Ten Tune Tuesday: Alic Ward, muralim, Swiss Portrait, The Meadow, Orphan King, KID TRAVIS, Tom Emlyn, The Nettes, The Lucky Valentines, and Tribe Friday

Welcome to another electrifying edition of “Ten Tune Tuesday” on B-Side Guys, your weekly musical sanctuary. Here, we gather the most enthralling new tracks from every corner of the musical landscape and hand-pick the ten we think you absolutely must hear. From heart-thumping electronica to intimate acoustic ballads, these are the songs that caught our ears, seized our hearts, and inspired us over the past seven days. Get ready to embark on a sonic journey as we plunge into the depths of musical innovation, spotlight emerging artists, and celebrate established ones. Brace yourself for an eclectic mix of sounds, styles, and stories – it’s time for “Ten Tune Tuesday”!

Alic Ward – “Little Mouse”

The profound melding of Americana intimacy and early 2000’s alternative rock adventure comes to the fore in Alic Ward’s “Little Mouse”. This Vancouver-based alternative folk artist invites listeners into a tapestry of life’s quiet joys and sorrows, spun with rich melodic structures that evoke the indie-folk landscapes of artists like Connor J O’Brien and Dallas Green. “Little Mouse” is a song that whispers into the ear, with Ward’s delicate tenor tiptoeing on the edge of breaking, painting a beautifully vulnerable and absorbing auditory experience. The production, handled masterfully by WCMA-nominated engineer Andy Schichter at Park Sound Studio, envelops this intimate sonic journey in a comforting cloak of warmth and authenticity.

“Little Mouse” showcases Ward’s knack for purposeful arrangement and poignant lyricism, with the gentle assertion of his music echoing the constant ebb and flow of human emotions. The song envelops you in a rich weave of rolling drums, tasteful guitars, and Alic’s haunting vocals – all serving a chorus that you’ll find yourself humming long after the song has ended. Despite its name, “Little Mouse” is a powerful piece that navigates through the winding pathways of loss and healing, making it a mirror into the complexity of the human condition. In this track, Alic Ward doesn’t just make music, he tells stories – stories that echo in the chambers of our hearts and resonate with our shared experiences. It’s a track that firmly establishes Alic Ward not just as a songwriter, but as a musical raconteur par excellence.

muralim – “corn da tinizong”

Transcending the auditory realm to present a deeply evocative landscape of tranquility and serenity, Zurich’s NewJazz Quintet muralim offers “Corn da Tinizong” as a sublime ode to nature’s timeless beauty. Born from the quiet contemplation of saxophonist Mauro Reimann’s summer sojourn in Davos, the piece captures the stoic and enduring majesty of the titular mountain. The ensemble’s prowess radiates from every note, reflecting the lightness and grandeur of their natural muse. This composition is a testament to muralim’s ability to evoke profound emotions through music, reminding listeners of the quiet strength and tranquility that we often overlook in the world around us.

Founded as a bachelor project by Reimann at the Zurich University of the Arts, muralim has grown to establish a powerful presence in the jazz realm, gracefully blending sophistication with an appealing accessibility. “Corn da Tinizong” continues their tradition of creating engaging and distinctive music, successfully incorporating pop elements into their jazz foundation for a refreshing sonic experience. The outcome is a spellbinding and delicate balance of familiarity and novelty, illuminating the shared ground between genres. As muralim journeys towards the release of their first EP in 2023, “Corn da Tinizong” sets a high bar for their anticipated contributions, further cementing their commitment to make jazz accessible for a broader audience. Indeed, muralim’s ambitious pursuit reflects not just their dedication to their craft but also their ability to communicate universal narratives through their music.

Swiss Portrait – “Before”

“Before,” the first track off Swiss Portrait’s 2023 EP “The Crippling Pain of Happiness,” unfurls as a heartrending exploration of stress, anxiety, and emotional impasse. The handiwork of Scottish-born multi-instrumentalist Michael Kay Terence, the song seethes with an intimate honesty that is almost palpable. Raw, cathartic lyrics embody Michael’s internal struggle with unprocessed angst, invoking a universal human condition that resonates even as it distresses. This Scottish outfit’s Dreampop foundations throb with a spectral luminosity that beautifully contrasts the lyrical anguish, conjuring an atmospheric paradox of pain enmeshed in sonic beauty.

Swiss Portrait, a project birthed from lockdown solitude, continues to echo Michael’s deft DIY approach. “Before” is a testament to his ability to play, record, mix, and produce every element himself, lending the track an authenticity that is rare in today’s music scene. The haunting repetition of the phrase “As we’ve been here before” reverberates through the listener’s consciousness, each iteration a poignant reminder of the cyclical nature of suffering. These lyrics, paired with the spectral soundscape, create an emotive dialogue between the past and the present—a melancholic waltz between what was and what is. With friends James, Brett, and Rohan joining Michael for live performances, Swiss Portrait weaves a poignant narrative of shared human experience, reinforcing the power of music as a universal language of emotion.

