Song of the Day: El Perro Del Mar - KoKoro

Song of the Day
10/18/2016
Gerrit Feenstra
photo by Märta Thisner

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 comes from Swedish indie pop artist El Perro Del Mar. "KoKoro" is the title track from her new album, KoKoro, out now via The Control Group.

El Perro Del Mar - KoKoro (MP3)For five albums now, El Perro Del Mar has built a career around world-creation. Her Swedish pop landscapes are sprawling and transformative in the same vein as contemporaries like Jens Lekman and Lykke Li, yet her washed out horizons seem to always find themselves more distant and more vast against the snowy atmosphere. Sarah's new album, KoKoro, is no exception, this time around pulling from Eastern influences to expand her visions. Her choice of listening for the album's creation period was predominantly Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Thai records, from which sounds have been sprinkled through singles like "Breadandbutter". Elsewhere, Sarah's typical knack for painting pop expressions cuts through, giving us a really lovely mixture of western and eastern melancholy.

"KoKoro" leans towards the latter, possessing some semblance of the jangling sounds of her eastern influences, but mostly just adding itself to the great list of expansive, soaring pop records that El Perro Del Mar seems to churn out with ease. The album takes its title from the Japanese word for feeling, and its not hard to imagine how the same feeling motivates the title track. "KoKoro" is a soundtrack for new adventures in snowy mountains and magnificent sunsets. Many of Sarah's profundities are capstoned with the condition "'til the day that I die" - the morbidity of these ruminations exists in stark contrast to the otherwise soaring vivacity of it all. But it's this feeling from which the album takes its title that pushes Sarah to her limit - how much more can there be beyond this? This is the sort of feeling that evokes unflinching conviction towards new ends. It's an adventure you can't help but want to be a part of.

El Perro Del Mar is on tour now, supporting the new record, and will be in Seattle at the Sunset Tavern on November 18th. Find out more more dates and listen to more music on her website and Facebook page. For now, here's the official video for "Breadandbutter", another song from KoKoro:

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