Morning Commute – Heartless – “Project Window”

“There’s so much poverty up in the ghetto take my words and and imagine your life getting better

I was like you little homie believe matter fact these words is you speaking through me

thinking about all the things you going through now

food low and you breaking your first package down

You got
visions of being a superstar
but you know to accomplish you gotta sell hard ”

 

Let’s start off your Thursday with a song you can listen to at work. This song is a positive message about making something of yourself out of a bad situation, and it doesn’t have any profanity at all in the lyrics. Now, as someone who curses very frequently, that’s not something I look for specifically in music, but I am definitely struck by it when I notice it. It’s difficult to capture the darker parts of reality without using profanity, but I think that’s exactly what Heartless has accomplished here, and it’s really impressive. I also think I understand the rationale. If his goal is to be a positive voice for the next generation, he is placing an importance on that voice being clean, but also authentic. I think he accomplishes that goal here.

Bio: Lendell Black, ubiquitously known as Heartless, is an American rapper and hip-hop artist. Hailing from Pittsburgh, Heartless is popularly known for his profanity-free and upbeat music, and according to some is another “Bone Crusher” in the making. However, according to Black, ” I have my own style”, which is rightly so as his music is known to strike a chord, thus making it a fulfilling yet exciting experience for his audience.

-Caleb

Looking for more? We’ve added this song and more to our September TOTD Playlist.

Morning Commute: The 502s – “Olivia”

This song is so perfect for your morning commute. I don’t know about you guys, but Tuesday mornings are hard for me. I’m tired from one day of work, and I can’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel of the week yet. I drink an extra cup of coffee, and I try to find something to motivate me. This song fits into that category with it’s infectious energy and fun vibes. The lyrics themselves seem to focus on a girl, and wondering if the way they feel about her is real love or just lust. But the instrumentals, especially the horns and the rambling drum beat are perfect for putting me in the right head space this sleepy Tuesday morning.

Image result for the 502s

Bio: Listening to their lighthearted gang vocals and buoyant trumpet lines, you could certainly slap The 502s with an ambiguous indie label. Their loosely boondock, on-the-road-again acoustic tenor makes them a fit with the Americana crowd. And with their big, open strumming patterns, fingerpicked banjo, and mildly twangy vocal flair, it would be easy to call them a folk band, throw on a plaid shirt, and compare them to The Lumineers or The Avett Brothers.

Looking through a bigger lens, however – one that takes into account all aspects of their collective persona – The 502s are best described as the sound of a celebration: a wild, friendly shindig down the street that everyone wants to attend.

And the Orlando-based six-piece (Ed Isola, Jonathan Ruiz, Jake Isola, Matthew Tonner, Kaleigh LeBeau, and Tristan Smith) know that they’re ready to host. Operating within a city that sees thousands upon thousands of entertainment-hungry visitors every day has led the band to embrace their need to delight, to amuse, and to create the party for which they’re already providing the soundtrack.

The 502s’ forthcoming album Because We Had To is a lesson in finding what feels good – both in music and in life. Recorded in 36 hours over Memorial Day Weekend, it’s the kind of album you could take on a road trip, or one you might hear at a raucous New Year’s Eve Party where the lead singer smashes a pint of Guinness onstage (true story). “It’s the sound of a big rowdy party,” laughs singer/songwriter Ed Isola.

-Caleb

Looking for more? We’ve added this song and more to our September TOTD Playlist.

Morning Commute: Cambriana – “Lucifer”

“When it’s visible
Every bruise in your skin
I will never pray
if our god’s a virgin

He could use some learning

Satan is grinning
and I just wanna go down”

 

This is a really unique track with some amazing instrumentals and really intriguing lyrics. To me, the section I pasted above seems to be a discussion about how relate-able a “perfect” god is to his imperfect children. I know that a lot of religions teach us to suppress our human urges, namely the sexual ones that are mentioned in this song, and you can decide for yourself if that has any value, but it is certainly a temptation that is difficult to overcome, and a virtue that is difficult to relate with. Ultimately we see that this lyricist is willing to go to hell for the love of a woman named “Kate”. Here’s how the song ends:

“Open heaven’s gate
Gather all insurgents
If they knew you, Kate,
they would all be plunging down

They’d be raining down

Spend forever burning”

I love this image. This woman is something so powerful and beautiful that all of heaven would choose going to hell just to be with her. It’s really a unique take on the whole thing.

Bio:  Brazilian folk rockers Cambriana are teasing their upcoming album, Manaus Vidaloka, with new single, “Lucifer.” Injected with a heavy dose of afrobeat and traditional bossa nova, the song is a potpourri of laid back flourishes, fingerstyle guitar, and tongue in cheek lyrics.

According to producer and lead singer Luis Calil, “Lucifer” is “meant to be sensual, yet profane and funny. It uses the fall of the angel Lucifer as a metaphor on ‘going down,’ and mocks how certain religious traditions demonize non procreation sex as sin.” Calil sings on the track, “If our God’s a virgin / he could use some learning.” Ones To Watch said, “‘Lucifer’ not only blesses our ears, but delves deep…into societal constructs, and deep into our hearts.”

Manaus Vidaloka is the follow up to 2012’s House of Tolerance, and 2013’s EP, Worker, from which the group achieved widespread success, boasting over 1 million streams and 20k monthlies on Spotify, a slew of festival performances, and licensing to major Brazilian TV shows. Rolling Stone Brazil called the Goiânia-based group “…so impressive it’s almost frightening. [They’re] on the same level of bands like Islands and Grizzly Bear.”

