Video of the Day: Slow Leaves – “Jenny”

It’s not uncommon for music to dive deep into the nuances of human emotion, but Grant Davidson, or Slow Leaves as he’s artistically known, takes it to another level with his track “Jenny”. Davidson’s latest offering treads the fragile line between memory and fantasy, exploring the often rose-tinted recollections of an early crush and the subsequent longings of “what if”. The accompanying music video brings this deeply personal introspection to the fore while also showcasing Davidson’s innate ability to infuse a touch of levity into profound themes.

The music video for “Jenny” teems with playful visuals that blend the rustic charm of folk aesthetics with the modernist streak of indie innovation, through the construct of an 80s-style video dating profile. This perfectly mirrors the nostalgic cadence of the song, where reminiscent tones of Bonnie Prince Billy and Nick Drake are infused with the fresh vibrancy reminiscent of contemporary artists like Weyes Blood.

While the lyrics contemplate a love that was never truly realized, the video paints a portrait of Davidson’s alter-ego navigating a world where memory and reality blur. Lyrically, the mention of hearing a band on the radio or discussing the weather is juxtaposed against vibrant daydream sequences where Davidson visualizes “a mansion gleaming on the hillside” with “Jenny inside”. It’s a creative representation of the internal emotional battle, showcasing the dichotomy of cherishing memories while understanding they might not always be grounded in reality.

Davidson’s endearing vulnerability shines through, both in his heartfelt vocals and his on-screen presence. The casual, almost documentary style of the video, combined with some purposefully exaggerated set pieces, reinforces the song’s theme of memories being distorted over time. The video is an ode to the mind’s penchant for exaggeration, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.

For fans of Slow Leaves’ previous work, the “Jenny” video offers a fresh perspective. While his music has always been characterized by its introspection and poetic prowess, this video reminds us that Davidson possesses a lighter side. It’s an affirmation of the artist’s commitment to exploring diverse emotional landscapes while still offering listeners (and viewers) a sense of connectivity and relatability.

In conclusion, Slow Leaves’ music video for “Jenny” is an engaging visual treat that complements the song’s introspective nature. It’s a journey into the realm of romantic memories, offering viewers a chance to reflect on their own past loves while also relishing in the playful whimsy that Davidson so effortlessly delivers.

Video of the Day: Blueburst – “Kick My Tires”

Craig Douglas Miller’s musical odyssey as Blueburst is a poignant testament to the art of second chances, and “Kick My Tires” stands as a powerful anthem within that narrative. It’s an epic endeavor, both in sound and in the heart it bares. The song’s lyric video offers an immersive dive into Miller’s introspection, complemented by the lush and evocative soundscapes that are so distinctly Blueburst.

As the lyrics dance on screen, the viewer is immediately caught in a whirlwind of internal conflict and self-doubt. “Too many voices go racing around in my head,” a line that not only offers a vivid peek into Miller’s state of mind, but also perhaps a sentiment shared by many in our increasingly digitized age. The repetitive chorus, “Kick my tires, Uncross my wires,” is a powerful plea for clarity and autonomy amidst external judgments and personal insecurities. In a society that often feels like it’s on constant trial by social metrics, the lines “I can’t claim significance when I don’t even control my next move” and “What’s the point of anything if you need someone else to approve” resonate deeply.

But the true showstopper in this musical narrative is Marty Willson-Piper’s guitar solo. Aptly described as a “string destroyer,” it gives the song an audacious momentum, embodying the pent-up emotions Miller articulates. It’s a beautiful clash of fierce guitar work meeting introspective lyricism, creating a synergy reminiscent of the golden age of ’80s alternative and post-punk, yet still feeling incredibly current.

The lyric video for “Kick My Tires” does more than just display words on a screen; it serves as a visual reflection of Miller’s journey, embodying the rawness, vulnerability, and determination that define Blueburst. Through this track and its accompanying visual, Blueburst reminds us of the importance of self-authenticity, the courage to confront our insecurities, and the power of music to articulate the complexities of the human spirit. It’s a song and video that demands multiple viewings and listenings, each time uncovering a new layer of emotional depth and sonic brilliance.

