Podcast Episode 14: Creativity

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-Caleb

Show notes:

Join Seth and Caleb as they discuss creativity, audience, Bob Ross, Irish Whiskey, drinking while pregnant, hip-hop philosophy, and as always, the best music you’ve never heard.

Caleb’s book if you are interested: www.amazon.com/Cosmic-Hello-Less…=the+cosmic+hello

Intro: Freedom Baby – I Want to Give

song.link/us/i/1374721588

Glamour and the Baybes – Taking it Back
itunes.apple.com/us/album/taking-…787?i=1355528791

2. Brian Freeman – Facade
itunes.apple.com/us/album/keep-in…light/1360386830

3.PENPALS – Up to the Sky
pen-pals.bandcamp.com/track/up-to-the-sky

4. Lightning Echoes – In Circles
itunes.apple.com/ca/album/one-tin…ingle/1368296524

5. Twiddy – Live From The Bowling Alley
itunes.apple.com/us/album/live-fr…s&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

twiddy – Live from the Bowling Alley [LIVE PERFORMANCE VIDEO]

6. Robert Ledet – Play For Free
robertledet.bandcamp.com/track/play-for-free

7. Freedom Baby – I Want to Give
song.link/us/i/1374721588

Don’t forget to check out our previous episodes here.

If you like what we do, and you have a spare $1 per month, please consider supporting us on Patreon.

Morning Commute: Air Stranger “Sunday So Good”

Let’s get funky this Saturday morning. I love getting these studio session versions of songs. You really get a feel for how talented each member is, and how well her voice holds up in a personal setting. I was kind of half listening when the song first came up, and then I heard the voice and wasn’t expecting it to be coming from a tiny white girl. I don’t know where she stores all that soul and lung capacity, but it’s very impressive. She has a spoken word break down, she hits every note on the range, and she’s seemingly pretty charismatic with her presence. This band has quickly hit the top of my “must see in person” list. It seems like they are mostly around Vancouver at the moment, but I’m holding out hope for an eventual U.S. tour.

Image result for air stranger

Luckily for us, Air Stranger has given us some insight to what inspired this song:

“Sunday So Good takes its inspiration from a Richard Pryor stand-up routine where he imitates an old man reminiscing about the days when the sun came out only on Wednesdays and people used to rub it all over their bodies. That monologue spurred Irish vocalist Sophie Ricshar to write a verse for the song Summertime and she superimposed the melody over a Meters song. When she traveled from her hometown in Dublin to Vancouver, Canada, she met Air Stranger, who had composed a funk jam that fit her idea perfectly.

The line, ‘Working five to live two is not a thing that you should do,’ exemplifies how life should not be experienced through the monotony of a day job just to live on the weekends. The lyrics are a call for society to get out of the routine of everyday life and ‘make each day a Sunday So Good.'”

So I guess Sophie kind of does her own thing and this is a one time installment? Hopefully they can make more music together, because this track really works. I also love the Richard Pryor reference and the lesson to not live for the weekend, but find a life that you want to live daily. I know that is something that a lot of us in the music world are working hard at achieving.

-Caleb

Did you know we do a podcast? It’s pretty great. I’m editing our most recent episode today, so look out for a new one Monday. In the meantime, check out our first 13 episodes here.

 

Video of the Day: Jules Rendell ft. Goz-i-am – “The Return”

It really doesn’t get much more gorgeous than this. The music is soothing and beautifully sung. The cinematography knows how to be subtle with it’s shots of the gorgeous piano. On their press package they explained a bit about why they chose to do such a stripped down version of this track:

“There was something about the third single from my album IMAGINE, The Return, that called out for a more raw, emotional offering… maybe it’s because we all worry too much and deep down we want to be free of it. We stripped out the electronic aspects of the song and took it back to basics with just a grand piano and vocal, reminiscent of an Emeli Sandé reworking or an intimate Jessie Ware vocal.

We spend our lives worrying about things that don’t really matter. We chase after success, value achievement and stature, but it’s a trap that can tie us up. I think love is what can free us from all that stuff, a place of acceptance. That’s what the song is about.”

