Monday Mix – Rowan Kerrick, Arms Akimbo, George Hadfield, Nik Freitas, Curly Vampiro, Rea Garvey, Simon D. James, Liza, The Hollow Ends, Matt Andersen

Ten new artists to help you get through the next five days of work. 

 

Rowan Kerrick – Your Song

Rowan Kerrick has created something cool here with her new album, Foolish. The album tells a story of a relationship from beginning to end with Your Song leading starting the album by learning from the mistakes of previous relationships, and making promises of how this relationship will be different. Do yourself a favor and listen to the album from beginning to end and see how this relationship turns out.

With soulful vocals, and raw and emotive lyrics, Rowan Kerrick is an artist that people can appreciate regardless of their genre preferences.

 

Arms Akimbo – Velleity

Arms Akimbo makes the kind of music I wish I made. They have emotive lyrics, tight harmonies, wide open guitar, a lot of fun, but most importantly, a cynicism that runs deep in their veins. Velleity itself is an inclination or a wish that isn’t strong enough to act upon.

the notions on the road are keeping me at home
velleity to roam is keeping me at home

They delve into the idea that people become too comfortable with where they currently are to really break out and chase the things they really want. The idea that the grass isn’t always greener has been beat into our head to the point where we accept our current position and are content with dreaming and living vicariously through others. Fear of the unknown can be crippling, but as Michael Scott said that Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

 

George Hadfield – Brenda

George Hadfield has created a really interesting synth funk track with Brenda. What I can’t stop focusing on here is the idea behind the lyrics. Now, I have very little experience with synthesizers, but I do have experience with first instruments. George Hadfield has written a song that is an ode to his first synthesizer. He talks about the scenario that really kicked off his love for the instrument he affectionately named, you guessed it, Brenda. My guess, based on the lyrics, is that he sold it and knows that due to the increasing rarity of the vintage version he had and the increasing popularity of the instrument itself, he will probably never get to play with Brenda again.

If the loss of Brenda makes Hadfield continue to create more fun songs about loss, I hope Brenda stays lost for quite a while.

*I do hope they’re reunited one day though.*

 

Nik Freitas – Listen

“We live in a very self centered culture and its becoming harder to disconnect from everything, including yourself. My oldest daughter started preschool this year and when I’d pick her up in the afternoon she had so much to say about her day, just tons of words trying to explain herself. I had to stop everything i was thinking about or doing and really listen to piece it all together. Its been so refreshing stopping everything to listen and I try to apply it in more conversations now with everybody. Maria Taylor is a good friend and mother of two and i knew she’d get what the song was about, so i asked her to sing backing vocals on the song. I think her performance helped give it a softer and more inviting tone and really brings the point across.”

With a son who is close to entering preschool, this is a song description that really hits home. My son is the exact same way as Freitas’ daughter in regards to how they describe their day. I’ll return home from work and he will just start unloading all of the thoughts he’s tried to stash away to tell me, and they bust out with seemingly no rhyme or reason. He will unload everything from which dinosaur he decided was his favorite (ankylosaurus) to asking me if I had to pick a kitchen appliance, which would it be. This song and description has made me analyze the way I view my conversations with Ollie and the way I view my conversations with the rest of the world. I tend to give Ollie all of my attention and focus while giving most other people about 50% because I’m focusing on the other 298381 things that I currently have going on. I need to have my ears and mind wide open while I’m in ever day conversations so I can really connect with the person I’m talking to.

 

Curly Vampiro – A new new new here

I am such a fan of Curly Vampiro’s honesty on this track. When asked to give and elevator pitch about what the song was about, Curly states simply, “jobs, birthday, death, etc ty.”

An experimental track in the same vein as King Krule, A new new new here is the perfect blend of melancholic truth, perfectly placed samples, and the fuck all attitude that makes it impossible to stop listening.

I can’t believe I lost last month’s work check 
I drink hibiscus tea am I fucking high yet 
Use chapstick cherry, kiss July very 
I’m 25 i’ll eat cake and just be happy 

 

Rea Garvey – Is It Love?

If you have been keeping up with us for a month or so, then you know I recently got back from a trip to Ireland. Rea Garvey, an Irish singer-songwriter, has written a song that kind of sums up a lot of the struggles going on over there right now. Women are fighting for the right to control their own bodies and have the right to not be controlled by a government full of men who don’t understand them.

I won’t pretend to know the full scope of the struggles going on in Ireland right now because I am neither a woman nor am I Irish, but I know a culturally relevant piece that will last a lot longer than a season when I hear it. Rea Garvey’s song has been adapted as an anthem for many across the world, garnering over 14 million plays on Spotify within the first month of its release.

 

Simon D. James – In The Fields

With his second single, Simon D. James writes what may be one of the warmest songs we’ve ever shared on the blog. This is a song that talks about the deep and infinite bond that true friendship creates, and that even though time and distance may separate us, we are always family until the end.

With a timbre all his own, Simon creates a distinct sound of pure emotion with a very humbling gravitas to his music.

 

Liza – Vladimir and 1 Girl, 2 Cups

We have never shared two songs from the same artist in one post, but Liza is a truly unique musician who deserves the distinction that we will call, due to the song title, 1 Girl, 2 Songs.

Vladimir starts out, appropriately enough, like a scene from Eastern Promises; it’s wide open, full of intrigue, and could not possibly sound more Russian. The dark echo of the guitar sets the scene for something truly beautiful.

