The Flock: Hip-Hop and Soul – Hendrix Harris, Deacon, The Hashassins, DNyse, AV, MastaPiece, Nostalgia, Radioplay Reach

Guys, we are so sorry about the hiatus. We’ve been active with the podcast and interviews, but had to pump the breaks on the blog for a few days to handle real life business. We are back on it though, and we figured the best way to get things back in motion is to have an infectious hip-hop flock.

Let’s go.

*Click on the artists name to go to their website*

 

Hendrix Harris – New Chains

From the second the song starts and you hear that slick little riff, you know it’s going to be one smooth ride. What follows is four straight minutes of what’s easily going to be one of the smoothest things you’ve heard this week. Hendrix flawlessly switches between three different voices: his normal register, his falsetto, and his rap voice. I honestly can’t tell you which one I enjoy the most.

Fuck. I usually try not to get meta with my writing and act as polished as possible. I was doing research on Hendrix, and I just got blown away. I knew I had heard the name and been impressed with his stuff before, but I couldn’t place it. The reason I couldn’t place it is because the song we posted of his before and this song are worlds apart. Are you ready for this? He also does this song.

You can find the blog post here.

That’s versatility. To go from a smooth track that lands more in soulful r&b than hip-hop in one song, to head busting chopper rap in another is absolutely absurd.

 

DEACON – Negritude

You guys know we like to dig into lyrics on the blog, but sometimes we shouldn’t be the ones to discuss the lyrics. With this song, you can put a broad brush across the canvas when trying to figure out what the song is about, but the root of the song is better than anything we could ever come up with. We are painting in large strokes while DEACON is as specific as da Vinci.

DEACON says, “Negritude is a word I discovered on my travels whilst in Los Angeles. I stumbled across an establishment called “Psychiatry – An industry of Death Museum”. Whilst exploring their numerous accounts on the history of mental health practices, I found their section on Racism within psychiatry’s earliest stages. “Negritude – a term used by Benjamin Rush (Founding Father of American Psychiatry) defines “blackness” as a skin disease akin to leprosy, thus deeming segregation a “medical necessity”. The song is my way of flipping that idea on its head, and claiming negritude as the “funk” inherent in the soul of the music. If you don’t want to catch the funk, you better turn off that radio…”

As you guys know, I love digging into a song and figuring out what it means to me personally, but when it’s something this heavy, I like to leave it to the artist.

One interesting line is when they’re talking about ring around the roses, an allusion to the children’s song, Ring Around the Rosies. I don’t want to get into the etymology of the lyrics of the song, but a very common thought as to the roots of the song is that it talks about The Great Plague of London. This is a really cool easter egg in a song about black people being a plague. The lyricism throughout this song was on point for me.

 

The Hashassins – C’Mon

William Wallace (best rap name ever) and Sincere make up the hip-hop duo, The Hashassins. Sometimes a flow and beat come across our radar that is so smooth that we have to stop and take notice even if the lyrics typically aren’t our style. First off, don’t get me wrong about the lyrics, they’re clean. We just usually focus on things that are a little left of center, and the lyrics to the song are pretty straightforward. They’re witty, the cadence is nice, and they change up the rhyme scheme, but they’re talking about very similar ideas that a lot of hip-hop focuses on.

The beat and their flow are both so good that they elevate this song to another level, separating it from similarly worded songs. The piano chords at the beginning combined with the turntables let you know you’re about to be in for one hell of a ride. I’m not talking crotch rocket ride, I’m talking slow-rolling Cadillac with the top down, cruising down Main Street.

DNyse – Now Until Forever

Most hip-hop artists think they can sing, but very few can actually make it happen. DNyse has some pipes. He has this crazy mixture of singing and speaking straight to your soul.

A song about chasing your passion and making stuff happen through action and perseverance, Now Until Forever is a song that anyone who is on the cusp of pursuing something great should listen to. It’ll give you that bump you need to get you moving in the right direction.

 

AV – The Rising Son

The chorus you hear throughout this song is something that you’d hear in a movie as the gladiator steps into the arena, and that’s exactly what AV makes me think of with the lyrics to The Rising Son too. A chesty and bold rapper, he has an aggressive cadence, and doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind.

What does it mean to put her before you 
What does it mean to have faith, to be loyal 
What does it mean 
to rise up for your queen 
Rise up for the teens, lying dead in the streets 
Politicians giving in to they greed 
Make a speech for a fee worth retiring 
You think they could afford to be inspiring 
Placing blame on a groups backfiring 
Blame them blame them, they complacent 
No matter where they stationed, our space taken 
Grab em up, line em up, get em out 
You don’t belong here, show your proof if you brown

With a hook that hits hard, strong lyrics, and a tough flow, the Montgomery Sisters really bring it back to a more digestible level with their beautiful harmonies, making this a song that is making its way onto many of my personal playlists.

 

MastaPiece – Endless Night pt. 1

This song is the song that’s perfect for literally any part of a night where you are wanting to party. Pregame? It lets you know the expectation for the night. Heading to the second spot? It implores you to pick a spot you haven’t gone. Get into something new. Everyone on the cusp of calling it a night? This is the perfect rally song. Seriously. This song fits every part of the evening.

A three piece collective out of Houston, Texas, MastaPiece is turning heads in a major way. Not only are these guys hip-hop artists, but they are notable artists in everything from acting to design. These jacks-of-all-trades have a great future in art ahead of them, they just get the luxury of picking which art(s).

