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A 'Passing' Moment, Magnified from Memory

Rocky Votolato, former leader of the Seattle band Waxwing, mixes hopeful love songs with biting commentary about the world around him. A storyteller with the dark worldview of Bright Eyes, the unapologetic intimacy of Nick Drake, and the modern-sounding pop sheen of Death Cab for Cutie, Votolato mixes all those disparate elements into a hushed but subtly passionate sound.

Votolato's past work demonstrates a willingness to show vulnerability, but on "White Daisy Passing" (and the rest of Makers, his third and finest solo album), he's also achieved the depth he's been seeking. A searingly personal look at fleeting moments and treasured memories -- "They meant everything, but the wind just carried 'em off" -- the song wallows in the telling details of love lost.

At times breathtakingly beautiful, "White Daisy Passing" sets Votolato's hushed, aching vocal against a mellow backdrop of drums, acoustic guitars, and Christian Wargo's impeccable harmonies. It's a sad, gorgeous bit of melancholy, by a singer-songwriter in peak form.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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John Richards
John Richards is the host and producer of The Morning Show with John on 90.3 FM KEXP Seattle, and online at He is also KEXP's assistant program director.