Song Review: Curling – “Hi-Elixir”

In a modern landscape where indie rock and pop frequently blend, producing an ever-evolving subgenre, Curling’s “Hi-Elixir” stands out as a profoundly emotional and melodic gem. Reminiscent of the emotive lyrical and sonic stylings of the likes of American Football and Rainer Maria, this track is a passionate nod to ’90s indie rock while comfortably situating itself in contemporary vibes.

The lyrics of “Hi-Elixir” weave a heartfelt tale of yearning and realization. With the line, “Hey, don’t lose that longing,” the song speaks to the universal human experience of chasing desires, asking the listener not to lose that innate sense of aspiration. The reminder that “There is life all around, can’t you see?” resonates deeply, evoking images of missed opportunities and the inherent beauty that surrounds us daily.

The introspective line, “You know that’s not how it goes,” punctuates the chorus with a hard-hitting truth. Paired with the poignant reflection that “you can’t take back what you have never had,” “Hi-Elixir” strikes a chord of acceptance and understanding, mirroring the introspection that bands like Mineral and Sunny Day Real Estate encapsulated so well in their heyday.

But beyond its evocative lyrics, what stands out is the track’s atmospheric instrumentation. The guitars cascade with reverb-soaked riffs, reminiscent of American Football’s intricate and melancholic playing style. The pacing is consistent with the narrative, building up with fervor, only to retreat, reflecting the highs and lows of the emotional rollercoaster that the song portrays.

Furthermore, the duality of the terms “Adored” and “Adorned” plays a beautiful lyrical trick, with one speaking to deep love and appreciation and the other to superficial allure. “Took a lifetime to know that you’re looking for a thrill” captures the essence of yearning and the continuous search for excitement. And the line “Tied down for a lullaby” encapsulates the desire to be anchored, even in a transient world.

Curling’s “Hi-Elixir” bridges the gap between the poignant indie rock of the past and today’s contemporary soundscapes. It feels both nostalgic and fresh, a delicate balancing act that Curling achieves flawlessly. In essence, “Hi-Elixir” is not just a song—it’s a contemplative journey, and for those familiar with the ethos of bands like Mineral and Sunny Day Real Estate, it’s a comforting return to a sound that’s both treasured and timeless.

Song Review: Back to Yours – “I Must Be Confused”

At the crossroads of indie-rock and alternative-pop, Back to Yours delivers an emotionally resonant track titled “I Must Be Confused.” Seamlessly blending the energetic undertones of pop-rock, this song encapsulates the poignant sentiment of returning to familiarity, only to find it has changed—or perhaps, that we have.

“I Must Be Confused” is an evocative journey through the fleeting nature of memories and relationships. The opening lines, referencing the restaurant where moments were shared, evoke a tangible sense of nostalgia. The song cleverly juxtaposes physical spaces with emotional recollections, hinting at the way places and memories are so often intertwined. The lyric, “If I look for refuge in the books we used to skim, I’d end up getting stranded as the trains don’t run past ten,” is particularly striking, capturing the desolation of returning to a past that’s no longer accessible.

The band’s ensemble of Aiden Jones, Bryce Kassalow, Daniel Luttway, Jiaan Mansuri, and Tommy Levin harmoniously bring the lyrics to life, imbuing them with the raw emotion reminiscent of personal narratives. The line “The sound is never quite as good without you in the crowd” showcases their ability to articulate universal feelings of longing and the weight of absence.

One of the most compelling aspects of the song is the chorus. The repetition of “I’ve been dreaming Bout the places That we shared when You were living here” paints a vivid picture of an individual grappling with the transient nature of life and memories. The subsequent admission, “I must be confused,” is both a lamentation and an acceptance, touching on feelings of betrayal, loss, and the inevitable march of time.

Back to Yours has created a soundscape that is both epic and moody, resonating with anyone who has felt the sting of change and the shifting sands of time. Their origins, covering Beatles songs and lighting up backyard parties at Georgetown University, might have been humble, but the trajectory of their growth is palpable. This particular track reflects the maturity and depth of their evolving sound, making it no surprise that they’ve been drawing crowds in major cities.

In “I Must Be Confused,” Back to Yours crafts an evocative narrative that beautifully marries the moods of epicness, energy, and introspection. It’s a testament to the band’s lyrical prowess and musical artistry, offering listeners a relatable journey through the intricacies of memories, change, and the human condition. This song isn’t just a reflection on the past; it’s an ode to the present moment and the inevitable transformations we all face. Highly recommended for anyone seeking a deep dive into the complexities of emotion and the inevitable passage of time.

