Morning Commute: East Row Rabble – “Good For Me”

 

Let’s get funky this Tuesday morning. East Row Rabble is a classic styled big band that would’ve fit right into the 30s and 40s in America, as we tried to dance our way out of the Great Depression. My favorite thing about this song is a little tidbit East Row Rabble shared with us: ” Rabble front man Ben Drysdale actually used the song to propose to his wife on the hills overlooking Queensland’s Glasshouse Mountains underneath the giant “Woodfordia” sign at the Woodford folk festival.” Ben seems to have set an example that very few of us can remotely compete with. When we explore the lyrics a bit, we can see just why he chose this particular song, aside from how dope it sounds.

“She’s got a heart of gold And she’s easy on the eye Took me six goddamn months To convince her to be mine So I just sat back, just bidin’ my time Coz this girl’s too damn fine for me”

So we quickly start to realize that the “Good For Me” title has a double meaning. She is “good for him” in the normal sense of the word: she’s a positive part of his life, but also the singer feels like it might be appropriate to throw the word “too” in front of “good for me.” The rest of the song spells out just how perfect she is, combining “Disney princess and Norma Jean” (Marilyn Monroe), and “sinner and saint.” Overall she sounds like the perfect woman in his eyes, but I appreciate it doesn’t stray too far into hyperbole. It mentions things like her steady love, even in hard times, and how she ignores his widening waist. It’s a beautiful mix of grandeur and reality, and I can easily see why it worked as a proposal. We know we’d say yes.

-Caleb

Looking for more? We added this song to our July TOTD playlist on Spotify. 

 

 

TOTD: Tim the Lion Tamer – “Dancer”

I really feel like I could break down every single line in this song. It’s one of those haunting songs with minimal production that relies on the beauty of the voice and the depth of the lyrics to carry everything, and damn, does it ever carry everything in this song.

“i’ve never seen nobody
dance like you
in times like these i wonder
if that’s true
if you are lonely too
’cause we’ve always been
hopelessly fucked up”

I don’t know if any of you have ever been in a relationship like the one described here, but it’s brutally beautiful. Two people messed up and in love and unstable, like a collapsing star. It’s full of passion and beauty, but it also isn’t sustainable. Ultimately the song sees the instability become too much, but it’s not as easy as just walking away and never thinking about it again.

“i guess i should move away
’cause in some sad way
i’m already gone”

I’m a known crier. I cry during emotional movies. I cry the first time I realize what an emotional song is really saying, like “Limousine” by Brand New, or “Honey Jars” by Bryan John Appleby, or a billion other instances. This song can now be added to that list, because when I read this last stanza, I couldn’t help but cry:

“it hits me when there’s nothing
left to give
in the ashes of my failures
there you live
ageless and possible
i’m watching you
dancing in your prime
twenty-some
frozen in time”

It may hit me particularly, because I had a 5 year relationship fall apart in my early twenties, and even though it was the best possible thing for me and her, I can relate to the idea of an ageless dancer, stuck at twenty something, frozen in time. Also, from a songwriting standpoint, the symmetry of the first and last stanza are just perfect. Go check out more of Tim the Lion Tamer’s stuff. It’s been added to our July TOTD Spotify playlist.

-Caleb

 

Mid-Day Music Blast: MOWUKIS – “A Quick Stab In The Heart”

 

I don’t know about you guys, but I immediately thought of Radiohead or Polyneso when I first heard these guys. Considering those are two of my favorite bands, that immediately made this one of my favorite new songs. MOWUKIS bio says simple: “I write music to lower the weight.” I’m not entirely sure what it means, but I have some guesses. My silly answer is that he writes so much music that he doesn’t have time to over eat. My serious answer is that he’s using music as a form of therapy, like a lot of us artists tend to. He’s lowering the weight of the world, or his soul, or whatever metaphor you want to use.

