Morning Commute: Natty – “Things I’ve Done”

Things I’ve done is the most personal song and video I have ever chosen to release. It was written in a state of redemption just before my first child was born and the video was recorded by a close friend of mine. It’s fitting that this is the final release before we celebrate 10 years with a new album and tour.”

Let’s start this morning with a chilled out introspective track. Like many great artists before him, this song comes from a place of reflection as he begins to think about how his life is going to change with a child. Some of my favorite albums have this same theme, notably: A Black Mile to the Surface by Manchester Orchestra. The styling of this song and video are beautiful. I love how it opens with the gorgeous guitar, and not much else, but then later we get tons of interesting instrumental woodwinds and guitar effects and even some bird sounds (or maybe that’s outside my window). We see a peeling back of layers physically and metaphorically that can only occur when the absolute seriousness of a moment strikes you and makes you reevaluate your entire self. Am I ready to be a father? Am I going to screw it up? What do I need to change? What do I want to do differently than my parents? etc. etc.

From the artist: “The official music video showcases a stripped back performance to camera with locations chosen to echo the explicit and implicit themes of the song – The abandonment and desolation of the waste land give a metaphorical image to one’s soul searching journey towards personal redemption and the once prestigious and now worn out chair, represents the perilousness of seeking salvation in the material world. The video is also interspersed with a continual scene of multiple scarves being unraveled to finally reveal Natty, representing the unpacking oneself of labels, pain and (false) identities to free the essence of self. As the song begins its dramatic climax the final breaking of daylight leads us through to a better day and renewed dignity.”

-Caleb

 

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

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

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

Dirty Hank – “Hot Mess”

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

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

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

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

http://www.instagram.com/dirtyhankmusic

http://www.facebook.com/dirtyhankband

http://www.twitter.com/dirtyhank2

 

Ursa Major – “Gold Blooded”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Henry CS – “live a little, enjoy”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sundaes – “Laundry Day”

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

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

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

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

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

Image may contain: 1 person

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

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

 

Overstreet – “Carried Away”

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

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

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

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

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

Mammoth Indigo – “Undertow”

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

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

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

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

Moses Cadillac – “A Thousand Times”

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

[Chorus]

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

[Chorus]

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

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

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

-Caleb

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

The Flock: Indie Rock: Johan Danno, Punch Drunk Tagalong, Tinnedfruit, Them Vibes

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

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

Johan Danno – “Rescue Me”

“RESCUE ME started as two words in my heart as I went into the studio. Lost between what I was thinking and feeling, I wrote and recorded it in the studio as a way to save me from myself.” – Johan Danno

I just wanted to start the discussion with that quote, because it gets really interesting when analyzing the lyrics. The song starts with some really bold lines:

“Momma said take your time
when falling in love,
in your heart is how you’ll know when they’re the one but,
can’t see things clearly when the light go out,
just a fool for love when we start fooling around,”

I don’t know if you guys empathize with that, but I definitely do. The idea of “the one” gets really muddled once you actually start dating, and finding passion with people. It gets really easy to conflate love with lust, and truth with willful blindness. This fits in perfectly into those two words that Johan Danno speaks about in that first quote:

“Rescue me, rescue me,
cause this love is an addiction sticking to me
rescue me, rescue me,
cause we get what we want but not what we need”

Those two words, “rescue me” seems to be to be both a reaching out and in hope about a potential “the one” that could come along, and also a realization that when that is the attitude going into a relationship, you are liable to look for love in all the wrong places, and allow your addiction to love to keep you from finding someone who actually would be good for you. I could go on an on about the lyrics of this song, because they are so good and relatable, but another awesome thing that stands out to me in this song is the interesting styling. It has this really cool percussion throughout, which turns the vocals into a really unique cadence, somewhere between singing and speaking/pleading. Overall, this is an amazing song, and I can’t wait to see what other words pop into Johan’s head.

 

Punch Drunk Tagalongs – “Hazy”

This song really reminds me a good bit of one of my favorite artists, Hop Along. I think it’s the slightly emo/experimental sounding instrumentals, with the beautiful vocals that fluctuate from conventional to emotive. It’s funny because the lyrics somewhat match up with the previous song (non-intentional on my part).

