Weekly New Releases: Erica Manzoli, Danny Mellin, Aline Deanna, Casey James Prestwood, Kohla, The Allergies & Andy Cooper, American Trappist, The Next Movement, and Christopha

Welcome to another edition of Weekly New Releases on B-Side Guys! We are delighted to bring you another batch of fresh tracks that will satisfy your music cravings and introduce you to artists that are shaking up the scene with their distinct sounds and compelling narratives. From Indie darlings to Hip-Hop virtuosos, we cover an eclectic range of artists, each one breaking barriers and transcending genres in their unique way. As you dive into this week’s selection, prepare to be transported to new sonic landscapes, discover fresh musical perspectives, and connect with songs that speak to your heart. So, buckle up and let’s embark on this week’s musical journey!

Erica Manzoli – “Body Double”

The world of pop music often thrives on brutal honesty, and rising singer-songwriter Erica Manzoli serves it up in spades with her newest single, “Body Double.” The track is a raw and poignant examination of post-breakup emotions, narrating the bitter sting of seeing an ex-partner move on with a lover eerily reminiscent of the singer herself. From the striking opening line, “Look how quickly you’ve moved on,” Manzoli captures the disorienting rapidity of change in the aftermath of a relationship. Through the lens of a witty and dramatic pop song, she confronts the painful paradox of yearning for closure while grappling with the ghost of her presence in her ex’s new relationship.

“Body Double” sees Manzoli skillfully toeing the line between vulnerability and assertiveness. The lyrics, a powerful blend of apology, accusation, and a touch of irony, reflect the song’s theme of emotional duality. The repeated line, “And when you close your eyes, Am I on your mind?” signifies a longing for acknowledgement and a subtle accusation of emotional duplicity. Simultaneously, it reveals an undercurrent of self-doubt and yearning for affirmation. The chorus brings the theme of the song to a head, boldly asserting that the singer’s replacement is nothing more than a ‘body double’. With this track, Manzoli takes a bold step forward, crafting a song that is as much a cathartic release as it is a defiant stand against being effortlessly replaced. This intriguing evolution in her musical narrative, coupled with the engaging lyricism, makes “Body Double” a standout single, further solidifying Manzoli’s place as a unique voice in pop music.

Danny Mellin – “Ordinary Day (Ordinary Town)”

With a kinetic blend of indie rock intensity and an acute sense of life’s everyday experiences, Danny Mellin makes a potent return with “Ordinary Day (Ordinary Town).” Off the back of his highly successful 2023 headline tour, Mellin showcases his growing artistry with a single that explores universal themes of monotony and stagnation. This sonic evolution is evident from the first chords, where the track’s heavier sound characterizes the feeling of being stuck in a rut, channelling both the frustration and acceptance in dealing with life’s ordinary struggles.

“Ordinary Day (Ordinary Town)” manages to perfectly encapsulate the shared human experience of the mundane. Its genesis, as Mellin recalls, comes from an observational moment, watching the world move past from a vantage point on Cowley Road. The resulting lyrical landscape is populated by the everyman characters of life, each living their own version of an ordinary day. It’s in these finely-drawn details and Mellin’s aptitude for capturing the universal, that the song truly shines. His unique blend of guitar-focused indie and his anthemic choruses have given rise to comparisons with early Oasis, a testament to his songwriting prowess. As Mellin continues to carve out his own niche in the indie scene with his passionate performances and distinct sound, his latest release reaffirms his promise as an artist who can strike a chord with his listeners’ experiences, emotions, and collective consciousness.

Aline Deanna – “Over The Edge”

In her latest single, “Over The Edge,” Aline Deanna embraces the profound and the existential with an enduring sense of tranquility. Hailing from the small mountain town of Nelson, British Columbia, Deanna’s music is a vibrant fusion of old-time country and western vibes, buoyed by a modern touch of Americana. The song emerges as a philosophical musing on the human experience, exploring the notion of our ephemeral existence with a keen sense of poetics and comforting country melody. “It’s a matter of perspective; either we can let the fact that we’re all just a small blip in the blink of an eye stress us out or we can be freed by this notion,” says Deanna, encapsulating the thematic essence of “Over The Edge.”

