Morning Commute: East Row Rabble – “Good For Me”

 

Let’s get funky this Tuesday morning. East Row Rabble is a classic styled big band that would’ve fit right into the 30s and 40s in America, as we tried to dance our way out of the Great Depression. My favorite thing about this song is a little tidbit East Row Rabble shared with us: ” Rabble front man Ben Drysdale actually used the song to propose to his wife on the hills overlooking Queensland’s Glasshouse Mountains underneath the giant “Woodfordia” sign at the Woodford folk festival.” Ben seems to have set an example that very few of us can remotely compete with. When we explore the lyrics a bit, we can see just why he chose this particular song, aside from how dope it sounds.

“She’s got a heart of gold And she’s easy on the eye Took me six goddamn months To convince her to be mine So I just sat back, just bidin’ my time Coz this girl’s too damn fine for me”

So we quickly start to realize that the “Good For Me” title has a double meaning. She is “good for him” in the normal sense of the word: she’s a positive part of his life, but also the singer feels like it might be appropriate to throw the word “too” in front of “good for me.” The rest of the song spells out just how perfect she is, combining “Disney princess and Norma Jean” (Marilyn Monroe), and “sinner and saint.” Overall she sounds like the perfect woman in his eyes, but I appreciate it doesn’t stray too far into hyperbole. It mentions things like her steady love, even in hard times, and how she ignores his widening waist. It’s a beautiful mix of grandeur and reality, and I can easily see why it worked as a proposal. We know we’d say yes.

-Caleb

Looking for more? We added this song to our July TOTD playlist on Spotify. 

 

 

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The Flock: Singer-Songwriter – King of Little Sweden, Black Lilys, The Quill, Gabrielle Marlena, Evelyn Drach, Nicky William, Joe Bel, Wolfy, M’Lynn, Noah Kahan

The Flock is an idea that we had to help fans of a specific genre find multiple bands they love in one post. It helps us provide value to you, the reader, by putting more of what you want in one place. It also helps the artists. Fans of their music come to the page and become fans of other similar artists, growing their fanbase more efficiently. It also helps artists connect with other artists who have a similar feel, so they can help each other out, work together, play shows, etc. Our goal here is to help promote artists that we believe in and want to see succeed. The Flock is a great way to help with that, and we’ve seen some really cool things happen because of it. Let’s get into this edition of The Flock.

*click on the artist’s name to go to their page*

 

King of Little Sweden – I’ll Be Waiting

The album cover has a snowy sort of scene, and I think the song is basically a soundscape of that same scene. It mixes the darkness and sublime beauty of a snowy mountain in song form. The lyrics seem to be a stream of consciousness about past love, and what it means for the future. There are moments of nostalgia mirrored with a realization that so far the speaker hasn’t found the right fit. Oftentimes, this sort of song is after you’ve found your ideal someone. We’ve all heard the inverse of this song, which usually says something like: “I’ve been waiting for forever for someone like you.” But this song instead belts the refrain, “I’ll be waiting for someone like you,” because that person hasn’t shown up yet, and the speaker may be slightly anxious that they never will.

Bio: King of Little Sweden was born as a collective creative effort in the winter wonderland of Verbier in 2014. Most of the group is based in Sweden, so the analogy with the landscape was inevitable, with Verbier being a village that could be seen as “Little Sweden”. The Scandinavian influences are quite present in their style, which has been developed by years of family musicianship (two of the bands’ members are siblings and their uncle Sven acts as their producer and manager).

“I’ll Be Waiting” marks their label debut with Rexius Records in 2018, after almost a year of collective development of a new artistic concept.

Black Lilys – Boxes

So, anyone who knows me knows I love poetry. And something about this video struck a familiar chord with me. There was a film that came out a few years back about the poet Dylan Thomas (he’s the dude that wrote “Do not go gently into that good night..”). You can check out the trailer here: A Poet In New York. There is a scene in the film that felt so familiar in this video, where Dylan is walking through a field and sees his ex-wife, and regrets most of his decisions. Now that’s just the beginning of this video, but it felt like a fun parallel.

What follows in this particular video is a strange puppet act. Where the singer makes movements that other characters seem unable not to parrot. The movements are disjointed and panicked and give off a creepy theatrical vibe. I also like the moment where she is standing on a raised rock with a book and seemingly proselytizing about something, religion? some strange cult? It’s certainly a video that brings up more questions than answers, but those are my favorite pieces of art. It’s fun to mire yourself up in the ambiguity and let it leave it’s impression on you without knowing all of the answers. All I know is that the music, and the video, are unlike anything else I’ve heard, and that automatically makes me want more.

 

The Quill – Maid Malou, Fetch the Wood

“I am soft and sparkle in the shadows of the smokey world of You and I
See how the Hunter’s Moon, my love, has frozen frosty halo’s over the sky.

