The Flock: Caleb’s Weekly Favorites Oct. 16th: Pkwy, Charles Edison, Farewell Company

*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 post several artists in one big post. 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.”

Pkwy – “Punisher”

“Slackers are acting tough
Born in Los Angeles
Light up a Camel Crush just for fun
Poems on bathroom stalls
High as shit playing Smash Bros Brawl
Throwing a bowling ball down the road”

This song is super chill. It reminds me a ton of college. I took up the bad habit of smoking, and my go to (other than cloves) were Camel Crush. I picked those because you could crush them for people who wanted menthols. It was completely about the social aspect. This song is just so simply beautiful. It captures the fun, insecurity, and rebelliousness of youth in a way that takes itself the perfect amount of seriously. The band says that the song actually reflects the story of the band somewhat. They all met in their teens, and have fond memories, including throwing a literal bright orange bowling ball down the road with the word “PUNISHER” written on it. If you can’t relate to this song, we probably wouldn’t have been friends in high school.

Also, the EP that Punisher is included on is now out! Released this last Tuesday: pkwy.bandcamp.com/album/giant-2. You guys should definitely go give these guys some money, so they can buy Camel Crush cigs. Those bitches get expensive.

 

Charles Edison – “My Mother”

“I can’t make a track and say I’m paying for your house
But Hopefully you hear this still and it’ll make you proud
I ain’t made it yet but I bet you think I could
I hope you worry less now that I’m safe and living good
You said you felt like you must’ve gone wrong
But you showed me how to raise a child – you knew it all along,”

I always get emotional with “momma” songs. I guess that’s not really a genre, but I think you know what I mean. This song is so deeply heartfelt. There’s a moment in the first verse where he says, “as far as I’m concerned, you ain’t never been a step mum”, and you can tell that’s true because up until that point, it seemed like he was talking about a connection as deep as any I’ve ever heard. It’s obvious the woman has made a huge impact on him, and he feels guilty for the ways he hasn’t lived up to her example or expectations. Now that he’s becoming a parent himself, it seems obvious that this is causing him to reflect about his own hopes and dreams for a child, how they can go awry, and how their are still plenty of positives instilled in him, even if he made mistakes. It’s really a beautiful sentiment. That’s not even to mention the excellent sample and background vocals. This song is just incredible.

Bio: Charles is a producer & rapper from South London, pairing intricately layered, immersive beats with a raw & honest vocal style that has seen him be compared to other British Urban music acts such as Akala, Beardyman, Mike Skinner, and Loyle Carner. Charles often draws on his experiences with mental health and addiction to result in refreshingly honest and relatable hip-hop.

Friede Merz – “ALBION”

“Albion, Albion
You made me wanna carpe the fuck out of this diem”

Well you can’t beat that opening. This video is really interesting. I especially like the Elvis costume, but the whole thing works nicely on a budget. It’s a good way to lean into a scatter plot ode to a place, by representing various aspects, both seriously, and mostly ironically. There’s definitely a lot to like from Friede, who does everything on this song, from instrumentals, to singing, to production. The artist describes the vibe as: “Whatever you do feels good to me.” That’s the spirit.”

Check out more here:

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Farewell Company – “Gulf Breeze Motel”

“I ain’t living right, I’m barely keeping the pace
And I’m so far from you now
I know I’m gonna be late
Well take your time no one’s waiting on you to change
No one’s waiting on anything

Hey what’s the hurry
Time’s keeping you locked down so tight babe
I know you work, just make it something worth your life
What’s the use in finding the truth if you’re gonna go and waste the news
I’ll be singing ‘bout a brand new day til I turn blue”

This song has been on several of my playlists for a couple of months now. It’s beautifully twangy and existential. What I really like about the existential aspect is that it doesn’t quite waver into despair. It is constantly mentioning a “brand new day” in a hopeful way that promises a better tomorrow, despite whatever negative may be going on in front of you right now. It kind of seems to put a sense of worth on personal responsibility. “No one’s waiting on you to change.” It’s up to us to care about what we do with our time here, not anyone else. It’s really a beautiful message, packaged in a catchy blues song.

Bio: Formed in early 2017 by a few close friends and siblings living in Nashville, TN, Farewell Company is a soulful, southern rock ’n’ roll band.

In just three days, the six piece recorded their first LP ‘Waiting On Anything’ to analog tape at a gem of a studio in East Nashville called The Bomb Shelter.

