Morning Commute: Big Sam’s Funky Nation – Pokechop

Even before they started singing about Mardi Gras, it was very clear these guys were here to represent NOLA. There isn’t another city like it on this planet, and the inhabitants are the same way. The video and the sound screams Big Easy. New Orleans is a proud and distinct city, and the only thing that doesn’t fit is the 76ers hoodie in the back. Good thing this isn’t an article about the 76ers and their squad they’ve assembled in Philadelphia that’s led by a man with two left knees. That article wouldn’t be so kind. This is an article about something way better than the Sixers. I’m a Hornets fan, so this is obviously all in good fun. I root for a team that seems content with being a 10 seed in a weak conference. My team also cheated on me and left for the Big Easy a long time ago, which is a perfect segue back to this funk track that is the epitome of the city it was born in.

Everyone feels like funk music is about the hard popping bass lines, the cadence of the vocals, and a powerful brass section. Funk is just as much about the negative space in the song, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation know how to work their negative space perfectly. I know that seems weird, but stay with me. If there’s constant sound to create a “fuller” track, you sacrifice the aspect of funk that is just as synonymous with the genre as the music itself: dancing. Having the negative space, that millisecond between bass lines, is what gives you a paint by numbers guide to exactly how your body should move to the song. It lets you know when to step, stomp, and shake, as witnessed by the men and women in this song. Funk music is about bringing everyone together, having fun, having a few drinks, and dancing until your legs feel like jello, either from the dancing or the drinks.

The perfect picture of New Orleans, Pokechop shows what the city is all about: robust music, a new twist on classic style (except for that 76ers hoodie), beautiful people and architecture, and a penchant for the good life. The Big Easy is known for their parties, and Big Sam’s Funk Nation knows how to throw one hell of a party.

Morning Commute: East Row Rabble – “Good For Me”

 

Let’s get funky this Tuesday morning. East Row Rabble is a classic styled big band that would’ve fit right into the 30s and 40s in America, as we tried to dance our way out of the Great Depression. My favorite thing about this song is a little tidbit East Row Rabble shared with us: ” Rabble front man Ben Drysdale actually used the song to propose to his wife on the hills overlooking Queensland’s Glasshouse Mountains underneath the giant “Woodfordia” sign at the Woodford folk festival.” Ben seems to have set an example that very few of us can remotely compete with. When we explore the lyrics a bit, we can see just why he chose this particular song, aside from how dope it sounds.

“She’s got a heart of gold And she’s easy on the eye Took me six goddamn months To convince her to be mine So I just sat back, just bidin’ my time Coz this girl’s too damn fine for me”

So we quickly start to realize that the “Good For Me” title has a double meaning. She is “good for him” in the normal sense of the word: she’s a positive part of his life, but also the singer feels like it might be appropriate to throw the word “too” in front of “good for me.” The rest of the song spells out just how perfect she is, combining “Disney princess and Norma Jean” (Marilyn Monroe), and “sinner and saint.” Overall she sounds like the perfect woman in his eyes, but I appreciate it doesn’t stray too far into hyperbole. It mentions things like her steady love, even in hard times, and how she ignores his widening waist. It’s a beautiful mix of grandeur and reality, and I can easily see why it worked as a proposal. We know we’d say yes.

-Caleb

Looking for more? We added this song to our July TOTD playlist on Spotify. 

 

 

Morning Commute: Coyle Girelli – “My Blue Heart”

Happy Fourth of July! Let’s start it off right with some raw Americana that involves both Red and Blue as a mainstay in the lyrics.:”I’ve got a blue, blue, blue heart and it’s bleeding red”. I really can’t get enough of this song. It sounds like it stepped right out of almost any era, with ranges from Johnny Cash to Jason Isbell to Roy Orbison. Let’s dive a bit into the lyrics:

“I’m Mr Nameless
In a town full of ghosts
I’m walking this road alone
Everywhere I go

I’m got a blue, blue blue heart
And it’s bleeding red

I hope tomorrow won’t hurt as much
And all my sorrow be gone gone gone with just a little love

Maybe there’s someone
As lonely as me
Looking out at the moon
Asking for somebody ”

So it’s someone who feels like their entire worldview is blue and doesn’t see much hope. He does seem to hope that one day he can find someone to share his sorrow with, and that maybe they can start to fix each other with that empathy. It’s really a beautiful sentiment, and very romanticized. From experience, two broken people can definitely make each other feel better, even if it’s not the most stable relationship all the time. I’ve never been able to sustain something like that, but it’s definitely a good starting point.