Facebook // Spotify // Instagram // Twitter

-Caleb

Want to hear more? We’ve added this song and more to our September TOTD Playlist.

Morning Commute: Spitty the Sequel – “Smokin and Walking”

“often get ahead of myself/a dead head wit said cred we all bled red/white and blue feelings/mixed emotions potion and healing/high pitched squealing keep dealing ya dummies/ we got lights here riot gear/protection for those effected by my affection its an infection we no detection”

The thing I’m immediately struck by in this song is how clever the word play is. There is a nice mix of consistent meter with absolutely insane internal rhyme. I especially like the last line that I pasted above. He also really uses enjambment to his advantage. If you remember that word from high school English class, it’s when you put a line break in a clever place in the middle of a thought. Like this: “Carolina reaper and its gets deeper then in too deep wit a pool stick when its greased up/freak fuck the law the cops and all” In hip hop, it’s less about the placement on the page and more about the way it’s said. So coming off the greased up pool stick, we see “freak fuck” enjambed with “fuck the law, the cops and all. It’s all really so clever.

Here is a bonus video of the song for you guys:

Be sure to check out Spitty the Sequel on social media: Facebook 

Instagram

-Caleb

Looking for more? We’ve added this song and more to our Spotify TOTD Playlist for September. 

 

 

Morning Commute: Blynd Birds – “Vice Veins”

 

Check out this awesome single off of Blynd Birds first full length album. I get definitely TV on the Radio vibes here, mixed with some lighter indie sounds. The album was mixed by Jim Eno from SPOON, and you can definitely feel the influence. One thing that really stands out to me about this song is the lyrics, let’s dive into some:

“We know where we can find you
You stumble twice to explain
If happiness is for fine fools,
Then why you take pills for pain?
In the back room, is it too soon?
Blood’s too Black and sour to maintain
Keep your vice in your veins”

This section is really strong to me. It points out how easy it is to be cynical about how important it is to be “happy”, yet we are all seeking pleasure over pain, even if it’s not always the healthiest way to do so.

Bio: Blynd Birds is a rock and ruin band from Austin, TX. It was created by Jared Blair after years of playing guitar in loud indie-rock bands.

Blynd Birds’ latest single, VICE VEINS, came out on March 17th. Mixed by Jim Eno at Public Hi-Fi Studios in Austin, TX.

The band is genre-bending, sharp-toothed, honest and strange. The live show combines elements of Punk and Blues. Their last album, Find Your Conscience Baby, is now available for download on iTunes.

-Caleb

Want to hear more? We’ve added this song and more to our September TOTD Playlist.

Morning Commute: SHIELDS – Evidence

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How catchy is that hook? I mean, this is the kind of track that’ll make a pope dance… until he realizes that the song is about looking for evidence. Ouch. Too much? So is 4 billion dollars, but that’s a topic for another day. This is a post about SHIELDS’ new song, Evidence, an alt-pop dance tune complete with their signature harmonies, ethereal instrumentation, and complex but easy to remember/catchy song structure. It’s everything we have come to love and expect from the Newcastle based quintet.

While the song itself is light and airy, the lyrics are anything but. With a very pointed and clear message, the song delivers the time tested saying dating back to the 17th century, “actions speak louder than words,” in a new and polished package. This song is something that lyrically holds universal truth for everyone. If you’re like me, you know that actions are the key to change and honesty, but sometimes that can get muddled in selfish pride or even just being scared of what the truth actually means for your life. This is a really good reminder that the people around you don’t actually give a fuck what your reason is behind lying, they just want the truth.

I don’t believe a word you sound absurd 
I don’t believe a word you sound absurd

No one will go first, this feeling’s the worst
Waiting it out, building it up, feeding itself
No one will go first, this feeling’s the worst

You go, I go, I go, you go

You can tell me anything you want 
It’s time now to show me the truth

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Morning Commute: Natty – “Things I’ve Done”

Things I’ve done is the most personal song and video I have ever chosen to release. It was written in a state of redemption just before my first child was born and the video was recorded by a close friend of mine. It’s fitting that this is the final release before we celebrate 10 years with a new album and tour.”

Let’s start this morning with a chilled out introspective track. Like many great artists before him, this song comes from a place of reflection as he begins to think about how his life is going to change with a child. Some of my favorite albums have this same theme, notably: A Black Mile to the Surface by Manchester Orchestra. The styling of this song and video are beautiful. I love how it opens with the gorgeous guitar, and not much else, but then later we get tons of interesting instrumental woodwinds and guitar effects and even some bird sounds (or maybe that’s outside my window). We see a peeling back of layers physically and metaphorically that can only occur when the absolute seriousness of a moment strikes you and makes you reevaluate your entire self. Am I ready to be a father? Am I going to screw it up? What do I need to change? What do I want to do differently than my parents? etc. etc.

From the artist: “The official music video showcases a stripped back performance to camera with locations chosen to echo the explicit and implicit themes of the song – The abandonment and desolation of the waste land give a metaphorical image to one’s soul searching journey towards personal redemption and the once prestigious and now worn out chair, represents the perilousness of seeking salvation in the material world. The video is also interspersed with a continual scene of multiple scarves being unraveled to finally reveal Natty, representing the unpacking oneself of labels, pain and (false) identities to free the essence of self. As the song begins its dramatic climax the final breaking of daylight leads us through to a better day and renewed dignity.”

-Caleb