The Flock: Folk and/or Singer-Songwriter – Edward Jenkins, The Tuesday Crew, Stereo Naked, Kelan Galligan, Party of the Sun, Ryan Dunlap, Woody Pitney, History of Time

 

*Check out these artists and every other artist we’ve featured on the blog this month on our Spotify playlist for this month.*

This is a new edition of The Flock. People who love Indie/Alternative Rock are going to find so much good content in this post. What is The Flock, you ask? The Flock is an idea that we had to help fans of a specific genre find multiple bands they love in one post. It helps us provide value to you, the reader, by putting more of what you want in one place. It also helps the artists. Fans of their music come to the page and become fans of other similar artists, growing their fan base more efficiently. It also helps artists connect with other artists who have a similar feel, so they can help each other out, work together, play shows, etc. Our goal here is to help promote artists that we believe in and want to see succeed. The Flock is a great way to help with that, and we’ve seen some really cool things happen because of it. Let’s get into this edition of The Flock.

 

Edward Jenkins – Misanthropic

I wanted to start off this edition of The Flock with something really special. Edward Jenkins, or the man behind the mask, Eddy Lachapelle, easily joins a list that hasn’t been seen in a while on the blog. Edward Jenkins joins my list of Criminally Underrated Artists. This guy may take the cake though. Everything about his surroundings don’t make sense for how much an artist like this is needed on the scene. He sent us a Facebook link, and it was to his personal Facebook page vs. a fan page. That’s literally the first time that’s ever happened, and Edward is easily in the top 10% of my favorite artists we’ve had on the blog.  He is completely self-made, he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and fuck, he’s talented.

I’ll get back to this specific song in a minute, but I want to break off for a second. This guy is having so much fun making music, and it’s such a needed and refreshing thing to see in the music industry right now. Most people are focused on how to create a product and an image that will catapult them to the tops of charts; Edward is making rap tracks about washing dishes, and is making videos with his dog as his co-star. I’ve never met this guy, and he’s already the kind of guy I want to grab a beer with. His musical talent makes him the kind of guy I want to follow along and see just how far he can ride the wave. He’s definitely got the talent.

Let’s get back to Misanthropic. First off, let’s define misanthropic. I feel like it helps us get to part of the reasoning why this guy is creating the kind of music he wants to with no regards to how people will perceive him; he doesn’t like you. I mean, he definitely doesn’t dislike everyone, but misanthropic means disliking society and the people in it. According to Jenkins, this song is, “A song based on Freud’s concept of the ID, ego, super ego. But mostly its a song of wanting to be alone on the beach far away from the world.” You see, he doesn’t dislike you; he just doesn’t want to spend any time with you. That’s definitely a sentiment I can relate to most days.

I don’t have enough time to get into id, ego, and superego on this post, but I’m currently reaching out to Edward to see if we can setup a Facebook Live discussion where we can dive into that a little deeper.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, ocean, sky, outdoor and water

 

The Tuesday Crew – Summer Lovin’

I’m so stoked about this Flock post. It’s so damn strong, and it’s the perfect picture of what we are about here. We have come across some of the most remarkable artists, and the bands we have come to love the most have come out of the most organic environments. Nothing gets more organic than the inception of The Tuesday Crew.

“On a Tuesday in May, Jordy Searcy & Stephen Day got together in Andy’s basement and made a song called “Summer Lovin” for fun. 

The bros said, “Hey, this here song is pretty nifty“. So they decided to make a band…”

When your debut song is a song like Summer Lovin, it’s pretty obvious how you can accrue over 100,000 plays on Spotify already. I was really impressed with the vocals in the first verse, but it’s the chorus that really hooked me. The harmonies that they play with are really interesting, and it was the first hint that there was another singer in the group who was equally as talented as the guy in the first verse. Jordy sets you up, and Stephen knocks you down. Then, they just jump on top of you and start pummeling you with the realization that you can’t get a band together with one stellar singer, much less two. Have you ever listened to a band that is so good right out of the gate that it kind of pisses you off? The Tuesday Crew is that band.

Stereo Naked – Broken & Blue

These are the roots of bluegrass and folk. No drums, no amps, no expectations. It’s friends sitting around and making tunes that just work. It’s fun to listen to, and you can hear the technical prowess of the instrumentalists who have honed their craft until they’re comfortable with this setup. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of really talented musicians in any genre you come across, but musicians who aren’t talented don’t really try their hand at traditional folk and bluegrass because there’s absolutely no hiding any deficiencies you might have.

One area that can suffer in this style of music is the vocals because it is a genre that focuses on the instrumentals and the story behind the music before it typically focuses on the tonal acuity of the vocalist. Stereo Naked doesn’t have this problem. With Julia Zech and Pierce Black, you have two vocalists who compliment each other so well, but they can each hold their own, as you heard in the verses.

Broken & Blue is a song that gets into how relationships can seem like a picture of perfection on the outside while there is so much pain underneath the surface. Whether it’s biting words, physical abuse, or something else entirely, somewhere along the way the relationship suffered.

Kelan Galligan – Brightens Me and Snowball

We love this guy so much, we couldn’t pick just one song to share with you all. Kelan Galligan is exactly what we look for on this website. He’s a self-made artist, he is insanely talented, and he’s making music that differs in scale, weight, and tone while keeping it all extremely accessible. These songs are a perfect example of that. Brightens Me is a quiet and mellow ride while Snowball does exactly that; it builds throughout, growing in size and power like a snowball rolling down a hill.

Brightens Me is one of those songs that is fairly ambiguous, leaving a lot to the listener to decide. My best guess though is that this is a song about forbidden love. I’m not sure in what context, but that idea is kind of where my mind lands when I listen to this song and read through the lyrics.

The way you laugh, the way you smile, it brightens me.
This love. The way you dance, the way you move, it frightens me.
This love enlightens me.
We must not let the neighbours know it.

It reminds me of the case in the movie, Marshall, where the white woman is having an affair with the black man who works for her. Everything is done in secret and under cover of darkness. Everything is new and exciting, but it is also terrifying. The idea behind getting caught scares and exhilarates. The neighbors can’t find out, but each time, the limits are pushed just a little further.

Kelan is continuously pushing the limit of his sound a little further, and developing something unique to him. You’ll hear a distinct difference between Brightens Me, and the next song, Snowball.

Lyrically, this is another interesting song. I mean, it starts out with I could be x, and you could be y, where the x and y are symbiotic, working together for the common good. Then you start to see chinks in the armor. Pieces move from symbiotic to parasitic opposites that pose a direct conflict with each other. Then, back to another piece line where the team works well together.

You could be a scythe and I could be a butcher’s hook.
You could write letters and I could write a children’s book.
You could build a castle with a tower and moat,I could look for treasure on a sunken boat,
And we could read rhymes in rooms full of children.
You could be tried and I could be a good idea.
You could be honest and I could be insincere.
You could be a locomotive running on time,
I could be a blockage on a railway line,
We could be the remedy in rooms full of symptoms.

