Weeknight Wrap Up: Mayor’s House, Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Leah Tash, Aris & Edi, Pacific Avenue, Zhaklina, Sail Cassady, Annie Bartholomew, Colton Cerny, and Hera

Good evening, folks! It’s midweek, and while the weekend might still be a tantalizing two days away, we’re here to inject some auditory energy into your Wednesday night. Welcome back to our regular ‘Weeknight Wrap Up’, where we bring you a selection of the standout tracks that have been circulating our playlists today. Whether your Wednesday was filled with back-to-back Zoom meetings or a marathon study session, we’ve got the perfect sonic antidote for you. From heart-pounding beats to soul-soothing melodies, we’ve got something for every mood. So take a breather, slide into those comfy earphones, and let’s immerse ourselves in the vibrant soundscapes that have been delighting us today. Welcome to the ‘Weeknight Wrap Up!’

Mayor’s House – “Emma”

In their newest single “Emma,” Mayor’s House proves once again that their multifaceted musical skills and deep emotional resonance can conjure stirring alt-rock magic. The New York-based band paints a vivid, empathetic portrait of the titular Emma, merging her story of navigating queer identity in a conservative Canadian town with frontwoman Emily Morris’ own experiences. Morris’ songwriting is both deeply personal and expansively communal, celebrating the profound connections that can form in the unlikeliest of circumstances. The track itself is a powerful showcase of the band’s dynamic musicianship, weaving a tapestry of tender harmonies and lush guitar lines over a driving percussive backbone, creating an immersive sonic landscape that feels as expansive as it does intimate.

Beyond the lyrical poignancy, what makes “Emma” particularly compelling is the band’s chameleonic musical capabilities. From swapping between instruments to navigating diverse genres, Mayor’s House is a group of multi-instrumentalists whose expansive palette adds a unique layer to their sound. This band of lifelong friends, having honed their craft since high school, ensures that each track is a surprise package, not just in theme, but also in instrumentation and arrangement. The song is a testament to the band’s growing maturity and a worthy follow-up to their debut single “Poetry.” With “Emma,” Mayor’s House stands up as an alt-rock act of depth and daring, showcasing an adventurous approach to narrative songwriting and a willingness to explore the lesser-traversed territories of their musical landscape.

Brooklyn Funk Essentials – “Intuition”

With their 7th studio album “Intuition,” Brooklyn Funk Essentials (BFE) reaffirm their place as torchbearers of the modern funk movement. This masterfully assembled collection exhibits the band’s knack for intricately designed R&B, discofunk, and poly-riddims, tied together with contagious grooves and pop-inspired hooks. The title track, “Intuition,” serves as the album’s jewel with its catchy blend of Brubeck, Chaka Khan, and Nino Rota influences, embodying the spirit of the ensemble’s playful experimentation. Alison Limerick’s soulful vocals meld seamlessly with Desmond Foster’s guitar work, culminating in a layered sonic experience backed by Hux’s irresistible drumming, showcasing the band’s renewed vitality since their 2019 album ‘Stay Good.’

Diving deeper into ‘Intuition,’ we find BFE’s fusion of classic funk elements with contemporary sensibilities reaching its peak. Tracks like ‘Rollin’’ and ‘AA Side Single’ brim with ’70s soul nostalgia and brass-tinged riffs, with grooves that feel as though they’ve been carved from the heart of the funk tradition. The album also showcases poetic contributions from original member Everton Sylvester, whose profound tribute to single mothers in ‘Mama’ weaves together heartfelt sentiments with the enchanting trombone lines of Ebba Âsman. From the funk-heavy ‘Scream!’ to the introspective R&B reflection of ‘Unkissed,’ ‘Intuition’ encapsulates BFE’s unabashed diversity and musical prowess. With this release, Brooklyn Funk Essentials solidify their musical identity, continuing their legacy as creators of innovative, genre-bending soundscapes, ever true to the pulse of funk that drives their creative intuition.

Leah Tash – “Water in that Well”

With her latest single “Water in That Well,” Leah Tash encapsulates an elegant synergy between the vintage echoes of Americana and the grittiness of modern blues, revealing a profoundly rooted connection to her musical forebears like The Carter Family and Bessie Smith. Born in New York City in 1995, Tash’s sound evokes the timeless allure of bygone eras while retaining a vibrant resonance with the contemporary musical landscape. She threads together elements of folk, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, and country into a unique tapestry that stands as a testament to her versatile artistry.

