Welcome back to bsideguys.com, where we’re constantly uncovering new layers of the music world for your listening pleasure. It’s that time again – midweek. The grind may be setting in, but we have the perfect cure to keep you motivated and your spirits high. We’re excited to bring you another edition of our much-anticipated Mid Week Mixdown.
This week’s mix is an eclectic medley of sounds and genres, carefully selected to represent the breadth and depth of music we’ve been falling in love with. From moody indie pop tunes all the way to vibrant alt-country, our Mid Week Mixdown is a sonic journey that aims to reinvigorate your week and introduce you to some of the most promising talents on the music scene.
So, crank up the volume, let the music seep into your day, and let these tunes be the pulse that carries you through the rest of your week. Remember, music is the rhythm that keeps us moving, and our Mid Week Mixdown is here to ensure that your pace never falters. Let’s dive in!
Leo Paterniti – “Nerv”
The essence of homecoming and reconnection is expertly captured in Leo Paterniti’s “Nerv,” a song that mirrors the introspective subtlety of artists like Alex G and Radiohead, with the textured sonic influences of SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE. Paterniti’s lyrical eloquence unfolds an intimate narrative of returning home, a voyage encapsulated by evocative imagery of running through rain and fog, metaphorically suggesting a journey through obstacles and confusion to find clarity. It’s a song that echoes the fragility and warmth of old connections, accentuated by a poignant refrain of “I know I won’t make it out there anyways, So I’ll come back.
“Musically, “Nerv” strikes an intriguing balance between tranquility and tension. The oscillation of the lyric, “Climbing up, And falling back down again,” reflects not only the cyclical nature of life but also the song’s fluctuating rhythm. It creates an aural landscape that embodies the ebb and flow of nostalgia and the struggle of revisiting the past while acknowledging the present. This, coupled with Paterniti’s expressive vocal delivery, reinforces the introspective and contemplative nature of the track, making “Nerv” an emotional sonic journey that resonates deeply with listeners.
J.C. Clements – “Take Me To Bluegrass”
With “Take Me To Bluegrass,” J.C. Clements crafts an eloquent and moving tribute to her familial roots and the enduring strength of matriarchy in her lineage. Rooted in the terrain of Americana where blues, roots rock, and folk coalesce, Clements’ third album continues her tradition of unflinchingly truthful storytelling. The narrative unfolds through the lens of a sister, a mother, a friend, and a wife, echoing her strong personal identification with these roles. This connection to place and family, channeled through her powerful voice, ties the song to a visceral sense of homesickness and a longing to return to a source of identity and resilience.
Clements’ lyrics embody a sincere appreciation for life’s simplicity and the infinite capacity of love passed down through generations. “Take Me To Bluegrass” is not merely a song but a tapestry of a rich familial legacy woven with threads of nostalgia and tribute. The repeated invocation to be taken to Bluegrass, the symbolic home, instills an intense yearning for return, further amplified by the poetic imagery of sweet magnolia in the air and the Cumberland’s call. The song is also a testimony to Clements’ roots in music and her commitment to keeping the tradition alive through her songs, a pledge to her lineage and a heartfelt message of appreciation and continuity. It is through such deeply personal narratives that Clements continues to mark her spot in the Americana music landscape.
Elle Baez – “Player’s Fool (Who Am I?)”
“Player’s Fool (Who Am I?)” finds Elle Baez diving into the uncharted waters of newfound love and the kaleidoscope of emotions that follow. This neo-soul pop ballad merges vintage vibes with modern production finesse, all while serving as a showcase for Baez’s vocal versatility. The song, mixed with live horns, strings, guitar, and bass, offers a platform for Elle’s sultry and raw vocals to shine, adorned with riffs, big belts, and soaring whistle tones. Her lyricism revolves around the personal exploration of identity and vulnerability in the face of a transformative romantic experience, raising the question, “Who am I?” as she navigates through this emotional maze.
Elle Baez is undeniably authentic, a testament to her power as a voice for women in the music industry. She weaves her ethos of self-love, confidence, and empowerment into the fabric of her songs, making her music not just an auditory delight but a beacon of inspiration. In “Player’s Fool (Who Am I?)”, her versatility as a songwriter is in full bloom as she flips the narrative of being a ‘player’s fool’ into a deeper introspective journey. The song sees Baez being candid about her fears and apprehensions, while also embracing the thrill that comes with vulnerability in love. This emotional duality elevates “Player’s Fool (Who Am I?)” from a simple love ballad into a complex examination of personal growth in the face of love’s unpredictable nature. Elle Baez is certainly an artist to watch as she continues to fuse pop, Latin, R&B, jazz, and funk elements into her unique and resonant sound.
hunter&wolfe – “Famous Friends”
“Famous Friends,” the new single from indie-rock duo hunter & wolfe, is a sonic exploration of the complex emotional terrain of envy and happiness, tinged with a dash of self-acceptance. Brooklyn-based Michael Maffei and Sundeep Kapur carry forward their trademark blend of vulnerability layered with wry humor, drawing from influences like Elliot Smith and St. Vincent to create a sound that is both raw and refreshingly honest. The duo brings a certain levity to the gravity of their theme, expertly straddling the line between the profundity of their subject matter and a buoyant nonchalance that adds a delicious layer of irony.
Known for their wittily sarcastic yet poignant lyricism and loud indie-rock stylings, hunter & wolfe continue their exploration of modern life’s paradoxes with “Famous Friends.” They address the struggle of measuring oneself against others in an age dominated by social media – a universally relatable experience, wrapped in the dynamic melodies of indie-rock. There’s a sense of authenticity that shines through the duo’s music, with their acknowledgement of human flaws and complexities. The duo’s ability to dissect the human condition while maintaining a sardonic edge is evidence of their exceptional songwriting skills, promising great things for their forthcoming album, “I deserve this.”. hunter & wolfe are definitely artists to keep on your radar as they continue to delve into the intricate narratives of our time.
