Weekly New Releases: FlexpackFACE, A Beacon School, A Number From The Ghost, Van Goat, Slye and Genomic Clone

Hello music aficionados! As the weekend settles in, it’s time to refresh those playlists and discover some gems. Here at B-Side Guys, we’re always on the lookout for the freshest tracks, the burgeoning artists, and those tunes that simply resonate. Dive into this week’s collection of new releases, curated meticulously for the discerning ear. Whether you’re into soothing ballads, electrifying beats, or anything in between, our weekly round-up promises a musical journey like no other. Let’s turn the volume up and delve into the sounds of now!

FlexpackFACE – “Stay Away”

In “Stay Away,” FlexpackFACE takes a sobering detour from his signature high-octane sound, delving into the harrowing depths of his struggles with addiction. The track seamlessly oscillates between moments of heart-wrenching vulnerability and fierce self-awareness, akin to the contemplative depths of J. Cole. Accompanied by cinematic visuals that amplify the song’s intensity, this piece stands out not just as a candid confession but as a testament to the transformative power of art, capturing the dual moods of desolation and hope with a piercing clarity.

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, FlexpackFACE is more than just a rapper; he’s a storyteller using YouTube as his canvas. With a commendable work ethic, dropping a music video every month for the past ten months, he’s showcasing a rich tapestry of emotions and experiences, all while investing considerably in both the auditory and visual aspects of his craft. “Stay Away” encapsulates the essence of FlexpackFACE’s mission: to resonate, to be seen, and to touch hearts, one video at a time.

A Beacon School – “Alone”

“Alone,” the latest offering from A Beacon School, is an aural odyssey that deftly captures the fleeting essence of renewed hope amidst life’s ebb and flow. As the brainchild of the multi-talented New York artist, Patrick J. Smith, the track unravels as an intimate contemplation of despair, juxtaposed with the tantalizing allure of optimism. Smith’s description of the song, as a reflection of the moment “when you feel like your luck is finally turning,” resonates deeply in its ethereal melodies, evoking the moody atmospheres that Dream Pop connoisseurs cherish in acts like Slowdive and Alvvays.

A Beacon School’s signature lies in seamlessly blending uptempo pop elements with lush shoegaze and intricate electronic textures. Established in 2009, Smith’s journey from home-recorded demos to amassing millions of streams, is testimony to his refined artistic prowess. With a soundscape mixed by Sonny DiPerri, whose credits boast collaborations with legends like Trent Reznor and My Bloody Valentine, “Alone” foreshadows the anticipated tonal breadth of ‘yoyo’, Smith’s upcoming LP and his first full-length in half a decade. If “Alone” is any indication, ‘yoyo’, set to release on October 13, 2023, promises to be another immersive dive into Smith’s subconscious artistry, further solidifying A Beacon School’s place in the annals of modern Dream Pop.

A Number From The Ghost – “Atomize”

In the digital age where boundaries between disciplines blur, few artists epitomize this melding of worlds quite like Peter Adams, who operates under the moniker A Number From The Ghost. “Atomize”, the latest single, is a poignant blend of melancholic electronica and ethereal Dream Pop that resonates with the wistful essence of childhood memories, Saturday morning awakenings, and the surreal feeling of existence. The lyrics, laden with vivid imagery of “silver infant eyes,” the “scene of your mother,” and the haunting finality of knowing oneself, evoke a tapestry of emotions that are both universal and deeply personal. Paired with Adams’ unique interdisciplinary approach — where each release has an associated, explorable online world — the song feels like a piece of a much grander narrative, a digital experience mirroring early computer animations and the melancholy of summer dreams.

