Song of the Day: Purling Hiss - Forcefield of Solitude

Song of the Day, The Midday Show w/ Cheryl Waters
09/30/2014
Jacob Webb
photo by Aaron Biscoe

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, selected by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “Forcefield of Solitude” by Purling Hiss from the 2014 album Weirdon on Drag City.

Purling Hiss - Forcefield of Solitude (MP3)

Rooted in a tuneful blend of psychedelia, punk, and lo-fi, Philadelphia's Purling Hiss serves as a vehicle for songwriter Mike Polizze's raucous, fuzzed-out jams. While serving as the guitarist in the Philadelphia outfit Birds of Maya, Polizze's released some of his home demos as the first Purling Hiss LP, but as interest in the project grew, the project began moving beyond his home as Polizze incorporated two additional musicians, Kiel Everett and Ben Leaphart, to make Purling Hiss a live outfit. On last year's Water on Mars, Polizze entered a proper studio for the first time (with The War on Drugs' Adam Granduciel on production duty), but for this year's Weirdon, Polizze returned to the basement with his most direct and broad set of songs to date. With undertones of Dinosaur Jr. running throughout the song, "Forcefield of Solitude" strikes a balance between fuzzy banger and heady sonic trip. Layers of distorted guitars stack on top of each other as Polizze's clearer than ever vocals deliver clearer than ever melodies, and sporadic guitar leads and a shouted final pre-chorus kick the song into overdrive as the trio pound out one last round, finishing off with one final push of messy feedback-laden guitars. Polizze and company haven't been a touring band for that long, relatively speaking, but "Forcefield of Solitude" is so enticingly energetic that it makes the sound of three guys playing in a basement raggedly regal.

Purling Hiss are on tour behind Weirdon all throughout November, but there aren't any shows in the Pacific Northwest on this leg, so keep an eye on their Facebook and website for any new tour dates. Below, watch the video for "Mercury Retrograde".

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