“Call me if you please
I promise I won’t be a tease
I want to see your face
I’ll even try to go your pace
I can be this weeks craze
Minus the crazy, minus the lazy, but I might be
Hazy, I might be hazy ”

So again we seem to be talking about a potential love, and the hazards involved. The speaker seems to want to be with this person, but is still a little unsure of their intentions so they fluctuate between saying how much they want to see them, but also tempering their expectations. This matches up somewhat with what the band said the song was about:

“This song details the end of winter and the beginning of spring, which just so happened to be timed out perfectly with the ending of an unhealthy marriage and the unexpected beginning of a another relationship. Although the new relationship was not just something I was going to haphazardly jump into. Due to the circumstances, my view on men was quite hazy at this point, but as spring began and warmed up the air so did my heart to the idea of just maybe letting someone else in. So yeah I jumped back in.. although apathetically at points. “Call me if you please”.. Like yo we can hang if it works out, but no pressure because I don’t need no man”

As someone who’s been in basically the exact same position, this new understanding of what the song is about has taken it from a great song, to one of my favorite songs of the moment. Go check out Punch Drunk Tagalong’s album, “Hazy” on whatever music service you use.

Tinnedfruit – “Steal It”

Let’s get a little psychedelic/grungy on this one. I particularly love how the vocals kick in at the refrain when he belts:

“I only want to steal it
I’m never gonna need it”

I’m not entirely sure what this song is about. There are a lot of stream of consciousness thoughts regarding love, and family, and mental health, but the refrain doesn’t give us much evidence for what’s going on. That doesn’t really bother me because I love ambiguity, and also because I think the vocals are a secondary aspect of this song. The primary focus for me is the excellent guitar work that seams together several solos and riffs that seem to be like they shouldn’t fit together, and yet it’s perfect. It reminds me a lot of seeing the Oh Sees at Boston Calling earlier this summer without much pre-knowledge about them, and just being blown away at how much energy and technicality they were able to fit into songs that were the run time of punk songs. Tinnedfruit fits perfectly into whatever that genre might be called, and I am definitely going to be trying to get to one of their live shows.

Them Vibes – “Who Do You Love”

 

This song fits so well into classic rock that it reminded me of a riff that basically drove me crazy trying to figure out what it was. I know it was a song on the first Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but I can’t remember and it’s basically driving me insane. So there’s that. On a serious note, this is something that I didn’t know I needed in my life. The closest I ever hear to something like this are washed up cover bands at open mic night (no offense to them, they are better musicians than me). So hearing a modern band making original music that sounds exactly like it could fit into the 60s or 70s gets me so excited. It gives me “Them (good) Vibes”. *I know that was really cheesy*

It also has a memorable hook with the repetition of “who do you love?” Even though I love super complex, non linear music a lot of the time, it certainly is a nice surprise to have something that’s easy to listen to and memorable. Also, whoever did the production on this song deserves a lot of credit. I’m not sure if they actually used analog production equipment or not, but it certainly sounds like it. So regardless, kudos.

 

-Caleb

The Flock: Singer-Songwriter/Folk – Leonie Kingdom, Winslow, Spazz Cardigan, Danny Starr, Chamber Band, Matt Millz

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

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

*click on the artist’s name to go to their page*

 

Leonie Kingdom – Night Terrors

This song actually made me cry the first time I heard it. If you know me, you may know that I experience night terrors, and this song is a beautiful song of hopelessness against them. I had just woken up from another night of sleepless turning, and this was one of the first ten songs I listened to that day. If you know someone who has night terrors but can’t really empathize with what they’re going through, Leonie Kingdom has written a song to help you understand how people feel when they have this haunting, reoccurring dream that they can’t wake themselves from.

You’ll shiver to the bone
It’s the thoughts that come alive when you’re alone
And it brings you to your knees
Like a current that’s raging through angry black seas

Don’t fight it
Don’t deny it
Don’t run, don’t run
They’ve already won

There’s nowhere to hide when they’re living inside
There’s nowhere to hide they’ll eat you alive
There’s nowhere to hide they hear all your cries
There’s nowhere to hide you’ll never survive

When Leonie sang the line, “It’s the thoughts that come alive when you’re alone,” I lost it. She has this tonality to her voice that makes her pain a tangible quality to her vocals, and when the haunting harmony comes in, it really sweeps you up in emotion. I’m not sure if this is about Leonie’s personal struggle with night terrors or if the night terrors are a symbol of something else in her life, but I like to think it’s about the actual terrors. It’s a song of hopelessness against them, but it’s also a song that reminds you that someone else is going through the same thing you are too. Knowing you aren’t alone is enough for most people to find solace through the struggle.

