Weeknight Wrap Up: Drea Lake, Hotel of the Laughing Tree, Scott Candlish, Sorcha McCarthy, Amelie Patterson, Kellie Baker, Dave Tate, Interurban, Blackfoot Daisy, and Aimless Wave

Welcome to the “Weeknight Wrap-Up,” the go-to place for music lovers on B-Side Guys! We understand how the rhythm of a week can be a tumultuous symphony, transitioning from the gentle harmonies of the weekend to the bombastic crescendo of Monday and eventually decrescendoing into the steady hum of the weekdays. That’s why we’ve curated a unique mix of tunes to accompany your journey, from the hopeful start to the tranquil culmination. From fresh finds to timeless classics, we aim to provide a diverse soundtrack that resonates with each day’s tempo, helping you transition smoothly through the week while discovering new melodies to love. So sit back, tune in, and let the music be the perfect wrap up to your day, carrying you through the week with a spring in your step and a song in your heart.

Drea Lake – “Dreaming Peacefully”

“Dreaming Peacefully” by Drea Lake comes as a serene breath of fresh air, a tribute to lost innocence recaptured through the lens of friendship and memory. Evoking the musical styles of Dodie, Paul Simon, and Ani Difranco, the track infuses pop-folk tendencies with modern vocalization, skillfully threaded together by the acoustic strings and Drea’s lyrical craft. The song meanders through the undercurrents of life, painting a hopeful tableau with its melodic color palette that reflects Drea’s deep-rooted connection with the natural world, a distinctive characteristic of Canadian music artists.

Lake’s pristine vocal performance works as an anchor in the serene acoustic landscape crafted by producer and guitarist Antoine Dufour, known for his virtuoso fingerstyle playing. “Dreaming Peacefully” is a poignant exploration of human resilience, transforming a personal anecdote of rekindled friendship and contrasted life trajectories into a universally relatable narrative. The song’s gentle allure, combined with its introspective lyrical content, positions Lake alongside luminary artists like Joni Mitchell and Bruce Cockburn, capable of casting a captivating musical spell. As a precursor to a potential full EP or album, “Dreaming Peacefully” promises Drea Lake’s continued trajectory towards personal and artistic growth, leaving listeners yearning for more of her enchanting musical narratives.

Hotel of the Laughing Tree – “Ducks in the Flood”

“Ducks in the Flood” by Hotel of the Laughing Tree is a vibrant leap into a universe of neon-soaked nostalgia wrapped in the fabric of modern indie rock. Propelled by a throbbing bassline, smoky synths, and a melody that refuses to be anything less than powerful and catchy, the song exudes an infectious vitality. It channels a spirited resilience, an anthem of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, masterfully pairing this triumphant spirit with a sonic palette that calls out to be blasted through your speakers.

The New York-based band, comprised of AJ Estrada, Brandon Peterson, and Jonathon Streker, infuse the song with their shared passion for storytelling and love of melodies. The lyric, “Like diamonds in the water, falling from above / Now you’re the only one who’s not having fun / Cause everything here reminds me of you,” effectively captures this ethos, giving listeners a nostalgic picture wrapped in modern, catchy indie rock. Their commitment to melody takes center stage, bolstered by dynamic riffs and lush soundscapes that never overshadow the song itself. With references to personal memories and universally relatable sentiments, “Ducks in the Flood” serves as an engaging teaser to their fifth full-length album, which was recently released, demonstrating Hotel of the Laughing Tree’s ability to craft resonant tunes that reverberate long after the song ends.

Scott Candlish – “New Day”

Scott Candlish’s “New Day” is a testament to the transformative power of honest, intimate storytelling. The Melbourne-based artist, known for weaving deeply personal narratives into his indie-folk and rock soundscapes, presents a single that deals with hitting rock bottom but offers glimmers of hope amidst the struggle. Compared to his previous melancholic tracks “Forever in the Dark” and “Blue,” “New Day” stands out with its brighter, more optimistic tone. With its acoustic fingerstyle and harmony layering used in an upbeat fashion, it delivers an appealing contrast that showcases Candlish’s versatile musical palette.

Candlish’s authentic portrayal of vulnerability and his open discussion about mental health resonate deeply within “New Day.” His recognizable falsetto pairs beautifully with intricate fingerstyle playing, creating a raw and emotive soundscape that reflects the innermost corners of his soul. His sincerity and ability to express emotional complexity through music is a testament to his growing reputation, both with fans and within the industry. Following recognition for “Forever In The Dark” as song of the year by Real Songwriters of Melbourne and numerous features on independent playlists, “New Day” is another powerful addition to Candlish’s already impressive catalogue. Its upbeat essence and hopeful undertones reinforce his ability to convey personal experience through universal, relatable music, furthering his place as a poignant voice in indie-folk and rock.

Sorcha McCarthy – “Rings”

Sorcha McCarthy’s “Rings” unravels as a melodic introspection on repetition, rejection, and resilience. The song’s lyrics delve into emotional patterns of giving in to desire, despite being aware of its potential negative impact. McCarthy, an Irish artist living in England, displays her knack for capturing universal experiences in these lyrics, nodding to her past as an ‘unabashed emo kid’ and navigating contemporary experiences of love, loss, and self-questioning. The lyrics resonate deeply with anyone who has struggled with unrequited love or the incessant pull of an unhealthy relationship.

“Rings” is notable for its raw honesty and its adept depiction of an internal battle between reason and desire. The repeated word “Again” serves as a stark reminder of recurring patterns, and the starkness of lyrics like “Could my resolve still fall away again” and “You’re calling out my name again” captures the cycle of giving in to an irresistible pull. The song’s bridge, in which McCarthy beautifully personifies an idealized version of a person in her mind, hits particularly hard. In this imagined interaction, it is revealed that the wearer changes to please another, implying a loss of self in the process, a notion that’s as powerful as it is poignant. Overall, Sorcha McCarthy’s “Rings” is a brutally candid exploration of the human heart’s complexities, demonstrating her emotive power and her skill in drawing listeners into her deeply personal narrative.

Amelie Patterson – “The War”

Amelie Patterson’s latest single, “The War,” serves as an emotional beacon, a sonic lighthouse guiding listeners through the tumultuous seas of mental health struggles. Hailing from Western Canada, Patterson’s keen ability to blend folk roots with indie-rock and alt-pop sensibilities permeates this deeply personal anthem about invisible battles and the power of love and support. “The War” is a masterclass in emotional storytelling. Its poignant narrative revolves around the helplessness of watching a loved one grappling with mental illness, underpinned by the sobering reminder that the resolve to confront it must come from within. Patterson’s lyrics are more than just words – they are heartfelt pleas and promises of unwavering solidarity, delivering a song both deeply intimate and universally relatable.

Recorded in Calgary with producer Will MacLellan, the track features a tender vocal performance that beautifully embodies the raw vulnerability of its theme. The song’s nostalgic guitar tones and dynamic rhythm provide a comforting embrace, accentuating the depth of emotion conveyed by Patterson’s lyrics. The instrumentation resonates with an organic feel, a tribute to Patterson’s craftsmanship and her collaborative efforts with long-time partners Barry Mason, Carson Gant, and Kyle Tenove.

Drawing parallels to esteemed artists like Brandi Carlile, Laura Marling, and Soccer Mommy, “The War” reaffirms Patterson’s standing as a leading voice in contemporary folk. Her artistry shines through each word and note, bearing testament to her reputation as a compelling songwriter and a compassionate community builder. With “The War,” Patterson invites listeners into a shared space of empathy and connection, a testament to her ability to “walk you hand in hand through the human condition”. This powerful anthem underscores her unique ability to craft songs that resonate deeply, embracing the shared human experience in all its complexity.

Kellie Baker – “Blood on the Nile”

“Blood on the Nile” is an alluring sonic journey from Kellie Baker, drawing listeners into a world that seamlessly fuses the soulful grit of blues-rock with the emotive depth of soul. From the first notes of the walking bassline and the braying organ, one can’t help but be captivated by the rich, sensuous rhythm that sets the stage for the impending musical drama.

Kellie’s voice is a highlight, simultaneously delivering melismatic finesse and smoldering melancholy that breathe life into the lyrics. The vocal harmonies radiate with an undeniable glow, weaving a sonic tapestry that reflects echoes of her inspirations: the fierce determination of Bonnie Raitt, the raw intensity of Chris Cornell, the emotive depth of Susan Tedeschi, and the vibrant soul of Aretha Franklin.

The masterfully orchestrated dynamics of the song further amplify its emotional resonance. The mournful cry of the steel guitar, the resonant organ tones, and the exquisite guitar solo, all come together to infuse the song with an ebb and flow of emotional shadows. The track’s energy crescendos into a wall-of-sound finale as Kellie’s voice soars, demonstrating an intoxicating blend of power and control that leaves a lasting impression. “Blood on the Nile” is not merely a song; it is a musical journey that traverses through the diverse landscapes of blues-rock and soul, showcasing Kellie Baker’s extraordinary talent and musical depth.

Dave Tate – “This Moment” feat. Hilary Watson

On his newest single “This Moment,” Dave Tate offers a powerful reflection on life’s transient nature, fueled by personal experiences and deep emotional ties. Conceived on the day of his grandfather’s passing, the track encapsulates the fullness of life, traversing through its various stages and evolutions with the earnestness of a heartfelt memoir. Anchored in Tate’s soulful blend of dynamic acoustic guitar, “This Moment” represents the tender junctures of life, evoking echoes of artists such as Jeff Buckley and Paul Simon in its intimate lyrical narrative and mesmerizing vocal performance.

