New Release Friday: HAUS Music, Ryan Svendsen, Jesse Jo Stark, Cara Hammond, Joe Garvey, The Millennial Club, The Little Miss, The Fey

Happy official Summer everyone! To kick off this most glorious season, we have a bevy of brand new summer related tracks for you to check out. Some of you may have come here because your favorite band shared this on social media, and please, do check their write up, but stick around for a while; if we have good enough taste to like your favorite band, I bet we have more out there for you too.

HAUS Music – “Rêves Ephémères”

Let’s get this started strong here with HAUS Music. This is another one of those songs we like to share where we don’t understand any of the lyrics (because we are stupid Americans) but the vibe of the song is so infectious that I don’t think I need to. Music is a universal language. Luckily I do have a little bit of background with what they are talking about:

“Mitchell says, “Rêves Ephémères translates to Ephemeral Dreams. It is an acknowledgment that stories that we invent for ourselves to carry us forward can and will just as often carry us somewhere we didn’t intend to go. For me it is a gentle reminder that happiness doesn’t come all at once at some point in the future; instead, it grows slowly over time. Don’t get trapped in a cycle of unhappiness thinking it can bring you anything but pain.”

There’s no doubt that this song is Ephemeral, whether you know every word that is being mentioned or not. I hope we can remember his message about happiness, and avoiding unhappiness throughout this summer.

Ryan Svendsen – “One Hundred Percent Ft. Jerome Thomas”

Have you figured out the beautiful thing about these lists yet? If you come in for one band, of a certain style, you may find another band of a completely different style to also add to your list. I think this song has to be on everyone’s list. Ryan Svendsen is a talented musician who has been featured on tracks by Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato, and here you can see his creative vision taking shape under his own direction. I have to say, it’s gorgeous. Like all the songs in this list, it is absolutely perfect summer music, and luckily Ryan released this just in time for the first day of summer. Let me encourage anyone who likes horns to go check out Ryan’s back discography. It’s perfect for chilling out, background for work, or a party. It’s multifarious.

 

Jesse Jo Stark – “Dandelion”

The first thing I thought when I heard this song was how anyone who likes Lana Del Rey will almost certainly get a kick out of Jesse Jo Stark. They have similar vocal styles, and musical accompaniment. With this song, Jesse Jo Stark sings about loving something that you shouldn’t, and how complicated that quickly gets. Anyone got any theories on the title? I mean obviously Dandelions are a nice yellow flower, but I also tend to think of the seed heads, and how quickly they can blow away. Maybe this relationship is more like the latter?

Cara Hammond – “How I Feel”

How about this amazing bluesy single from Cara Hammond? This is the first song off new EP called Nice Girl, coming out in the fall. When asked about the song Cara describes it as: “How I Feel is a very relatable song about love, loss and nostalgia,” explains Cara “I think the track picks up on those little details and memories which are present in all types of relationships, making it a very powerful song” I can certainly hear that. There is a  mention of going out to bars, just hoping to see someone and ask how they are, and a lot of that terrible feeling after breaking up with someone that was once important, and no longer feeling very important to them. Really heart wrenching stuff, wrapped in a beautifully sung package.

 

Joe Garvey – “What Your Time Is Worth”

Joe Garvey asks us an important question with this smooth funk/pop song: “Do you know what your time is worth?” He begs us to consider how quickly the time passes, even a nice 80 year life is too short. In an age of increasing technology, distraction, and hustle and bustle, it seems that time isn’t what it used to be. Are you using yours the way you want to? Are you wasting days? I read once that we have about 4500 days worth of free time, meaning not work, not sleep, etc. That’s a disturbingly low number. Do you know what your time is worth?

 

The Millennial Club – “Santa Barbara”

This track is the perfect summer track. It has the perfect amount of groove to it; it even has a little bit of a California Dre whine going in the background. According to their promo materials: “At an early age, The Millennial Club has managed to blend dance-inspired 80’s pop, beat-driven 90’s R&B, and emotional love-centered lyricism to shape their original Southern California sound.” I would say that says it better than I can. These guys are on the rise, and I could even see them breaking into a top 40 style market eventually. They mix everything I love about summer into one convenient package.

The Little Miss – “American Dream”

Usually I like to get into the lyrics and try to dissect them, put my own spin on the song, etc. This song is too important to not get the words straight from the artist’s mouth. I will say this though, the irony is something that you can taste in this song, and it doesn’t taste like apple pie. The American Dream is an afterthought, a delusion that people once had, a book that you never got around to reading, collecting dust in the attic. I think it should be, at least. The thought that the American Dream has to be this perfect series of check boxes is just a way to sell more ranch style homes and Coke.

“I wrote ‘American Dream’ at a time when the tension in our country felt palpable. This was five years ago. Now, seemingly more divided than ever, I questioned whether or not I should release a song that sounds so blindly idealistic. To be clear, “American Dream” is not an endorsement of this country as it stands now. I don’t think that it is unpatriotic to think that we can do better than this. The American Dream, as it has been fed to us – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – has not delivered on its promises for many (if not most of us). So, while the song yearns for this made-up, sepia-toned time that never existed, it notes exactly that: that it never existed. We’re enchanted by our own, but very limited folklore – the pioneers, the Wild West, the civil war, the nuclear family, the moon landing, etc. We have romantic notions about who we are and who we’ve been, and it is tempting, for all of us, to want to wear those rose-colored glasses. But in order to become better, and in order to progress, we need to take off the glasses and take a good look in the mirror. We all want the same thing: to feel proud of the country we call home – we just need to accept the fact that it might be healthier to learn from our history rather than glamorize it. The lives of so many depend on it.”