The song only has two verses, so even though I normally wouldn’t put a full song’s lyrics, it’s not too egregious. Let’s check them out:

“I…
I just fed the lions
made them such cowards
made them such a lie.
I had,
I had to draw out solutions
to keep this jungle of eyes
from eating my delights.

King,
Alone in full possession
A kingdom-broken-passion
A quick stab in the heart.
Walls,
To keep ourselves from motion
Citizens as pollution
Are slowly passing by.”

I feel like I could attempt to write an essay on these lyrics. Instead, I’ll hit a couple of high points. How does feeding the lions make them cowards? If you put them in captivity and give them a consistent meal, does their drive for hunting start to dissipate? If that’s true, and we generally know that it is. It changes them into a “lie”, a shell of what nature shaped them into over the millennia. We then see this King, who can make lions into cowards, ruling over a kingdom with a broken passion. A citizenry that is safe behind walls, but wasting their lives away now that all the passions are gone. It’s a really great mirror to the lions before and a beautiful song overall.

-Caleb

 

The Flock: Singer/Songwriter: Simon Lewis & Onk Lou, Martha Hill, keatsu, Kaiak, Boyce Avenue, David Madras

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

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

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.

Simone Lewis & Onk Lou – “Home 2.0”

The way this was described when it was sent to us was simply: “Two incredible voices in one song that couldn’t be more variant.” When I first started listening to the music, I was like, okay, this first guy has a beautiful voice; I’m sure the other guy does too, but how variant could they really be? And then the second guy came in; and I immediately started to type my response about wanting to feature this song on the blog. Then they harmonize together and I had to stop typing and just listen to the rest of the song before I responded. I was trying to think of who they reminded me of; and I couldn’t come up with anyone that they actually sounded like. They remind me slightly of Middle Brother in the sense that they have very different voices and beautiful lyricism, but these guys have much better voices than Middle Brother (not hating, I love Middle Brother). Let’s dive in briefly to the beautiful lyricism I mentioned:

“I dig a hole in the woods and I grow with the roots and I go with the flood as life tells me so, I let go of the mess created in my head because,
Home is where the heart is and that’s wherever I go.
bridge:
I close my eyes to feel the moment, I walk this path made out of cobblestone, I take a breath before I let it go, when stars collide they fall apart but in the end there’ll always be a start, till than I’ll dance beneath the waterfall”

I could’ve really picked any section of the song and found something to talk about, but I particularly like the message of home being different for different people. In particular; it doesn’t have to be a place with roots stuck in one place, it can also be a flooded river you float down. “Home is where the heart is, and that’s wherever I go.”

Martha Hill – “Spiders”

Do you ever feel like you’re losing your mind? Well this song perfectly describes exactly what that feels like:

“One head two minds

Hands pressing glass from separate sides

Three seconds till I dive

1 2 3 stop

CHORUS

The spiders in my head they just won’t leave me alone

I pick the legs off while I wait for the seconds to slow ”

There’s something about the lyrics that remind me a bit of the short story “The Yellow Wall Paper”, a story where a woman being shut in the house by her husband, becomes increasingly crazy; which causes her husband to shut her in even more for…being crazy.

The beautiful instrumentals that have a nice beat throughout, and then go off the rails like a Pink Floyd bridge at the 2 minutes mark only add to Martha’s haunting vocals that carry you right up to the very last second of the very last “1, 2, 3, stop.” It’s a song that strikes a perfect balance between catchy and disorienting; and I really can’t get enough of it.

Bio: “Martha Hill is a an alternative pop artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne.

After growing up as one of six siblings on a remote Scottish peninsula, where the only link to the mainland was via ferry, she left home at 17 and spent two years touring across Europe as a street musician.