Maid Malou, do you posses
A magical Maori spell to ride the Killer Whale?
Cuz blue electric Neptune screams
“Girl! Swim swim swim!…” ”

The first thing this reminds me a bit of is Fleet Foxes. I think it’s partially how cinematic the whole thing is, and partially the surreal, yet grounded Folk storytelling. Maid Malou seems to have a lot of powerful connections to seemingly dissonant magic/religion/spiritualism, and the speaker is asking for her assistant for seemingly dissonant problems, like riding a Killer Whale. Described as Psychedelic Folk, it’s certainly exceptional and unique. Let me paste a bit of their bio to show you just how star studded this collective is:

Bio: The group includes the likes of Lyla Foy, John Herbert and James Dale (of Goldheart Assembly), æmma, fiddle legend Ben Gunnery, classically trained violinist Louisa Wood, Alex Mattinson, Rylan Holey, harmonica player Lee Vernon, and a core rhythm section of Ash Hall, Drew Wynen, Ben Davis and Riccardo Castellani. They have been actively gigging in different sizes for many years, yet reserve the full assemblage for special concerts, cued by moments in the lunar cycle.

That’s an insane amount of talent to orchestrate, and yet you hear each diverse piece get it’s moment, and shine.

 

Gabrielle Marlena – Road Thoughts

Gabrielle Marlena has already been featured here before: right here. So when we heard another great song by her, it was a no brainer. Before I dive into the lyrics, I’m going to post a bit about Gabrielle’s inspiration behind the song:

“The first track on my new EP, Road Thoughts came to me on my drive between Denver, CO and Ogden, UT while on tour last year. The shortest route was to go North through Wyoming, and the incredible landscape gave me a moment of calm and self-assurance. Reflecting on past relationships and feeling strength in my independence, I remember recording on a voice memo “You’ve got this babe, it wasn’t your time, you’ve had the love some only dream of in your life.” The rest of the song came later. The lyrics are about accepting the fact that sometimes you can really only count on yourself, and that has to be enough. It’s also about witnessing the complexities that people in relationships are constantly facing, and therefore embracing the simplicity of being alone.”

I’m really blown away by the lyrics of this song. If you didn’t listen closely, go back and listen closer:

“And I just called this guy I used to see in Brooklyn,

Cause I was curious in the direction he was headed in,

If he’ll be marrying that chick that’s trying to wife him,

but it doesn’t matter anymore”

This is just a sample, but she plants so much emotion in such relatable scenes. Who hasn’t felt nostalgic about a past love and looked them up, or reached out to them? I’ve actually had a really similar experience to what Gabrielle described above, where a long drive healed a lot of insecurity and loneliness I was feeling, and allowed me to get over a girl. If you guys liked the two songs by her, this probably won’t the last time you hear her, she’s going to be on future podcast episodes too.

Evelyn Drach – Follow Me

With an ethereal soundscape and a voice that carries straight to your innermost being, Evelyn Drach’s “Follow Me” is an absolutely beautiful piece of art. This is such a poetic track. It starts out with two separate pieces joining together to make a very full and rich first act. The singer-songwriter feel of the guitar and Evelyn’s voice meets with the orchestral, and beautifully cacophonous track behind her.  The second act of the song is a monologue with an eeriness that is palpable. Isn’t that what music is about? We all just want to feel. This song will take you to the house with the hidden floor if you let it.

I had that dream again last night,
the one about the house with the hidden floor and it made me think.
A man leaves china vases around his home and in these vases he keeps fake flowers.
Why do people keep fake flowers in their homes?
Are fake flowers beautiful?
What is beautiful about a flower?
A flower is beautiful because of its fragility.
Its beautiful because the moment its plucked from a field, a forest, a path or a garden its lifespan has been
determined.
The flower has been chosen to die and so the flower becomes a martyr.
But a martyr is someone who has died for a cause.
What is the cause of a flowers death?
Someone desires beauty in their home.
What does this mean for a man who only keeps fake flowers?
Does he wish to preserve the living and in doing so does he deny himself beauty?
Is it simply his frugality?
Is it too expensive to buy new flowers?
Whats the price of beauty?
The flowers are symbolic of an idea of beauty, an idea he can never understand.
Or is it the exact opposite?
He looks at the fake flowers and is reminded of the real.
He is reminded of the concept of a flower being plucked, being presented and perishing and it is in this concept
that he finds beauty, so that when he looks at the fake flowers he understands profoundly the tragedy of the real.
I had that dream again last night,
the one about the house with the hidden floor and it made me think

The sentiment here is one that is beautiful. What makes the human experience beautiful? Is it the presentation, or is it knowing that it will end? Is something beautiful if it’s eternal, or does it lose it’s luster? Nobody can answer this question but you. For me, it is the brokenness and the fragility of everything that really shows off it’s beauty.

Nicky William – Girls With Common Names

I have such a soft spot for barrel-chested bass singers getting out of the pigeonhole of theater, harmonizing, and quartets. Bands like The National will always be some of my favorites because they did something they weren’t supposed to do. Nicky William is another one of those guys. He has the kind of depth to his voice that rattles your rib cage while listening, and owns every bit of it.

This man has been hurt by plenty of Ashley’s in his day, and he wants to let you know that they aren’t worth it. Being married to a Megan, I would have to disagree with the sentiment, but I support the way he feels. I guess if I had been hurt by multiple girls with common names, I may draw the same personal conclusions as Nicky though.