“Water in That Well” unfurls a narrative of caution and contemplation. The lyrics revolve around a dichotomy of self-doubt and cautious optimism, probing themes of love, trust, and self-realization. Tash’s lyrical prowess is demonstrated as she explores the dynamics of personal vulnerability — “I’ve got a lot of love/lovin, I’ve got a lot of love / And if I give it all to you what will you do?” — leading into deeper questions of trust, “What if one day I trust you? / Will there be water in that well?”. The song is a journey through her mind’s introspections, evoking imagery of a seeker on a quest for authenticity. Throughout, Tash’s expressive vocal delivery amplifies the emotional depth of the track, painting a vivid picture of personal discovery and resilience. “Water in That Well” stands as a clear embodiment of Leah Tash’s distinctive Americana sound, threaded with powerful sentiments and grounded in a rich musical lineage.

Aris & Edi – “Day By Day”

In “Day By Day,” the burgeoning Romanian duo Aris & Edi chronicle their journey to artistic prominence, weaving together strands of ambition, resilience, and nostalgia in a dynamic sonic tapestry. Aris, who turns past traumas into compelling lyrical narratives, delivers his verses with a masterful flow that harmonizes with Edi’s meticulously crafted beats. The track is a paean to perseverance, designed to energize those engaged in their own grinds and perfect for playlists centered around hip-hop, urban, old school, and underground music.

Aris & Edi are the embodiment of a fresh breeze blowing through the Romanian urban music scene. Aris’s lyrical prowess, forged in the crucible of personal challenges, is complemented by Edi’s deep-seated love for production. Their collaborative efforts result in music that is raw, real, and relentlessly captivating. Despite being in the early stages of their career, their versatility defies categorization, and their enormous potential signals an exciting future. “Day By Day” encapsulates Aris & Edi’s creative vigor and vision, serving as an anthem for their artistic ascent and a testament to their promising future.

Pacific Avenue – “Strawberry Daydream”

From the sun-kissed shores of Australia comes Pacific Avenue’s debut album ‘Flowers,’ whose leading track ‘Strawberry Daydream’ offers a delicious taste of the band’s unique blend of alt-rock. The song is an evocative fusion of the breezy, feel-good melodies that are quintessentially Australian with elements of UK rock – think a cocktail of The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, and modern influences like Stereophonics and Blossoms. This seamless blend delivers an auditory experience that’s both nostalgically familiar and refreshingly progressive. The foursome’s expanding global footprint is clear, as they’ve shared the stage with names like DMA’s, Louis Tomlinson, and 5 Seconds of Summer, and their impending appearance at The Great Escape festival only further underscores their potential.

Drawing inspiration from rock & roll legends such as The Beatles and Rolling Stones, as well as Australian trailblazers Jet and Silverchair, Pacific Avenue infuse their music with an energy that’s uniquely their own. Emerging from Gerringong in 2017, the band has enjoyed a rapid ascent, producing hit tracks like ‘Something Good’ and ‘Easy Love.’ As triple j Unearthed Feature Artists, they’ve garnered high praise, with a slew of successful tours, festival appearances, and chart-topping singles under their belts. With the release of ‘Spin Me Like Your Records’ and the unveiling of their debut album ‘Flowers,’ Pacific Avenue is set to make 2023 a milestone year in their burgeoning career. ‘Strawberry Daydream’ encapsulates the band’s infectious alt-rock vibes and is a surefire reason to keep an ear out for Pacific Avenue.

Zhaklina – “Game Over”

Zhaklina, the unique alt-pop artist, makes an emphatic return with her latest single, “Game Over.” Balancing powerful lyrics such as “loved you more than you deserved, loved me less than I am worth” with her compelling vocals, Zhaklina weaves a tale of battling shame and finding empowerment amidst emotional wounds. The song, produced in collaboration with Nashville-based band Hollow Wake, resounds with a powerful message of strength and resilience. It tells listeners that when they realize that the power to overcome shame comes from within, that’s when the game is over.

