Weekly New Releases – Ava Earl, Tamaraebi, VC Pines, Blaudzun, Shadwicke Wilde, Ian McFarland, Joh Chase, and Daniel Trakell

Welcome to the pulse of indie music: the Weekly New Releases on bsideguys.com! Every week, we’re committed to sifting through the vast expanse of new indie tracks to bring you the crème de la crème of underground sound. From hypnotic rhythms and trailblazing instrumentals to soul-stirring lyrics, we’ve got you covered. If you’re on the hunt for your next musical obsession or simply looking to refresh your playlist, you’re in the right place. Dive in, and let the auditory adventure begin!

Ava Earl – “Too Much”

The notion of being “too much” typically drags along a shadow of societal pressure and judgment, and yet Ava Earl elegantly uses it as a medium to declare unyielding authenticity in her latest single, “Too Much.” Earl’s audacious approach fuses a vivid alt-pop canvas with organic lo-fi folk, and the outcome is both a triumph of individuality and a celebration of self-acceptance. One can’t help but trace parallels with the evocative artistry of Gracie Abrams, Remi Wolf, and even the raw emotional candidness of Phoebe Bridgers, but Earl’s spin is distinctively her own. The sprinklings of Arcade Fire-esque orchestral flourishes only accentuate the vastness of her sonic landscape.

Hailing from the picturesque realm of ice-capped Girdwood, Alaska, Ava Earl has already accumulated a wealth of experiences that belie her youth. From sharing the stage with luminaries like Maggie Rogers to prolifically penning songs that mirror the many shades of her soul, she represents a rare breed of artist: passionate, relentless, and perpetually on the move. With “Too Much,” Earl articulates the beautiful paradox of her life – constantly in motion, yet ever rooted in the authenticity of her Alaskan upbringing and the strains of a guitar that echoes the deepest recesses of her heart. As this track heralds from her fourth album, “The Roses,” it’s clear that Ava Earl isn’t just chasing momentum, she’s embodying it.

Tamaraebi – “Sweet Summers Day”

Stepping out of the vast expanse of global music with a voice and style that’s both instantly recognizable and captivating, Tamaraebi’s “Sweet Summers Day” offers an evocative, gospel-tinged odyssey into the realm of self-reflection and serenity. Comparisons to illustrious artists such as The Weeknd, D’Angelo, and Prince aren’t bestowed lightly. Yet, as expressed by reputable platforms from The Times to Wonderland, this Nigerian-born, London-based virtuoso marries the languorous magnetism of such legends with his own touch of “futuristic nostalgia.” The song’s narrative, a fervent yearning for a past or potential future serenity, captures listeners, whisking them away on a journey drenched in introspective lyricism akin to Frank Ocean and adorned with Prince’s undeniable charisma.

Born as Daniel Tamaraebi Itombra, his geographical journey from the bustling streets of Calabar to the vibrant scene of East London has woven a tapestry of diverse influences that underpin his music. After an academic detour into law, Tamaraebi soon recognized that his true calling lay in the harmonious embrace of music. His latest offering, “Sweet Summers Day,” encapsulates a singular studio session – a raw and unfiltered outpouring of emotions during a personal crossroad. And as the track envelops you, it becomes evident that Tamaraebi isn’t just another artist in the vast sea of voices. He’s a beacon, guiding us through the intricacies of our own introspections, and assuring us that amidst life’s relentless pace, moments of true clarity and understanding do exist.


In the vast panorama of the contemporary music scene, the looming figure of VC Pines, also known as Jack Mercer, paints a kaleidoscope of raw emotion and intricate lyricism. His latest release, “SUPERMAN”, comes off the back of his eagerly anticipated debut album, ‘MRI’. The single, with its unerring portrayal of self-doubt, self-sabotage, and the dichotomies of modern human emotion, draws listeners into the tumultuous maelstrom of his psyche. It’s a profound reflection, not just of Mercer’s personal journey, but of the larger human condition: the constant internal battle of wanting to be everything for everyone, often to one’s own detriment. With nods to eminent figures in the alt-music scene like Jamie T, Ezra Collective, and James Blake, VC Pines crafts a rich tapestry of sonorous electronica, poetic punk, and alt-soul, a unique blend that both devastates and reassures.

