Note: Each Friday, we’ll close with a song we consider a suiting goodbye for the workweek. With each Music for Fridays post, check for a free mp3.
Aside from a convenient excuse for firing grills, filling pools in backyards and flinging crushed beer cans into the backyard, Memorial Day is a holiday meant for reflecting on heritage, or in considering that the present is often won through a sometimes very difficult past. Or at least that’s the best explanation I’ve got for why Sirius XMU–the satellite radio indie rock syndicate–is blasting only blocks of atavistic indie rock this weekend. “Old School,” they call it. Instead of Yuck, you’ll get Archers of Loaf and The Clean; instead of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, maybe you’ll get The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.
But if have neither satellite radio nor the need to hear bands you already love, “Kool Gawd,” a song by Brooklyn’s The Hairs, might be a fitting number for your late-spring, backyard mix. (Download it here.) Blown-out and bulging, the production on the first tune from the band’s debut seven-inch–a heart-thumping kick drum, heavy and loud acoustic guitar, a serrated electric lead that scrapes and claws–feels like that of an early ’90s New Zealand import. But the tune finds the sweet spot between jangle and mope, with Kevin Alvar singing as though he’s finally made his life’s resolution, but it’s to resign, to check out, to, well, turn up and tune out. The song feels stronger than that might suggest, but if that sounds too dark, save “Kool Gawd” for the dusk portion of your Memorial Day playlist. Just turn it up to firecracker volume.