Born in New York and of Albanian, Irish, and Greek heritage, Zhaklina is no stranger to the music scene. Her talent led her to tie for first place in the 2015 singing competition “The Audition,” and ever since, she’s been relentlessly pursuing her dream. Her music, characterized by soulful power, edgy approach, and emotive lyricism, insists on authentic connection and meaningful experiences. As someone whose faith is the driving force behind her music, Zhaklina strives to encourage her listeners to live from a place of feeling deeply loved. With the release of “Game Over,” Zhaklina continues to create a space for her audience to feel seen and heard while delivering a deeply empowering message. Her commitment to mental health awareness is evident not only in her music but also in her philanthropy, making her an artist worth following closely.

Sail Cassady – “Lefty”

Sail Cassady’s “Lefty” provides an intimate lens into the realm of perception, revealing how it shapes our understanding of the world despite its flaws and imperfections. The song’s lyrics act as a profound exploration of mental illness, echoing sentiments that range from the affirming “Please hold on to your worth so you’ll never forget your name” to the more troubled “you will smoke in your bed, hide away from the world.” The juxtaposition of these states of mind adds depth and nuance to the narrative, creating a vividly authentic portrayal of the mental health struggle.

“Lefty” serves as a guided tour through the human psyche, unveiling its many layers, from darkness to light, providing listeners with a space for healing and empathy. As the track progresses, it unfolds like a journey, leaving a deep impression on the listener’s mind. Sail Cassady exhibits an uncanny knack for translating complex emotional landscapes into sound, making “Lefty” a poignant and moving experience. This song is a testament to Sail Cassady’s ability to navigate challenging topics with sensitivity, making it a piece that should be appreciated for both its lyrical prowess and emotional depth.

Annie Bartholomew – “All For The Klondike’s Gold”

Annie Bartholomew’s “All For the Klondike’s Gold” captures a haunting narrative about loss, survival, and the harsh economic realities that drove women to take desperate measures in the past. Adapted from a 1901 miner’s poem, the song sheds light on the painful experiences of women left behind in the harsh Northland due to the deaths of their male companions. Bartholomew’s artistic approach aligns with her belief in utilizing the archive as a vital resource, bringing forgotten works back into the light.

Bartholomew, a songwriter and multimedia storyteller from Alaska, infuses her music with themes of survival, resilience, and revelry. “All For the Klondike’s Gold” is a testament to this, echoing with the ghosts of Alaska’s mining past. As an Alaskan, Bartholomew’s portrayal of the local narrative feels remarkably authentic and poignant. The repetitive lines “You lost your husband, you my son / And I my brother bold / Then let us weep our griefs are one / All for the Klondike’s gold” echo the shared sorrow of these women, bound together by a collective tragedy. This song is not just an ode to the forgotten, but a reminder of the resilience embedded in their narratives, making it a powerful piece that is a true reflection of Bartholomew’s artistry and commitment to her craft.

Colton Cerny – “Starlite Theatre”

Colton Cerny’s “Starlite Theatre” is a stirring exploration of a toxic relationship’s aftermath, delivered with a potent fusion of rock, roll, and country soul. The Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter and founding member of Shinglers, Cerny taps into his influences of old-time rock and roll to craft a narrative that is as relatable as it is evocative. The lyricism, deeply reflective and poignant, hits home with its raw portrayal of the emotional fallout of a damaged relationship.

“Starlite Theatre” stands as a testament to Cerny’s mastery over his craft, his ability to weave vivid stories with engaging lyrics and impactful melodies. The metaphor of a rusty nail awaiting the force of a train perfectly captures the feelings of despair and powerlessness that often accompany the end of a toxic relationship. Yet, there’s an underlying thread of resilience and the promise of a fresh start that adds an inspiring dimension to the narrative. This balance of hurt, betrayal, and hope defines “Starlite Theatre” as a cathartic anthem for anyone yearning for emotional closure and the strength to move forward.

