Video of the Day: Jules Rendell ft. Goz-i-am – “The Return”

It really doesn’t get much more gorgeous than this. The music is soothing and beautifully sung. The cinematography knows how to be subtle with it’s shots of the gorgeous piano. On their press package they explained a bit about why they chose to do such a stripped down version of this track:

“There was something about the third single from my album IMAGINE, The Return, that called out for a more raw, emotional offering… maybe it’s because we all worry too much and deep down we want to be free of it. We stripped out the electronic aspects of the song and took it back to basics with just a grand piano and vocal, reminiscent of an Emeli Sandé reworking or an intimate Jessie Ware vocal.

We spend our lives worrying about things that don’t really matter. We chase after success, value achievement and stature, but it’s a trap that can tie us up. I think love is what can free us from all that stuff, a place of acceptance. That’s what the song is about.”

That’s what I love most about this song too. It almost sounds like a gospel song in structure, though she nicely mentions the “chains of religion” in the song. But what I mean is it’s one of those songs that makes you tear up and you don’t really know why. It warns us of worrying our lives away, while also seeming to swell to a sea of positivity and hope that touches something deeply human inside us. If it doesn’t, poke yourself with a stick or something.


Want to hear the original album version of “The Return”? We did too, so we added it to our June TOTD Spotify playlist. Check that out here.


Video of the Day: Rotana “Crime”

Rotana steals the Video of the Day even though the video itself is a simple loop. That tells you two things: the loop is appealing to the eye, and the song is absolutely stellar. Rotana’s voice comes from the most vulnerable part of a person, and the lyrics are open and honest.

If nothing is for keeps
Can I keep you close for a minute?
I don’t know what’s real,
But I really want to feel you now.

Get a little close
Can I stop your heart for a minute?
If we don’t give a fuck,
Is that really such a crime?

The chorus speaks to object impermanence and how life is a finite structure with a definitive end at an undisclosed time. We’ve been on a kick of talking about pursuing what is going to make you the happiest and worrying about the consequences later, and this song is no different.

Rotana’s voice held onto me for over two minutes as minimal instruments backed her up, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. What a great track for when you’re hanging out with someone you love, or at least moderately like…

Video of the Day: Handshake “Crawling”

We have a delightfully upbeat and strange video for you today, complete with puppets, snow gear, color shifting objects, and social commentary, among others. I’d definitely be interesting in hearing your thoughts in the comments on what message is being espoused. I mean other than just how visually stunning all of it is, which is certainly true. I tend to think there is some sort of angle about social media, and our relationships with technology, but I also think it could just to be some witty and creative shots that go well with the electronic rock style.


As always you can find this song and more on our June Spotify Playlist. Right here. 

Video of the Day: Pablo Nouvelle feat. Lulu James – “I’m Not”

Hey there guys. We have an excellent video for you today. The main thing that will immediately strike you is the amazing use of collage-like effects. It reminds me of that scene in The Truman Show where he is trying to piece together faces using magazine clippings, but on a more cosmic scale.

The next thing you’ll be struck by is how awesome the music is. It is ambient in the best way, and subverts your expectations at every turn. When you think it’s building up to a drop, it’s building up to a mind expanding section that let’s itself breathe out. The main thing I hear repeated is “Trying to find my way.” I think that’s a perfect sample for this track and video, that finds us traveling through the cosmos, trying to find our way.


Want to hear this track again? Me too. Follow our Spotify playlist to hear this and many more June features.


Video of the Day: Brett Dennen “Already Gone”

*First off, before we get into this particular song, just know that I’m writing this one as a longtime fan of Brett’s, so it may sound more fanboy-ish than the typical posts I write. My wife and I even used a Brett Dennen song in our wedding back in 2009.*

Brett Dennen’s new video, Already Gone, is probably not only my video of the day, but my video of 2018 so far. This video made me smile more than any other music video that I can recall. Already Gone tells the story of 80 year old Vera, a woman who got caught up in the normal responsibilities of adulthood, and never made time for herself to pursue her passions. Vera’s story is a story like millions of people’s around the world. Vera focused on pleasing everyone around her, and forgot to take care of the things she wanted to do.

Cue Brett Dennen, the unassuming 38 year old superhero of Vera’s dreams. He not only takes over Vera’s household obligations, but sends her out to knock off as many bucket list items as possible. Vera proceeds to do things like learning how to surf, presses the “big red button”, streaks across the beach, and completes a tandem skydive, all while Brett scrubs toilets and vacuums her home. This story has two parts to it, and I want to get into both of them for a second.

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Part 1: Do whatever it takes to take care of yourself, and pursue what makes you happy. You have absolutely no idea what moment will be your last, and too many aren’t fortunate enough to live to 80 and have an opportunity like Vera had. Brett ends the video with that same sentiment, with the words, “Go do something you want to do before you run out of time to do it,” taking up the top half of the screen while Vera sits on the beach in a bathtub full of sprinkles eating a huge banana split. No, seriously. She does. It is probably my favorite scene from the whole video because it’s the perfect mix of a feel-good story and whimsy.