Bio: “The Chevin frontman, Coyle Girelli, releases his second solo single — “My Blue Heart” —

on Friday, June 8. The song, which follows on the heels of the first single “Where’s My Girl?,” is the second from his upcoming debut solo album, “Love Kills,” out in summer 2018.

“My Blue Heart” opens with a dirty guitar riff and stomps with an Americana heartbeat all the way through its two-minute length. The simplicity and straightforwardness of the shortest song on the album is a nod to an era of classic songwriting that inspires Girelli. Like most of the songs on the album, Girelli is the solo songwriter of “My Blue Heart.” Notably, “My Blue Heart” is the only song that he also mixed.

“I loved the rawness of this recording and this song. It’s honest, simple and satisfying like a good plate of mac & cheese,” said Girelli.

The “Love Kills” album will offer up a moody, romantic, cinematic tone, which Girelli labels Modern Noir.”

 

I certainly know if it sounds anything like this song, I’ll be all about it. Want to hear more? Check out this song and more on our July TOTD playlist on Spotify.

 

Morning Commute: The Daytimers – “Pat’s Song”

Today is kind an upbeat day for me. I’m going to the beach all day, and then going to see Good Old War and Anthony Green tonight with some friends. For that reason, it felt perfect to choose this song as the Morning Commute, because it is the perfect summer track for me. They say this was the very first song they wrote as a band, which is super impressive, and also I think really adds to the hopeful and boundless nature that the song projects. Let’s dive into some of the lyrics:

“Born in summer,
Lived with her father,
She had two brothers and a house on a hill,
In love with Trevor,
They’ve been together,
They have no money but what are they gonna do

Ooooh (what are they gonna do)x2”

So it starts off with a scenario that a lot of young couples run into. They are very in love, and very not ready from a financial standpoint to strike out on their own. So what’s the solution?

“Run away place to stay, Mississippi or maybe Kalamazoo, just me and you, just us two, what are we gonna do oh what are we gonna do ”

Well first thing that strikes me is the lyrics changed from “they” to “we”. But also I love the hopeful idealism involved in running away for a place to stay. I’m not sure it will end happily ever after or whatever, but it’s happy and hopeful right now, and that’s what fits perfectly on this summer day.

Image result for the daytimers

Bio: Rock and Roll quartet based out of Dayton, Ohio. Formed in late 2015, band members Blake Bergere (vocals/guitar), Christian Glikes (bass guitar), Patrick McAdams (guitar), and Amy Pompilio (drums) geared focus toward live performances. Brought up in the DIY scene, we are extremely gracious and thankful for all our talented friends and fans who have helped us along the way. On May 11, 2018 we were proud to, at long last, release our self-titled debut EP. Our goal is to make music that makes people as happy as it makes us, and we believe we have achieved that with our four song debut.

Morning Commute: Urias – “Visions”

Good morning. I feel about like the cover of the album art of this song this morning. My friends wanted to go dancing last night, and now certain letter combinations make me want to puke. I’ll try to avoid those. The good news is we have an excellent R&B/Trip-Hop track from Urias to help us all nurse a collective hangover. This track as described by the artist as “how she sees the universe; the light and the darkness in everything and everyone.”

I love the clicking percussion throughout the track. I think I would listen to this track with just the instrumentals, but luckily, we get the gorgeous vocal stylings of Urias too. I can’t decipher all the lyrics, but it seems like a conversation with someone the speaker cares about, or at least wants does physically. It seems like a complicated relationship for sure.

-Caleb

Want to hear more? We added this to our June TOTD Spotify playist which we will stop adding songs to at the end of today.

 

New Release Friday Morning Commute: Drona “First Word Problems”

“They got some first world problems
Credit cards to solve ‘em
Daddy’s paying for all their bits
Ivy league and Gucci kicks ”

Good morning first worlders. I hope you’re ready to get potentially triggered haha. We have this excellent single from Drona that really puts first world problems on trial. My favorite part of this song is how dressed up the message is. It’s a relatively upbeat track with smooth vocals that presumably those who are being sung about (if they aren’t listening too closely) would be bumping to. I hope no one finds my next analogy offensive, but this song thematically took me back to middle school and rocking out to “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” by Good Charlotte. Yeah, yeah, Good Charlotte sucks, we get it, but when I was 14, that song captured my angst about a subset of people that seemed very villainous to me (and honestly, the 1% still seems pretty villainous to me on the whole).

