Weekly New Releases: Winter Aid, AKA Kelzz, TAMRA, Marvillous Beats, Fallon Cush, SGO, Katastro, and Ocie Elliott

Every week, the vast universe of music expands with fresh tracks, hidden gems, and unexpected masterpieces. But diving deep into this ever-growing ocean can be overwhelming. That’s where BSideGuys.com steps in! Welcome to our “Weekly New Releases” – your reliable compass pointing you to the most noteworthy new releases that deserve a spot on your playlist. From indie anthems and ambient wonders to electric bangers and soulful ballads, we’ve got your musical cravings covered. Join us as we embark on this sonic journey and unveil the treasures of the week, one track at a time. Let’s dive in!

Winter Aid – “Lazy Beds” (Middle Ridge Studio Session)

Winter Aid, also known as Irish songwriter Shane Culloty, reintroduces us to a nostalgic soundscape of his roots with “Lazy Beds.” Drawing influences from renowned artists like Villagers and Fionn Regan, this track is an emotive blend of acoustic folk, indie rock, and a touch of indie pop, capturing the chill and contemplative aura that Winter Aid’s music is cherished for. It’s a wistful tribute to his upbringing in Co. Kerry; the poignant lyrics and gentle strumming transport listeners to the tranquil landscapes and memories of home.

The story behind “Lazy Beds” is a testament to the ever-evolving nature of music and an artist’s connection with a song. Over the years, the track transformed in sound and essence, echoing Culloty’s description of feeling like two songs played at once. While it wandered through various versions, from acoustic solos to alternate mixes and even danceable steel pan drum renditions, it ultimately found its home in the heart of California. At Middle Ridge Studio, in a single take, the essence of “Lazy Beds” was distilled to perfection. This session version of “Lazy Beds” offers listeners a raw and authentic experience, a prelude to the anticipated blossoming of Winter Aid’s musical journey with a forthcoming sophomore album. As Winter Aid turns the page on a decade-long chapter with ‘The Wisp Sings’, “Lazy Beds” stands as a testament to the power of patience, self-reflection, and an artist’s undying connection with his roots.

Aka Kelzz, Ish – “Hidden”

Berlin’s emerging neo-soul sensation, AKA KELZZ, partners with the multi-talented ISH to serve us the intoxicating “Hidden.” Evocative of the passionate musings of Yazmin Lacey, the track oozes a potent blend of sexy and moody vibes, taking the listener on an immersive journey of deep human connection. Drawing inspiration from the legendary Robert Glasper, “Hidden” seamlessly merges the sensibilities of jazz and hip-hop, underpinned by vocals that, in their very essence, captivate. Every note resonates with the complexities of relationships, making it a sultry auditory experience that is both romantic and introspective.

Within the intricacies of “Hidden,” we witness the perfect melding of two artists with unique trajectories. AKA KELZZ, with a year marked by resounding success and soulful performances, brings a raw vulnerability and authenticity to the track. Their experiences with mental health, trauma, and love manifest in their evocative lyrics and serene vocals. On the other hand, ISH, with her multi-lingual prowess and diverse musical influences, complements the neo-soul vibe with her heartfelt harmonies and instrumental genius. Together, these two artists encapsulate a world of emotions in a song that beckons to all those yearning for genuine human connections, making “Hidden” a timeless piece in the neo-soul and contemporary R&B panorama.

TAMRA – “Through Eyes Closed”

Bathed in the sonic hues of indie rock, emo, and tinges of indie pop, TAMRA’s “Through Eyes Closed” feels like a haunting journey through the dimly lit corridors of introspection. Echoing the distinct soundscapes of artists like Greet Death and The Sea and Cake, this track is a testament to the beautiful chaos of juxtaposed emotions. Its lyrics, “I woke to night so violent like all you’d shed,” resonates with a melancholic underpinning, evoking imagery that teeters between the ethereal and the jarringly real. A looming sense of dissonance, both musical and emotional, permeates the track, capturing the raw essence of TAMRA’s intent: to convey the challenges of seeking clarity in a world marked by haze and uncertainty.

