TOTD: Matthew And The Arrogant Sea “Little Things”

Matthew and the Arrogant Sea has been a regularly revolving band on my playlists ever since Spotify started doing their “Discover Weekly” playlists. Mock Origami thrust me into the world of Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, and I’ve been sporadically listening to their tight harmonies and quirky instrumentation for a while now. Little Things is different. Little Things is what maturation looks like.

Don’t get me wrong, I still listen to Family Family Family Meets the Magic Christian, but it’s usually for a sense of nostalgia. Their album that came out last year, The Glooms Pt. 1, is exactly what I’m looking for in this moment though. With guitar that could be in any surfer rock song, vocals that play with being intentionally off key but having the control to pull it back at the perfect moment, and percussion that doesn’t overstep and holds everything together, this song has hit for me in all the right places.

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I know I’m supposed to talk about a specific track on the TOTD, but I also want to touch on the album as a whole. It is incredible! Do yourself a favor and listen to it all. Ranging from really fluid dream pop sounds to vintage Decemberists, there really is something for everyone.

Morning Commute: The Prussians “Karma”

For your morning commute on this beautiful (at least here) Sunday morning is from your bed to your favorite brunch spot, but we’ve got you covered either way.

Hailing from the small island of Mallorca, off of the coast of Spain, this 5 piece indie rock group is making the kind of music that deserves to be heard on a global scale. I don’t know what the music scene is like on the island, but The Prussians have not only made the Morning Commute today, but have already infiltrated multiple personal playlists.

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I hate that we came across this song immediately after the Bad Luck episode of the podcast because as you may have guessed from the title, this song is all about whether Karma is real or not.

Do you believe in karma instantly?
Then why are your actions so boring?

A question that we ask ourselves here at B-Side Guys all the time is essentially that same question. Do you believe that actions you take change future events? Obviously if you make the action today to not fill up a tire that’s low, it can lead to a flat tire, but if I pass a homeless man on the side of the road and do nothing to help, is that the cause for the flat tire? In short, I would lean towards a resounding no. That begs the question, “Why are you making such safe choices in your day to day life then?”

With heady vocals that fall in line with Arctic Monkeys, the opening verse is about as close to perfect as it gets. Starting with vocals and snaps, every measure adds something new until “3,2,1,” and then the song really starts.

If you find yourself with extra time on the commute, watch their music video for Soul too. Only if your commute is by public transportation, carpool, walking, or anything where you aren’t behind the wheel. Watch responsibly.

Also, side note to the band if you’re reading this, let us know about the music scene on the island. We would love to find out more.

TOTD: Carter Vail “Melatonin”

Okay, let’s start out with something real quick. I wasn’t sold on this song at first because of the way it opens at the 8 second mark is reminiscent of a 90’s boy band. I expected to hear someone say, “I want it that way,” but I was definitely pleasantly surprised.

When Carter Vail’s vocals kick in, you can tell this is going to be a completely different, more inspired, beast entirely. Carter Vail says, “Melatonin is an unusual blend of laid back guitar music and Americana banjos. Lyrically focused, the song brings to mind a west coast nostalgia, with images of pink sunglasses, wired telephones and Cadillacs,” and he could not be more on point. It reminds me of the best sleep I’ve ever had.

This is actually a very true story, and an appropriate anecdote. I dreamt one time that my wife and I were driving up California Route 1 in an old Shelby Cobra, and it is seriously the best dream I’ve ever had. I’ve had more exciting dreams, but this one is my favorite. This one gave off a feeling of warmth. That’s what this song is. Everyone has heard a song that got their heart rate going more, but that’s not the point of this song. Some songs were meant to be played with the windows down, driving on scenic backroads, with sunglasses and no directions. This is one of those.

TOTD: Jesse Daniel “Gracie Henrietta”

 

It’s Friday night! Are you guys partying? The second you hit a lull and need a pick me up, throw this song on the house playlist to part like it’s 1955 (but now you have MDMA and Tinder). I really can’t get enough of this song. Whoever is playing the piano is absolutely ripping!

 

“Jesse Daniel’s self-titled debut album sounds both fresh and familiar from beginning to end. Pairing classic country styling with honest and compelling lyrics, Jesse’s album plays like an old favorite with a twist that is both edgy and uniquely his own.”

– Zach Taylor, Raised Rowdy

I really couldn’t agree more with this quote from Jesse’s website. When I read a bit about Jesse on his website, it seems that he has a deeply American story to tell, full of broken families, picking yourself up by the bootstraps, homesteading, heart break, and so much more. If you are tired of pop-country that you hear on the radio, but want some intellectual twang in your life, you can’t go wrong with Jesse Daniel.

 

-Caleb

 

Morning Commute Double Feature: Jim Audet

Get ready for a music filled day from B-Side Guys! New music Friday means tons and tons of new music just for you guys!

“Mojave Rain” is about the procrastination of the government to do anything about mass shootings, and how it becomes too late for those who are unfortunate enough to be involved in these events.

“Sex & Money” is track 1 off “The Lookout EP” set to release June 1st on Spotify. “The Lookout EP” is an “off the wall” concept record dealing with a spectrum of socio-political problems, mainly issues surrounding our culture’s obsession with sex, money, and violence in the media.

 

Alright. Now that you’ve listened to both, let’s explore them:

 

“Mojave Rain

First of all, how great is this guy’s voice? I told him he sounds like a slightly higher pitched Jim Morrison, especially on the “Sex and Money” track. The song itself is very topical, unfortunately it’s topical about every two weeks or so, because it’s about mass shootings and the governmental response to them.

The song starts with really strong, jarring lyrics:

“They no need no control
Gonna bet a dime, little Suzie, gonna bet your soul”

Referring to the seeming willingness for our government to sacrifice children for a quick buck, or more specifically the willingness of those who lobby the government to do so. Obviously gun control is a hot button layered issue, but I think it’s art’s job to help us think about these things that effect us, and the song really makes it clear what’s at stake in this debate.

“Good God, it’s too late,
Got caught up in a downpour, in the Mojave Rain

Say son, did you make the grade?
Save a brother down with a barricade, when there was rain in the Mojave?
Was it oh, so D.F.A, with a window wide on 32? ”

 

I love the dissonance between making the grade and saving someone. These two things shouldn’t be happening side by side, and you could argue if they are happening side by side, the learning environment is going to be effected. My biggest question in the song is why the title and repetition of Mojave rain? I know the Mojave is a desert, so it doesn’t get much rain. In fact it is the driest desert in all of North America. Maybe he’s using that as a metaphor for how unlikely it is to see any change on this issue soon? What do you guys think?

 

 

“Sex and Money”

I’m not going to talk about this one too at length because (hint hint) you’re going to be seeing this one again on the podcast. But like I mentioned before, how much does this song sound like a modernized The Doors song? I also love the throwback visuals of the video. There is a lot to explore here regarding our societies relationship to sex, money, and violence, and we will be following up that discussion on our podcast in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, check out all of Jim Audet’s new EP right here, and support this dude so we can see what else he comes up with.

 

-Caleb