TOTD: Mia and Jonah “Spin as One”

I’m so happy to introduce you guys to one of my favorite songs of the moment, off of a brand new EP that came out on Friday. I had a great interview with both Mia and Jonah that I’ll be posting soon as a podcast episode, so keep your eyes peeled for that. They were absolutely delightful, and even played a live song for you guys. For now though, let’s focus on this super hopeful song in not so hopeful times, a song that encourages us to “spin as one” when the world turns upside down. The press release describes the inspiration behind the song with: “The couple’s daughter, Rose, was born in 2012. Spin as One’s lyrical themes reflect on family life—overcoming struggles through love and care of one other—as well as Mia and Jonah’s wishes of soulful self-discovery and a collective coming-together for our world to find its way back home.” Both personally and collectively, I really need this song in my life right now, and that’s before even mentioning how beautiful it is instrumentally. The strings in particular are just incredibly arranged over flawless harmonies from both Mia and Jonah, and trust me, the whole EP is just as good as this song.

Image result for mia and jonah

Bio: “With accomplished highlights such as opening for pop idols such as Sia, Tracy Chapman and Ben Taylor at the Fillmore, the duo eventually migrated south to Los Angeles whereby they quickly ingratiated themselves into the local scene, sharing a residence with the Burning Man star William Close (Earth Harp Collective creator). Since their arrival, they’ve been religious performers at LA’s annual Truck Stop “Hootenanny!” where they played with Central California icon Brett Dennen and round the fire with up ’n coming legends such as Lukas Nelson.

In 2016, Jonah, along with his 6-pc band, released a 9-track excursion entitled Midnight Ball. With a funky sound that recalled the sunny effervescence of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime, LA Weekly commended “its vibey, eclectic sound, that embodies the laid-back coolness of Southern Californian culture.”

Scheduled for release on September 7, their new album, Spin as One,features the talents of bass player Seth Ford-Young (Tom Waits, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), and drummer Steve DiStanislao (David Gilmour, CSN, Kenny Loggins), with banjo by Chris Pandolfi (Infamous Stringdusters), and violin by Alan Grubner. Americana UK praised their “highly effective harmonies, as good a pairing as anything out there.”

Discography

2005 Shine I

2006 Hallelujah EP

2008 Rooms for Adelaide

2011 The Golden Ass (with claymation based on ancient story “The 11 Book Metamorphosis” by Greek writer Apuleius)

2012 Mountainside (single)

2016 Midnight Ball (Jonah’s band)

2018 Spin as One

-Caleb

Looking for more? We’ve added this song and more to our September TOTD Playlist.

Like I mentioned before, we will soon have an interview with Mia and Jonah on our podcast, you can check out our most recent episode here: Episode 18: Existentialism (Part 1)

Morning Commute: Cambriana – “Lucifer”

“When it’s visible
Every bruise in your skin
I will never pray
if our god’s a virgin

He could use some learning

Satan is grinning
and I just wanna go down”

 

This is a really unique track with some amazing instrumentals and really intriguing lyrics. To me, the section I pasted above seems to be a discussion about how relate-able a “perfect” god is to his imperfect children. I know that a lot of religions teach us to suppress our human urges, namely the sexual ones that are mentioned in this song, and you can decide for yourself if that has any value, but it is certainly a temptation that is difficult to overcome, and a virtue that is difficult to relate with. Ultimately we see that this lyricist is willing to go to hell for the love of a woman named “Kate”. Here’s how the song ends:

“Open heaven’s gate
Gather all insurgents
If they knew you, Kate,
they would all be plunging down

They’d be raining down

Spend forever burning”

I love this image. This woman is something so powerful and beautiful that all of heaven would choose going to hell just to be with her. It’s really a unique take on the whole thing.

Bio:  Brazilian folk rockers Cambriana are teasing their upcoming album, Manaus Vidaloka, with new single, “Lucifer.” Injected with a heavy dose of afrobeat and traditional bossa nova, the song is a potpourri of laid back flourishes, fingerstyle guitar, and tongue in cheek lyrics.

According to producer and lead singer Luis Calil, “Lucifer” is “meant to be sensual, yet profane and funny. It uses the fall of the angel Lucifer as a metaphor on ‘going down,’ and mocks how certain religious traditions demonize non procreation sex as sin.” Calil sings on the track, “If our God’s a virgin / he could use some learning.” Ones To Watch said, “‘Lucifer’ not only blesses our ears, but delves deep…into societal constructs, and deep into our hearts.”