Press Release: “First World Problems” is a single from Drona’s upcoming EP “The Third World Season.” The song recounts Drona’s experience of moving from India to the U.S. at the age of 17 and the differences in cultures he encountered. Some of the lyrics in the song are direct references to other pop artists (such as “Pills in Ibiza” – Mike Posner, “Lovers from places that you can’t imagine” – Taylor Swift, “Tell me what you want tell me tell me what you want” – Spice Girls) and others are just first world problems that people seemed to have. “First World Problems” is a catchy and playful pop track that seeks to bring a unique perspective to the conversation from a part of the world that is often either ignored and/or stereotyped.

 

Obviously Drona’s background adds a whole new element to the track. In doing some research for this, I actually found out that “first world”=rich countries is actually a misnomer, and it has more to do with location/alliance than anything. Here is a helpful map and brief description from this Quora page:

  1. “First World – American Influenced, Democratic-Industrial Countries.
  2. Second World – Eastern part of the Communist Socialist Industrial States.
  3. Third World – States who have not aligned with any of the above two spheres or simply called Non-aligned Countries.

Being, the leader of the non-aligned movements, India always described as the ‘Third world country’. It never means, India is poor.

By sharing the above information, I want to call out, being an economic giant “India should still be called as 3rd world country”.

India had and will have so many gains, by maintaining this ‘Non-aligned Movement’. India will still be called as 3rd world country in years to come.”

 

I think the beauty in the fact that that Quora page is even necessary kind of illustrates a big point in the song and in Drona’s transition. “First World” countries automatically think they are superior. It’s easy to call to mind our loving President’s “shithole countries” comments from a few months back (or weeks?, years? time doesn’t really operate like normal under this president).

Let’s let Drona’s lyrics wrap this whole thing up shall we?

“So tell me what you want what you really really want
A villa on the french riviera with a Yatch or a plane – whichever’s more expensive
Houses in New York, and London, and Paris
Lovers from places that you can’t imagine
Thinking of all this is making me tired ugh

The struggle is real

We can’t get enough
Of their shiny stuff
I guess I can’t remember
When I had
So much to have
And they make us laugh
With all their fake feuds fake news ”

 

-Caleb

 

Morning Commute: Yellow Shoots “magic on my pillow”

“So I wake up in the morning, make a strong cup of coffee/ I can see you on the tele, see the fun that you’re having”

Maybe it’s a stretch, because this is a little more mellow than our normal morning commmutes, but I love the song, and I write the blog so….

Mixing elements that remind me of other productions like Glass Animals or Tame Impala, Yellow Shoots sounds both familiar, and completely unique. The lyrics themselves seem to focus on being “ghosted”. For any old fogies reading this, ghosted is when someone you think you have potential with completely stops responding to texts or messages. Instead of maturely explaining to someone that you are not interested, they just go silent and wait on you to get the message. (can you tell I have experience?) This song accurately portrays the confusion and hurt that is involved in the process. A hurt I think is magnified more than if someone was just straight up with you, because it takes to some time to figure out what’s happening, and where it went wrong, and you really never get closure.

Press Release:

“Brooklyn-based alternative producer and indie artist Yellow Shoots presents his latest single “magic on my pillow” from the forthcoming Everything LP. The follow-up to lead single “Desert Rose” is a tipsy slow drag that marries meandering synths, psychedelic sitars and jangly acoustic guitar with sumptuous bass. In keeping with tradition, Yellow Shoots’ raspy falsetto anchors the record. Seeping into every corner of the song about meaningless relationships, his voice lends an eerie, soulful presence to the track that makes the lyrics levitate. Questioning a flakey love interest he quips, “So why you call me if you can’t keep the flow?” The words hammer straight into the root of what it feels like to be ghosted by someone – a lover or a friend.

Greg formally launched Yellow Shoots with the More Alive EP in 2015 and the 2017 follow-up Stormy Weather. During this time he was also a heavy collaborator with iLLMind and Brooklyn heavy-weight, Skyzoo. His holistic approach to songwriting and production quickly attracted endorsements from renowned publications such as The Fader, Okay Player, EarMilk and RnB Nation. Spotify touted the tunes on playlists such as “Fresh Finds”, “New Indie Mix,” “New Zealand Viral 50” and “Best of Fresh Finds 2017: Six Strings”.

Yellow Shoots’ debut album “everything” is scheduled to be released July 2018.”

-Caleb

You don’t have to look too far to find him on Spotify, we’ve added him to our monthly TOTD playlist right here. Don’t forget to look out for his full length album coming out next month.