Mid-Week Mixdown: Teia Elaine, EG Vines, Drew Drake, Paul Moody, AY Young, Rose Gerber, JIANTS, Alex Helsby, Social Creatures, and Mike Leon

As the workweek trudges along, it’s easy to get lost in the mundane ebb and flow of our routines. We all need that mid-week pick-me-up, a sonic jolt to rejuvenate our spirits and re-ignite our passion. Enter the Midweek Mixdown on BSideGuys.com. It’s not just another playlist; it’s a curated musical journey designed to navigate the nuances of your Wednesday. From the ambient undertones that echo the morning’s first light to the fiery beats that mirror the day’s peak, we’ve got your back. Whether you’re seeking solace from a challenging project or the perfect track to celebrate a midweek triumph, our mixdown is the key. Dive in and discover an eclectic mix of genres, moods, and rhythms. It’s the pulse you didn’t know you needed, right at your fingertips. So plug in, turn up the volume, and let the Mid Week Mixdown guide you closer to the weekend.

Teia Elaine – “Garden”

There’s an infectious energy that pulsates from Teia Elaine’s track, “Garden.” From the opening chords, it’s clear we’re in for a vibrant fusion of sounds that beckons memories of iconic tracks like Beyoncé’s “Work It Out” and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” But to say “Garden” is merely an amalgamation of these would be a disservice to Elaine’s fresh spin on what feels like a modern neo-soul anthem. The grooves are funky, the beats are relentless, and as the chorus blooms, you’re invited to move, to dance, to feel alive in Elaine’s lush sonic landscape.

Teia Elaine Coley, professionally known as Teia Elaine, isn’t a novice when it comes to musicality. Hailing from Raleigh, NC, she’s enveloped herself in a legacy of sound from a young age. With a familial lineage steeped in musical talent, and inspired by powerhouses like Amy Winehouse and Erykah Badu, Elaine has crafted her own niche. “Garden” offers a glimpse into her forthcoming EP, Love Child, which promises to explore the intricate tapestries of love, relationships, and self-discovery. While her journey from musical theatre to real estate and back to music might seem winding, it’s evident that Elaine’s true north has always been the siren call of rhythm and melody. “Garden” isn’t just a song; it’s a testament to Elaine’s resilience, talent, and the intoxicating blend of RnB, Funk, and Electronic beats that she masterfully weaves together.

EG Vines – “Over the Sun”

EG Vines, an artist that Chorus FM heralds as “one of the best kept secrets in rock,” further cements his position in the alternative rock echelon with his latest release, “Over the Sun.” Introduced via New Noise Magazine, the track is a modern odyssey of emotion. With roots anchoring deep into Y2K-era rock and emo, “Over the Sun” manages to harness the raw energy of that period while channeling the angst and yearning of present-day relational disconnect. Its anthemic resonance is complemented by a hook-rich melody that leaves you contemplating the intricacies of distant relationships.

A musical rebel in his own right, EG Vines’ journey to this point has been one of defiance against convention. Transitioning from the shackles of an ordinary corporate life to the liberating realm of self-driven music, Vines embodies the spirit of challenging the status quo. Influenced by powerhouses like Radiohead and Stone Temple Pilots, yet embracing the rebellious nature of bands like Green Day and The Offspring, Vines showcases a soundscape that’s simultaneously nostalgic and innovative. The palpable energy of “Over the Sun” is a testament to this, and a tantalizing glimpse into what’s in store for his upcoming LP, Dance Moves. A project bursting with experimentation, the album promises a rich tapestry of sonic exploration, a manifestation of Vines’ insatiable quest for artistic authenticity. As 2023 beckons, so does the anticipation of experiencing Vines’ dynamism live, with a slew of shows and festival appearances on the horizon.

Drew Drake – “4Ever”

On “4Ever,” Drew Drake serves a refreshingly lucid narrative that’s a testament to the heart of conscious hip-hop. Dropped in the quiet hours of an October evening last year, the track stands as an embodiment of lyrical introspection. With sonic textures that harken to the likes of Chance the Rapper and Big K.R.I.T., the song navigates its way through boom bap rhythms, setting a mood that’s both joyous and romantically poignant. There’s an essence of old-school authenticity, reminiscent of Big Boi’s era, juxtaposed with the alternative hip-hop sensibilities of a CyHi.

Released under DistroKid, “4Ever” highlights Drake’s capacity to intertwine romance and happiness with profound contemplation. As the lines unfold, listeners are invited into a melodic discourse that’s as cerebral as it is heartwarming. In an era where hip-hop often grapples with its identity, caught between commercial demands and authentic storytelling, Drew Drake’s “4Ever” emerges as a beacon. It’s a reminder of hip-hop’s foundational pillars, and the power of music to chronicle human experience with rawness and realness.

