The Flock: Indie Rock/Alternative – LUI HILL, Path, The Ruralists, Manta Rays, Blue J, The Caracals, cleopatrick, Dirty Hank

*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.

LUI HILL – Words Become Useless

LUI HILL, the German neo-soul alternative artist, hits us with a new song, and we couldn’t be more stoked about it. A stripped down intro with only piano chords and emotive vocals slowly builds until you’re in the middle of a full formed symphonic funk ride featuring a tightly formed drum sequence, open brass, and vocals that you can feel throughout your body. The video itself is a fun ride too (pun intended).

Path – Don’t Ever Love Me

Say one thing and you’ll say the other 
Never a chance that we were for each other 
Flower in the dirt could bloom if you let it 
A love to call your own, remember to forget it 

Don’t ever love me 
Don’t ever love me

This bedroom rock song is the kind of song that makes breakups harder, and I’m not even mad about it. It’s equal parts a lesson on relationships, and a lesson in polarities.

One thing that people don’t know about me (probably) is that I’m a huge fan of rim clicks and rim shots. This song sets up a song of heartbreak with subtle rim clicks, and then hits home with honest and vulnerable vocals and delicate guitar, making a much fuller sound together than you’d expect given the intimacy of each individual track.

The Ruralists – Eggs

I can’t stop listening to this song. I am absolutely enamored. From allusions to Chicken Little and the world ending to finding solace in the right person’s words, this song is an absolute ride. The whole album, in fact, has made its way into a lot of my playlists recently. I have a list of criminally underrated bands, and these guys have definitely joined their ranks. There is an intimacy in tone and delivery that is unlike anything I’ve heard in quite a while, and they remind me of my favorite band, Manchester Orchestra, in both lyrics and delivery; they are rough around the edges and keep everything raw and open, leave minor idiosyncrasies and easter eggs (that’s my second pun of the post) throughout the track, and they have tight harmonies around an emotive and raw lead vocalist.

These are guys that you definitely need to keep up with. This is why we do this blog. How the hell do they have less than 1,000 plays per song on Spotify?

Manta Rays – Mountain Dew

I rarely share the releases that they send us word for word because A.) it feels like cheating, and B.) I feel like it takes away from my personal enjoyment of the song if I let those influence my writing. I have to make an exception in this case strictly because of how they derived through divine intervention the title of the song.

“Mountain Dew” is a song about; being lonely in the real world, pushing speeds that no blue man can begin to apprehend, and that it takes a man to know when no means no. Now you ask, Why is this song in particular called “Mountain Dew”? because in the very beginning of the song the bass guitar goes ‘deeeeew’.

I love their definition of what makes a man. I feel like it’s a very topical point in this tumultuous landscape we find ourselves navigating these days. You put topical lyrics with nice harmonies and a funk bass line, and you’ve got a track that’s perfect for beach days.

Blue J – Hard to Know

Blue J’s “Hart to Know” is that melancholic groove indie rock track that you hear in a movie when everything falls apart for the protagonist. Their father died, their partner doesn’t feel a spark anymore, and their car is sitting lifeless on the side of the road while they sit 3 miles away from a job interview that starts in 25 minutes. Now I’m building this movie in my head. Zach Braff stands in the middle of the road as the camera zooms out, framing him on the right and the car to the left. Flashbacks of the aforementioned events start running through his head: good times with his father, a scenic drive in the then-running car with his partner, who is still very much in love with him, and spinning his daughter around in a park, with her laughing until it’s hard to breathe. More flashbacks follow of everything falling apart with the partner, dad dying, turning to an opioid addiction, and losing his daughter in a custody case. At this point in the movie, Braff’s been clean for a month, but this interview fiasco has him feeling like it’s completely pointless to try. He should just turn around and go home.

And if your whole life turns to shit / I know it’s hard to know /
you drag your body around behind you / everywhere you go /
you don’t wanna live and I know it’s hard to know /
to realize you can’t just let it go 

The memory of his daughter pops back into his head, and he remembers why he’s starting this new life. Zach runs to the job interview, making it with 15 seconds to spare, and somehow not covered in sweat. He lands the job, and starts working on a new life for him and his daughter. Fast forward 6 months, and he’s enjoying his job while getting to see his daughter on weekends with allusions between mom and Zach about expanding custody rights. Roll credits.

The point is, this is a song that makes you feel something real. It is a tangible, living song that has its own legs and a destination in mind.

The Caracals – Catch Your Eye

This is a really interesting song. It has some raw indie rock Black Keys vibes, The Strokes-esque melodies, and instrumentation and progression that’s perfect for your next Halloween party.

The lyrics are as haunting as the music, and can cause some real self-reflection. The song centers around the idea of how technology has made us slaves to devices and keep us from interacting with each other on a personal level, especially when it comes to keeping a partner interested.

“Checking your phone all night as I fail to catch your eye.”

cleopatrick – youth

Not to be confused with Daughter’s hit song, “youth” from cleopatrick shares nothing but a name with the singer-songwriter. With heavy breakdowns and gut punch vocals, this is a different beast entirely.

The day I turn 23, I’m getting married
shortly after, I’m getting buried

This is the kind of song that has something for everyone: sincere and interesting vocals for the singer-songwriter, instrumentals for the metalhead, and the raw vocals for indie rock purists. This song is a hell of a ride.

July Spotify Playlist

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