Eventually relocating to north-east England and falling in with a local ‘scene’ for the first time, Martha and her band have spent the past year touring all over the UK – supporting the likes of Holy Moly & The Crackers and Let’s Eat Grandma at venues such as Borderline, The Cluny etc. – with two DIY tours of Europe falling in between. Her most recent gig was for BBC Introducing, supporting Atlantic-signed Mahalia on The Biggest Weekend Fringe Tour.”

keatsu – “Feel Good”

I realize this isn’t necessarily what you might initially think of as “Singer/Songwriter”, but keatsu is basically a one man show, and it’s my blog, so don’t worry about it. Also, if you only listened to the first little bit, you’d assume the whole thing was just a normal lo-fi project with a guy with an acoustic guitar, and then you quickly see it advance and evolve from there into a beautiful call and response with himself that repeats “I just feel good on the dance floor.” This is something you’d expect to be said by Justin Timberlake with a break beat behind it, but is instead said with lo-fi effects and an a minimalistic guitar. The irony and self awareness of keatsu is my favorite thing about all his projects. He’s one of my favorite artists out the moment. On his full-length, he references everything from Nirvana, to Linkin Park, to pop songs, and it all just works. Literally go throw a dart at his Spotify page and you’ll find 3 new favorite songs. We can get you started with our Spotify link at the bottom of this page (don’t skip down there yet, still plenty of good music to hear).

Kaiak – “No Regrets”

I really could see this song making waves on some mainstream channels in the summer months. The thing that really solidified this song for me, other than the beautiful production and vocals, was the interesting use of horns during the later half of the song. It really was a nice surprise for me that took this song from a nice sounding song that I would listen to again, to a song I immediately saved to all of my Spotify playlists. “Lesson learned, passed the test, life goes on, no regrets.” It’s a message that we’ve all heard before, but gets solidified by the pretty package that Kaiak has presented it in here.

Boyce Avenue – “Ride The Wave”

I immediately thought this looked like an advertisement. I guess that might come off as a bad thing; but I mean like a Super Bowl Ad. It’s one of those heartfelt ones that you expect from Budweiser or something. It’s just so beautifully shot, and the music itself fits the vibe that it’s created so well.

“The tide will rise and fall; some days you will feel small, but ride a wave, I’ll ride it in with you.”

I don’t have kids, but that sentiment is just so beautiful to me. It’s both a lesson and a show of support, an acknowledgment of the harshness of the world, but also saying “I have your back as long as I can.” This message mixed with the family fun and love shown in the video can melt the coldest of hearts. Trust me on that.

David Madras – “Me & You”

And last, but certainly not least. Do you like Phosphorescent? Who doesn’t? David Madras’ voice reminds me so much of Phosphorescent. I’m really excited to announce that this song will be a part of our upcoming podcast episode that focuses on Existentialism. Oh you didn’t know we had a podcast? Check it out here. Since we are focusing on it on the podcast, I don’t want to spoil too much here, but let’s dive briefly into one of the lines.

“She said she had a little revelation, about the way the clouds appear, and how a day becomes a year. She said she had a little realization, about everything she’s ever feared, and suddenly it’s drawing near.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I connect to the “she” in this song so strongly. The existentialism episode is going to talk about it at length, but basically the idea is that you suddenly feel and question how tiny and insignificant you are in the cosmos; and this song perfectly captures that feeling. Is that a bad feeling? Yeah, sometimes. But it can also be empowering. “She says, we are young, me and you, there’s so much that I don’t know and I’m never going to. We are young, there’s so much left to do, all the wonders of the world for a boy and girl like me and you.”

 

-Caleb

Did you like these songs? Good, me too. Want to hear them again? They are all on our July TOTD Playlist on Spotify. 

TOTD: Jay Man Sun – “The Day You Left Me”

Are you ready for an epic ballad? Who isn’t at all times? This song sounds like it’s straight out of the brain and mouth of Morrissey. Dripping with sadness and a self awareness that keeps it from veering into cheesy, “The Day You Left Me” is easily one of my favorite songs of Summer 2018. Stick around for the 3:40 mark when it explodes into an emotional crescendo like I haven’t heard in quite some time. The whole song, which focuses on loss of love, takes the listener straight back to the day each of our “you”s left us standing on a doorstep.

