The Flock: Indie/Alternative Rock: The Dawn Brothers, Nick Di Gregorio, Real Ponchos, Weaver, Magic Bronson, Stranger Sounding, Beachdust

*Check out these artists and every other artist we’ve featured on the blog this month on our Spotify playlist for this month.*

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 Dawn Brothers – “Sweet Love”

Mm. This song is so smooth, from the walking bass line, to the chunky guitar, to the excellent vocals. This song sounds straight out of the 70s to me, in the best way. It has done an effective job of creating that vibe, and keeping the lyrics simple and relatable:

“Give me your sweet love, honey
I’ll give it right back to you
Give me your sweet love, honey
You know I love you, do you? ”

This song is a perfect summer song for me. It creates a sense of nostalgia like The Sandlot or something. Let me share one more lyrical section, which is my favorite moment:

“Baby won’t you lay your head
Let me take you home to bed
Good night
Twelve feet tall the trees they cast their
Dark and mighty shadows wide, what a sight

I’ve been round your neighbourhood
Sitting on the benches in the park
You knew that I’d be back again
When the evening sky grew dark”

It just reminds me so much of my late teens/early twenties. Young enough to make some fun mistakes, and old enough to have the freedom to do so. Keep a look out for their full album coming out later this year, if this song is any indication, it’s going to be very good.

Nick Di Gregorio – “Misery Has Everything”

This song has a classic message, with a beautiful Sufjan Stevens style package. It seems to be somewhat based on this quote: ““An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport”– Enrique Peñalosa”

“Shelved and branded living on display
Mentally I’m overdrawn buying things I can’t afford,
All our lives appear so ornate,
Could you believe that misery has come from having everything,
Misery has everything.”

We quickly see that the title has to do with middle-class malaise. Or First World malaise. Or whatever you want to call it. It has some to do with a personal level of misery, but the song seems to suggest that a lot of the misery in the world is created by people’s desire to “have everything.” We get an indicator in the chorus when he finishes with: “Could you believe society would fix itself eventually if rich old men began to take the bus.” I absolutely love that image. I think that would be a great way for rich old men to see how the rest of us live, and rub shoulders with the people they often demonize. It makes sense to me, that less misery would stem from that. Nick Di Gregorio for President.

Real Ponchos – “Stranger Days”

What an interesting video. It makes me feel nostalgic for a party in Canada that I’ve never been to. It honestly feels like they just had a party, and a guy walked around panning out on different parts of it. It’s a really nice art piece. Some things that stood out to me: the phone getting blown up with text messages on the counter, the fog machine that wasn’t putting out much fog, the long shot of the girl smoking. There was plenty more, but it’s just a lot of isolated images that really feel authentic. I also found it interesting that in the last minute or so of the video, instead of the camera panning out, it starts to pan in. I don’t know if that’s somehow a signal for the way a party can turn from shallow to authentic as the night wears on, or something else entirely, but I really dig leaving that as an easter egg to try to make meaning of.

Aside from the really cool video, the sound of this band is amazing. The vocals in particularly stand out as something entirely unique, but beautifully haunting. I also really like that the band describes themselves as “psychedelic-country-soul” because I don’t think I’ve ever described a band that way, and yet, it’s a perfect way to describe this group. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with, as this is just single from an upcoming project.

Weaver – “Whatever Seems Less Wrong”

I found the 80s hiding in 2018. From everything to the bright album cover, to the walking bass, to the droning synth. I’m also OBSESSED, with the idea of “whatever seems less wrong.” It’s such a 2018 sentiment. These past few years have been so chaotic on a global scale. It has caused people to question if we slipped into the “darkest timeline” from Community. And in these times, with seemingly no set truth or direction, the best we can do, is “take on, whatever seems less wrong, living in a dying time.”

Moment to look for: 3:30 or so with an excellent musical interlude following by an interesting bridge.

Bio: “Weaver is following up the sucessfull single “Boxes”, which has been streamed over 100.000 times, with an exploding tune called “Whatever Seems Less Wrong”. This is an upbeat nod to the 80s and the perfect soundtrack to any road trip. “Whatever Seems Less Wrong” is the first single from Weaver this year, and we can expect more music from the hard working Swede in the near future.”

Magic Bronson – “Knock It Off”

This song takes us on a trippy ride through the subconscious. It seems both ridiculous, and has these moments of clarity that make the whole ride worth it.

“Cowboys dressed as cops
Telling me to knock it off
They swing their batons
But can’t we all just get along
Blue eyes and bow tie men
Try to steal my lady friend
I know it’s not real
But for tonight lets just pretend”

These Cowboys, dressed as cops, continue to show up in the song. Telling them to “knock it off.” For some reason, that image is so striking to me. I can’t fully decide what to make of it. It seems like a potential statement on who we give authority and a gun in our society, namely, boys who used to play cowboy, and never grew out of the narrative. Or, I’m reading too deeply into it, and it’s just a fun image. Either way, the song itself is and infectious blend of psychedelia and indie rock. Given that they claim they’ll “never write the same song twice,” I can’t see what else they come up with.

Stranger Sounding – “Anything Is Possible”

I couldn’t help but be struck by a mix between a Fleet Foxes vibe, and a 60s analog sort of soft rock track. The thing that really stand out here are: 1. The beautiful melody and harmonizing. 2. The lyrics. Let’s dive into some of those:

“in my place do I push you away when you’re asking me. Anything where I can’t say. Oh I’ve backed my way into details, no fun. But oh it’s so easy for me to get in my own way but I love you please don’t go, my fragile heart has got your mark to last another lifetime in space! I can’t fall now it’s settled in its place.”

I absolutely love “I’ve backed my way into details, no fun.” This line, like many of the lines in the song, aren’t cut and dry. There’s a lot of ambiguity, and personalization to each of the lines, but it does a really good job of saying it with a confidence that makes it feel like Ghandi said it or something. It seems like everyone should be putting tattoos of these one liners on them, even if we don’t full understand the meaning.

I also am struck by how inspiring the repetition of the last line is: “anything is possible, everything unstoppable”

Bio: “This is the second track from a recent tape called Pastoral Memories 1, released July 7th 2018. Each song is paired with a visual art piece that all combine to form a greater work also called Pastoral Memories 1.”

Beachdust – “Cleft”

Everyone knows that we are lyrics first guys here at B-Side Guys, but sometimes there’s just something that pulls you in solely based on the instrumental track. With Beachdust’s, “Cleft,” that thing is the funky guitar riffs. Don’t get me wrong, the lyrics are nice, but man, the guitars throughout this song keep every part of your body bouncing. The lyrics are nothing to brush off either. Beachdust makes it a point to tell you as much of a story as possible with as few words as possible, and that’s something that as a poet, I really got into. It’s definitely something I can appreciate as well.

I can’t tell 
Heaven from hell 
It seems these days 
It all feels the same 

They’ll never know 
That pain I hold 
Things I’ll never say 
The past I hide away

I kind of referenced it with an earlier song, but this is the sort of music we need in these turbulent times. It doesn’t try to ignore how confusing and absurd the present is, but we all have to keep living, and figuring it out.

-Caleb

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