TOTD: Robin Hayes “Autopilot Hijack”

Let’s get weird one more time today. What are you really doing other than panicking about work tomorrow? Let this track chill you out. I mean maybe not the lyrics, which certainly give me a bit of an existential “what the hell are you doing with your life” vibe. The title itself, which is repeated several times throughout the song, kind of lends itself to that vibe. Even the hijacking is in autopilot. Which I suppose could be some sort of commentary about automation, but I’m going to take it more metaphorical.

As far as the instrumentals go, it should actually chill you out. Unless you focus too hard on the dissonant percussion that leaves you feeling a little uneasy in the best way. I guess Psychedelic rock is all about capturing the sublime right? Capturing that feeling of awe and shock that is similar to a drug experience, or seeing a dinosaur in person, or 30 ft waves, or thinking about space for too long. I think this song has all of that wrapped into a neat little package that keeps me coming back. Now go to sleep. Capitalism calls tomorrow.

-Caleb

You can find this song and all of our June TOTDs at this Spotify link right here. Holy shit, you didn’t even know you were reading a link did you?

TOTD: Spiller “Cowboy Bill”

 

Hope your Sunday is going appropriately lazy. We are back to share another cool track with you. This has to be one of my favorite new bands at the moment. There are elements from so many genres that I love, and this song emphasizes all of them. The vocals and lyrics have some emo vibes to them (Sunny Day Real Estate emo, not All Time Low emo). The instrumentals are delightful mixes of jazz with some strange timing elements a la TTNG or Giraffes? Giraffes! And then the lyrics are fun and thoughtful at the same time, kind of reminiscent of Modest Mouse. Basically what I’m saying, is this band combines a lot of my favorite sounds while also sounding entirely unique.

“Remember the Alamo, Bill? You’re a…
(I ain’t no hero)
Well you are to me
Bought a Colt .45 and now I am
a cowboy too

Wandering all day on the plains
Must be so much fun
I haven’t been clean in weeks
A dirty cowpoke”

I love how the lyrics almost seem like an old country song, but instead are set to these fun post-hardcore, mathy sort of instrumentals. I’d be interested to see what you guys think about the lyrics. Feel free to comment below. To me there seems to be a little bit of a reflection on how fun media makes certain things seem (cowboys, pirates, etc.) but if you are actually in the scenario there is a lot of danger and potential drawbacks. But it also could just be a fun song by this great band from Oregon that isn’t trying to say something terribly intense. Either way, I’m a fan and looking forward to what else they create.

-Caleb

Don’t forget to follow our June Spotify Playlist here. 

Also, if you didn’t know, we make a pretty cool podcast. You can find that here.

Video of the Day: Alex Cuba “El Dia De Hoy”

Alright guys let’s get weird and symbolic. I do encourage you, if like me you only know enough Spanish to get you through high school classes, to copy paste the lyrics (which you can find in the video description on youtube) into Google translate. I do not encourage you to do that until after you’ve watched the video in full though. Sometimes we just need to let visuals and symbols tell us an abstract story that allow us to get something out of it without too much explanation. So what do you get out of these strange colorful creatures being hidden away in a black and white world? What is this song saying to you about creativity? The powers the be/the status quo? Artistry? Maybe I’ll give you some hints in a minute, but sit with it yourself first.

Who can explain me
This great illusion
That has no end
It's the sea
Is the sun
It's today
It's starting over
And let the night
And let the night
Allow us to dream

For other stupid Americans, like myself, that is the English translation to some of the lyrics. Like any great poetry, it seems to translate quite well, though I’m sure it’s always better in the native language. To me it seems this song, and this video is very much about keeping your dreams alive, despite the world’s best attempts to capture/destroy them. I think that’s a message and inspiration that we need more than ever in these trying times, and I am so thankful that Alex Cuba shared this with us, so we could share it with you.

-Caleb

If you’re looking for more Alex Cuba, I have good news, he is very prolific. He has several albums spanning many years on Spotify. We’ve added this song to our monthly Spotify playlist to get you started. Check it out here. 

