Kennebec - Tall Tales (feat. Hemlock Ernst and Sudan Archives)

Song of the Day
Hosted by Cheryl Waters

Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by Cheryl Waters, host of the Midday Show on KEXP, is "Tall Tales (feat. Hemlock Ernst and Sudan Archives" by Kennebec, from the 2022 album Without Star or Compass on Night Time Stories.

Subscribe Here:

Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts Overcast Podcasts  Pocket Casts  Stitcher



photo courtesy of artist
written by jasmine albertson

While Eric Phillips has only been releasing cinematic instrumental soundscapes under the name Kennebec since 2020, his enchanting works have garnered attention and led to a number of incredible collaborations. Our Song of the Day, “Tall Tales,” sees the Portland-based artist team up with Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands under his rap moniker Hemlock Ernst and Brittany Denise Parks, better known as the LA-based musician Sudan Archives.

The early single off his sophomore record Without Star or Compass is one of three tracks on the album that Herring contributes to but the only one under his rap alias. Over a guitar-strummed hook, Herring and Parks swap stream-of-consciousness verses and come together for heavenly harmonies on the chorus. While the lyrics are esoteric, ripe with references to nature, the seeming meaning revolves around our inability to fully know what another is thinking or feeling.

Phillips had this to say about working with Herring:

“I think our styles just resonated well with one another, and we clicked naturally. We sent some ideas back and forth remotely and then he flew out to Portland and we recorded all the vocals in three days together. It was so fun and inspiring – and really deepened my appreciation for his craft. He’s such a nice guy and a total genius. Sam’s lyrics really hit a beautiful balance between that sense of magic and folklore in the natural world that I’m after, while really bringing his own sense of narrative. He’s really amazing at constructing lyrical concepts in a way that I think compliments my own strengths (and weaknesses).”

Watch Future Islands’ Live on KEXP at Home performance from 2020 below.





In Our Headphones

Finding good new music can be a full time job, so let KEXP help! In Our Headphones brings you five song recommendations every Monday, straight from KEXP’s DJs and Music Directors. Join hosts Janice Headley and Isabel Khalili on this never-ending journey of music discovery.


A Deeper Listen

Host Emily Fox and KEXP’s editorial team talk with artists about the stories behind their songs and the experiences that inform their work. Through each conversation, we uncover the humanity behind the music, allowing us to hear it in a whole new way.

Latest Episodes

On the show this time, it’s Canadian artist Rochelle Jordan, blending 90s pop, vintage UK house and garage, electronic, and progressive hip-hop.

Exploring some of the women-led bands on Kurt's list, Kurt's feminism, and the very notion of grouping bands together based on gender identity

Exploramos el legado femenino en el punk a través de los álbumes 'Dry' de PJ Harvey, 'Cut' de The Slits y el debut homónimo de The Raincoats.

Award-Winning Podcasts

Named one of the "Best New Podcasts of 2022" by Spotify, and a 2023 Webby Award Honoree

2024 Winner "Best Entertainment Podcast" in the Webbys, 2023 Best Work in Music Journalism Award from the Reeperbahn Festival, 2023 Nominee for "Best Music Pod…

More From Song of the Day

Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by DJ Morgan, host of the Variety Mix on Saturday afternoons, is "Asking" by Chalk, from the 2023 Conditions EP on Dutch Til…

Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by DJ Morgan, host of the Variety Mix on Saturday afternoons, is "Bantu Cakes" by Bantu Spaceship, from the 2023 album Bantu…

Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by DJ Morgan, host of the Variety Mix on Saturday afternoons, is "Deixem O Morto Morrer" by Ana Lua Caiano, from the 2024 al…