Morning Commute: Gabriel Petra – Made of Stone

 

The hiatus is over! Expect to see lots of posts in the coming days/weeks, and we should be reopening submissions in July sometime. Let’s get this thing rolling again with one of my favorite tracks of the moment, “Made of Stone” by Gabriel Petra. As you know, we love to analyze lyrics around here, and this song does not disappoint in that department.

 

“What If I’m made of stone
What If my heart can’t feel
So If I’m destined to suffer
And nothing achieve

What if these ghosts will never die
What if I’m haunted for life
So if my words are not enough
To make a change

I got a feeling I will live another day
I got a feeling I will see another face”

 

I love how this track starts with a series of questions that many of us have probably encountered in our lower points, that awful feeling of being down and wondering if anything will every change. Instead of trying to solve this with some overly cheery message, the songwriter keeps it grounded in a simple, “I got a feeling I will live another day/ I got a feeling I will see another face.” That’s different than saying, everything is going to be perfect now, but it is a message that can allow one to keep going. Even in the rough times, if you can make it to one more day, one more interaction, there is still hope for a better future.

I also love the production on this song. It gives me a little bit of a stripped down early James Blake vibe, and really let’s the message of the song breathe through echoed reverb in that indie pop, middle of winter sort of way that I really never get tired of. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Gabriel Petra. Go show him some love wherever you get your music.

Bio: Gabriel Petra a singer/songwriter based in Lisbon, he studied jazz and musical production, and been writing since then, for himself and for other projects.

He emerged from the unknown to the spotlight with his first single “Made of Stone”, an intimate ballad that carries an relevant message about battling your demons and overcoming pain.

Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/track/2jt32sLsnUOntg2AJJ4iBh?si=P_zl3Qy_RDC8Gacjx47ahQ

Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/pt/album/made-of-stone/1379833562?i=1379833821

Deezer: https://www.deezer.com/pt/album/62635282

Shazam: https://www.shazam.com/track/416380893/made-of-stone

Napster : https://pt.napster.com/artist/gabriel-petra/album/made-of-stone

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabrielpetramusic/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itsmegabrielpetra/

 

-Caleb

Morning Commute: SHIELDS – Evidence

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How catchy is that hook? I mean, this is the kind of track that’ll make a pope dance… until he realizes that the song is about looking for evidence. Ouch. Too much? So is 4 billion dollars, but that’s a topic for another day. This is a post about SHIELDS’ new song, Evidence, an alt-pop dance tune complete with their signature harmonies, ethereal instrumentation, and complex but easy to remember/catchy song structure. It’s everything we have come to love and expect from the Newcastle based quintet.

While the song itself is light and airy, the lyrics are anything but. With a very pointed and clear message, the song delivers the time tested saying dating back to the 17th century, “actions speak louder than words,” in a new and polished package. This song is something that lyrically holds universal truth for everyone. If you’re like me, you know that actions are the key to change and honesty, but sometimes that can get muddled in selfish pride or even just being scared of what the truth actually means for your life. This is a really good reminder that the people around you don’t actually give a fuck what your reason is behind lying, they just want the truth.

I don’t believe a word you sound absurd 
I don’t believe a word you sound absurd

No one will go first, this feeling’s the worst
Waiting it out, building it up, feeding itself
No one will go first, this feeling’s the worst

You go, I go, I go, you go

You can tell me anything you want 
It’s time now to show me the truth

Follow them here.

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Morning Commute: Big Sam’s Funky Nation – Pokechop

Even before they started singing about Mardi Gras, it was very clear these guys were here to represent NOLA. There isn’t another city like it on this planet, and the inhabitants are the same way. The video and the sound screams Big Easy. New Orleans is a proud and distinct city, and the only thing that doesn’t fit is the 76ers hoodie in the back. Good thing this isn’t an article about the 76ers and their squad they’ve assembled in Philadelphia that’s led by a man with two left knees. That article wouldn’t be so kind. This is an article about something way better than the Sixers. I’m a Hornets fan, so this is obviously all in good fun. I root for a team that seems content with being a 10 seed in a weak conference. My team also cheated on me and left for the Big Easy a long time ago, which is a perfect segue back to this funk track that is the epitome of the city it was born in.

Everyone feels like funk music is about the hard popping bass lines, the cadence of the vocals, and a powerful brass section. Funk is just as much about the negative space in the song, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation know how to work their negative space perfectly. I know that seems weird, but stay with me. If there’s constant sound to create a “fuller” track, you sacrifice the aspect of funk that is just as synonymous with the genre as the music itself: dancing. Having the negative space, that millisecond between bass lines, is what gives you a paint by numbers guide to exactly how your body should move to the song. It lets you know when to step, stomp, and shake, as witnessed by the men and women in this song. Funk music is about bringing everyone together, having fun, having a few drinks, and dancing until your legs feel like jello, either from the dancing or the drinks.

The perfect picture of New Orleans, Pokechop shows what the city is all about: robust music, a new twist on classic style (except for that 76ers hoodie), beautiful people and architecture, and a penchant for the good life. The Big Easy is known for their parties, and Big Sam’s Funk Nation knows how to throw one hell of a party.

Morning Commute: Fyra “U Wanna”

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It’s time to wake up, and I’ve got a song that will have you rolling your hips in the bed before you roll your body out of it. Fyra’s new single, U Wanna, is a banger that still keeps the same groove that Fyra has become known for from previous singles like In My RoomU Wanna is a really honest song that delves into relationships becoming too busy and cluttered, and the importance of making time for each other. In Fyra’s words, “take a break, do the deed, get back on the grind.” On your commute this morning, keep that in mind. All work and no play, and all that good stuff.