What do I make from this? It’s a story of most relationships where sometimes you feel like you’re the catalyst pushing life forward, and sometimes you feel like the anchor that’s holding everyone back. The key to the song is in the next line:

And in time, all my little white lies will collide and snowball.

The pieces of turmoil seem to be caused by Kelan, or the protagonist of the story, telling small lies that are compounding into a much bigger mess. There are a lot more nuanced pieces to pull from this song, but if I did that, I would be here all day. Maybe at some point we can have Kelan on a live show to figure out why he chose the pieces he did. Why a scythe and butchers block? Why the pigeon? I mean, it may all be completely arbitrary and strictly for the benefit of the sound of the song, but I’m not so sure.

Also, sing the white lines song with the words from Fix You by Coldplay. It’s so similar that it’s almost a subtle shout-out, but again, I’m not so sure.

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

 

Party of the Sun – Acapulco

We have so many good bass line grooves on The Flock today, and Acapulco from Party of the Sun is no different. The bass line is almost as clean and disarming as Ethan McBrien’s new school crooner vocals. Almost. Ethan McBrien leads a full band that understands the power of a commanding voice like McBrien’s. He doesn’t try to steal the show with runs or ad lib, he just has this strong and pure tonality that can flip to a raw rasp with little to no effort.

If you don’t know me well, you know that my brain is definitely wired to embrace the English and history side of things over the math and sciences. English and history are so malleable while math and science are very rigid. With poetry, if I can present why I feel the way I feel when reading a piece, and can back it up with excerpts, you can’t tell me that it isn’t about that (unless you’re the author). Even the author can look at what I’m presenting and say, “I see how you feel this way.” With math, if I tell you 2+2=8 because I feel a certain type of way, I’m still wrong. Let’s take a look at the lyrics, and then get into what I pulled from them.

I’m headed back to Acapulco 
Somewhere in my head 
I’ve only been there once 
haven’t tried to go back since 

What’s that music that I hear 
Walking down the road? 
And who’s the one that rings the bell 
And calls me home? 

That song, that song 
Ringing down the wire 
That song, that song 
Echoes in the night 

I’m headed back it feels at last 
The record must be changed 
I’ve Been living with tomorrow 
Painted cross my face 

What’s that music that I hear 
Ripping down the hall? 
Who the one that rings the bell 
And leads me on? 

That song, that song 
Ringing down the wire 
That song, that song 
Echoes in the night 

I can’t speak for much 
In a world growing cold 
But I see you everywhere I go 
In that cool black water 
Running through the night 
In that day break sun 
And the heartbeat of our time 

That song, that song 
Ringing down the wire 
That song, that song 
Echoes in the night 

That song, that song 
Ringing down the wire 
That song, that song 
Echoes in the night

Okay, are you ready for this? I think that Acapulco is a song about a couple where one has passed into the afterlife, and one isn’t far behind. Stay with me. I know this may be a stretch from the actual meaning, Ethan, but I really like the story this tells. When doing these lyric dissections, I usually go through them and lay it out

First off, Acapulco. I had heard of it before, but I didn’t know anything about it. I knew it was a beach side tourist destination. I didn’t know much else. After doing a little bit of research, I found out the reason the protagonist had only been once. It’s a pretty expensive place to go. Now that we have a base, let me build the narrative. A couple pinches pennies, works extra jobs, etc. to save up for a trip to Acapulco. It is an absolutely perfect trip, and every trip for the rest of their lives is compared to that trip. They know they can never afford to go back, so they make a deal with each other that they’ll meet on Acapulco’s beaches when they pass into the afterlife. That’s how they’ll find each other. After many years of battling cancer (there’s no reason I believe that this is how she goes, it just builds a story), the wife succumbs to her sickness at a fairly young age. The man goes on living his life, every single day he’s missing her more and more, and everyday he’s getting closer and closer to Acapulco. He’s gotten to a point in his life where his own health is declining, and he’s started seeing her more and more in the world around him, calling him home. She has almost gotten to the point where she’s doing a duet with the reaper. He’s ready to go back to Acapulco.

Listen to the song with that narrative in mind. I don’t know what the song is actually about, but this is what I hear. Either way, Party of the Sun is a band you want to keep an eye on. They sneak up on you, and then you’re trapped.

Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

 

Ryan Dunlap – Lost

One thing that I’ve found on this edition of The Flock maybe more than any other version that I’ve personally written is that the artists today all seem to be insanely versatile. Ryan Dunlap is another guy who surprised me when I listened to this track. We shared his song, Haunted House, on the blog not long ago, and it was this haunting track that showed a James Vincent McMorrow side of Ryan, and then I hear Lost. I was absolutely floored. All of the elements that come together on this track are so interesting. He starts out in a very typical singer-songwriter fashion with just his voice and his guitar, but at the :49 mark, you realize it’s going to be something completely different when the horns (a Ryan Dunlap staple) kick in. Soon, you have what’s almost a reggae vibe instrumentally with ad lib horns on top, and a raspy indie folk vocalist. What do you even do with that? You celebrate it. That’s all there is to do. I can’t understand his brain and how it worked to put this sound together, but I’m definitely glad it did.

Lyrically, it’s a story we’ve heard a few times before, but not necessarily in this frame. It’s a story about someone saving Ryan from a hopeless existence. I was lost until you found me is something that has been echoed through music since the dawn of vocal music, but it’s the stuff around the chorus I’m interested in. It’s just a story of his life. He’s talking about everything from making amends with old enemies (maybe a past relationship), to being able to discern more about a person from the lies they’re willing to tell you vs. the actual knowledge that they have. I really like the way this song doesn’t solely focus on the thing that saved him. It’s a song that could just as easily be about a deity than a partner. I mean, it could even be about a twin that he never knew existed. Who knows? I mean… Ryan does, but you’d have to ask him to be for sure. Songs usually use their verses to tie in what the chorus is talking about, and I’m sure it does tie into the specific storyline of Ryan’s life, but for the listener, it leaves so much room for them to relate his story to theirs.

 

Woody Pitney – A Little Too Late

When I first listened to Woody Pitney, I got so excited. His voice at the beginning of the song is very reminiscent of The National, one of my favorite bands. Then, he busts out and starts hitting these runs on the verge of his falsetto, but his voice never loses any of its power. He switches from Matt Berninger to James Keogh (Vance Joy) with absolutely no issues. Most people wish they could sing like either of those guys; Woody can sing like both.

He has made a song here that is ready for the radio with a poppy chorus, but make no mistake, this guy’s not just another top 40 copycat. The guy’s got a range that people (me) would kill for, and is making compositions that leave you guessing what’s going to come next. Get on the hype train now so you can tell all of your friends you knew about him before they did.