Tate’s mastery in songwriting, coupled with his deep connection to his red rock desert origins, underscores the tapestry of emotions that is “This Moment.” His profound connection to the environment — a recurrent inspiration in his music — injects the track with a palpable sense of place and serenity. With a unique blend of alternative, acoustic rock, and adult contemporary elements, this song displays the same stylistic experimentation evident throughout Tate’s forthcoming album, “The Adventure.” Simultaneously intimate and expansive, “This Moment” is an auditory testament to the essence of Dave Tate — an artist who unflinchingly delves into life’s complexities while retaining a grounded, heartfelt authenticity. It’s a deeply moving exploration of love, loss, and the inevitable passage of time that beautifully manifests Tate’s unique sonic signature.

Interurban – “Zavaros – Murky”

“Zavaros – Murky” is the ambitious new offering from Interurban, taking listeners on a fascinating journey through the shadowy corners of trip-hop and Hungarian folk music. This bold fusion of genres results in a compelling soundscape that skillfully weaves everyday sounds into a rich tapestry of rhythm and melody. The experimental foray provides an atmospheric backdrop for the probing lyrics about a lover unwilling to acknowledge the changing seasons of love. It’s a daring step for the electronic outfit, and the shift towards a heavier use of vocals only serves to underscore the emotional urgency of the track.

Interurban’s ability to skillfully merge drum and bass, breakbeat, and Hungarian folk music into their unique sonic identity is on full display with “Zavaros – Murky.” The group’s knack for smashing through genre boundaries echoes their chosen name, acting as the “connection train” between the traditional and the contemporary, the rural and the urban. This latest offering takes their mission a step further, serving as a vibrant testament to the endless possibilities when old and new worlds collide. Through its haunting rhythm and poignant lyrics, “Zavaros – Murky” emerges as a thrilling demonstration of Interurban’s commitment to breathing new life into Hungarian folk music and bringing it into the modern age.

Blackfoot Daisy – “Nowhere, Oklahoma”

“Nowhere, Oklahoma,” the latest release from Blackfoot Daisy, is a paradoxical fusion of sunny Americana tones and somber narrative that hooks the listener from the opening notes. The track navigates a tragic tale of gun violence and conspiracy theories, delivered from the perspective of a desperate shooter on the brink. The upbeat instrumental contrasts sharply with the sobering story, creating a chillingly giddy portrayal of a person spiraling out of control. Inspired by an ordinary snapshot of a truck parked in front of a convenience store in Nowhere, Oklahoma, the song excels in transforming a simple image into a profound commentary on darker aspects of society.

Blackfoot Daisy, named after the resilient wildflowers of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, continues to demonstrate their durability and adaptability with this release. The band, consisting of songwriters Don Sechelski and Wendy DuMond, and multi-instrumentalist Jim Kirkland, has grown into a potent force in the Americana music scene since its formation in 2012. Their Atlanta-based sound carries an echo of the prairies – a spectral layer of shifting tall grasses, cricket calls, and distant train whistles – that weaves through their tracks and lends a haunting depth to their work. “Nowhere, Oklahoma” encapsulates the band’s captivating style, their mastery of narrative songwriting, and their unique ability to intertwine harsh realities with the quintessential Americana aesthetic.

Aimless Wave – “Realms In Motion”

“Realms In Motion,” the newest offering from Aimless Wave, plunges headfirst into the world of Psychedelic jam rock, combining a songwriter’s touch with expansive, meandering soundscapes. The song’s profound lyrics grapple with the concept of continuous motion and shifting perceptions, offering listeners an introspective journey into the “human experience” as envisioned by the band. With its vivid metaphors of oceans, spectrums, and marbles rolling across a painter’s name, the song presents an abstract world where introspection meets the inevitable motion of life. Amidst these metaphors lies an underlying plea for connection and companionship, a human touch in the midst of the ever-evolving reality.

Aimless Wave proves that their commitment to the “evolution of sound” is not merely lip service with “Realms In Motion.” They successfully merge introspective lyrics with enveloping instrumentals, creating an atmosphere that is at once soothing and thought-provoking. Their psychedelic approach doesn’t shy away from depth, using the expansive sonic playground of jam rock to delve into existential musings and the continuous pursuit of understanding. The track is both a personal exploration for the band and an invitation for listeners to join in this ongoing journey, providing a shared experience that resonates long after the song ends. As Aimless Wave continues to navigate and shape their sonic realms, their dedication to the human experience through music remains unflinchingly clear.

Mid-Week Mixdown: Jake Potter, Color Palette, Ori Kawa & The Entals, Sabir, The Franks, Slow Leaves, Elora, Carrabelle, Hugh Klein, Lucas Pasley

Welcome, music aficionados, to another edition of B-Side Guy’s Mid-Week Mixdown! The place where emerging artists, underground hits, and timeless classics converge to create the perfect soundtrack to get you over the hump and propel you towards the weekend. We’re here to offer you a well-crafted, eclectic mix of tunes, cherry-picked by the B-Side Guy himself. From the soul-stirring vocals of indie artists to the electrifying beats of the unseen gems, we’ve got a blend of sounds that will satiate every music palate. So sit back, plug in, and let the Mid-Week Mixdown be your sonic escape. Let’s dive into the rhythm and discover the music that you never knew you needed!

Jake Potter – “Virginia Is For Losers”

Opening with the atmospheric resonance of pedal steel and the rhythmic pulse of George Sluppick’s drumming, Jake Potter’s “Virginia Is For Losers” immediately draws listeners into a poignant narrative of a love that’s fading along a Virginia highway. Potter has a knack for distilling complex emotions into vivid lyrical imagery, crafting a melancholic ode to a love that’s lost but not quite forgotten. The song’s title, a clever play on Virginia’s slogan, frames the narrative, underlining a harsh truth—love sometimes ends in loss, and the places we associate with those losses become charged with pain and regret.

Potter’s vocal delivery is equally as impressive, carrying a timbre that is both raw and tender. His lyrics, steeped in the lore of Americana and country, are heart-wrenching and real. Lines like “When we found the bottom of the valley we made / Did you stop to watch all the colors turn gray?” and “Virginia’s for losers, losers like me,” showcase Potter’s adeptness at exploring the inner turmoil of heartbreak and disillusionment. The song is a testament to the universal human experience of love and loss, of coming to terms with the end of something once beautiful.

In “Virginia Is For Losers,” the North Carolina native, in collaboration with his guitarist Clay Conner and the talents of Charlie Hunter and George Sluppick, constructs a soundscape that is as expansive as it is intimate. The musicianship is outstanding, with the fusion of alternative country and rootsy rock and roll providing a backdrop that perfectly complements the song’s narrative. It’s a testament to Potter’s growth as an artist, his ear for production, and his ability to evoke emotion through his storytelling. The song is a beautiful, melancholic ballad that leaves a lasting impression, a snapshot of a moment suspended in time and the emotions that echo long after love has left.

Color Palette – “Pacing Like A Lion”

“Pacing Like a Lion,” the titular track from Color Palette’s latest EP, is a brooding yet anthemic exploration of the anxieties and rituals that encapsulate the life of a performing artist. As a Washington, DC-based indie dream pop band known for crafting lush sonic landscapes, Color Palette continues their trajectory of creating emotive and immersive music, echoing the likes of Bloc Party, M83, and Explosions in the Sky.

The lyrics, penned by principal songwriter and vocalist Jay Nemeyer, succinctly capture the paradox of performing: the waiting and anticipation, the need for distractions, the repetition of mantras, and the adrenaline rush of the crowd. “I was sitting in the green room, waiting for soundcheck, talking to the sound tech,” Nemeyer sings, setting a scene familiar to any touring musician. The chorus, “Pacing like a lion,” is a vivid metaphor for the restless energy and underlying tension that comes with performance, a feeling akin to a caged animal awaiting release.

“Pacing Like a Lion” is a brilliant encapsulation of the duality of being a performer— the excitement and anxiety, the monotony and spontaneity, the solitude and communion. It’s a testament to Color Palette’s ability to create music that is not only sonically compelling but also deeply reflective of the human experience. With its introspective lyricism and anthemic dreamgaze sound, “Pacing Like a Lion” is a standout track that continues to establish Color Palette as a force in the indie music scene.

Ori Kawa & The Entals – “Third Rock ft. Christina Barrett”

Released for Earth Day, Ori Kawa & The Entals’ “Third Rock ft. Christina Barrett” is a sonic tribute to our shared home planet. A cover of the original by Pure Essence, the song represents an exploration into the sub-genre of liquid rock, offering a sound as transformative and dynamic as the molten core of the Earth itself. The band’s fusion of rock, jazz, and funk-infused pop serves as a fitting soundtrack to the song’s global call to self-awareness and unity, with the warmth and adaptability of their sound mimicking the ebb and flow of molten rock reshaping landscapes.

Ori Kawa’s seasoned vocal performances pair harmoniously with the impressive instrumental talents of The Entals. The lyrics “The only thing, it is threatening you, Cause you, are funkin’ up yourself” and “People of the third rock from the sun, You can’t be you” evoke a sense of introspection and self-realization, a call to authenticity and to respect our shared human experience on this “third rock from the sun.” It’s a potent reminder of the interconnectedness of all life on Earth, made all the more compelling given the song’s release on Earth Day.