Joe Bel – In the Morning

Joe Bel is a self taught instrumentalist who has something to say, and she does it with a distinct voice and poetic lyrics. The key to the song for me though, is the soulful backups that come in during the chorus, perfectly complimenting Bel’s soulful voice. Bel’s voice dances across the screen with more eloquence and grace than the movements in the video, and the movements in the video are a picture of grace.

Bio: Self-taught and instinctive, Joe Bel played her first shows solo with her acoustic guitar. A few months later, Asaf Avidan discovers her mesmerizing folk/soul songs and offers her to open for all of his European shows.
She keeps going with “Hit the Roads” (2015), a critically acclaimed second EP, which brings her back on the roads of Europe, and this time even as far as Japan. The year after, the title track is used to promote luxury brand Longchamp’s campaign directed by Peter Lindbergh.

Wolfy – Abigail

Wolfy is easily one of the most self-deprecating and sarcastic artists we have ever worked with, and it’s an absolutely beautiful thing. When asked to fill out a bio, this was Wolfy’s official response:

my career and the music I make are fun as hell though not very important so writing a bio (short for biography) for myself is kind of like writing a bio for a vine compilation. like, what do you want me to tell you? i’m a 25 year old moron who lives in los angeles and spends every day trying to pay rent and write/produce songs that don’t make people want to rip their eyelashes out one by one. my new ep, INK, was just released on sentimental records on may 29th. “abigail” is the closing track.

When asked about the song, this was her official response:

Yeah, so I said I hate singing and it’s still true (referencing her website bio). But when I first laid the blueprints for these three EPs, I decided I would sing one song on each and it is a personality flaw of mine that I am very, very bad at changing plans. And as my own label executive, I wasn’t about to let my shitty, weak-brained artist decide they weren’t going to sing on a song they wrote because they “hate singing”. So I put my foot down. I said, “Hey, we signed you and gave you an advance of $8 and a Trader Joe’s microwaveable burrito. We expect a return on our investment so you get back in that studio and don’t come out until you need to go to your part-time job and then go back into the studio and finish that song”. And that’s how you run a label.     

This song is one of the only songs I’ve ever written that outlines a story. But fuck me if anyone even knows what that story is. Basically, it’s about a girl who gets murdered and thrown in a well. I’ve heard the lyrics are a little “vague”. But whatever, it’s not my fault you guys forgot everything from your junior-year English class. Ever heard of context clues? Damn.     

Also this song doesn’t have anything to do with my friends named Abby. You guys are cool.

The lyrics would definitely be lost on me without the song description, but that doesn’t mean they have no meaning. Ambiguity is the name of the game when it comes to music, and this song is a shining example of that.

With a timbre that lets you know there’s real emotion behind it instead of some overproduced bullshit, Wolfy tells a story of tragedy and makes you feel warm inside. Not really sure how that works. I’m not sure I’m a good person anymore thanks to this song. Kind of like how I felt after listening Pyotr from Bad Books for the first time.

Also, Wolfy, you may hate singing, but we’re kind of into it. Keep doing it. we’ll talk to your label manager if you decide anything different.

M’Lynn – Just Take Time

A perfect song that preaches a message that tends to be forgotten. Don’t worry about your pace through the race, just worry about moving forward. Often times we get caught up in the fact that we aren’t achieving goals as quickly as we want to when all we need to focus on is if they’re still at the end of the path we are on. Self-care and self-assessment are pushed aside for the carrot that you can almost taste. Take care of yourself, people. In a lot of cases, you’re the only one who will/can.

M’Lynn has that big band sound with a soulful tone and intonation, M’Lynn is an absolutely powerhouse. Think sultry female Michael Buble, and you’re almost there.

Noah Kahan – Come Down

Are you a fan of Ed Sheeran? Then we have the guy for you. With a distinct voice all his own, Noah Kahan tells a story on “Come Down” about being there for a friend when they were experiencing extreme anxiety. We talk about anxiety and depression a lot on the blog, and we absolutely love the sentiment in the song. Panic attacks, anxiety, and depression have hit everyone, and having a friend like Noah who understands the fear and the frustration that this causes can mean the difference between recovery and a total collapse. We say this all the time, but human existence is all about community. You need a group of people who will be there to hold you and help you up when it’s needed, and you need people to assist in a likewise manner. Noah, it seems like the only thing that beats out your musical talent is your stellar support for your friends.

 


 

As we always say at the end of The Flock posts, go spend money on these guys, tell them how much you like their music, or just visit their sites to see their tour dates, new releases, etc. Their links are found by clicking on their name in the post.

We have a podcast. It’s right here ——-> Give it a click

 

-Seth and Caleb

 

 

 

Episode 15: Addiction

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Links:

Stitcher

Soundcloud

iTunes

Youtube

Show Notes:

Join Seth and Caleb as they discuss strange Addictions, what kind of drunks they are, stumbling through their first livestream, an excellent interview with Aaron B. Thompson, and tons of music you’ve never heard before.