I can beg you all I want
But you won’t give in
It’s either me or the world in her arms
And I heard she’s with stars
Next to god
She’ll breathe you in

It’s either me or the world in her arms, and I heard she’s with the stars. Damn. She could’ve packed it up after that line, and she would’ve had a more developed world than 98% of the songs I come across. This song is lyrically gut-wrenching, the composition is gorgeous, and Liza’s voice is something that is on a visual spectrum when you close your eyes.

The reason we had to share both is because this song is the yin to Vladimir’s yang. The buildup is smooth and calculated, and develops into a strong finish at around 2:30. The songs have two similarities: Liza’s raw and developed voice full of pain and emotion, and the fucking lyrics. I mean, dear god. Liza is a woman after my own heart as a writer. I’m sure she’s seen happy times, but she doesn’t write about them. This song is about a physically and emotionally abusive piece of trash that is written in such a way that it has to be at the very least “based on a true story.” She writes in a way that could only be achieved if you have been on the other end of flying fists and venomous words.

I hope the boys like a girl who can’t breathe
You think about spending another nice night with me
You live in a dream and my fists are all you can see
And don’t you ever pick up that phone
Your friends never liked you
They want you alone
I told you this countless times
You only have me and that should be fine

Finding artists like Liza actually kind of pisses me off, and it’s not because of anything she did; I tried to find her page on Spotify and had to sift through so many objectively bad artists who have more of a following than her. She easily joins the ranks of my “Criminally Underrated Artists.”

Also, if you are in an abusive relationship and need help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233.

 

The Hollow Ends – Bears In Mind

With a rambling melody, tight harmonies, and vocals that mix James Mercer and Chris Thile, Bears In Mind is the kind of ride that is best taken with the windows down.

The song starts out at a Decemberists pace and flow before moving into an absolutely untethered frenzy of abrasive guitar, sweeping harmonies, and a sympathy head rush for Zachary Schwartz, the brain behind the Bear. He hits notes with a strength that is very difficult to do, and then he holds onto those notes for longer than most can. I would go light-headed if I attempted to do what he does.

Starting in a controlled folk environment and ending in a cacophonous folk rock boot stomper, Bears In Mind is like if all the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park somehow made it out into the real world; they are beautiful to look at and admire, but you don’t truly know their power until they’re in your every day life. That’s this song.

 

Matt Andersen – Going Down

If you’ve used this list correctly, this is your Friday afternoon song. This is the song that is going to start your weekend, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than with Matt Andersen and crew absolutely melting your face off. Their larger than life live track features roaring vocals, multiple feature solos, and the deep emotion and stage presence needed to carry the audience through six and a half minutes of head rush blues. I’ve listened to this song three times in a row, and it still makes my lip curl and get that stink face whenever one of them steps forward to show us what they’ve got.

 

Check out all of the artist’s songs in a convenient Spotify playlist here.

Did you know we have a podcast? Check it out here.

The Flock: Indie Rock/Alternative – LUI HILL, Path, The Ruralists, Manta Rays, Blue J, The Caracals, cleopatrick, Dirty Hank

*This first paragraph is a copy of a previously written synopsis of the point behind the new section, The Flock.*

We have two goals here with our blog and our podcast; we want to help you find a bunch of new artists that you love, and we also want to support those artists. We came up with a new idea for a post where we take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. That way, it helps everyone. If you come here because you love one artist, you’ve got five more that you’re probably going to love now. That helps you load up your playlist with tracks that will impress your friends, and it also helps the artists hit untapped markets and possibly network with likeminded artists they didn’t know existed. Without further ado, I present “The Flock.”

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

LUI HILL – Words Become Useless

LUI HILL, the German neo-soul alternative artist, hits us with a new song, and we couldn’t be more stoked about it. A stripped down intro with only piano chords and emotive vocals slowly builds until you’re in the middle of a full formed symphonic funk ride featuring a tightly formed drum sequence, open brass, and vocals that you can feel throughout your body. The video itself is a fun ride too (pun intended).

Path – Don’t Ever Love Me

Say one thing and you’ll say the other 
Never a chance that we were for each other 
Flower in the dirt could bloom if you let it 
A love to call your own, remember to forget it 

Don’t ever love me 
Don’t ever love me

This bedroom rock song is the kind of song that makes breakups harder, and I’m not even mad about it. It’s equal parts a lesson on relationships, and a lesson in polarities.

One thing that people don’t know about me (probably) is that I’m a huge fan of rim clicks and rim shots. This song sets up a song of heartbreak with subtle rim clicks, and then hits home with honest and vulnerable vocals and delicate guitar, making a much fuller sound together than you’d expect given the intimacy of each individual track.

The Ruralists – Eggs

I can’t stop listening to this song. I am absolutely enamored. From allusions to Chicken Little and the world ending to finding solace in the right person’s words, this song is an absolute ride. The whole album, in fact, has made its way into a lot of my playlists recently. I have a list of criminally underrated bands, and these guys have definitely joined their ranks. There is an intimacy in tone and delivery that is unlike anything I’ve heard in quite a while, and they remind me of my favorite band, Manchester Orchestra, in both lyrics and delivery; they are rough around the edges and keep everything raw and open, leave minor idiosyncrasies and easter eggs (that’s my second pun of the post) throughout the track, and they have tight harmonies around an emotive and raw lead vocalist.