Deanna’s approach to her music is as diverse as the landscapes that inspire her. Her nomadic spirit and her love for travel and adventure seep into her lyrics and melodies, giving them a captivating authenticity. Well-versed in various instruments, including the violin, mandolin, and acoustic guitar, Deanna’s performances are a journey in themselves, transporting listeners through a rich tapestry of emotions, experiences, and perspectives. In “Over The Edge,” this journey takes on a meditative tone as it traverses existential landscapes, presenting a comforting narrative to heavy, lingering questions. Despite its existential undertones, the song is a soothing balm, delivered with Deanna’s charming country croon and steeped in the timeless melodies of her inspirations, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch. As she prepares for her upcoming record, ‘A swimming situation,’ it’s clear that Aline Deanna is crafting her unique narrative thread in the realm of Americana music, one imbued with heartfelt storytelling, existential musings, and timeless country melodies.

Casey James Prestwood – “Out of Place” feat. Sierra Ferrell

In his newest release, “Out of Place,” Casey James Prestwood channels the raw, evocative storytelling and honky-tonk spirit that’s become his signature, reaching into the darkest recesses of human experience and translating it into a classic country shuffle. The track is a powerful exploration of struggle and survival, inspired by the harrowing experience of a friend’s overdose. Prestwood brings a dark honesty to the song, giving it a starkly personal touch. With the added vocal brilliance of rising country sensation Sierra Ferrell, the song acquires an additional layer of depth and emotion. Their past collaborations, including shared time in the Nashville band, The Cowpokes, infuse their performance with an intimate, shared energy that makes “Out of Place” resonate deeply.

Prestwood, a Virginia-raised musician and known “country-music encyclopedia,” has made a name for himself with his unique blend of traditional Honky Tonk and elements of rock, country, blues, and western swing. His vibrant storytelling skills, paired with his knack for weaving intricate narratives about the complexities of life, have enthralled audiences around the world. “Out of Place” comes as part of his forthcoming release, ‘Where I’m Going is Where I’ve Always Been,’ recorded live with no Pro Tools and a line-up of acclaimed musicians. The track stands as a testament to Prestwood’s musical journey, reflecting his commitment to authentic, heartfelt songwriting and an adherence to tradition that doesn’t shy away from innovation. As he continues to blur the lines between the old and the new, Prestwood confirms his place as a pivotal figure in the realm of country music, leaving listeners eager for what’s to come.

Kohla – “Lovebites”

The Allergies & Andy Cooper – “Tear The Place Up”

“Tear The Place Up” by The Allergies and Andy Cooper is a high-octane and infectious track that takes inspiration from the B-movie horror realm to create an audacious, unforgettable auditory experience. It’s a stormy musical journey that’s playful, energetic, and unapologetically bold.

In the lyrics, there’s a strong sense of defiance and domination. From phrases like “I got 2 DJ’s to command the decks / I’m at the mic stand as a man possessed,” the songwriters manifest a potent sense of self-assuredness, a power uncontained, and a feeling of commanding presence. Lines such as “’Cause really I’m a villain when I’m filling the artillery / I’m clearing out the building got ‘em moving like a millipede” and the repetitively declared line “I tear the place up” reinforces this theme.

Sonically, the track is anchored by the high-speed rapping of Andy Cooper and The Allergies’ vibrant beats. It’s an auditory whirlwind, eliciting a sense of chaos and power that’s reflective of the song’s thematic undertones. Musically, it presents a compelling fusion of rap, electronica, and funk that gives the track a distinct, genre-blurring edge.

The track becomes the center of attention in their new album, featuring a B-movie style video with elements of retro-scripted horror and even a touch of dark humor. The vivid narrative, portrayed through the eyes of unscrupulous scientists and werewolf super-soldiers, further enhances the song’s dynamic and gripping nature.