Nostalgia – Alone

Soulful crooning isn’t usually what we share on the blog, but there’s no way we were going to pass over this one. This Australian vocalist is essentially The Weeknd of the Eastern Hemisphere. With a similar sound to some of the most popular artists of today and a music video that had me wondering what was going to happen next from the very beginning, this is the song that would be playing in an adult version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Stick around to the end for a Shyamalan-esque twist.

Radioplay Reach – Big Money

Radioplay Reach hits us with the song, Big Money, a hard flowing song that was written behind bars in memoriam of a friend who lost his life. The words drip with emotion as he laments the loss of a friend while realizing that this loss only fuels his drive to be successful.

With a heady beat and honest lyrics, Radioplay Reach has a familiar hook in a totally new package.

The Flock: Hip-Hop and Soul – D. Hart, Noah Slee, Tim Harrison, HighKarateJu, The Sir Duke, KB Devaughn, Daygo Fatts, Rafa Selase, Audrey, DemarcoTheMan, Godz Chyld X Jordan River Banks, Psychodelicate

*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 HUGE edition of The Flock. People who love hip-hop and soul 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.

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

 

D. Hart – Get To Know

It took me way too long to place where I knew that background female vocalist from. Not the feature soulful female vocalist, but that delicate, chopped up, “I would like to,” in the back. I was never a Brandy fan, but my sister was. That’s from her track “I Wanna Know.” If someone is using Brandy samples, it’s someone I want to find out more about. It’s not exactly common to use something from her in your new track, but then again, this isn’t a common song. D. Hart’s style is reminiscent of old Jay, and the soulful voice of Empara is a weird and beautiful mix of Noname and Blige.

I love honest rap. Don’t talk about your fast cars and faster spending habits if you’re shooting a music video leaned up against your ’99 Impala. I mean, dream, go big, do all of that, but it seems so phony when you rap about something you know nothing about. D. Hart feels the same way based on the lyrics of Get To Know. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, so let me rephrase that; that’s how I feel, and I respect the lyricism of D. Hart because he’s an honest guy.

I’m an introspective 
ass and 
blast from the past 
cash makes me mad because i don’t have, cant cope with it 
my bank account has been fasting since i opened it 
I go on some loco shit 

He doesn’t try to pretend he’s got a bunch of money in the bank. He wants you to know that he’s grinding, and he’s hustling to feed his bank account. The guy also has some really witty lines, throwing in allusions to politics while (possibly?) taking a jab at the current regime. If you have read or followed along for anytime at all, you know that’s the way to our heart. D. Hart is taking hip-hop back to an era where people wrote truth and did it with scratchy beats, varying cadences, and not novelty tricks.

so I build wall a up and get caught up 
in trumping those who might love me 
yeah i know its kinda ugly 

 

Noah Slee – Stayed

I wasn’t familiar with Noah before hearing this song, and judging from the millions of plays he has on Spotify, I’m in the minority here. Better late than never when it comes to a party like this though. Noah has one of the most interesting and beautiful voices that I can recall hearing in my lifetime. He has a vulnerable falsetto that resonates from life experiences he is carrying with him. I know this may be a bit of reading, but I think that the idea for the video and the idea behind the album are both things that need to be shared.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT:

Stayed’ is a solo, hallucinatory comedown set in Berlin. The music video aims to invoke that particular sense of isolation and loneliness one can feel, even when surrounded by other people. We also wanted to explore the late night/early morning end-of-the-party atmosphere, when things get a little strange. There’s a decelerated, surreal feeling that occurs when you’ve had no sleep and are in the grey area between two different mental states.

I played around with visual juxtaposition to add a subtle psychedelic element to the imagery. Berlin can be very bleak in the Winter, which is when the video was shot, and we didn’t want to let that control the tone of the video. We used tropical plants, human movement/dance and as much colour as possible to create contrast in dark, icy settings.

The project itself was a challenge. The outdoor scenes were shot guerilla-style, in temperatures sometimes as low as -20˚C. We were often working without a crew or a confirmed location. Noah and I spent many nights alone in the freezing cold grabbing whatever shots we could. Other times, our talented friends assisted…making things feel a lot more cosy. 

This collaboration was an experiment for both of us. I’ve always appreciated music videos that can build a new layer on a song without manipulating the song’s original theme. We attempted to create something that highlighted the introverted nature of the song, whilst leaving the lyrics etc open to interpretation. – cobraswan.com 

ALBUM BIO:

Focusing on many life-changing moments, the album put Slee on the world stage while remaining painfully authentic, as Noah comes out as gay, explores the Berlin nightlife, ponders on religion, pays homage to his Tongan roots, and grapples with his artistry across the incredible 17-track body of work.

 

Tim Harrison – Love is a Drug

If you have been following the blog for any amount of time, you know there’s one thing that immediately receives my immediate disapproval when it comes to hip-hop music: aggressive autotune. Sometimes something is so good you have to make an exception to the rule. Tim Harrison, or Analogy, has made a track that has made me open my mind a little bit. This song is so smooth that I can’t look it over. The main thing that pulled me back in is Analogy’s hard-hitting verse at the end, making me pause and reassess the whole track. It causes this beautiful cohesion between Bamm Bamm and Analogy that makes me groove through the autotune instead of grit my teeth. That’s an insanely hard feat to accomplish, and it’s a testament to how good this song really is.

