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.


 
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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.

 

 

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