“Third Rock ft. Christina Barrett” demonstrates the collective strength of Ori Kawa & The Entals as they continue to carve out a niche in a musical landscape that is constantly changing, just like the Earth itself. This cover not only pays homage to the original performed by Pure Essence but also molds and shapes it into a new form, much like the process of natural geological transformation. Through their unique musicality and insightful lyric interpretation, Ori Kawa & The Entals have created a cover that is both a poignant reminder of our shared responsibility to our planet and a celebration of the diverse and dynamic nature of life on Earth.

Sabir – “sinning in Your name”

“Sinning in Your Name,” a standout track from Sabir’s debut album “in Your name, i sin,” is a poignant introspective journey that skillfully weaves the artist’s personal narrative with a broader commentary on the pressures of living up to familial legacy, first-generation American identity, and the often ruthless demands of the music industry.

The song opens with a recounting of Sabir’s grandfather’s decision to change his name, an act symbolizing his commitment to live a sober life apart from the drug-dealing environment he knew. This act reverberates through Sabir’s own life, as he too grapples with the choice between honoring his family name and the lure of “dirty money” and fame.

Sabir’s candid lyrics capture the internal struggle of living up to the expectations of his family, his culture, and his own ambitions. The recurring theme of being a “first-gen American” and a “white man’s experiment” suggests the feeling of being caught between two worlds – that of his Indian heritage and the pressures of American society. Sabir’s lyrics also indicate his struggle with ego, a necessary defense mechanism to protect against embarrassment but also a potential source of downfall.

In the song, Sabir acknowledges that his actions are not just his own, but also a reflection of his family: “Family gon’ gossip and my momma be watchin.” He understands that his choices could either uphold or undermine the legacy of his family name. Despite the pressures, he remains committed to his path, vowing to “change the rhetoric” and be the evidence of his own success.

The line “Do this for the kid sitting alone who wasn’t brave enough” suggests a desire to inspire others who may feel isolated or afraid to pursue their dreams. It indicates a sense of responsibility that goes beyond just personal ambition, revealing Sabir’s commitment to using his platform to uplift others.

“Sinning in Your Name” is an evocative exploration of the often complex interplay between personal ambition, familial legacy, cultural identity, and societal pressures. With his raw and honest lyricism, Sabir invites listeners to join him on his journey of self-discovery and self-affirmation, offering a powerful and relatable narrative that resonates with anyone grappling with their own identity and place in the world.

The Franks – “Through the Seasons”

The Franks’ recent offering, “Through The Seasons,” delivers an unmistakably evocative vocal performance – broken yet intriguingly melodic. Like a beautifully cracked vase, the vocals bear the scars of life, yet in these very imperfections lies a certain charm, a nod to the likes of Cobain and The Replacements. The authenticity of the singer’s raw and gritty snarl can’t be forged – it’s a potent blend of organic factors and life’s hard knocks. This unadulterated style of vocal delivery has been honed to perfection by the band’s frontman, lending a touch of vintage gravitas to The Franks’ sound.

Musically, “Through the Seasons” bears an indie charm reminiscent of the works of Hamilton Leithauser or Strand of Oaks. The instrumentation is unpretentious yet infectious, built on a straightforward jam that’s undeniably catchy. It serves as a compelling backdrop that doesn’t overshadow but rather complements the emotive power of the vocal, fostering a symbiotic relationship between the two. The track’s real magic, however, lies in its unique ability to draw listeners into its enthralling world and stimulate a deeply felt emotional response.

The repeated refrain, “I’m smiling don’t you know?”, acts as a poignant anchor throughout the track, grounding the listener in the song’s emotional landscape. It’s a curious lyric that carries an undertone of both melancholy and resilience, encapsulating the central theme of the song and serving as a rallying cry for listeners. Overall, “Through the Seasons” is a captivating listen, testament to The Franks’ ability to craft raw, emotionally resonant music that embraces the beauty of imperfection.

Slow Leaves – “American Band”

Slow Leaves’ new single “American Band” is a poignant homage to the world of touring, embodying the spirit of yearning and existential introspection. Rooted in the psych-folk milieu, the track evokes a striking blend of the timeless narratives of Nick Drake and Neil Young with the contemporary stylistic undertones of artists like Bonny “Prince” Billy and Big Thief. Grant Davidson’s – the man behind Slow Leaves – silky voice recalls the resonant tonality of Roy Orbison or Bryan Ferry, further solidifying the track’s nostalgic ambiance.

From the get-go, the song paints an intimate portrait of life on the road, harking back to classic American roots-rock motifs and evoking a Tom Petty-esque imagery. Davidson’s lyrics bring the listener into the heart of the touring experience, depicting the tantalizing allure and the draining reality of life in a band: “I wanna be in an American band / See the bright lights shining from the back of the van / And we’ll keep on rolling just as long as we can.” This duality is underlined by the song’s breezy, indie-rock rhythm and lush, folk-rock chorus – a musical blend that mirrors the lyrics’ contrasting themes.

Yet, it’s the song’s bridge that truly amplifies the existential questions often accompanying the romanticized rock and roll lifestyle: “I wanna see the ocean / Tell my baby I’m coming back home instead / I don’t feel good / I want my own sweet, own sweet, bed / I don’t feel so good no more.” This part reveals the weight of road-weary longing, the desire for something more meaningful, and the yearning for home. The refrain, “Will we ever see the ocean?” reverberates with the longing for release, signifying a sense of unfulfilled desires and dreams not yet realized. These sentiments are underscored in the song’s video, filled with nature-inspired abstract imagery. In essence, “American Band” captures Slow Leaves’ masterful art of transforming everyday experiences into profound, introspective narratives.

Elora – “Embers”

With her latest offering “Embers,” Elora effortlessly crafts a compelling narrative of loss and reconciliation, cloaked in a musically vibrant guise that is as mesmerizing as it is soul-stirring. Straddling the elusive boundary between psychedelic dream pop and classic folk rock, “Embers” emanates an aura of poignant intensity and raw emotional candor. Elora’s tender yet potent vocal performance finds a unique balance between vulnerability and strength, ultimately reflecting her growth as an artist. Her harrowing confessions – “I never thought we were best friends just to get stoned” – are not just a catharsis, but an invitation for listeners to share her emotional journey.

Intricate yet seamless arrangements underscore the emotive lyricism of “Embers.” The robust drums by Charlie Culbert and the synth bass infuse a rhythmic vitality that perfectly complements Elora’s poignant storytelling. Ethereal synthesizers by co-producer Theo Walentiny and gliding slide guitar riffs by Jake Nuffer add layers of dreamy richness, further deepening the sonic universe of “Embers.” The synthesis of these musical elements, expertly mixed by Jake Cheriff and mastered by Calbi/Fallone at Sterling Sounds, reflects Elora’s innovative songwriting approach, deeply rooted in personal experiences and emotions.

“Embers” serves as a testament to Elora’s artistic growth and maturity, her creative sensibilities honed by a background steeped in art and music, and nurtured by influences from The Beatles to indie rock artist Kate Davis. It’s her ability to weave emotional vulnerability with vibrant musical tapestries that sets Elora apart, exemplifying the transformative power of music in navigating personal upheavals. As a glimpse into her upcoming record ‘Pitfall’ with Paper Moon Records, “Embers” offers a promising indication of Elora’s evolution as an artist, holding the promise of even more emotive storytelling and inventive soundscapes to come.

Carrabelle – “Lay Low”

With the release of “Lay Low,” Carrabelle deftly demonstrates their evolving artistry, pushing boundaries while delivering a striking emotional resonance that leaves a lasting impression. This track, which forms part of their debut record “Static Waves,” serves as a stark reminder of the world’s darker facets, yet it’s imbued with a profound sense of longing that permeates every note. There is a palpable feeling of wanting to hold onto something meaningful despite the inevitability of change, captured poignantly in the lines “I can’t lose you now when it’s all becoming clearer / We fade into bone / Turning back to dust and hoping we’re remembered.”

From a sonic perspective, “Lay Low” bears the hallmark of Carrabelle’s signature throw-back sound that straddles multiple genres. The robust mixing by Justin Michel, the band’s latest member, crafts an atmosphere that echoes with elements of alternative rock, interwoven with the band’s eclectic musical influences. Carrabelle’s commitment to creating a sound that’s distinctly their own is evident in this song. The intimate ambiance of the recording, the intricate layers of sound, and the band’s emotive performances combine to create a truly immersive listening experience.

At its core, “Lay Low” signifies Carrabelle’s musical evolution since their second EP “Frozen Lakes.” The band’s creative growth, their relentless pursuit of a distinctive sound, and their willingness to push boundaries are exemplified in this song. With “Lay Low,” Carrabelle takes their listeners on a deeply personal journey, challenging them to face their fears while offering a glimmer of hope, making it not just a song, but an emotional experience. As they continue to carve out their niche in the alternative rock landscape, Carrabelle shows that they are a force to be reckoned with, their music a testament to their passion, talent, and the power of honest self-expression.