 

Winslow – Look at Me Now

I was dancing along to this track, having a great time, when the 2:10 mark hit. That’s when it went from me really liking this song to loving it. It’s amazing what a few moments of cacophonous dysfunction can do to make a poppy singer-songwriter track stand out. I love the fact that I also get part of the story through choices like that. It’s almost like you hear the story of their transition from who they thought they’d end up being to who they turned out being through the swirling portal of sound at that 2:10 mark because after that you start hearing paparazzi fighting for their attention on a runway, and the protagonist of the story says that all they’ve wanted is for people to call their name like this. First, I want to post their bio, and then I want to talk about what the song is possibly about.

BIO: Kate Miner (of folk band MINER ) and Briana Lane make up the new LA based indie duo, Winslow. Miner was working on a solo project when she heard Lane sing live at a Christmas show in 2016 and asked her to join forces to finish the album. After a year and half writing and recording in a garage studio in Silverlake, on a street appropriately named Winslow, the two are releasing their EP this fall. With its modern, synth heavy soundscapes and echoes of Miner’s folk roots, self titled Winslow is a compilation of stories of heartbreak and loss in Los Angeles.

First off, let’s get this part out of the way. If you haven’t checked out Miner, check them out hereSo good.

Okay, back to this song. The part I want to focus on is the story behind the lyrics. I missed the key phrase about halfway through the Alice in Wonderland transition because I was so focused on the instrumentals. The person who is becoming famous sees the paparazzi starting to descend upon them and notes how stressful everything looks on that side, but convinces themselves that it’s everything they ever wanted. I know nothing about being famous, or the pursuit thereof, but it honestly sounds like a nightmare to me. I believe that’s kind of what this song is talking about since it’s “a compilation of stories of heartbreak and loss in Los Angeles.” Everyone thinks that they want to be famous until they actually are. I mean, don’t get me wrong, fame comes with a lot of benefits I’m sure, but those are the only things people focus on. They don’t think about the fact that they don’t really have alone time anymore. I mean, once you reach a certain level of fame, even your family vacations have some creepy people following you to the beach, a sunscreen strip on their nose and camera in hand. It’s oftentimes not the life that people envisioned from the other side of the fence.

Spazz Cardigan – Medicine & Make America

Spazz Cardigan had a couple of tracks we wanted to share with you guys. The guy is like if Jason Mraz and Mat Kearney had a baby, and that baby liked to actually sing about real stuff. The guy has a really smooth voice, nice beats, and a look that gets picked up by major labels all the time. That’s what makes his lyrical prowess so refreshing and exciting. He could sing love songs with a stupid fedora on and make millions of dollars, but he’s choosing to use his voice and his platform to say real things and to open up real conversations. He could still make millions, but it won’t be by selling out.

Medicine is a song all about owning up to your wrongdoings and making them right. It’s definitely going to suck to do and can be painful, but I like that it doesn’t shy away from that. It’s no fun to take medicine, but it’s definitely going to make you feel better. The same can be said for admitting when you’re wrong.

From what I understand, this is a free-form spoken word piece that is meant to follow closely behind the ideology of Medicine. We as a country have obviously made mistakes when it comes to gun culture in the United States, and Spazz is wanting to start talking about it. Seeing students and other people in everyday life being gunned down every single day has kind of numbed us to the conversation. I mean, a perfect example for me is the fact that I saw the murder and standoff that was committed in the Trader Joe’s in LA, and I didn’t read past the headline. It’s not that I didn’t care; I just didn’t want to read about another senseless tragedy. Stuff like that has become so commonplace that you would have to read multiple articles every single day to stay caught up. I have been very clear on my stance on gun control, and I think Spazz and I are in pretty similar camps. There’s a lot to unpack in this song, so instead of me trying to do it all myself, I want to do a live interview with Spazz Cardigan so we can have a conversation about this. We always stress the importance of having uncomfortable conversations, and he’s right,

Nobody wants to talk
and when we do
we just shut off

 

Danny Starr – Double Red Line

Have you guys ever heard that a bar is the worst place to find a spouse? I’ve seen it work for some people… for a while… I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a relationship that started in a bar lasting forever. I’m sure there are tons of cases where it’s happened, but it’s a situation that is built for disaster. Two drunk people with crazy sex drives and impaired judgement deciding that this person is their soulmate seems like a really strange way to tell the grandchildren that you met. I’m not saying it can’t happen, and neither is this song. It’s just talking about the thousands of relationships that start in a bar, or honestly not even in a bar, just in an inebriated state, and how they’re almost designed to fail because the real version of you and that other person are not in the initial conversation.

With disarming vocals and a soundscape that creates a palatable atmosphere, Danny Starr’s, Double Red Line, is a song that is going to make it onto quite a few of my playlists for the foreseeable future.