Song Review: TULLE – “I Hope Your Demons Look Like Me”

Within the shadows of the modern Alt-Pop landscape, where echoes of raw emotions and atmospheric soundscapes merge, TULLE releases a tantalizingly haunting number, ‘I Hope Your Demons Look Like Me’. Reminiscent of powerful artists like BANKS and Billie Eilish, this track is a dark yet captivating portrayal of empowerment, revenge, and the intricate dance of grief.

The very essence of ‘Death-Pop’, as TULLE aptly brands her genre, is evident throughout the song. It enthralls with its moody, slow-burning synths and an almost whispering vocal delivery, wrapping listeners in a sense of allure and melancholy. The track manages to tread the line between being commercially appealing while still remaining authentically raw and emotive.

Diving into the lyrics, there’s a palpable sense of reclaiming one’s identity and power. As TULLE sings about transforming into a figure of one’s nightmares, it is an ironic nod to the very idea of influence and omnipresence. By choosing to become the ‘villain’, there’s a perverse satisfaction in the knowledge that even in their most vulnerable moments, she is the one on their mind. It’s a poignant exploration of the saying, “There’s a thin line between love and hate.”

Originating from Oslo and at just 24 years of age, TULLE brings forth a refreshing perspective to the Alt-Pop genre. There’s an undeniable Nordic touch to her sound, a sort of icy intimacy. She isn’t afraid to confront difficult emotions, something that’s evident in this track’s handling of topics like grief and transformation. The song’s title alone, “I Hope Your Demons Look Like Me”, speaks volumes about confronting past traumas and turning them into a source of power.

While ‘I Hope Your Demons Look Like Me’ is a dark, brooding anthem of reclamation and revenge, it’s also an exploration of grief. Grief, not just in the loss of a relationship, but perhaps in the loss of a former self, and the journey to find oneself again. As the second release leading up to her debut EP, ‘From A World So Unkind’, TULLE promises a deep dive into the murky waters of the human psyche.

In summary, TULLE’s ‘I Hope Your Demons Look Like Me’ is a powerful testament to the complex interplay of pain, power, and identity. It’s a song that will resonate with anyone who has grappled with the shadows of their past, and sought empowerment in their own narrative. This track isn’t just a song; it’s a hauntingly beautiful odyssey of the soul.

Song Review: Coma Girls – “Candles”

Los Angeles-based project Coma Girls delivers a piece that’s emotionally raw and intensely personal with their new single “Candles”. The track beautifully amalgamates the gentle nuances of folk rock with the tumultuous ferocity associated with shoegaze, drawing immediate comparisons to the likes of Bright Eyes and Deerhunter.

“Candles” starts with a melodic resonance, a harmony that feels simultaneously soothing and unsettling. It’s an introspective journey, painting a vivid picture of the internal battles faced by those wrestling with addiction. The opening lines, “When you’re taking your time, You are a freight train, lovie,” carry a double-edged sentiment—hinting at the unstoppable force of addiction, and the weight it carries, barreling down one’s life like a relentless freight train. The lyric “Darling, I’m always on your side” is a poignant reminder of the unconditional support and love that addicts often have but might overlook during their darkest hours.

The song’s crescendo is a sweeping expanse of distorted guitars, a sonic metaphor for the chaotic turbulence of addiction. As Chris Spino, the mind behind Coma Girls, repeats the heart-wrenching mantra “Leave your candles lit / My pain keeps burning on and on and on,” one can’t help but be reminded of the lingering effects of addiction—how the scars of the past continue to burn long after the flame has been extinguished.

The depth of “Candles” becomes even more profound when placed in the context of the LP ‘Crystal Pistol’. Here, Chris Spino offers a candid confession, detailing his struggles with addiction and subsequent journey towards recovery. The album stands as a testament to Spino’s talent and resilience, metamorphosing intimate folk-rock stories into massive waves of shoegaze chaos. It’s evident in tracks like “Back to the Source” with its upbeat rhythm juxtaposed against introspective lyrics, and the solemn “33”, capturing the weight of regrets and the hope for redemption.