 

-Caleb

 

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.

The Flock: New Release Friday (on Saturday): Oddnesse, Beck Pete, Ryan Dunlap, Riley Pearce, Balto, Spirit Award, Ribotto, Wingtip, Castle Pines

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.

 

*Click on the artist name to visit their website*

 

Oddnesse – It Runs Wild

This song is so cool. The style reminds me instrumentally of Neil Young, and the vocals are out of this world. It seems like overall there is an emphasis on using the phrase “mind is running wild” as an elaborate personified being that is being talked to throughout the song.

come out come out, wherever you are

big mystery

bothering me

get the fuck out

i try to cultivate an organized mind still it runs wild sometimes”

So these thoughts that we wish we could run and hide form, are being represented by a monster chasing you through the woods or something. The last lines are particularly haunting:

why do i worry about any of it

i’ve survived in the dark before

i could try and find a way to stop

falling and falling

but I know there is no floor”

It reminds me a lot about the conversation Holden Caulfield has with his teacher mentor near the end of the The Catcher in the Rye when it’s discussing a “fall that never ends”. It’s basically a way to talk about depression, because, at least in my experience, depression doesn’t have a true “rock bottom.” A “rock bottom” is a place to restart from, but in the depths of depression, there’s no way to find your footing to even begin to start again. It’s a really haunting beautiful image, and song.

 

Beck Pete – Gently Break It

This song is really interesting. Musically, it has some of the coolest layered vocals I’ve heard in a long time, and I also like the guitar work, that mostly walks a pretty straight forward riff, but has moments of growth throughout that suggest a breakdown is coming, even though the guitar solo never really comes, we have two excellent vocal breakdowns around 2 minutes and 3 minutes into the song that make the build up pay off. Lyrically, the artist broke down (ha) what the song was about for us:

“‘Gently Break It’ specifically was written from the perspective of a broken person (*ahem*) seeking out another who would hurt them, because it is familiar, and therefore, comfortable. It sheds light on a situation that is all too common romantically where a person thinks that they are undeserving of love and therefore romanticizes the idea of playing a victim in an unhealthy relationship. I have been that girl, and can’t say that I won’t be again. I’m just hoping that this song serves a reminder of that tendency, and spreads awareness to everyone who hears it that 1) they are not alone in this cycle and 2) they can break it by believing they are worthy of something positive and healthy.”

 

I love that explanation because it shows 1. how art can be a sort of therapy or exorcising of certain demons, but also 2. that it doesn’t necessarily mean all the struggles are gone just because you wrote that they were. It’s a battle that will continue, no matter how much your ideal self wants to to be over, and that is a realistic message that hopefully someone needed to hear.

Ryan Dunlap – Haunted House

“waking up in this haunted house

like a dream you can’t get out.”

This song is so hauntingly beautiful. It’s an exploration of living in a place that reminds you of someone that’s not longer there (I can’t tell if it’s a literal death, or a relationship that ended). Either way, it’s like the house is haunted because the memories still hang in all of these objects and photos. It makes it really difficult to move on, with all of these reminders haunting you from the walls and shelves.

For me, this is one of the hardest type of songs to get right, a completely stripped down acoustic song with the vocals and the lyrics being the main focus, but when it is done right, like Ryan’s is, it is my favorite type of song. It makes me feel like I’m walking down an empty street on a snowy day. It’s melancholy and lonely, but it’s the way I want to be right now.

Riley Pearce – If I Knew

“Darling if I knew, half the things I thought I knew,

baby then I’d still have you.”

I nominate this video for short film of the year. The fact that this is all done with one take (or some really sneaky cuts that I didn’t see) makes it that much more impressive. Watching this narrative unfold in one room, with one person (though there is an implied second person at one point), was so riveting. I literally couldn’t take my eyes away. The song itself seems to be a lesson in regret, that feeling you get when you’ve lost somebody and realize how much you did wrong along the way to push them away. This is a lesson in getting a quality music video out of a fairly cheap set. Great, great, job.

Balto – Song for Viktor pt. 2

You have to listen to all of these lyrics. It’s got so much truth for anyone who’s had a self-destructive period of their life. It seems to be someone who is struggling with, well a lot of things, addiction? sleeping around? And there is another person who keeps trying to reach out to him and help him out, despite it all. He’s just having a hard time accepting that help, maybe he doesn’t want to get better yet.