Chamber Band – Before Iping

Ellen Winter, lead singer for Chamber Band, has created something really cool here. The whole band is phenomenal, but for me personally, it’s the timbre of her voice that brings everything together. When she flips to her higher register, it sounds like her voice could give out any second, giving it this brutal, gut-wrenching honesty. Judging from the strength of her voice throughout, this is a brilliant stylistic choice on her part. Somewhere between folk pop and sea shanty, Before Iping is a song to listen to while half a bottle in with your closest of friends, gathered around a table discussing exactly what it would be like to feel weightless.

The band is currently working on their fourth studio album, and Ellen has a solo project releasing at the end of the year. Keep up with these guys. They’re perpetually churning out great tunes.

Matt Millz – My World

Matt Millz has created a song that will pull at the heartstrings of fathers all over the world. A moving homage to fatherhood, My World is the song that all fathers feel in their hearts but aren’t sure how to put into words. As a father with one son and a daughter on the way, I can relate to this song in a real way. Matt has unique voice that resonates in your mind long after the song is over. I find myself repeating lines hours after every listen, and even sang it to my son last night while we were putting him to bed.

“…the man that I used to be, has fallen away. You’ve made me the father, that I am today”


Alright guys, follow the artist’s links in their names above to find out about tours, merch, upcoming tunes, etc.

Check out the newest podcast, Episode 17: Warmth

We also have a Spotify playlist of the month where we feature every artist we share on the blog. Check it out here.

The Flock: Indie Rock – Luke Krutzke and the High Tides, d.c.R. Pollock, Culture Thief, CARDS, Flip Rushmore, Glorietta

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

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

*click on the artist’s name to go to their page*

 

Luke Krutzke and the High Tides – Self Esteem

Luke Krutzke has a voice that made my arms feel weak and want to tap to the music both at the same time. The weakness was from these bizarre goosebumps that felt like they were under my skin. I don’t know what it means or anything like that because this is the first time I’ve had them. I just thought it was an interesting fact. Maybe it was his voice coupled with the fact that I had just read what the song was about, and it’s something I’ve been struggling with lately.

The song is a reflection on self preservation and care, in a fast paced world that doesn’t always accommodate.

I feel as though I stretch and stretch, expecting the labor to garner fruit at some point. It doesn’t seem to be, so my solution is to stretch a little more. In fact, I feel like my body is starting to give up and I can feel myself getting sick: sore throat, pounding headache, tender skin. This song is to warn people and remind them to take care of themselves before getting to this point because something will breakdown at some point if you don’t. I talked about this yesterday. We need to take care of ourselves because if you’re anything like me, we are the only ones who can force ourselves to stop.

With piercing vocals, smooth guitar riffs, and orchestral strings and brass sections that surprised the hell out of me, Luke Krutzke and the High Tides’ song, Self Esteem, is one that will stay on repeat for quite a while.

Don’t talk, don’t speak, it’s okay. 
It’s your problem anyway. 
I’m not trying not to breathe. 
Side effects of self esteem. 

 

d.c.R Pollock – Cold Bath

I am absolutely losing it over this song. I keep hyperbolic statements at bay when we do these reviews because I want it to mean something when I say, “I am absolutely losing it over this song.” Three words that describe this song: raw, thought-provoking, and demo. Wait. Demo? This is the kind of recording that has the perfect amount of polish meeting with the ideal amount of unbridled emotion. While reading through the lyrics to try to piece together what the song was about, I kept running into roadblocks here and there. I decided to let the song just create disjointed scenes for me instead of a whole story.

The scene in the diner, feeling the familiarity while in a distant place. Seeing home from hundreds of miles away through a picture of a girl you used to know.

The scene of a man curled up in a motel tub, either catatonic or crying, I couldn’t decide, completely immovable as the water turns from hot, to warm, to cold. He never even felt the change in temperature, mind focused on other things.

A hard conversation between brothers where one isn’t able to make it to a court date, and the other knows he’s probably not getting out of trouble this time. His crooked smile reassuring his brother that everything would be okay.

All of the scenes that I built in my head were these tangible scenes; they were something I could hold onto. I just couldn’t piece together the story. I reached out to d.c.R. Pollock to get the real story from the obviously personal song, and this is what he told me.

The song is a true story about me on tour. The first part is about us taking a break at truck stop and I recognized one of the models in a magazine. Then got me thinkin bout how I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be. I was a hired gun playin for pop act with a real cheap budget. Was a hell of an experience, just not what I imagined it to be.