Hera – “Radio Silence”

Hera’s new single, “Radio Silence,” is a hauntingly beautiful elegy to a relationship’s end, deeply imbued with an undercurrent of poignant heartbreak and personal introspection. Drawing from a wide spectrum of influences, from the folk-pop lyricism of Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell to ancient Icelandic lullabies, Hera’s songwriting on “Radio Silence” is both captivating and uniquely her own. Collaborating with renowned producer Barði Jóhansson, and recorded in Iceland and New Zealand, the song’s dynamic soundscape evokes a dreamlike world that offers an immersive space for listeners to navigate the aftermath of love lost.

The intimate pain of letting go echoes in the lines “Upping and leaving, as hard as the falling / You never expected me to. / Had to let go, c’os it hurt me like hell / To be hanging onto you.” The thematic core of “Radio Silence” is complemented by the raw emotional landscape crafted by Hera’s voice—its delicacy and power expertly layered over the resonant instrumentals. The song’s lyrical structure reflects the singer-songwriter’s astute sense for crafting impactful narratives. Building upon the success of her eponymous album and her chart-topping single ‘Process,’ Hera’s “Radio Silence” further solidifies her standing as a luminary in the music world, and a captivating storyteller capable of crafting deeply personal, resonant musical experiences.

Mid-Week Mixdown – Copywrite, Bravado Bard, Tobi Adey, A Days Wait, ROAM, Lunavela, Supersonic Platonic

Copywrite – “Want to Three For”

Copywrite, the seasoned emcee and producer hailing from Ohio, serves up a tantalizing instrumental track, “Want To Three For,” taken from his latest beat tape “Ya Garbage Kid.” Released through Man Bites Dog Records and available on Bandcamp, the track is an homage to some of his favorite artists and producers. Though Copywrite is coy about the specifics, listeners are left with a challenge to discern the inspiration behind this intricate creation. The beat masterfully weaves together a lively, mischievous energy that exemplifies Copywrite’s multifaceted persona.

“Want To Three For” is a playground of sound, filled with unexpected twists and turns that make it impossible to remain a passive listener. From the tantalizing vocal sample of a woman moaning, which adds an alluring and mysterious element to the track, to the various sonic layers that build and recede in a continuous ebb and flow, Copywrite showcases his prowess for crafting immersive instrumentals. This offering is a testament to his ability to inject humor, fun, and a touch of darkness into his work, capturing the listener’s attention and keeping them engaged.

As the second single off his debut instrumental album, “Ya Garbage Kid,” “Want To Three For” is a prime example of Copywrite’s talent for blending various elements and influences into a cohesive auditory experience. His passion for the creative process is evident in every bar, as he encourages listeners to find as much joy in the track as he had crafting it. Fueled by his love for cannabis, Copywrite’s inventive spirit shines through, making “Want To Three For” an exciting journey that fans of experimental hip-hop beats won’t want to miss. If you’re looking for more Copywrite, https://www.amazon.com/High-Exhaulted-Copywrite/dp/B00006JCFV/ref=sr_1_2?crid=5RY4S5Q11T5B&keywords=copywrite&qid=1682542071&s=music&sprefix=copywrite%252Cpopular%252C161&sr=1-2&_encoding=UTF8&tag=calexanderpoe-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=051a085545d3a5b519aab9295330d257&camp=1789&creative=9325">Copywritemay we suggest his 2022 album High Exhaulted, which has a perfect rating on Amazon.

Bravado Bard – “Dinner is Served”

Bravado Bard, an emerging artist with years of experience under his belt, presents a captivating track titled “Dinner is Served.” Brimming with metaphors, the song takes listeners on a journey through the artist’s life, cleverly framed within the context of a dinner. Bravado Bard’s unique storytelling ability and skillful wordplay shine through, inviting listeners to delve deeper into his narrative.

From the opening lines, “Dinner is Served” immerses its audience in a vivid, almost cinematic world where life’s experiences are translated into a metaphorical feast. Bravado Bard’s deft lyricism is evident as he weaves together lines like, “She unfaithful brawl. She never made an attempt to see me,” and “Information was mashed. Haters. I passed the haters with knuckles in the mask.” Throughout the track, the listener is treated to a flavorful blend of evocative imagery and emotion that mirrors the artist’s personal journey.