American Trappist – “Temple Song”

“Temple Song,” the third single from American Trappist’s forthcoming album, “Poison Reverse,” is an evocative embodiment of emotional vulnerability. This track is not just a song but a confessional and a testament of resilience in the face of personal struggles, particularly those related to mental health. Led by Joe Michelini, the Philadelphia-based band uses music as a therapeutic means of self-expression, and it’s clear that “Temple Song” is a profound and intimate reflection of Michelini’s personal experiences with depression.

Musically, the song showcases American Trappist’s ability to create emotionally layered tracks that resonate deeply with listeners. Just as Michelini’s past encounters with bands like Arcade Fire and My Morning Jacket influenced his musical journey, his work here carries that torch of indie artistry further. “Temple Song” captures the tender lyricism and deeply emotive narratives, akin to artists like Conor Oberst and Jason Molina. Simultaneously, the track encapsulates the band’s unique ability to craft sonically diverse arrangements, imbuing the song with an almost tangible sense of Michelini’s personal struggles and eventual self-realization. Ultimately, “Temple Song” is a beacon of hope for others grappling with similar circumstances—a weird, little candle, as Michelini puts it, shedding light during our darkest hours. This honest expression of vulnerability, coupled with the musical prowess displayed, makes “Temple Song” a track that, much like its creator, is beautiful in its resilience and unwavering in its authenticity.

The Next Movement – “Never Coming Down”

“Never Coming Down,” the new offering from European funk outfit, The Next Movement, is a compelling blend of Neo-Soul and contemporary groove music. The track is infused with a vibrant vitality that speaks to the band’s well-honed cohesion, earned from playing over a thousand shows together. It’s as if D’Angelo’s sensual introspection met the raw, funk-driven power of Parliament-Funkadelic, creating an irresistible groove that feels both new and pleasantly nostalgic.

The lyrics provide a heartfelt affirmation of personal freedom and determination. The song begins with a repudiation of unsolicited advice, proclaiming an unwavering commitment to living life on one’s own terms. As the chorus reveals, the singer has found an intoxicating, empowering high from which they have no intention of coming down. A clever play on the dual meanings of ‘high,’ the lyrics suggest both a state of euphoria and a position of authority. When the vocalist states, “Y’all making me a king / You can keep the crown,” the sentiment carries a refreshing air of rebellious autonomy. These potent, empowering messages are delivered via J.J. Flueck’s honey-dripped vocals, riding effortlessly over the band’s tight, irresistible groove. “Never Coming Down” is not just a song—it’s a triumphant, funk-laden proclamation of self-reliance and strength, making it a must-listen for fans of groovy, soul-stirring anthems.

Christopha – “Live Patterns”

“Life Patterns,” the eleventh release from Christopha’s ambitious “26 Miles and Running” project, is a richly woven tapestry of introspective bars, tackling life’s expectations and the inherent trials and tribulations they entail. The North London rapper’s distinctive sound, honed in the crucible of grime and evolved throughout his personal and professional journey, culminates in this thoughtful track. The song unfolds with a palpable vulnerability that rings with authenticity, delivering insightful lyricism that resonates beyond the beats.

The lyrics take us on a journey through Christopha’s mind, delving into his struggles and aspirations, both professionally and personally. The track begins with a candid admission: “Thought that I’d be further than this / I was chasing rabbits in the mist.” This sets the tone for an introspective exploration of missed opportunities and unrealized potential, and an acknowledgement of the obstacles he still faces: “Blinded it’s hard to see the bliss.” The chorus, “Life patterns / Out here tryna get my life patterned,” resonates as a mantra of resilience in the face of life’s tumultuous path. The song’s candid introspection, coupled with Christopha’s smooth flow and the raw, uncompromising beats, creates an engrossing soundscape that draws listeners into his world. His lyrics also serve as a celebration of persistence and self-belief, a testament to his journey from a grime MC to a recognized name on the BBC’s Future Names list. “Life Patterns” is an honest, thought-provoking offering from Christopha’s catalogue that serves as both an affirmation of his journey and a tribute to the human spirit’s resilience.

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