The genius of “SUPERMAN” is its unfiltered honesty, penned during a late-night session beneath Stoke Newington’s bustling streets. It captures the paradox of modern life – the simultaneous sense of connectivity and searing loneliness. The album, ‘MRI’, magnificently echoes this sentiment, providing a musical journey that defies categorization. Drawing from his personal experiences, including the seismic revelation of a temporal lobe epilepsy diagnosis, Mercer’s narrative intertwines the vivid hues of his synesthetic perceptions with the raw, unvarnished experiences of navigating life in a metropolis. The album’s title, ‘MRI’ – a nod to the medical imaging technique that helped define his condition – serves as a metaphorical scan of Mercer’s soul, displaying the intricate and complex connections of his experiences. As Jack Mercer steps into the limelight with his debut album, it’s evident that VC Pines is not just a musical endeavor but a profound exploration of identity, relationships, and the human psyche.

Blaudzun – “Dreamers”

In an era where music often leans heavily into aesthetics over substance, Blaudzun’s “Dreamers” emerges as an anomaly, a beacon of introspection framed within an indie-pop facade. The track is imbued with a classic Blaudzun resonance – an upbeat and catchy melody that starkly contrasts with the profound and melancholic lyrics, creating an evocative duality. “Dreamers” delves deep, shedding light on the strength and tenacity of those who often feel out of place, those who dare to dream even when they stand amid “barren trees.” Lines like “Don’t keep me under” act as a clarion call for liberation, cementing the song as an anthem for both the hopeful and the outcast.

The legacy of Blaudzun’s prior critically acclaimed works, notably the hauntingly beautiful ‘LONELY CITY EXIT WOUNDS,’ continues to resonate in this track. “Dreamers,” self-produced and immaculately recorded with Martijn Groeneveld at Mailmen studio, reflects Blaudzun’s growth as an artist – balancing the nuance of lyricism with the allure of a classic indie rock soundscape. As the first single leading up to his yet-to-be-announced seventh LP, “Dreamers” positions itself not just as a song, but as a testament to the indefatigable spirit of those who persevere, even when the world seems cold and unwelcoming.

Shadwicke Wilde – “Floating Away”

Navigating through the seemingly tranquil landscapes of Shadwick Wilde’s work, “Floating Away” stands as a testament to the layers of emotion and nuance one can pack into a track. From the artist whose youth was stamped by a nomadic existence—San Francisco to Havana to Amsterdam—Wilde’s vast experiences manifest themselves in the raw vulnerability of this song. It’s not just another track on his latest album, “Forever Home”; it’s an insight into the crevices of his soul, acknowledging the “fracture lines in the plaster on the bedroom wall.” The musical intricacies, a blend of minimalist beats and Ken Coomer’s more assertive drumming, paired with the nervous muted guitar strumming, deviates from the serenity of the album’s onset, guiding the listener to a more tumultuous, introspective soundscape.

Drawing parallels to the likes of Tyler Childers and Justin Townes Earle, Wilde showcases his dexterity in blending genres, exuding the earnestness of country and the compelling narratives of folk. However, it’s his punk roots and unique journey, from forming the Quiet Hollers to the relentless touring and finally, a return to his solo domain, that flavor “Floating Away” with a distinct aroma. The song unravels the complexities of home, belonging, and the eternal human fear of ephemerality. Here, Wilde does more than just sing; he crafts an odyssey of introspection and acceptance, making “Floating Away” not just a song but an emotional pilgrimage.

Ian McFarland – “Your Heart Is My Home”

Navigating the sentimental corridors of indie rock, Ian McFarland’s “Your Heart Is My Home” envelops listeners in a cocoon of undying loyalty and vulnerability. The track reverberates with the poignant echoes of an adoring love, emphasizing the lengths one would travel, the depths one would plunge, all for the sake of unwavering connection. The lyrics, heartrending in their honesty, elucidate a narrative of devotion, with lines like “I’ll follow you wherever you go, No matter how high, No matter how low,” ringing as a testament to McFarland’s evocative songwriting prowess. The song’s thematic insistence on pursuit and commitment, while steeped in romantic yearning, feels like an ode to the musician’s own experiences—his journey from Spain to Berklee College of Music and later to New York’s iconic stages, ever in chase of the next musical horizon.