Song Review: Who Saved Who – “Weight of Everything”

Cleveland, OH’s very own Who Saved Who (WSW) returns with a resonant and introspective track, “Weight of Everything,” showcasing their intricate balance of emotion and energy that has become their signature style.

From the opening chords, it’s evident that the band’s hiatus has culminated in an evolved sonic landscape. The track, tinged with the melancholy of grief and loss, doesn’t wallow in its sorrows. Instead, it soars, reflecting a maturity in their songwriting. The weighty theme of the song becomes both a burden and a catharsis, where the heavy heart seeks solace in the energetic crescendos of the instruments.

This is indie-rock with a clear emotional directive. WSW has always exhibited an eclectic range in their music, from the pop-sensibilities of “Crying in the Tub” to the gritty allure of “Everything Changes.” “Weight of Everything” seems to encompass all these facets, resonating with the sadness in its lyrics while manifesting the raw energy of alternative rock in its arrangement.

Sean McAfee’s voice, a distinct pillar in WSW’s soundscape, channels the vulnerability and reflection seamlessly. The guitar riffs, courtesy of McAfee and Luke Patterson, are beautifully juxtaposed against the rhythmic foundation set by Aidan Forray on drums and Cían Líaskos’s evocative basslines. There’s a synergy in their performance, each member understanding and complimenting the song’s emotional undertones.

But it’s not just the music that impresses; the ethos behind it adds another layer. Their debut album, “Sharing the Daytime Moon,” was a nuanced exploration of communal experiences. The band crafted a sonic tale of the collective commute, the shared drudgery, and the subtle moments of unity under the watchful gaze of the daytime moon. In a way, “Weight of Everything” continues this narrative. Grief, after all, is a universal experience, and the track invites listeners to find solace in this shared human condition.

In essence, Who Saved Who’s “Weight of Everything” is not merely a song; it’s a testament to the human spirit’s resilience, the capacity to find strength in shared experiences, and the undeniable fact that even in the weightiest of times, music offers an avenue for release. If this track is any indication of what’s to come, WSW’s future endeavors promise to be nothing short of extraordinary.

Video of the Day: Loryn Taggart – “The Vow”

Loryn Taggart’s latest single “The Vow,” accentuated by Isaac Symonds, dives into the enigmatic realm where blues meets jazz fusion, delivering a soul-stirring experience. The track itself drips with the resonant hues of Taggart’s distinct vocal stylings, evoking an atmosphere reminiscent of smoky jazz clubs where heartfelt stories are told. It’s a heady blend of melancholic introspection and unwavering hope that tugs at the very heartstrings. Yet, it’s the accompanying music video that elevates the experience to a whole new plane.

Taggart’s music video for “The Vow” is an evocative visual spectacle. Drawing inspiration from cinematic classics like “La La Land,” “Wizard of Oz,” and “Sound of Music,” the video, premiered via Folk Radio UK, is a whirlwind tour through Taggart’s imaginative psyche. The uninterrupted one-shot theatrical dance sequence, directed with finesse by Kevin De Laval and artfully choreographed by Maud Saint-Germain, encapsulates the turbulent yet exhilarating journey of an artist. Audrey Samb’s set direction ingeniously encapsulates the backstage world, a hive of activity yet paradoxically isolating for the performer. But amidst this chaos, the narrative unveils beautifully coordinated moments symbolizing the support and connection Taggart so candidly speaks of in her music. This duality of chaos and serenity is not just a testament to her personal journey but resonates universally, emphasizing the fact that in the midst of life’s turmoil, there’s always a silver lining of love and solidarity. With “The Vow,” Loryn Taggart once again proves her unparalleled prowess as both a musician and a visionary.

Video of the Day: The Vertical Birds – “Sure As The Day Is Long”

Swinging open the doors to the lush landscape of Neo-Soul infused with a sprinkling of Funk, The Vertical Birds deliver an irresistibly upbeat anthem in “Sure As The Day Is Long.” For those well-versed in the styles of The Bros. Landreth, The Marcus King Band, and Tedeschi Trucks Band, this tune strikes familiar and oh-so-sweet chords, adding its own unique flavor to the mix.