Much like the unpredictable terrains of Modest Mouse, “Through Eyes Closed” is a sonic canvas painted with distorted guitars that dance with familiarity yet always seem to sidestep complete recognition. The vocals are a poignant amalgamation, channeling the reminiscent melodies of a young Van Morrison colliding with the electric fervor of early Modest Mouse. It’s indie rock reimagined—punctuated with streaks of post-punk and the emotional heft of emo, resulting in a soundscape that’s at once familiar yet strikingly novel. TAMRA’s ability to craft a track that exists as a physical space, devoid of any singular narrative or strict genre confines, is remarkable. “Through Eyes Closed” doesn’t merely exist as a song; it’s a space, a feeling, an entity urging you to find or create meaning within its depths. This song, much like the entirety of the ‘Light Reading’ EP, stands as an ode to the intricacies of human existence, the search for significance, and the ever-elusive nature of clarity.

Marvillous Beats – “What You Won’t Do For Love” (Bobbly Caldwell Violin Cover)

With the strings of his violin, Marvillous Beats weaves an exquisite tapestry of neo-soul, instrumental hip-hop, and jazz fusion in his cover of Bobby Caldwell’s iconic “What You Won’t Do For Love.” The track resonates with a harmonious blend of nostalgia and innovation, paying homage to the classic while adding a distinctive contemporary flavor. Drawing parallels with the works of Black Violin and Dominique Hammons, Marvillous Beats transports listeners to a realm where the boundary between classical and contemporary blur. The romance and ardor of Caldwell’s original tune echo with each bow stroke, but it’s Marvillous Beats’ infusion of hip-hop undertones and neo-soul vibes that truly sets this cover apart.

Marvillous Beats, hailing from the rich cultural tapestry of the Bronx and blessed with Jamaican heritage, showcases his musical prowess, honed since the tender age of 8. It’s evident in this cover that his versatility isn’t merely a byproduct of his varied influences, ranging from classical to hip-hop, but a testament to his organic talent and dedication. The fusion he achieves—much like the artistic genius of Damien Escobar and Daniel D.—is both seamless and stirring. This reimagined version of “What You Won’t Do For Love” isn’t just a cover; it’s an evocative journey through time, encapsulating the timeless appeal of the original while spotlighting the dynamism and innovation that Marvillous Beats brings to the musical table.

Fallon Cush – “I’m Trying”

Fallon Cush’s “I’m Trying” is a sublime testament to the band’s deep-seated roots in the alt-country-indie rock landscape, reminiscent of the melodic tranquility of The Jayhawks and the profound lyricism of Ryan Adams. With an Americana touch, the track beautifully encapsulates the soulful yearnings of Steve Smith’s evocative songwriting, layered over tender guitar strums and the subtlest hints of indie rock. The beauty lies in its authenticity, reminiscent of earlier Fallon Cush offerings, yet displaying a clear evolution and maturation in sound—calling to mind the acoustic finesse of Beck and the poignant narrations of Dawes.

Emerging from the musical tapestry of Sydney, Fallon Cush, over the years, has established itself as a formidable force in the alt-country scene. “I’m Trying”, with its heartfelt lyrics and melodic cadence, is emblematic of the band’s return after a hiatus, resonating with the anticipation and excitement of what’s to come. Recorded with the meticulous touch of Josh Schuberth at Fireswamp Studios, the track carries with it the signature Fallon Cush charm—harmonizing the timelessness of their sound with a contemporary twist. Amidst a backdrop of global uncertainty and the challenges of the pandemic, the band’s resilience shines through, promising a renewed chapter filled with poignant music and anticipated live performances.