The second half is about how my brother was a arrested while I was on tour and just the phone call between me and him.

The song is very personal, but it’s also a relatable song for so many people. We may not have gone on tour and had a less than optimal experience, but most of us have accepted jobs and realized that it’s not what you really wanted to do. We may not have a brother who has been to jail before, but a lot of us have family that we care about, and they don’t take care of themselves like they should. This is the beauty of music. Even if we feel like our song is a personal story to us, people can always find something to connect with.

 

Culture Thief – Tidal Breath

Right out of the gate, that guitar hammers home letting you know that you are in for almost 6 minutes of sweeping guitar and heart thumping drums join in, building up before dropping out to make way for an ethereal falsetto. This is the kind of song that you need in your ears while you are cleaning. The song talks about feeling so lonely, but the music will make it feel like you’re surrounded by 500 of your closest friends. There is so much depth to this song that it seems impossible that it’s only 5 people.

 

CARDS – Periphery

No stranger to the blogCARDS makes another appearance on the blog, and this time he has hit us with a song that has given my right leg an uncontrollable bounce. This is the song that you hear on an advertisement for a summer beer. This is the song that paints a very specific but diverse landscape. You can see this song being played at a barbecue, dogs barking, frisbee flying, and a dancing person flipping burgers on the grill. You can see this song in the video a professional kayaker posts online to show a sweet new line they found on their favorite river. You can even see this song being used in an advertisement for new metal detectors geared towards hipsters. The point that all these scenes share is that the suns out, the people are outside, and everyone is enjoying life. This song is the perfect summertime jam for literally any fun outdoor event.

Lofty vocals and an instrumental track that grooves with a perfectly off-beat guitar track and straightforward drums. The key to this song though is the whistles. I’m usually not a fan of them in music, but the problem I have with them is that most people aren’t as good at whistling as they think they are. This song is the exception. It’s already found it’s way onto my summertime playlist, and I expect it to stick around for quite a while. Another great song from CARDS, we can’t wait to see what happens with this guy’s future.

Flip Rushmore – Phife and Merle

This song is such an entertaining ride. The music video is wildly energetic, the instrumentals are a headstrong blood rush, and the vocals are abrasive and direct, just like the style of music needs. What I want to talk about is the lyrics though. This is such an interesting song lyrically. The whole song is about how once you become famous as an artist/entertainer/musician, the battle has usually only just begun. When your first album hits it big, everyone is just waiting for you to hit your sophomore slump. They’re looking for a reason to write you off as a passing meteor, and move on.

This can be really discouraging for artists, and make it difficult to create. Plus, they can lose the joy in the whole process. For example, say I have an album that I worked on for 5 years that went big. More than likely, I whittled hundreds of songs down to the ten to fifteen best for the album, spent months honing and crafting each song, and then made sure I found the best fit for me to produce the album. That song takes off, I sign with a label, and now they’re telling me I have to crank out another album by this time next year, all while going on two extensive tours. This is one of the many reasons artists hit that slump with their second album, and if that happens, it’s game over. For every artist that you hear about hitting their big break and remaining relevant, there are hundreds who were signed to a label and bumped off after their second album flopped.

Chase the dream, but never forget the roots.

Please don’t lose me now
I’m still delivering

 

Glorietta – Heatstroke

This is the beginning of something really interesting.  Glorietta is a collaboration between indie artists Matthew Logan Vasquez (Delta Spirit), Noah Gundersen, Kelsey Wilson (Wild Child), David Ramirez, Adrian Quesada (Brownout, Group Fantasma, Spanish Gold, Black Pumas), Jason Robert Blum. With so much talent, you’re bound to get a phenomenal song, and Heatstroke is that song. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a collaboration project this much since Kevin and Andy announced Bad Books. The gang vocals throughout are so on point, and I guess that’s fairly easy to achieve when you have multiple lead singers singing all of the parts. That in and of itself is another beautiful part about this though. Usually with collaboration projects, the build is setup in a similar fashion: I sing, he sings, she sings – rinse and repeat. Having so many dominant voices on one project, you would expect that same setup, but the members of Glorietta share the soundscape stage brilliantly, letting every unique voice be heard throughout the song.

It also doesn’t hurt my assessment of the band that I am absolutely enamored with Kelsey. My wife and I went to the Orange Peel in Asheville to see Wild Child (for the second time, the first was in a small venue with Wild Child and Pearl and the Beard *RIP*), and her stage presence is second to none. This is probably going to be a really fun act to see live, and hopefully it means there’s a Delta Spirit, Noah Gundersen, and Wild Child tour in our future.


