This week’s episode is presented by KQED Interactive.

This week’s featured band is Music for Animals, a San Francisco quartet mixing a fondness for classic rock-pop hooks with a stripped-down modern aesthetic. Very longtime listeners to the podcast will remember us first speaking with the group a few years ago, as part of an hour-long Playing in Fog-themed two-band interview, but with the release of a brand new EP titled If Looks Could Kill, we felt that it was high time to dedicate a full episode to Music for Animals. Like their self-titled album, Music for Animals’ latest work is full of catchy choruses and danceable songs, but it also sees them pushing in new directions, with some slower tempos and production choices that highlight the band’s nuanced songwriting.

Locally, the group is well known for being enthusiastic–and sometimes downright silly–performers who deliver a live show that’s incredibly fun and full of energy. Beneath that energy, though, there are sharp minds working on crafting exciting melodic songs from lean, minimalist parts. That careful layering pays off especially well on If Looks Could Kill, which represents the first time the guys worked with both an outside producer and at an outside recording studio. There’s a real passion for tight songs here, one that’s evident in our discussion with the band about their songwriting process.

We sat down with Jay, Eli and Nick from Music for Animals a few weeks ago in our studio, and discussed the new EP and the band’s ability to write songs that work equally well on record and on stage. We’ve also included four songs from the band’s catalog–two from their new EP and two from their self-titled album–in the episode.

Upcoming Shows:

Saturday, November 22nd
El Rio
with Transfer, The Silent Comedy, and Apside
9pm, $7


– Visit Music for Animals on MySpace, where you can purchase If Looks Could Kill.

– Purchase the band’s self-titled album from Three Ring Records or on iTunes.

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