Episode 18: Existentialism (Part 1)

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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. 

Video of the Day: Sea High – “Luv.”

I love the visual style of this video. Parts of it remind me of those old flash videos on NewGrounds.com and part of it is a genius multimedia project that combines pictures, live drawn art, and movement. It’s really beautiful. The other really essential element to this song is the lyrics. Let’s dive into what makes them so effective:

“And I’m ever grown in a wood of gold
And I can’t be told when to call or fold
And I’m always talking and I can’t shut up
And I’m awful flawed but I’ve mastered stuff
And I think you’re cool.. you’re.. you’re.. you’re really nice like”

The whole song mixes a sense of poetry (as you can see in the repetition and anaphora) and conversational tone ( as you can see with the seeming stutter). This gives the song an understandable but simultaneously complex and abstract vibe. The whole first half of the song seems to be a listing off of shortcomings or anxieties, while the last half is a thank you letter:

“And it’s you that was constant you killed my concerns
It was you that was constant you killed my concerns
You should know you resurrected my trust
It was you that was constant this love is a must
(Spoken)
And if you were my only fan I’d never stop making music,
And you’re the only one pulling me through this
And I really should be saying this out loud but I can’t and
For now I’m just a ghost I’m just a phantom … ”

This whole section seems like it’s leading into a love note, but then we get the subversion of that at the end, and we see that he hasn’t said this to this person at all. He’s just a “ghost” or a “phantom”. I also really like that we get that classic movie moment in the video, when it ends with a girl picking up the phone trying to connect, but he’s already gone. It’s a very relatable theme of Unrequited Love (which we did a podcast episode on).

 

Bio: Sea High is a multi instrumentalist rapper and singer-songwriter from Ireland, using homegrown beats made by himself and O’B1 from Off Key Collective, a grassroots label that they co-founded

Sea High takes hip hop and uses it to convey abstract, conceptual themes of love, hate and everything inbetween.

LUV. Is an unsent message to a special someone that takes your breath, words and worries away.

 

-Caleb

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

TOTD: Caicos – “Promised Lands”

“Sands fallen through hands
Make new promised lands”

This song from Caicos is a really interesting look at opportunities and change. The image of sand shifting through fingers, like if you picked up a handful at the beach, is a nice metaphor for many aspects of life. I can’t say I necessarily have the right interpretation, but here at B-Side Guys, we like to give you our take, with the thought that art has two important pieces, the artist and the observer. So, the line that is repeated above to me is talking about the things that slip away from you, and that you think at the time is a tragedy. Maybe a relationship doesn’t work out, maybe you lose your job, etc. Given enough time, those opportunities missed, can make “new promised lands” that take your life in directions that you couldn’t imagine back when you were trying to hold onto a handful of sand.

“Arms and ears
Mouth in gears
Rewired and sore
But well enough to get
One foot out the door
Prepared for what had met
Me at the threshold
Between the new and old”

I think this section really emphasizes what I said above, when he describes “the threshold between the new and old.” Even though you’ve grown comfortable with the way things are, nothing lasts forever, and to continue, you’re going to have to adjust, and maybe even go through some growing pains :”rewired and sore, but well enough to get one foot out  the door.” As someone who has had several major life changes that on the surface sounded like a negative, but ultimately turned into a positive, I really love the message of this song and the stoic philosophy it relates.

Bio:  Alex Frenkel was one of the principle songwriters in the New York-based band Gospels ( http://www.nylon.com/articles/song-premiere-gospels-sleepwalkers https://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/discovery-gospels ) and is a collaborator with Gabriel Garzon-Montano (appearing on a couple of tracks on his recent LP out on Stones Throw Records).

He is in the process of completing three of his own records to be released under the pseudonym Caicos. The first of these records is called Promised Lands, and is out on veryjazzed records/Frenchkiss Label Group on August 10th. The title track from the forthcoming album is the second single.

-Caleb

Want to hear more music? Check out our August TOTD Spotify Playlist.

Don’t forget to check out our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, etc. Here’s our newest episode: Episode 17: Idols

 

TOTD: Emily Brown – Beautiful Baby

If you’ve listened to the podcast/followed along with the blog for at least a couple of weeks, you know how much we love this song. We’ve had a live interview with her, her music was on episode 17 of the podcast, and now I want to do a proper review of it. Caleb and I are both better at writing our feelings than articulating them in conversation, so to give this song the credit it is due, we had to bring it up one more time.

This is one of the most interesting tracks I’ve heard in a long time. The lyrics are both empowering and poignant, giving power to women everywhere while evoking a sense of regret and introspection from the men in the audience. Before we go any further, I want to make sure you’re tracking what the lyrics mean.

“Beautiful Baby responds to an old love song by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer called ‘You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby.’ It speaks to the heartbreak and disillusionment of women who have been infantilized or treated with lightness in highly emotional relationships.”

As a woman, (which I’m not, and luckily we had an interview with her that kept us from mansplaining too much, that is going to be posted as a bonus podcast episode this weekend) this is the kind of song that gives you support and aids you if you’re in a relationship where it feels like you’re treated as more of an accessory or lesser-than. As a man, it makes me think about past interactions and relationships, and makes me a little sad. I was a different guy than I am now, especially in high school. I can’t recall a time where I knowingly treated a relationship or emotions lightly due to the fact that the other party was female, but I definitely can’t rule it out.

It is easy enough to have an unhealthy power dynamic in a relationship, but when that power dynamic stems from a sexist ideal that women are cute little butterflies that don’t have real thoughts, goals, dreams, beyond however they relate to yourself, that’s more a reflection on your worldview than on the relationship you are in right now.

-Seth (with a small assist from Caleb, whatever part you didn’t like, it was Caleb)

You can find this song and more on our August TOTD Spotify playlist.

We also premiered this song for the first time on our newest podcast episode.