 

HighKarateJu – Hey Dreamer

With a wordy flow and a clear message, HighKarateJu fits almost as much into each line as he does into his name. The content of this song is on point, too. We make it a point to regularly talk about how you need to pursue your passion, live in the clouds, and do whatever it takes to make your dreams happen. While that all is true, this brings up a piece that is often overlooked.  The song tells you that you need to dream, but you also have to put in work too. Dreams without work are going to be dreams forever. You have to hustle and grind if you want to get to the point where dreams become reality. Caleb and I have dreams about our place in the music industry, and they are nothing without us grinding every single day. A really nice track from HighKarateJu to remind us that work ethic beats out an idea 9 out of 10 times. When you have the work ethic and the idea, that’s when you’re a one in a million product.

The Sir Duke – Eradicated and Rise Up

I’m really liking the direction of The Flock so far today. The Sir Duke and D. Hart need to get to know each other. The Sir Duke’s gut-punch lyricism and old school flow matches up really well with D. Hart. Seriously, in my mind, these guys together could sell out arenas full of people longing for the hip-hop of days gone by. We want rappers who have something to say, and The Sir Duke knows exactly what we want.

Guys, I usually break the lyrics down separately, but these two songs are essentially one long song with one of the smoothest transitions. Seriously, I found Eradicated a while ago, and didn’t even realize that it was a new song when it transitioned to Rise Up after the gunshot. I thought it was a hard break and then the telling of the other half of the story when a race has been pushed to the brink of what they’re willing to take. I’m so interested in The Sir Duke as a human being and an artist. The guy is writing songs that could be anthems for black culture. I mean, we’re very careful not to say things that may be misconstrued since we are two white guys, but these two songs are extremely powerful and empowering.

Side note: Rise Up isn’t about any kind of physical takeover or anything like that. It’s more about the fact that a culture with such strong diversity can’t be held down by narrow-minded ideas, and something is going to change. He’s not trying to start a riot. Calm down, Trumpers.

KB Devaughn – For Me

You know how I was talking about loving honest lyricism? Fuck. This song is nasty. KB Devaughn writes one of the best examples of honesty in music that I’ve seen in a long time. For Me is a song that KB wrote while he and his girlfriend were homeless. The song essentially wrote itself one night as KB watched his girlfriend sleep in the car. He writes about the pressure of the situation, the pressure of their relationship, and then made sure she knew that everything is going to work out for them. Maybe it was more a song to himself to let him know that he would work it out. Either way, I can’t stop listening to this track. As someone who lived out of his car for a while, this song hits hard.

Daygo Fatts – Ride Away

If there’s one word to use to describe Daygo Fatts’ flow, it’s “smooth.” This is exactly what we look for in rap even without the lyrics. The guy has the perfect combination of keeping it straightforward while also mixing up his cadence and rhyme scheme. We listen to so much rap every single day from people who want us to check out their stuff, and I’ve had this idea where I want to compile a list of artists that fit what we do. For example, if the beat is too repetitive or boring, send them a link to an artist that we love the beats of. If they’re going for MC lyricism but the lyrics are fairly generic, send them a link to someone who says a lot through their music in that UK b-boy fashion. If they want to create the new school smooth, but their rhyme scheme and cadence are lazy, I’m going to show them Daygo. It’s really hard for artists to send us something that stands out from everything strictly because we get so much music, but when I listened to Daygo for the first time, I literally stopped everything I was doing, and listened to it three times in a row with my eyes closed, lip curled up the entire time. The dude is good.

Rafa Selase – The Revolution Will Be On Facebook and Chasing Demons

Rafa definitely has something to say, and we love it. There’s something very cathartic about listening to him talk about Gil Scott Heron, government corruption, and the pursuit of money hurting the pursuit of man. I usually don’t post the full lyrics to songs, but these have to be shared. Caleb and I talk regularly about the need to have uncomfortable conversations with people who understand something more than you do, and this is the perfect case of that. We’ve reached out to Rafa about doing a live interview, but understand that he is insanely busy. I just feel like not getting his side of the story would be a complete disservice to his music.

As Gil Scott Heron said 
The Revolution will not be televised 

The evolution is a revolution 
The world is changing 
We no longer praying 

We idolizing 
Selfie posterizing 
Troll seeking sodomizing 
Avatar making 
Tumblr rolling 
Instagram snapping 
We some self idolizing zombies 
You playing 
But Google is playing you 
NSA watching 
FBI profilin’ 
CIA strategizing 
Civil Liberty snatching 
But you still playing 
Gil Scott Heron told you 
The Revolution will not be televised 

Beautiful Jill Scott said 
Why you spend yo time hating 
Trolling? 
Instigating? 
Manipulating? 
Why you playing 
The Revolution will be on Facebook 

Facebook will watch you 
like you 
but not love you 
nor believing or 
supporting you 
won’t pay you 
or even hug you 
you staring face to face 
as the Revolution 
takes place 
friending 
commenting 
on nothing 
ignoring and snoring 
as the Revolution takes place 
The Revolution will be on Facebook

Dead presidents 
Dead presidents don’t matter 
When you’re dead 
Dead presidents don’t matter 
When you’re dead 
Most high forgive me 
Lord forgive me 
For chasing dead presidents Dead presidents don’t matter 
When you’re dead 