Want to hear more? We’ve added this song to our July TOTD playlist on Spotify.

The Flock: Rap/Hip-Hop – Ikigai, Ricky Mapes, Charles Edison, Rite Hook & Chris Rivers, Joe P. The MC, Capital Ode, Hoolie Gu, Warm Blizzard, Dreemy Sinatra

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

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

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.

Ikigai – Private School

This beat is so slick. Ikigai keeps it fairly minimal and doesn’t make the same mistake that a lot of hip-hop artists make by trying to cram too much into the beat. The key here is what he does with the pieces that he does add. He plays with offbeat tempos, fades, crescendos, and a number of other tricks to make the track seem just as full as something that uses a lot more instrumentation.

Caleb definitely relates to the lyrics a lot more than I do seeing as how he’s a teacher in a private school, but things translate pretty well to us public school peons. Ikigai comes through with his first official release to tell a story about pressure, insecurity, and fears through formative years of his school career, and implores you to stop caring because years down the road, you’ll want nothing to do with that part of your life.

 

Ricky Mapes – IDWDT

IDWDT is a song that very few people can relate to, but everyone pretends they can. Everyone is invincible until they’re not. When the song started out, I thought we were listening to another rap song that talked about what 75% of rap songs talk about: making money. This song is so much more than that. This is a song about having to do unthinkable things to get out of the neighborhood, being okay with the repercussions of the lifestyle, but also the inevitability of being afraid when you’re staring down the barrel that doesn’t give a fuck about you. With a clean beat, straightforward flow, and brutally honest lyrics, this song is a song that few people can actually relate to, but everyone can groove to.

 

Charles Edison – Waking Up

This is the kind of song that comes along and we are kicking ourselves for not having it on the podcast. We already had our lineup for our “Addiction” episode locked up when we came across this song, and it is the epitome of what we were looking for on that episode. Charles Edison opens up about one of the darkest points in his life:

This track is from my EP of the same name and details my struggle with addiction for 5 years which culminated in hospitalization following a suicide attempt, and a decision to go to residential rehab for 3 months. I entered rehab on the 11th September 2016 and have remained clean and sober since. This track represents the state of my life at the worst point of my addiction.

*Congratulations Charles, and great work on taking the necessary steps to keep yourself clean. A lot of people don’t have that same resolve. In fact, I recently had to deal with a very crazy situation that we will talk about on the podcast because a person doesn’t have the same steadfast resilience that you have. Keep it up!*

The backing vocals are haunting and the beat stays clean throughout, but the lyrics are really what pulls this song together. You can feel the struggle, and appreciate what Charles has gone through.

 

Rite Hook & Chris Rivers – The Motions

This is what a fire looks like. A hard beat, quick flow, and insightful lyrics have moved Rite Hook & Chris Rivers’ song, The Motions, up my playlists very quickly. This is the perfect example of what I look for in hip-hop music. I get people emailing me constantly wanting me to check out their song. A lot of them have a good beat and good lyrics but I really don’t like it for one simple (to identify, not to fix) reason. In rap music, I hate being able to not only predict your cadence, but predict your words the first time through the song. These guys give a master lesson on what it means to diversify your rhyme schemes and cadence throughout the song. If you want to see what I mean, start the video at :48 and listen to 1:15 or so, and then jump ahead to 1:46 and listen for thirty seconds or so. Same beat, but it almost sounds like it could be two different songs.

Also, if you feel like you recognize Chris Rivers, the guy in the red, it may be because he is Big Pun’s son.

