Song of the Day: The Autonomics – Southern Funeral

Song of the Day, The Afternoon Show w/ Kevin Cole
photo by Margaret Jacobsen

By Will Hagle

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 Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Southern Funeral” by The Autonomicsa single from their album Debt Sounds. 

The Autonomics – Southern Funeral (MP3)

The Greek roots of the word “Autonomic” mean “self-governing.” It makes sense, then, that Portland, OR-based band Autonomics self-released their 2017 album Debt Sounds while working full-time jobs in between tours. Autonomics, a trio consisting of frontman Dan Pantenberg and identical twin brothers Evan and Vaughn Leikam, filter that self-starting, DIY punk energy into a clean, upbeat form of power pop.

The latest single from Debt Sounds, “Southern Funeral,” sounds much larger than a busy three-piece band should be capable of producing. Autonomics pack several searing hooks and head nod-inducing riffs into its two-and-a-half-minute run. The song has the exuberance of young rock bands like Diarrhea Planet, meshed with the catchiness of classic groups such as Weezer. Like those bands, Autonomics has a clear sense of humor, utilizing witty lyrics and cheeky song titles like “Nada Surf Hotel” and “I Love You, Oprah Winfrey.” “Southern Funeral” is more straightforward, and contains less words in general than the rest of the songs on Debt Sounds, but it’s still undeniably fun.

Autonomics doesn’t have any tour dates coming up, but you can follow them on Facebook for more information. Below, you can watch the video for “Southern Funeral,” which manages to encapsulate the band’s dynamic performance style.

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