TOTD: Strange Neighbors “Ghost”

 

I love this song! I know, I know, I say that in every post, and it’s true, I wouldn’t be sharing it if I didn’t. This song hits on a niche that I think is sorely lacking at the moment: a female led grunge/punk band a la Paramore, Alanis Morissette, etc. Not only does it hit that niche, it knocks it out of the park. When asked about the background of the track the band replied: “Ghost is a tongue in cheek song with multilayered meanings – drawing out tropes and stereotypes from horror films as metaphors for feeling like existence is ultimately doomed, confusing and trite identities, and so on.”

This description becomes immediately apparent as you listen to the lyrics mention Michael Myers, tropes in horror movies, a hook mentioning the existence of ghosts in a tongue and cheek sort of way, etc. That “tongue and cheekness” is probably my favorite part of Strange Neighbors. Their bio reads:

“Every once in a while, a band comes along that changes the world. But, shit, that’s a lot of responsibility. Strange Neighbors combines the talents of Aidan (vocals), Tracey (drums), Dob (bass) and Zach (guitar) to make noise about things that matter, things that don’t, and things that lie somewhere in between. Some songs are quiet, some are loud, but at least they’re all honest – rock ’n’ roll that makes your ears feel nice.”

I have to say it’s so refreshing to find a band that knows exactly what they are, doesn’t try to take themselves too seriously, and seems to be having a lot of fun making art, which at it’s core is what art is for most of us: a form of expression that allows us to be whatever we want, silly, funny, romantic, dark, brooding, and all the shades in between.

-Caleb

As always, you can find this track on our monthly Spotify playlist, right here. 

 

The Flock: Folk – My Terrible Friend, James Rivers, Tapes, Reina del Cid, David Francey, History of Time

*This first paragraph is a copy of a previously written synopsis of the point behind the new section, The Flock.*

We have two goals here with our blog and our podcast; we want to help you find a bunch of new artists that you love, and we also want to support those artists. We came up with a new idea for a post where we take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. That way, it helps everyone. If you come here because you love one artist, you’ve got five more that you’re probably going to love now. That helps you load up your playlist with tracks that will impress your friends, and it also helps the artists hit untapped markets and possibly network with likeminded artists they didn’t know existed. Without further ado, I present “The Flock.”

 

My Terrible Friend – Proving You Right

Nataly Dawn and Lauren O’Connell make up the San Francisco based folk duo, My Terrible Friend. Both are multi-instrumentalists with silky smooth voices made for folk music, and provide an unparalleled sense of whimsy for a music video that is one medium shot angle for the duration of the video. My Terrible Friend has provided the perfect song for your summer soirees or mimosa laden brunches, and if you’re anything like me, you will definitely be mimicking Nataly and Lauren’s dance moves by the end of either of those events. This is the song that’ll help you get your summer started right. They actually remind me a lot of a friend’s old band, Feather and BelleAlso, if Nataly looks familiar, she has another project called Pomplamoose, which means grapefruit. It’s interesting the random things that La Croix teaches you. I’d be interested to know how they decided on the name, My Terrible Friend, so if anyone knows, shoot us a message.

 

James Rivers – All the Same

James Rivers has one of those deep voices that needs to be more popular in today’s music. He has an amazing timbre that is reminiscent of a more emotive Colter Wall. In the song and video, All the Same, James tells a story of lost love, but the video isn’t your typical delve into songs with similar lyrics. Watch the video to find out what I mean.

James is a relatively new guy on the scene, with his debut album releasing in just a couple of weeks, but if it’s anything like this, we are definitely huge fans of what he’s doing. The vignette throughout the video may be a bit overdone for our taste, but the song itself and the idea behind the video is made to perfection.

 

Tapes – Time is Noise

This song is so interesting to me. The voices of FARE and Milo Gore blend so well, but their harmonies are so bizarrely perfect with FARE commonly taking the low harmony while Milo belts out the melody. Time is Noise takes a really hard look at the aftermath of a cancerous relationship, and how eventually, time does allow you to move on. This Falmouth based duo is making some waves with their new EP, “dead dogs and sad songs,” so grab a pint of ice cream, your favorite sweat pants, and this EP and get ready to feel a lot of emotions.

 

Reina del Cid – Ferdinand 

We usually don’t post these live YouTube ready style recordings, but we had to make an exception for this one. Reina del Cid has written a really fun song here, and every now and then you have to break your own rules. Reina gets into the idea behind the song, so there isn’t too much for us to discuss there. I will say this though, this relationship isn’t exclusive to Ferdinand and Isabella. This is a fun telling of an all too common relationship pitfall (maybe not a pitfall depending on how you look at it) of not being able to help who you fall for, even though you really don’t want to be into them. Once again, this is a really nice summer tune.

 

David Francey – Lonely Road

I had not heard of David Francey until recently, but I am absolutely enamored. There’s a gruffness to his voice and an honesty to the composition that makes it seem like his songs could’ve been written and performed anytime in the last 200 years. He has a timelessness to what he does. His songs feel like they could build a home with their bare hands, and catch dinner in the river after it’s done. That’s how tangible and how real his songs are, and Lonely Road is no different. Listening to older albums and then coming to The Broken Heart of Everything, you can notice a change in his voice. Unfortunately, David has had to take a break from music to rehabilitate a hoarseness and strain that his taken over his voice, but hopes 2019 will be the year he gets back on the road. Heal up, David, and when you’re better, run a tour through the southeast United States.

 

History of Time – Mona Lisa

Let’s wrap up this edition of The Flock with one of the most unique voices I’ve heard in a while. Roy Varley is the man behind the voice, and he has a real gift. Here’s the thing; I’m not a huge fan of the echo that he has after the words “Mona Lisa,” but that really doesn’t matter when you’re dealing with something this unique. Roy is a phenomenal lyricist who tells you a story, but leaves his songs open to interpretation. My favorite songs are the ones where the lyrics are obviously about a very specific circumstance, but are so abstracted that they can mean a plethora of different things. Miss Mona Lisa is one of the songs on History of Time’s album, The Comfort. The whole album is a wild ride, bouncing from folk to smooth hip-hop.

 

That’s it for this edition of The Flock. Stay tuned for more songs that you didn’t know you needed in your life. If you want to catch all of the songs we have featured on the blog in the month of June, head on over to our Spotify playlist. 

Also, check out our podcast for all new music, crazy ramblings from Caleb and myself, and discussions about topics like bad luck, mortality, and technology.

 

-Seth

Morning Commute: Caelo – “How Does It Feel”

Good morning readers. If coffee isn’t enough this morning, we have a high energy track to wake you up. Mixing elements of punk, alt. rock, stadium anthems, and more, Caelo asks us “How Does It Feel” this morning. It feels good Caelo, it feels good. The thing I like most about this track is, on it’s surface, the riff is somewhat simplistic and straightforward, but as the song builds, you start to hear all of these additional elements that layer it and make it clear that Caelo aren’t just interested in being another punk band. The hook has a Foo Fighters vibe to me, and then later in the song we get some interesting synth elements that take it into an almost Muse-ish direction.

Basically I guess what I’m saying is, Caelo has successfully taken some of the world’s biggest rock sounds from the past decade, and mashed them together in a sound that is all their own. And the best part? This is a B-Side track. Go check them out on Spotify to hear more of their singles and really get a feel for the full array of potential in this band. You can also catch them on our monthly Spotify playlist right here.

-Caleb