Lord I know you said 
Seek me and all these things 
Shall be granted 

He didn’t understand what that meant 
He was chasing 
Social validation 
Dangerous spiritual experimentation 
Sexual exploitation 
Trying to escape toxic romantic relations 
Maintaining false expectations 
He was chasing demons 
Demons wasn’t even messing with him 
He was chasing demons 
They say demons are scared of the righteous 
It’s only when we seek the fleshly desires 
That demons have power 

He was a corporate assassin 
Paper chasing 
Ken and Barbie lifestyle 
Lord forgive him 
False reality 
Creating the illusion 
Of perfection 
For who … like a peacock 
Colorful and showboating 
Peacocks look good 
Walk better 
But can’t fly 
Creating a false reality 
Which causes unrealistic expectations 
And Perceptions 
All while trying to maintain control 

Never realizing 
the more you pursue 
This false reality 
The less control you have 

Dead presidents don’t matter 
When you dead 

Lord forgive me 
The he realized forgiveness is a gift 
Unforgiveness is a burden 
He chose to be forgiven 
Blessed are they which do hunger 
And thirst after righteousness 
For they shall be filled 
He prays “lord forgive me, with my whole heart have I sought thee: 
O let me not wander from thy commandments 

Dead presidents don’t matter 
When you dead 

Audrey – Party

This is a “turn out the lights and sink into the sofa” groove, but don’t sink too far, or you’ll find the bodies.

smile like you’re the joker then you hide your bodies in the sofa 
count cards playin poker 
whatever you like 
bacardi with the soda and your gold teeth and your coca 
hot tub and pagoda 
whatever you like

Audrey started out singing the National Anthem at sporting events, but soon realized that there’s absolutely no fun in that (I would assume. I don’t actually no her reasoning.) and soon started making her own music. I love the National Anthem as much as the next guy, but thank god she stopped doing that and gave us groove tunes like this instead.

DemarcoTheMan – Bike Ride

Bike Ride is an interesting track. It’s a single from his upcoming release, Bland Boy, and on it’s own, its a wordy flow that doesn’t break any kind of walls for me lyrically… at first. His cadence and rhyme scheme are something fresh, and they kept me into the song long enough to figure out what the lyrics were about. On their own though, they didn’t exactly line up with what we usually share on the blog.

Spinning revolving
I keep the barrel tucked.
Auto tune and money
you niggas basic as blondie bitches wearing birks.
Lil B the B for bitch i lift the curse.
Know i’m too diverse for you to get a verse.
Cut the verdict my vertic circuit can jump a bus
and probably lift a hearse.
Who said i couldn’t actually spit.
Suck on my dick.
Until the sack is salty like a bowl full of grits. 

This is why it’s important to read into the songs you listen to. On the surface, this seems like another hip-hop track trope where you want people to know you’re better than the guy beside you. What’s actually happening on the album though is that Demarco is battling with the guy beside him. The album is told from two different perspectives within Demarco’s mind. One side is the side of everyday problems and the dark side of Demarco, and the other side is his confidence and his ego. This song is from the perspective of the latter. This is supposed to be a song about being better than the guy next to you, but that’s not what the album is about. He already had the flow, the beat, and the style, my only hesitation was the lyrics. Then you tell me it’s a really smart concept album that talks about the inner-struggle of man and tells stories from different parts of the same brain? I’m sold.

Godz Chyld X Jordan River Banks – Heavens Pt. II (Look Around)

You know how I mentioned us being fans of lyrically savvy MC’s with something real to say? Enter Godz Chyld. With a song that talks about heaven being a state of mind vs being an actual place, Godz Chyld hits with a wordy flow, big concepts, and a really smooth beat that knows it’s place in the background. So many artists try to hide generic lyrics behind a slick beat; Godz Chyld has both. This is definitely a midnight cruising song. Roll the windows down, and let the song take you to whatever state of mind leads to your heaven.

Psychodelicate – Wine

These guys have one of the most interesting tracks on this list. First off, this is their debut. They already have a great chemistry, and are coming up with something really cool. Secondly, they do everything themselves. Writing, beat production, recording, everything.

One thing that can get lost in the flow when new artists start collaborating together is the fact that they sound fairly similar. All three of these guys have very distinct voices, and it makes the track something that works really well. These guys are definitely someone you need to be watching for now, so you can be that guy who knew about them from the beginning.

Side note: The dude with the growly voice had me making a stink face every single time he started on the track. The dude is sick.


As always, check out all of these guys through the links above. Follow them, buy their stuff, see their tour dates, etc.

We also have a Spotify playlist you can check out to see all the artists we’ve featured this month.

Want to add a podcast to your list? Check out ours. 

The Flock: Indie Rock – The Mooks, Indian Askin, The Braves, The Nova Darlings, Paddle Paddle, Hugo Fowler

*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.”

The Mooks – Fools

Mook – a stupid or incompetent person – isn’t the term that comes to mind when listening to the heady indie rock from the Toronto based trio. With straightforward instrumentals and a singer with the range most folks dream about, this band sounds a lot more seasoned than they actually are. The band formed in November of last year, but has a feeling of a modern day Velvet Underground; everything is very straightforward, everyone has a lane to fill, and they’re both storytellers. The Mooks are already on my 4th of July playlist for the beach this year, and I expect them to find a home on playlists all across the country.