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, crowd and outdoor

 

History of Time – I Cry Wolf

Is it flamenco music? Is it acoustic singer-songwriter? I have no clue, but I love it. No stranger to the blog, History of Time hits again with a track that has that same unique timbre to it, but a totally different feel. I made it a point when I reviewed his song, Mona Lisa, to talk about how versatile this guy is, and this is just more proof of that fact.

The lyrics are another smooth experience as Roy Varley talks about how a lot of life experiences aren’t necessarily what you think/say they’ll be. You have it built up in your head to go down a certain path, and unexpected circumstances, bad choices, etc. force you down a different path, making it seem like you’re crying wolf about your own future. It’s a hard thing to try to work through. There are so many times in my life where I said I was going to do something, and through no fault of my own, things didn’t go that way. There are plenty of times where it was my fault, but those are stories for another day. Either way, it’s a hard thing to reconcile that after hard work and diligence, some life plans don’t pan out. Once again, another ambiguous song lyrically, and the meaning that I pulled from it may not be the actual meaning behind the lyrics. As we always say though, that’s one of the most beautiful things about music. It can speak to people in so many different ways. All I know is History of Time is making music that can speak to a multitude of people.


As always, follow these folks, give them your money, and let them know that you love their tunes. Click on the links in the artist titles to check them out.

Check out the Spotify playlist for the month, featuring every artist we’ve written about thus far. If you’re reading this as soon as it comes out, it may be a day or two before these guys get added. Follow it now, and you’ll see them added soon.

We have a podcast. Check it out here.

-Seth

The Flock: Hip-Hop: The Supreme Kings of Yesterday, Sauce is Matisse, Liion Gamble, Datta Boy, Rageouz

*Check out these artists and every other artist we’ve featured on the blog this month on our Spotify playlist for this month.*

This is a new edition of The Flock. People who love Hip-Hop are going to find so much good content in this post. What is The Flock, you ask? The Flock is an idea that we had to help fans of a specific genre find multiple bands they love in one post. It helps us provide value to you, the reader, by putting more of what you want in one place. It also helps the artists. Fans of their music come to the page and become fans of other similar artists, growing their fan base more efficiently. It also helps artists connect with other artists who have a similar feel, so they can help each other out, work together, play shows, etc. Our goal here is to help promote artists that we believe in and want to see succeed. The Flock is a great way to help with that, and we’ve seen some really cool things happen because of it. Let’s get into this edition of The Flock.

The Supreme Kings of Yesterday – “Next Latest”

I love the sample at the beginning, especially the faked out Trap style stuff that makes fun of “Migos and all those guys that sound the same.” It really sets the stage for a throwback style hip-hop track that puts the people who throw together tracks in a few days, rappers who have no flow (i.e. mumble rap), and many other aspects of modern rap that The Supreme Kings of Yesterday hope to turn the clock back on. Above just a diss track, my favorite thing about track is that it is really a positive track that is about being yourself. He isn’t really hating on people for using the popular style to make some money, but he is calling them out for not being themselves, and if nothing else, S.K.Y. is going to be uniquely themselves. I really love how a lot of the track is filled with 90s style turntable scratching, and multiple voices with multiple flows. It makes me feel comfortable, like I’m a kid again listening to The Chronic or OutKast (not that the style is exactly the same).

Bio: The Supreme Kings of Yesterday, The S.K.Y. (comprised of brothers Cise & Classy Touch – Next Latest – Single from the forthcoming sel-titled project, based in Los Angeles & Oakland CA. Fresh vibes await with clear and concise lyrics, precision instrumentation and drum break accuracy. You seek the best from your imagination, you Look Up To The S.K.Y.

Sauce is Matisse – “Socially Inept”

It’s not exactly the same, but the flow on this song really reminded me of some early Eminem. Especially around The Slim Shady LP or so. Considering that’s one of my favorite albums, I hope that’s an okay connection. Sauce is Matisse has his own unique lyrical style that seems to focus on being an outcast “As in socially inept.” And this song at it’s heart seems to be a celebration of those who aren’t necessarily the most popular or cool. It’s an unapologetic beating of the chest saying that it’s okay to be comfortable in your own skin, regardless of how popular or not it makes you.

Bio: Depression. Social anxiety. Peer-diagnosed Asperger’s. Add a nerdy passion for artistic creation to this walking contradiction and you’ve got Sauce is Matisse, the D.C.-born rap artist currently based in Charlottesville, VA.

After being professionally described as a mental paradox in his teens, Sauce was given the advice to “contain” said paradox in order to allow all competing sides of himself to coexist.
He has done so through music.

Sauce is Matisse draws inspiration from both underground and mainstream music across all genres, and his work showcases a sound between raw hip-hop and the most technical heavy metal outfits. Over the years, he has worked with and learned from several established names (and some not so established) in the multi-genre underground. Sauce is always evolving as an artist and refining his sound and visuals, tightening them into progressively visceral polished works of art.

Eventually, Sauce realized that he could not only save himself through music, but he could reach others as well. Listen and you’ll hear that this paradox has effectively been contained, and it’s tastier than ever.

 

Liion Gamble – “Solitude”

This song is just gorgeous and haunting. The female vocals really even out the whole thing, and I’m really moved by the consciousness of the lyrics, that range from melancholy to hopeful. The lyrics discuss police brutality, violence, struggling to make the art you want, relationships, divinity, and hope that there is a purpose behind all of this struggling and solitude. It’s really a wonderfully grounded song of hope and overcoming adversity.

Bio: Liion Gamble was raised in Raleigh, NC but born in St. Andrew, Jamaica. His musical influence can be traced all the way back to his Grandfather. With conscious content we are almost always drawn to assume the nature of the music will be a bit dull and somewhat preachy. Liion bridges the gap between substance and style in a major way. Melodic hooks and bridges, paired with quotable lyrics and stylistic flow, highlight this artist’s versatility.

With a growing social media presence Liion released his first official single, “Solitude” on all streaming platforms May of 2018 and has delivered an EP entitled Grand Re-Opening July 27th of 2018. Driven to cut out the middle man, he has become a student of production and audio engineering in order to take the quality of his sound to the next level. Building a hit record from the ground up is a big goal of his right now but only one of many in the pursuit of becoming a complete artist.

