Straight From The Horse’s Mouth: Sean Moeller's Daytrotter Picks for 6/10/15

Music Reviews Daytrotter
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Straight From The Horse’s Mouth: Sean Moeller's Daytrotter Picks for 6/10/15

We had a big week last week. It all felt good. Here’s a little about that; there were a lot of highlights.

Built To Spill


What a weird and exhilarating day last Monday was. It’s hard to put into words what it meant to have what I would consider one of the world’s greatest rock and roll bands popping into Rock Island here for a last-minute booking specifically for our 5000th Daytrotter session taping of all time. Built To Spill has been one of my white whales for nearly the entire history of Daytrotter—through the nine-plus years we’ve been doing this—and somehow the stars aligned and they performed an epic session filled with all that ample guitar squall that the great Doug Martsch and gang bring in sheets of full force. This is one for the ages, for so many reasons. Long live and ring Built To Spill! Check out Built To Spill’s session here.



I couldn’t like the song “Magic” more if I tried. For anyone looking for a way to get a fix akin to what you have been getting with Haim for the last year or two, this is going to do it for you. It’s like taking a cake and using your big pink tongue to pull all that icing off the top and then dancing unburdened in hot light all night long, with a bunch of sexy people. Listen to PAPERWHITE’s session here.

Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band


For Devine, a splash of sparkle would attract—just by the din of his long-off voice resounding from the most remote fingers of the world—the people that he surrounds himself with every day, the people he meets and adopts as family in his wanderings from here to there, because they cannot be without the other for too long at all. It’s an unnatural feeling to live apart in the grips of Devine’s personal, moving and unwaveringly spirited songs, so wherever he’d be sitting there in the forest, through the branches and the sticky undergrowth would come these longing trails of affection and heart, finding him again, like a fuse lit and crackling back to the place where its other end is stuck. The pieces and the people would stream back to him like a spinning yo-yo, with their wide eyes and their warm arms, ready to embrace him and he them, coagulating back to the original form. Suddenly, or in no short order, things would be made right again and all of the care and practice of care would take back over and there could once again be the sing-along, the feeling-all-of-this-together existence that his music has always taken on. It’s what Devine lives for, this community and this investment in each other to make everything else better and safer and more enjoyable/rewarding. He dreams about a paradise that will never happen, but any of the little strides that can be made to get closer to that ideal are worthwhile strides. Check out Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band’s session here.

Trevor Sensor


Over the last two months, I’ve seen Trevor play three shows: One in my garage on Record Store Day, one in Des Moines surrounded by record company A&R folks and Dave Keuning of The Killers and at Codfish Hollow barn in Maquoketa, Iowa with the heads of two of the biggest record labels in the world. It’s hard to believe that this Sterling, Ill., native was absolutely unknown two months ago. Sensor’s songwriting is sharp and rich and his charisma—this crazed Gary Busey/Billie Joe Armstrong stage persona—is ready for a closeup, already. Each time I’ve seen him perform, I know I’m seeing something pretty special. Check out Trevor Sensor’s session here.


Drug For The Modern Age, the new album by Kopecky, should turn into the summer sun record of the year. It’s one of those records that, if you were to just start playing it now—indoors and outdoors—every moment that you were basking in these warmer months, it would bring you back to them every time you need to come back to them. “Quarterback” is a total JAM! Don’t sleep on this record. Check out Kopecky’s session here.



Some Texas birds make an appearance at the end of the first song from Christian Letts of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ new project, and they feel like invited guests on these galloping, dusty-trailed folk songs. These are those lucid, just waking up with a pot of coffee moments where you are trying to keep the loudness at bay for as long as you possibly can before you head out into the chaos. Listen to Letts’ session here.

The Twilight Sad


This great Scottish band finally made its Daytrotter debut, and there’s no questioning that it was worth the wait as these four songs sizzle with dream poppiness. Check out The Twilight Sad’s session here

There were quite a number of new discoveries last week. The best of the bunch were: Caitlin Harnett, EERA, Wovoka Gentle, Jake Bosci, Terror Pigeon, These Are the Angles, Sen Wisher, Tamper, Jackson Boone, Kent Goolsby, Louis York, Madison Malone, Midday Swim, Culture Culture, Dream Cult, Indian School, Saun & Starr, Ethan Samuel Brown, Two Sheds, Faux Killas, Emily Brown, Fred Abbott and Jarryd James. Now get out there and have yourself a week!