 

Indian Askin – I Feel Something

Indian Askin, the Amsterdam based indie rock band, released their single, I Feel Something, earlier this month, and it has been creating a lot of buzz. Chino Alaya, the lead singer of the group, has a great mixture of silk and rocks in his voice, so it creates absolutely beautiful moments where the silk slides to gravel throughout the song, giving his voice and the song human characteristics. The song dives into what happens after a traumatic event. You feel like you are at the edge of everything, looking into the abyss of what comes after, and with time, you realize that you can feel something again.

 

The Braves – How the Money Rolls In

A gritty look at how a lot of the rich get their money off of the backs of the poor, How The Money Rolls In is a song that is full of nails and venom. Deep grit and sandpaper round out the vocals of Kelly Watson, who shares the chanting chorus with bandmates, Jesse Bolte and Ethan Lerversha. With a style that is equal parts The Clash and Gogol Bordello, The Braves bring storytelling to a tangible level, and have absolutely no apologies if they don’t check off all of your boxes. They are raw, they are moving, and they are real.

 

The Nova Darlings – I Like Crashing My Car (Into Yours)

This is that summer song that hits me right in the teeth. An introspective look at how we are usually our own worst enemy, I Like Crashing My Car (Into Yours) is the “bummer jam of the summer.” To add to their point about self-destruction, this song has been added to all of my summer playlists. Nothing like hiking through the woods to clear my mind only to feel it with all of my shortcomings as a human being. Rarely is the first verse of a song my favorite verse (at least if I like the writing all the way through, and they didn’t phone in the second half of the song… but I digress), but the first verse of this song is an absolute gut punch and sets the stage for self-exploration and a look into just how shitty we all are. Emotive vocals with a timbre that feels like it’s on the edge of breaking down keep you on the edge of your seat, ready to run out in front of traffic, and the shopping card keeps you firmly planted in your seat out of sheer curiosity.

 

Paddle Paddle – Speak Your Mind

This French indie/electro rock group is absolutely mesmerizing. I listen to a lot of new music, and I tell people constantly that they need their songs to be more full or have more layers if they want to aim for this style of music. Speak Your Mind is a shining example of what I mean. The song has as many rich textures as the album art, with everything working off the melody, but seemingly following its own track. The lyrics are something that we definitely need in an age where people struggle to share their ideas for multiple reasons, and hide behind everything from political ideology to computer screens.

 

Hugo Fowler – Faking Lately

Huge Fowler’s new track, Faking Lately, has that same groove to it that made Portugal. The Man a household name. With a similar timbre of John Gourley, Fowler has a gift for playing around with the beat, moving freely from quarters to sixteenths while keeping the pedal to the floor. The new single is out now, with the EP following up on the 26th. Make sure to keep tabs on this guy, because he already has his fingers on the pulse of proven success.

Daily Video Feature: Yung Heazy – Cuz You’re My Girl

 

 

Does anyone else get reminded of The Truman Show by this video? That heartbreaking scene where he is trying to piece together the face of the woman he loved but gotten taken away form him? I don’t think this song is meant to be sad; it’s a really beautiful love song or ode.

 

From his Youtube channel, Yung Heazy describes it as follows: “I decided months later the day before Valentine’s Day that I would take a crack at recording it and present it to her as a gift. I wrote a lot of this song on the spot, the guitar solo was one take, a lot of the lyrics were improvised… Maybe people connect with it because of that? I didn’t have any ambitions for this, I just wanted to make something true and honest to share between two people. I think the recording is very loose but that’s what I like about it, it’s not perfect, not to be taken too seriously, I don’t know.”

 

I think he’s pretty spot on, I connect with the looseness and improvisation. I connect with that because of how genuine it feels. I think his last thought about making something true is exactly what I think good art is about. What’s that quote about art telling lies to tell a deeper truth? The best art certainly does, and Yung Heazy is making some great art.

 

Want more Yung Heazy? Check them out on Spotify. 

 

Episode 12: Innocence

The new episode is live! Hear us talk about childhood innocence, true-crime, horses and horse people, William Blake, and much more!

 

You can check it out here:

Stitcher

Soundcloud

iTunes

 

Show notes:

Cold Open:

 

Piping down the valleys wild

Piping songs of pleasant glee

On a cloud I saw a child.

And he laughing said to me.

 

Pipe a song about a Lamb;

So I piped with merry chear,

Piper pipe that song again—

So I piped, he wept to hear.

 

Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe

Sing thy songs of happy chear,

So I sung the same again

While he wept with joy to hear

 

Piper sit thee down and write

In a book that all may read—

So he vanish’d from my sight.

And I pluck’d a hollow reed.

 

And I made a rural pen,

And I stain’d the water clear,

And I wrote my happy songs

Every child may joy to hear

 

 

  • William Blake

 

 

Intro: the solstice – aquarius (spelled aquaris?)

https://soundcloud.com/the-solstice-503132422/aquaris

 

  • Painted Forest – “Witness”

 

https://paintedforest.bandcamp.com/track/witness

 

My tracks can all also be found on Spotify. Here’s the link to my artist page.

 

  1. podge – “falling”

https://soundcloud.com/p0dg3/falling

 

IG – p0dg3

 

  1. ness – “niche”

 

https://soundcloud.com/okness/niche-intro-prod-saveme?in=okness/sets/clementine

 

I’m an 18 year old hip-hop artist from suburban Kansas City, Kansas.

 

My socials:

 

Twitter – @nessokay

 

Instagram (rarely use – no posts, hopefully will change soon): @tbj.wav

 

SoundCloud: okness

 

  1.  Night Season – Lark

 

https://nightseason.bandcamp.com/track/lark

 

Lark- a small ground-dwelling songbird, typically with brown streaky plumage, a crest, and elongated hind claws, and with a song that is delivered in flight.