Full Video Version, warts and al: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L4mdmwqcn4&t=10s

INTRO: Leon Stapleton – Lima
Leonstapleton – Lima

RoverT – Alone Tonight
Roverttra – Alone-tonight-1

Brother Toaster – Bupropion Blues
brothertoaster.bandcamp.com/track/bupropion-blues

Riley Catherall – Watered Down Man (submithub/email)
The-same-tune – Rileycatherallwatereddownman

Aaron B Thompson – Middle of My Own Nowhere (submithub/email)
Aaronbthompson1 – 07-aaron-b-thomspon-midde-of
Youtube of Interview: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPVCP1Ya6M&t=174s

Johnny Raincloud – White Noize (submithub/email)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZTHMZzp-…&feature=youtu.be

Little Sain+ – Remedy (submithub/email)
Tniaselttil – Little-sain-feat-marger-remedyprod-by-sibling

Thanks to Juliana Strangelove for participating in the live stream: bsideguys.com/2018/07/06/the-flo…-macdougall-skout/

Video of the Day: River Whyless – “Born In The Right Country”

This one is a thinker guys. Did you already watch it? Go watch it again, I’ll wait. This is one of my favorite pieces of art I’ve seen in a long time. There’s a ton to unpack here, and I’m going to try, but first let me tell you why I connect with this song so intensely. There are two primary reasons.

  1. I grew up in the South. Like the real South. Let’s call it a state Trump won with 54%. The South isn’t inherently racist, but it’s hard not to grow up around some racist attitudes, even from people who I consider good people. For example, my parents would claim not to be racist, but I remember some stern warnings to my sister about a black kid named Jovan that was coming around. I don’t think my parents are bad people, and they are not KKK level racist, but I’m using them as an example to explain that even my educated parents, who are charitable and kind, are racist. The last frame of this video that scrolls “wolves don’t exist” after we’ve watched an entire video of a black kid being led around by a wolf is exactly how baffled I’ve felt for most of my life, watching good natured people, stay willfully ignorant to the prejudices they hold, and the damage that does.
  2. I don’t live in the South anymore, but that doesn’t solve the racism problem the way you might idealize when you’re growing up in a small town dreaming of moving to a liberal utopia. I teach at a private school in the suburbs of Rhode Island where an administrator was removed last year for getting caught using a few racial slurs. I have students sitting behind desks every day who swear Colin Kaepernick is un-American, and Michael Brown deserved to be shot for being a “thug.” I don’t necessarily think these are bad people, mostly because I’ve made it my goal in life to talk through ignorance with people, and if I believe people can’t learn and change, I think I’d become quite depressed. The thing that I most associate with both of these experiences, my past, and my present, is that most of these people just have no idea the amount of privilege they are carrying. It seems somehow offensive to their character to suggest that they are not “self-made” or that someone has it harder than them. Mostly I think this is because we all have our struggles, and it makes us feel bad that we aren’t billionaires either, so how dare people say they have it harder than us? On the other hand, to admit some people are living with a level of prejudice and difference that you can’t fully comprehend somehow seems like a weak thing for these people to admit.

Alright, enough about me. Let’s talk about the video. We can immediately get the sense where it’s going when we read the title, “Born in the Right Country”. The title itself evokes a lot of the immigration struggles we have going on right now, where a person or family is attempting to find a better life in America, despite the risks involved, and is being treated inhuman because of it. But in the video, we see a slightly different angle. We follow the story of a young black male going to high school, with a wolf around his wrist. We also see that his mother, and a girl wearing a hijab also have their own wolves, while the white kids do not. This seems to suggest that even though presumably these characters didn’t immigrate here, they were still born in the “wrong” country. Not in a literal sense, but in the sense that the rules operate differently for them because of generations of social prejudice and oppression. The video shows this clearly with the white father looking disapprovingly at the potential of his daughter being in an interracial relationship, and also with the boy being stopped on the way home by the police, when he was just minding his own business. It obviously clinches up your stomach when you see those blue lights because of the countless ways that’s gone badly over the past several years (Micheal Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, etc. etc.).

When we explore the lyrics, we see them dripping with sarcasm from the perspective of Trump, or his followers, or anyone who feels like they are superior purely because they were born white and/or affluent.

“I’ll tell you baby, a secret Manufactured truth is easy to sell When you own the factory And you own the hearts of the clientele But can you really blame me? Built on a system where some must fail So that you can break through If you’ve got the right skin Or you’re born in the right country”

The perspective shifts after this point to directly talk to these people and attempt to wake them out of their ignorance:

“Don’t you know you’re lucky kid You were raised on the right side of town Born rich, now you’re yelling “I’ve seen the inside and you’re out” But can I truly blame you? We’re built on the dreams we feed to the poor So that you can break through If you’ve got the right name Or you’ve got the right god Or you’re born in the right country”

But unfortunately, the system is set up this way. There are people profiting from the lower and middle class fighting amongst themselves. Instead of placing the blame at the top, we are continually told to look at our neighbor with different skin, heritage, religion, and blame them for any short comings or failures. It’s classic scapegoating, and this current regime is not the first to use it. My only hope is that more and more people can try to see through it for what it really is; and the best way to do that is through people using their artistic talents, like River Whyless to try to break through to people in a language they can understand.