 

Datta Boy – “Keep Drinking (Prod. by Epik The Dawn)”

“FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE LETHAL

STAB US WITH THE SHARPEST NEEDLE

THEY SWEAR THEY PROVE IT IN THE PENALS

BREAK A NIGGA BACK YOU KOW THIS IS A FACT LIKE WAR MACHINE TO DON CHEADLE

NIGGAS STANDING STILL TARGET PRACTICE KILLS MANAQUINS BLACK BEATLES

I DON’T REALLY KNOW”

This song is full of really intense lyrics, but this was my favorite section. It really dives into the way that the system is corrupt and broken, by beautiful evoking constitutional language, to describe how they break someone. I also like the War Machine reference, which sees a black man being used for profit, but only as a secondary character. As far as the “keep drinking” hook goes, it kind of reminds me of “Swimming Pools” by Kendrick Lamar. It doesn’t seem like the drinking is a real solution, but it is a way to cope with how bad things can get. It takes on a somber tone of some sort of plead to find a way to numb all the pain surrounding the struggle, which is evidenced by the artists description of the song: “A man blames the world for his problems and heres a voice in his head telling him to keep drinking”

Bio:  Datta Boy is a multifaceted artist from Los Angeles California. He began rapping at the age of 11 and ever since then he has had a love for music. He took a break from music to pursue a career in football. He played college football at The University Of Nevada Reno where he Played Fullback for the Wolf-Pack and also played for Southern Utah University where he was a hybrid blocker for the Thunder Birds (T-Birds). After he graduated from Southern Utah University, He played a year professional football and called it quits. He returns to his love of music. He has one mix-tape out called “Black Ink” and 3 music video out called Fell So Far, A Wave Of My Own Prod. & Feat. Ronny Bueller and THREAT which were all directed by Ralph Laurence Mariano and his assistant director Jose “No-Face” Quintanilla. Datta Boy is cousins with actress and R&B Singer Rhyon (Surviving Compton, Lincoln Heights,Get Rich or Die Tryin’) who has a hit single on the radio “California” and her older sister R&B Singer RaVaughn( Better Be Good, Best Friend).

 

Rageouz – “Bridging”

The video expresses my contentedness with my surroundings, with my day-to-day life around family and friends, being what I value most”  – Rageouz

This is really a fascinating video with a first person walk through a life, with some really inventive effects. At its heart, it’s a really calming look at a day in the life of someone who is “alright.” There’s not a ton of trauma or drama, it just feels right. I think we can all learn to look around and appreciate our lives for what they are: a good time with some friends, time spent with family, a pretty drive. “How could I complain?”

Bio: Hailing from the stomping grounds of East London’s Canning Town, Rageouz’s musical journey began at the age of just 11. Raised on a healthy diet of UK Rap legends and inspired by the likes of Kano and Dizzee Rascal, his curiosity was sparked. Bursting through with his debut ‘Outchea’ followed by his freshman mixtape Hell’s Angel, Rageouz has displayed an unwavering work rate. His innate hunger and skill at delivering has led him to be featured on GRM Daily’s ‘Next Gen 10’ alongside artist such as Avelino, Bonkaz and A2 and he has released a string of successful projects including ‘East Side’, his ‘Ethos’ EP, collaborative project ‘Back 2 Da Future’ with Preacher Soul and ‘On The House’.

Contagiously creative and enthrallingly enigmatic join Rageouz on his latest pursuit and get to know the exciting new prospect of UK music.

 

-Caleb

Want to hear more? Check out these songs and more on our August TOTD Playlist. 

We also just released a new podcast today, you can check that out here: Episode 18: Existentialism (Part 1)

 

Episode 18: Existentialism (Part 1)

Stitcher

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iTunes

TuneIn Radio

Google Play

 

Join Seth and Caleb (who had some sound issues) as they discuss free will, Ghosts, Omniscience, tyranny inspired punk, and as always, the best new music you’ve never heard of.

Intro – Alpine Blizzard – Stranger feat. Jenny Ridgeway
@alpineblizzard

Strange Neighbors – Ghost
*StrangeneighborsGhost
*bsideguys.com/2018/06/19/strange-neighbors/

Esbie Fonte – Ace’s High
www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFcH6xKy8jw
bsideguys.com/2018/06/12/esbie-fonte/

Indian Askin – I Feel Something
www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnlBSFwjc-Y
bsideguys.com/2018/06/21/the-flo…addle-hugo-fowler/

Glass Lungs – Casting Stones
www.youtube.com/watch?v=77FaaognfnY
bsideguys.com/2018/05/28/mid-day…gs-casting-stones/

Robin Hayes – Autopilot Hijack
TherobinhayesAutopilot-highjack
bsideguys.com/2018/06/10/robin-hayes/

Fort Hill – Marks
User-764965945Marks
bsideguys.com/2018/06/01/totd-fort-hill-marks/

The Flock: Indie/Alternative Rock: Dirty Hank, Ursa Major, Henry CS, Sundaes, Overstreet, Mammoth Indigo, Moses Cadillac

*Check out these artists and every other artist we’ve featured on the blog this month on our Spotify playlist for this month.*

This is a new edition of The Flock. People who love Indie/Alternative Rock are going to find so much good content in this post. What is The Flock, you ask? The Flock is an idea that we had to help fans of a specific genre find multiple bands they love in one post. It helps us provide value to you, the reader, by putting more of what you want in one place. It also helps the artists. Fans of their music come to the page and become fans of other similar artists, growing their fan base more efficiently. It also helps artists connect with other artists who have a similar feel, so they can help each other out, work together, play shows, etc. Our goal here is to help promote artists that we believe in and want to see succeed. The Flock is a great way to help with that, and we’ve seen some really cool things happen because of it. Let’s get into this edition of The Flock.

Dirty Hank – “Hot Mess”

Bet you weren’t expecting that change up at the 30 second mark. It’s what immediately got me in interested in this song. What makes it even more impressive is that this is basically just two guys making all this awesome noise. The lyrics have a bit of a grunge/punk element to them. Let’s look into some:

“You’re a timer, ticking up above
Feel the pressure Leave me now
They place us where they want to place us where they want to
Place us where we collide”

For the most part the lyrics are a bit ambiguous and abstract, but the general feeling I get is a reflection about what people disagree on, and who is benefitting from the disagreements. “they place us where they want to, place us where we collide.”

Bio: “meet dirty hank hollering two piece groove grunge duo from stevenage hertfordshire uk. with booming vocals and beat, riffs to punch teeth out to, imagine your favorite dive bar transformed into an LP, then it would sound like slip my mind, the debut album from Dirty Hank”

http://www.instagram.com/dirtyhankmusic

http://www.facebook.com/dirtyhankband

http://www.twitter.com/dirtyhank2

 

Ursa Major – “Gold Blooded”

Ursa Major mixes elements from prog. rock/psychedelic artists and spoken word/hip-hop, among many other genres. The instrumentals remind me a bit of TTNG, and maybe some early Portugal. The Man while the vocals go from Beastie Boys, to Minus the Bear, to Fort Minor. All of these elements combine together to make something entirely unique. The lyrics themselves are perhaps my favorite part in a song full of favorite parts. Since they are rattled off so quickly, let’s dive into some:

“No one told us a tattoo always itches where the lines are the thickest
Still, I never forget how quick life can slip into a thicket, and flip in an instant, hanging my legs off the edge of a ledge to test my existence, whoa! I’m in love with living!
Been digesting drugs, my tongue is feeling like a million bucks!
Music grooving through my lungs initializing meditation,
self-medication at its finest”

It definitely has a bit of a stream of consciousness vibe that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to one overall theme, but instead to several images that are relatable, and expand your own understanding of the world around you.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing

Bio: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UrsaMajorBand/

Instagramz: https://www.instagram.com/ursamajorband/

Tweeter: https://twitter.com/ursamajor_band?lang=en

Youtube 1 (our frontman is a video director): – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLUsBsen9f0nTEr-m9o9q7A

Youtube 2 – (Our old channel. Gold Blooded music video coming in July): – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLUsBsen9f0nTEr-m9o9q7A

 

Henry CS – “live a little, enjoy”

“This song is written about my sporadic struggles with Agoraphobia and how I may sometimes not be able to leave the house for days/weeks at a time. During one of my bad moments, I put a microphone in my room and recorded this song. It is written about how depression and mental health can ruin everything about being a young adult.”

