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

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

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

Dirty Hank – “Hot Mess”

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

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

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

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

http://www.instagram.com/dirtyhankmusic

http://www.facebook.com/dirtyhankband

http://www.twitter.com/dirtyhank2

 

Ursa Major – “Gold Blooded”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Henry CS – “live a little, enjoy”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sundaes – “Laundry Day”

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

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

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

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

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

Image may contain: 1 person

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

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

 

Overstreet – “Carried Away”

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

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

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

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

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

Mammoth Indigo – “Undertow”

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

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

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

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

Moses Cadillac – “A Thousand Times”

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

[Chorus]

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

[Chorus]

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

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

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

-Caleb

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

The Flock: Indie Rock/Alternative – LUI HILL, Path, The Ruralists, Manta Rays, Blue J, The Caracals, cleopatrick, Dirty Hank

*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.

LUI HILL – Words Become Useless

LUI HILL, the German neo-soul alternative artist, hits us with a new song, and we couldn’t be more stoked about it. A stripped down intro with only piano chords and emotive vocals slowly builds until you’re in the middle of a full formed symphonic funk ride featuring a tightly formed drum sequence, open brass, and vocals that you can feel throughout your body. The video itself is a fun ride too (pun intended).

Path – Don’t Ever Love Me

Say one thing and you’ll say the other 
Never a chance that we were for each other 
Flower in the dirt could bloom if you let it 
A love to call your own, remember to forget it 

Don’t ever love me 
Don’t ever love me

This bedroom rock song is the kind of song that makes breakups harder, and I’m not even mad about it. It’s equal parts a lesson on relationships, and a lesson in polarities.

One thing that people don’t know about me (probably) is that I’m a huge fan of rim clicks and rim shots. This song sets up a song of heartbreak with subtle rim clicks, and then hits home with honest and vulnerable vocals and delicate guitar, making a much fuller sound together than you’d expect given the intimacy of each individual track.

The Ruralists – Eggs

I can’t stop listening to this song. I am absolutely enamored. From allusions to Chicken Little and the world ending to finding solace in the right person’s words, this song is an absolute ride. The whole album, in fact, has made its way into a lot of my playlists recently. I have a list of criminally underrated bands, and these guys have definitely joined their ranks. There is an intimacy in tone and delivery that is unlike anything I’ve heard in quite a while, and they remind me of my favorite band, Manchester Orchestra, in both lyrics and delivery; they are rough around the edges and keep everything raw and open, leave minor idiosyncrasies and easter eggs (that’s my second pun of the post) throughout the track, and they have tight harmonies around an emotive and raw lead vocalist.

These are guys that you definitely need to keep up with. This is why we do this blog. How the hell do they have less than 1,000 plays per song on Spotify?

Manta Rays – Mountain Dew

I rarely share the releases that they send us word for word because A.) it feels like cheating, and B.) I feel like it takes away from my personal enjoyment of the song if I let those influence my writing. I have to make an exception in this case strictly because of how they derived through divine intervention the title of the song.

“Mountain Dew” is a song about; being lonely in the real world, pushing speeds that no blue man can begin to apprehend, and that it takes a man to know when no means no. Now you ask, Why is this song in particular called “Mountain Dew”? because in the very beginning of the song the bass guitar goes ‘deeeeew’.

I love their definition of what makes a man. I feel like it’s a very topical point in this tumultuous landscape we find ourselves navigating these days. You put topical lyrics with nice harmonies and a funk bass line, and you’ve got a track that’s perfect for beach days.

Blue J – Hard to Know

Blue J’s “Hart to Know” is that melancholic groove indie rock track that you hear in a movie when everything falls apart for the protagonist. Their father died, their partner doesn’t feel a spark anymore, and their car is sitting lifeless on the side of the road while they sit 3 miles away from a job interview that starts in 25 minutes. Now I’m building this movie in my head. Zach Braff stands in the middle of the road as the camera zooms out, framing him on the right and the car to the left. Flashbacks of the aforementioned events start running through his head: good times with his father, a scenic drive in the then-running car with his partner, who is still very much in love with him, and spinning his daughter around in a park, with her laughing until it’s hard to breathe. More flashbacks follow of everything falling apart with the partner, dad dying, turning to an opioid addiction, and losing his daughter in a custody case. At this point in the movie, Braff’s been clean for a month, but this interview fiasco has him feeling like it’s completely pointless to try. He should just turn around and go home.

And if your whole life turns to shit / I know it’s hard to know /
you drag your body around behind you / everywhere you go /
you don’t wanna live and I know it’s hard to know /
to realize you can’t just let it go 

The memory of his daughter pops back into his head, and he remembers why he’s starting this new life. Zach runs to the job interview, making it with 15 seconds to spare, and somehow not covered in sweat. He lands the job, and starts working on a new life for him and his daughter. Fast forward 6 months, and he’s enjoying his job while getting to see his daughter on weekends with allusions between mom and Zach about expanding custody rights. Roll credits.

The point is, this is a song that makes you feel something real. It is a tangible, living song that has its own legs and a destination in mind.

The Caracals – Catch Your Eye

This is a really interesting song. It has some raw indie rock Black Keys vibes, The Strokes-esque melodies, and instrumentation and progression that’s perfect for your next Halloween party.

The lyrics are as haunting as the music, and can cause some real self-reflection. The song centers around the idea of how technology has made us slaves to devices and keep us from interacting with each other on a personal level, especially when it comes to keeping a partner interested.

“Checking your phone all night as I fail to catch your eye.”

cleopatrick – youth

Not to be confused with Daughter’s hit song, “youth” from cleopatrick shares nothing but a name with the singer-songwriter. With heavy breakdowns and gut punch vocals, this is a different beast entirely.

The day I turn 23, I’m getting married
shortly after, I’m getting buried

This is the kind of song that has something for everyone: sincere and interesting vocals for the singer-songwriter, instrumentals for the metalhead, and the raw vocals for indie rock purists. This song is a hell of a ride.

July Spotify Playlist

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