A Number From The Ghost stands as a testament to the digital artistry that can be wielded by a multi-faceted talent like Adams. The soundscape, reminiscent of Thom Yorke’s ethereal forays into Electronica, intersects with lyrical expressions that echo the profound sadness and wonder of existence. “Atomize and feel nice” — the refrain captures the transient nature of moments, memories, and emotions; feelings that momentarily coalesce only to disperse into the ether. While the tangible connection of live performance may no longer be an avenue for Adams, “Atomize” proves that his musical and digital realms are not just compensations, but evolutions, transporting listeners into expansive, interactive universes crafted from sound and code.

Van Goat – “God’s On The Other Guy’s Side”

In an era where music is often swathed in sleek production and digital precision, Van Goat’s “God’s On The Other Guy’s Side” is a gleeful departure, serving a vintage concoction of toe-tapping swing, heartfelt country, and hints of punk rock rawness. Painting the scene with sepia hues, it transports the listener to a bustling old-time saloon, where the rhythmic hum of a dusty fan is drowned by the jubilant cacophony of live music. Melding the unmistakable swing of Dr. John with the rootsy richness of Traveling Wilburys and the audacious quirk of Beck, the track captures the tragicomic essence of life’s unpredictable misadventures. Aidan Ward’s earnest vocal delivery juxtaposes the track’s upbeat instrumentation, echoing tales of woeful ignorance and cosmic jests, reminiscent of the lyrical wit of Roger Miller and the earnest introspection of Jason Isbell.

Van Goat, the Oakland five-piece known for breathing punk vitality into the timeless swing genre, has struck gold once again. Their ambitious fusion of diverse musical landscapes, from punk to southern jazz, continues to defy categorization and expectation. The band’s profound ability to draw from a myriad of influences creates a sound that’s familiar, yet entirely fresh and unpredictable. In “God’s On The Other Guy’s Side,” they’ve constructed an anthem for the underdog; a melodic embrace of life’s missteps set against a backdrop of raucous instrumentation. This track is more than just a song—it’s a cinematic journey through a world where misfortune is met with a wry smile and an accompanying swing of the hips. With its intricate layering of trombone, guitar, and piano, combined with Ward’s contemplative lyricism, Van Goat showcases their unparalleled ability to craft songs that are at once reflective and irresistibly danceable. The modern musical landscape might be vast and varied, but Van Goat has carved out a niche that’s entirely their own, making them a force to be reckoned with in today’s scene.

Slye – “Ghost (Live)”

From the dimly lit, intimate corners of Liverpool’s QUARRY venue, Slye mesmerizes with “Ghost,” an impeccable display of neo-soul fusion. The track, rich with live instrumental dynamism, immediately captivates with a rhythm section that’s as groovy as it is introspective. Come the 1:01 mark, listeners are met with a tantalizing three-part horn harmony—a sonic treat that seamlessly intertwines with Slye’s nuanced vocal performance. The overall atmosphere evokes heavyweights like Jordan Rakei and D’Angelo, yet retains a unique fingerprint that’s undeniably Slye.

Building upon a foundation of 70s funk á la Prince and Sly Stone, Slye brings forward a modern sensibility, melding introspective lyricism with melodies reminiscent of contemporary R&B and indie. “Ghost” serves as a testament to Slye’s artistry, combining evocative lyricism with a complex yet accessible arrangement. As the song unfolds, it paints a vivid picture of longing, fading desires, and the inherent romance of live music. This offering reaffirms Slye’s dedication to crafting tunes that move not just the feet, but the very soul.

Genomic Clone – “My Last Day”

Amidst the textured sonic palette of “My Last Day,” Genomic Clone crafts an introspective tale of reflection, legacy, and the passage of time. A somber narrative unfolds, detailing the musings of an individual at the twilight of their life, eager to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. As the song’s protagonist reconciles with their life’s work, the listener is enveloped in the shimmering layers of electronica and alternative rock that recall the experimental leanings of Xiu Xiu and the intricate structures of Atoms For Peace.