That’s what I love most about this song too. It almost sounds like a gospel song in structure, though she nicely mentions the “chains of religion” in the song. But what I mean is it’s one of those songs that makes you tear up and you don’t really know why. It warns us of worrying our lives away, while also seeming to swell to a sea of positivity and hope that touches something deeply human inside us. If it doesn’t, poke yourself with a stick or something.

-Caleb

Want to hear the original album version of “The Return”? We did too, so we added it to our June TOTD Spotify playlist. Check that out here.

 

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

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

HAUS Music – “Rêves Ephémères”

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jesse Jo Stark – “Dandelion”

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

Cara Hammond – “How I Feel”

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

 

Joe Garvey – “What Your Time Is Worth”

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

 

The Millennial Club – “Santa Barbara”

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

The Little Miss – “American Dream”

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

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

 

The Fey – Contender

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

 

-Caleb and Seth

 

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

Video of the Day: Rotana “Crime”

Rotana steals the Video of the Day even though the video itself is a simple loop. That tells you two things: the loop is appealing to the eye, and the song is absolutely stellar. Rotana’s voice comes from the most vulnerable part of a person, and the lyrics are open and honest.

If nothing is for keeps
Can I keep you close for a minute?
I don’t know what’s real,
But I really want to feel you now.

Get a little close
Can I stop your heart for a minute?
If we don’t give a fuck,
Is that really such a crime?

The chorus speaks to object impermanence and how life is a finite structure with a definitive end at an undisclosed time. We’ve been on a kick of talking about pursuing what is going to make you the happiest and worrying about the consequences later, and this song is no different.

Rotana’s voice held onto me for over two minutes as minimal instruments backed her up, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. What a great track for when you’re hanging out with someone you love, or at least moderately like…

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.

Morning Commute: Caelo – “How Does It Feel”

Good morning readers. If coffee isn’t enough this morning, we have a high energy track to wake you up. Mixing elements of punk, alt. rock, stadium anthems, and more, Caelo asks us “How Does It Feel” this morning. It feels good Caelo, it feels good. The thing I like most about this track is, on it’s surface, the riff is somewhat simplistic and straightforward, but as the song builds, you start to hear all of these additional elements that layer it and make it clear that Caelo aren’t just interested in being another punk band. The hook has a Foo Fighters vibe to me, and then later in the song we get some interesting synth elements that take it into an almost Muse-ish direction.

Basically I guess what I’m saying is, Caelo has successfully taken some of the world’s biggest rock sounds from the past decade, and mashed them together in a sound that is all their own. And the best part? This is a B-Side track. Go check them out on Spotify to hear more of their singles and really get a feel for the full array of potential in this band. You can also catch them on our monthly Spotify playlist right here.

-Caleb

 

Mid Day Music Blast: Kuwaisiana “Virgin”

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

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

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

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

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

Caleb’s Favorite Releases June 15th: Jah Movement, David Myhr, Maddison, Johnny Conqueroo, Mikey Wax

Favorite Summer Song: Jah Movement “To You I Pray”

I always find myself getting into Reggae vibes in the summer. It’s just music that sounds like you should be sitting in the sun, with a spritzy drink in hand. This song particularly seems to focus on some Rastafarian elements of love and spirituality. There are some excellent instrumentals, with some fun melody matching with a lead guitar (or maybe a synth, not positive, but you’ll hear it). Another thing I like about this song is the message, self-described as: “With all the trouble that is going on in the world today. We hope and pray to Jah that it will get better for our Youths.” Who can’t get behind that?

Favorite Video: David Myhr “My Negative Friend”

I mean I assume after you watch 2 seconds of this video you can get what I like about it. The music itself is exceptional and upbeat, but the really cool animation style just pulls you in. The clunky FPS give it a surreal vibe, and then once the chorus kicks in, and by extension all the flowers and colors kick in, you’d have to be soulless not feel completely powerless to be a “negative friend”. I hope this song/video leaves you feeling better than when you entered. “We only get one chance in this world we’re living in, so make it a good one.”