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Morning Commute: Emilie Mover “Fallin’ In”

When I came across this new single from Emilie Mover, I knew the name was familiar. I couldn’t place where I knew it from, but there was something very familiar about the timbre of this Canadian turned New Yorker folk artist. I started looking through her discography, and immediately knew where I had heard the pure and articulate, while having just enough rasp, vocals before; she has an incredible album where she covers some of my favorite Peggy Lee songs that you can find here.

Okay, now let’s focus on Fallin’ In, the second single off of her new album, Night Owl. Mover says of the song,

“Fallin’ In is actually the last song I wrote for Night Owl. I wrote it in a park near my apartment the morning we left for Bathouse.  I was kind of just going through the tunes, finalizing idea and starting to think about the order for the album.  I was watching some kids play together in the park and it was a beautiful late summer day and it was one of those things that just came together within minutes.  It kind of wrote itself.”

She goes on to say that the idea behind the song is to get into what really happens when we grow up. How do we go from being carefree kids playing together in the park to overworked and overstressed adults?

emilie

Okay, that last part may be me projecting, but the true idea behind the song is trying to maintain that childlike whimsy and excitement for life throughout adulthood. She lets us in on the fact that her dad has always upheld that view on life, and has been a sterling example of how to maintain a fervor for all things fun. The children in the park made Mover think of all of her childhood friends, and only thought it appropriate to have them play on the track. Those same friends that she played with in the parks as a kid are now playing on a track about them playing in those parks. If that’s not absolutely beautiful and very meta, I don’t know what is. Her dad, Mover’s “favorite kid at heart,” is also featured on the track, absolutely crushing the horn solo at the 2:30 mark.

I haven’t gotten around to listening to the whole album yet, but if Night Owl is anything like Fallin’ In, it is going to make plenty of our personal playlists. Reeking of jazz chords and off-beat rhythms, this song has a lot heavier package than most folk songs.

Want to listen to Emilie and all of our other featured artists for the month of June in one neat and tidy playlist? Click here.

Want to listen to me and Caleb talk about Bad Luck and feature new artists you haven’t heard of yet? Click here.

-Seth

Video of the Day and Morning Commute: Jessicka “Penniless Fools”

This is the first song that has been the perfect fit for the Video of the Day (for obvious reasons), and the Morning Commute. Jessicka’s track, Penniless Fools, is the first song we’ve considered for cross-categorization, and it is a well deserved accolade.

Starting out with almost a minute of B-roll footage, Penniless Fools really gets started at around the :50 mark, but the shots beforehand are nice enough to keep your interest focused on the song. Once the song does get started, you’ll be instantly happy that you stuck around. Jessicka’s voice and the instrumentation is reminiscent of Florence + the Machine, but Jessicka has a style all her own. With a powerful voice and a beautiful arrangement to back her up, the singer-songwriter from Vancouver takes a very meta look at the roles we play in life. The tape she plays in the middle of the song at the 3:15 mark plays the role of the average human mind:

“It’s a measly manner of existence,
to get on that subway on the hot mornings in summer
to devote your whole life to keeping stock,
or making phone calls,
or selling,
or buying.
To suffer 50 weeks of the year
for a two week vacation
when all you really desire is to be outside with your shirt off,
but still,
that’s how you build a future.”

Penniless Fools gets into the dilemma of working to support yourself financially vs. doing the things that you love to support yourself mentally. A very small percentage of people get up and go to a job that they love, a larger percentage enjoy a lot of the aspects of their job, and a much larger percentage hate what they do much more frequently than they enjoy it. This song gets into that and makes you really question whether the financial stability is worth using your only shot at life to be completely miserable.

This is a song that really resonates with me and a situation I went through recently. I was making a lot of money in a position where I essentially had to sell my soul to the devil. I decided it would be best to leave that job without a backup plan in place because I couldn’t take one more day of the soul-crushing position I was in. I knew that we would take a substantial pay cut for a while and that I may not find something for quite a while, but the financial stability that job provided wasn’t worth the strain it put on me and my family. Fast forward 7 months, and I now have multiple streams of revenue, all coming from sources that I absolutely love (or at least love more than I dislike). I still don’t make the same kind of money I made previously, but that really doesn’t matter when I’m about to be buried.

“Living the dream, but not much sleep.”

Morning Commute: LV Baby “Keep Me High Up”

Every track we feature on this site is going to be something that makes our personal playlists in some fashion. There are some songs that end up making every playlist we put together, and this is one of them. Windows Down Playlist? Keep Me High Up. Smooth Brass Playlist? Keep Me High Up. Feel It In Your Soles (lyrically conscious songs to dance to)? Keep Me High Up. Funeral Pyres? Keep Me High Up. Okay… maybe not the last one, but you get the picture.

lvbaby

Cal the 3rd starts out with the trumpet, beckoning your attention, almost like a king is about to enter. LV Baby may not be royalty, but his voice is about as close as you get to being knighted. There are so many rappers out there who fall in line and do something safe that they know everyone will enjoy. Those guys are needed for the kingdom to succeed. They have their place, and are greatly appreciated. Then, there are guys like LV Baby. With a raspy timbre and his constantly changing cadence, he tells a story of familial struggle; from almost losing his father to an aortic dissection, to losing contact with his brother, LV Baby leaves it all out on the table. He then follows up talking about his struggles by focusing on the many blessings he has in his life. When asked about the album and his creative process, LV Baby said,

“Simply put, I poured my heart into this record. I’ve been going through a lot, but I haven’t stopped working/creating. Thank God I’ve been able to make some of my best music throughout this period in my life. This song is a happy-sad summer jam that may have saved my life.”

These are the people in the kingdom who get to kneel before the kings and queens of rap-gone-by and get to become knights. Men and women who tell real stories, try new things, and hold nothing back. If you think that this song is a one-off lyrically, go check out American Pie. Damn!