Though McFarland’s resume is a myriad of performances across a tapestry of venues, “Your Heart Is My Home” is a sublime reminder of the intimacy and genuineness that underpin his work. The repeated refrain, “Your heart is my home,” not only conjures images of a romantic partner but can be interpreted as McFarland’s ode to his audience—a community he has built with his impassioned melodies and heartfelt performances. The track feels like a distillation of that fateful night at Pete’s Candy Store, where the bond between artist and listener was so magnetic that time itself seemed to elongate. In the vast panorama of indie rock, McFarland offers a poignant ballad that is bound to linger, a melodic reminder that amidst change and departure, some bonds remain unbreakable.

Joh Chase – “Risking It With You”

Amidst a journey filled with transformative experiences and eclectic sound palettes, Joh Chase’s “Risking It With You” emerges as a magnum opus of raw vulnerability. Drawing inspiration from an introspective musical upbringing—melding the timeless sensibilities of Elton John and The Cranberries with modern-day indie folk—Chase beautifully crafts a song that speaks volumes of life’s unpredictable ebb and flow. Lyrics like “You might fall in love with someone in group therapy, They might see you more clearly than me,” depict the unpredictable trajectory of love, mirroring Chase’s own nonlinear career path. There’s an undeniable sense of the transient nature of life, echoing the sentiment that there’s no assurance in love, no security blanket. Yet, in the midst of all the uncertainty lies a steadfast commitment, an unwavering dedication captured in the refrain: “But something I know for sure: I’m devoted to risking it with you.”

Joh Chase’s gift lies not just in their capacity to create melodious tunes but in their innate ability to translate the depths of human emotion into song. “Risking It With You” feels like an intimate confession, a heart laid bare, and a soul contemplating love’s imponderables. As the song evolves, Chase touches upon the myriad uncertainties of life, from the whimsical dilemmas like house paint disagreements to profound self-realizations that can shake a relationship’s foundation. Yet, the song’s climax revolves around a relentless optimism, a love that’s willing to brave storms and walk into the unknown. In “Risking It With You,” Chase encapsulates the essence of life itself—a mosaic of unpredictable moments, bound together by a love worth every gamble. As we anticipate Joh Chase’s new album via Kill Rock Stars in 2024, “Risking It With You” stands out as a poignant reminder of the power of commitment, even amidst life’s unpredictable tides.

Daniel Trakell – “Into The Blue”

The rustic timbre of Mollonggipp’s old church hall meets the indie folk artistry of Daniel Trakell in the sonorous “Into The Blue.” The song, replete with rich instrumental layers ranging from country-style drums to the delicate touch of the pedal steel, is a testament to both producer Josh Barber’s meticulous approach and Trakell’s profound songwriting. The serene ambiance of the church hall, which Trakell wanted to capture, is palpably felt in every strum and vocal nuance. The lyricism, inspired by the poignant journey of Chris McCandless in “Into The Wild,” paints a vivid tableau of escape, self-discovery, and venturing into the unknown. Lines like “Find places on maps few have seen” and “Find a beautiful, beautiful place to get lost” resonate with the themes of solitude and the quest for a deeper connection with nature and oneself.

At its core, “Into The Blue” is a melodic embrace of the idea of surrendering to the vastness of the world and the mysteries it holds. As Trakell reinterprets McCandless’s escapade into the Alaskan wilderness, the song evokes a shared yearning for freedom and the beauty of life’s uncertainties. There’s an alluring juxtaposition of melancholy and hope in lyrics such as “You’ll see everything change, To be exactly like you imagined it to, Into the blue.” The collaborative synergy in the song’s production, with the addition of the mellotron strings in the bridge and the pedal steel flourishes, completes the narrative of a wanderer’s dream. An accompanying visual representation, directed by Mike Ridley, brings to life the magic of Trakell’s sonic adventure. For the listener, “Into The Blue” isn’t just a song; it’s an invitation to embark on an introspective journey where risks, faith, and the promise of discovery intertwine.

Leave a Reply