Picture this: a live studio, instruments scattered, and the palpable energy of musicians sharing their craft. The accompanying video for this track captures this essence perfectly, making us feel as if we’re right there, grooving alongside the band. There’s something undeniably raw and authentic about live studio performances, and The Vertical Birds capitalize on this, letting the song’s buoyant rhythms and lyrical honesty shine.

Diving headfirst into the lyrics, “Sure As The Day Is Long” paints a vivid picture of love’s rollercoaster ride. The playful jabs about causing each other minor annoyances – from expensive wishes to how one puts away the dishes – bring a grin, highlighting the real, everyday experiences couples navigate. Yet, beneath the light-heartedness, there’s an unwavering declaration of love. The acknowledgment that amidst the “mountains and valleys,” the “sunshine and snow,” love is a steadfast journey of mutual commitment.

The Vertical Birds beautifully encapsulate the realities of love. Relationships aren’t just about the grand romantic gestures; they’re about the little things, the ups and downs, the squabbles and reconciliations. There’s a universality to the lyrics that many can relate to: from “walls and open doors” to the “straight and winding roads,” the song is a testament to the shared experiences of lovers everywhere.

The chorus, with its infectious energy, captures the essence of the song – an unwavering commitment to love, come rain or shine. It’s the kind of chorus that’ll have listeners singing along, tapping their feet, and perhaps reminiscing about their own love stories.

In conclusion, “Sure As The Day Is Long” is more than just a song. It’s a celebration of the journey of love, with all its quirks, highs, and lows. The Vertical Birds have crafted a musical gem that’s not only rhythmically intoxicating but also rich in narrative depth. It’s a reminder that love, with all its imperfections, is what makes the journey worthwhile.

Video of the Day: French Cassettes – “Medium Horny”

French Cassettes delve into a tantalizing blend of nostalgia and whimsy with “Medium Horny.” Straight from the San Francisco Bay Area, they bring forth a track that seamlessly melds a laid-back indie rock vibe reminiscent of Rainbow Kitten Surprise, with the off-kilter sensibilities of Vampire Weekend.

The track exudes a “chill” aura but offers an intricate narrative beneath its serene surface. Lorenzo Scott Huerta’s explanation gives a unique peek into the creative process, with influences spanning Johnny Marr’s iconic riffs, Jeff Lynne’s songwriting prowess, and the poignant echoes of Elliott Smith. The fascinating nod to Bill Evans and his “chord solos” shows in the track’s distinctive guitar solos, which blend strummed chords into a melodic dialogue that speaks volumes.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of “Medium Horny” is the decision to maintain the authenticity of the demo guitars. The preservation of this rawness provides an unfiltered glimpse into the band’s creative spirit, echoing a sentiment that sometimes the initial spark, the raw iteration, holds the true essence of a song.

Then there’s the visual narrative — a mind-bending tale directed by Syra McCarthy that embodies both the surreal and the familiar. The tale of the suave alien, Charles, is a curious reflection on our human tendencies — the innate desire for happiness, our susceptibility to materialistic allure, and the constant dance between skepticism and surrender. The music video, rife with symbolism and quirky humor, provides a backdrop to the song’s melodies, painting a multi-dimensional picture that holds your attention and sparks a myriad of emotions.

In a sea of indie rock anthems, “Medium Horny” stands out, not just for its sonic qualities, but for the compelling stories embedded within its verses, instrumentals, and visuals. French Cassettes have crafted a gem that is both introspective and whimsical, making it a must-listen for those seeking an experience that transcends mere listening. With a penchant for the eclectic and a flair for storytelling, the band once again proves why they’re one of the most exciting acts in the contemporary indie rock scene.

Video of the Day – “Brothers Never Lie” by Anthony Lazaro

Anthony Lazaro’s “Brothers Never Lie” is a heartfelt and moving tribute to the power of friendship and loyalty. The song, released in 2018, showcases Lazaro’s undeniable talent as both a songwriter and performer.

The track opens with a simple yet effective acoustic guitar riff that sets the stage for Lazaro’s soulful vocals. His delivery is emotive and passionate, conveying a deep sense of connection and camaraderie. The lyrics, while exploring universal themes of brotherhood, offer a fresh and poignant take on the topic. The chorus, with its powerful refrain of “brothers never lie,” captures the essence of trust and loyalty that lies at the heart of the song.