Spino’s evolution is not just musical but also personal. From his earlier days, experimenting with diverse genres like punk, jangle-pop, metal, and jazz-rock, he has found his authentic voice in Coma Girls—a project that resonates with his soul’s desires. His journey from a plethora of bands to the deeply personal Coma Girls showcases the artist’s growth and self-discovery. The themes explored in ‘Crystal Pistol’ resonate with listeners because of their stark authenticity. Spino doesn’t shy away from the uncomfortable; instead, he embraces it, using his music as a medium to share, heal, and connect.

In conclusion, “Candles” is not just a song—it’s an experience. It’s a reflection of the vulnerability, pain, hope, and resilience that make up the human experience. It’s a track that demands attention, not just for its musical prowess but for the story it tells and the emotions it evokes. With influences ranging from Elliott Smith to Jay Reatard, Coma Girls’ “Candles” shines bright, illuminating the shadows of addiction and the possibility of redemption. A masterpiece in every sense, this track is a must-listen for anyone seeking a deep emotional and musical journey.

Ephemeral Echoes: “Meet Me at Midnight” by Canetis

“Meet Me at Midnight,” the poignant lead single from Canetis’ latest EP, ‘On All That’s Real,’ is a melodic echo of enduring love and the inescapable gravity between two souls intertwined yet apart. This Buffalo-based alternative rock band merges the emotive contours of indie melodies with powerful guitars and compelling drum beats, painting a soundscape where every beat is a pulse of longing and every note drips with yearning.

Formed in 2019, Canetis is a harmonious collusion of talents—Matt Broconier, Mike Butler, John Greenan, Brendan Hoare, and Matt Sacha—each member injecting a distinctive musical strand into the band’s evolving DNA. The single is a poignant reminder of the band’s ability to crystallize complex emotions within the structured chaos of dueling guitars and pulsating rhythms, crafting a sound that is both uniquely theirs and universally resonant. It’s a journey through the timelessness of love and the inevitable complications arising from entangled hearts, narrating the ceaseless dance between reunion and departure, familiarity and change.

“Meet Me at Midnight” is more than just a single; it’s a window into the band’s emotional and musical evolution since their debut, revealing a maturation of sound and a sharpening of lyrical depth. Canetis encapsulates the ebbs and flows of love, its tumultuous waves crashing and retreating, leaving listeners to navigate the shores of their own experiences and reflections. This song is a step further into the realm of emotional exploration for Canetis, displaying their innate ability to intertwine emotive narratives with intricate musical compositions, echoing the timeless struggle of holding on and letting go.

Weekly New Releases – Ida Mae, Analog Dog, Kohla, CS Hellmann, Hoagie, and Bear, Man Dangerous

As the sun sets on another week, a new horizon of musical exploration dawns. is here to guide you through the fresh tracks emerging from the shadows of the mainstream. From the harmonious whispers of indie artists to the vibrant echoes of undiscovered chart-toppers, our Weekly New Releases will ensure your playlist stays ahead of the curve. Keep your finger on the pulse of the music world and join us every week for the latest auditory adventures. Dive in, and let the rhythms carry you away!

Ida Mae – “Feel The World Turning”

There’s a fine art to capturing the fleeting essence of life on the road, with its poignant intersections of isolation and connection. British indie-rock duo Ida Mae masterfully taps into this universal wanderlust with “Feel The World Turning.” A departure from the band’s typical kinetic indie-rock verve, the track evokes a sense of melancholic introspection, reveling in the tender fragility of human encounters. As its ethereal sonics envelop listeners, one cannot help but be transported to dimly lit bars and edge-of-the-highway motels, where the quiet hum of stories shared fills the void of night.

The heart of “Feel The World Turning” lies in its narrative richness – a reflection of Ida Mae’s genuine experiences journeying through remote terrains and ephemerally touching the lives of strangers. This soulful offering feels like a whispered confession, a humble hymn to transient connections and moments of genuine introspection amidst the relentless churn of time. It’s not just a song; it’s a distilled memory, an evocation of the delicate balance between peace and trepidation that defines the nomadic existence. With “Feel The World Turning,” Ida Mae weaves the delicate tapestry of the road-traveler’s psyche, beautifully laying the groundwork for their upcoming album, ‘Thunder Above You.’

Analog Dog – “All The Birds”

San Francisco’s Analog Dog, known for blending multi-genre influences with nostalgic yet forward-thinking flair, emerges with their latest single “All The Birds.” Rooted deeply in the timeworn textures of psychedelic rock, the track employs shimmering guitars and harmonious vocals, reminiscent of the Beach Boys, to deliver a poignant commentary on the climate crisis. “Clutch your pearls and take a bow,” the lyrics incisively point out, invoking a sense of urgency for change. The gravity of the subject is juxtaposed against lush musical soundscapes that sway between dreamy contemplation and a visceral call to action.