These are guys that you definitely need to keep up with. This is why we do this blog. How the hell do they have less than 1,000 plays per song on Spotify?

Manta Rays – Mountain Dew

I rarely share the releases that they send us word for word because A.) it feels like cheating, and B.) I feel like it takes away from my personal enjoyment of the song if I let those influence my writing. I have to make an exception in this case strictly because of how they derived through divine intervention the title of the song.

“Mountain Dew” is a song about; being lonely in the real world, pushing speeds that no blue man can begin to apprehend, and that it takes a man to know when no means no. Now you ask, Why is this song in particular called “Mountain Dew”? because in the very beginning of the song the bass guitar goes ‘deeeeew’.

I love their definition of what makes a man. I feel like it’s a very topical point in this tumultuous landscape we find ourselves navigating these days. You put topical lyrics with nice harmonies and a funk bass line, and you’ve got a track that’s perfect for beach days.

Blue J – Hard to Know

Blue J’s “Hart to Know” is that melancholic groove indie rock track that you hear in a movie when everything falls apart for the protagonist. Their father died, their partner doesn’t feel a spark anymore, and their car is sitting lifeless on the side of the road while they sit 3 miles away from a job interview that starts in 25 minutes. Now I’m building this movie in my head. Zach Braff stands in the middle of the road as the camera zooms out, framing him on the right and the car to the left. Flashbacks of the aforementioned events start running through his head: good times with his father, a scenic drive in the then-running car with his partner, who is still very much in love with him, and spinning his daughter around in a park, with her laughing until it’s hard to breathe. More flashbacks follow of everything falling apart with the partner, dad dying, turning to an opioid addiction, and losing his daughter in a custody case. At this point in the movie, Braff’s been clean for a month, but this interview fiasco has him feeling like it’s completely pointless to try. He should just turn around and go home.

And if your whole life turns to shit / I know it’s hard to know /
you drag your body around behind you / everywhere you go /
you don’t wanna live and I know it’s hard to know /
to realize you can’t just let it go 

The memory of his daughter pops back into his head, and he remembers why he’s starting this new life. Zach runs to the job interview, making it with 15 seconds to spare, and somehow not covered in sweat. He lands the job, and starts working on a new life for him and his daughter. Fast forward 6 months, and he’s enjoying his job while getting to see his daughter on weekends with allusions between mom and Zach about expanding custody rights. Roll credits.

The point is, this is a song that makes you feel something real. It is a tangible, living song that has its own legs and a destination in mind.

The Caracals – Catch Your Eye

This is a really interesting song. It has some raw indie rock Black Keys vibes, The Strokes-esque melodies, and instrumentation and progression that’s perfect for your next Halloween party.

The lyrics are as haunting as the music, and can cause some real self-reflection. The song centers around the idea of how technology has made us slaves to devices and keep us from interacting with each other on a personal level, especially when it comes to keeping a partner interested.

“Checking your phone all night as I fail to catch your eye.”

cleopatrick – youth

Not to be confused with Daughter’s hit song, “youth” from cleopatrick shares nothing but a name with the singer-songwriter. With heavy breakdowns and gut punch vocals, this is a different beast entirely.

The day I turn 23, I’m getting married
shortly after, I’m getting buried

This is the kind of song that has something for everyone: sincere and interesting vocals for the singer-songwriter, instrumentals for the metalhead, and the raw vocals for indie rock purists. This song is a hell of a ride.

July Spotify Playlist

Podcast Link

The Flock: Rap and Hip-Hop – Chris Color, Raw Collective, Jamar Carr, Jay Holly and Primaa Bank$, Tee Noah, Rome

*This first paragraph is a copy of a previously written synopsis of the point behind the new section, The Flock.*

We have two goals here with our blog and our podcast; we want to help you find a bunch of new artists that you love, and we also want to support those artists. We came up with a new idea for a post where we take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. That way, it helps everyone. If you come here because you love one artist, you’ve got five more that you’re probably going to love now. That helps you load up your playlist with tracks that will impress your friends, and it also helps the artists hit untapped markets and possibly network with likeminded artists they didn’t know existed. Without further ado, I present “The Flock.”

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

Chris Color – “five.”

Oh my god that saxophone line. Using a sample from Take Five is absolutely genius. Once they clip it up and add the beat, it’s impossible for me not to start nodding my head. Once the lyrics kick in, we see a nice proud sort of lyrical tradition, with a flow that’s extra smooth. I also really appreciate how clever some of the word play is. Like: “Got a couple o’s in my pocket straight chilling/ Ain’t lying set my pants on fire no kidding”

Or: “Spill it, don’t trip it/
Paper on your back saying kick it but I rip it/
Off and go flip it”

At the very end he says “Mr Rodgers gotta have a great band”, which after seeing his picture here, I wonder if he’s just referring to his clean cut look and how that could be seen as a detriment in certain circles? I don’t know, could just be me speculating, but either way, it’s great sounding track that I’ll be bumping in my car all summer long.

Raw Collective – “Pictures”

Something that makes Raw Collective unique, is that they play their instruments live, rather than just using a pre-produced track. They have a full 12 piece band complete with guitar, bass, a horn section, live percussion, and more. This instrumental prowess is on full display around the 2:00 mark with the sweet horn breakdown. And again around the 3:00 mark with another instrumental interlude to ride the song out.