Paul Moody – “Merciful Bloom”

Paul Moody’s “Merciful Bloom” is an introspective odyssey that melds the profound melancholy of Leonard Cohen with the modern folk tonalities of Big Thief. From its inception in the serene Catskill mountains to its realization in the bustling streets of New York City, the song echoes with a sense of place, both physical and emotional. Lyrical landscapes are painted with vivid strokes of poetic brilliance; the ebbing and flowing of waves, the morning walks amidst ruins, and the poignant acknowledgment of a pervasive loneliness. The mention of waking up to golden light on hair and the “soft breath on my chest” are fleeting moments of intimacy, juxtaposed against the vast emptiness and search for connection that the lyrics depict.

Moody’s multi-instrumental mastery crafts a background that cradles the vocals in a tender embrace. The lyrics, both haunting and heartfelt, are a journey through time and emotion, each line a memory of a past that simultaneously feels distant and intimately close. “Winter surrender, in hopes of a merciful bloom” becomes a metaphor for healing and hope, as winter’s cold embrace gives way to the promise of spring. While he navigates through themes of long-lost love, reminiscence, and the stark realization of solitude, Moody’s voice remains a steady guide, luring the listener deeper into this evocative indie-folk narrative. In “Merciful Bloom”, Paul Moody achieves what few can – a raw, vulnerable examination of the self, set against the ever-changing backdrop of life and love.

AY Young – “2030”

AY Young’s “2030” is a melodic testament to determination, purpose, and the pressing sociopolitical issues of our time. Seamlessly blending the triumphant spirit of achieving personal goals with poignant reflections on social justice issues, Young offers a track that’s both personally introspective and universally relevant. The lyrical query “How’d I get those goals?” is less a boast than an invitation for listeners to embark on a journey of introspection and societal awareness. Young doesn’t merely rap about his achievements, but challenges the listener with references to pivotal moments in recent history — the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. The line “You say this be the land of the free and home of the brave” punctuates the song’s core message, challenging societal complacency and demanding authenticity in our collective values.

AY Young’s meteoric rise from poet to global sustainable artist is keenly felt in this track, where his message transcends mere rhythm and melody to encompass activism and vision. The repetitive chorus about achieving goals works in harmony with his career’s mission, emphasizing dedication, grit, and resilience. There’s a palpable urgency in the “tick tock” countdown, suggesting a dual reading: the pressing nature of Young’s personal goals and the broader time-sensitive call to address social inequalities and environmental crises. “2030” isn’t just a song; it’s a clarion call for change, layered with AY Young’s undeniable passion and commitment, bridging the gap between individual ambition and global responsibility.

Rose Gerber – “Memories Someday”

Rose Gerber’s “Memories Someday” is an emotive journey down memory lane, a poignant reflection on life’s fleeting moments that we so often tuck away, only to revisit them later with a mix of nostalgia and sorrow. Gerber, through her exquisite Americana lens, captures the essence of these memories with an authenticity that tugs at the heartstrings. The track’s initial jauntiness masks the depth of its message, presenting listeners with a lively musical experience that slowly reveals its melancholic core. It’s a true testament to Rose’s uncanny ability to weave seemingly simple everyday moments into profound narrative tapestries, illustrating the transient nature of time and the sentimental value we attach to relics of our past.

Portland’s own Rose Gerber has a talent for effortlessly combining various American roots genres, but her music goes beyond mere genre-blending. “Memories Someday,” with its twangy guitar riffs, ethereal instrumental sections, and evocative vocals, is a prime example of how Rose channels the likes of Neil Young and Gillian Welch, while still retaining a distinct sound that’s undeniably her own. The song’s crescendo, with its dreamy ambience and vivid imagery of a fire-threatened mountain house, exemplifies Gerber’s introspective songwriting, where dreams and reality converge to reveal deeper emotional truths. When she sings about the river drying up and the encroaching wildfires, one can’t help but feel the weight of both the literal and metaphorical threats looming in her world. It’s a stark reminder of life’s impermanence, delivered with a gentle urgency, making “Memories Someday” an unforgettable experience, as haunting as it is beautiful.

JIANTS – “Real Easy”

Emerging from the vibrant indie scene of Toronto, JIANTS have crafted a poignant anthem for self-reflection with “Real Easy.” Led by the introspective songwriting prowess of ex-skateboarder Jesse Landen, the track offers a beautiful tapestry of lo-fi indie pop sensibilities, complete with nostalgic undertones reminiscent of ’90s alt-rock. At its core, “Real Easy” is a therapeutic balm for anyone struggling with self-identity and the turbulent journey of personal growth. The band beautifully channels the essence of those early mornings when one is teetering between self-acceptance and self-doubt, reminding us of the power in persistence and the beauty of starting anew, even if it’s for the third time in a week.