“Yeah, I’ve been out drinking
I just talk past my friends
Trying to talk to myself
I wish I could see you
Just for a moment thought the fever had passed
My lover is calling
But my porcelain dream
I can never take back

So I let her down
And she keeps reaching out
Knowing all I need’s a little help

Just a little help ”

I was tempted to copy past the entire lyrics, because every verse really resonated me. But this one resonated with me the most, especially the “I just talk past my friends/ trying to talk to myself” line. It’s perfect in the sense that I immediately could picture it, in others, in myself, and yet it’s said in a way that I would’ve never imagined writing. That’s what makes good poetry. That’s what makes good music. That’s what makes good truth.

Spirit Award – Supreme Truth

 

The lyrics to this song are super trippy. I guess that fits with the syncopated instrumentals that leave you feeling delightfully disoriented.

“Beneath the city, a crowd a people

Muscles turning from all the vapors

Acid dreams and burnt bodies

They drank the blood, for the supreme one

So what happens now?

What have we learned?

We share with you now

We’ve done what we meant to do”

I can’t say I fully know what’s going on here, or that anyone is really supposed to. It seems like an acid dream gone wrong, but with a kernel of truth. If this is a reflection of our society, what paths have we taken to get to the negative places we reside? What happens now? What have we learned? All art can do is try to point out truths, and hope they mean something. People can then shape the rest of the world after those truths. Let’s see what Spirit Award says about the song:

“‘Supreme Truth’ points to influences of early New Order and Can, highlighting psych rock melodies and ethereal vocals. Thematically the single is based on the Japanese death cult “Aum Shinrikyo” lead by Shoko Asahara, who recruited the rich to join his cult and carry out Tokyo subway sarin attack in 1995. After becoming fascinated with cults, institutions and religions, the band shed light on how it can be so easy to get lost in something when that’s all you’re surrounded by.”

So there you go, I wouldn’t have known that (obviously) without their help, but I think the general message of the song shines through regardless of if we know the backstory.

Ribotto – Now and Then

 

Mmm. Those sweet, sweet horns. Ribotto’s music is described as “avant-folk-rock”, and though I’ve never heard anything described that way, it’s a perfect interpretation. It is, at it’s core, folk rock, but there are some experimental aspects to it that make it stand out in a way that is truly unique. It kind of reminds me of what Justin Vernon could’ve done, if he hadn’t leaned so hard into the autotune (not hating on Bon Iver, just saying his solo stuff was completely different).

The lyrics themselves also lend to the surreal “avant” part of the genre. There is a lot of witty wordplay throughout the whole album, but I love this section:

“When did all these things become then
Now that I know what was said
I wish I was then now instead”

This reminds me a good bit of e.e. cummings poetry. He plays with syntax and time in a really fun way throughout the whole song. If you check out his other stuff, you see this is consistent lyrically throughout his album Matter of Time, which makes a lot of sense, because that makes the album name itself a witty comment.

Wingtip – Pavement

“Quietly, quietly it grows
Ripping at the seams
How did we, how did we get lost
In these old city streets
Used to be, used to be in love
Now our eyes never meet

Oh, I can feel the light fading
You still have some fire worth saving
Oh, spill the blood on the pavement
Oh lord, you can tell I’m wasted”

On it’s surface, the song sounds upbeat, including a dance heavy chorus around the 1 min mark or so. When diving into the lyrics though, it’s obvious that there’s a little more going on here. It seems to be an exploration into the past, when you think about someone you used to love, and who used to love you, but now you barely know one another. The speaker can “feel the light fading”, but also believes there is “still some fire worth saving.” It’s unclear if anything ever comes to this, but the “you can tell I’m wasted” seems to imply it’s more of a drunk texting your ex scenario, than a real attempt to get back together.