As always, go spend money on all of these artists. Click their names to find their website, contact info, etc. Buy their albums, their merch, and tickets to their shows. If you can’t buy something, let them know how much you love their sound. Let them know that anyways.

We have a podcast. Click here to listen to it. 

 

-Seth

The Flock: Indie Rock – The General Good, Tim Freitag, Hooli, Campdogzz, Eden Mulholland, Summerteeth, Galapaghost, Tetra

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

*click on the artist’s name to go to their page*

 

The General Good – Where We Began

There is a music video that this reminds me of. If someone can help me out, I would be forever grateful. I feel like it’s The Black Keys from many years ago, but can’t find the video anywhere. It’s a two piece group where they’re playing on a television show set that’s akin to the set from the Eric Andre Show. This reminds me of that music video, but they graduated to a new set. It’s got gritty guitar, pacesetting drums, and unique vocals that carry on in your head long after the song ends.

The lyrics tell the story of a relationship that seems to have ended on a sour note, but the writer can’t seem to move on. They know the relationship isn’t good for them, but still want to leave a line open just in case. Just like with most past relationships, you reflect upon them more fondly the further you’re removed from the situation, even though they were truly nightmares.

But if you ever make it home again, 
I’m pleased to show you `round all the troubles I’m / we’re in. 
no need to choose words wisely, no more nightly chases, 
no thinking twice and no `glad to see you later`. 
But something’s keeping me from moving on, 
inbetween places it’s hard to hold on. 
I’m sending signs to nowhere, 
down the milky way. 
Sweet memories of nightmares 
a burning needle in the hay.

The album itself is a really interesting idea that doesn’t happen all that frequently. The drummer, Florian Hellekin, produced the whole album in his home studio, and invited a multitude of talented vocalists to sing on the tracks. The album has a ridiculous amount of variance. Go check the Spotify page and listen to Healer and Snow Yellow Carpet back to back to see what I mean.

Tim Freitag – The Wave

This song has made its way onto so many of my personal playlists outside of the ones we post on the blog. The video only adds to what is a beautiful track of undying love and dependency. First off, before we go any further, Tim Freitag isn’t a person. I mean, there’s definitely a person named Tim Freitag, but he’s not in the band. I had to check to make sure, and I absolutely loved what I found. This is straight from their facebook page:

Tim Freitag are and always will be: Janick Pfenninger, Lorenzo Demenga, Daniel Gisler, Nicolas Rüttimann, Severin Graf

I don’t love it because there’s nobody named Tim. I love it because of the words “are and always will be.” This group isn’t just a band, they are brothers. That camaraderie and friendship comes through in a track that is well-rounded, instrumentally straightforward while still having complexity, and a vocalist that has a unique tone and incredible vocal inflection.

Hooli – Cider Sue

This track is so good. It’s like Two Door Cinema Club’s existentialist cousin. The Two Door reference is easily noticeable on the track, but the existential part may have you hung up. Let’s dive into it. The song has some of the most interesting lines throughout it. I’ve listened to it three times in a row while trying to write this post and every single time I pick out a new piece that makes me smile. It’s not the content itself that makes me smile (a study of mortality and the finite time on this planet), but the way they talk about it.

I said the noose brings infinite youth, 
The more you tighten it’s hold the truth will unfold for you, 
Woah oh oh 
So come at me with your best shot best believe that i ain’t got time

Those first two lines are some of the best I’ve heard in a long time, and I listen to a ton of new music every single day. I feel like I could break that single line down and do a whole post about that, but I just want to bring up a couple of points about it. It works in multiple ways, but let’s break down just two of them.

Let’s talk about what I believe is their intent behind the lyrics first. They are saying that as we age and as we get closer to death, we find ourselves thinking more and more about mortality and wishing for our youth again. It brings wisdom, but it also brings pain and understanding of past mistakes and wishing you could go back and fix them. Maybe they aren’t talking about fixing them, but a chance to do things right now. I don’t know. I do know that they follow it up with the sentiment of understanding that there’s definitely a timer, and don’t waste part of my timer with petty bullshit.

Now I want to talk about another idea I had about these lyrics. The noose brings to mind the idea of suicide, and I think this tells a great truth about that topic. I watched a documentary recently that told the stories of people who survived their suicide attempt. One common thread between the people, especially the ones who jumped from a bridge, building, etc., was that as soon as they leapt, they immediately felt regret, even before hitting the bottom. As that noose tightened, the truth opened up for them and it wasn’t something that they truly wanted to do.

