90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, February 24, 2014

Song Of The Week: ‘Kong’ By The Notwist

The Notwist are a German indie rock band. (Facebook)

The Notwist are a German indie rock band. (Facebook)

As he does each week, NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson joins Here & Now with a new song. This week, he introduces us to The Notwist’s new track “Kong” from their new album “Close To The Glass.”

Thompson says listening to the German indie rock band, which has been around for 25 years, is like visiting old friends.

“Its members have dabbled in hardcore and jazz and hip-hop, but its newer albums are full of incredibly ingratiating, poppy sound collages,” Thompson says. “Singer Markus Acher has a wonderfully warm voice that sounds like a friend is talking to you. The band has been putting out records at a rate of about one every five or six years, so hearing him is like revisiting your best friend at a high school reunion.”

Guest

Transcript

MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI, HOST:

Well, let's get a little music into the show now. As he does every week, NPR music writer and editor Stephen Thompson is here with a new song. And, Stephen, what have you got for us?

STEPHEN THOMPSON, BYLINE: I've got a German band called The Notwist, which has been around for about 25 years now. And along the way, its members have dabbled in hardcore and jazz and hip-hop. But its newer albums are all full of incredibly ingratiating, poppy kind of sound collages. The singer's name is Markus Acher, and he has a wonderfully warm voice that sounds kind of like a friend is talking to you. The band has been putting out records at a rate of about one every five or six years. So hearing him is actually a little bit like revisiting your best friend like every five years at a high school reunion or something. The Notwist has a new album called "Close To The Glass," and this is the first single. I just love it. It's called "Kong."

CHAKRABARTI: "Kong." OK. Let's hear it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KONG")

MARKUS ACHER: (Singing) Something wrong, this. Don't be alarmed. Water's coming in. Water's coming in.

CHAKRABARTI: Stephen, so you mentioned that The Notwist has its roots in hardcore and jazz, but I'm hearing more pop.

THOMPSON: Yeah. It's just this big, jangly pop song, and it's very big and catchy and streamlined. But there are also a lot of sounds just kind of zinging around in there. This particular song, "Kong," if you listen to it closely, is inspired by a true life incident where Markus Acher and his family were trapped in their house during a flood in Germany. And it's about this fantasy of a super hero coming to rescue him. It actually takes a while - you can hear that water's coming in line repeated. It takes a while to pick up the full story, though, just because the song sounds so distractingly great, popping out of the speakers. There's this spring-like feel to the song the way it builds and it builds. It kind of feels like clouds parting.

CHAKRABARTI: Oh, well, I'm so glad that you said that because you always let the sunshine in for us.

(LAUGHTER)

THOMPSON: That's why I'm here, Meghna.

CHAKRABARTI: That's "Kong" by The Notwist from a new album called "Close To The Glass." NPR music writer and editor Stephen Thompson, thanks so much.

THOMPSON: Thank you, Meghna.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KONG")

ACHER: (Singing) (Unintelligible) someone's always fond to cold, and the rain, it wouldn't stop. And the rain, the rain, the rain, the water filled the room. Our house got swept away. Mighty Kong, help. I know you're strong. Are you coming in? Are you coming in? Drop us off in another spot.

CHAKRABARTI: You're listening to HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Here & Now resident chef and cookbook author Kathy Gunst shares her list of the best cookbooks of the year.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

December 18 Comment

College Counselor: ‘A Deferral Is Not A Denial’

Lisa Micele shares tips for applying to college — especially for students who have been deferred under early decision.

December 18 15 Comments

America’s Political Dynasties

Americans under 38 have only experienced one presidential election that did not involve a Bush or a Clinton.

December 17 2 Comments

Atticus Lish’s ‘Preparation For The Next Life’

The author's debut novel centers on an unlikely romance between an Iraq veteran and a Uyghur from China.

December 17 3 Comments

Diagnosing Ear Infections With Your Smartphone

The CellScope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope — the tool doctors use to check out a patient's eardrum.