Morning Commute: Snailmate – “On You”

Image result for snailmate

 

Good morning B-Side Enthusiasts! Man, we really need to give you guys a better nickname, any ideas? Shoot us a message on Facebook or something. Anyway, I have a great track for you to start off this Monday morning. It’s a really catchy song with some really fun synths that seems to have a lot more depth below the surface. Let’s dive into a little of the lyrics:

“Ok where do I start…
it was probably the laser beams blasting out of your eyes like you hated me.
Creating craters in my space you made my neighbors freak.
All the sudden I’m self conscious about the way I speak.
You said you can turn your gaslight off.
I no longer need it’s illumination to write songs.
I don’t feed off the accumulation of fights gone wrong like I used to so lose the abuse dude.”

So to me the song is reflecting on a dysfunctional relationship of some sort, and the narrator seems to be self consciously exploring the ways that they weren’t the best partner. The interesting thing to me is the “gaslighting” part, only because that seems to potentially complicate the rest of the song. Who is doing the gaslighting? If it is the narrator, then the song that follows is pretty straight forward, and the gaslighting is just one of the many things that the narrator is reflecting on about himself that he may have done wrong. If the partner was doing the gaslighting, then it becomes difficult to decipher the rest of the song. Is that narrator actually the one in the wrong in this relationship? Or have they just been made to feel that way because every fight or criticism turns it self around “on them.” Either way it’s a really interesting song with a really funky jam. I recommend you listen to it 20 more times and then tell me what you think.

Bio: Snailmate was formed by Kalen Lander and Ariel Monet in early 2015 in Phoenix, AZ. To date, the band has independently released 3 EPs (on tape and CD) one 7 inch vinyl split, one tape split and one full length album “Love in the Microwave” (digital distribution by OCML records) which together have amassed thousands of physical sales and Digital downloads and garnered praise from press outlets such as Phoenix New Times, Java Magazine, Rogue Valley Messenger, ABQ Free Press and more. The band’s self-booked touring began spring of 2015 and they haven’t stopped since. Snailmate has played clubs in every region of the country while also performing at SXSW, Evel Knievel days, UFO festival, multiple pride festivals, State fairs, Maximum Ames and Fog Fest.  The duo will continue touring the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and more until they die.

 

-Caleb

 

Morning Commute: The Duskwhales – “Fight Back”

“Yet here we are stuck in this world
Oh it’s riddles in the dark
That keep us up as we toss and turn in
To God only know what

If you can’t fight back then I’ll fight back for ya
If you can’t fight back then I’ll fight back for ya
If you can’t fight back then I’ll fight back ”

Good morning and Happy Weekend! Are you looking for an inspirational story to start off 2019? Good, me too. First, check out this music video to get in the appropriate mood:

Alright, good. The song itself is so upbeat and creates a feeling of safety and warmth with the lyrics. Before I go much deeper, check out this interview from the artist, Chris Baker, before we move on, it’s only 5 minutes and I promise it’s worth your time:

Alright, at this point hopefully you are getting the inspirational story and message. The band describes the motivation behind this project as this: “This song was produced by a non-profit organization called Cancer Can Rock and written after the band’s drummer went through cancer treatment earlier this year. “Fight Back” is an anthem to fight back against cancer and a call to action to help those who can’t help themselves.”

I really like that this song is layered so deeply. On one hand, if you are struggling with something, hopefully it’s inspirational to you to make it through, but also, even if you aren’t struggling with something, I like that the song encourages us to find someone who is, and help them. We are all stuck on this rock hurtling through space together, and we only have each other. Make sure you do your part in making this rock better for someone else. I can’t think of a better way to start off a new year.

