The Flock: Singer-Songwriter: Ben Foerg, Jacko Hooper, Deer Fellow, Moncrieff, Emina Sonnad

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

This is a new edition of The Flock. People who love Singer-Songwriters are going to find so much good content in this post. What is The Flock, you ask? 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 fan base 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.

Ben Foerg – “Around The Bend”

This song does an excellent job of world building in such a small space. I felt like I was playing Red Dead Redemption or something with the rich imagery of the the lyrics. Let’s dive into a couple:

“on the day the fire burned he rolled around in the embers
cackling like a wild animal with ticks beneath its fur
his horse vanished with the smoke
the rider just laughed at the joke
and so he stood and walked on into the woods”

There are several verses with a similar sentiment that seem to be “laughing the face of despair”. No matter what life throws at the protagonist of this song, he meets it with a smirk. It’s really the best parts of who we hope we are. The parts of humanity that shine when faced with trying times and difficulties. The speaker is the anti-hero that we hope is lurking beneath the surface in all of us, and that we often hope we never really have to find out about. Yet:

“if you listen close, you’ll hear the echoes of his ghost
laughing madly through the night but never coming into sight
it’s a sound that will chill your bones
while you were busy skipping stones
the city raged and silently turned the page

it’s the same now as it was then, everyone’s waiting for the end
that moment when we make amends and put it all together again
like somehow we got off course
like somehow we lost our horse
but the river bends and so it will bend again”

So maybe that’s a big part of what is missing in our spirit right now. We’ve become so disconnected from the tests of nature that allowed us to rise as the dominant species on the planet that we no longer feel purposeful. From an objective angle, maybe we never were, but at least on the ground, with a rock in our hand, we felt like we were moving forward and that it was good.

Bio: Released November 2017, “Around the Bend” is the title track from so-named EP.

Ben Foerg is the lead singer of LA rock band The Absurd, here offering a different twist on his writing capabilities. Produced in the bedroom with what lo-fi equipment was available, “Around the Bend” is a testament to Foerg’s lyrical abilities, as well as his interest in fusing the worlds of electronic and folk music.

Jacko Hooper – “All I Deserve, Is Not You”

Did you make it to the breakdown at 1:25? That’s really where this song and video started to completely capture me to the point that I couldn’t look away. The vocals have a bit of a Rainbow Kitten Surprise feel (which if you know me, you know that’s one of the best compliments I can give.) This song seems to be about the feeling you get when you find someone so absurdly perfect that it doesn’t seem right that you deserve it. You are waiting on the shoe to drop. This really becomes apparent with the chorus:

“Oh i deserve to be let down by you
If you’re the rays then i’m the gloom
Desperately searching for two
Oh i deserve to be let down by you”

I really connected with the line: “if you’re the rays then I’m the gloom” because I often feel that way about a lot of positive people in my life, and definitely my SO. I’ve worked through a lot of those issues in therapy over the years, but I still can’t help but feel like Eeyore bringing the mood down when I get hit with a bad day. Aside from the relatable lyrics, the music in this song is unquestionable diverse and beautiful. There are dissonant guitars, gorgeous swelling horns, and drums that know exactly when to emphasize and when to lay off. The whole thing gives me chills, no matter how many times I hear it.

Bio: This track is part of the 4 track split EP out via Folklore Sessions on 7″ vinyl and digitally on all major outlets.

As part of a split EP with George Ogilvie, Bess Atwell and Oktoba.

 

Deer Fellow – “Beautiful Gray”

“Black and white
Ruled my life ‘till I found you
Now I’m living
In this limbo built for two
Late nights talking
Tightrope walking rendezvous
For now I’ll be
Happy just to be close to you

‘Till then
I’ll love you
In this sad but happy state
Beautiful gray”

I love how wonderfully this song works in the title “Beautiful Gray” into the entirety of the lyrics. After spending an entire life in Black and White, it takes a gray area to show the speaker true beauty. Beauty isn’t being happy all the time. Beauty isn’t stark tragedy. Beauty is found in the gray areas between. The gray area also seems to suggest a lover that’s not fully yours. Someone you’re willing to wait on, even though things may not be exactly where you want them right now. It is an appreciation of exactly where you are, even though you probably have to fight the thoughts of where they may one day go. The vocal harmonies themselves give the song the same sort of quality. Where the female vocals seem to be in the front of the mix, but the male vocals echo in the background, filling the empty space.