 

Joe P. the MC – fear

I love when we get previous artists back on the blog. I feel like it’s like revisiting an old friend. Joe P. the MC comes in with a song that is under 2 minutes, but says more than most rappers and MCs say with 5 minutes of bars. We hear you, Joe. Pouring his heart into every song he writes, Joe P. dives into everything from calling out negative rappers who make money by hating on other people to the feeling of fear that independent artists get when trying to push their music, hoping someone believes in what they’re doing. Once again, he runs that spectrum in less than 2 minutes. That’s insane! With clean and articulate delivery, Joe rattles through his lines at an impressive pace, moving forward at a pace that is unexpected from the mellow beat behind him. Once again, Joe P. hits home with us on this one.

 

Capital Ode – Live Illegal

Once again, this track was a pleasant surprise. When I heard that the name of the song is “Live Illegal,” I thought it was going to be another rap song about selling drugs and getting money. I’ve heard so many songs that follow that hip-hop trope, and it’s something that gets a little boring. Lyrically, this song is what this country needs right now. Capital Ode’s family calls him Ode, but after listening to this song, a more appropriate name for him is Cap (like Captain America) because this is about as patriotic as a song can get. If you’ve hung out on the blog or the podcast for any length of time, you know that Caleb and I aren’t exactly fans of the current administration and the tyrannical decisions it’s making. An immigrant to the United States, Cap isn’t a fan of the administration either, and wants you to know exactly how he feels.

And once I get on, I’ma put on all my peoples
I’m the original
My son’s the sequel
My pieces hitting now
In immigration sitting down with my country of origin written down
And it’s funny how when this was what I was worried about
Niggas would run they mouths
But by the time they figure out
The best rapper in the country’s an illegal immigrant
They gon’ try to send me back even if I’m heaven sent
Don’t understand my accent?
Oh, you do
You say you don’t
’cause you don’t like the way these bombs I’m dropping hit close to home, huh?

I love the line about his son being the beneficiary of his hard work, and how this is a similar thought process that most illegal immigrants go through. Sure, there are drugs crossing the borders and shit like that, but 99% of immigrants come to make a better life for themselves and their family members. Working in restaurant management, I see it everyday. We had a dishwasher who was forced to go back to Guatemala even though he was just making an honest living and sending most of his money back home. It’s absolutely devastating to see that kind of thing happen, and it’s unfathomable that we are a country that is allowing what is currently happening at our borders. Cap is making something really cool here by being proud of his status as a refugee instead of trying to hide it, and using his platform to try and enact change.

 

Hoolie Gu – Make It or Take It

The dichotomy presented here between past and present is so interesting. Hoolie Gu shows us in this video the man he is and aims to become, and then shows us who he had to be to get there. Like Ricky Mapes’ song above, the content of this song is something that I can’t personally relate to, but it is an absolutely riveting story.

Hoolie Gu talks about how everything he did was a calculated move to achieve bigger goals, and even though he may (or may not) have been acting on the wrong side of the law, he did what he needed to do to make sure he was taken care of. He doesn’t act proud of the things he did, but recognizes them as factual and necessary events that took place. I like the honesty and how he says that he took a lot of losses throughout the process. I feel like this is such an important piece of becoming a successful artist, and rappers are notorious for trying to cover up their flaws to present a facade of perfection.

With honest lyrics, a well-rounded beat, and a piano that makes you swoon, Hoolie Gu is the kind of guy you want to cheer for.

 

Warm Blizzard – “The Vibe”

If you look in the dictionary under ‘vibe songs,’ you will find Warm Blizzard’s, The Vibe. This is that ethereal smoke music in its purist form. This is a track that wants to take you on a trip, and I’m buying a one way pass. The video is trippy too, with a green blanket providing an interesting and unique set piece throughout the song. This is the kind of video that you watch when someone thinks that things are about to start winding down. Bring them back into it by showing them this, and then watching building demolitions on YouTube. Trust me. This combo works.