Hugh Klein – “Lead the Way”

With “Lead the Way,” Melbourne-born, Paris-based artist Hugh Klein steps fully into the limelight, offering his audience a first, unabashed introduction to his vocal prowess. It’s a tender neo-soul ballad, evoking the romantic ambience of the City of Light where it was born, laced with gentle melodic lines and softly brushed percussive grooves. It’s a song that aims for the heart and lands unerringly, capturing the listener with its heartfelt plea for intimacy and rebirth. Like the whispered utterance of a secret, Klein’s voice offers vulnerability and strength in equal measure, embodying the journey toward musical self-actualization the artist has undertaken.

Klein’s influences are a melange of Blue Note jazz, neo-soul, and feature film scores, and this eclectic inspiration is discernible in “Lead The Way.” However, the track is far from derivative, serving as a testament to Klein’s unique sonic identity, birthed from a fascinating juxtaposition of his past in film composition and his present in the Parisian music scene. There’s a cinematic quality to the song, its lush string arrangements, rich Rhodes & Wurlitzer elements, and Klein’s floating vocals creating an immersive soundscape that feels almost visual in its evocative power.

“Lead The Way” is a promising preview of Klein’s upcoming record ‘No Plans, No Rules’. If this single is any indication, listeners can expect the record to navigate themes of intimacy, adoration, and romance with deftness and delicacy. Hugh Klein proves himself to be a captivating storyteller, his songs providing not just a listening experience, but a rich narrative to dive into. His talent, honed behind the scenes in studios and as a composer for film and TV, shines through on “Lead The Way”, marking Klein as a rising star in the neo-soul landscape.

Lucas Pasley – “Where’s the You”

Lucas Pasley’s “Where’s the You” serves as a poignant reflection on the inevitable transformation individuals experience within a relationship. In this song, Pasley grapples with the poignant reality of evolving identities, depicting a raw and achingly familiar emotional landscape. The opening lines, “Now when I said that I would always stay with you / I meant the you that I was talking to,” encapsulate the song’s thematic core – the pain and confusion that come with love’s evolution. With his roots in Appalachian and Country music, Pasley’s approach is authentic and deeply personal, his lyrics tinged with a profound sadness that feels both intimate and universal.

A large part of Pasley’s magic lies in his ability to convey complex emotions with impressive clarity. In the song, he addresses both himself and his partner, acknowledging the changes that have driven them apart. This duality is beautifully conveyed in the lyrics, “I have changed, and if that gives me the blame / Then I’ll take the blame, but I couldn’t stay the same.” It’s a sentiment that echoes Albert Einstein’s quote cherished by Pasley’s grandmother, capturing the dual disappointment when neither party in a relationship changes in the ways expected by the other.

In “Where’s the You,” Pasley combines his talent as a traditional fiddler/banjoist with his songwriting skills to create a hauntingly beautiful and poignant ode to lost love and change. His instrumental solos and harmony singing add depth and emotional resonance to his lyrics, creating a rich sonic tapestry that underscores the song’s thematic elements. If this track is any indication, listeners can look forward to more insightful and evocative offerings from Lucas Pasley in his upcoming 2022 album.

New Release Friday (On A Monday): Rainlights, VC Pines, Thomas Jay, Izzie Derry, Tristan Armstrong, Alan Chang

Welcome to this special edition of “New Release Friday” – on a Monday! We know we’re a few days late, but trust us when we say that the wait was worth it. Last week was brimming with incredible new music, and we couldn’t wait any longer to share these gems with you. From captivating indie anthems to infectious pop bangers, and from soaring ballads to gritty rock tunes, this delayed edition of “New Release Friday” promises to deliver an exciting mix of fresh sounds and talented artists that you won’t want to miss. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this belated but exceptional collection of new releases that are sure to kickstart your week with a bang!

Rainlights – “Brand New Sneakers”

Rainlights’ latest offering, “Brand New Sneakers,” is a testament to the Brooklyn-based artist’s ability to blend introspective lyricism with captivating sonic landscapes. Drawing from a wide range of influences like James Blake, Léon, and Sufjan Stevens, Rainlights creates a cinematic atmosphere with shimmering beats and delicate key-focused melodies that weave a tapestry of sound around the listener. The song’s evolution from a simple concept about breaking in new shoes to a meditation on accepting change and embracing new beginnings is a testament to her skill as a songwriter.

The masterful contrast in production between the verses and chorus lends an engaging dynamic to the track, as Rainlights showcases her prowess not only as a singer and songwriter, but also as a producer and engineer. Having honed her skills in London while earning her Master’s degree in Audio Production, her ability to craft a polished and cohesive sound is evident throughout “Brand New Sneakers.” The song serves as a powerful addition to her growing discography, which already includes standout tracks such as “When My Phone Dies,” “Mazzy Star Reminds Me of You,” and “how does it feel?”

With “Brand New Sneakers,” Rainlights further solidifies her place in the world of dreamy folk-pop, weaving her synesthetic experiences into the fabric of her music. This track, like the rest of her work, invites listeners into a world of vivid colors and emotions, creating a sense of belonging that is at once comforting and exhilarating. As she continues to develop her unique voice and expand her musical horizons, Rainlights is undoubtedly an artist to watch in the coming years.

VC Pines – “Colours”

VC Pines, also known as Jack Mercer, dives into the complex landscape of human emotions and mental health with his latest single “Colours,” a track that showcases his unique blend of alt-soul, indie, and R&B. Drawing on his personal experiences and synesthetic perspective, the song tells a story of longing, vulnerability, and the search for connection through vividly painted lyrical imagery.

“Colours” captures the essence of VC Pines’ introspective storytelling, with lyrics such as “Now I’m lost outside alone / I wish I had known better than to call / And to leave you alone” and “Why don’t you wanna wake up? / Tell me that I can come through / Why don’t you wanna find out? / Colours I can paint in your room.” Mercer’s evocative wordplay is further enhanced by the synesthetic associations that he has with his epilepsy, giving the track a unique sensory depth. With lines like “Mellow yellow shade in front of me / That brings me to my knees,” listeners are drawn into the colorful world that Mercer inhabits.

As part of his upcoming debut album, “MRI,” “Colours” represents a significant milestone for VC Pines, showcasing his growth as an artist and his determination to forge his own path in the alternative music scene. The single resonates with listeners seeking authenticity, emotional depth, and a fresh perspective on life’s challenges. With his ability to convey complex emotions through vibrant and nuanced storytelling, VC Pines has crafted a captivating track that leaves a lasting impression.

Thomas Jay – “Comfortable”

With his second single “Comfortable,” Thomas Jay offers a soulful exploration of the complexities that arise when friends cross the line into romance. Produced in collaboration with Peter Anderson (Beach For Tiger) and Joe White (Youth Club/J Hustl3), the track delves into the emotional turmoil that follows an intimate encounter between friends. Drawing from the rich musical influences of his childhood, including icons like Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, and Stevie Wonder, Thomas Jay’s soulful voice and R&B-pop sensibilities shine through in this captivating song.

“Comfortable” is characterized by its raw and honest portrayal of the doubts and regrets that come with blurring the lines between friendship and romance. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the late-night confusion, as Thomas Jay croons, “Am I feeling feelings when I’m feeling you / Cause it’s been a while since I have felt this comfortable / My mind can’t decide what I’m supposed to do / If we regret this, can we heal the damage?” Listeners are taken on an emotional journey as the artist grapples with the aftermath of a moment that could change everything.

As a follow-up to his successful debut single “Ease My Mind,” Thomas Jay continues to make a name for himself in the world of Neo-Soul and R&B-Pop with “Comfortable.” The song showcases not only his powerful vocals but also his vulnerability as a songwriter. With more singles, an EP, and a headline show planned for later in the year, 2023 is shaping up to be a breakthrough year for Thomas Jay. “Comfortable” solidifies his reputation as a dynamic and captivating artist who isn’t afraid to delve into the emotional complexities of human relationships.

Izzie Derry – “Wasted Love”

Izzie Derry’s latest single, “Wasted Love,” is a raw and powerful exploration of the anger and pain following a heart-wrenching breakup. This emotionally charged track, influenced by artists like Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, and Tori Amos, showcases Izzie’s ability to delve into the complexities of post-relationship emotions. The lyrics pull no punches, with lines like “I wish I never met you / Or maybe just that I never let you close enough to regret you,” illustrating the depth of her emotional turmoil.

“Wasted Love” is a testament to Izzie Derry’s growth as an artist, both lyrically and musically. The chorus, “What wasted love / What wasted time / What wasted affection / Of mine,” reveals a bitterness that many can relate to when dealing with the fallout of a broken relationship. Throughout the track, Izzie’s vocal performance is full of raw emotion, matching the intensity of the song’s theme.

As part of her upcoming debut album, “Wasted Love” is a promising preview of what fans can expect from this talented singer-songwriter. With her unique blend of heartfelt lyrics and engaging melodies, Izzie Derry is poised to make a lasting impact on the music scene. As she continues to mature as an artist and explore new genres and arrangements, it’s clear that her music will continue to resonate with listeners who have experienced the emotional turmoil of love and loss.

Tristan Armstrong – “The Lender”

Tristan Armstrong’s “The Lender” offers a captivating glimpse into the challenges and beauty of city life, highlighting the resilience of the human spirit amidst the struggles that come with urban living. With an opening line inspired by an overheard conversation in Toronto’s Kensington Market, Armstrong sets the stage for a vivid portrayal of life in the city, using evocative lyrics to tell the story of a person just trying to get by.