Since their inception in 2022, Genomic Clone has been on a meteoric ascent, consistently challenging the boundaries of their genre. Comprising Christoph Hierath of Pictures of My Friends and techno maestro Leopold Bär, the duo effortlessly melds their distinct artistic identities to birth a sound that’s both innovative and comfortingly familiar. “My Last Day” stands as a testament to the band’s ability to evoke deep emotion while pushing sonic boundaries, offering listeners an evocative glimpse into the poignant interplay of mortality and legacy.

Album Review: Christina Trocchio – journey to a higher vibe

As the world orbits around a constant state of emotional flux, artists have become our foremost soothsayers, illuminating paths through the darkest recesses of human experience. Into this tapestry of introspection comes Christina Trocchio’s “journey to a higher vibe” – a fervent exploration of self, love, and metamorphosis. It’s a 28-minute journey that navigates the turbulent waters of the heart, pushing its listener to confront the very demons Trocchio herself grapples with. A mere eight tracks in length, it’s both a testament to her compact storytelling prowess and a poignant probe into the mind of an artist unafraid to delve deep.

The album unfurls with “blinded by emotion,” a track that serves as an exposition to Trocchio’s emotive core. Here, she lays bare the vulnerabilities many of us cloak, allowing the listener an intimate glance into the soul of someone branded as “overly emotional.” Its rawness paves the way for “sunny days,” a blissful reverie recounting the rose-tinted honeymoon phase of a new relationship. Through Trocchio’s harmonious vocals and lush instrumental arrangements, one could almost feel the warmth of sun-kissed skin, the heart’s giddy palpitations, and the joyous abandon of being in love.

But as the album unfurls, it becomes evident that not all is idyllic. “I think love’s gonna kill me” peels back the curtain on a relationship gone awry. Its lengthiest track at over five minutes, it’s a somber reflection on the erosive nature of love, when it’s tainted with toxicity. The song serves as a turning point, marking Trocchio’s transition from infatuation to questioning.

The subsequent tracks see Trocchio wrestling with the dichotomies of the relationship. “perfect on paper” musically hints at the dizzying nature of being with someone who seems right yet feels so wrong. The nature-inspired production, with its ethereal, galactic undertones, underscores the song’s sentiment of finding oneself lost amidst a universe of emotions.

The album’s most poignant moment, arguably, is “I don’t know what love is, do I?”. It’s a universal contemplation, one that reflects humanity’s ceaseless quest to define that elusive emotion called love. With nature-influenced production elements subtly woven into its narrative, there’s a feeling of being adrift in a vast forest of feelings, searching for a familiar landmark.

“nobody” and “I don’t think that it goes like this” form a pair of empowering anthems, with Trocchio reclaiming her narrative from the relationship that once overpowered her. They’re songs of realization – a proclamation that love, in its truest form, should never wound so profoundly.

The album’s denouement arrives with “the smoke clears.” As the title suggests, it’s a climactic reflection on clarity and rebirth. Trocchio’s soaring vocals, harmonizing seamlessly with the ethereal production, signify a release from the shackles of past pain. It’s the epitome of catharsis, both for the artist and the listener, as one navigates the labyrinth of self-discovery and emerges anew.

It’s worth noting that the album’s backbone is its lyrics. Trocchio’s lyrical prowess is unparalleled, as she weaves complex emotions into verses that strike with precision. Coupled with the album’s nature-influenced production – echoing with ambient sounds reminiscent of rustling leaves, gentle waves, and distant bird calls – “journey to a higher vibe” transcends mere music, evolving into a meditative soundscape.

Ultimately, Christina Trocchio’s “journey to a higher vibe” stands as a luminous beacon in today’s musical landscape. It’s not just an album; it’s an emotional voyage that resonates universally, regardless of age or circumstance. As Trocchio undertakes her journey, she invites listeners to embark alongside her – to face their shadows, confront their past, and ascend towards a higher realm of existence. In a world often mired in superficiality, Trocchio’s authenticity shines through, making “journey to a higher vibe” a seminal work in the canon of introspective music.