Welcome to the Weeknight Wrap Up on bsideguys.com, your essential digest of the latest gems from the independent music scene. Here, we sift through the vast expanse of fresh releases and introduce you to the tracks that stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s a pulsing dance track to kick-start your evening, a soothing ballad to unwind to, or a gritty rock number that resonates with your mood, we’ve got you covered. This is your chance to tune into undiscovered talent, unique sounds, and stories waiting to be told. So grab your headphones, turn up the volume, and let’s delve into the sonic treasure trove that is this week’s Weeknight Wrap Up on bsideguys.com. Let’s discover your next favorite artist!
Beau Turrentine – “Gotta Setta Limit”
Stepping right off the tour bus and into the studio, Beau Turrentine has poured his road-tempered swagger into “Gotta Setta Limit,” the first single from his self-titled debut album. Turrentine’s narrative of wrestling with personal demons infuses the track with an edgy authenticity, providing a new perspective on the classic country and rock n’ roll amalgam. There’s a sultry aggression within the composition, which is further heightened by Beau’s yearning lyrics, his Oklahoma roots seeping through in each fervently delivered line. “Leave me alone for just one sec / I’m just tryna keep myself in check,” he implores, and the urgency of setting boundaries is palpable, making this song an anthem of self-control in the face of inner turmoil.
The collaboration with Beau Bedford has certainly paid dividends, as “Gotta Setta Limit” delivers a polished, radio-ready sound that maintains its raw intensity. Bedford’s experience with the likes of The Band Perry and Paul Cauthen comes through, but this is undeniably Turrentine’s track; his unique voice shines through every word, every beat. The song’s insistent refrain, “Gotta setta limit, gotta setta limit, gotta setta limit on tonight,” drills into the listener’s psyche, serving as both a catchy hook and a testament to the singer’s struggle. All in all, Turrentine’s “Gotta Setta Limit” is a rock & roll rumination on self-restraint, a potent reminder that reckoning with our vices can fuel some of the most compelling music.
Joshua Bright – “TRIGGER FIGURE”
Joshua Bright brings a deeply personal and chilling experience to life in his latest release, “TRIGGER FIGURE.” His raw recounting of being held hostage at gunpoint radiates with an eerie blend of fear and resilience, turning an intensely traumatic event into a haunting sonic tapestry. With a distinctive fusion of psychedelic folk and gritty synth lines courtesy of a therevox, Bright presents a vivid account of this harrowing event in a way that’s truly unsettling. As he sings “It wasn’t the scenery / It was the gun pointed at my head,” the listener is pulled into the stark reality he was once confronted with, making the song not just a musical composition, but a poignant testimony.
Delving into the lyrics, it’s clear that Bright’s gift for storytelling plays an essential role in the song’s potency. As he observes, “I wasn’t as magical as I thought I’d been / I felt the other side but I still held my grin,” the listener is exposed to Bright’s gritty resilience in the face of stark terror. The layered synth sounds heighten the song’s eeriness, creating an unsettling sonic landscape that mirrors the disconcerting events being described. The words “Pretending they’re something / But still believe in hell” close the song with a cynical and somber reflection on the duality of human nature. With “TRIGGER FIGURE,” Joshua Bright showcases a stunning ability to create vivid musical narratives out of the darkest experiences, making for an unnervingly immersive listen.
bandazian – “Let Her”
Bandazian returns from their long hiatus with their new single, “Let Her”, a track filled with poignant lyricism and emotive indie-rock sensibility. The Asheville-based band employs a delicate balance of melancholy and hope in this song, offering a heartfelt exploration of love, loss, and personal growth. The lyrics unfold like a bittersweet conversation between two lovers, revealing the painful yet transformative journey of letting go. Lines such as “Nobody knows this, nobody chose this / The future before us is love that surrounds us” and “I couldn’t hurt you, I won’t desert you” convey a raw sense of authenticity and emotional depth, setting the stage for the listener’s introspection.
The lyrics of “Let Her” intertwine with the overall mood of the track, painting a picture of a relationship tinged with longing, acceptance, and an understanding that letting go can be an act of love. “Who are you to let her, to let her?” forms the refrain, a question that seems to hang in the air as the song progresses, infusing the track with an undeniable poignancy. Yet, it’s not all somber; the lyrics “And I can’t control you, I wouldn’t try to / the distance between us makes and completes us” reveal a wisdom in accepting the dynamics of love and the space it sometimes requires. “Let Her” is a testament to Bandazian’s evolved songwriting prowess, showcasing their ability to construct a narrative that resonates on multiple emotional levels.
B. Hamilton – “That French Guy on the Jazz”
B. Hamilton’s “That French Guy on the Jazz” is an eclectic fever dream of a track that dives headfirst into the dizzying absurdities of the artist’s native Orange County. This vivid commentary explores the peculiarities of suburban California life, offering listeners a wild, tongue-in-cheek portrayal that perfectly encapsulates the artist’s whimsical perspective. Laced with quirky observations such as “They elected a conspiracy theorist UFC fighter to the City Council in Huntington Beach. Love it” and “Some middle manager in Irvine has a ‘don’t tread on me’ bumper sticker on his Tesla”, B. Hamilton expertly crafts a patchwork of idiosyncratic vignettes that will surely tickle the senses of even the most jaded listener.