Manaus Vidaloka is the follow up to 2012’s House of Tolerance, and 2013’s EP, Worker, from which the group achieved widespread success, boasting over 1 million streams and 20k monthlies on Spotify, a slew of festival performances, and licensing to major Brazilian TV shows. Rolling Stone Brazil called the Goiânia-based group “…so impressive it’s almost frightening. [They’re] on the same level of bands like Islands and Grizzly Bear.”

Facebook // Spotify // Instagram // Twitter

-Caleb

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

Video of the Day: Couch Jackets – “Don’t Think Just Breathe”

 

I really have to work on taking the title’s advice here. This video is so much fun. I mean, maybe fun is the wrong word, considering the subject matter that finds its way into the video (natural disasters, protests, global warming, etc.) But it’s also offset with zen-like imagery, and trippy visuals that make it one of my favorite videos of the moment. Let’s dive into some of the lyrics real quick, in between eating bullshit and emotional dissonance (if you don’t get that reference, go back and re-watch the video, hell re-watch the video anyway):

“Lighting a burned bridge between me and the purpose I’ve made,
But in my~ smoky haze I’ve forgotten to replace it’s arcade
Every game I’ve ever played engulfed by flame, left to fade.
No one’s insane we’re each of different makes which are arcane

“Don’t think just breathe
Don’t think just breathe”

Here’s a short list of things that are bothering me at the moment:

  1. Stress at my day job.
  2. Trump
  3. Writer’s block
  4. The inevitable heat death of the universe
  5. Trump

I’m going to do my best today, because of this song’s inspiration, to slow my brain down and “just breathe.”

So regardless of the thing that’s bothering you right now, hopefully you can put this video on repeat for a bit, and take a short vacation from it.

Bio:  “Couch Jackets sounds like an alligator’s eating us,” reads the explanatory note on the Little Rock, Arkansas quartet’s Bandcamp page. Fans of the band have become accustomed to this sort of irreverence – these are funny guys, and they lead with their personalities. Yet it’s not just a joke. Listening to Couch Jackets can be like entering a whirlpool: songs don’t behave the way you expect them to. They come at the listener with manic energy; they twist and turn, shiver and shake, and no matter how playful they seem, they always carry with them a whiff of danger.

We suppose that if we were asked to be particular about it, we could try to classify Couch Jackets. Given their ambition and the idiosyncratic nature of the music they make, it’s fair to call them a progressive rock act. Their emphasis on texture and love of experimentation aligns them with the neo-psychedelic movement, and their supple grooves are redolent of classic ‘70s pop. There’s even a hint of country music somewhere in the mix. But we don’t think we’ve ever heard a band combine its influences in quite the same way. Go To Bed, the group’s most recent set, was made in Nashville, and it’s the fullest realization of their visionary sound yet committed to record. It somehow manages to sound more polished than their prior recordings while preserving the primal chaos and sense of fun that has always distinguished the band. We have no idea how they’ve pulled off this trick. Like so much about Couch Jackets, their methods are shrouded in mystery.

Just as the band has developed a singular sound, they’ve come up with a visual aesthetic that’s wholly theirs – and that matches the music perfectly. For a still-new band, Couch Jackets have made a lot of videos, and they all display the group’s inventiveness, imagination, and sense of humor. Consider, for instance, the clip for “Don’t Think Just Breathe”, which manages to satirize obsessive news-watchers, cooking shows, reality television, and the act of eating dinner.

 

-Caleb

Looking for more music? We’ve added this song and more to our September TOTD Playlist.

New Release Friday: Saba Abraha, Caleb Kopta

Hey guys! Happy New Release Friday. We have two new tracks for you today from some amazing artists! Check back every Friday for new releases. Don’t forget to support all the artists if you like what you hear!

Saba Abraha – “Utopia”

I absolutely love this song. It grabs me immediately with the interesting spoken word intro, followed by uncanny syncopated beats. The artist describes the lyrics as “a new world where an empress loses her crown and is forced to battle the harsh realities of the world on her road to redemption. “Sweet Mirage” awaits…”

To me, the production on this song is some of the best I have ever heard. It perfectly blends elements that sound modern and classic, in an absolutely unique creation. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the EP: Sweet Mirage.

Caleb Kopta – “Anything”

“I’ve been passing out with the ashtray,
I’ve been choking on the cavalier
we were two kids finding love inside of the hallway,
isn’t it a shame,
We didn’t make it anyway,”

This song has such a classic vibe to it. It reminds me a lot of high school, and how intense every emotion and relationship seemed at the time. When he repeats in the pre-chorus, “I’d do anything for you,” I don’t know how you can’t relate to that. We’ve all been in that spot where we desperately thought that if we just loved someone with everything we had, that would eventually be enough. As we age, we see that sometimes it’s not that simple, but this song reminds me of the times that we wished it was.