This is the statement we got from the artist about what the song is about. It’s really what art is all about for me. A therapeutic expression of the human experience from a single speaker, that multitudes can relate to. Let’s dive into a couple of those lyrics:

“I’m checking Facebook again,
It just reminds me I have no friends
My attendance is so poor
Yet I can’t get up off the floor

La, la la la la,la
La, la la la la x2

I want to get out this fucking house
I want to get off this fucking couch. x4”

I don’t know about you guys, but me and most of the people I know my age, have had this exact day. I had dozens of them throughout college. There is an overwhelming restlessness to being inside, and yet a complete lack of drive to actually step out of your door.

Bio: “College student living in Bristol, UK. I’m a self-taught multi-instrumentalist I record all my stuff myself, no outside help. I struggle badly with mental health and therefore spend most my time inside where I enjoy recording my music in my room.

I take big influence from DIY artists and producers such as Sandy Alex G, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Beck, Aaron Dessner and Mac Demarco.”

 

Sundaes – “Laundry Day”

I immediately added this song to my Fall/Winter playlist. It really reminds me a good bit of the vocal style of Mount Eerie, though luckily for my emotions, not quite as heavy. With a song that is so stripped down, the lyrics really stand out, so let’s get into some of them:

“T-shirts, underwear, matching my socks I don’t care.
There’s nobody like me
Living in a silent film
nobody is listening to me
They don’t know what they see

Nothing is going to plan
everything’s going to plan
Nothings going to plan

Everything is going to plan
nothing is going to plan
Everything is going, to plan”

I love how ambivalent the whole song is. It’s not “sad” per se, but it feels like depression. What I mean by that is there is a numb apathy to the whole thing. This, along with the lilting vocals make it perfect music for a rainy/snowy day. If you stuck around for 2:40 or so, you get this emotional breakdown that feels like the guitar itself is trapped inside this refrain. “Everything is going to plan, nothing is going to plan.”

Image may contain: 1 person

Bio: Lovechild of a wayward New York boy and the city of Nashville, Sundaes survives on McFlurrys, Steel Magnolia’s and the complete works of Lana Del Rey. The band draws influence from a combination of early oughts’ indie rock, blues, and genre assorted hits or all eras. Dancing among the kings of country, a queen does her best.

The band made their performance debut in the spring of 2015 with a set of two sold out shows at the Chelsea Hotel Storefront Gallery in New York. Fall 2015 the song “Walk My Street” appeared in the soundtrack of Best Picture Winner Spotlight. Sundaes’ self-titled debut EP was released July 2017. “Pretty Wife” Sundaes first single of 2018 was released May 18th. “Talking” followed June 12th. More to come soon!

 

Overstreet – “Carried Away”

If you are listening to all of these songs in order, you’ll notice a pretty dramatic shift in tone with this one. I mentioned the previous song is good for a rainy/snowy day, well this song is a sunny summer song through and through. It has a “no worry” attitude that proposes that any problem can be solved with “hard lemonade”. And honestly, that’s the way I feel in summer too. It’s not really that my problems disappear, but they just don’t feel as heavy with the sun shining on your face. Now, I don’t have a full version of the lyrics, so I’m not positive that there isn’t some subversion of this idea, especially with the title “Carried Away”, but nonetheless, the image of driving down the PCH with these pop vocals, will keep me from focusing too much on the negative until the leaves start to fall around here.

Bio:  Singer/Songwriter Chord Overstreet grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, in a musical environment with his parents and 5 siblings. His father, Paul Overstreet, is a two time Grammy award winner and the recipient of 5 BMI Songwriter of the Year awards.

Known for his critically acclaimed role as quarterback turned glee club member Sam Evans on FOX’s Emmy Nominated and Golden Globe winning series “Glee,” Chord graduated from high school in 2007 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in singing and acting.

In 2015, Chord, who plays the piano, guitar, and drums, became the first artist to be signed to Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and Phil McIntyre’s Safehouse Records, a joint venture with Island Records. Most recently, Chord released the remix of his single “Hold On” with Dutch DJ duo Deepend which debuted at #28 on the iTunes Dance charts. The original version released in February was heard in the series finale of the Vampire Diaries.

Currently, Chord is working on his debut album set to release later this year.

Mammoth Indigo – “Undertow”

This one features another vocal style that is so unique and interesting to me. With the title “Undertow”, I can’t help but think it feels like it’s slightly underwater, either physically, or metaphorically underwater as the world, the media, the future, washes all around the speaker. The video itself lends itself to this underwater interpretation, and the lyrics that flash at the bottom of the screen seem to suggest a wanting to overcome this underwater feeling. But the protagonist of our video sits on the couch, with a TV glow on his face, and a wine glass in his hand, mentioning how tired he is of drowning, while he drowns. This is what the artist says about the song:

“”Undertow” has some of my favorite lyrics from the record -“I will burn a hole in your head with your own cigarette” sounds like a growl line from a metal song, but in Undertow it’s a falsetto.To me, the song sounds like a macabre, ring-leader from a circus is singing the verses. It’s playful and solemn at once. Playing it live we get pretty psychedelic. It’s a fun track and also one of the only songs on “Wilt” to feature an acoustic guitar -which is ironic, considering it probably has the most production. Cody Bowers”

I know I would love to see this song live. I can just imagine how grandiose the whole thing gets. You can check out their website: https://www.mammothindigo.com/ for tour dates. I’m aiming for the September date in Boston.

Bio: Mammoth Indigo is an American indie rock band who’s members reside in Richmond, VA & Charlotte, NC. In 2013, they released their debut self titled album. They have toured with Taking Back Sunday , (You Blew It?), The Soil & The Sun, Joey Cook, and have headlined their own tours around the U.S. Mammoth Indigo is currently focusing their energy on their new single “Flowers In The Basement” and the upcoming release of their sophomore album ‘Wilt’.