Romantic Dividends – “Giallo”
Los Angeles-based duo Romantic Dividends, consisting of composers Allen Blickle and Josh Wiener, present “Giallo,” a lush, cinematic track that takes listeners on an instrumental journey, blurring the lines between west coast noir and the evocative soundscapes of 70’s European film. Fusing together hypnotic rhythms, rich orchestral arrangements, and expansive modern production, “Giallo” is a soulful sonic exploration that delves into the retro-futuristic. Drawing parallels with similar artists like El Michels Affair and Danger Mouse, the track carries a sense of nostalgia that is beautifully counterbalanced by the freshness of its production. The music video, directed by Jeremy Johnstone, further enhances the cinematic allure of the track, fully immersing listeners in the experience.
Romantic Dividends exhibits an undeniable love for 20th-century European film scores, a theme that is distinctively perceptible in “Giallo.” The track serves as a teaser to their forthcoming debut album and is suggestive of the level of craftsmanship and dedication the duo has committed to their work. With this single, Romantic Dividends skillfully paints a sonic landscape that is both cinematic and soulful, an intersection rarely tread upon. The use of hypnotic rhythms, intricate orchestral arrangements, and immersive production techniques sets the duo apart, promising a remarkable and compelling debut album. Keep an eye out for Romantic Dividends as they carve out their niche in the world of music with their innovative cinematic soul experiment.
The New Hires – “New York City”
dished out an infectious tune with “New York City”. Drawing inspiration from the likes of The Strokes and Vampire Weekend, the Ottawa-based band exhibits a knack for crafting melodic hooks that anchor themselves firmly into listeners’ minds. The lyrics tell a story of the intense duality of life in the Big Apple, echoing both its allure and its inhospitable traits. With themes of social inequality and the struggle to make ends meet in a city that’s out of reach for those on a budget, the band’s lyrical prowess unfolds amid a backdrop of robust rhythms and catchy riffs.
The New Hires weave a tapestry of imagery in “New York City,” their narrative propelled by vibrant melodies that serve as a counterpoint to the sobering reality depicted in the lyrics. The verses “New York city’s out of style for cheap/Cause you know I can’t afford anything,” and “Yeah, these rags to riches/Keep me counting wishes/Maybe I should just ditch this/But these views are just holding me back” reflect an ongoing struggle against the city’s alluring but harsh realities. With this track, The New Hires prove they can compose catchy indie anthems while simultaneously tackling gritty urban truths, blending thought-provoking narratives with vibrant indie-rock elements, promising an exciting future for this emerging outfit.
Lex Leosis – “A LOT”
Lex Leosis comes in hot with her new single “A LOT,” showcasing her flamboyant style and audacious lyricism. The track serves as an amalgamation of funk, dance, and hip-hop elements, reflecting her vibrant spirit and charismatic stage persona. Lex doesn’t shy away from being ‘extra’; she relishes in it, creating a club anthem that redefines the term ‘a lot’ as an embrace of one’s extravagant self. The infectious rhythm and buoyant beats, paired with her unique, gravelly delivery, make for an unmissable dance-floor banger. “A LOT” continues the vein of Lex’s recent foray into the funk/dance era of hip-hop, solidifying her presence as a versatile artist unafraid of blurring genre boundaries.
Lex Leosis’s energy is palpable in “A LOT,” an anthem dedicated to the queer community, which she says has greatly influenced her music and self-identity. As a bisexual artist, Lex not only uses her platform to uplift and represent marginalized voices but infuses these influences directly into her music, resulting in a sound that is both authentic and vibrant. Known for her dynamic flow, fierce stage presence, and deep commitment to supporting fellow women and non-binary artists, Lex’s robust personality shines through her work. With “A LOT,” Lex encourages listeners to embrace their inner superstar, advocating for self-confidence and self-expression on the dance floor and beyond. This track encapsulates Lex’s ability to combine her vocal prowess, infectious energy, and commitment to inclusivity into a tune that’s sure to light up any room.
Mike Plume & Jenny Orenstein – “Dance Ruby, Dance”
Laden with a parental love that transcends time and space, Mike Plume and Jenny Orenstein’s single “Dance Ruby, Dance” blossoms from an intimate observation into an emotional alt-country anthem. Channeling the seasoned storytelling akin to Tom Petty and the heartfelt lyricism of Bob Dylan, the couple captures a moment in their daughter’s life and spin it into a timeless narrative of growth, dreams, and the undying hopes of a parent. The texture of Plume’s rough-around-the-edges voice intertwined with Orenstein’s softer, warmer tones paints an aural image of the past, present, and future, a parent’s tender counsel wrapped up in the charm of their daughter’s innocent joy.
The lullaby-like melody, seemingly simple yet tinged with a profound depth, complements the heartfelt lyrics, reminiscent of a gentler Springsteen touched by the warmth of folk traditions. As the years of gestation might suggest, “Dance Ruby, Dance” showcases Plume’s devotion to the rock ‘n’ roll spirit – unyielding, vibrant, yet deeply personal. It’s a song that feels like it’s been carved out of their life’s fabric, with every line etched with emotion and the raw honesty of their experiences. The track serves as a testament to Plume and Orenstein’s deft musicianship, their storytelling prowess, and most importantly, their unwavering love as parents, making “Dance Ruby, Dance” a tune that tugs at the heartstrings of listeners across generations.