However, “All The Birds” isn’t just a standalone masterstroke; it’s a part of Analog Dog’s vibrantly eclectic LP ‘Color TV’. A journey that blurs the lines between the analog past and digital present, the album offers an intricate dance of genres – from psychedelic rock to synthy dance grooves, from indie moods to jazz fusion undertones. The record feels like flipping through high-definition channels, each song a vivid hue adding to a prismatic view of modern anxieties and hopes. Drawing inspiration from the sprawling sonic playground of Golden Gate Park and fueled by a mission to transcend the confines of contemporary ennui, Analog Dog not only makes music but crafts auditory experiences that reflect a world brimming with both challenges and beauty.

Kohla – “Golden”

Emerging with an unapologetic reverence for self-worth and the splendors of being adored, Kohla’s “Golden” is a shimmering testament to the standards one sets in love. Drawing inspiration from the time-honored allure of Marvin Gaye’s soulful cadences and blending it seamlessly with contemporary R&B finesse reminiscent of Frank Ocean and Sabrina Claudio, Kohla crafts a neo-soul narrative that is as radiant as it is deeply personal. Lyrics like “Just give me all of your emotion – like I’m golden,” balance a fine line between vulnerability and audacity, capturing the transformative journey of self-awareness and the unshaken demand for respect in love. The track is awash with a gospel tinge, with soulful vocal runs that accentuate the sense of sacral love; an emotion so profound that it renders both the lover and the beloved in a golden, effervescent glow.

Yet, “Golden” is more than just a single; it’s a reflection of Kohla’s spiritual and emotional odyssey towards self-realization. The song resonates with the confidence of someone who has done the inner work, coming to the epiphany of their own worth, and now seeks nothing less than to be revered as a deity in matters of the heart. When Kohla serenades “Ooh, I’m fucking glowing baby,” it is more than just a statement of radiant love; it’s an anthem of self-celebration, a tribute to the divine feminine energy, and a reminder that love, in its purest form, should always feel as luminous as gold. “Golden” serves as a promising precursor to her debut album ‘Romance’, suggesting a collection rich in passion, introspection, and the exquisite nuances of love.

CS Hellmann – “Postcards”

In a haunting reflection of unrequited love, CS Hellmann’s “Postcards” is a poignant ode to the vulnerabilities of unspoken feelings, heartbreak, and the complexities of emotions tangled with friendships. Drawing from a rich well of inspiration that spans from the ethereal sounds of U2 to the passionate rawness of Silversun Pickups, Hellmann channels a tortured tapestry of memories, regrets, and quiet hopes into his dark indie anthems. The track stands as a testimony to the art of translating profound pain into cathartic creation, capturing the essence of the song’s backstory: a delicate confession, a rejection, and a dignified farewell note left with flowers on a porch.

CS Hellmann’s musical journey is painted with rich and varied strokes, from the early notes of The Beatles and 60’s girl groups echoing from car radios and basement vinyl players, to the guitar wizardry of rock legends that guided his own six-stringed pursuits. His unique experiences, from the highs of sold-out shows and notable producer collaborations to the lows of burnouts and battling bipolar depression, culminate in a sound that is charged with emotional intensity. “Postcards,” with its deeply personal narrative, encapsulates Hellmann’s evolution both as an artist and an individual, marking a significant entry in the discography of a Nashville songwriter who once rediscovered his passion amid personal turbulence. The track reminds us that even in the darkest chapters, there is beauty to be found in the raw honesty of music.

Hoagie – “The Karaoke Legend”

Stepping onto the stage with raw authenticity, Hoagie’s “The Karaoke Legend” offers a heartening tribute to an often overlooked, unsung hero – the local karaoke enthusiast. With a songwriting prowess reminiscent of Father John Misty and the quintessential alt-Americana energy of R.E.M., Dave Holgado – the driving force behind Hoagie – crafts an ode that treads the line between melancholic and celebratory. The track dives deep into the heart of the passion-driven, embracing the essence of music even in seemingly trivial pursuits, reminding listeners of the joys of uninhibited self-expression. Rich in texture, the song gains its weight from Shane Luckenbaugh’s poignant drumming, Steven Murillo’s harmonious background vocals, and the soulful trumpet notes from Rick Rein, all under the masterful production guidance of Joe Michelini.