Moses Cadillac – “A Thousand Times”

“Hello honey I know I’m late
I got too twisted tryin’ to get me straight
I lost that money I was gonna make
But still you come and take my pain away

[Chorus]

I got mixed up and I lost my way
I got fixed up but I lost a day
I got set up and I gotta pay
I wanna hit but I gotta stay

[Chorus]

I look in your eyes and I close my own
I’m just that dog out buryin’ bones
I got no place I can call my own
So if you love me better leave me alone”

I was trying to narrow down the lyrics to post, but then I just couldn’t stop adding stuff, so here’s half the song. This is a classic “rambling man” sort of song that I absolutely adore. It hits perfectly on the dynamic within many people (including myself) to be a free spirit, and to be in love. He seems to want to warn this lover that loving him will only end in pain, but he also really wants her love. It’s a tough predicament to be in, and this song perfectly captures it.

Bio: Moses Cadillac is based out Oakland, CA, where he runs an analog recording studio and makes music with his friends. He was raised by the rolling hills of California and the city streets of Montreal, Troy, and Oakland. A self-taught producer, musician, and songwriter, the sound of Moses Cadillac is always raw, unassuming, and comfortably brand new.

-Caleb

Want to hear more? These songs and more have been added to our August Spotify TOTD Playlist. 

The Flock: Singer-Songwriter: Ben Foerg, Jacko Hooper, Deer Fellow, Moncrieff, Emina Sonnad

*Check out these artists and every other artist we’ve featured on the blog this month on our Spotify playlist for this month.*

This is a new edition of The Flock. People who love Singer-Songwriters are going to find so much good content in this post. What is The Flock, you ask? The Flock is an idea that we had to help fans of a specific genre find multiple bands they love in one post. It helps us provide value to you, the reader, by putting more of what you want in one place. It also helps the artists. Fans of their music come to the page and become fans of other similar artists, growing their fan base more efficiently. It also helps artists connect with other artists who have a similar feel, so they can help each other out, work together, play shows, etc. Our goal here is to help promote artists that we believe in and want to see succeed. The Flock is a great way to help with that, and we’ve seen some really cool things happen because of it. Let’s get into this edition of The Flock.

Ben Foerg – “Around The Bend”

This song does an excellent job of world building in such a small space. I felt like I was playing Red Dead Redemption or something with the rich imagery of the the lyrics. Let’s dive into a couple:

“on the day the fire burned he rolled around in the embers
cackling like a wild animal with ticks beneath its fur
his horse vanished with the smoke
the rider just laughed at the joke
and so he stood and walked on into the woods”

There are several verses with a similar sentiment that seem to be “laughing the face of despair”. No matter what life throws at the protagonist of this song, he meets it with a smirk. It’s really the best parts of who we hope we are. The parts of humanity that shine when faced with trying times and difficulties. The speaker is the anti-hero that we hope is lurking beneath the surface in all of us, and that we often hope we never really have to find out about. Yet:

“if you listen close, you’ll hear the echoes of his ghost
laughing madly through the night but never coming into sight
it’s a sound that will chill your bones
while you were busy skipping stones
the city raged and silently turned the page

it’s the same now as it was then, everyone’s waiting for the end
that moment when we make amends and put it all together again
like somehow we got off course
like somehow we lost our horse
but the river bends and so it will bend again”

So maybe that’s a big part of what is missing in our spirit right now. We’ve become so disconnected from the tests of nature that allowed us to rise as the dominant species on the planet that we no longer feel purposeful. From an objective angle, maybe we never were, but at least on the ground, with a rock in our hand, we felt like we were moving forward and that it was good.

Bio: Released November 2017, “Around the Bend” is the title track from so-named EP.

Ben Foerg is the lead singer of LA rock band The Absurd, here offering a different twist on his writing capabilities. Produced in the bedroom with what lo-fi equipment was available, “Around the Bend” is a testament to Foerg’s lyrical abilities, as well as his interest in fusing the worlds of electronic and folk music.

Jacko Hooper – “All I Deserve, Is Not You”

Did you make it to the breakdown at 1:25? That’s really where this song and video started to completely capture me to the point that I couldn’t look away. The vocals have a bit of a Rainbow Kitten Surprise feel (which if you know me, you know that’s one of the best compliments I can give.) This song seems to be about the feeling you get when you find someone so absurdly perfect that it doesn’t seem right that you deserve it. You are waiting on the shoe to drop. This really becomes apparent with the chorus:

“Oh i deserve to be let down by you
If you’re the rays then i’m the gloom
Desperately searching for two
Oh i deserve to be let down by you”

I really connected with the line: “if you’re the rays then I’m the gloom” because I often feel that way about a lot of positive people in my life, and definitely my SO. I’ve worked through a lot of those issues in therapy over the years, but I still can’t help but feel like Eeyore bringing the mood down when I get hit with a bad day. Aside from the relatable lyrics, the music in this song is unquestionable diverse and beautiful. There are dissonant guitars, gorgeous swelling horns, and drums that know exactly when to emphasize and when to lay off. The whole thing gives me chills, no matter how many times I hear it.

Bio: This track is part of the 4 track split EP out via Folklore Sessions on 7″ vinyl and digitally on all major outlets.

As part of a split EP with George Ogilvie, Bess Atwell and Oktoba.

 

Deer Fellow – “Beautiful Gray”

“Black and white
Ruled my life ‘till I found you
Now I’m living
In this limbo built for two
Late nights talking
Tightrope walking rendezvous
For now I’ll be
Happy just to be close to you

‘Till then
I’ll love you
In this sad but happy state
Beautiful gray”

I love how wonderfully this song works in the title “Beautiful Gray” into the entirety of the lyrics. After spending an entire life in Black and White, it takes a gray area to show the speaker true beauty. Beauty isn’t being happy all the time. Beauty isn’t stark tragedy. Beauty is found in the gray areas between. The gray area also seems to suggest a lover that’s not fully yours. Someone you’re willing to wait on, even though things may not be exactly where you want them right now. It is an appreciation of exactly where you are, even though you probably have to fight the thoughts of where they may one day go. The vocal harmonies themselves give the song the same sort of quality. Where the female vocals seem to be in the front of the mix, but the male vocals echo in the background, filling the empty space.

Bio: Deer Fellow is an indie alt-soul group out of Austin, TX. The band began as an acoustic duo between Matt Salois (vocals, guitar) and Alyssa Kelly (vocals, keys, violin), before expanding to its current 4-member lineup that includes drummer, Joel Klaus, and bassist, John Wilhelm. Deer Fellow performs in several arrangements, whether duo, trio, or electrified full band. Their vocal harmonies seamlessly blend indie with a serving of soul.