Image result for raw collective

It’s a herculean task to get that many people to work together “collectively” (pun intended). I also really love the ambiguous lyrics of this song:

“Fake pictures tainted by the painting of your virtue

The end of the day, you’re the only person that can really hurt you

Live and learn getting burned, laying lucid, losing the meaning

Cold at the poles, staying neutral isn’t always that easy”

There is a big focus on pictures in the song, here and in the hook (oh and obviously the title. I don’t know exactly what it might be referencing. If the pictures are fake and tainted by the painting of your virtue, it would mean that the picture is the opposite of what you actually are. So that can either be a positive to negative shift or a vice versa. It could be a picture of you helping someone out while you’re actually very selfish, or it could be a picture of you looking downtrodden when you’re actually very happy, but either way, something about this picture does not mix with the actuality of the person. It’s a really interesting angle to consider for sure. And if blown up, it should make you consider the media you take in about people you know nothing about.

Jamar Carr – “Million Dollar Slaves (Prod. Bandit Luce)”

The ever present Jamar Carr is back with another socially conscious hip hop track. It starts with a great sample from some news source (I’m tempted to say Fox News, but I can’t be sure). It is apparently after several NBA players spoke out against Trump or police brutality or some right wing talking point, and the reporter reminds them to stay in their place as “someone paid millions to dribble a ball”. This immediately sets up Jamar Carr’s title: “Million Dollar Slaves” which calls to mind these basketball players, and also, in the topic of the year, all the NFL kneeling stuff that happened last year. It calls to mind the hypocrisy in white conservatives enjoying their entertainment from black people in sports, or the music industry, but once they share their perception of the flaws in this country, those same people want them to shut up and fall in line. “Never talk politics, that ain’t what we wanna hear, if you don’t like this country you can get the fuck up out of here”, Jamar Carr screams near the beginning of the song, which sets the precedent of the rest of the song where we see that the whole song is from the perspective of one of these white conservatives, dripping with irony the whole time obviously. I want to say it’s also dripping with exaggeration, but honestly, like a lot of satire in the past 2 years, it feels too close to truth.

Jay Holly, Primaa Bank$ & DJ JS-1 – “Stand Tall”

This Queens banger calls back to a better era of hip-hop. No tricks, no mumbling, no autotune, just emcee word flow over a booth beat, and enough scratching to remind you why you fell in love with hip-hop all those years ago. This is the new era of Nas, a fellow New York emcee. This is that gut punch truth. Fuck talking about cars and girls, Jay Holly and Primaa Bank$ pull no punches when talking about being proud of who you are and where you come from. You can hear the struggle in their voice, and their word flow is made for battles, both on a stage, and in their neighborhoods.

Tee Noah – “OMW”

When is the last time you were floored by an Australian rapper? That’s what we do here. We help you track down artists that you’re going to love from every single corner of the globe. Yes, I know that doesn’t really make sense since globes have no corners, but you know what I mean.

Tee Noah hits us with his third song from the upcoming EP, “T,” and it is an absolutely head rush. With a unique flow and vocal inflections over a beat that will make you bounce wherever you’re at (No, seriously. Currently dancing in an Atlanta Bread), Tee Noah delivers something that’s even more rare than any of the aforementioned things in rap; he delivers a positive message about coming up through the struggle and coming out on top. What makes that a rare message? Tee Noah doesn’t shit on anyone else while doing it. Hip-hop usually takes a direction when talking about this subject where it’s, “I made it, I’m doing great, and you really suck.” Tee Noah doesn’t bother with the other people, having put them in his rearview, and solely focuses on himself and this other person who helped him through the struggle. They may still struggle, but together, they can move mountains.

Rome – “All In”

Yooooo. If Tee Noah is the good guy of rap, Rome is one of the four horseman sent to bring rap back to its roots. He goes in on everyone who is part of the tie-dyed, mumble rap sub genre of rap. The video shows someone who is shockingly similar to Tekashi69 (or really any number of new rappers) getting famous, doing big things, and then being brought in to Rome and his crew for what we’ll call “repentance.”

Roll call, roll call,
Every new rapper lookin’ like a troll doll
In my era, gangs died over colors
These pussies yell gang, 
dreads dyed different colors
Rome, bitch
Hit ’em with that grown shit
Mumble rap
cause you’re chokin’ on your own dick

This is the definition of a diss track. What’s great about it though is Rome doesn’t target an individual, he targets a whole genre. This song is meant to ruffle feathers, and it appears Rome is ready for hunting season.

The Flock: Indie Rock – Bears in Hazenmore, The Brothers Moore, State of Nature, Hannah’s Little Sister, Vern Matz, Somehow

*This first paragraph is a copy of a previously written synopsis of the point behind the new section, The Flock.*

We have two goals here with our blog and our podcast; we want to help you find a bunch of new artists that you love, and we also want to support those artists. We came up with a new idea for a post where we take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. That way, it helps everyone. If you come here because you love one artist, you’ve got five more that you’re probably going to love now. That helps you load up your playlist with tracks that will impress your friends, and it also helps the artists hit untapped markets and possibly network with likeminded artists they didn’t know existed. Without further ado, I present “The Flock.”

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

Bears in Hazenmore – Wedding Season

When I saw that this music video was 3 minutes and 23 seconds of making and eating eggs, I wasn’t sure how I felt at first. Then, I decided how much I love it all. It’s a perfect example of how sometimes the most mundane times with your best friends are the times that stick out in your mind forever. In the words of the band, “The video is entirely unrelated — a sneak-peek into the life and times of five best friends and their mere interactions with one man’s obsession with eggs.”