What sets “Dinner is Served” apart is Bravado Bard’s ability to artfully connect the dots between life events and the dining experience. The line “The best plate has yet to be served up” serves as a testament to the artist’s unwavering optimism and determination, suggesting that the finest moments in life are still ahead. Bravado Bard’s “Dinner is Served” is a feast for the ears, a rich and satisfying offering that showcases the artist’s exceptional talents and innovative approach to storytelling.

Tobi Adey – “Soldier”

In Tobi Adey’s “Soldier,” the artist delivers a rousing anthem that captures the essence of hope and perseverance amid life’s challenges. Adey’s emotive voice and heartfelt performance truly bring the lyrics to life, emphasizing the importance of staying strong and rising above adversity. The song resonates deeply with those who may be facing their own obstacles, providing a much-needed sense of solace and encouragement.

The lyrics of “Soldier” beautifully illustrate the value of faith, individuality, and the pursuit of one’s dreams. As Adey passionately sings about rising up like the sun and overcoming any hardships, listeners are inspired to face their own struggles head-on. The lyrics serve as a powerful reminder that we are all capable of conquering our fears and doubts, and that remaining true to ourselves can ultimately lead to success and fulfillment.

Musically, “Soldier” is a diverse blend of genres, ranging from pop and R&B to hip-hop, soul, and electronic. This fusion creates a rich and captivating soundscape that complements the song’s empowering message. The unique blend of styles not only adds depth to the track but also showcases Tobi Adey’s versatility and talent as an artist. Overall, “Soldier” stands as a testament to the power of resilience and the human spirit, and it’s a song that will undoubtedly resonate with listeners from all walks of life.

A Days Wait – “Apologies & Insights”

A Days Wait’s “Apologies & Insights,” produced by Jackson Phillips (Day Wave), is a poignant exploration of the struggles that arise when we feel the world owes us something. The song, off their upcoming album, dives deep into the complexities of playing the victim and coming to terms with the weight of our emotions. With proceeds going to charity, A Days Wait’s track offers listeners not just an immersive musical experience but also a chance to contribute to a greater cause.

The lyrics of “Apologies & Insights” paint a vivid picture of the mental landscape we inhabit during times of hardship and self-pity. Lines like “Everyone I love is headed for the exits” and “A part of me is waiting for things to go wrong” evoke the desolation and anxiety that can accompany these darker moments. Yet, there’s a glimmer of hope in the song’s refrain, where the singer admits to praying for things to move on, suggesting the possibility of growth and change.

Sonically, the track is a rich and captivating experience that resonates with its introspective theme. The song’s melody ebbs and flows, guiding the listener through the emotional journey that unfolds in its lyrics. A Days Wait’s ability to craft an evocative soundscape that complements their introspective and relatable lyrical content makes “Apologies & Insights” a standout track that is sure to leave a lasting impression on those who lend their ears.

ROAM – “Long Way”

ROAM’s “Long Way” delivers a groove-infused, soulful tune that effortlessly combines beats, raps, and melodies to create an unforgettable listening experience. The track showcases the artist’s undeniable talent for blending different musical elements into a cohesive and captivating soundscape.

The lyrics of “Long Way” focus on themes of trust and self-reliance, with the artist reminiscing about the past and highlighting the importance of trusting oneself. The simplicity and repetition in the language used serve to emphasize the core message, making it resonate deeply with listeners. The refrain “We’ve come a long way” serves as a powerful reminder of personal growth and progress, adding an uplifting element to the track.

With its catchy, rhythmic beats and thought-provoking lyrics, ROAM’s “Long Way” is a song that invites listeners to reflect on their own journey while grooving along to the infectious soundscape. The blend of soulful melodies and rap verses creates a unique and engaging track that is sure to appeal to a wide audience. “Long Way” is a testament to ROAM’s ability to produce music that is both meaningful and irresistibly catchy.

Lunavela – “Six-out-of-ten friend”

Lunavela, the creative alter ego of New Zealand singer, songwriter, and former Collapsing Cities frontman Steve Mathieson, brings forth a refreshing 90s-inspired indie dream with the single “Six-Out-Of-Ten Friend.” The track showcases deadpan, observational lyrics that celebrate the weirdly uncomfortable social encounters we often find ourselves in.