 

  1. Mike_Normal – Tomorrow

 

https://mikenormal.bandcamp.com/track/tomorrow

 

Mr. Rogers Congressional hearing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKy7ljRr0AA

 

  1. When/Where – Reminders

https://whenwhere.bandcamp.com/

we’re from Cleveland, OH and that we have a shows in Lakewood, OH on May 18th and June 27th.

 

  1. Josh Isn’t – “Take Good Care”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEQhb-lXN8k

 

The Bottom Line: Rhythm N Blooms Music Festival

Image result for rhythm n blooms

We are back with our summer festival drafts! Let me quickly run down the rules again:

  1. The draft is a snake draft (last person of a given is the first person of the next round.)
  2. We could only pick 2 bands each that we had heard of before.

 

Image result for rhythm n blooms

 

Rhythm N Blooms festival is set in the beautiful East Tennessee mountains in Knoxville. It set in the city proper, but has a beautiful natural backdrop all around. It’s really the best of both worlds. There will be lots of a great beers from local breweries, and local food trucks will be providing the food. Please see the map below:


If you’re wondering more about us, feel free to check out our podcast. As has been the case with every draft so far, we have found some of our favorite new music through this process. Read below for our picks, so you don’t miss any of the great artists this festival features.

**Note there are some affiliate links in this post. Don’t feel obligated to support the artists through them, they are just an easy way to link their albums. It’s also a way to support us with no extra investment on your part. Support the artists through Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, GooglePlay, wherever.**

 

Round 1

Caleb: DK The Drummer

This is going to be a really cool show. If any of you have ever seen Mutemath, you should know who DK the Drummer is. He is the absolute madman who duct tapes his headphones to his head because he drums so passionately that they are liable to fly off. Now that he has left Mutemath to pursue other projects (one of which, Sucre is also playing this festival), Darren has started to perform some solo sets that seem amazing. Basically he has mixed and matched his own creations, with popular hits, and then drums live over the whole thing. I’ve attached a video sample below. This set is a must see for anyone who loves beats and drums.

DK The Drummer Live Set:

Seth: Early James and the Latest

These folks are front porch sittin’ at it’s finest. Slide guitar, gritty vocals, and blues that you feel in your soul make them a perfect festival band. Dig to China will keep your feet tapping long after the song finishes. You’ll have two opportunities to check them out on Saturday, either at Cripple Creek or the Pilot Light. Make sure you’re there for one of them.

Debut EP:

Nathan: The Mowgli’s
I love their album Where’d Your Weekend Go?. I’ve listened to it several times since it came out, and each time I find myself caught on a different song. The first time I listened to it, I had “Automatic” on repeat, then “Alone Sometimes” the second time I listened through. Now I’ve got “So What” on my Spring playlist. Their music is very infectious, with upbeat, catchy melodies.

Most recent album:

Round 2

Nathan: Ancient Cities
I really like this band’s vocal work. The way they layer the backup vocals and harmonies is super pleasing to listen to. They kind of a psychedelic folk rock band, or at least that’s the best way I can describe them. I recommend their song “Station”.

Most recent album:

Seth: Penny and Sparrow

The first thing that really drew me into Penny and Sparrow’s orbit is their lyrics. They’re storytellers, and they are masters of the sad story. With light and tight vocals/harmonies, minimal musical accompaniment, and masterful lyrics, Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke have a feel similar to Bon Iver meets The Civil Wars, but they definitely have a story that’s all their own. They also won’t drag the mood down just because their music is sometimes (almost all the time) sad; they are both really funny guys and keep the mood light between songs.

Most recent album:

Caleb: Deer Tick

I can’t live in Providence and not rep Deer Tick. I’ve been listening to them since way back in their “Divine Providence” album days. You should definitely listen to “Main Street” off of that album. But I kind of fell off the pulse of them for a while after that. For this post I listened to their two most recent albums, and I have to say they blew me away. They mix elements of Bob Dylan/Americana, with some full band bangers with a twang. I doubt I’m telling you anything you don’t know, but Deer Tick has to be at the top of any one’s list for this festival. Listen to: “Sea of Clouds” and “Card House” off the new albums.

Most recent album (actually a 2 parter):

Round 3

Caleb: Possessed by Paul James

Go to this show if you want to be possessed….by Paul James. Yeah that was corny. Anyway, this set will be full of great Blues/Bluegrass elements. It would be too simple to say that’s all this is. They really push the genre into interesting places. Sometimes I would call it Folk/Punk-ish, especially the newest album. Check out: “Hurricane” off 2013’s There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely and “Color of my Bloody Nose” off his most recent self-titled album.

Most recent album:

Seth: Sweet Years

Sweet Years calls Knoxville home, so expect these guys to be fresh and ready to yell at you (in the most amazing way possible). Zach Gilleran, Dakota Smith, and Travis Bigwood are the trio that make up this band that reminds me of about 4 different bands, but has a really cool sound that is all their own. The fact that they have a music video where they are on a mission to get the perfect choreographed dance on a baseball diamond tells you all that you need to know about these incredibly talented guys, but don’t take my word for it. Watch below:

Most recent album:

Nathan: Brother Sundance

This dude has some really cool album covers, which I’m always a sucker for. Dark colors + pink/blue neon and I’m already hooked. Musically he’s got an alt/pop electronic vibe, with bright female vocals backing up his hypnotic, rhythmic stanzas. His song “The Hurt” is the one that got me interested in him, but all of his work is solid.