The lyrics oscillate between the hilarious and the uncanny, navigating a world where the bizarre and the ordinary intermingle seamlessly. A standout line, “That French guy on the jazz is touching microphones and my friend Wendi can’t stop texting me the news”, manages to capture the chaotic energy of the current zeitgeist, cementing its place in the unique sound palette of the song. At the same time, moments of self-reflection are woven into the narrative, such as “If California burns to ashes / I’ll stick around and see what happens / I have no where else to be / Cowboy accents bother me”. This potent mix of critique, introspection, and humor forms the very heart of “That French Guy on the Jazz”, positioning B. Hamilton as an insightful observer who views the world through a uniquely colored lens.
You Monster! – “Dirty Habits”
In You Monster!’s “Dirty Habits,” we’re exposed to a melancholic universe teetering on the fringe of societal norms. Characteristic of the artist’s fascination with the “negative” emotions, this trip-hop/alt-pop number seductively unravels the narrative of concealed sins and forbidden rituals. The song dwells in an air of morose self-awareness, one that persistently treads the border between sinister desire and provocative confession. “I’ve got a million rotten corpses hidden / deep in the recesses of my room”, the artist croons, enticing the listener into a gloomy tableau of the artist’s personal abode – a space that mirrors the inner chaos and grim indulgence, which is as hypnotic as it is perturbing.
From the menacingly foreboding introduction to the achingly vulnerable confession in the end, the song drives the listener through a winding path of disconcerting revelations. The lyrics’ repeated references to “dirty habits” hint at the human penchant for forbidden fruit, a fascination that binds people in a bizarre chain of shared guilt and secrecy. The recurring chorus “Just know that I’ve got very dirty habits / You’d never believe it if you knew / I’m gonna show em to you”, not only bears testament to this human vulnerability but also uncovers an eerie sense of intimacy and complicity. As a result, “Dirty Habits” serves as an unnerving journey into the dim-lit corners of human psyche, while inviting the listeners to reflect upon their own hidden shadows. You Monster! manages to seamlessly weave together an enticing soundscape, both sonically intriguing and emotionally disquieting.
twentylove – “over & over”
In “over & over,” twentylove presents a compelling exploration of love’s cyclical nature and the volatile dance of heartbreak and longing. Drawing on the angst-laden tradition of their alternative rock influences, this San Fernando Valley outfit crafts a sonic narrative that captures the restlessness of contemporary romance with poignant authenticity. The angst is palpable as the lyrics oscillate between despair, determination, and fleeting moments of joy — “Feels like I’ve been stuck at the bottom and don’t know where to go / How’s it that I feel broken hearted I left you years ago.” This tug of war between past and present, melancholy and hope, is rendered with raw emotion and the kind of honesty that is both disarming and deeply relatable.
The lyrics offer an unvarnished look into the turbulent inner world of a lover who’s caught in the churn of emotions. In true alternative fashion, twentylove navigates the complexities of love and loss, with an emotional vocabulary that is remarkably vivid and nuanced. The infectious chorus, “Don’t think twice / Just go with it if it feels right / If it feels right / Never gonna find the right time / To take you home / I go over & over,” encapsulates the often frustratingly elusive nature of the ‘right’ time and the ‘right’ emotion, while also highlighting the repetitious, almost obsessive nature of love and attraction. With their discerning lyricism and adept musicianship, twentylove paints a compelling portrait of the millennial romantic psyche — a mélange of bold pursuit, angst-ridden self-doubt, and the ceaseless quest for emotional clarity. In “over & over,” they have crafted an anthem that resonates with the heartbeat of their generation.
Grace Harriet – “Cowboy”
“Cowboy,” the inaugural single from Grace Harriet’s forthcoming EP, “Cowboy’s my baby,” unravels like an introspective road trip through the soul’s landscape. A masterful ode to solitude and the enchanting simplicity of the everyday, the song is a testament to Harriet’s distinctive blend of indie, rock, and folk elements, coupled with her remarkable storytelling prowess. The song’s relatable narrative of longing to break free from life’s tedious cycles, juxtaposed against dreams of an untrammeled dirt-road adventure, elevates “Cowboy” beyond a mere musical experience into a contemplative journey. The sonic layers of the track gently echo the artist’s Northern California roots, where winding roads through towering redwoods and idyllic farm life lend themselves to her captivating lyrical content.