With ethereal vocals and synths,  perfectly stated brass, and offbeat drums, this track is one that has made it onto all of my summer playlists.

 

The Brothers Moore – Moves

No strangers to the website, The Brothers Moore come through again with their unique brand of almost familiar indie rock. If you haven’t been hanging out on the blog long, check out their previous post here. It’s easy to pull the similarities between them and early Kings of Leon, but they seem to go beyond that for me personally. I think the main reason that they hold a higher spot for me than Kings of Leon (send the hate mail to bsideguys@gmail.com) is because of how much fun these guys always seem to be having. These guys are getting some rightfully deserved recognition, getting to open for bands like Ra Ra Riot, Nada Surf, and my favorite band of all time, Manchester Orchestra. That’s something these guys couldn’t be more stoked about, and it shows through the video and the tunes.

 

State of Nature – Two Weeks Notice

If you’ve been around any amount of time, you know that any song that talks about quitting a soul-crushing job to pursue your passion is a soft spot for me. Anything that promotes getting out of the grind of the 9-5 holds a special place in my heart. A lot of times I project that sentiment into a song, but in Two Weeks Notice, this band leaves nothing to the imagination. This Third Eye Blind reincarnate group from New York will have you ready to turn in your letter of resignation, and I’m always cool with that.

 

Hannah’s Little Sister – 20

“Creeping out from the pot holes and the storm drains, these four are about to take over your local cul-de-sac. With their offbeat humour, untamed manners and trashy tunes, these terrible tikes sound truly delightful.”

Hannah’s Little Sister has a wild reformed grit that isn’t quite like anything out there, and it is absolutely refreshing. This is raw roots rock at its finest. They prescribe to the genre of “alternative,” and they are definitely an alternative to anything else I’m listening to right now. They take emotive vocals and witty lyrics, and they pair that with beveled edge guitar hooks and an unrepentant snare/kick combo.

 

Vern Matz – Shelby Park

This is the kind of complex track that only a band from the likes of Harvard could create. I guess these Yale students have exceeded their surrounding threshold then. I jest. The only Ivy League school I have allegiance to is the one that accepts me. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, so for now my only allegiance is to Vern Matz… so I guess my allegiance is to Yale. Man, what a rollercoaster! It’s kind of like their song, Shelby Park, or as the band affectionately calls it, Shelby. When asked about the track, the band has a very articulate response (I would hope so from Ivy League students):

“Perhaps we are on a first name basis with the song because of how close we have grown to it; Shelby’s a big part of our lives now. But this wasn’t always the case. Shelby Park didn’t have it’s identity until it was done. It was only until after the song was complete that it really grew on all of us. With Shelby, we got to put on a lot of different hats and play something vaguely aggressive. There’s some focus on aging, and losing identities, but it’s not an overly serious song – there’s blue hearts, and martians moons, and dropped phone calls, and leaving Shelby. It’s a childish piece a lot of ways; in some ways we were sort of pretending to be 16 year-olds in a rock band from 1993.”

They perfectly encapsulated everything that made rock bands from the early 90’s popular: the Pixies progression in the intro, the ritardando in the chorus, and the cacophonous dissonance in the buildup that flirts with the line of being too much. I am absolutely in love with this song from my favorite Brown students.

 

Somehow – While the Days Go By

The wrap-up for this edition of The Flock is held by a French multi-instrumentalist, Erwan Pépiot. The first thing that got my attention about this track is Erwan’s Matt Berringer-esque timbre with his lower register ringing clearly. It’s the kind of voice that makes you feel loved. His voice could wrap its arms around you and let you know that everything will be okay. When Erwan takes the stage, he strips his performances down and delivers intimate acoustic sets. Next time I’m in the Paris area, I have to check out one of those performances.

Check out these artists, and all of our other June artists, on our Spotify playlist of the month here. 

The new episode of the podcast is live here.

 

The Flock: Indie Rock – The Mooks, Indian Askin, The Braves, The Nova Darlings, Paddle Paddle, Hugo Fowler

*This first paragraph is a copy of a previously written synopsis of the point behind the new section, The Flock.*

We have two goals here with our blog and our podcast; we want to help you find a bunch of new artists that you love, and we also want to support those artists. We came up with a new idea for a post where we take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. That way, it helps everyone. If you come here because you love one artist, you’ve got five more that you’re probably going to love now. That helps you load up your playlist with tracks that will impress your friends, and it also helps the artists hit untapped markets and possibly network with likeminded artists they didn’t know existed. Without further ado, I present “The Flock.”

The Mooks – Fools

Mook – a stupid or incompetent person – isn’t the term that comes to mind when listening to the heady indie rock from the Toronto based trio. With straightforward instrumentals and a singer with the range most folks dream about, this band sounds a lot more seasoned than they actually are. The band formed in November of last year, but has a feeling of a modern day Velvet Underground; everything is very straightforward, everyone has a lane to fill, and they’re both storytellers. The Mooks are already on my 4th of July playlist for the beach this year, and I expect them to find a home on playlists all across the country.

 

Indian Askin – I Feel Something

Indian Askin, the Amsterdam based indie rock band, released their single, I Feel Something, earlier this month, and it has been creating a lot of buzz. Chino Alaya, the lead singer of the group, has a great mixture of silk and rocks in his voice, so it creates absolutely beautiful moments where the silk slides to gravel throughout the song, giving his voice and the song human characteristics. The song dives into what happens after a traumatic event. You feel like you are at the edge of everything, looking into the abyss of what comes after, and with time, you realize that you can feel something again.