The production of “Brothers Never Lie” is lush and textured, offering a perfect complement to Lazaro’s vocals. The instrumentation builds gradually throughout the track, creating a powerful and emotional listening experience. The use of strings and subtle percussion adds a sense of grandeur and drama, making the track feel epic and cinematic.

What makes “Brothers Never Lie” truly special, however, is its ability to connect with listeners on a deeply personal level. The song’s message of trust, loyalty, and the enduring power of friendship is something that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s a reminder that, no matter how difficult life may get, having someone by your side who you can count on is truly invaluable.

In conclusion, “Brothers Never Lie” by Anthony Lazaro is a powerful and moving tribute to the importance of friendship and loyalty. Its emotive vocals, lush production, and poignant lyrics make for an unforgettable listening experience. The song’s ability to connect with listeners on a personal level is a testament to its universal appeal, and its message of brotherhood and trust is something that will continue to resonate for years to come.

Video of the Day: Passenger – Heart to Love

Sometimes the submissions I receive are from artists that are just starting out and have very little name recognition, and trust me I love those submissions, then sometimes Passenger’s publicist sends a music video. This song, and accompanying video immediately grabbed my attention because it scratches that itch of pop/indie that hits me just right on a morning walk or time spent journaling with a cup of coffee. Put plainly, it’s an earworm with a melancholic tinge that mixes well on this early January winter morning in Denver.

My first thought as the verses begin was “this is certainly a Passenger song,” and I mean that in the best way possible. Michael David Rosenberg aka Passenger has the well-produced and upbeat sad song dialed in to the point that many artists could only dream of. The message of the song is relatable for many who have navigated the dating waters in the modern world, constantly restarting the “search for a heart to love,” that Rosenberg talks about so eloquently. The video itself is simple but captures the feeling of being lost in a crowd, both literally and with the song’s content as the speaker continually wades through the crowd in search of his one and only.

I’ve been hopelessly clutching up for something I can hold
I’ve been lying in the dark with no light in my soul
I’ve been rummaging around in the rain and the cold
I’ve been searching for diamonds in a pile of coal
I’ve been searching for diamonds in a pile of coal

-Passenger “Heart to Love”
Full album Runaway available on vinyl

Video of the Day: River Whyless – “Born In The Right Country”

This one is a thinker guys. Did you already watch it? Go watch it again, I’ll wait. This is one of my favorite pieces of art I’ve seen in a long time. There’s a ton to unpack here, and I’m going to try, but first let me tell you why I connect with this song so intensely. There are two primary reasons.

  1. I grew up in the South. Like the real South. Let’s call it a state Trump won with 54%. The South isn’t inherently racist, but it’s hard not to grow up around some racist attitudes, even from people who I consider good people. For example, my parents would claim not to be racist, but I remember some stern warnings to my sister about a black kid named Jovan that was coming around. I don’t think my parents are bad people, and they are not KKK level racist, but I’m using them as an example to explain that even my educated parents, who are charitable and kind, are racist. The last frame of this video that scrolls “wolves don’t exist” after we’ve watched an entire video of a black kid being led around by a wolf is exactly how baffled I’ve felt for most of my life, watching good natured people, stay willfully ignorant to the prejudices they hold, and the damage that does.
  2. I don’t live in the South anymore, but that doesn’t solve the racism problem the way you might idealize when you’re growing up in a small town dreaming of moving to a liberal utopia. I teach at a private school in the suburbs of Rhode Island where an administrator was removed last year for getting caught using a few racial slurs. I have students sitting behind desks every day who swear Colin Kaepernick is un-American, and Michael Brown deserved to be shot for being a “thug.” I don’t necessarily think these are bad people, mostly because I’ve made it my goal in life to talk through ignorance with people, and if I believe people can’t learn and change, I think I’d become quite depressed. The thing that I most associate with both of these experiences, my past, and my present, is that most of these people just have no idea the amount of privilege they are carrying. It seems somehow offensive to their character to suggest that they are not “self-made” or that someone has it harder than them. Mostly I think this is because we all have our struggles, and it makes us feel bad that we aren’t billionaires either, so how dare people say they have it harder than us? On the other hand, to admit some people are living with a level of prejudice and difference that you can’t fully comprehend somehow seems like a weak thing for these people to admit.