With each chord progression, JIANTS captures a comforting duality of embracing solitude and championing self-renewal. Jesse Landen’s sun-cracked vocals ride atop melodic hooks, while Adam Kesek’s bass and Tom Kania’s drums solidify the track’s serene and chill aura. As they effortlessly oscillate between ’90s vibes and contemporary indie flair, there’s an undeniable magnetism to JIANTS’ sound—a sound you might swear you’ve heard before in a distant memory. “Real Easy” is not just a song; it’s an affirmation of resilience, and if it’s any indication of their upcoming album “Tall Tales,” listeners are in for an evocative journey back in time, all the while remaining firmly grounded in the present.

Alex Helsby – “Are What You Said You Aren’t”

From the moment “Are What You Said You Aren’t” begins, there’s an undeniable intimacy enveloping the listener—a raw authenticity that evokes the solitude of a hometown room and the comfort of cherished memories. Alex Helsby, in a profound reflection on self and moments of vulnerability, delivers a song that captures the heart’s whispers in its purest form. Written in a fleeting 30 minutes, the track, much like an untouched photograph, stands testament to an artist’s ability to channel emotions unfiltered and untouched, preserving the sanctity of the moment.

As the song progresses, Helsby masterfully weaves together influences from icons like Daniel Caesar’s soulful depth, Billie Eilish’s nuanced alt-pop ambience, and Jeff Buckley’s impassioned resonance. The transition from a poignant acoustic beginning to a more spirited pace in the second verse exemplifies Helsby’s deftness in musical storytelling. The blend of Singer Songwriter, Acoustic Folk, and Alt Pop elements gives the track a unique sonic texture—both delicate and robust. This isn’t just a song; it’s a snapshot of an artist’s soul, capturing the essence of introspection and the ever-evolving journey of self-discovery.

Social Creatures – “Nothing Changes”

As the summer months unfurl, Brooklyn’s own SOCIAL CREATURES brings a fresh fervor to the indie rock scene with their latest offering, “Nothing Changes”. From the very first notes, there’s an immediate sense of nostalgic familiarity woven seamlessly with the innovation of modern melodies. The track, punctuated by analog synths, whimsical guitar riffs, and distinctive grooves, finds its visual counterpart in the humor-laden video crafted by Brooklyn filmmaker, Olga Elliot. Featuring Edward Furs, known for roles in “Michael Clayton” and “The Sopranos”, the video encapsulates a quintessential Brooklyn “slice of life”, complete with the quirks and intricacies of its vibrant bodega culture. The band’s desire to evoke both laughter and poignant reflection is perfectly complemented by Elliot’s comedic flair.

In just a few years since their formation in 2018, Social Creatures has undoubtedly made its mark in the Indie Rock/Electronic scene. With the resonating success of their self-titled debut album in 2022 and the accolades that followed—including tracks being highlighted on Apple Music’s curated playlists and a notable feature in the upcoming Jamie Flatters film—it’s evident that the band is on an ascendant trajectory. But what sets them apart is their commitment to sonic authenticity: from Jono Robertson’s multifaceted musical talents to the revivalist synthesis of analog and modernity. As they journey through cities, from festivals to concerts, one thing remains certain: “Nothing Changes” in the band’s passion for delivering earnest and evocative music.

Mike Leon – “In The Outdoors”

Nature has always been a refuge for the weary soul, an escape from the claustrophobic grip of urban life—and Mike Leon’s “In The Outdoors” serves as an ode to this age-old sentiment. The track, with its anthemic aura, offers listeners a panoramic view of the great expanse, evoking vivid imagery of drives through the countryside, with windows rolled down, the soft hum of the radio, and the mesmerizing display of a golden-red sunset. The lyrics paint a poignant picture—highlighting moments of solitude atop mountain peaks and the serenity that comes from knowing that, for a moment, the world belongs solely to the singer. Lines like “Lift me up sweet wind, Warm me up bright sun, Fill my heart with love” echo the song’s underlying message: nature’s transformative power to heal and rejuvenate.

From Hamilton, ON, Mike Leon’s transition from the drum kit to the center stage as a singer-songwriter feels seamless. Familiar with the touring life and having played alongside Canadian greats, his debut EP, ‘Ticket Home’, promises to be a culmination of these rich experiences. “In The Outdoors”, in particular, encapsulates the core of Leon’s sound—Indie/Folk with a rhythmic pulse that’s impossible to ignore. As he sings, “Right where I belong, Oh oh oh,” it’s hard not to be transported to those open spaces, feeling the sun’s warmth, and knowing that sometimes the greatest adventures await us just outside our door.

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