Song of the Day: Wolf Parade - Valley Boy

Song of the Day, The Midday Show w/ Cheryl Waters
08/21/2017
Andrew Hackett
photo by Charina Pitzel (view set)

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 Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Valley Boy” by Wolf Parade from the upcoming 2017 album Cry Cry Cry out October 6th on Sub Pop.

Wolf Parade - Valley Boy (MP3)

“Valley Boy” clearly echoes lyrics from their fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen with references to “Marianne” and “bird on that wire.” Wolf Parade has said in interviews that the song considers the death of the songwriting master juxtaposed with the despairing election of the miserable Donald Trump. One died who gave us mystery, hope, and comfort, while another entered our daily consciousness who gives anxiety, consternation, and sadness. Co-frontman Spencer Krug sings the words like one fully and genuinely engaged in this moment of political and cultural inscrutability.

Wolf Parade return since their 2011 hiatus when we most need inspiring, engaging art. They were always messy, passionate, and anthemic in tracks like “Shine a Light.” They, along with bands like Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem, represented the 2000’s well with a unique blend of earnestness and irony.  Their songs take on a whole new meaning in an era where white supremacy and misogyny have been given their most public endorsement in America since the early '60s. The irony feels less ironic and the earnestness feels more earnest.

My personal experience with the election and Cohen’s passing seem to mirror what the songwriter went through. I was walking to my bartending job still in a daze from the Trump shock after I had heard of Leonard’s death. I listened to “If It Be Your Will” in the early darkness on repeat and was finally able to cry after Trump’s election. Cohen comforted me once again even in his own passing. He will give us that gift as long as humanity continues on this earth. The members of Wolf Parade know that comfort too.

It will be fascinating to see what they do with the entire Cry Cry Cry record (which was produced locally at Robert Lang Studios). 'Til then, you can follow the band on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Check out a clip for today's song below, directed and animated by artist Scorpion Dagger.

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