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Track Premiere: Eksi Ekso – “All Hail the Alchemist”

By ; May 7, 2013 at 7:13 AM 

Eksi Ekso - Archfiend

The Boston-based self-described “Art Pop” trio Eksi Ekso approached the recording of their latest record Archfiend from a completely different perspective than their last, 2011’s Brown Shark, Red Lion.  Working with producer Scott Solter (St. Vincent, John Vanderslice, The Mountain Goats) for the first time, the band went into his North Carolina studio with the mindset of “if we can’t play it, it’s not on the song.”  And having had to draw in a rotating cast of guest musicians and a small chamber orchestra for their sophomore album, the band was determined to keep it lean and keep it just the three of them.  And on their third album, the band drew inspiration from the life and death of serial killer H. H. Holmes and Erik Larson’s book “The Devil and the White City,” which documented his absurd and monstrous life.  And while the band does nothing to diminish the horrific acts of Holmes, they use the bizarre aspects of his life as fodder for the genre-bending songs which spread across the record.

The latest single from the album, “All Hail the Alchemist,” borrows liberally from the indie rock and post-rock textbooks that the band has creatively pilfered from on previous records. Twisting Tom Korkidis’ vocals around muscular guitar hooks and a propulsive rhythm section, the song draws on details of Holmes’ life and, with a little help from a mournful trumpet toward the end of the song, manages to convey the actions of a deeply disturbed man while also giving a genuinely affecting measure of solace to his victims.  With anthemic harmonies and soaring vocals, the band reaches for something past the macabre–something that could get at the heart of the motivations of such a man, and regardless if those motives are ever fully known, Eksi Ekso have drawn a remarkable musical portrait of this abberant man.

Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere the latest single “All Hail the Alchemist” from Eksi Ekso’s latest record Archfiend.

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