-Caleb

We’ve added this to our July TOTD playlist. Check it out here.

We just released a new podcast episode, on the theme of Addiction. You can check that out along with all the others, right here. 

 

The Flock: Indie Rock – The General Good, Tim Freitag, Hooli, Campdogzz, Eden Mulholland, Summerteeth, Galapaghost, Tetra

The Flock is an idea that we had to help fans of a specific genre find multiple bands they love in one post. It helps us provide value to you, the reader, by putting more of what you want in one place. It also helps the artists. Fans of their music come to the page and become fans of other similar artists, growing their fanbase more efficiently. It also helps artists connect with other artists who have a similar feel, so they can help each other out, work together, play shows, etc. Our goal here is to help promote artists that we believe in and want to see succeed. The Flock is a great way to help with that, and we’ve seen some really cool things happen because of it. Let’s get into this edition of The Flock.

*click on the artist’s name to go to their page*

 

The General Good – Where We Began

There is a music video that this reminds me of. If someone can help me out, I would be forever grateful. I feel like it’s The Black Keys from many years ago, but can’t find the video anywhere. It’s a two piece group where they’re playing on a television show set that’s akin to the set from the Eric Andre Show. This reminds me of that music video, but they graduated to a new set. It’s got gritty guitar, pacesetting drums, and unique vocals that carry on in your head long after the song ends.

The lyrics tell the story of a relationship that seems to have ended on a sour note, but the writer can’t seem to move on. They know the relationship isn’t good for them, but still want to leave a line open just in case. Just like with most past relationships, you reflect upon them more fondly the further you’re removed from the situation, even though they were truly nightmares.

But if you ever make it home again, 
I’m pleased to show you `round all the troubles I’m / we’re in. 
no need to choose words wisely, no more nightly chases, 
no thinking twice and no `glad to see you later`. 
But something’s keeping me from moving on, 
inbetween places it’s hard to hold on. 
I’m sending signs to nowhere, 
down the milky way. 
Sweet memories of nightmares 
a burning needle in the hay.

The album itself is a really interesting idea that doesn’t happen all that frequently. The drummer, Florian Hellekin, produced the whole album in his home studio, and invited a multitude of talented vocalists to sing on the tracks. The album has a ridiculous amount of variance. Go check the Spotify page and listen to Healer and Snow Yellow Carpet back to back to see what I mean.

Tim Freitag – The Wave

This song has made its way onto so many of my personal playlists outside of the ones we post on the blog. The video only adds to what is a beautiful track of undying love and dependency. First off, before we go any further, Tim Freitag isn’t a person. I mean, there’s definitely a person named Tim Freitag, but he’s not in the band. I had to check to make sure, and I absolutely loved what I found. This is straight from their facebook page:

Tim Freitag are and always will be: Janick Pfenninger, Lorenzo Demenga, Daniel Gisler, Nicolas Rüttimann, Severin Graf

I don’t love it because there’s nobody named Tim. I love it because of the words “are and always will be.” This group isn’t just a band, they are brothers. That camaraderie and friendship comes through in a track that is well-rounded, instrumentally straightforward while still having complexity, and a vocalist that has a unique tone and incredible vocal inflection.

Hooli – Cider Sue

This track is so good. It’s like Two Door Cinema Club’s existentialist cousin. The Two Door reference is easily noticeable on the track, but the existential part may have you hung up. Let’s dive into it. The song has some of the most interesting lines throughout it. I’ve listened to it three times in a row while trying to write this post and every single time I pick out a new piece that makes me smile. It’s not the content itself that makes me smile (a study of mortality and the finite time on this planet), but the way they talk about it.

I said the noose brings infinite youth, 
The more you tighten it’s hold the truth will unfold for you, 
Woah oh oh 
So come at me with your best shot best believe that i ain’t got time

Those first two lines are some of the best I’ve heard in a long time, and I listen to a ton of new music every single day. I feel like I could break that single line down and do a whole post about that, but I just want to bring up a couple of points about it. It works in multiple ways, but let’s break down just two of them.

Let’s talk about what I believe is their intent behind the lyrics first. They are saying that as we age and as we get closer to death, we find ourselves thinking more and more about mortality and wishing for our youth again. It brings wisdom, but it also brings pain and understanding of past mistakes and wishing you could go back and fix them. Maybe they aren’t talking about fixing them, but a chance to do things right now. I don’t know. I do know that they follow it up with the sentiment of understanding that there’s definitely a timer, and don’t waste part of my timer with petty bullshit.

Now I want to talk about another idea I had about these lyrics. The noose brings to mind the idea of suicide, and I think this tells a great truth about that topic. I watched a documentary recently that told the stories of people who survived their suicide attempt. One common thread between the people, especially the ones who jumped from a bridge, building, etc., was that as soon as they leapt, they immediately felt regret, even before hitting the bottom. As that noose tightened, the truth opened up for them and it wasn’t something that they truly wanted to do.

