Weekly New Releases – Milk St., Kohla, Samuel Blaney, In Lieu of Roses, Hoagie, Mainland Break, and Stephano Prunebelli

Welcome back to another edition of “Weekly New Releases” here on B-Side Guys. As the world of music spins on its continuous axis, another week brings us a fresh harvest of auditory delights from both emerging talents and established favorites. This is the space where we tune our ears to the pulse of the music scene, diving into the sonic waves to bring you the most exciting, thought-provoking, and evocative new releases.

Every week, our mission remains steadfast – to explore the unexplored, uncover the hidden gems and bring forth the music that pushes boundaries, challenges norms, and dares to be different. From the raw, gritty lanes of alternative rock, the vibrant kaleidoscope of indie pop, to the moody realms of neo-soul and beyond, our journey is as varied as it is exhilarating.

Sit back, grab your favorite headphones, and join us on this musical voyage. Here’s to discovering your new favorite track, a mind-bending album, or an artist whose tunes make your soul dance. Without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s array of new releases. Here’s to the beautiful unpredictability of music!

Milk St. – “Peyote”

From the depths of Bangor, Maine comes Milk St., a punk trio presenting their brand of “Northeast Emo” in the form of the thoughtful and poignant track “Peyote.” The song, a self-proclaimed summer anthem for the melancholic, adeptly balances the gritty rawness of grunge and the melodic fluency of Midwest emo, reflecting a refreshing marriage of influences from the likes of Title Fight, Modern Baseball, and even Nirvana.

“Peyote” unravels as a journey of self-discovery, a reckoning with trauma, infused with Jonah Wakefield’s raspy vocals that narrate the introspective verses. Each member – Gabe Chambers on bass and Josh Whittemore on drums, contribute to a unique sonic blend that evokes a visceral resonance akin to similar artists like The Front Bottoms and Slaughter Beach, Dog. The band’s ability to draw on the beautifully somber aspects of their home state and pour it into their music is compelling, making “Peyote” a fitting exploration of the melancholy that summer can sometimes bring. From their debut full-length album “Spaced,” to this latest single, it’s clear Milk St. is leaving an indelible mark on the punk scene, and we can only wait in anticipation for their upcoming EP.

Kohla – “One and Only”

Steeped in the timeless allure of classic jazz and soul, Kohla’s “One and Only” is a meticulously crafted testament to the enchanting, timeless romance. Drawing inspiration from the legendary works of Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Sam Cooke, the track captures the filmic glamour of falling in love, bridging the past and the present with a grace and finesse that’s all Kohla’s. Her cinematic lyrics, narrating an intimate tale of moonlit sway to the rhythm of jazz, convey a love story that feels at once fresh and nostalgic, cocooned in the waltz’s three-beat cadence.

What sets “One and Only” apart is Kohla’s innovative blend of vintage and contemporary elements. The inclusion of live orchestral instrumentation by members of Popgirlz Scotland imbues a sense of warmth and authenticity, while her exploration of lush R&B production with her creative partner Dave Lloyd (Stillhound) nods to the sultriness of modern influences like Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean. The song serves as the 4th single from her debut album “Romance,” set for release on September 8th. With her unique fusion of digital and analog, Kohla—a fine art graduate of The Edinburgh College of Art supported by Creative Scotland and Help Musicians—reaffirms her status as a notable ‘Evocative Jazz Pop’ artist in the contemporary music landscape. We eagerly await the full album and the further exploration of Kohla’s sepia-tinged musical universe.

Samuel Blaney – “Ember”

“Ember” is the perfect introduction to the world of Samuel Blaney, an accomplished singer, songwriter, and horticulturist hailing from the West of Ireland. Blaney’s debut is a tender love song whose organic, folk-infused soundscape seamlessly merges his two passions: music and nature. The opening lines, “There is no better day/For the bird to find its way,” set the stage for a song that uses natural imagery to express complex emotions and profound connection.

With “Ember”, Blaney has crafted an intimate piece of folk artistry, a love song that encapsulates the symbolic transition of the seasons. The song’s lyrics lead listeners through a journey from the deep night to the sweetness of light, symbolizing the shifting dynamics of a relationship. Blaney’s tender vocals breathe life into the emotive lyrics, highlighting lines such as “Rest your eager heart in mine,” and “Ease your wings out from me now.” The delicate metaphorical language used throughout the track evokes the cyclical nature of seasons and love, mirrored by the nurturing and gentle ebb and flow of his melodies. The repetition of “All the things you are, you are to me,” serves as an intimate refrain, reinforcing the profound connection shared with the song’s muse. As the beginning of a series of releases where we are promised to follow Blaney “throughout a winter into a spring,” “Ember” leaves us eagerly awaiting the rest of the seasonal journey.

In Lieu of Roses – “Commuter”

“Commuter” by In Lieu of Roses is an intriguing exploration of modern-day monotony and the hidden comforts within routine. The Philadelphia-based band, born from the quiet, early tumult of the 2020s, resonates with an organ-led indie blues sound, bringing forth a unique approach to their craft. Drawing influence from an eclectic mix of Manchester Orchestra, Pavement, Balance And Composure, Local H, Codeine, Citizen, and Everclear, their music harbors a potent blend of heavy moods and enthralling melodies. “Commuter,” however, offers a refreshing deviation from their signature sound, portraying the tranquil side of mundanity through poignant lyrics and a steadfast rhythm.