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Part 2: Be the person who helps others achieve their goals. Vera spent her whole life helping others get to their destination while she’s still sitting in neutral personally. Brett, and the whole production team, saw an issue with that, and did something about it. You don’t have to set someone up with the bucket list vacation of a lifetime, but there are a ton of people around you that you can help. Give your time, efforts, and network to others, and help them fulfill their goals. You may not have money to spare, but you may know someone who can help, can contribute a skillset, or do something as monotonous as vacuum their home so they can have time to work on their passions. Now, and important piece of this equation is that you have to be apart of a community that also encourages you to pursue your passions. If you’re solely giving your time, efforts, etc, then you can find yourself in a similar situation as Vera. Find your tribe. I know the word “tribe” is an overused cliche word, but it’s overused because it’s good.

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Another stellar song from Brett, and an even better video. Can’t wait to see what’s in the pipeline next. Also, if you’re curious about which song we used in our wedding, click here.


Video of the Day: SamXVI – “Such a Pretty House and Such a Pretty Garden”


Have a spare 15 minutes? Check out this video, or save it for later when you do, I promise it’s worth it. The video is self described as: “An audio/visual art project exploring an intense and difficult struggle with depression, and how to “stay afloat” during a difficult time.” This becomes apparent quickly with the voice over and the shocking image of someone falling into a pond. This is one of those videos that is less a conventional music video (except the music which is also exceptional) and more of an impactful short film. It has a very DIY approach to it, most of it using a single camera and very few props. Take notes musician readers of the blog. You don’t need millions of dollars to start getting your videos out there.

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The full EP, which is titled, like the blog post, Such a Pretty House, and Such a Pretty Garden” is basically played in full throughout the video. You can find the EP in broken up form on Spotify (as well as the first track on our Spotify playlist here). Something that really becomes awesome as the video progresses are the effects overlayed (like you can see in the shot above). The use of color, animation, and varied styles in music, really allow the viewer/listener to follow the progression of this depression, and the sense of feeling underwater fighting for your life that so many who have suffered from these episodes are familiar with. I won’t spoil the ending, because you need to see it yourself, but I hope any one out there who currently feels underwater can see something worth fighting for, a light at the end of the tunnel, a better tomorrow, because, at least in my experience, it does always become apparent eventually, if you can just keep fighting. Thanks again to SamXVI for reminding us how important it is to keep swimming.


Video of the Day: Chris Reardon “Fighting Man”

Prefer Spotify? Click here.

With a very straightforward message, Chris Reardon’s song, Fighting Man, is a story of perseverance, and the video is a beautiful story of redemption. I want to break them down separately, because I think while being symbiotic stories, they are different beasts.

The lyrics: This song could be right at home in any number of action or sports films, with a very clear message, strong vocals, and heady, reverb laden, guitar riffs. It’s exactly what you want to hear when the protagonist is going through the rigorous training set before him by his coach, master, sensei, or whoever is teaching them their chosen practice. It is more of a man vs. nature or man vs. man situation. How much can you take from outside forces before you give up? It’s telling you to keep fighting, survive, and become immortalized as a legend in the eyes of family, peers, etc. Okay, maybe becoming immortalized is a stretch. He really means that giving up isn’t really an option, but he does say, “Don’t you ever die.”

“It’s mighty cold,
when you’re on your own,
but the wind won’t blow,
the wind won’t knock you down.”

The video: Like I said, the video and song are very cohesive stories and can definitely apply to the same person, but the video is more of a man vs. self scenario. It starts with the main character being pulled over, obviously drunk, and getting into trouble with a police officer. It breaks into showing you how despondent and distant he has been from his loved ones, succumbing to the thralls of alcoholism. The story of redemption takes place with change. The man cleans up his act, gets sober, and starts to deal with his demons. While this story could be considered a trope of sorts, tropes exist due to an excess of examples. Alcoholism runs rampant, and most cases can be traced back to tragedy like this one. While it doesn’t explicitly tell you parts of the story, I believe the man was pushed to alcoholism after the death of his daughter. He dealt with his depression like millions around the world, and drank it away. He pushed his partner away because of his actions, and you see that in the video, even though he’s cleaning up, he still has to deal with the consequences of his actions. The video ends with him in a meeting, presumably AA or a grief support group. Now, it could be that he just hasn’t gotten to a point where the ex trusts him with his daughter, but you never see the daughter in anything but a memory. With the subject matter of the song, it leads me to believe the death theory over the typical “mom has full custody because dad can’t handle himself” trope. 

I know I haven’t gone into the song as much as I have the lyrics/video, but with a video this stellar, it took me away from the normal train of thought that I have when writing these reviews. Chris Reardon is a stellar multi-instrumentalist who covers a wide range of genres with his music, and he does them all equally well. I’ve never done this before, but I’m posting an extra video below. I just want you to check out the range on this guy. Also, Chris is from the UK, and I’m currently sitting in an airport in Boston, having just returned from Northern Ireland. This video makes me want to go back already.