As Steve himself explains, “Six-Out-Of-Ten Friend” is not a misanthropic song but rather a celebration of setting better boundaries with people who don’t quite understand us, and embracing the humor in social awkwardness. The song captures the essence of those awkward conversations in places like the pet food aisle of Tesco, where you might bump into an ex-work colleague, music aficionado, or an ex-girlfriend’s husband. In Steve’s words, this is his idea of a pop song.

The single features drummer Alistair Deverick (Boycrush) and bassist Hannan Carter (Steriogram, NO) and serves as a prelude to the full album release, “Imposter Syndrome,” set to debut later this year. The upcoming album encompasses a range of emotions through its bruised pop songs, touching upon universal themes such as sexuality, sobriety, and heartfelt tearjerkers. Steve credits his sobriety as the driving force behind his renewed passion for songwriting, and his current project reflects the joy he has found in making music again. He shares, “My M.O with songwriting on this project is to make you feel something in some form whether that’s make you smile, laugh, cry, sing along, resent me, whatever. It’s taken me so long to do this album as it’s all self-funded, I’m so proud of it, grateful for the people who helped, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Supersonic Platonic – “Gold”

Supersonic Platonic’s latest track, “Gold,” takes listeners on a wild ride with its story of a wealthy man and his gold digger girlfriend, embracing the hedonistic lifestyle they share. The song boasts a distinctive vintage 80s-90s sound, reminiscent of the iconic Guns and Roses era. This connection is no coincidence, as the band’s singer Scott Harris was a former frontman for LA Guns, Tracii Guns’ (from Guns and Roses) band. “Gold” captures the essence of that period’s rock scene, exuding a larger-than-life energy that’s both nostalgic and refreshing.

Supersonic Platonic is all about creating music that will rock your world while having a blast blowing things up into little pieces. For fans of the band, there’s an array of Tattooed Angel merchandise available on their website, tattooedangels.com. To stay updated on the band’s latest happenings, follow their Instagram handle, @Tattooed__Angel. For an inside look at videos and behind-the-scenes content, be sure to check out the Supersonic Platonic YouTube channel.

The band is eager to connect with their fans and hear their thoughts on the music. In a move that is a first for me as a music writer, Supersonic Platonic fans are encouraged to text Supersonic Platonic at 304-591-2910 to share feedback and let the band know how they’re doing. With their explosive sound and unapologetic attitude, Supersonic Platonic is set to ignite the rock scene and leave a lasting impression on their listeners.

Top Ten Tuesdays – Sand Box, DARGZ & K.I.N.E.T.I.K, Jon Tyler Wiley & His Virginia Choir, Rum Buffalo, The Kitchen Collective, Silicon Baby, Aaronson, Black Hat, Tzarizm, Robert John & The Wreck

Sand Box – “Stay In”

“Stay In,” the latest offering from the genre-bending duo Sand Box, delivers a dreamy soundscape that resonates with those who find solace in retreating from the weight of the world. Comprised of Kylie Hazzard and Cameron Black, the duo’s eclectic musical tastes and experimental approach serve as the foundation for their captivating sound. As established creative professionals in the music and film industries, Hazzard and Black infuse their shared experiences into the project, crafting a sonic experience that explores the absurdities of life while inviting listeners to find refuge within their own minds.

The introspective lyrics of “Stay In” provide a poignant glimpse into the internal struggle of facing life’s challenges and seeking solace within one’s own thoughts. As the protagonist navigates the daily grind, their desire to retreat into their own world grows stronger, symbolized by the repeated refrain: “Think I’d like to just stay in my heady today / Through the windows I’ll watch all the animals play.” The vivid imagery and relatable sentiment offer a sense of connection for those who have felt the urge to escape from life’s demands and indulge in moments of introspection.

With “Stay In,” Sand Box has created a masterful ode to the beauty of self-reflection and the power of finding solace in one’s own thoughts. The dreamy score and evocative lyrics seamlessly meld together, forming a sonic cocoon that envelopes the listener in a shared moment of escape. As Sand Box continues to explore the ever-changing landscape of creativity, their unique sound and willingness to embrace the strange and experimental solidify their position as a compelling force in the world of music.