The song actually has a lot of allusions to suicide, but I believe the huge underlying message is that we all have a timer that whittles away every second, and we can’t waste our time by complaining, getting caught up in petty things. Nobody beats the reaper.

Also, if you are having suicidal thoughts, give 1-800-273-8255 a call. Also, feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to talk to you. We aren’t trained professionals, but we have pretty big shoulders. 

 

Campdogzz – Souvenir

This song is raw emotion. The band is a phenomenal look at how moving gears do so for the betterment of the machine, but Jess Price, lead vocalist, is the pinion gear. For those of you not familiar with a pinion gear, that is referred to as the “drive gear” in vehicles*. She has an otherworldly voice that drips with energy and emotion. She has the kind of voice that you create in your dreams to set the scene conflict of the story. You don’t have soundtracks to your dreams? Don’t worry. It’s not as cool as it sounds. It just makes bad dreams way scarier.

*I didn’t know what a pinion gear was prior to writing this article, so if I’m way off, you get the idea.

Anyways, let’s talk about some lyrics. Ambiguity is the word of the day here, and this song is no different. I honestly couldn’t tell you what I lean towards this song being about, but we’ll give it a go.

Hold the wheel
Feel my head
Probably should have stayed in bed
Souvenir
Come right here
I’ll be yours a little bit
Did you want to get me gone
Did you want to get me
Well that train is going by

*Disclaimer: This is one of the first lyric assessments that I don’t feel great about my interpretation vs. what the song is supposed to be saying. Once again though, as we always say, once an artist releases their song to others, it’s not solely theirs anymore. Music is a beautifully subjective world*
The first three lines are fairly easy to decipher; someone is sick and shouldn’t have gotten out of bed. Now comes the fun part. The souvenir is tricky. By itself, it doesn’t really mean anything, but with the following line, we see that it is an animate object. Knowing that people typically write songs about other people, I think it’s fairly safe to say that the souvenir is a person. Now we have a bit of a story. Go back to the first line where they’re holding the wheel, put it with the souvenir, and all of a sudden we met someone on a trip. “I’ll be yours a little bit” is such a cool line, telling the person that you are invested in this fun and new relationship, but you ultimately know it’s temporary. Maybe it’s not though. The next line says if you want me gone, do it now because that *train is leaving the station. The next verse follows up with my theory, stating that their look is the smoldering look, barely keeping their emotions or even their anger below the surface, but this is so fresh that that kind of thing still looks good. The next line says “come right here, and let me feel you miss your dead,” effectively shooting my theory to shit. Possibly it’s just saying open up to me, I want to know your deepest emotions, but I’m not sure. Either way, it’s an absolutely phenomenal piece. Reach out to us, Campdogzz, and give us the full scoop.

*Just a fun fact: The first successful steam engine used a huge pinion gear to help power it.

Well that train is going by
Well that train is going

Eden Mulholland – Wild Animal

I usually don’t post full lyrics, but these are too good not to. Plus, there aren’t too many lines.

I’ve had the opportunity to do a little thinking
and I hope that you can understand
Somewhere along the way I got a little distracted
and I hope I get away with it
Because if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and be totally untameable
Yes if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and I’d always be wild animal
I’ve had the opportunity to see a new perspective
and I hope that you can understand
somewhere along the way I think I stopped believing
and I hope that don’t stand in our way
Because if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and be totally untameable
Yes if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and I’d always be wild animal
A wild animal

This seems to be a battle between the flesh and the mind. He seems to be moving on from something that made him feel caged. It may have been smart, it may have been the right move at the time, but the animal in him wants out of the cage. I feel like this song is applicable to so many aspects of our lives. Jobs, relationships, religion, or any number of things can fit into this song. It is human nature to want to explore so you can see the full gamut of the human experience. Once again, life is too short to feel like you’re in a cage.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

With emotive vocals, and an instrumental track that plods along at the perfect pace to show the current pace of the caged life, this track shows that the stories in lyrics can be told through the instruments around them too.

Summerteeth – Stay Warm

This is the song I wish we had found prior to doing our podcast episode about “Warmth.” It’s the perfect song where you hear one thing, but feel another. Instrumentally, it’s like the bands I listened to in high school (and still do), but lyrically it’s on a different level. If I’m reading into it correctly, it’s a song about battling seasonal depression, or just depression in general.