Emerging from Portland’s verdant musical scene, Hoagie’s debut album “Other Folks” promises an eclectic blend of wit, nostalgia, and alt-Americana flair. The album, described as a rock opera, showcases Dave’s brilliant knack for storytelling through tongue-in-cheek lyrics, sketching out characters and narratives that resonate with life’s quirks and contradictions. “The Karaoke Legend” serves as a melodic anchor amidst the stormy seas of defiant anthems and introspective ballads. The album is an open book, flipping through pages of rebellion, acceptance, conflict, hope, and the infinite hues of human connection. Bearing similarities to the likes of Wilco and Ben Folds Five, Hoagie’s debut is set to carve a niche, whether as a playful post-modern power pop gem or a heartfelt journey into the complexities of navigating adult life. Await the unveiling this September 29th, for Hoagie is about to send ripples through the waters of contemporary Americana.

Bear, Man Dangerous – “American War”

Infusing the unapologetic intensity of The Jesus Lizard with the grand, cinematic ambience of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Bear, Man Dangerous’s “American War” emerges as an incendiary exploration of modern societal dissonance. Lyrically drawn from Omar El Akkad’s haunting dystopia, the song is not just a reflection but a harrowing prediction, delving into the darkness of America’s soul and laying bare its tribalism, inequality, and pervasive discontent. Each lyric, from the “Florida man’s burning all these books” to the repeated cries of “Icarus killed us all,” serves as a visceral reminder of the cyclical nature of history and the perils of flying too close to the sun of one’s own hubris.

The track, unrelenting in its portrayal of a society at the precipice, delves into the very essence of what it means to be “safe” in an age of uncertainty. Is safety merely the act of distancing oneself from the chaos, or does it require a more proactive stance against the encroaching threats of division and loss? The repeated line “Everybody’s fighting American War” is a chilling testament to the universality of conflict, both internal and external, and the human cost of perpetual strife. As listeners are guided through a landscape of paranoia, desperation, and reflection, Bear, Man Dangerous holds up a mirror to the simmering tensions of contemporary America, urging introspection, recognition, and ultimately, change. Amidst the sonic maelstrom, the song stands as both a warning and a lament, urging listeners to remember the lessons of the past before they become the tragedies of the future.

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.

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,


Weeknight Wind Down: John Steam Jr. – Let It Go

if you’re diggin’ holes to fit your casket

you might fall in and break your neck

there is a way out of your darkness

i’m fucking sure i’d place a bet

Let it go

whatever once did bite your neck

just shake it off don’t turn your head – no more

Cut the rope

release the anchor from your boat

Good evening B-Side Beauties! It’s been a while. Let’s get this thing going again shall we? Today I have a song that I’ve been jamming to for a couple of years now from the esteemed John Steam Jr. Don’t confuse it with that other “Let It Go” jam (not that I’m hating on that one, it was a banger), but John’s version does have a similar message for the R-rated crowd. Let that shit go. I posted my favorite lines at the beginning of this post. In the forever bleakness that many of us have experienced since March 2020, this stanza reminds us that we’re still getting older and we still have life left to live. If we continually focus on the casket, don’t be surprised if we fall into it, but if we can shake off our troubles, and try to find a positive outlook for the future, maybe there’s a way out of this mess, “I’m fuckin sure, I’d place a bet.”

Let John Steam Jr.’s punky vocals and driving acoustic songs sing you to a peaceful evening; I know I will. Until next time,


New Release Friday: Luke Sullivan Jones, Curly Chuck and TyC, Caolifhionn Rose, Shoot The Duke

These are our favorite new songs of the past couple days. Every song has been released within the last 48 hours, so you can tell your friends about not only new artists, but their new songs that they’ve never heard.

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

Luke Sullivan Jones – “A Fire from the Dark”

“You don’t feel like yourself
You’re swallowed by the pain
Buried deep inside
Some things have to change

You can spark the flame
You can start again
A fire from the dark”

This song is so empathetic and hopeful! It does a great job of describing how hopeless and lonely life sometimes can be, but it encourages you to start the flame again in the dark. From a musical perspective, I really can’t get enough of the strings in the background of this song, and the interesting vocal style of Luke Sullivan Jones. This is a song that I can see myself listening to a ton this winter when I haven’t seen the sun in weeks, and I’m starting to get down.