SGO – “Glimmer”

SGO, the mesmerizing dreampop prodigies from Meanjin/Brisbane, weave an evocative tapestry of sound with their latest offering, “Glimmer”. Drawing inspiration from the sonic architecture of shoegaze stalwarts like my bloody valentine, the track delves into an edgier, darker pop realm. Yet, it never loses its shimmering pop undertone, effortlessly merging the atmospheric noise with harmonious pop refrains. The song is a remarkable departure from the introspective vibes of “Pieces of You” and audibly captures a sense of liberation and newfound optimism. The band’s signature male and female vocal layering offers a comforting warmth, creating a serene cocoon amidst the intense, unyielding walls of guitar. This blend of rawness with polished sonics, symbolizing a “dawn of a new day,” feels like an audacious step forward for the band, embracing their roots while charging into new horizons.

The brainchild of brothers Kris and Tom Briese, SGO showcases an impeccable maturity in “Glimmer”, emphasizing restraint and precision in their instrumental choices. Collaboratively, they’ve created a track that is both engulfing in its shoegaze intensity and soothing in its dream pop fluidity. The clever use of alternate open guitar tunings and reintroduced tremolo arms accentuate the song’s brightness and texture, while the modern pop-inspired production, thanks to Tom Briese’s expertise, elevates it from being a mere homage to its influencers. This dynamic and interplay between the vintage and the modern, between nostalgia and fresh optimism, is what makes “Glimmer” a standout. As the band evolves, the single marks a pivotal moment in SGO’s journey, drawing from their rich history of dreamy soundscapes and boldly carving a niche for themselves in the expansive universe of dreampop.

Katastro – “Good Time” (feat. Dirty Heads)

Few songs capture the transcendence of grief and remembrance like Katastro’s “Good Time,” the band’s first sonic offering after the untimely and heartrending departure of their lead singer, Andy Chaves. The track is a poignant tapestry, elegantly juxtaposing the magnetic pulse of a dance-party anthem with the undeniable weight of loss and love. Amidst this backdrop, Chaves’ vocals resonate with an eerie yet ethereal presence, delivering a raw vulnerability and hinting at the unrealized promise that was cruelly snuffed out. Enter the Dirty Heads—Jared Watson and Dustin ‘Duddy’ Bushnell—who seamlessly meld their seasoned artistry into the track. Duddy’s addition, “I wish that we could stay right here forever/I wish that we could stay right here together,” transforms an otherwise buoyant chorus into a heart-wrenching elegy, casting a haunting, contemplative shadow over the track.

Listening to “Good Time,” one is struck not just by the song’s emotive depth but also by the spirit of collaboration and community that shone through during the band’s darkest hour. From drummer Andrew Stravers’ poignant recollection of hearing the chorus shortly after Andy’s passing to the collaborative force of Jared and Duddy, it’s evident that this song is more than just a tribute—it’s a testament to resilience, camaraderie, and the immutable power of music to heal and unify. With an upcoming album that promises collaborations with the likes of Iration, The Maine, and Rome, Katastro embarks on a journey of catharsis and commemoration. “Good Time” is a beautiful ode to the life and legacy of Andy Chaves, and the enduring strength of a band determined to honor their friend’s memory while forging a path forward.

Ocie Elliott – “Come on By”

There’s an evocative delicacy that graces every note of “Come on By,” a testament to Ocie Elliott’s masterful command over the acoustic folk genre. This song is a gentle beckoning, inviting the listener into an intimate space of vulnerability. Through poetic lyrics, the duo, Jon Middleton and Sierra Lundy, crafts a narrative that is at once universal and deeply personal, evoking the heartwarming sentiment of solace found in the presence of a cherished individual. “And make the noise in my mind go quiet,” they sing, capturing the tranquility that the right company can bring amidst life’s cacophonies.

From the duo’s tranquil origins in Victoria, B.C., to the expansive recognition of their emotive artistry, Ocie Elliott has consistently forged connections with listeners. “Come on By,” with its entrancing harmonies and raw, emotive lyrics, is emblematic of this. The song conjures imagery of long drives through rustic landscapes, evoking feelings of nostalgia, longing, and profound gratitude. The recurring invitation, “Come on by,” sung with an endearing earnestness, not only underscores the need for human connection but also captures the transformative power such connections can have on our psyche. It’s a soothing reminder of the profound comfort that can be found in the simple act of someone being near, especially during times when the world outside feels overwhelmingly tumultuous.

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