The song actually has a lot of allusions to suicide, but I believe the huge underlying message is that we all have a timer that whittles away every second, and we can’t waste our time by complaining, getting caught up in petty things. Nobody beats the reaper.

Also, if you are having suicidal thoughts, give 1-800-273-8255 a call. Also, feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to talk to you. We aren’t trained professionals, but we have pretty big shoulders. 

 

Campdogzz – Souvenir

This song is raw emotion. The band is a phenomenal look at how moving gears do so for the betterment of the machine, but Jess Price, lead vocalist, is the pinion gear. For those of you not familiar with a pinion gear, that is referred to as the “drive gear” in vehicles*. She has an otherworldly voice that drips with energy and emotion. She has the kind of voice that you create in your dreams to set the scene conflict of the story. You don’t have soundtracks to your dreams? Don’t worry. It’s not as cool as it sounds. It just makes bad dreams way scarier.

*I didn’t know what a pinion gear was prior to writing this article, so if I’m way off, you get the idea.

Anyways, let’s talk about some lyrics. Ambiguity is the word of the day here, and this song is no different. I honestly couldn’t tell you what I lean towards this song being about, but we’ll give it a go.

Hold the wheel
Feel my head
Probably should have stayed in bed
Souvenir
Come right here
I’ll be yours a little bit
Did you want to get me gone
Did you want to get me
Well that train is going by

*Disclaimer: This is one of the first lyric assessments that I don’t feel great about my interpretation vs. what the song is supposed to be saying. Once again though, as we always say, once an artist releases their song to others, it’s not solely theirs anymore. Music is a beautifully subjective world*
The first three lines are fairly easy to decipher; someone is sick and shouldn’t have gotten out of bed. Now comes the fun part. The souvenir is tricky. By itself, it doesn’t really mean anything, but with the following line, we see that it is an animate object. Knowing that people typically write songs about other people, I think it’s fairly safe to say that the souvenir is a person. Now we have a bit of a story. Go back to the first line where they’re holding the wheel, put it with the souvenir, and all of a sudden we met someone on a trip. “I’ll be yours a little bit” is such a cool line, telling the person that you are invested in this fun and new relationship, but you ultimately know it’s temporary. Maybe it’s not though. The next line says if you want me gone, do it now because that *train is leaving the station. The next verse follows up with my theory, stating that their look is the smoldering look, barely keeping their emotions or even their anger below the surface, but this is so fresh that that kind of thing still looks good. The next line says “come right here, and let me feel you miss your dead,” effectively shooting my theory to shit. Possibly it’s just saying open up to me, I want to know your deepest emotions, but I’m not sure. Either way, it’s an absolutely phenomenal piece. Reach out to us, Campdogzz, and give us the full scoop.

*Just a fun fact: The first successful steam engine used a huge pinion gear to help power it.

Well that train is going by
Well that train is going

Eden Mulholland – Wild Animal

I usually don’t post full lyrics, but these are too good not to. Plus, there aren’t too many lines.

I’ve had the opportunity to do a little thinking
and I hope that you can understand
Somewhere along the way I got a little distracted
and I hope I get away with it
Because if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and be totally untameable
Yes if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and I’d always be wild animal
I’ve had the opportunity to see a new perspective
and I hope that you can understand
somewhere along the way I think I stopped believing
and I hope that don’t stand in our way
Because if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and be totally untameable
Yes if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and I’d always be wild animal
A wild animal

This seems to be a battle between the flesh and the mind. He seems to be moving on from something that made him feel caged. It may have been smart, it may have been the right move at the time, but the animal in him wants out of the cage. I feel like this song is applicable to so many aspects of our lives. Jobs, relationships, religion, or any number of things can fit into this song. It is human nature to want to explore so you can see the full gamut of the human experience. Once again, life is too short to feel like you’re in a cage.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

With emotive vocals, and an instrumental track that plods along at the perfect pace to show the current pace of the caged life, this track shows that the stories in lyrics can be told through the instruments around them too.

Summerteeth – Stay Warm

This is the song I wish we had found prior to doing our podcast episode about “Warmth.” It’s the perfect song where you hear one thing, but feel another. Instrumentally, it’s like the bands I listened to in high school (and still do), but lyrically it’s on a different level. If I’m reading into it correctly, it’s a song about battling seasonal depression, or just depression in general.

Stay warm for the weekend
for the winter
for the year
Stay inside til the summer
but show the sunlight you’re still here
Cause you don’t know what love is
but you hate who you are without it
Stay warm forever
even after your whole world disappears

I feel like they’re letting you know that depression is okay and it’s going to happen, it’s all about how you handle it. You’re going to have those weekends, seasons, or years where you have to bundle up and fight to stay warm, but remember that you need to break out at some point and you need to feel the sun, feel something new. The line, “you don’t know what love is, but you hate who are without it,” is so powerful. People act like depression is this thing that people do to themselves, instead of understanding that a lot of clinical depression is a chemical imbalance that can’t be helped outside of pretty powerful prescription drugs. It’s an affliction. Nobody on this planet is like, “Hey, I think I want to feel like everything is hopeless and there’s really no point to anything I’m doing for a while.”