Stay warm for the weekend
for the winter
for the year
Stay inside til the summer
but show the sunlight you’re still here
Cause you don’t know what love is
but you hate who you are without it
Stay warm forever
even after your whole world disappears

I feel like they’re letting you know that depression is okay and it’s going to happen, it’s all about how you handle it. You’re going to have those weekends, seasons, or years where you have to bundle up and fight to stay warm, but remember that you need to break out at some point and you need to feel the sun, feel something new. The line, “you don’t know what love is, but you hate who are without it,” is so powerful. People act like depression is this thing that people do to themselves, instead of understanding that a lot of clinical depression is a chemical imbalance that can’t be helped outside of pretty powerful prescription drugs. It’s an affliction. Nobody on this planet is like, “Hey, I think I want to feel like everything is hopeless and there’s really no point to anything I’m doing for a while.”

The video is great because not only are they having a lot of fun, but they’re also sending a clear message; find a supportive community and make it through the hard times together. This is one of the most important things to realize; most people are meant to live in packs. Also realize that nobody around you knows shit about shit (TM).

Don’t you know?
We’re all making it up as we go
We wouldn’t have it any other way

Galapaghost – Bedtime

No stranger to the B-Side Guys, Galapaghost was one of the first artists on this planet who knew about and believed in what we were doing, and let us feature his song, Goodbye (My Visa Arrived), on the very first episode of our podcast. On the episode, he mentioned that he was working on a completely electronic album that would be a bit of a removal from his previous work. This is it, and it is phenomenal. He took the instrumentals and gave them more life while not losing the honest lyricism on the previous album. Once again, I’m going to go out of my box and share all of the lyrics, but once again, they need to be shared and they’re not too long.

Go on and have fun with your friends on the weekend 
Don’t stay home all alone with your feelings 
But I gotta say no 
I’m not a superhero 
And that’s the kind of effort that it would take 
For me to stay out late 

And I will see you 
I will see you someday 
And I will love you 
I will love you always 

So here’s my idea of fun 
My struggle book one 
Then dinner for two 
Then put on my running shoes 
In bed by 10 so if you wonder where I’ve been 
I’m too old to party on the weekend 
And every night of the week 

And I will see you 
I will see you someday 
And I will love you 
I will love you always

This is a song about growing up. Maturing, if you will. Maturation looks different for everyone, but this is fairly similar to my version of life. Gone are the days of partying, going out on the weekends, and staying up until the sun shows back up. Looking back, I don’t miss them, but I totally get why some people have chosen to stay there. There’s nothing wrong with that, we’re just on two different paths now. The song is possibly talking about a romantic relationship, but I think I lean towards this being about friendships. They can be severed with no ill intent; people just move on. It’s not saying that the friendship is over, it’s just saying that until our life goals cross paths, I understand why we don’t hang out much. It’s actually a pretty beautiful story of adulthood.

It might also be about a romantic relationship, and that synopsis works the exact same way.

His new album, Sootie, will be releasing soon, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.

Note to Casey: I love the old stuff, but this is a totally different beast as far as complexity. I love it, man.

Tetra – Fridays

“Fridays” is about the crushing sense of emptiness that follows when one realizes the subjective and thus, pointless nature of consumption under capitalism. Depression, drug abuse, loneliness — to me they are all symptoms of a culture that idolizes competitive individualism and defines success through one’s ability to consume more than others.

At the end of the tune, I talk about taking LSD and I ask myself “Why did it take so long to figure it out that it was all in my head?” To me it’s one of those things where you spend years searching for answers and a lifetime praying for ignorance.

When you can’t say it better yourself, don’t. This is a song that fights the idea of consumption and gluttony in all aspects of life, so we are naturally going to be all about it. I love that second part to the song where it talks about the idea “stuff” being important is something that is force fed to us from a very early age, and we are made to feel like that is the key to happiness. If having stuff was the key to happiness, we wouldn’t have so many celebrities with bank accounts in the tens of millions taking their own lives. Stuff consumes.


That’s 8 new artists that everyone needs to add to their rotation, but more importantly, go spend some money on these folks. A few bucks can go a long way when it comes to making more music. Remember to click the artist links in the name to check out tour dates, see merch, listen to more music, or even just send them a message to tell them you dig their sound.

Check out these artists on our July Spotify playlist.

Check out our podcast.

 

-Seth

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

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

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

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

LUI HILL – Words Become Useless

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

Path – Don’t Ever Love Me

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

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

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

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

The Ruralists – Eggs

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

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

Manta Rays – Mountain Dew

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

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

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

Blue J – Hard to Know

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

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

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

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

The Caracals – Catch Your Eye

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

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

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

cleopatrick – youth

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

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

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

July Spotify Playlist

Podcast Link