been described by some critics as someone who "sees malevolence everywhere", and it's true that her work typically skews towards fatalism, but after the week we've had in America it's hard not to feel similarly. The first single off her latest release, Let Them Eat Chaos, could be an anthem for those of us who in the wake of this New America are just trying to march on, keep it together, and survive with a chorus of ”Hard rain falling on all the half-hearted, half-formed fast walking half fury half boredom, hard talking, half dead from exhaustion."

A few lines in particular rings especially true after last Tuesday:

We're just your playful, gale force friend in these end timesCome to remind you you're not an islandLife is much broader than bordersBut who can afford to think over the walls of this fortress?

But, in actuality, the storyline for the album is not inherently politically charged. Let Them Eat Chaos is about seven strangers in London and what they're doing, thinking, and feeling at a specific moment in time - 4:18am to be exact. Zoe, Pete, Pious and the others are all living very different lives but one unifier (besides time and place) is that they're all incredibly lonely. She speaks of them without judgment, just truth. Combined with the steady, ominous production by Dan Carey (Sia, Franz Ferdinand, Bat For Lashes) she creates a dark, horrifying, and yet relatable world.

Kate Tempest is currently touring the UK with no current plans for the U.S. as of yet, but we captured a live set with her during KEXP's broadcast from Iceland Airwaves. Look for that session on the KEXP blog soon, and find out more about Kate Tempest on her website and Facebook page. For now, check out the video for "The Beigeness" off of her Mercury-nominated 2014 release Everybody Down:

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