Moncrieff – “Serial Killer”

Speaking on the lyrical meaning behind the new single, Moncrieff said: “I wrote Serial Killer a few months after coming out of what was a pretty intense relationship; to put it lightly. It’s nuts how you never seem to notice how your perspective changes when you’re in deep with someone. You lose the ability to be objective as infatuation paints over traits in a person that would otherwise serve as warning signs.”

I’m not going to dive too deeply into the specific lyrics, because we will do that at length on an upcoming podcast episode (maybe 4 weeks or so?). I am going to talk about how great the production on this track is. It builds in the best possible way. It uses vocal distortion and echo to create a darkness that belies the seemingly upbeat melody. And it ultimately ends up with a breakdown that would fit in any EDM mix.

Bio:  Moncrieff’s reputation as a phenomenal live act continues to spread, with upcoming performances confirmed at The Great Escape (having been chosen to be one of the festival’s “First Fifty”), Live At Leeds, and more. Add to that, strong airplay from BBC Radio 16 Music, and Beats 1, along with a 13 week stint on the European Border Breakers Chart – this is only the start of what is set to be an incredibly exciting 12 months for Moncrieff.

Facebook: facebook.com/moncrieffmusic

Twitter: twitter.com/moncrieffmusic

Instagram: instagram.com/moncrieffmusic

 

Emina Sonnad – “Pretending to See Stars”

“So close your eyes
And we’ll pretend to see stars
In a world where the light has to hide behind
The smoke coming out of cars
And we’ll pretend all the planets are our
And I can see (you’re lying next to me)
As we lie in bed (I love you, please don’t leave)
The most beautiful things are the ones we imagine in our heads.

Did you hear the spaceships flying by
(happiness consumes you all night long)
Cause all I see are light shows in the sky
(you always take the pill I guess the real thing’s not as strong)
But don’t you sometimes want something to keep?
Wish I could wake you up, you look so lonely in your sleep. ”

Man, these lyrics give me chill throughout. I don’t usually post this many of them, but it’s like poetry. This perfectly captures the way I feel about our place as humans in a society that has mostly realized our existence is meaningless. (That’s not to say you can’t find meaning, or that I judged you if you find it through older conventional means/religions). To me though, we know enough now to know that we are a tiny speck, on a tiny speck, that seemingly evolved to realize that fact, but not enough to find out what it all means, or if it all means anything. This song does a great job capturing that lonely feeling that comes along with that realization. It also does a great job of capturing the way that relationships fit into that feeling. I have a SO that I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I think we will, but ultimately that ends, and ultimately, we all die alone. “(I love you, please don’t leave)”. It immediately reminds me of the Typhoon song “Common Sentiments” which leaves you with this little existential threat: “They say you want to hear something that you already know
If it comes from above, well this one comes from below
It says, “You are sleeping together, but you will die alone.”

Bio: Emina Sonnad is an indie-pop singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. She made her performing debut recently while living abroad in Madrid, Spain, where she gained recognition for her ability to pair simple melodies with complex and strikingly relatable lyrics. In the style of artists such as Regina Spektor, Lana Del Rey, and Ingrid Michaelson, Emina’s songs take on a narrative and dynamic form, switching from dreamlike to bluntly honest as she tells stories about the people and places she’s known or imagined.

 

-Caleb (sorry for the darkness)

Did you like this? We have these songs and more on our August Spotify TOTD Playlist.

Did any of these songs make you feel Existential? We just recorded part one of our Existentialism episode for our Podcast. It will be live on Monday, August 13th.

New Release Friday (on a Saturday): Joseph Angel, Trevor Myall, Baby FuzZ, Gingerbomb

These are our favorite new songs of the past couple days. Every song has been released within the last 48 hours, so you can tell your friends about not only new artists, but their new songs that they’ve never heard.

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

Joseph Angel – “Shame”

Wow. Those vocals are incredible huh? This is actually a solo project from an artist with some really impressive songwriting credits already, including Rihanna’s triple-platinum smash “Love On The Brain” from ANTI, among many other chart-topping hits. There was direct attention to get a analog and classic vocal track out of this, a la Muscle Shoals, and it was completely successful. This is a vocal talent that is sure to blow up in 2018, and you heard it here first. Angel is a self-made man, working several jobs to bankroll his passion until landing song writing credits for many great artists. Now he’s ready to start his own career, and I can’t wait to keep getting chill bumps from the way he playfully hits every note in the register.

Trevor Myall – “Pyro Heart”

Check out this debut single from Trevor Myall. He sings with a confidence and production that would have you never knowing that this is his first official release. The song at it’s heart seems to be a plea to someone who inspires the speaker:

“Guide me home, guide me home
I know you’re there, my ocean flare
My firework, when the whole world hurts
You light the dark
Pyro heart”

Whether this is a real person, an ideal, something spiritual, I can’t say, but I think we can all relate to a meditation on what inspires us, and seeking more exposure to it.

Bio: Blending the worlds of both folk and electronic, Trevor Myall’s debut single delivers an impressive vocal steeped in raw emotion, soul and a melody that drifts between the light and darkness of self-reflection. Pyro Heart is an honest cry for help, with lyrics poetically showcasing the singer’s influences of indie & folk music through a tale of hope and despair. With production from The Swoons, the music brings out a refreshing blend of both electronic and organic elements. A combination of orchestral textures and angelic choral riffs create a refreshing backdrop to the lead single from the upcoming One Way Ticket – EP due later this fall.

Baby FuzZ – “Shadowland”

How beautiful is this song? If you are going to make a modern song with primarily a piano and vocals like David Gray or something, it has to have 2 essential elements. 1. Great vocals. Check. 2. Beautiful lyrics:

“They called it eclipse
Said it with a shrug
Now Radio Jesus is out there on the run
And you can go blind from staring at the sun
Here in
Shadowland
In Shadowland”

Check. At it’s core the song seems to be a bit of a post-modern fueled look at materialism and what is “real”. I really love the upside down barcoded American-flag as the album cover, because it captures the plasticity of experience that is so inherent in these lyrics:

“So play your tragic anthem and cheer
I was raised in a plastic paradise and I’m still here
Here in Shadowland
In Shadowland”

Bio: Fox explains, “In 2017 I moved to Canada for a year. Eventually, my passport ran out and I came back to the US. ‘Shadowland’ is a protest song about myself. I’m protesting my hypocrisy, my lack of empathy, my greed, my loneliness, and my complicitness to everything my taxes go toward. It’s easy to protest other people or institutions. Look in the mirror and protest yourself. That’s ‘Shadowland.'”

After moving to Montreal from New York after the 2016 election, Fox created the alter ego and made a full length album based around the character. It was pieced together from recordings started in Montreal, New Jersey, Oregon, and Norway.