Armstrong’s knack for transforming everyday moments into poetic narratives is evident throughout the song, with lines such as “I was breaking bread on the hood of this broke down wagon / There was just enough wind up my back to keep my sails from dragging.” These lyrics emphasize the constant battle for survival in the urban landscape, while also alluding to the fleeting beauty found in life’s simple moments. The chorus, “Deals gone wrong with friends far gone / That left me on my own / And tie me to the beauty of / A life of the unknown,” speaks to the resilience and adaptability required to navigate the uncertainty of city life.

As a seasoned musician with a decade of experience in the Toronto music scene, Tristan Armstrong has honed his craft as a composer, instrumentalist, and lyricist. “The Lender” showcases his ability to create deeply engaging music with a strong sense of place, drawing on his roots and experiences to craft songs that resonate with listeners. With a rich history of collaborations and performances, Armstrong’s unique blend of grand romanticism and introspection makes “The Lender” a powerful addition to his growing body of work.

Alan Chang – “Love As A Weapon”

Alan Chang’s latest single “Love As A Weapon” explores the complexities of relationships, particularly those involving both personal and professional connections. Drawing from his own experience, Chang delves into the emotional turmoil that arises when a long-standing friendship is tested by conflicts of interest. As the musical director for Michael Bublé for 19 years, Chang’s decision to part ways with the singer served as the catalyst for this heartfelt and introspective anthem.

The lyrics in “Love As A Weapon” capture the emotional tension and frustration that had been building over time, with lines such as “my quiet’s turned to anger” and the powerful chorus “don’t let me use your love as a weapon…now I put your trust into question.” These lines reveal Chang’s internal struggle as both a friend and coworker to Bublé, emphasizing the difficulty of navigating personal and professional boundaries.

Sonically, the track offers a throwback to 2000s pop music, infused with a jazzy flair that sets it apart. The infectious piano motif, the steady rhythm of the drums, and the layered vocals in the chorus create an earworm that belies the song’s serious subject matter. With production by Ryan Lerman and mixing by Russell Elevado, “Love As A Weapon” is a testament to Chang’s artistic versatility and the talent he has assembled for his anticipated album.

As an emerging solo artist, Alan Chang brings an impressive backstory as Michael Bublé’s musical director and pianist. With his forthcoming album, Check Please, Chang showcases his skills as a singer-songwriter and jazz pianist, creating a collection of superbly crafted pop songs steeped in jazz influences. Fans of buoyant melodies and engaging storytelling will eagerly anticipate Chang’s solo debut and the opportunity to experience his music in a live setting.

Fresh Tracks Friday – Lance Tingey, Megafauna, The Twin Doors, Soft Loft, Estella Dawn, Are We Hunting

It’s my favorite time of the week, New Release Friday! Enjoy these fresh tunes from artists we’re pretty sure you’ve never heard of before, but you definitely should.

Lance Tingey – “Rough Patch”

Utah-based pop singer-songwriter Lance Tingey offers a heartfelt, introspective exploration of religious doubt with his latest single “Rough Patch.” Tingey’s background as a Mormon is the foundation of the song’s emotional depth, with lyrics that tackle the daunting task of leaving behind one’s faith. The track resonates with anyone who has experienced the internal conflict of questioning their religious beliefs and coming to terms with the consequences of leaving. Tingey’s honest and raw vocal delivery is a standout feature, with his soulful tone driving home the song’s message. The stripped-down instrumentation allows for the focus to remain on the poignant lyrics and Tingey’s impressive vocals.

Produced by Mike McClellan, “Rough Patch” showcases Tingey’s talent as a composer and lyricist, with the song offering an intimate look into his personal journey. The track’s similarity to the sound of John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Jon Bellion, and Ben Rector is evident, with Tingey carving out his own space in the crowded pop scene with his distinct brand of vulnerable and honest songwriting. As an independent artist with over a million streams, Tingey’s marketing expertise shines through with his strategic approach to growing his fanbase and achieving success in the music industry, which you can read more about here.

Lance Tingey’s “Rough Patch” is a poignant and introspective track that highlights the artist’s raw vocal talent and ability to craft deeply personal and relatable lyrics. With his expertise in music marketing and his dedication to helping others achieve success in the industry, Tingey is a rising star to watch out for. His unique blend of heartfelt storytelling and catchy pop sensibilities make for a compelling listening experience that is sure to resonate with fans of John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, and beyond.

Megafauna – “Bi Postal”

Megafauna’s latest song, “Bi Postal,” is a genre-bending journey that showcases the band’s expansive musical palette. Produced by Charles Godfrey, known for his work with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Swans, the album features https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Home-Megafauna/dp/B079T218PF/ref=sr_1_5?crid=26STNQK6ZTNZI&keywords=megafauna&qid=1682117150&s=music&sprefix=megafauna%252Cpopular%252C162&sr=1-5&_encoding=UTF8&tag=calexanderpoe-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=ded58129e04dad4d4e8a14c5e6785cea&camp=1789&creative=9325">MegaFaunaMegafauna’s signature rock sound alongside moments of psychedelic bossa nova and indie math rock. The band fearlessly explores various corners of heavy, progressive, and alternative rock, showcasing their diverse sonic range.

One theme that winds its way throughout the new album, Olympico is women grappling with the patriarchy, as seen in songs like “Dozer,” “Bi Postal,” and “Rage of the Queen.” Neff’s haunting vocals and guitar wizardry are on full display, and the rest of the band brings a precision and edge to each track.

As their name suggests, Megafauna creates massive, heavy, and momentous musical moments, but with a beautiful and melodic touch. Their sound is reminiscent of Rush and The Mars Volta, but they also draw inspiration from avant-indie instigators Radiohead and contemporary shredders like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Mastodon. With “Bi Postal,” Megafauna has cemented their place as genre-bending rock pioneers who fearlessly break the neurotypical patterns of heavy rock.

Megafauna has been cutting their chops across US and European stages, and their performance at Levitation Festival was a highlight of the event. They have shared the stage with bands like Cursive and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, showcasing their ability to captivate audiences with their unique sound. Olympico is sure to be an energetic and diverse record that adds to the Megafauna canon and solidifies their place as one of the most exciting rock bands to watch.

The Twin Doors – “The Hero & The Villain”

The Twin Doors’ latest offering, “The Hero & The Villain,” is a compelling departure from the traditional song structure, as it embarks on a journey through the unpredictable realm of human connection. The Swedish quintet, known for their modern rock sound with occasional nostalgia-laden detours, deliver a sonic landscape that masterfully captures the raw essence of vulnerability and the delicate dance of conflict resolution. With August Mårtensson’s impassioned vocals, Jonas Brantryd’s soaring guitar work, John Conlon’s evocative bass lines, Kiko Sjöberg’s atmospheric keys, and Albin Samuelsson’s thunderous drumming, the band creates a soundscape that is both captivating and thought-provoking.

Painted with vivid imagery, the lyrics of “The Hero & The Villain” delve into the complexities of a couple’s tumultuous relationship, blending surreal elements such as horses, wagons, and racquetball machines with the more intimate whispers echoing in the background. As the couple’s sunset eyes gaze upon each other, they are forced to confront their egos and reevaluate the state of their union. This poignant narrative is brought to life through a unique blend of genres, with rock forming the backbone, complemented by alternative, indie, pop, and electronic influences.

Ultimately, The Twin Doors’ “The Hero & The Villain” is a refreshing, genre-bending exploration of human emotion and the trials and tribulations of love. The track’s unconventional structure and diverse musical elements showcase the band’s ability to push boundaries while remaining true to their rock roots. The result is a hauntingly beautiful, emotionally charged conversation with a stranger that lingers long after the last note fades away. As The Twin Doors continue to chart new territory, they prove that their unique sound and unapologetic vulnerability have the power to resonate with listeners far and wide.

Soft Loft – “Little Less”

“Little Less,” the second single from the enigmatic collective Soft Loft, is a heartrending ode to the complexities of love and loss. Stripping away the layers of conventional love songs, this track is a refreshing reminder that sometimes, love isn’t all we need. With its confessional lyrics and a soundscape that encourages introspection, “Little Less” gently urges us to step out of our comfort zones and embrace the warmth and light that awaits beyond the walls we’ve built around ourselves.

Jorina’s vulnerable and honest account of the struggle to let go after a breakup resonates with a universal pain that many have experienced. As the song progresses, the realization dawns that perhaps feeling a little less love could ease the burden of moving on, yet the door is left open for reconciliation. This tender exploration of heartache and healing is backed by the collective’s signature sound, which seamlessly weaves together elements of indie, folk, and dream pop to create an ethereal sonic refuge where the broken and the imperfect are not only embraced but celebrated.

Soft Loft, as a collective, is dedicated to crafting an environment where vulnerability paves the way for connection, transcending hierarchical structures and societal expectations. In “Little Less,” they successfully transform reality into a dreamscape that allows listeners to confront their emotions head-on, free from judgment. As Soft Loft continues to challenge conventional musical norms, they stand as a testament to the power of raw emotion and authentic connection, proving that sometimes, all we need is a little less love to find our way back to ourselves.