 

The Fey – Contender

What is this?!? I seriously have no idea. It blends so many different genres into one crazy rollercoaster, and I loved every second of the ride. I read the bands description of their sound, and it reads as follows: “Dominantly a new age American rock-soul-r&b band, The Fey, also expresses a touch of the contemporary vibes of hip-hop and pop.” As a guy who listens to over 20 new bands a day, when you read a statement like that, you think, “Yeah, okay. Which part do you do well, though?” Most of the time it’s like a restaurant that has 50 menu items, and all of them are average. This is not most of the time. These guys know who they are, and they do rock, soul, r&b, hip-hop, and pop equally well. With strong guitar riffs and organs, smooth vocal runs, and a nice hip-hop verse, The Fey is the true definition of a multi-genre group.

 

-Caleb and Seth

 

As always, check out all of these tracks and more on our June Spotify Playlist. 

Mid Day Music Blast: Kuwaisiana “Virgin”

I love songs with something to say. I mean, most songs have something to say, I guess, but not many of them have something real to say. Relationship problems, how great you are, and dreamscapes make up 99% of all lyrics (probably), so the song, Virgin, from the multinational band, Kuwaisiana, is a welcome surprise.

With raw instrumentals, and complex composition, Virgin gets into one of the biggest moneymakers on the planet: war. The song dives into how the war machine has been effective in not only stealing land and making people wealthy, but also how its role in our lives has made us desensitized to things that should appall us.

“I’m a virgin
in a VR headset
Show me the army
Occupy me”

That is the last line of the song, and it hits so hard. In less than 15 words, they talk about how the military industrial complex can be found in everything from pornography to technology, and at this point, we are inviting it into our homes without even realizing it.

Transitioning between discourse and harmony, this song covers the gamut of emotions. We love bringing you something upbeat and interesting for the Mid Day Music Blast, the fact that the Blast is actually talking about blasts today, is just a…well…blast.

Video of the Day: SamXVI – “Such a Pretty House and Such a Pretty Garden”

 

Have a spare 15 minutes? Check out this video, or save it for later when you do, I promise it’s worth it. The video is self described as: “An audio/visual art project exploring an intense and difficult struggle with depression, and how to “stay afloat” during a difficult time.” This becomes apparent quickly with the voice over and the shocking image of someone falling into a pond. This is one of those videos that is less a conventional music video (except the music which is also exceptional) and more of an impactful short film. It has a very DIY approach to it, most of it using a single camera and very few props. Take notes musician readers of the blog. You don’t need millions of dollars to start getting your videos out there.

Image result for samxvi

The full EP, which is titled, like the blog post, Such a Pretty House, and Such a Pretty Garden” is basically played in full throughout the video. You can find the EP in broken up form on Spotify (as well as the first track on our Spotify playlist here). Something that really becomes awesome as the video progresses are the effects overlayed (like you can see in the shot above). The use of color, animation, and varied styles in music, really allow the viewer/listener to follow the progression of this depression, and the sense of feeling underwater fighting for your life that so many who have suffered from these episodes are familiar with. I won’t spoil the ending, because you need to see it yourself, but I hope any one out there who currently feels underwater can see something worth fighting for, a light at the end of the tunnel, a better tomorrow, because, at least in my experience, it does always become apparent eventually, if you can just keep fighting. Thanks again to SamXVI for reminding us how important it is to keep swimming.

-Caleb

TOTD: Keatsu “Mirr(I)ror”

You guys ready for a experimental track? This was definitely one of those situations where I listened to it, and couldn’t completely figure it out, but it felt important. Art is like that sometimes, a lot of my favorite artists across multiple platforms aren’t creating things I can immediately figure out, but it makes me want to sit with it for a while. Luckily in this case, I was able to talk to the artist a bit about his inspiration on this track. I’ve pasted his response in several short messages below:

“I was listening to James Blake a lot these days 

So piano came up quickly even tho I’m rather guitar player than piano

 And well I was looking at mirror listening to instrumental so I thought I’m little narcissistic

While making an album, I created album list where I made a typo

 Instead of Mirror I wrote Mirrior

And it made track even more “broke ” so to speak” -Keatsu

Now, a few things really stand out to me about his explanation.

  1. I definitely hear the James Blake influence.
  2. The art flowed out of him on this one, which is always interesting to me. When something comes easy, like the muses spoke to you or something.
  3. He talks about his narcissism and something that stands out to me about that is that he owned even his mistake (the misspelled Mirror). So it’s narcissism with a sense of self deprecation as well?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments on what you got out of this song. And if you enjoyed this, I’m going to throw another one your way that I happened upon because of Spotify shuffling after I finished listening to this track.

 

If that track has some elements that sound familiar to you…Then you may just listen to other good music 😉

-Caleb

As always, you can find this song and all of our June TOTD’s on our Spotify playlist right here.