Grace Harriet’s artistry carries an engagingly genuine quality that connects listeners to the beauty inherent in every emotion and experience. Her lyrical craftsmanship is on full display in “Cowboy,” delivering lines steeped in heartfelt sentiment, painted with an array of hues from her emotional palette. The song is a testament to Harriet’s journey as a musician — from her teenage years making music under the pseudonym “Blovey,” to her current exploration of songwriting at Berklee College of Music. It’s evident that she draws her energy and inspiration from the natural world, engaging in an almost symbiotic relationship with her environment that translates into her music. “Cowboy,” with its thoughtful musings on solitude and the lure of the unexplored, is a compelling first glance at Grace Harriet’s promising new project, offering a tantalizing taste of the evocative narratives that lie ahead.
Jane’s Party – “Ships On An Ocean”
“Ships On An Ocean,” the latest offering from Toronto-based indie rock outfit Jane’s Party, is an engaging exploration of heartbreak, painting a poignant picture of a close friend’s recent breakup. Guided by metaphor and rich imagery, the track reveals an empathetic narrative that seizes the universal experience of love lost. While breakups may be well-tread ground in songwriting, Jane’s Party breathes fresh life into the theme. The inventive juxtapositions — expensive beer starting to taste cheap, the drawn-out death of a film character, ships passing unnoticed in the night — create a vibrant tableau that is both highly personal and strikingly relatable. The lyrics, seemingly scattered puzzle pieces of thoughts and observations, come together to form a melancholic yet captivating scene, a testament to the band’s knack for storytelling.
With roots stretching back to a shared garage in North York, Jane’s Party has continually pushed the boundaries of their sound while maintaining a distinct identity. Over the years, they’ve shifted from breezy folk-rock to eclectic electro-pop, consistently delivering songs characterized by catchy melodies, rich harmonies, and dynamic musicality. Their journey has seen them evolve from a university cover band to a respected indie rock entity, a progression underscored by the band’s growing collection of accolades and achievements. From the charm of their self-titled EP and sophomore album “Hot Noise,” to the genre-blending brilliance of “Tunnel Visions” and “Casual Island,” the band’s sound has continually evolved. Their latest album, “Live Again,” harnesses the band’s live energy, a testament to their unwavering commitment to their craft and the passion that drives their music. With over 40 million streams of their hit “Daydream” and successful collaborations with a range of artists, Jane’s Party’s musical journey seems only to be gaining momentum.
Laugal – “Fluff”
“Fluff,” the newest release from Laugal, the solo project of Alex Laugalis, begins as a restrained yet vibrant melody, its bass and drum beat keeping time beneath a soothing, unassuming vocal. As the track unfolds, it culminates in a driving chorus, while the wah guitar grooves with a space echo effect adds an extra layer of sonic intrigue. The accompanying video, filmed in the picturesque scenery of Phuket, Thailand, offers a perfect visual complement to the track’s evolving soundscapes. Lyrically, “Fluff” employs a playful metaphor of an umbrella, transforming it into a symbol of protection and companionship. This imagery, combined with the mantra-like repetition of the phrase “I said forget it / don’t ever let it go to your head,” lends the song a sense of gentle wisdom, suggesting a refusal to dwell on the negative or become overly consumed by ego.
Laugalis, who began his musical journey with classical violin at the age of four, uses his multi-instrumental prowess to craft a sound that blends pop, alternative, indie, and improvisation into a uniquely captivating style. Despite his classical origins, Laugal’s music is distinctly modern, characterized by inventive compositions that remain consistently catchy. The live looping format and the accompaniment of various musicians based on location add another dynamic layer to his performances, ensuring a fresh and spontaneous experience every time. From the versatile, location-based ensemble to the transition from major to minor keys, Laugal’s music remains unpredictable and engaging. Whether performing with a full band or acoustically, the core of Laugal’s artistry is always evident, and “Fluff” is a testament to his compelling musical vision.
Greta Pasqua – “Just Like You”
Greta Pasqua’s latest release, “Just Like You,” presents a hauntingly raw and honest depiction of heartbreak. This track takes the listener on an emotional rollercoaster, mirroring the stages of shock, grief, and anger felt during the end of a relationship. The melody embodies a trance-like state of heartbreak, encapsulating the dazed confusion and hurt that accompanies such an event. The song’s structure evolves as the emotions intensify, gradually transforming from the initial shock to the growing anger. Recorded live in an underground swimming pool to capture the natural acoustics, the track has an eeriness that mirrors the turmoil experienced in the wake of a breakup.
Lyrically, Pasqua invokes mundane objects – a broken mug, dirty shoes, and an empty room – as symbols of lingering pain and resentment, their ordinary presence underscoring the deep emotional scars left by a past love. The chorus draws attention to the fragile state of the narrator, her brittle bones and loose stitches reflecting the physical toll of emotional upheaval. Echoing the vulnerability and poignant storytelling of artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Sharon Van Etten, “Just Like You” offers a cathartic exploration of heartbreak, unapologetically laying bare the raw feelings associated with such an experience. The repeated phrase “I don’t mind,” particularly at the song’s climax, captures a resigned acceptance of reality, underscoring the strength in acknowledging pain and moving forward. With “Just Like You,” Greta Pasqua delivers a piercing, deeply personal portrait of heartache, solidifying her as an artist unafraid to delve into the depths of human emotion.