The lyrics, “Love my baby when we both go to therapy / Love my home while I’ve got electricity / Love my body when I watch my calories / Love my god when it’s all in front of me,” serve as a candid reflection of the recurring motifs in daily life. The song mirrors the cyclical rhythm of everyday existence—working, coming home, and seeking solace in simple pleasures—embracing the simplicity and solace of routine. The refrain, “Is it wrong that I feel alright ’cause I feel alright,” explores the duality of contentment and apprehension in such comfort. With “Commuter,” In Lieu of Roses has woven a comforting reminder that amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life, there is solace to be found in the ordinary and familiar. This blend of introspective lyricism and comforting rhythm demonstrates the band’s evolution, ensuring listeners eagerly anticipate their future releases.

Hoagie – “Notes From The Basement”

“Notes From The Basement” by Hoagie is a musical storytelling gem that paints a vivid narrative of cohabitation and its complexities. The band, influenced by a distinctive blend of Classic Rock, Alt. Country, and Power Pop, is often likened to artists such as Dr. Dog, Wilco, Pavement, Fountains of Wayne, The Cars, Mikal Cronin, and Ben Kweller. However, with “Notes From The Basement,” Hoagie manages to craft a unique sound that serves as an essential addition to their discography and a teaser of their forthcoming debut album “Other Folks.”

The song, resonating with true-to-life tales of shared living, unravels its story in the form of a catchy, upbeat tune that belies the tension at its core. Lyrics such as “When we met you showed me why you’re more of an island than I / You said bunker is not a crime / So we crossed the dotted line / But now we’re fighting all the time” depict the early optimism of new arrangements, evolving into a reality check. This is further emphasized by lines like “You don’t sleep easier at night / You say I’m high and I’m trying your patience.” The song brings the listener face to face with the protagonist’s struggle to maintain harmony within shared spaces.

The track builds on its narrative arc, ultimately leading to a confrontation over these pent-up issues, highlighted in lines such as “And I don’t need to know how your day went / You can stop saying I sound like Pavement, because / In 30 days you can find a replacement / Just let me know apropos on the payment.” “Notes From The Basement” is a remarkable exploration of human relationships within shared spaces, encapsulated within the alluring musicality that Hoagie so skillfully presents. It leaves listeners eager to unravel the narratives that the band’s upcoming debut album will bring.

Mainland Break – “Portland”

“Portland,” the latest offering from Mainland Break, is a bittersweet anthem echoing with the poignant undertones of longing and separation. Drawing comparisons to Real Estate, Surfer Blood, and Beach Fossils, the track is a buoyant tribute to distant friendships and the yearning for reunion. This desire propels the song’s driving rhythm, while glistening guitar lines twine themselves around warm, evocative lyrics, embedding the listener in the remembered joy of shared moments and the cold reality of physical distance.

Lyrically, Mainland Break captures the emotional tug-of-war of being pulled away from home and thrust into new environments, framed in lines like “Be absolved of social sin / In a city you’ve never been” and “Finally in open air / And there’s nightmares everywhere.” The repeated refrain “When the sun calls you away” becomes a haunting, melancholic mantra that resonates throughout the track, underscoring the ebb and flow of the protagonist’s emotional state. The music video, filmed in Tijuana, Mexico, adds an additional layer of complexity and intrigue, featuring vibrant scenes from the city’s urban core, framed in the languishing glory of the historic Cine Bujazán. The visually captivating cinematography, coupled with the band’s emotive performance, serves as a fitting visual companion to the nostalgia and yearning encapsulated in “Portland”. It’s a profound testament to the trials and tribulations of distance, encapsulating the heartfelt nostalgia of friendship and the ceaseless urge to close the divide.

Stephano Prunebelli – “Forever Lovers”

“Forever Lovers,” the newest track from Cyprus-based artist Stephano Prunebelli, is a melancholic indie-pop voyage that plunges you into the ebb and flow of romantic disillusionment. Combining Stephano’s distinctive vocal style with pulsating beats, the track is an introspective exploration of a relationship on the precipice of change. Stephano’s signature sunny, Mediterranean-infused production permeates the song, presenting a retro-tinged soundscape that draws the listener into the shifting tides of longing and regret.

Lyrically, “Forever Lovers” is an earnest plea for one last chance, an echo of a love that once was and the desperate need to reclaim it. Lyrics like “Can we fix this just one more time / oh can I have just one more night?” vividly portray the desperation for a reconnection, the desire to hold on to what once was. The repetitive chorus—”I thought you wanted us to be / forever lovers”—stands as a haunting refrain, embodying the disbelief and heartache of unrealized dreams. Through its dynamic balance between upbeat musical elements and melancholic lyricism, “Forever Lovers” encapsulates the duality of emotions inherent in fading relationships, all set against a soundscape infused with the warmth of the Mediterranean sun and sea. It is a testament to Prunebelli’s ability to craft emotive narratives, and a worthy addition to his diverse discography.

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