Debut EP:

Round 4

Nathan: LUTHI

I like big bands (and I cannot lie (I’m sorry)). LUTHI is comprised of nine members, and classify themselves as “Cumberland Funk”. Their tracks are so groovy, I’ve found myself dancing to it (again, something I try not to do in public) pretty frequently. “Every Body” is one of my new favorite tracks ever (like somewhere in the top 15 prolly), so maybe go listen to that one.

I’m really sorry about that joke at the beginning of this round. I considered not telling it, but… I couldn’t help it.

Live EP:

Seth: Dori Freeman

Dori Freeman once again proves that I don’t hate certain country music. With honest lyrics and a unique timbre, Dori has something really unique. She reminds me of family that we have in coal mining country, Norton VA, and there’s a great reason for that; she’s from a similar town about two hours from Norton. Dori is a stripped down storyteller who writes with her heart on her sleeve, and I am always a fan of that.

Most recent album:

Caleb: Blond Bones

Now we are getting into “impress your friends with my music knowledge” territory. Take them to this set. They only have one EP out at the moment, so you’re really getting in on the ground floor. Check out “Sierra” and “Young Hearts” before you go. There are elements of early Wilco here, with some really interesting harmonies and grungy indie riffs.

Debut EP:

Round 5

Caleb: Thrift Store Cowboys

Thrift Store Cowboys have been around for quite some time, and actually haven’t released a full album since 2010. Some of you guys probably couldn’t drive then. Hell, I couldn’t drink then, and I don’t even get IDed most places anymore. The song you should listen to first off that album is “Bright Fire”, but their best song overall is “Beneath the Shoes” off their 2006 album. Buddy Magazine describes their sound better than I could ever hope to when they say: “Thrift Store Cowboys’ feel is more, for a lack of better description, gypsy desert music – the free sound of spacey, heat-induced delirium…a sure, confident sound backed by thoughtful vision.” Here’s to hoping this appearance is a signal that Thrift Store Cowboys are still making music that we will get to hear in the near future.

Most recent album:

Seth: Daniel Donato

Daniel Donato is an absolute animal. There’s really no other way to describe him. He does things with a guitar that only 1% of guitar players can do. It would just be an honor to actually see it happen live, so I had to swoop in and get the steal in the last round. I have followed this guy for years, and the opportunity to actually check it out in person would be an absolute blast.

 

Nathan: The Young Fables

I don’t listen to a lot of country music. Other than what I’m forced to listen to at work, I can count the country bands I’ve listened to it intentionally on one hand. One of those three fingers belongs to The Young Fables, so that’s why I decided to include them in my draft. Laurel Wright, one of the vocalists, won American Idol three times, which I think is kinda crazy since I didn’t know you could win it more than once. Also I really like the slide guitar they use.
Like I said, I don’t listen to a lot of country.

Most recent album:

 

 

Want to hear more from the B-Side Guys? Check out our most recent podcast: Episode 11: Secrets (Part 2/2)

Want to submit music? Submissions

The Bottom Line: Our Must-Sees at the In Bloom Music Festival

On March 24th and 25th, Eleanor Tinsley Park will be taken over by the In Bloom Festival. For reasons unbeknownst to me, the FPSF has rebranded itself as the In Bloom Music Festival, moving from summer to early spring. If I had to venture a guess, I would say they changed everything up to avoid Houston in June. They may also want to take advantage of people already in the state of Texas for SXSW. Either way, we have a new spring music festival, and we’re pretty pumped about it.

Edit: We’ve been informed that the reason it changed names is more than likely due to the fact that the last three years of FPSF haven’t gone so well. 2015 was apparently in a hot parking lot…in June…in Houston. Then, 2016 was in the same parking lot with exact opposite results (rained out both days). 2017 moved to Eleanor Tinsley Park, and once again was rained out and evacuated both days. Also in that timespan, they “sold out” to a company called Peg Star. I’m not familiar with Peg Star, so that’s why sold out is in quotations. We are still on board with this festival. New name, new face, and a great lineup, we are willing to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Let’s pray for perfect weather and for Houston to be a city of second third fourth chances because the lineup they’ve provided is absolutely going to bring it. (Our information came from multiple sources on Reddit, but /u/3rdCoastTexasToast gave us the rundown by year)

in bloom.jpg

From what I could find, there aren’t really any crazy events outside of music happening since they’re cramming over 50 artists into two days on only 4 stages, but familiarize yourself with the map so you know where places like the Beatbox Lounge and the Bud Light Dilly Dilly Lounge are. That way you know where to head when you need a short break between acts. Also, there will be Chipotle being served between the Flora and Fauna stages, but unless you have an unwavering affinity for Chipotle, we recommend going to the Houston Eats food truck areas and trying out The Waffle Bus for chicken and waffle sandwiches, Moku Bar for marinated poke flown in fresh from Hawaii daily, or Breaking Bao for fusion steamed buns.

map.jpg

First off, let me start by saying that this draft was a little difficult for us. We draft a majority of artists that we don’t know (finding undiscovered music is the whole point of what we do on our podcast), but it’s fairly hard when the lineup is so “A-list” that we’ve heard of almost all of the bands/artists. We kept the same rules as always though, and were only allowed to draft two artists we previously listened to. I’m glad we did keep the same rules because we both found some really incredible music that we hadn’t come across before. Without further ado, here’s our draft of must-see artists at the In Bloom Music Festival.