Alright, enough about me. Let’s talk about the video. We can immediately get the sense where it’s going when we read the title, “Born in the Right Country”. The title itself evokes a lot of the immigration struggles we have going on right now, where a person or family is attempting to find a better life in America, despite the risks involved, and is being treated inhuman because of it. But in the video, we see a slightly different angle. We follow the story of a young black male going to high school, with a wolf around his wrist. We also see that his mother, and a girl wearing a hijab also have their own wolves, while the white kids do not. This seems to suggest that even though presumably these characters didn’t immigrate here, they were still born in the “wrong” country. Not in a literal sense, but in the sense that the rules operate differently for them because of generations of social prejudice and oppression. The video shows this clearly with the white father looking disapprovingly at the potential of his daughter being in an interracial relationship, and also with the boy being stopped on the way home by the police, when he was just minding his own business. It obviously clinches up your stomach when you see those blue lights because of the countless ways that’s gone badly over the past several years (Micheal Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, etc. etc.).

When we explore the lyrics, we see them dripping with sarcasm from the perspective of Trump, or his followers, or anyone who feels like they are superior purely because they were born white and/or affluent.

“I’ll tell you baby, a secret Manufactured truth is easy to sell When you own the factory And you own the hearts of the clientele But can you really blame me? Built on a system where some must fail So that you can break through If you’ve got the right skin Or you’re born in the right country”

The perspective shifts after this point to directly talk to these people and attempt to wake them out of their ignorance:

“Don’t you know you’re lucky kid You were raised on the right side of town Born rich, now you’re yelling “I’ve seen the inside and you’re out” But can I truly blame you? We’re built on the dreams we feed to the poor So that you can break through If you’ve got the right name Or you’ve got the right god Or you’re born in the right country”

But unfortunately, the system is set up this way. There are people profiting from the lower and middle class fighting amongst themselves. Instead of placing the blame at the top, we are continually told to look at our neighbor with different skin, heritage, religion, and blame them for any short comings or failures. It’s classic scapegoating, and this current regime is not the first to use it. My only hope is that more and more people can try to see through it for what it really is; and the best way to do that is through people using their artistic talents, like River Whyless to try to break through to people in a language they can understand.


We’ve added this to our July TOTD playlist. Check it out here.

We just released a new podcast episode, on the theme of Addiction. You can check that out along with all the others, right here. 


Video of the Day: Samantha Clemons “Burn”

With powerful vocals and unapologetic lyrics, Samantha Clemons’ song, “Burn,” is a song that’s made for anyone who has been oppressed and made to feel like that oppression is okay. She punches home the idea that when there is oppression in any form, there’s no reason for the oppressed to have to ‘walk a mile in the other’s shoes’ when the opposition’s goal is to keep you underfoot. The song is applicable on so many levels in our country right now: politically, racially, across genders, and really on an almost infinite number of other levels.

When did you go change the rules?
When did you come to be so cruel?
I may be a bit naive
But how can our dreams
All of our freedom
Mean nothing to you?

Yeah, I just crossed the line
No need for compromise
Yeah, mine fit me just fine
No need to walk
in your shoes


Where there is oppression, there is an oppressor, and Samantha has obviously had enough. She goes on to sing about how she’s going to stand her ground, and if she continues to be put down, she will take more drastic measures by burning it all down. Now, if you know me, I’m not a big advocate for violence, but I definitely think there’s a time and place for more than words. This song seems to be in the same camp as me. Stand firmly and stand boldly, but if there’s still no change, proceed to the next logical step. The progression is important.

As a straight white male with a nuclear family, I haven’t faced any kind of real oppression, so anything I say is completely from an outsiders standpoint. I can sympathize, but can’t fully empathize. I will say this though; we are at a point in this country where even if you can’t empathize, morality should dictate that if you do nothing, you are enabling the oppression. Even if you don’t fully understand, you still have to stand up.