Estella Dawn – “Just Me”

San Diego-based singer-songwriter and producer Estella Dawn boldly steps into the modern pop scene with her latest emotive single, “Just Me.” Seamlessly blending genres and effortlessly displaying her vast array of performative influences, Estella showcases her unwavering confidence and passionate delivery. With hypnotic production and a memorable hook that instantly captivates the listener, “Just Me” takes us on an emotional rollercoaster, navigating the delicate balance between heartache and resilience. Estella’s honest, diary-style lyrics further cement her distinct identity in the ever-evolving pop landscape.

In “Just Me,” Estella Dawn’s striking vocals transition from quiet contemplation to gritty defiance, as she reflects on a broken relationship with a perfect blend of anecdote and relatability. The song’s simple chord pattern allows her swift, powerful lyrical outpourings to take center stage, while the underlying production creates a satisfyingly immersive experience. As the track progresses, Estella’s skillful switches in flow, pace, volume, and intensity highlight her ability to effortlessly unite elements of vulnerability and strength, reminiscent of pop icons like Sia, Adele, and Halsey.

Born in New Zealand and now making her mark in the US, Estella Dawn proves that her talent knows no boundaries as she continues to captivate her growing global audience. Her unique sound, which transcends genres with spirited conviction, is a testament to her dedication to her craft. As a singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, Estella embraces authenticity and maintains a timeless appeal amidst a constantly shifting industry. With each new release, she solidifies her position as a creative powerhouse who will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the future of modern pop.

Are We Hunting – “Strawberry Beach”

“Strawberry Beach,” the latest evocative offering from the enigmatic group Are We Hunting, immerses listeners in a dreamscape of yearning and escapism. As self-described “poor people from the ocean,” Are We Hunting’s oceanic influences permeate the fabric of the track, with lyrics that capture the essence of loneliness, escape, nostalgia, and peacefulness. The haunting melody transports us to a realm where the moonlit shore serves as a sanctuary from the complexities of reality, offering a temporary reprieve from life’s hardships.

The desire to flee to a mystical Strawberry Beach at night forms the core of the song’s poignant narrative. As the protagonist longs to swim beneath the moon’s light, savor stolen gin, and infuse the sea with vibrant hues, we bear witness to their introspective journey. In their solitude, memories of a past life resurface, symbolized by the jazz sailors sketching images of the ocean. The lyrics evoke a sense of melancholy, as the protagonist grapples with a persistent yearning for a simpler existence.

With “Strawberry Beach,” Are We Hunting has crafted a sonic masterpiece that weaves a tapestry of emotions, creating a vivid and immersive experience for the listener. The song’s delicate balance of loneliness and escape, nostalgia and yearning, and the underlying sense of peace, makes it a hauntingly beautiful anthem for anyone who has ever longed for an escape from the challenges of reality. As Are We Hunting continues to explore the depths of human emotion through their unique sound, they establish themselves as a powerful voice in the ever-evolving world of music.

Top Ten Thursday: Alta Falls, Black Hat, Bmbu and SueLily, Fwz, Emily James, Matt Storm, Juhan Ongbrian and Shane Sato, Bee & The Hive, Five Fingers of Funk, Sir Echo

Alta Falls – “Tried To Forget About”

Alta Falls, the Brisbane-based electro-pop duo, has dropped a new single today that’ll make you want to time travel back to the ’80s. “Tried To Forget About” is a nostalgic and energetic track with a danceable shuffle beat, vintage synths, and emotive lyrics that are seamlessly punctuated with silky smooth harmonies.

Lead singer Nathanael revealed that the song was initially written in a folky style, but during a TikTok livestream, their followers instantly connected with it and asked for a recorded version. The duo then teamed up with producer Aidan Hogg and drummer Sebastian ‘Baz’ Jennings Hingston to transform the folky tune into an ’80s banger.

The track tells the story of Nathanael’s childhood friend, with whom he used to ride his pushbike around the Western suburbs of Brisbane and write songs. “I have such fond memories of that time of my childhood, and the song transports me back there whenever I play it,” Nathanael said.

Alta Falls’ second EP is highly anticipated, and if the first few releases are anything to go by, it’ll be an electro-pop delight. Their signature synthy charm, insightful lyricism, and danceable beats are sure to captivate listeners once again.

“Tried To Forget About” is a testament to Alta Falls’ ability to create music that transcends time and genre. The track is a unique fusion of nostalgia and modernity, offering a refreshing take on electro-pop. It’s clear that the duo is on an upwards trajectory, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next.

Black Hat – “Favorite Place”

Black Hat’s newest release, “Favorite Place,” is a moody and evocative track that’s sure to transport listeners to a world of wonder and melancholy. As a B-side to their first single, it stands out as a medium tempo’d, chill mood tune that’s unlike anything else out there. The allure of indulgence and original programming is palpable throughout the song, as Black Hat weaves together eerie vocals, guitar soaked in reverb, hypnotic synth drones, and infectious melodies and beats.

What sets Black Hat apart from other psychedelic bands is their ability to create a cinematic experience that transcends genre limitations. Drawing inspiration from spaghetti western films, fear of the apocalypse, and transcendental expression, they’ve crafted a sound that’s entirely their own. And while their style may echo that of traditional 60s artists, there’s something uniquely haunting and mesmerizing about their music.

“Favorite Place” is a testament to Black Hat’s creative prowess, and fans of the band will undoubtedly be entranced by its captivating melodies and moody ambiance. For those unfamiliar with Black Hat, this track serves as a stunning introduction to a band that’s breaking the boundaries of psychedelic music and creating something truly special.

Bmbu and SueLily – “Two Minds”

Bmbu, a seasoned veteran in the hip-hop and R&B scene, teams up with South London singer-songwriter SueLily for their collaborative track “Two Minds”. With over 25 projects under his belt, Bmbu’s production skills shine in this latest release, blending sampling and synthesis seamlessly to create a captivating beat that perfectly complements SueLily’s raw and honest vocals.

SueLily’s passion for using music as a means of self-discovery and exploration of truth is evident in “Two Minds”. The gentle merging of neo-soul, old-school hip-hop, and jazz in her sound creates a unique and soulful atmosphere that draws the listener in, while her storytelling abilities weave personal narratives that touch on human issues that are both relatable and impactful.

The track’s underlying theme of inner conflict is carried throughout the lyrics, as SueLily invites listeners to apply the moments in her music to their own personal contexts, effectively using her art as a means of healing and self-discovery. With “Two Minds”, Bmbu and SueLily have created a powerful and authentic musical experience that showcases their individual strengths and their ability to collaborate seamlessly.

Fwz – “My Issues”

Fwz’s latest release “My Issues” delves into the difficult and oftentimes murky terrain of betrayal in a cutthroat environment. The Brooklyn-born artist has crafted a gritty and unapologetic track that speaks to the struggle of navigating through a world where the true intentions of those around us are constantly in question.

From the catchy hook “Watch out for them people you call friends, think they riding with you” to the hard-hitting lyrics that showcase Fwz’s raw talent, “My Issues” is a haunting and captivating track. The track’s production is minimalistic and ominous, with a heavy bass and dark melody that perfectly complements the song’s theme.

Fwz’s flow is relentless and confident, as he addresses his personal experiences of betrayal and the consequences of those actions. The rapper’s gritty and intense delivery paints a vivid picture of a man who has been through the trenches and come out on the other side with a newfound sense of awareness and determination.

Overall, “My Issues” is a powerful and thought-provoking track that showcases Fwz’s talent and uncompromising artistic vision. The song’s intense lyrics and minimalistic production come together to create a haunting and unforgettable track that will leave a lasting impression on listeners.

Emily James – “Lovely Enough”

Emily James’ new single, “Lovely Enough” from her upcoming EP “Grey” delivers a haunting and introspective melody that leaves an impression. Emily’s voice is at the forefront, supported by a more intimate, stripped-back tone that emphasizes her singing and songwriting skills. The lyrics muse on the pressures women face to conform to societal expectations and be accepted. Emily’s vocals are striking, with a climactic build that breaks through the vulnerability. The official visualizer for “Lovely Enough” oscillates between vibrant shots at golden hour and cinematic, black-and-white imagery to reflect the song’s duality.

Emily’s musical journey is impressive, and her earlier musical influences have been pivotal in shaping her music. Her music combines artful storytelling with strong melodies that are often layered with beautiful, lush harmonies. She creates songs in her own private and intimate space, which she believes adds a level of introspection to her music. Her songs are personal, but Emily’s altruistic approach ensures that they’re for anyone to embrace and attach their own stories and emotions to.

“Lovely Enough” is a poignant, heartbreaking ballad that focuses on insecurity and self-esteem, particularly for women who face societal pressures to conform. Emily’s vocal delivery is incredible, and the haunting melody complements the lyrics’ message. Her upcoming EP “Grey” is sure to be a hit, and Emily James is definitely one to watch in 2023.

Matt Storm – “what do ya miss?”

Alternative-soul artist Matt Storm’s new single “what do ya miss?” sets the bar high for his upcoming music in 2023. Mixed by Grammy Award-winning Ben Kane and recorded at Vancouver’s ‘Electric Maple Tree’ studios, the track features a minimalist, melancholic sound with a classic vintage vibe. The lyrics convey the artist’s struggle with regret and depression, exploring the search for his inner self. Despite its short length of 2:39, the song showcases Matt’s lazy yet understated vocals and the talents of Luke Deville on bass and Trent Otter on drums. With Spotify already featuring the song on Fresh Finds R&B and Lowkey, “what do ya miss?” is an underground hit waiting to break through.