**Note there are some affiliate links in this post. Don’t feel obligated to support the artists through them, they are just an easy way to link their albums. It’s also a way to support us with no extra investment on your part. Support the artists through Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, GooglePlay, wherever.**

Spotify Playlist of our Draft:

Spotify

Round 1

Seth: Lil Dicky

When a festival has so many great rappers, you have to make a decision early, get the one you’re most excited about, and lock it down. Since hearing Lil Dicky’s “Professional Rapper” in 2015, I have really been into this guy. A rapper who isn’t afraid to tackle difficult subjects, finds humor in the harm, and is self-deprecating the whole way is a dude I can relate to. I would also be interested to see him perform “Pillow Talking” to see what kind of inflection and timbre he’d have in his voice when quickly alternating between multiple characters.

Check out Professional Rapper:

Caleb: Broken Social Scene

Broken Social Scene are a huge collective that vary from show to show and album to album on how many members they have. Most of their members are in other projects including:  Metric, Feist, Stars, Apostle of Hustle, Do Make Say Think, KC Accidental, Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, Amy Millan, and Jason Collett. Broken Social Scene came out of hiatus in 2017 with their album Hug of Thunder, which featured many of the former members, and 18 total credited artists. I personally think it’s their second best album behind their self-titled from 2005. Their show should be awesome to see, with eclectic sounds spanning from across nearly 2 decades.

Most recent album:

Round 2

Caleb: Sylvan Esso

This show is a must see if you love female vocals. There is this perfect dissonance between soul crushing lyrics and groovy synths and beats that is just infectious. Check out “Play it Right” from their debut album for a perfect example of what I mean. And nearly everyone has heard “Die Young” from their newest album. It’s like if Daughter had teamed up with the Stranger Things soundtrack.

Most recent album:

Seth: Say Girl Say

Brigette Yawn and Suzan Zaghmouth form Say Girl Say, a super smooth duo that hails from the festival’s backyard, Houston, Texas. What is so beautiful about these guys is their absolutely flawless harmonies. I mean, I just watched them perform “Buried Alive” three times, and I was blown away each time. They are a perfect example that less can be more when it comes to instrumentation, laying down a basic drum beat before picking up a guitar and bass and using them to compliment each of their strong, passionate voices.

Check them out:

say girl say

Round 3

Seth: Son Little

Son Little is pure magic. Aaron Livingston has created R&B that is so amorphous that you aren’t even sure it’s the same artist from song to song. Drawing on so many different genres of music to get what he calls “New Magic,” he is an artist who most people will enjoy, whether it’s for the hypnotizing instrumentation, the soulful voice of Aaron, or just the way his music makes you close your eyes and forget the world around you.

Caleb: Ugly God

The second I saw Ugly God wearing Ash Ketchum’s pokemon hat, I knew I had to at least listen. I think Ugly God will be a really fun show if you just want to dance and feel like a badass for a little bit. If you are a big fan of hip-hop and “trap” music, I think you’ll enjoy this set. Notable songs to check out: “Water”, “Imma Dog” (this is my favorite), and “Like a Maverick”.

Most recent album:

Round 4

Caleb: Neil Frances

This is about getting in on the ground floor ground floor. This artist only has 4 singles out, not even a full length yet. Start with “Music Sounds Better With You”. It’s a nice throwback, incorporating Funk and R&B elements over a smooth bass line. This is one of those bands where I imagine you just start groovin’ in song one and it lasts for the whole set. Take your friends to this set that no one has ever heard of, and enjoy the looks of admiration from them.

Most recent album:

Seth: Mikky Ekko

In 2012, Mikky Ekko released one of my favorite songs of all time, Pull Me Down. He soon branched off from what I felt made him incredibly special, but millions of people around the world felt that he hit his stride with “Stay,” a quadruple platinum song that he performed with Rihanna. Either way, whether it’s old Mikky or newer Mikky, one thing remains the same; the man has one of the smoothest higher registers of anyone making music right now. If you are looking for smooth R&B beats overshadowed by one of the best voices in the industry today, get to this man’s stage.

Figure out why I fell in love with Pull Me Down:

Round 5

Seth: Matt Maeson

I had never heard of Matt Maeson prior to this draft, and after listening to Cringe, I learned exactly what I was missing out on. He is the optimal festival artist. He has a great range, catchy hooks that are easy to yell at the top of your lungs while dancing with your friends, a very unique timbre and cadence, and every song he writes is an anthem. The man has a point to prove and he punches his points home in every song. Expect lots of foot stomping, gang vocals, and a lot of Maeson zealots yelling every word to him. If I had to guess, I would say that this guy’s fans put on as great of a show as he does every time he steps on the stage.

Caleb: Anchor North

Anchor North describes themselves better than I can hope to when they say they are: “a fusion of huge drums, soaring guitar tones, and ambient soulful background noises”. You can tell there are many genres of music that came together with this group, including R&B and soulful indie rock. Check out “Somebody Else” for a contemplative jealous jam, and “Wrong” from their newest EP for indie vibes. This show will be full of variance and feeling.

Most recent album:

Want to hear more from The B-Side Guys?

Check out our most recent podcast here: Episode 11: Secrets (Part 1/2)