Chris Reardon’s song hasn’t been picked up by a movie, to my knowledge, but I’m calling it now. By the year 2020, this song will be part of a montage (or at least part of the end credits) in a sports or action movie. It is too fitting to sit idly by and watch the fight from the sidelines.

See what I did there? Yeah, I know I SHOULD be embarrassed by the lame joke, but you don’t know me well if you think that’s enough to turn my cheeks red.

Okay, I’m going to go watch Rocky now.


Never miss a new song. Follow us on Spotify.

Morning Commute/Video of the Day: Malak “Hard Pill”

Malak’s new single, Hard Pill, is an absolute romper, and perfect to get you pumped for your morning commute. Malak, an Egyptian immigrant due to the Arab Spring protests, currently resides in Canada. I can’t help but feel that the new freedom that is offered in her Canadian surroundings coupled with her Egyptian background is what fuels the creativity for a tumultuous song like Hard Pill. Starting out with a clean approachability in the verse, the chorus hits like a punch in the gut.

I breathe in the air you breathe out, baby,
and I believe in what you’re about

(gut punch)
Oh yeah, oh yeah,
You’re a hard pill to swallow
Yeah, oh yeah, 
So dense,
and oh so hollow

I really love that the arrangement tells half of the story here, with an obvious change in the relationship, or maybe even just the duplicitousness of every relationship. You can be their biggest champion one minute, and then really dislike everything about them the next. It is a tough balance to maintain, and Malak does a wonderful job showing that with the lyrics, the arrangement, and this really trippy video.


Check out all of the artists we’ve featured on our Spotify playlist. Follow us so you never miss a great artist like this. 

Video of the Day: Esbie Fonte “Ace’s High”

I have a perfect video for you guys for the Tuesday blues. This song is all about dissatisfaction in corporate America, the mind-numbing nature of 9-5 work. It’s also a bit about the deep existentialism that comes with getting stuck in a loop. It reflects on a tedium that never seems to end and always repeats again every week, slowly draining your remaining life hours away from you inch by inch.

“Ace’s high, and I’m so low

Getting by on tomorrow”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly felt this despair, and I mostly like my job. I also get summer’s off. I just think human freedom is somewhat at odds with forced labor. I know, I know, its’ not literal forced labor. There’s no slavery involved, but most people don’t really have other options besides working to afford the basic tenants of comfortability in this society.

“If this is life, then why am I afraid,

9-5 just to survive in vain”

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Definitely watch the video intently. The lyrics tell the story I’ve already laid out, but I appreciate that the video also seems to intersperse how our home life is somewhat of a loop too. And that these home lives are mostly just ways to cope with our career life, and our meaninglessness.

To end on an uplifting note: I assume many of you out there feel just like the song says. Do not get stuck in a career you hate for the next 30 years. Start making moves now to do something you’ll feel more happy with. Make sure your work/life balance is in order. It doesn’t have to be something you fix tomorrow, but make sure your intentions are towards fixing it in the next 5 years. I assume Esbie Fonte has made moves to get away from 9-5 life through her artistry. Seth and I are slowly working our way away from it by creating a space for you guys to hear music you wouldn’t hear otherwise. None of us are quitting our day jobs yet (though I can’t speak for Esbie, maybe she is, her talent is already there for sure), but I’m also not wasting my days assuming that my only option is to continue down the same path as the baby boomers. I have no interest in living to work. I just want to live. Start making a game plan for you to do the same. We do not have to buy the lie that there is only one path.


You can find this song and all of our June posts on our monthly Spotify playlist right here. 


Video of the Day: The Go Rounds “Code”

Time to put your trippy pants on again. It seems like I’ve been sharing a lot of psychedelic sort of vibes recently. The first time watching through this video, you’ll probably find yourself just entranced by the visuals. There are interesting overlays. Moments where faces are singing over epileptic screen flashes. There’s really a lot to catch. It reminds me of a mix between 60s/70s special effects and getting caught between channels on old analog televisions.

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Alright. Are you past the initial experience? It’s really cool in it’s own right, but you know how we like to get into the lyrics a bit around here.

“I don’t know what is wrong
But I could use a little warning
I don’t know what to do
So I will cry all in blue and gold

And hope that we can crack the code
Open up the covered eye
Tryin how to figure why
When again we’ll have the time ”

So maybe the trippy visuals do work quite well into it. The “Code” in the title seems to imply a want to crack whatever code is holding human intuition or intellect back. I assume “opening up the covered eye” refers to the 3rd eye. The fabled concept that we have an eye (sometimes referred to as our calcified Pineal gland) that would allow us to see parts of the world that normal consciousness can’t tap into. Some people may use drugs, meditation, prayer, etc. to tap into this eye, and crack the code. Maybe I’ll just use this song and watch the video until something clicks.


As always, we have added this song to our ongoing June TOTD Spotify playlist. Check that out here.