 

The Braves – How the Money Rolls In

A gritty look at how a lot of the rich get their money off of the backs of the poor, How The Money Rolls In is a song that is full of nails and venom. Deep grit and sandpaper round out the vocals of Kelly Watson, who shares the chanting chorus with bandmates, Jesse Bolte and Ethan Lerversha. With a style that is equal parts The Clash and Gogol Bordello, The Braves bring storytelling to a tangible level, and have absolutely no apologies if they don’t check off all of your boxes. They are raw, they are moving, and they are real.

 

The Nova Darlings – I Like Crashing My Car (Into Yours)

This is that summer song that hits me right in the teeth. An introspective look at how we are usually our own worst enemy, I Like Crashing My Car (Into Yours) is the “bummer jam of the summer.” To add to their point about self-destruction, this song has been added to all of my summer playlists. Nothing like hiking through the woods to clear my mind only to feel it with all of my shortcomings as a human being. Rarely is the first verse of a song my favorite verse (at least if I like the writing all the way through, and they didn’t phone in the second half of the song… but I digress), but the first verse of this song is an absolute gut punch and sets the stage for self-exploration and a look into just how shitty we all are. Emotive vocals with a timbre that feels like it’s on the edge of breaking down keep you on the edge of your seat, ready to run out in front of traffic, and the shopping card keeps you firmly planted in your seat out of sheer curiosity.

 

Paddle Paddle – Speak Your Mind

This French indie/electro rock group is absolutely mesmerizing. I listen to a lot of new music, and I tell people constantly that they need their songs to be more full or have more layers if they want to aim for this style of music. Speak Your Mind is a shining example of what I mean. The song has as many rich textures as the album art, with everything working off the melody, but seemingly following its own track. The lyrics are something that we definitely need in an age where people struggle to share their ideas for multiple reasons, and hide behind everything from political ideology to computer screens.

 

Hugo Fowler – Faking Lately

Huge Fowler’s new track, Faking Lately, has that same groove to it that made Portugal. The Man a household name. With a similar timbre of John Gourley, Fowler has a gift for playing around with the beat, moving freely from quarters to sixteenths while keeping the pedal to the floor. The new single is out now, with the EP following up on the 26th. Make sure to keep tabs on this guy, because he already has his fingers on the pulse of proven success.

The Flock: Folk – My Terrible Friend, James Rivers, Tapes, Reina del Cid, David Francey, History of Time

*This first paragraph is a copy of a previously written synopsis of the point behind the new section, The Flock.*

We have two goals here with our blog and our podcast; we want to help you find a bunch of new artists that you love, and we also want to support those artists. We came up with a new idea for a post where we take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. That way, it helps everyone. If you come here because you love one artist, you’ve got five more that you’re probably going to love now. That helps you load up your playlist with tracks that will impress your friends, and it also helps the artists hit untapped markets and possibly network with likeminded artists they didn’t know existed. Without further ado, I present “The Flock.”

 

My Terrible Friend – Proving You Right

Nataly Dawn and Lauren O’Connell make up the San Francisco based folk duo, My Terrible Friend. Both are multi-instrumentalists with silky smooth voices made for folk music, and provide an unparalleled sense of whimsy for a music video that is one medium shot angle for the duration of the video. My Terrible Friend has provided the perfect song for your summer soirees or mimosa laden brunches, and if you’re anything like me, you will definitely be mimicking Nataly and Lauren’s dance moves by the end of either of those events. This is the song that’ll help you get your summer started right. They actually remind me a lot of a friend’s old band, Feather and BelleAlso, if Nataly looks familiar, she has another project called Pomplamoose, which means grapefruit. It’s interesting the random things that La Croix teaches you. I’d be interested to know how they decided on the name, My Terrible Friend, so if anyone knows, shoot us a message.

 

James Rivers – All the Same

James Rivers has one of those deep voices that needs to be more popular in today’s music. He has an amazing timbre that is reminiscent of a more emotive Colter Wall. In the song and video, All the Same, James tells a story of lost love, but the video isn’t your typical delve into songs with similar lyrics. Watch the video to find out what I mean.

James is a relatively new guy on the scene, with his debut album releasing in just a couple of weeks, but if it’s anything like this, we are definitely huge fans of what he’s doing. The vignette throughout the video may be a bit overdone for our taste, but the song itself and the idea behind the video is made to perfection.

 

Tapes – Time is Noise

This song is so interesting to me. The voices of FARE and Milo Gore blend so well, but their harmonies are so bizarrely perfect with FARE commonly taking the low harmony while Milo belts out the melody. Time is Noise takes a really hard look at the aftermath of a cancerous relationship, and how eventually, time does allow you to move on. This Falmouth based duo is making some waves with their new EP, “dead dogs and sad songs,” so grab a pint of ice cream, your favorite sweat pants, and this EP and get ready to feel a lot of emotions.

 

Reina del Cid – Ferdinand 

We usually don’t post these live YouTube ready style recordings, but we had to make an exception for this one. Reina del Cid has written a really fun song here, and every now and then you have to break your own rules. Reina gets into the idea behind the song, so there isn’t too much for us to discuss there. I will say this though, this relationship isn’t exclusive to Ferdinand and Isabella. This is a fun telling of an all too common relationship pitfall (maybe not a pitfall depending on how you look at it) of not being able to help who you fall for, even though you really don’t want to be into them. Once again, this is a really nice summer tune.

