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Song of the Day: Langhorne Slim – Zombie

Song of the Day, The Midday Show w/ Cheryl Waters
photo by Harvey Robinson

By Jason Anderson

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 DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Zombie” by Langhorne Slim from his album Lost At Last, Vol. 1, available now via Dualtone.

Langhorne Slim – Zombie (MP3)

As playful as he is warm-hearted, Langhorne Slim has always been the kind of songwriter who likes to keep things a little ambiguous. The first single from the Nashville-based maverick’s new full-length album Lost at Last Vol. 1, “Zombie” is an especially fine case in point, what with how it stays unclear whether the object of the singer’s desire is a bona-fide brain-eater or just a member of the walking dead in emotional terms. Either way, the situation’s not great for the lovesick narrator who croons: “I wanted her heart/ She said it’d already been torn apart/ so I asked her if I could walk her home/ She just shook her head and moaned.”

A cautious bystander may consider it wiser for him to keep his distance just in case she gets bite-y. The video, which you can watch below, would seem to confirm that suspicion with its goofy homages to classic horror movies like The Night of the Living DeadPsycho, and Misery. But like so many songs on Slim’s new album, “Zombie” is ultimately about the very necessary risks we have to take if we want more meaningful connections with the people in our lives, an idea that’s plenty scary without any fake blood. And while “Zombie” adopts a sparer sound than Slim explored on his justly acclaimed 2015 album The Spirit Moves, this mellow folk-pop charmer is no less textured thanks to the touches of pedal steel and traces of Theremin, the latter being something no spooky tale can do without.

Slim’s on the road through early next year. There are no local dates for him yet, but you can find out about new dates by following him on Facebook here.

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