TOTD: Keatsu “Mirr(I)ror”

You guys ready for a experimental track? This was definitely one of those situations where I listened to it, and couldn’t completely figure it out, but it felt important. Art is like that sometimes, a lot of my favorite artists across multiple platforms aren’t creating things I can immediately figure out, but it makes me want to sit with it for a while. Luckily in this case, I was able to talk to the artist a bit about his inspiration on this track. I’ve pasted his response in several short messages below:

“I was listening to James Blake a lot these days 

So piano came up quickly even tho I’m rather guitar player than piano

 And well I was looking at mirror listening to instrumental so I thought I’m little narcissistic

While making an album, I created album list where I made a typo

 Instead of Mirror I wrote Mirrior

And it made track even more “broke ” so to speak” -Keatsu

Now, a few things really stand out to me about his explanation.

  1. I definitely hear the James Blake influence.
  2. The art flowed out of him on this one, which is always interesting to me. When something comes easy, like the muses spoke to you or something.
  3. He talks about his narcissism and something that stands out to me about that is that he owned even his mistake (the misspelled Mirror). So it’s narcissism with a sense of self deprecation as well?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments on what you got out of this song. And if you enjoyed this, I’m going to throw another one your way that I happened upon because of Spotify shuffling after I finished listening to this track.

 

If that track has some elements that sound familiar to you…Then you may just listen to other good music 😉

-Caleb

As always, you can find this song and all of our June TOTD’s on our Spotify playlist right here.

Mid Day Music Blast: Elliot Taylor “Different Somehow”

In the middle of a US tour with The Pierce Brothers, this UK singer-songwriter is turning heads with his raspy vocals and authentic lyrics. The thing that turned my head though was when Elliot told us that this song was recorded in a single take with just one microphone. If you have any experience recording anything at all really, you know how elusive the “one take” is. Elliot absolutely nails it with this track.

Elliot weaves a tale of a relationship, or honestly, maybe not even a relationship, but a tale of two passing ships. They know that their time could be limited together, so the song embraces the idea that we should live in the moment and take advantage of our opportunities. It goes into the idea that even throughout different parts of their time together, there are very distinct points where life was different for them both; from the butterfly stages, all the way to the breakup at the end. I just finished a semi-relevant episode of Black Mirror last night, so that could be my mind forcing a connection. In the episode, most people have this chip in their head that records their whole life. Long story short, and without ruining any plot points, the protagonist of the story rewinds to see various points of his relationship with his wife, good and bad. This song is like that episode. It’s snippets of their life together, and each one is very clearly a separate stage in how they felt about each other.

Elliot Taylor is a raw and talented storyteller with the perfect blend of soul and control. His debut EP, Live from Hell’s Kitchen, released four days ago, and I am absolutely hooked. If the above song didn’t immediately get Elliot added to your Spotify playlists, check out the music video below.

Also, if you want to listen to all of the bands we have featured for the month of June, head over to our Spotify playlist to check that out.

Morning Commute/Video of the Day: Fever Feel – “Somewhere Down the Line”

Let’s take a moment to act like we are stepping back in time with our Video of the Day today. Fever Feel’s “Somewhere Down the Line” feels so familiar and yet unique simultaneously. They were described as Led Zeppelin meets Rick James, and I can definitely see that both in style and musicality. I really love the direction and aesthetic to this video. One thing that stands out in the use of red and yellow lighting to give it a throwback feel, and also I really like the overlays where the previous picture slowly fades on top of the new picture. Any up and coming bands that are listening should take notes on the simplicity of this video. It probably didn’t cost too much, and yet it was very effective at creating a vibe and ethos that will follow my mind’s eye picture of the band going forward.

“Founded by Landon Franklin and Logan Gabert, the band is a mix of seventies rock with modern sensibilities – in fact, they consider themselves to be a part of a new age for rock and roll music.”

From their brief bio, I have to say that there ambitions don’t seem far off to me at all. Let me give you a bonus glimpse at their sound from one of their live shows. This video started playing as I was finishing up the one above, and I just got entranced by it.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m fully sold at this point.

-Caleb

As always, don’t forget to check out Fever Feel on our June TOTD Spotify playlist.