 

David Francey – Lonely Road

I had not heard of David Francey until recently, but I am absolutely enamored. There’s a gruffness to his voice and an honesty to the composition that makes it seem like his songs could’ve been written and performed anytime in the last 200 years. He has a timelessness to what he does. His songs feel like they could build a home with their bare hands, and catch dinner in the river after it’s done. That’s how tangible and how real his songs are, and Lonely Road is no different. Listening to older albums and then coming to The Broken Heart of Everything, you can notice a change in his voice. Unfortunately, David has had to take a break from music to rehabilitate a hoarseness and strain that his taken over his voice, but hopes 2019 will be the year he gets back on the road. Heal up, David, and when you’re better, run a tour through the southeast United States.

 

History of Time – Mona Lisa

Let’s wrap up this edition of The Flock with one of the most unique voices I’ve heard in a while. Roy Varley is the man behind the voice, and he has a real gift. Here’s the thing; I’m not a huge fan of the echo that he has after the words “Mona Lisa,” but that really doesn’t matter when you’re dealing with something this unique. Roy is a phenomenal lyricist who tells you a story, but leaves his songs open to interpretation. My favorite songs are the ones where the lyrics are obviously about a very specific circumstance, but are so abstracted that they can mean a plethora of different things. Miss Mona Lisa is one of the songs on History of Time’s album, The Comfort. The whole album is a wild ride, bouncing from folk to smooth hip-hop.

 

That’s it for this edition of The Flock. Stay tuned for more songs that you didn’t know you needed in your life. If you want to catch all of the songs we have featured on the blog in the month of June, head on over to our Spotify playlist. 

Also, check out our podcast for all new music, crazy ramblings from Caleb and myself, and discussions about topics like bad luck, mortality, and technology.

 

-Seth

Seth’s Favorite Releases June 15th: Dustin Tebbutt, Call Me Karizma, Alexander Wolfe, Traveling John, Smalfeels

Favorite Music Video: Dustin Tebbutt “Love Is Blind”

Love may be blind, but I’m luckily not. I mean, I’m very fortunate to not be blind for a plethora of reasons, but this video is definitely one of them. I would be curious to know how long it took Dustin to learn the dance moves for this song, because he seems to have about the same coordination as I do. Now, that’s a bit of an exaggeration because he’s a much better dancer than me, but with a backdrop of insanely talented dancers, Dustin definitely sticks out a bit. Another beautiful song from Dustin, and another wonderful video full of synchronized dance moves.

Favorite Lyrics: Call Me Karizma “JOHNNY”

Johnny’s got a loaded .45
Found it in his dad’s shoebox
Johnny doesn’t want to be alive
But he’s gotta make his school stop
He’s-
Sick of being bullied, his mother’s starting to worry
But she doesn’t want to ask him or try to call the authorities
Now he is on the bus, to him it’s just another morning
But he doesn’t got a book, he’s got a gun without a warning

Cindy’s got a scholarship to Yale
Wants to be a nurse and spread love
Cindy’s moving out before the fall
Only got a week til’ school’s done
Taking every final of the season, she doesn’t mind ’em
She’s always nice to the kids that are coming away behind her
She would never hurt a fly or bat an eye, she’s way too kind
But then a flash and then a cry and sees Johnny with a rifle

I’m not going to put all of the lyrics here because it would be a huge wall of text, but I was definitely tempted. Call Me Karizma’s new song dives into one of the messiest waters in the country right now, and makes absolutely no apologies. A hard hitting song with a nasty flow, the message is clear:

Reporting live from high school
We’re now learning more about the terrible events that took place
And what can drive someone that seemed like a normal kid
To do something so evil and inhumane
We’re asking everyone and anyone that sees warning signs-
To please offer help and love and compassion to those who need it
Together we can make a difference

Favorite Composition: Alexander Wolfe “Your Love is a Wheel”

This song is such a rollercoaster. Alexander Wolfe’s new track was made for a movie. With many dynamic changes throughout the song, the track goes from ethereal instrumentation to headstrong reverb and offbeat drum cadences, stopping at a couple of places in between. The harmonies aren’t overdone, which is a common problem with artists in the same genre. Alexander Wolfe doesn’t live in his falsetto, but he definitely has a vacation home there. He makes really smooth transitions in and out of his falsetto, and has tight control over his upper register. This song will pick you up at your house, drive you all around town, and then take you back home at the end of the day, tucking you gently into your bed.

Favorite Ramblin’ Song: Traveling John “It Burns”

Man, you guys are getting so lucky that so many of my favorites of the week have videos that go with them. This video is great, but that’s not what drew me to this song. It’s a gorgeous video, and I’m crazy jealous that they got to spend time in such a beautiful space. Seriously, TJ, let us swing by. Next time we’re in Sweden… Anyways, anyone who has paid attention to the blog for a while, or if you listen to the podcast, you know I love a good ramblin’ song. What does that mean? Well, it means that it’s a song that you can picture yourself driving down backroads with no destination in mind with the windows rolled down. A beautiful song with tight harmonies and a folk-driven melody, It Burns is the perfect song for warm summer nights with a full tank of gas and nowhere to be.