The Meadow – “The Line”

“The Line” by The Meadow, the latest release from the Dutch indie-rock band, delivers a poignant exploration of the aftermath of heartbreak. The song, with its intense and immersive soundscape, immediately draws the listener into a narrative of fractured love and the pangs of separation. The lyrics resonate with universal experiences of relationships coming to an end, focusing on the struggle to reassure oneself and the other person of an inevitable recovery. As The Meadow steps forward in their musical journey with this track, they encapsulate a complexity of emotions—pain, regret, resilience—turning a personal ordeal into a shared empathic experience.

Formed via a simple Facebook ad, The Meadow is an intriguing ensemble of non-conservatory trained musicians. Their raw, unfiltered energy seeps into “The Line,” manifesting in fast indie-rock tunes tempered with a melancholic undertone. The poignant refrain, “This is the end of our line,” echoes through the song, a poignant metaphor for a relationship’s end. Meanwhile, the comforting assertion, “‘Cause hey girl, it’s gonna be okay. You’ll be okay,” provides a soothing yet bittersweet solace. The song underscores the essence of the band—balancing fast, energizing rock tunes with melancholic intimacy. As their popularity grows, The Meadow continues to craft engaging music that resonates with audiences, inviting listeners into shared spaces of emotional understanding and healing.

Orphan King – “FADE”

“FADE,” the latest release from Los Angeles-bred, Stockholm-based producer Orphan King, is a powerfully emotional exploration of grief, loss, and the struggle to move forward after unthinkable tragedy. The song weaves a tragic narrative, telling the story of a couple dealing with the loss of their child—a reality that Orphan King handles with both raw emotion and empathetic sensitivity. The track is graced with dreary textured synths, arps, and melancholic vocals that capture the all-encompassing sense of loss, resonating deeply with listeners as a melancholic anthem of sorrow and longing.

Orphan King, equally a filmmaker, goes beyond traditional music boundaries with a cinematic approach to storytelling, producing a visually potent and emotional music video to accompany “FADE.” With storytelling at the core of their work, Orphan King skillfully combines an emotional narrative with a lush soundscape to create a genuinely evocative experience. Lyrics like “I put my heart in all we used to be,” and “Only God and I saw you fade that day” convey the profound pain and desolation felt in the aftermath of loss, while the repeated line “I don’t fear you anymore, ‘Cause I can’t feel you anymore,” underscores a lingering numbness born from intense grief. “FADE” thus emerges as an exceptionally personal and emotive piece of art that does more than just entertain—it allows listeners to explore the depth of human emotions, particularly grief, in a profoundly touching way.

KID TRAVIS – “Same Location” feat. Just Shad

“Same Location” from Kid Travis, featuring Just Shad, is a haunting exploration of the stifling repetition and emotional exhaustion inherent in a one-sided, toxic relationship. The singer-songwriter and producer known for his indie punk/trap influences and varied style lays bare the turmoil of feeling trapped in a cycle of unreciprocated affection. Kid Travis’s melodic talent shines through the track, with the composition serving as an expressive canvas for the deep-seated sense of frustration and betrayal conveyed in the lyrics. His diverse musicality and production prowess create an intimate sonic atmosphere that engulfs the listener, making the song’s emotional undercurrents all the more palpable.

In “Same Location,” the lyrics provide an emotional confession: the pain of realizing one’s love is not reciprocated, the hurt of betrayal, and the exhausting struggle of remaining stuck in the same damaging situation. Kid Travis’s vocals convey these sentiments powerfully, bearing the weight of these raw emotions with a delicate balance of vulnerability and strength. Simultaneously, the presence of Just Shad adds a layer of depth and complexity to the narrative, allowing the track to resonate on multiple levels. Overall, “Same Location” is a testament to Kid Travis’s ability to capture and articulate intricate human emotions, establishing him not only as an artist with a gift for melody and genre-blending but also a gifted storyteller.

Tom Emlyn – “Broken Mirror”

Tom Emlyn’s ‘Broken Mirror,’ one of the striking singles from his upcoming album ‘Return Journey Revisited: Scaredycat Vol 1,’ is a profound meditation on love lost, deftly blending elements of psychedelia, folk, jazz, and blues. This Swansea-born songwriter, noted for his prolific output and inventive craft, continues to cement his position as one of Wales’ most intriguing musical talents. ‘Broken Mirror’ was recorded in 2018 and mastered by Charlie Francis (R.E.M., Pixies), presenting Emlyn’s songwriting talent in its full, poignant scope. His lyrics, steeped in aching introspection and relatable human experiences, are coupled with a captivating sonic texture, further amplified by his recent adoption of the harmonica as a lead instrument.

