Song of the Day: Ballet School - Heartbeat Overdrive

Song of the Day
10/16/2014
Anna McClain

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 DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Heartbeat Overdrive” by Ballet School from the 2014 album The Dew Lasts An Hour on Bella Union.

Ballet School - Heartbeat Overdrive (MP3)

Berlin-based alt pop band Ballet School, a trio of singer/guitarist Rosie Blair, guitarist Michel Jun Collet, and drummer Louis McGuire, straddle the line between traditional style and new electronic with their pseudo-synth sound and energetic rock 'n' roll set up. The balance works for them on their debut, The Dew Lasts An Hour, melding mellifluous guitar, breakneck beats, and pop-soaked vocals to create a concurrently fresh and retro sound.

It just seems right that a song called "Heartbeat Overdrive" would leap right into an intricately layered beat. The confidently coquettish track is lyrically simple, but distills that fluttery thrill of someone "catching your eye" with its unusual beat, shimmering guitar, and of course Blair's vocal stylings of "hey, woo, hey, woo, oh yeah." This reverby, effect-filled first single from their debut is one of the album's most pronounced nods toward 1980s pop. The beat, which Blair composed electronically, weeded out "every single fucking drummer in Berlin" until the group found McGuire. While the song poses its challenges in performing, the group's dedication to live dynamism gives them the edge to execute their music both in concert and recorded.

Ballet School will be performing live at Barboza on Monday, October 27th, and performing LIVE on KEXP that same day at 3PM. Be sure to tune in. For now, befriend them on Twitter, check their website and Facebook page for updates, and watch their retro video for "Heartbreak Overdrive" below:

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