Favorite Summer Song: Smalfeels “Pillow Fights”

Very few songs create a palpable atmosphere. Smalfeels new track, Pillow Fights, draws the listener in with a slick bass line, and holds you in place with smooth vocals, smart harmonies, and a quicksand composition; you don’t realize just how stuck you are until the track is over. This song is the perfect song to accompany a night of laying on your roof, having a few drinks, and talking about other planes of existence with a close friend.

Some thoughts about Jesse and Brand New

     Image result for brand new

 

     We are starting a new branch of the B-Side Guys’ empire, and because it’s us, it’s undoubtedly going to start on a weird note. The way this will usually go: we will review some album that is recent that we liked, that is probably more of an “A-Side” level artist. The way this is going to go today: uhh..I’m not really sure yet. You see, I was going to do my first post about an album and a band that has had an immeasurable impact on me: Science Fiction by Brand New. Over the weekend, that task became very different with the recent news of Jesse Lacey’s transgressions of sexual harassment/assault/abuse (I can’t say I know the correct terminology) of what was at the time a teenage girl. He released a statement that didn’t really address the teenage girl aspect, but did admit that his past is littered with a broken man breaking other people through his use of sexuality, power dynamics, and influence that we’ve been hearing about in all of these cases of sexual misconduct. If you think I’m having a hard time defining things, I am. This is a touchy subject, as I mentioned on the most recent podcast when Louis C.K. got brought up. Little did I know that before that podcast even aired, my idol, hero, one of my biggest influences, would be mixed up in this as well. And here’s the thing I do know, and that needs to be stated very clearly. Sexual harassment is bad. It is unacceptable. I am not a victim because I idolized a flawed human. The victims are the only victims here. It would be erroneous to make this about me above any of them. As I said on the show about Louis C.K., If it’s true, (and it seems to be) then he deserves whatever consequences come to him and I hope that every girl who was a victim gets a chance to speak her truth.
Now, you can stop there if you want, but I am going to go into what it’s like being a fan of them from this point forward, and I really hope that that isn’t offensive to anyone, because I am just trying to speak a truth that I feel that I am not alone in feeling. One last time, I am not a victim; my feelings don’t really come close to amounting to the pain felt by the victims in this scenario. I really hope I can get that across. Alright, keep reading with the disclosure that I’m switching gears a bit, and that the most important part of this piece has already been said in bold letters.

     As I’m writing this, I have my entire song library on shuffle. Within 5 minutes, I’ve already had to skip a Brand New song. There’s an astronomical amount of my musical listening life that has been spent listening to every Brand New song over, and over, and over. Analyzing it, trying to let it fill in gaps of myself. Like many others, the band got me through some really hard times. I got The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me in the heart of my high school depression, and it was one of the first times I felt like I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling. Almost every album has come out at just the right time for where I was in life, and said things in a way that I’ve found hard to replicate in my other listening experiences. I haven’t seen another band as many times. I even met my girlfriend and one of my best friends at a Brand New show a couple years back. They are intertwined in my being. Now none of that in essence is wrong, but where I made a huge mistake was in acting like because they spoke to me on some deep level, that I KNEW them, especially Jesse. If there is anything that all of this has taught me, it’s that hero worship is so stupid. We are all flawed humans, and no other human deserves your worship. I’ve seen some other people, notably on the Brand New subreddit, attempt to justify Jesse’s wrongdoing. I’m not mad at those people. I don’t even judge those people. My immediate reaction was disbelief, and a searching for ways to do enough mental gymnastics to make this okay, to make this not real. But this is not okay. This is real, and the whole time I was listening to each new release, that I was dancing at shows, that I was introspective about some genius lyric, there were victims that were in pain at any reminder that this person was thriving and potentially causing pain to even more people.

So where does this leave us?
     1. From a wide angle perspective, it leaves us with a shift in the ethos behind sexual assault/harassment/abuse. A positive one. No one is above being exposed for their wrong doing, and despite how it may make me feel when someone that I never should have worshipped in the first place is exposed, it is miniscule in comparison to the pain of the victims.

2.From a personal perspective, I’m still not sure. In some ways I have a lot of examples of separating the art from the artists. I still listen to the Beatles even though John Lennon beat women and was a piece of shit to his son. I still listen to Chuck Berry even though he slept with a teenager. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite. I do know that I am not able to listen to Brand New right now. When a song comes on, I can’t help but feel a little queasy. Perhaps that will pass, and then if it does, you can judge me for listening to music that by all means is intrinsically a part of the past 15 years of my life. Perhaps it won’t pass, but I won’t judge any of you that it does pass for.

     3. From a band perspective, I can’t help but feel regret for the other members. Did they know about this? Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is that by all means this band was going to break up next year at the top of their game. I said as much after seeing them in concert in Boston just a few weeks ago. Their stage performance had reached a new level. Their most recent album has some lines that struck me to my soul. They were going to go out on top of their game and not overstay their welcome. Well that’s gone. No matter whether myself and others can find a way to listen again, their grand plan is over. It will never be the same. The bottom line is, if this happened in 2003, then they overstayed their welcome by 15 years, and because they overstayed their welcome for 15 years, I am a better person, writer, thinker. I met my soul mate. At the expense of at least one woman, and from Jesse’s statement it seems like more than that. The dichotomy of those two statements is brutal.

 

Please reach out to this if you feel like I’ve gone about this incorrectly. I tried to be unbiased, but that is difficult.

 

Thanks,

Caleb Alexander