Through ‘Broken Mirror,’ Emlyn opens up a raw, intimate dialogue with his listeners, taking them on a winding journey through the peaks and valleys of love and loneliness. The lyrics, replete with vivid imagery and potent metaphors, convey a sense of longing, regret, and self-realization. Amid the melancholic melody, lines like “And beauty is a curse / But ugliness is worse / And loneliness is always worse” resonate profoundly, revealing the depths of Emlyn’s introspective exploration. His style, likened to legends like Bob Dylan and Elliott Smith, is deeply rooted in garage rock but fearlessly traverses multiple genres, creating a unique soundscape that feels both comforting and daring. As a testament to Emlyn’s artistry, ‘Broken Mirror’ stands as a poetic and heart-rending ballad of lost love, offering a profound glimpse into the songwriter’s captivating world.

The Nettes – “The Loudest Voice”

“The Loudest Voice,” the debut single from Chicago-based trio The Nettes, serves as a riveting introduction to their sound, as it effortlessly weaves compelling lyricism, soaring melodies, and tasteful instrumentation into a haunting tapestry of loneliness and longing. The song, released on March 24, 2023, spotlights the harmonic convergence of songwriters Alex Fiolek, Kristina Cottone, and Sonya Major, each of whom brings their unique style to this reflective composition. As a poignant exploration of silence and unspoken feelings, “The Loudest Voice” resonates with a universal echo of longing and introspection.

Lyrically, “The Loudest Voice” unfolds as a rich narrative, painting a vivid picture of heartache and silent yearning. Lyrics like “Silence is the loudest voice / Words could never fill the void” and “I can’t let go of the things we never said / As we lay quietly in bed” capture the profound pain of uncommunicated emotions, underscoring the potent quiet that often accompanies emotional turmoil. Musically, the song impresses with its captivating melodies and harmonies, each note beautifully reflecting the melancholic theme of the lyrics. The song further embodies the ethos of The Nettes: a skillful fusion of individual songwriting strengths resulting in a singular, evocative sound. As a debut single, “The Loudest Voice” is a compelling opening statement from The Nettes, inviting listeners into a musical space rich with harmony, emotion, and introspective lyricism.

The Lucky Valentines – “The Sparrow”

“The Sparrow,” by The Lucky Valentines, beautifully encapsulates the universal struggle between desired perfection and lived reality. This song, characterized by heartfelt lyrics and soaring guitar riffs, paints a poignant picture of codependency and the fight to find hope amid personal turmoil. It is a testament to the eleven-year musical partnership between Shaun and Jamie, wherein their harmonious collaboration gracefully makes sad things beautiful.

The rich, melancholic lyrics of “The Sparrow” narrate a journey of self-reflection and introspection, speaking of wasted time spent in self-pity and sleepless nights overwhelmed by past mistakes. The repeated lines “His eye is on the sparrow / And I know He’s watching me” symbolize the protagonist’s faith and hope amidst the pain, bringing a profound spiritual depth to the song. The music provides an ideal backdrop, with its folk melodic sensibilities and tight harmonies that echo the duo’s unique and diverse influences, from Bruce Springsteen to Mandolin Orange. When Jamie’s classical violin fuses with Shaun’s Hank Williams-inspired vocals, it results in a riveting sonic experience. With their candid storytelling and masterful instrumentation, The Lucky Valentines demonstrate in “The Sparrow” why they have been a notable presence in folk music, from Austin’s iconic Hole in the Wall Cafe to PBS’s acclaimed 11th and Grant.

Tribe Friday – “Me And All My Friends”

“Me and All My Friends,” the latest single from Swedish bubblegum emo-pop band Tribe Friday, is an eclectic mix of humor, introspection, and Gen Z energy. This song fuses the rugged indie-rock dancehall sounds of the early 2000s with the band’s distinctive post-pandemic party vibe, resulting in a uniquely potent and impactful listening experience. The song’s buoyant melody, complete with kazoos, mouth horns, and plastic bottle-shakers, juxtaposes brilliantly with the darker lyrical themes of identity, self-deprecation, and the struggle of growing up in a society rife with mental health challenges.

Lead singer Noah Deutschmann’s standout lyrics— “me and all my friends are always shopping for a place to go / me and all my friends are always slicing down as deep as it goes / and if it turns out it’s a mil or three to much / then that’s fine, ‘cause at least the doctor’s free here / (fuck you America)”—are a testament to the band’s knack for marrying sharp wit and raw honesty. This frank expression of personal experiences and social commentary has garnered Tribe Friday critical acclaim and radio play across multiple countries, from Swedish National Radio P3 to Germany’s Radio Eins and Star FM. Musically drawing inspiration from the likes of The Strokes and My Chemical Romance, Tribe Friday continues to carve out their own distinct sound. “Me and All My Friends” boldly encapsulates the band’s emo-rock aesthetic while also acting as a powerful social commentary, a vibrant dance track, and an anthem for misfits everywhere.

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