Song of the Day: You Me & Apollo - Don't Sleep For Free

Song of the Day
09/24/2014
Anna McClain

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part 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 Morning Show with John Richards, is “Don't Sleep For Free” by You Me & Apollo from the 2014 album Sweet Honey on AA Duel Monopoly Records.

You Me & Apollo - Don't Sleep For Free (MP3)

That soulful voice you hear belongs to 24 year-old Brent Cowles – all glasses, gauges, mustache, and corkscrewy hair – who looks more fit to lead a psych-rock outfit than the roots-folk band You Me & Apollo. But lead it he does, and with considerable talent. Cowles started what was a solo project in 2007 in the band's hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado. Since then, the project has become a five-member band and recently released their sophomore album, Sweet Honey. The album is an indie-rock release inundated in soul, roots, and blues influences. This is no surprise coming from producer Jeff Powell, who has worked with artists from Sharon Jones to Bob Dylan.

"Don't Sleep For Free" combines Cowles' Otis Redding and Sam Cooke inspired vocals with the catchiness of contemporary indie folk à la The Head and the Heart. The track gets your feet tapping right away with a clean guitar strain and subtle but contagious percussion. Cowles' eerily familiar vocals are layered in, conveying an ambiguous but singable message about a fine girl named Lucy along with a few "mah mah mahs" and "heys" thrown in for good measure. Cowles has incredible control over his voice; at times evoking the Motown and blues-rock greats, at others working with more gentle tones.

You Me & Apollo has no plans for a Seattle show in the near future, but you can find out more on their website and follow them on Facebook for updates. For now, watch You Me & Apollo perform "Open Doors" from Sweet Honey live on Colorado Public Radio below:

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