Bio: Inspired by the Rock and Roll greats that came before him, and motivated by the stories that we all encounter on a daily basis, Caleb Kopta is crafting a niche for himself in the modern alternative rock landscape with honest lyrics, driving guitars and a desire to craft the soundtrack to life’s everyday experiences.

Born the son of a music minister in small-town Pennsylvania, music has fueled Caleb as long as he can remember. From attending his first concert at only two months old to sharing the stage with such bands as Motherfolk, PHANGS, Michigander and Corey Killgannon, Caleb has devoted his life to creating meaningful, resonate music that can impact the world around him.

Often drawing comparisons to The Killers, Bruce Springsteen and Bleachers, Kopta’s music is a unique blending of the Rock, New Wave and Singer / Songwriter genres. He excels at delivering powerful, anthemic choruses while still allowing the song to feel personal and complementary to the story at hand.

 

-Caleb (the blogger, not the artist)

Want to hear more? We’ve added both these songs and more to our August Spotify TOTD Playlist.

 

TOTD: Dylan Lawrence – “Dreamland”

Ah yeah. We are back after a brief vacation and we are coming back with a track that’s so smooth it’s silly. This track is perfect for me right now because I (as a school teacher) have to go back to work in a week, and this song kind of bottles all the best sounds of summer into one track for me. So hopefully I can squeeze out just a little more before I go back. Now when you get to the lyrics, they aren’t particularly summery, but that’s cool with me, my favorite music sounds upbeat but hides a deeper message in the lyrics. One set I really identified with:

“As a child, as a child I was the only one who knew in the back door of your mind there is a ladder
It makes me sadder now to know that it’s true
I was baptized in a Georgia church that sang as loud as god
When the congregation parted I was handed a facade
Singing lord, wade in the water and let everyone applaud
And I was blue”

That’s some grade A poetry. As someone who was baptized as kid in a South Carolina church, I really identified with the sentiment. They pushed us a lot as kids to accept Jesus or whatever, and then once that was accomplished, and you start to age, you’re like, hmm… is this really something an adult version of myself would’ve opted into? Or at least that’s what I experienced, I can’t speak for everyone.

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing, sky, sunglasses and outdoor

The most impressive thing to me about his whole EP, is that even though it often sounds like a full band, Dylan played every instrument. He is currently based in either Miami or Providence (he claims both), but if he is in Providence, I hope to see him soon.

-Caleb

Looking for more music? We added this song and many more to our August Spotify TOTD Playlist. 

 

Episode 18: Existentialism (Part 1)

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Join Seth and Caleb (who had some sound issues) as they discuss free will, Ghosts, Omniscience, tyranny inspired punk, and as always, the best new music you’ve never heard of.

Intro – Alpine Blizzard – Stranger feat. Jenny Ridgeway
@alpineblizzard

Strange Neighbors – Ghost
*StrangeneighborsGhost
*bsideguys.com/2018/06/19/strange-neighbors/

Esbie Fonte – Ace’s High
www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFcH6xKy8jw
bsideguys.com/2018/06/12/esbie-fonte/

Indian Askin – I Feel Something
www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnlBSFwjc-Y
bsideguys.com/2018/06/21/the-flo…addle-hugo-fowler/

Glass Lungs – Casting Stones
www.youtube.com/watch?v=77FaaognfnY
bsideguys.com/2018/05/28/mid-day…gs-casting-stones/

Robin Hayes – Autopilot Hijack
TherobinhayesAutopilot-highjack
bsideguys.com/2018/06/10/robin-hayes/

Fort Hill – Marks
User-764965945Marks
bsideguys.com/2018/06/01/totd-fort-hill-marks/

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

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

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

Dirty Hank – “Hot Mess”

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

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

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

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

http://www.instagram.com/dirtyhankmusic

http://www.facebook.com/dirtyhankband

http://www.twitter.com/dirtyhank2

 

Ursa Major – “Gold Blooded”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Henry CS – “live a little, enjoy”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sundaes – “Laundry Day”

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

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

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

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

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

Image may contain: 1 person

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

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

 

Overstreet – “Carried Away”

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

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

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

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

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

Mammoth Indigo – “Undertow”

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

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

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

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

Moses Cadillac – “A Thousand Times”

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

[Chorus]

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

[Chorus]

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

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

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

-Caleb

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