Favorite song for my morning Bike Ride: Maddison “Lose My Mind”

So the best thing for me when on a bike ride, is a consistent beat that has me nodding my head, and something upbeat. This song checks all the boxes. It is upbeat, has a choir effect on the vocals reminiscent of The Black Keys, a sick guitar solo, and a rocking drum beat. This should be added to everyone’s workout playlists, or summer windows down playlists, your choice.

 

Favorite lyrics: Johnny Conqueroo “Why?”

Sometimes I’m a man who loves depressing lyrics. The bluesy vibe of this song, with the emotive driven vocals really add to the desperation found in these words, that ultimately end, without resolution, with a suicide attempt in a hotel room. If I’m feeling optimistic, maybe the sick outro riff, and organ give us a glimpse of redemption, or maybe that’s what death sounds like. Either way, here are the lyrics in full: (note, if you are thinking of suicide please talk to someone, you are not crazy for feeling that way, but you also aren’t out of options)

Some people think I’ve lost my head

Some people wish I was dead

and just maybe, just maybe it will come true

Checked into my motel room

looked through the phonebook

and I couldn’t find nobody I could call

And I said Why, why why, is everyone so cold?

And I said why, why, why is everyone so cold?

I saw my only friend today

he didn’t have nothing to say

So I guess I’m here all alone

And I said why, why, why is everyone so cold?

And I said why, why, why is everyone so cold?

Put the belt around my neck

smoked my last cigarette

and I felt my skin turn so cold

And I said why, why, why is everyone so cold?

And I said why, why, why is everyone so cold?

Favorite composition: Mikey Wax “Big Little Life”

This song is just so perfectly constructed. The beat is fairly consistent throughout, but the guitar work progresses really nicely, and you hear these moments where a slide is happening in the background, either with a guitar or a synth emulating it. That’s not even mentioning the lyrics which focus on building a life and growing old together with bubbly vocals. This song is going on all of my summer playlists (and also our monthly playlist which you can find here.) Also, if I’m not mistaken, Mikey is getting married tomorrow (June 16th) so congrats on “building that big little life”.

Morning Commute: Lion Sphere “Keep Dreaming”

SoundCloud link, if you don’t like Spotify

This song is so smooth. What better song to get you through your last day of the work week?If you’re like me and don’t work a conventional 9 to 5, this is still a wonderful song for anyone who isn’t currently where they pictured themselves at this point in their life.

“Keep dreamin’
Believin’ in you
Keep dreamin’
Reach at the moon”

The song talks about how you need to keep dreaming, but it’s not just a song to encourage you to keep dreaming. What makes this song lyrically special to me is that there is almost a call to action. They aren’t encouraging a one-sided relationship, but finding your community. Encouragement to follow your dreams is always a nice thing to receive, but they make sure giving someone else that encouragement is as prominent of an idea as the reception.

“I don’t
think that
we will fade to gray
you’ve got me
and I’m out here for you”

This groove though. My three year old just came in the room and said, “Daddy, who is this? It’s groovy, man.” First off, my three year old is saying, “It’s groovy, man,” so I’m doing something right. Secondly, he couldn’t be more right. The instrumentation is kept light and fun, keeping the song in the clouds as much as the lyrics do, and the control in Joel Montagud, the singer’s, voice is stellar as he flips from his lower register to his falsetto with ease, and then running back down the scale, all in one breath. The instrumental intro sounds like a Zelda game if it was rated “Mature” for adult themes. Starting as a sexy video game and building into something much more than that, Keep Dreaming is that summer jam that you had no idea would make it onto all of your playlists for the season. I may be projecting my feelings towards the song onto you, but if you aren’t adding it to your playlist, you’re doing summer wrong. Check out this live performance of the song to see that they aren’t a post production band, and can absolutely hold up their end of the deal in live performances.

Also, check out the June Spotify playlist if you don’t want to miss any of the artists that we post this month.

Did you know we also have a podcast? Check that out here.

-Seth