The video is great because not only are they having a lot of fun, but they’re also sending a clear message; find a supportive community and make it through the hard times together. This is one of the most important things to realize; most people are meant to live in packs. Also realize that nobody around you knows shit about shit (TM).

Don’t you know?
We’re all making it up as we go
We wouldn’t have it any other way

Galapaghost – Bedtime

No stranger to the B-Side Guys, Galapaghost was one of the first artists on this planet who knew about and believed in what we were doing, and let us feature his song, Goodbye (My Visa Arrived), on the very first episode of our podcast. On the episode, he mentioned that he was working on a completely electronic album that would be a bit of a removal from his previous work. This is it, and it is phenomenal. He took the instrumentals and gave them more life while not losing the honest lyricism on the previous album. Once again, I’m going to go out of my box and share all of the lyrics, but once again, they need to be shared and they’re not too long.

Go on and have fun with your friends on the weekend 
Don’t stay home all alone with your feelings 
But I gotta say no 
I’m not a superhero 
And that’s the kind of effort that it would take 
For me to stay out late 

And I will see you 
I will see you someday 
And I will love you 
I will love you always 

So here’s my idea of fun 
My struggle book one 
Then dinner for two 
Then put on my running shoes 
In bed by 10 so if you wonder where I’ve been 
I’m too old to party on the weekend 
And every night of the week 

And I will see you 
I will see you someday 
And I will love you 
I will love you always

This is a song about growing up. Maturing, if you will. Maturation looks different for everyone, but this is fairly similar to my version of life. Gone are the days of partying, going out on the weekends, and staying up until the sun shows back up. Looking back, I don’t miss them, but I totally get why some people have chosen to stay there. There’s nothing wrong with that, we’re just on two different paths now. The song is possibly talking about a romantic relationship, but I think I lean towards this being about friendships. They can be severed with no ill intent; people just move on. It’s not saying that the friendship is over, it’s just saying that until our life goals cross paths, I understand why we don’t hang out much. It’s actually a pretty beautiful story of adulthood.

It might also be about a romantic relationship, and that synopsis works the exact same way.

His new album, Sootie, will be releasing soon, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.

Note to Casey: I love the old stuff, but this is a totally different beast as far as complexity. I love it, man.

Tetra – Fridays

“Fridays” is about the crushing sense of emptiness that follows when one realizes the subjective and thus, pointless nature of consumption under capitalism. Depression, drug abuse, loneliness — to me they are all symptoms of a culture that idolizes competitive individualism and defines success through one’s ability to consume more than others.

At the end of the tune, I talk about taking LSD and I ask myself “Why did it take so long to figure it out that it was all in my head?” To me it’s one of those things where you spend years searching for answers and a lifetime praying for ignorance.

When you can’t say it better yourself, don’t. This is a song that fights the idea of consumption and gluttony in all aspects of life, so we are naturally going to be all about it. I love that second part to the song where it talks about the idea “stuff” being important is something that is force fed to us from a very early age, and we are made to feel like that is the key to happiness. If having stuff was the key to happiness, we wouldn’t have so many celebrities with bank accounts in the tens of millions taking their own lives. Stuff consumes.


That’s 8 new artists that everyone needs to add to their rotation, but more importantly, go spend some money on these folks. A few bucks can go a long way when it comes to making more music. Remember to click the artist links in the name to check out tour dates, see merch, listen to more music, or even just send them a message to tell them you dig their sound.

Check out these artists on our July Spotify playlist.

Check out our podcast.

 

-Seth

The Flock: New Release Friday: Mike Xavier, Foresteater, Chris Noah, Callum Pitt, Sean Tobin

*This first paragraph is a copy of a previously written synopsis of the point behind the new section, The Flock.*

We have two goals here with our blog and our podcast; we want to help you find a bunch of new artists that you love, and we also want to support those artists. We came up with a new idea for a post where we take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. That way, it helps everyone. If you come here because you love one artist, you’ve got five more that you’re probably going to love now. That helps you load up your playlist with tracks that will impress your friends, and it also helps the artists hit untapped markets and possibly network with likeminded artists they didn’t know existed. Without further ado, I present “The Flock.”

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

Mike Xavier – “Time to Reflect”

I love when a song says something that we’ve heard before, but says it in such a eloquent way that it reaffirms everything you know. At it’s core, this song is about society, racism, and the difficulties we all face, but Mike Xavier is just so eloquent that it illuminates these issues in a way that is impossible to ignore. Other than Mike’s obvious lyrical talent, something you may not notice unless you are paying attention is that he isn’t just rapping over a track. He has a live trumpet, sax, keys, guitar, bass, and drums accompanying his songs. It really gives this song a fuller sound that you can’t accomplish from beats, no matter how good the DJ is. When asked about his inspiration Mike’s message is simple: “We just got to teach our kids they can change the world,” Xavier raps with his calm though upbeat tone. “They used to tell me, ‘Try them drugs.’ I ain’t never try it.” Mike is a shining example of using art to make the world a better place, and I’m happy to share this as our first track of New Release Friday.