“So tear it all apart
You’ll find your way through
Don’t wait for the world
To come and rescue you”

Bio: Luke Sullivan Jones is an independent Folk-indie artist from the UK. After the successful release of his EP ‘Through the Satellites’ two years ago, he has further developed his sound to find a unique voice in a ever evolving, yet crowded, genre.

Curly Chuck and TyC – “Get It”

How many of you checked to see if your phone was ringing when the song first started? I did too, and I’ve heard it like 10 times now. I also love how it sort sounds like parts of the beat throughout. The reason it “sort of” sounds like that is that TyC sampled all of the original Mac OS sounds, including the horns which came from the Mac “delete” song.  I also had to share this song because of how incredible his change ups in flow are throughout the song. Keep a look out for their debut EP, “Get It” is the first track, that’s going to be coming out later this summer. You better be sure to….get it.

Bio: Cleveland native, Curly Chuck has been quickly making waves on the underground scene for good reason. XXL recently said “he has the sound that can make his career go from zero to 100 in the blink of an eye.” He’s had a very busy last few months finishing up two EP’s, and spent the last week with Currency, so we can definitely expect some big things from him soon!

TyC, also from Cleveland, left Berklee School Of Music to tour with the band Carousel. A writer first, he picked up production on the road and has been honing in ever since. His single “BW/U” already has over 115,000 plays on Spotify and his last video featuring Curly Chuck, “GET DOWN” has over 35,000 views on Youtube!

Caoilfhionn Rose – Awaken

I would watch this video with no music for how beautiful the landscapes and scenes are. Luckily, we get to pair it with some beautiful music that actually sounds like it’s being sung from one of those echoey mountain tops. It seems the main message of this song, is to go outside and see the world. It’s the cure to most of what ails you. As someone who went on a 40 day road trip last summer, I have to agree with the assessment. Everyone should do their best to find a way to travel, especially in the spectacle of nature. It’s possible to do on a budget, google it. If you were like me, and didn’t know what Caoilfhionn meant, it’s a name that is described as: Derived from the Gaelic elements caol “slender” and fionn “fair”. This was the name of several Irish saints.

“So go outside
Pick the flowers in the park
Feel the sunshine
So go outside
Awaken to the world you can hear all new sounds

Don’t get left behind
Pulled down by the roots of your mind
See the new dawn on the horizon
See the colours of life again

Awaken to the world you can hear all new sounds”

If I was standing in the middle of any of the landscapes that are shown in this video, I think I’d have to be singing “go outside” at the top of my lungs too.

Bio: Caoilfhionn (pronounced Keelin) Rose will release her debut album with Gondwana Records in Autumn 2018 and ‘Awaken’ is the title track. The song is about noticing nature and everything around you, about taking a step back from your problems and going for a walk outside.

Shoot The Duke – Cash

Ah man this song is so incredible. This is a perfect example of how to properly emphasize raw vocals. They aren’t out of tune, they just peak into an emotive state that can’t be replicated by overly polished ones. This reminds me a lot of a mix between Shakey Graves and Kaleo. The song itself is about just what the name suggests, money:

So give me some money, oh let me have some cash. I promise I’ll give it back. One day at a time. ×2

I get up at the brink of the day. I apply for jobs but they all just send me away. Sorry son but you need more experience. How can I get some experience? I didn’t know I needed any to work in Morrison’s. Come on now, make my day.”

I guess more accurately the song is about the frustration between making and keeping money, especially if you are an artist:

I go outside to play some guitar, policeman comes to tell me no you can’t do that. He gives me a fine so I sold my guitar away.

I lay down to get some sleep. Policeman comes again, he’s bothering me. Get off the floor boy, you ain’t worth a dime.”

I think on an individual level, the story is really nice and relatable, but I also think it’s an appropriate metaphor for how a lot of modern society treats artists, or anyone who doesn’t want to be an entrepreneur or work in a cubicle. There is an emphasis on “contributing” to society, without an acknowledgement that art and philosophy are equally important pursuits for humanity. Ultimately, the song ends with a haunting image of a frustrated man robbing a store for money. After being told the things he is good at/passionate about are worthless in a monetary sense, he is left with very little choices for how to proceed in a society that doesn’t seem to value him at all. It’s a really interesting look at the fringes of modern capitalism, and who gets left behind, and why.


Looking for more music? Don’t forget to check out: Our Newest Podcast Episode

You can also find all these songs and more on our August TOTD Spotify Playlist.