 

Castle Pines – Cassiopeia 

 

And last, but certainly not least, Castle Pines. This song has an interesting mix of Grunge and Shoegaze elements, with some really thoughtful lyrics. Let’s check out some of them:

“God Damn the damned up thoughts

Sinking my ship in tied up knots

Churning the harbor door

My passage never meets the shore

 

Dressed up for a dimmer shade of gray

For a bed and a bottle laid away”
I really love the “god damn the damned up..” line because of how clever and playful the word play is. It seems like in general this song relates a malaise or depression of a generation being encapsulated through sea worthy imagery. And unfortunately at times, it feels like the best we can hope for is “a bed and a bottle laid away.” Instead of focusing on my interpretation though, let’s hear from the band:

“Cassiopeia is an intentionally droll and sleepy sung lament of differing travelers viewpoints throughout history, partly inspired by nautical themes, including the Constellation and Greek Mythological character the song is named after. A narrative of loss, forgotten meaning and questioning the reality of the status quo, the song parallels the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church and Modern day America as civilizations defeated by the internalization of simply not caring anymore.”

I can’t say I disagree with their assessment of how this all relates to our modern America. I hope at some point hope can overcome apathy, but that’s a wait and see for now.

 

-Caleb and Seth

Did you enjoy these songs? Check them all out, along with many more, on our July TOTD Spotify playlist.

Did you know we make a podcast? It’s really good, you can check out all the episodes right here: B-Side Guys Podcast

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

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

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

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

Simon Lewis & Onk Lou – “Home 2.0”

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

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

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

Martha Hill – “Spiders”

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

“One head two minds

Hands pressing glass from separate sides

Three seconds till I dive

1 2 3 stop

CHORUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

keatsu – “Feel Good”

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

Kaiak – “No Regrets”

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

Boyce Avenue – “Ride The Wave”

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

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

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

David Madras – “Me & You”

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

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

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

 

-Caleb

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Cavalier: “Snap Out of It”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Juliana Strangelove – “Far From Moscow”

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

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

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

Flo – “Velvet”

“Looking backwards and forwards at once,

finding loopholes for time to start.”

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

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

Loneborn – “Ghosts”

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

haunting memories of things I never did.

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

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

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

About Loneborn

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

 

Sarah MacDougall – “Empire”

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

“We destroyed everything

Destroyed everything that was good

We destroyed everything good

Oh oh oh

Is this our empire, Is this our empire?

Oh oh oh

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

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

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

all the hours I have left to tell you anything

We are born and then we die and in between we

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

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

Skout – “Space in Between”

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

“Where do I go when living is home?”

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

 

-Caleb

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

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

Morning Commute: Coyle Girelli – “My Blue Heart”

Happy Fourth of July! Let’s start it off right with some raw Americana that involves both Red and Blue as a mainstay in the lyrics.:”I’ve got a blue, blue, blue heart and it’s bleeding red”. I really can’t get enough of this song. It sounds like it stepped right out of almost any era, with ranges from Johnny Cash to Jason Isbell to Roy Orbison. Let’s dive a bit into the lyrics:

“I’m Mr Nameless
In a town full of ghosts
I’m walking this road alone
Everywhere I go

I’m got a blue, blue blue heart
And it’s bleeding red

I hope tomorrow won’t hurt as much
And all my sorrow be gone gone gone with just a little love

Maybe there’s someone
As lonely as me
Looking out at the moon
Asking for somebody ”

So it’s someone who feels like their entire worldview is blue and doesn’t see much hope. He does seem to hope that one day he can find someone to share his sorrow with, and that maybe they can start to fix each other with that empathy. It’s really a beautiful sentiment, and very romanticized. From experience, two broken people can definitely make each other feel better, even if it’s not the most stable relationship all the time. I’ve never been able to sustain something like that, but it’s definitely a good starting point.

Bio: “The Chevin frontman, Coyle Girelli, releases his second solo single — “My Blue Heart” —

on Friday, June 8. The song, which follows on the heels of the first single “Where’s My Girl?,” is the second from his upcoming debut solo album, “Love Kills,” out in summer 2018.

“My Blue Heart” opens with a dirty guitar riff and stomps with an Americana heartbeat all the way through its two-minute length. The simplicity and straightforwardness of the shortest song on the album is a nod to an era of classic songwriting that inspires Girelli. Like most of the songs on the album, Girelli is the solo songwriter of “My Blue Heart.” Notably, “My Blue Heart” is the only song that he also mixed.

“I loved the rawness of this recording and this song. It’s honest, simple and satisfying like a good plate of mac & cheese,” said Girelli.

The “Love Kills” album will offer up a moody, romantic, cinematic tone, which Girelli labels Modern Noir.”

 

I certainly know if it sounds anything like this song, I’ll be all about it. Want to hear more? Check out this song and more on our July TOTD playlist on Spotify.