Foresteater – “Unbutton”

“Momma’s shopping at the mall
Daddy’s sipping alchohol
Baby’s watching TV shows
Shoving things up in her nose

Why do the opposites look the same?
Our manufactured outfit came
and is it sincerity
or artificial empathy?

Unbutton my head
Get me out of my head
Unbutton my head please
Get me out of my head”

This song is an anthem for middle class malaise. It does the same thing several 90s movies did by taking a closer look at suburbia and showing the horrors beneath the surface. Sure, money makes some things easier, but it also brings a new set of problems. Having grown up squarely in middle class suburbia, I saw many of the things this song mentions, and experienced the surreal plasticity that it tends to create for those who inhabit these spaces but can’t fully enjoy shopping sprees, keeping up with the Joneses, and the skewed relationships created by making money and materialism such an integral part of our happiness.

Chris Noah – “River”

This song reminds me a lot of some of my favorite summertime music. It mixes pop vocals with some really interesting electronic beats to create an experience that surrounds you completely. Let’s dive into some of the lyrics:

“This state that I’m in, I can do nothing about,
Starting to wear me out, do we need disclosure
Your voice has become an eco in my mind
I don’t really recognize and you still have me reeling

Don’t swim so fast, i can’t keep up, don’t let me drown in your river
Don’t waste your love on someone else, while I’m still here in the picture ”

So it’s a very familiar scenario. The speaker is still in love with someone who is falling out of love with him, and he feels himself being left behind. It’s a really tragic position to be in, and the haunting background vocals as the song builds really hammer home the crescendo of pain that can inhabit these moments where you aren’t ready to move on, but you know it’s not your choice anymore. Keep an eye out for Noah’s upcoming 3 song compilation due in September. He has already won “Debut of the Year” last year at the Annual Latvian Music Awards, and I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with.

Callum Pitt – “Away From The Rousing Parades”

This song just starts off so calming and soothing. The mix of the intricate picking and the beautiful vocals take you to a sunny day driving with the windows down.

“There’s a warm wind coming, marching along with a big brass band

I’m waving an outstretched aching hand, so slow”

When these lines kick in, the song transforms into an anthem worth screaming at the top of your lungs. The thing I like most about this song though, is despite how upbeat and warm the song sounds; it has some truly existential moments.

“We search fora meaning before disappearing and hope that our memories survive”

Ultimately the song ends in a conclusion that all we can do is try to find someone to share the time we do have with and hope for the best. It’s a grounded but hopeful ending to a very complex poetic song.

Sean Tobin – “This Midnight”

And last, but certainly not least. Enjoy this single off of Sean Tobin’s new release of the same name. Throughout the song, he seems amazed that he is currently where he is in life, considering some of his past and the way he viewed the world. My favorite word play in the whole song is probably:

“Met a girl one February evening, swore to God there was no God at all,

Sunday came, she was praying for God knows what she done,

guess she was just talking to the wall”

The several switch ups and double meanings in that one line are astounding. Ultimately, the song seems to have a similar message to the one before this: life is potentially meaningless, there are no guarantees, life is short, thank god I have you, let’s enjoy the time we have for now and hope it lasts forever. “Baby, we could make this midnight last, come the morning, our stories will be in the past.”

-Caleb

If you enjoyed these songs, we’ve uploaded them all to our July TOTD playlist on Spotify.

If you haven’t followed us on Facebook, check it out. We have two new live streams that we posted today.

TOTD: Tim the Lion Tamer – “Dancer”

I really feel like I could break down every single line in this song. It’s one of those haunting songs with minimal production that relies on the beauty of the voice and the depth of the lyrics to carry everything, and damn, does it ever carry everything in this song.

“i’ve never seen nobody
dance like you
in times like these i wonder
if that’s true
if you are lonely too
’cause we’ve always been
hopelessly fucked up”

I don’t know if any of you have ever been in a relationship like the one described here, but it’s brutally beautiful. Two people messed up and in love and unstable, like a collapsing star. It’s full of passion and beauty, but it also isn’t sustainable. Ultimately the song sees the instability become too much, but it’s not as easy as just walking away and never thinking about it again.

“i guess i should move away
’cause in some sad way
i’m already gone”

I’m a known crier. I cry during emotional movies. I cry the first time I realize what an emotional song is really saying, like “Limousine” by Brand New, or “Honey Jars” by Bryan John Appleby, or a billion other instances. This song can now be added to that list, because when I read this last stanza, I couldn’t help but cry:

“it hits me when there’s nothing
left to give
in the ashes of my failures
there you live
ageless and possible
i’m watching you
dancing in your prime
twenty-some
frozen in time”

It may hit me particularly, because I had a 5 year relationship fall apart in my early twenties, and even though it was the best possible thing for me and her, I can relate to the idea of an ageless dancer, stuck at twenty something, frozen in time. Also, from a songwriting standpoint, the symmetry of the first and last stanza are just perfect. Go check out more of Tim the Lion Tamer’s stuff. It’s been added to our July TOTD Spotify playlist.

-Caleb