 

Dreemy Sinatra – Feel Alright

I was immediately hooked into this song with the Alina Baraz sample of “Make You Feel” at the beginning. Then this song proceeds to run down an epic lyrical path that describes a worldview that’s both cynical and hopeful simultaneously. It mentions police violence, Flint, Michigan, gang violence, and many other things that are strikingly difficult about the challenges facing the speaker, and our world in general. The hope rises from the self-assured bravado that is carrying the protagonist out of all this chaos. There is still an acknowledgement that this chaos could hold him back, but he’s not going to let it.

 

-Caleb and Seth

Did you know we make a podcast? Well now you do. Go check it out here. We have 14 different episodes, all featuring music you’ve never heard.

 

 

The Flock: New Release Friday: Dave Cavalier, Juliana Strangelove, Flo, Loneborn, Sarah MacDougall, Skout

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

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

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.

Dave Cavalier: “Snap Out of It”

Have you ever had a relationship that you knew was bad for you, but you continued it anyway? Yeah me too. That’s why I really love this song and video from Dave Cavalier, where we see an alluring relationship slowly fade into both parties leaving dark marks on the other until they are both completely covered. It’s not just the video either, the lyrics lend itself to a similar theme:

“She put something on my tongue in Paris
“20 minutes and you’ll be fine”
Now we’re driving bout hundred seven
Down a back road quarter mile
This street goes straight to heaven
We wanna get lost for a while”

“Rent my gun but ya buying the bullet
I’m a semi automatic tearing through your mind
Whisper like a twister cuz
I’m up to something”

So in both scenarios, they are playing with fire and pushing it as close as they can without getting burned. As we all know, that can only last for so long before things start to deteriorate. Which is why the song ends like this:

“My bad habits
Make me a freak, love
When I’m howling
At the moon
If you wanna
Take em from me
They’ve tried and they’ve tried
Snap out of it”

This song is my new “bad habit” because no matter what, I can’t stop listening to it. Don’t forget to check out all these songs on our July TOTD playlist (it’s linked at the bottom of the post).

Juliana Strangelove – “Far From Moscow”

If you weren’t immediately sucked in with that opening riff, I don’t think we can be friends. Then when the kick drum kicks in, there’s pretty much no way not to tap your foot along. This song completely blew me away when I first heard it. It went from, “oh that’s a great southern/bluegrass riff”, to “oh I didn’t know that Billy Corgan was here”, to “wow these lyrics are so delightfully grungy and aggressive.”

I never knew how to describe these vocals, but luckily, Juliana’s camp explained it to us: “Contra-alto Corner describes it as ‘unique, dark and powerful’, with the heavy richness that makes the Profondo voice such a mesmerizing instrument’. In layman’s terms: Juliana sings in male keys and does it well.” I have to agree completely. If someone had thrown this on without telling me the name, I would’ve assumed it was a guy (specifically Billy Corgan like I mentioned before). It kind of reminds me of my first time hearing Alabama Shakes and then seeing Brittany for the first time and being blown away. I expect a similar come up for Juliana Strangelove, and can’t wait to see what else she creates.

One more fun fact before we move on that proves a little bit more about her badassery: She has another song called “Moscow Heterosexual Blues” which we’ve added to the July TOTD playlist. The video featured men in drag, which in and of itself isn’t all that wild, but then consider where she is from (Russia), and how Putin feels about LGBTQ+ rights and it adds a whole new level of rebellion to her character.

Flo – “Velvet”

“Looking backwards and forwards at once,

finding loopholes for time to start.”

I actually feel like that line describes my feelings on this song pretty well. It is stepping into a tradition of other pop/folk/singer-songwriters but it doesn’t sound like a retread. Flo has her own…flow. I know, I know, dad-jokes. Something you may also find impressive (I did), is that Floraine Hu (Flo), plays guitar and keys along with her beautiful singing voice.