 

-Caleb

 

TOTD: Nicola Carrara – “Quizás Es Tiempo”

 

This song is so groovy. I admittedly don’t speak the language, so much of the lyrical content is lost on me, but the music is universal. The smooth guitars are perfect when I’m getting work done at my real job. I have my headphones and it transports me into a state of sublimity. I really can’t get enough of this song, and really of this artist in general, I’ve been jamming to his other track, Tobogan for months now.  I can’t wait until he releases a full length, because this artist is just oozing with talent and groove. This song, which translates to “Maybe It’s Time”, makes me think that maybe it’s time we started paying more attention to Nicola Carrara.

Bio: Currently, he continues working the remaining pieces of his first album, which will be released soon. At the same time, he is still producing and recording bands in the CamaronbrujoMúsica studio.

-Caleb

TOTD: Falaises – Boy

This is one of my favorite songs right now. The way it builds from a fun 80s sounding synth into a song that really is impossible not to dance around to belies the fact that the song actually has some melancholia in the lyrics. I love when sadder lyrics are hidden in pretty upbeat packages. This one seems to be a lot about unrequited love,

“Everyone reminds me of you boy
Everywhere I’m seeking you boy
Be my friend.
At every lie I want you more
Touching you, feeling you roar
Be my friend.”

My favorite part of the song is probably around the 3 minute mark or so when it breaks into almost an entirely new song for a few bars. The word “falaises” translates to cliff in French. And this song is full of cliffs, and valleys, and crescendos. It’s one amazingly fun ride that will have you hitting repeat as soon as it’s over.

Here’s a bonus if you liked the song:

-Caleb

Mid-Day Music Blast: Calan Mai – “XO”

Hey guys! I’m so excited to be back and sharing music with you guys. I have an absolutely great song for your lunch break today. The Rolling Stone  compared their sound to Conor Oberst and Bon Iver. If you think those sounds are kind of far apart, I agree, but I sort of see where they are coming from. There is a rustic and small town feel to the lyrics, much like Conor, but the production on the song is smooth like Bon Iver. I could see this song on an underground college hipster’s playlist, right alongside a SNL appearance as a feature artist. It’s really an interesting and dynamic dichotomy.

When asked about the message behind the song Calan Mai has said, “When someone writes ‘xo’, that doesn’t mean they want to kiss and hug you. When they send a smiley face, they aren’t really smiling. The world is a bit like that now-a sea of lovehearts, likes, upvotes and retweets. You ask for validation and get bright lights and numbers in return. And I’m no better. I doubt myself. I compare myself. I wonder how many times this song will get played. That’s what ‘XO’ is about-wanting to reach through your LCD screen and grab the world by the collar and say, ‘I do make the cut. I do have potential. And this song is a good f*cking song.”

It is a good fucking song. And you can find it wherever you listen to music right here: Linky

-Caleb

Morning Commute New Year New Me Edition (and a brief apology) 1/4/2019: Levant – “Time to Shine”

Hey guys. You probably noticed we haven’t posted in a while. That’s kind of a bummer. There’s been some things going on in the background that has kept us from doing this blog justice, mostly concerning obligations and real work and real-life responsibility. It’s a new year though, and I am committed to posting several times a week at the very least. I hope you stayed around, and enjoy our journey into the future, because we still have so much amazing music to share with you. Let’s get it started today with this awesome track from Levant called “Time to Shine.”

Levant- “Time to Shine”

This project is really cool. Levant wrote and arranged all the songs on this project, but then had different people come into the studio to play/sing the songs.  This track features JJ Jackson from The Bastard Sons and is the closing track on the album, Beneath rubble, run rivers red, which can be found on all your major music providers. I really love how this song feels like a taste of something new and something old. It has some moments that sound a lot like mid 00s indie, and even some tinges of grunge, but it’s also something completely new and fresh. The thing I think that stands out the most to me in this song is the creative use of the sample, and the transitions between piano and low end instrumentation.

 

-Caleb

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

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

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

Pkwy – “Punisher”

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

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

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

 

Charles Edison – “My Mother”

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

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

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

Friede Merz – “ALBION”

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

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

Check out more here:

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Farewell Company – “Gulf Breeze Motel”

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

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

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

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

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

 

-Caleb