Overall, “what do ya miss?” by Matt Storm is a solid addition to his discography. The minimalist and melancholic sound, combined with the raw and unrefined approach to recording, creates a sense of intimacy and vulnerability that suits the lyrics well. The song showcases Matt’s strengths as a songwriter and performer, and the production by Ben Kane adds a layer of polish to the final product. With Spotify already featuring the track on Fresh Finds R&B and Lowkey, it’s clear that Matt Storm’s music is gaining traction and recognition. Fans of alternative-soul and introspective songwriting should definitely give “what do ya miss?” a listen.

Juhan Ongbrian and Shane Sato – “Changes”

Juhan Ongbrian and Shane Sato’s new instrumental track “Changes” is a masterful fusion of smooth jazz and modern rock, showcasing their impressive musicianship and creative vision. From the opening guitar riff to the final drum fill, the track is a thrilling ride through a variety of musical textures and moods.

Without the use of lyrics, Ongbrian and Sato convey the theme of transformation purely through their playing, as the music evolves and shifts in unexpected ways. The interplay between the guitar and drums is particularly impressive, as they push and pull against each other, creating tension and release in equal measure.

Overall, “Changes” is a remarkable achievement, a testament to the power of instrumental music to tell a compelling story and move listeners on a deep emotional level. Ongbrian and Sato have created something truly special here, and their collaboration is one to watch in the world of contemporary jazz and rock.

Bee & The Hive – “Sunshine”

Bee & The Hive’s latest single “Sunshine” may have a sunny title, but the content of the song is far from it. Lead singer Bee explores the idea of sadness in even the happiest of situations, providing a fresh take on the pop-punk genre. The song is filled with blunt lyricism, jazzy solos, and a sound that is uniquely their own.

The Oklahoma-based band brings a refreshing twist to the indie rock scene, with their background in jazz and classical music shining through in their arrangements. “Sunshine” is a perfect example of their ability to blend genres seamlessly, with a catchy melody that will stick in your head for days. Each member of the band is given a chance to showcase their personal flair, while also coming together to create a cohesive sound that is undeniably Bee & The Hive.

Despite only starting as a small group playing lead singer Bee Pichardo’s songs for a house show, Bee & The Hive has quickly gained traction in the Oklahoma music scene. Their debut single and EP release, signed with Catapult Recordings, is a testament to their hard work and dedication. “Sunshine” is just a glimpse into the potential of this rising band, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next.

Five Fingers of Funk – “Kill Sound”

After a long hiatus, Five Fingers of Funk, a ten-man hip-hop behemoth, return with their latest album, “Portland Say It Again.” The album features “Kill Sound,” a track that boasts a lively and groovy sound, anchored by the Fingers’ signature three-piece horn section and the skillful DJ Chillest Illest on turntables. The track also features a memorable guest appearance from Bosko.

“Kill Sound” has a distinctively old-school vibe, evoking the heyday of James Brown-style funk and lyrically-driven hip-hop. The track delivers a powerful message about respect and commitment in the rap game, as well as the importance of paying your dues. The lyrics reveal the band’s seasoned perspective, with lines like “Been at it since the ’80s, young man, don’t forget it,” and “Hey, I’m old school as fuck, but whatever, call it luck.”

“Kill Sound” is a testament to the band’s legacy and the groundbreaking impact they had on the Portland music scene. With their energetic shows and innovative sound, Five Fingers of Funk bridged the gap between Portland’s indie rock movement and its burgeoning hip-hop scene, paving the way for local hip-hop to be showcased in downtown venues. “Kill Sound” is a must-listen for anyone who loves classic hip-hop and funk, and for those who want to experience the enduring power of live hip-hop music.

Sir Echo – “Cargo”

Sir Echo’s latest release “Cargo” is a poignant and relatable track, serving as an open letter to an upstate New York kind-of-love. With its confessional lyrics and catchy guitar riffs, the song depicts the struggles of chasing someone who is busy chasing someone else. The hazy, dimly lit kitchens and 3am dinners described in the track create an intimate and atmospheric vibe, making it the perfect accompaniment to a late-night drive or introspective moment.

Recorded independently and mixed by Pat Noon, “Cargo” showcases Sir Echo’s alt/grunge flair that has been inciting mosh pits all over the east coast. Drawing inspiration from Nothing But Thieves, Wunderhorse, Highly Suspect, and Mannequin Pussy, Sir Echo plans on blending their influences while maintaining a fresh new outlook on female-fronted rock.

The band has been busy touring and playing venues across the east coast, preparing for the release of a storm of singles and an EP in 2023. With past gigs including Sofar Sounds, Breaking Sound Daryl’s House, and The Falcon, and having played shows with the likes of Clutch, Killswitch Engage, and Amanda Palmer, Sir Echo is quickly making a name for themselves in the music scene. With their genre-bending sound and relatable lyrics, Sir Echo is definitely one to watch out for.

Video of the Day – “Brothers Never Lie” by Anthony Lazaro

Anthony Lazaro’s “Brothers Never Lie” is a heartfelt and moving tribute to the power of friendship and loyalty. The song, released in 2018, showcases Lazaro’s undeniable talent as both a songwriter and performer.

The track opens with a simple yet effective acoustic guitar riff that sets the stage for Lazaro’s soulful vocals. His delivery is emotive and passionate, conveying a deep sense of connection and camaraderie. The lyrics, while exploring universal themes of brotherhood, offer a fresh and poignant take on the topic. The chorus, with its powerful refrain of “brothers never lie,” captures the essence of trust and loyalty that lies at the heart of the song.

The production of “Brothers Never Lie” is lush and textured, offering a perfect complement to Lazaro’s vocals. The instrumentation builds gradually throughout the track, creating a powerful and emotional listening experience. The use of strings and subtle percussion adds a sense of grandeur and drama, making the track feel epic and cinematic.

What makes “Brothers Never Lie” truly special, however, is its ability to connect with listeners on a deeply personal level. The song’s message of trust, loyalty, and the enduring power of friendship is something that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s a reminder that, no matter how difficult life may get, having someone by your side who you can count on is truly invaluable.

In conclusion, “Brothers Never Lie” by Anthony Lazaro is a powerful and moving tribute to the importance of friendship and loyalty. Its emotive vocals, lush production, and poignant lyrics make for an unforgettable listening experience. The song’s ability to connect with listeners on a personal level is a testament to its universal appeal, and its message of brotherhood and trust is something that will continue to resonate for years to come.

Mid-Week Mixdown – Jen Awad, Timmy Tortuga, Schaefer Llana, Zach Kleisinger, and Owlbiter

If you’re anything like me, you rarely are just listening to one artist or even genre. That’s why a couple of times per week I put together a mix of some of my favorite songs at the moment regardless of genre for you to sample and enjoy.

Jen Awad – “Break A Man”

A full band playing in matching outfits in a seedy alleyway along with a cop interaction cutaway that features Jen telling the officer to “watch your fucking head?” I guess that’s a music video Yahtzee for Jen Awad and her 2018 single “Break A Man.” Those band mates aren’t just there for looks either, this full brass section and back up singers really create an impressively full sound, and of course, Jen herself carries this song with strong full-throated vocals that make you feel like she’s laid out the perfect blue print for “how to break a man,” though some of us without that level of swag could struggle a bit more.

Despite its August 2018 release date, “Break A Man” has far too many views, likes, and comments, and I’m hoping my readers can do something about that. This song is simply too fun for you folks to miss, and if you like this one, you have to check out the rest of Awad’s discography because she’s just getting started.

Press release: This half Egyptian, half Peruvian powerhouse delivers the kneecap melting soul and sass of Sharon Jones combined with an in-your-face swagger reminiscent of Tina Turner. Self taught on vocals, piano, guitar and bass, Jen also pens the lyrics to all of her material. 

Timmy Tortuga – “Pace”

Sometimes music is meant to be purely melodic, an easy listen to play in the background. “Pace” by Timmy Tortuga is not that. Instead, it’s a song meant to be experienced as an experience. From the very beginning, we find ourselves in the mind of a speaker stuck in traffic, suffering from a bit of road rage. The dissonant and speed-shifting synth in the background staccatos perfectly in line with that feeling of being late, and amping up emotionally as more and more tiny straws begin to stack upon the camel’s back.

The track itself feels almost as much skit as music, and yet once the ethereal vocoder kicks in after the frantic anxiety of the first half of the song, it’s impossible not to empathize with the speaker when he says “That’s the first deep breath I’ve taken in 5 years.” Something about the moody atmosphere created gives the listener just as much peace as Tortuga’s character at that moment, and allows us to ride it out with him through the end of the song, at least until the anxiety returns. Don’t miss your train.

Press release: Timmy Tortuga is an evolving artist from a small town called Sayreville in New Jersey. The motto is “K.I.S.S.” Keep It Simple Stupid! Currently, he is creating out of the Lower East Side of NYC and producing and recording his projects on a lake front studio in North Jersey!

Schaefer Llana – “Angel”

Anyone that knows me knows that I am way too into sad girl music for a 32-year-old man. Luckily, there are no rules, so I’m shamelessly listening to “Angel” by Schaefer Llana on repeat every single time I go for a winter walk lately. Schaefer grew up in Mississippi and cut her teeth musically in school plays and church productions, but the twenty-something has carved a niche all her own at this point. While her voice and punk-ish aesthetic certainly shine in this song, my favorite part is undoubtedly the angsty lyricism.

