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EXCLUSIVE SONG: New Music from Kaki King

Guitar whiz amps up the urgency on first taste of Junior, out April 13. Hear it now!

She’s earned accolades for scoring Sean Penn’s film Into the Wild and was big-upped by Foo Fighter Dave Grohl as one of the world’s elite guitarists, but now it seems Atlanta-born axe maven Kaki King simply wants to rock the %$ out. Hear “Falling Day,” the urgent first taste of her new album, Junior, below!

Built off a gripping guitar line that brings to mind latter-day Death Cab for Cutie, “Falling Day” swells to a crescendo with an emotive, self-reflective payoff laced with spooky atmospheric vocal effects — a fitting touch considering the track’s lyrical motif. “I suppose the song is loosely about the paranoia that can start to affect you when you’re surrounded by urban isolation,” King, 30, tells SPIN.com.

But at its core, the song, like much of the new record, is a straight-ahead rocker, a result of King’s no-frills approach in the studio. “Junior [out April 13] is a beautiful album, but it has an immediacy to it that my other albums don’t,” she says. “Many of the songs hit you right in the gut from the beginning. I think that’s due to the fact that I wrote with a band, and recorded most of the songs live.”

But despite the song’s plugged-in pulse, its origins were far more docile. “I wrote the main theme for ‘Falling Day’ on a tour of Italy last summer,” King explains. “I had brought an electric ukelele with me, tuned it, and the main theme of the song came out immediately.”

Check out “Falling Day” for yourself and tell us what you think of King’s scorching new sound in the comments section.

After a prolonged European trek in March and part of April, King will kick off a vast North American tour April 15 at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg that wraps May 25 at the Glass House in Pomona, CA.

LISTEN: Kaki King, “Falling Day”