Bio: Deer Fellow is an indie alt-soul group out of Austin, TX. The band began as an acoustic duo between Matt Salois (vocals, guitar) and Alyssa Kelly (vocals, keys, violin), before expanding to its current 4-member lineup that includes drummer, Joel Klaus, and bassist, John Wilhelm. Deer Fellow performs in several arrangements, whether duo, trio, or electrified full band. Their vocal harmonies seamlessly blend indie with a serving of soul.

Moncrieff – “Serial Killer”

Speaking on the lyrical meaning behind the new single, Moncrieff said: “I wrote Serial Killer a few months after coming out of what was a pretty intense relationship; to put it lightly. It’s nuts how you never seem to notice how your perspective changes when you’re in deep with someone. You lose the ability to be objective as infatuation paints over traits in a person that would otherwise serve as warning signs.”

I’m not going to dive too deeply into the specific lyrics, because we will do that at length on an upcoming podcast episode (maybe 4 weeks or so?). I am going to talk about how great the production on this track is. It builds in the best possible way. It uses vocal distortion and echo to create a darkness that belies the seemingly upbeat melody. And it ultimately ends up with a breakdown that would fit in any EDM mix.

Bio:  Moncrieff’s reputation as a phenomenal live act continues to spread, with upcoming performances confirmed at The Great Escape (having been chosen to be one of the festival’s “First Fifty”), Live At Leeds, and more. Add to that, strong airplay from BBC Radio 16 Music, and Beats 1, along with a 13 week stint on the European Border Breakers Chart – this is only the start of what is set to be an incredibly exciting 12 months for Moncrieff.

Facebook: facebook.com/moncrieffmusic

Twitter: twitter.com/moncrieffmusic

Instagram: instagram.com/moncrieffmusic

 

Emina Sonnad – “Pretending to See Stars”

“So close your eyes
And we’ll pretend to see stars
In a world where the light has to hide behind
The smoke coming out of cars
And we’ll pretend all the planets are our
And I can see (you’re lying next to me)
As we lie in bed (I love you, please don’t leave)
The most beautiful things are the ones we imagine in our heads.

Did you hear the spaceships flying by
(happiness consumes you all night long)
Cause all I see are light shows in the sky
(you always take the pill I guess the real thing’s not as strong)
But don’t you sometimes want something to keep?
Wish I could wake you up, you look so lonely in your sleep. ”

Man, these lyrics give me chill throughout. I don’t usually post this many of them, but it’s like poetry. This perfectly captures the way I feel about our place as humans in a society that has mostly realized our existence is meaningless. (That’s not to say you can’t find meaning, or that I judged you if you find it through older conventional means/religions). To me though, we know enough now to know that we are a tiny speck, on a tiny speck, that seemingly evolved to realize that fact, but not enough to find out what it all means, or if it all means anything. This song does a great job capturing that lonely feeling that comes along with that realization. It also does a great job of capturing the way that relationships fit into that feeling. I have a SO that I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I think we will, but ultimately that ends, and ultimately, we all die alone. “(I love you, please don’t leave)”. It immediately reminds me of the Typhoon song “Common Sentiments” which leaves you with this little existential threat: “They say you want to hear something that you already know
If it comes from above, well this one comes from below
It says, “You are sleeping together, but you will die alone.”

Bio: Emina Sonnad is an indie-pop singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. She made her performing debut recently while living abroad in Madrid, Spain, where she gained recognition for her ability to pair simple melodies with complex and strikingly relatable lyrics. In the style of artists such as Regina Spektor, Lana Del Rey, and Ingrid Michaelson, Emina’s songs take on a narrative and dynamic form, switching from dreamlike to bluntly honest as she tells stories about the people and places she’s known or imagined.

 

-Caleb (sorry for the darkness)

Did you like this? We have these songs and more on our August Spotify TOTD Playlist.

Did any of these songs make you feel Existential? We just recorded part one of our Existentialism episode for our Podcast. It will be live on Monday, August 13th.

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