The song title, “Velvet” gets referenced in the opening lines that describe wrapping someone in a velvet cloth to keep them warm, only to have them leave you again soon after recovering. It brings to mind nursing a baby bird back to health, and then letting it take to the skies again. I tend to think it’s more of a metaphor than literal. It seems like a good way to describe a relationship in which one person leans heavily on the other, and then leaves without appreciation. It’s really gut wrenching, yet hidden discretely within Flo’s cherubic vocals.

Loneborn – “Ghosts”

“I see a ghost who’s trying to pretend,

haunting memories of things I never did.

I see a ghost that’s staring back at me,

the echoes of a dream, a door without a key.”

I really love the chorus of this song. I’m not sure I fully understand it, but it feels important. At first when I heard/read it, I thought “haunting memories of things I never did” meant that this ghost was accusing the speaker of things and the speaker was like “no bro, I didn’t do that.” But the more I listened, and thought about it, I think the ghost is haunting the speaker by pointing out missed opportunities. “The echoes of a dream, a door without a key” then becomes those points in our past that we look back and think “what if”, all of those times where maybe we could’ve changed things: new relationships, bad decisions, moments of trauma.

About Loneborn

“Loneborn is an odd-ball collaboration between a producer with years of experience in the industry writing jingles and a graphic designer with brilliantly contagious musical ideas but no traditional musical knowledge. Having originally met in middle school, the duo took on separate career paths throughout the years and lost touch. Raul Garcia, a prolific commercial jingle-writer and indie rock producer, was reacquainted with Jonathan Tuckler, a percussionist & graphic designer on the rise, when the two decided to jam over some beers. When Tuckler began humming melodies and plotting out entire songs using only drums, Garcia decided the two should hit the studio to see how far the ideas could go.”

 

Sarah MacDougall – “Empire”

This is just one of those songs that gives you goosebumps. It has the slow build of an almost acapella first verse, and then those first “woah”s kick in and you can’t help but feel a flood of emotion, just like the singer seems to. And when you dive into the lyrics:

“We destroyed everything

Destroyed everything that was good

We destroyed everything good

Oh oh oh

Is this our empire, Is this our empire?

Oh oh oh

Is this our empire, is this our empire at our feet? ”

It is pretty clear we are singing about a tragedy of epic proportions. It almost reminds me of that line in NIN’s song “Hurt” that mentions “my empire of dirt”. Both songs are thinking about our lives as an empire, and how fleeting those empires are.

“There is so much I could have said And now I’m counting

all the hours I have left to tell you anything

We are born and then we die and in between we

are alive so let the bells ring, let the bells ring”

Now, it does seem to end on a somewhat positive note, even when it’s clouded in realism. We all have a set amount of time here, to say the things we want to say, to see the things we want to see, and that is admittedly tragic. But with the bells ringing out at “in between we are alive”, we can think about all the bells that ring in human lives. Bells of celebration, like a birth, or a wedding, bells of mourning, like a funeral, but all the bells are good bells, because we do get this time at all. What are you doing with yours?

Skout – “Space in Between”

I like putting this song right after the intensity of that last one. It has a similar feel, in the sense that it clearly acknowledges that not everything is rosy all the time. The speaker is desperately looking for “the space in between” to breathe for a while. It seems like at times they are lost in the hustle and bustle of life, and feeling the time slip away. They say, “I don’t need to know where I’ll be in five years.” In a world, especially an America, that says if you aren’t moving you are losing, we often forget how important it is to stop and smell the roses for a moment.

“Where do I go when living is home?”

This refrain has me a little perplexed, but also I find it so beautiful. I guess with what we’ve already said about the song, it is a preponderance on how to find “the space in between”. The ticking clock doesn’t stop, the hustle and need for money doesn’t stop; you can very quickly blink and wake up with years passing you by. Don’t forget to breathe, and look for the spaces that you can hold onto.

 

-Caleb

Want to hear more? These songs and more can be found on our July TOTD playlist right here.

Also, did you know we have a podcast? It’s got enough music and content you’ve never heard to last you for a 30 hour road trip. Check it out and let us know what you think.