 

Gingerbomb – “Wildfire”

With a simple tagline: “the world’s first all ginger band finally takes center stage,” the aptly named Gingerbomb has created one of my favorite songs of 2018. The vocal harmonies and layering in the song really stand out to me as a perfect blend of folk/americana with easy listening classic rock. The band describes the theme of the song as: “Wildfire is the lead single from the forthcoming debut Gingerbomb record. The Song represents female empowerment – celebrating someone who walks her own walk, in confident in who she is and who everyone wishes they could have a little piece of.”

Bio: From the boroughs of New York City, to the shores of Los Angeles County, gingers are often seen as a scare commodity. However, against all odds, seasoned musicians Megan Burtt, Sara Dee, Zach Berkman, Tod Livingston and Ryan Vaughn miraculously united to form the world’s first all ginger based supergroup – Gingerbomb.

-Caleb

Want to hear more music? We’ve added these songs and more to our August Spotify TOTD playlist. 

The Flock: Hip-Hop and Soul – Hendrix Harris, Deacon, The Hashassins, DNyse, AV, MastaPiece, Nostalgia, Radioplay Reach

Guys, we are so sorry about the hiatus. We’ve been active with the podcast and interviews, but had to pump the breaks on the blog for a few days to handle real life business. We are back on it though, and we figured the best way to get things back in motion is to have an infectious hip-hop flock.

Let’s go.

*Click on the artists name to go to their website*

 

Hendrix Harris – New Chains

From the second the song starts and you hear that slick little riff, you know it’s going to be one smooth ride. What follows is four straight minutes of what’s easily going to be one of the smoothest things you’ve heard this week. Hendrix flawlessly switches between three different voices: his normal register, his falsetto, and his rap voice. I honestly can’t tell you which one I enjoy the most.

Fuck. I usually try not to get meta with my writing and act as polished as possible. I was doing research on Hendrix, and I just got blown away. I knew I had heard the name and been impressed with his stuff before, but I couldn’t place it. The reason I couldn’t place it is because the song we posted of his before and this song are worlds apart. Are you ready for this? He also does this song.

You can find the blog post here.

That’s versatility. To go from a smooth track that lands more in soulful r&b than hip-hop in one song, to head busting chopper rap in another is absolutely absurd.

 

DEACON – Negritude

You guys know we like to dig into lyrics on the blog, but sometimes we shouldn’t be the ones to discuss the lyrics. With this song, you can put a broad brush across the canvas when trying to figure out what the song is about, but the root of the song is better than anything we could ever come up with. We are painting in large strokes while DEACON is as specific as da Vinci.

DEACON says, “Negritude is a word I discovered on my travels whilst in Los Angeles. I stumbled across an establishment called “Psychiatry – An industry of Death Museum”. Whilst exploring their numerous accounts on the history of mental health practices, I found their section on Racism within psychiatry’s earliest stages. “Negritude – a term used by Benjamin Rush (Founding Father of American Psychiatry) defines “blackness” as a skin disease akin to leprosy, thus deeming segregation a “medical necessity”. The song is my way of flipping that idea on its head, and claiming negritude as the “funk” inherent in the soul of the music. If you don’t want to catch the funk, you better turn off that radio…”

As you guys know, I love digging into a song and figuring out what it means to me personally, but when it’s something this heavy, I like to leave it to the artist.

One interesting line is when they’re talking about ring around the roses, an allusion to the children’s song, Ring Around the Rosies. I don’t want to get into the etymology of the lyrics of the song, but a very common thought as to the roots of the song is that it talks about The Great Plague of London. This is a really cool easter egg in a song about black people being a plague. The lyricism throughout this song was on point for me.

 

The Hashassins – C’Mon

William Wallace (best rap name ever) and Sincere make up the hip-hop duo, The Hashassins. Sometimes a flow and beat come across our radar that is so smooth that we have to stop and take notice even if the lyrics typically aren’t our style. First off, don’t get me wrong about the lyrics, they’re clean. We just usually focus on things that are a little left of center, and the lyrics to the song are pretty straightforward. They’re witty, the cadence is nice, and they change up the rhyme scheme, but they’re talking about very similar ideas that a lot of hip-hop focuses on.

The beat and their flow are both so good that they elevate this song to another level, separating it from similarly worded songs. The piano chords at the beginning combined with the turntables let you know you’re about to be in for one hell of a ride. I’m not talking crotch rocket ride, I’m talking slow-rolling Cadillac with the top down, cruising down Main Street.

DNyse – Now Until Forever

Most hip-hop artists think they can sing, but very few can actually make it happen. DNyse has some pipes. He has this crazy mixture of singing and speaking straight to your soul.

A song about chasing your passion and making stuff happen through action and perseverance, Now Until Forever is a song that anyone who is on the cusp of pursuing something great should listen to. It’ll give you that bump you need to get you moving in the right direction.

 

AV – The Rising Son

The chorus you hear throughout this song is something that you’d hear in a movie as the gladiator steps into the arena, and that’s exactly what AV makes me think of with the lyrics to The Rising Son too. A chesty and bold rapper, he has an aggressive cadence, and doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind.

What does it mean to put her before you 
What does it mean to have faith, to be loyal 
What does it mean 
to rise up for your queen 
Rise up for the teens, lying dead in the streets 
Politicians giving in to they greed 
Make a speech for a fee worth retiring 
You think they could afford to be inspiring 
Placing blame on a groups backfiring 
Blame them blame them, they complacent 
No matter where they stationed, our space taken 
Grab em up, line em up, get em out 
You don’t belong here, show your proof if you brown

With a hook that hits hard, strong lyrics, and a tough flow, the Montgomery Sisters really bring it back to a more digestible level with their beautiful harmonies, making this a song that is making its way onto many of my personal playlists.

 

MastaPiece – Endless Night pt. 1

This song is the song that’s perfect for literally any part of a night where you are wanting to party. Pregame? It lets you know the expectation for the night. Heading to the second spot? It implores you to pick a spot you haven’t gone. Get into something new. Everyone on the cusp of calling it a night? This is the perfect rally song. Seriously. This song fits every part of the evening.

A three piece collective out of Houston, Texas, MastaPiece is turning heads in a major way. Not only are these guys hip-hop artists, but they are notable artists in everything from acting to design. These jacks-of-all-trades have a great future in art ahead of them, they just get the luxury of picking which art(s).

Nostalgia – Alone

Soulful crooning isn’t usually what we share on the blog, but there’s no way we were going to pass over this one. This Australian vocalist is essentially The Weeknd of the Eastern Hemisphere. With a similar sound to some of the most popular artists of today and a music video that had me wondering what was going to happen next from the very beginning, this is the song that would be playing in an adult version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Stick around to the end for a Shyamalan-esque twist.

Radioplay Reach – Big Money

Radioplay Reach hits us with the song, Big Money, a hard flowing song that was written behind bars in memoriam of a friend who lost his life. The words drip with emotion as he laments the loss of a friend while realizing that this loss only fuels his drive to be successful.

With a heady beat and honest lyrics, Radioplay Reach has a familiar hook in a totally new package.