Don’t act like you’re innocent, don’t be offended when I call you out
As a liar and you know it
You wanted to be alone, well how’s that go when everybody knows
You went back to her the next minute

I don’t understand but I don’t want to
And I am not surprised because I know you
I am not okay but I will be
I forgive you but I won’t forget how you hurt me

Schaefer Llana – “Angel”

I think the simplicity of “I don’t understand, but I don’t want to,” just hits on that depressive malaise better than almost any line I’ve heard in a long time.

Press Release: The first demo for 49 Ceiling Tiles was recorded for her friend Starlin Browning’s college production class. The results were so good they decided to make a whole record together, holing up with fellow musicians at Dial Back Sound in Water Valley, Mississippi, exemplifying the house show ethos of “playing music with your friends, for your friends.” 

Zach Kleisinger – “Darling, Just Breathe”

Zach Kleisinger’s Symposium was one of the most overlooked albums of 2018 in my opinion. With a unique voice that is perfectly scratchy, a sound that’s perfectly folky, and lyrics that stand up to repeat listens, “Darling, Just Breathe” is just one of many great tracks from the release. Kleisinger perhaps sums it up best when he calls the album, “a gathering of entities aiming to share their thoughts on a particular subject—me. And yet, it is me who is revisited through these entities, for as much as I may recognize ‘them,’ at all times I know ‘they are me.’ If this sounds needlessly self-absorbed, it’s because it is.”

I would disagree with Kleisinger’s assessment that the songs are too self-absorbed, all the best art is somehow a reflection of the artist, and there’s no shame in recognizing your own shapes in what you’ve created.

Show it all,
Show it all to me.

‘cause i was alone when i met you,
And you saw that sadness in my eye,
Now i see it in yours;
But darling, just breathe,
Darling, just breathe.

Zach Kleisinger – “Darling Just Breathe”

Owlbiter – “Roof of the World”

Let’s keep the easy listening vibe going with Owlbiter’s “Roof Of The World,” which combines folk-style vocals with beautiful musical arrangements built around piano and horns. The track comes off of Owlbiter’s 2018 EP Stud Farm which features 5 beautiful songs just like this one. Perhaps my favorite part of “Roof of the World” comes in the final minute when the music takes over the entire mood of the song, and the horns and vocalizations build up to a peak before fading out in the final seconds. This captures the imagery of the subject of the song being “on the roof of the world” as the instruments almost coax out the stars and dreams themselves in that moment.

After the 2018 album, Owlbiter’s Matt Cascella hasn’t updated his SoundCloud or Spotify any further, but we hope he’s still making music, and we’d love to hear any new projects one day should they arise.

Mid Day Music Blast : Aubrey Haddard – “Charley”

We’re here with a mid-day bluesy ballad that would fit in right along with Kate Bush’s discography, but with her own personal flair that keeps me coming back to this song for the last 4 years. As Haddard says in the refrain, “I can’t get you out of my head.” The Brooklyn-based Haddard put together an impressive debut with her 2018 album Blue Part. While Haddard released two singles prior to the album, it quickly became clear that “Charley” was the true show-stopper.

With a voice that sounds straight out of a smokey late-night lounge, Haddard pines after “Charley” with her voice pleading with them to come back around and appease the desire that’s got them stuck in the singer’s head. To me, this perfectly captures that new relationship energy that we can so often get sucked up in when we’re excited about a new connection and obsess a bit over getting our fill.

That’s not even to mention the emotional build musically in this one. The guitar work keeps it simple enough that it never overpowers Haddard’s voice, but the riff itself is catchy and keeps you humming it long after the 2:33 song has drifted away. Another nice touch is the background almost angelic vocalizing that builds up to the song’s crescendo before Haddard fades us out with excellent control.

Charley, oh could we go back, just 24 hours

24 hours is all I need

I could see you, I could meet you

One more time, one more time

What’s going on? I was sitting around and now

I can’t get you out of my head…

Aubrey Haddard – “Charley”
Haddard’s newest album Awake and Talking (2022) is available everywhere.

Caleb’s Weekly Favorites: No Kind Of Rider – “Sophia”, Coyle Girelli – “Never Thought I’d See You Again”, Sam Ryder – “Little One”

Hey guys,

If you’re like me, you don’t really just focus on one genre of music when there is so much awesome variety out there. This post is meant to hit on 3 of my favorite songs that I just can’t get out of my head this week, regardless of genre. If you like, or already know one of these artists, stick around and check out the others, expand your horizons a bit.

No Kind of Rider – “Sophia”

All of us lazy logicals

We leave our hearts behind

They tell you when you’re young

Don’t be so blind

“Sophia” – No Kind Of Rider

:30 seconds in, when the beat drops, is when I start to transcend to outer space on this song. This song immediately hooked me with it’s unique vocals that give me a bit of a mix between some 80s synth song but also touches of Panic! At The Disco playfulness. The most relateable part of this song is the seeming angst over aging, and wondering what the consequences will be. How many nights of fun and freedom can we really have before we are the old person at the club? It’s something that begins to hit you as you enter your 3rd decade (or it did for me), and while I still love to go out with friends, there is a sense that we can’t necessarily go on like that forever, but there’s certainly some fun in trying. “Now the old is done/traded for the young.”

Bio: No Kind of Rider is an American five-piece indie rock/electronic band based in Portland, OR. Their debut album “Savage Coast” (2018) blends indie rock, shoegaze, r&b and electronica influences. The close-knit group met while teenagers in Tulsa, OK and write songs in conflict – both chaotic and intricately calculated. “Savage Coast” finds those boys now older and wiser – four of the five band members lost their fathers during the album’s completion and while the gravity of loss is fully explored as a theme, “Savage Coast” isn’t content to remain in despair. In the album’s ending track, “Autumn”, seeds of new hope take root as Samuel Alexander (lead vocals/guitar) sings with resolve, “We all have to die, to be reborn”.

Coyle Girelli – “Never Thought I’d See You Again”

But I never thought id see you again

Looking as pretty as you did back then

And it caught me off guard

Like a dagger through the heart

Cos I never thought id see you again

“Never Thought I’d See You Again” – Coyle Girelli

Coyle Girelli is an artist we’ve been wanting to feature for a long, long time, and it’s easy to see why. Mixing classic style that sounds like it belongs on a vinyl playing in your dad’s sitting room in the 60s, with modern aesthetics, Girelli gives that nostalgic feeling that’s hard to fully put into words. It gives me chill bumps everytime he let’s out “I never thought I’d see you again.” The song is so relateable for anyone who has ever tried to move on and focus on themsevles, only to get sucked back in by someone’s charm, even if they aren’t the best thing for you. If nothing else, this song is a “dagger through the heart.”

Bio: Coyle Girelli is an English multi-platinum selling composer, singer, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist. Formerly frontman of Your Vegas and The Chevin he released his debut solo album, Love Kills, in 2018. He has written songs for BTS, Macklemore, Robin Schulz, Westlife and many others, including the BTS worldwide number 1 single “heartbeat”[1] and co-composed songs for the record breaking French musicals Robin des Bois and Les Trois Mousquetaires

Sam Ryder – “Little One”

Wait, don’t feel bad
You did well to love and be loved back
So don’t be so cold dear
You weren’t the only one left down here
You knew it all along
Full speed around the sun

“Little One” – Sam Ryder

Another incredible song that builds in a truly epic way. The crescendo when he belts “I know you yearn for someone” with the quick drop to “I yearn for you” is so heart wrenching I couldn’t help but restart the song immediately after it ended to feel that build and rug pull one more time. Sam Ryder has crafted the feeling of really caring about someone, and having no hard feelings, but still feeling a sense of loss that your love seems to be unrequited. Here’s to hoping we all have good luck in 2022 in being around people who yearn for us as much as we yearn for them.

Bio: Sam Ryder is a singer/songwriter and producer out of of small town outside of London. Sam spent over 10 years touring in the rock world which brought him placements on Billboard charts, songs featured on TV shows and films, and playing shows in over 20 different countries. A couple years ago, Sam took a step back from the band world to develop his own solo project and pursue other creative ventures. Those ventures ended up having him co-found the brand Lone Wolves Creative and the plant-based Lone Wolves Cafe.

Until next week,


Episode 15: Addiction






Show Notes:

Join Seth and Caleb as they discuss strange Addictions, what kind of drunks they are, stumbling through their first livestream, an excellent interview with Aaron B. Thompson, and tons of music you’ve never heard before.

Full Video Version, warts and al: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L4mdmwqcn4&t=10s

INTRO: Leon Stapleton – Lima
Leonstapleton – Lima

Brother Toaster – Bupropion Blues

Riley Catherall – Watered Down Man (submithub/email)
The-same-tune – Rileycatherallwatereddownman

Aaron B Thompson – Middle of My Own Nowhere (submithub/email)
Aaronbthompson1 – 07-aaron-b-thomspon-midde-of
Youtube of Interview: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPVCP1Ya6M&t=174s

Johnny Raincloud – White Noize (submithub/email)

Little Sain+ – Remedy (submithub/email)
Tniaselttil – Little-sain-feat-marger-remedyprod-by-sibling

Thanks to Juliana Strangelove for participating in the live stream: bsideguys.com/2018/07/06/the-flo…-macdougall-skout/