DARGZ & K.I.N.E.T.I.K. – “Love Will Take Me Higher”

In a compelling fusion of New York City hip-hop and London’s vibrant jazz scene, DARGZ’s latest single, “Love Will Take Me Higher,” featuring UK hip-hop MC K.I.N.E.T.I.K. and pianist Charlie Stacey, showcases the power of collaboration and genre-blending. Released through cult label Papercup Records, the track highlights the undeniable synergy between DARGZ’s production skills, K.I.N.E.T.I.K.’s lyrical prowess, and Stacey’s piano expertise. The result is a backpack rap-inspired gem that transcends borders and pays homage to the artists’ respective musical roots.

“Love Will Take Me Higher” is a testament to DARGZ’s commitment to uniting the sounds of ’90s New York hip-hop with the energy of London’s contemporary jazz scene. Drawing on his experiences touring alongside the likes of Vampire Weekend, Haim, and Interpol, DARGZ has forged an authentic and original sound that resonates with listeners across the globe. With collaborations featuring the likes of Moses Boyd, Charley Stacey, James Chelliah, Jayy Starr, Novelty Island, K.I.N.E.T.I.K., and Simon Dufour, DARGZ’s upcoming debut LP is a heartfelt exploration of love for family, music, and the cities that shaped his artistic identity.

As anticipation builds for DARGZ’s debut LP, “Love Will Take Me Higher” serves as a tantalizing preview of what’s to come. Seamlessly blending the nostalgic hip-hop sounds of DARGZ’s youth with the innovative spirit of London’s thriving jazz scene, the single and forthcoming album promise a captivating journey that highlights the transformative power of love and music. By embracing the creative possibilities that emerge from collaboration and genre-crossing, DARGZ, K.I.N.E.T.I.K., and Charlie Stacey have crafted a timeless anthem that transcends expectations and offers a fresh perspective on the ever-evolving world of music.

Jon Tyler Wiley & His Virginia Choir – “Full-Handed”

In a poignant exploration of love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit, Jon Tyler Wiley & His Virginia Choir’s “Full-Handed” offers a raw and powerful examination of a dissolving marriage from a child’s perspective. The track begins with a subdued introspection, but as the emotions build, it culminates in an explosive cacophony that leaves a lasting impact. With its evocative storytelling and masterful musicianship, “Full-Handed” is a testament to the band’s ability to create music that transcends traditional country boundaries and resonates deeply with listeners.

Jon Tyler Wiley & His Virginia Choir is not your typical country band. They expertly blend elements of world music, alternative rock, new wave, and modern jazz, resulting in a unique sound that defies expectations. Composed of seasoned musicians who have performed with artists like Keller Williams, Curtis Grimes, and The Dirty River Boys, the band is known for their energetic live performances and exceptional musicianship. With their 2021 EP and Wiley’s 2022 LP “The Longing” receiving critical acclaim, they continue to push the boundaries of what country music can be.

The heartfelt lyrics of “Full-Handed” expose the raw emotions experienced by a child trying to make sense of their parents’ crumbling relationship. The song’s protagonist grapples with feelings of abandonment and attempts to find solace in their creative expression, while also questioning the depth of their parent’s love. The powerful emotions and vivid imagery in the lyrics, combined with the band’s genre-blending sound, make “Full-Handed” a captivating and memorable track. In a world of superficiality, Jon Tyler Wiley & His Virginia Choir remind us of the power of authentic storytelling and the importance of facing life’s challenges with courage and grace.

Rum Buffalo – “Bloodmoon”

“Bloodmoon” by Rum Buffalo is a genre-defying masterpiece from the 8-piece ensemble, known for pushing the boundaries of what they can achieve. This London-based group has crafted a sound that is as vivid and complex as the city that nurtured them—energetic, spirited, and full of surprises.

Their latest album, “Bloodmoon,” exemplifies the band’s boundless creativity, recorded within a mere ten days in a repurposed barn in Wales. The record is propelled by a lively horn section and vigorous beats, complemented by a haunting, female-led chorus that echoes throughout the album with an almost otherworldly quality. Jake Stevens, the charismatic leader of Rum Buffalo, deftly weaves a sonic tapestry that transcends the ordinary, reflecting the band’s commitment to exploring the unknown in both music and lyrics. The engaging and magnetic nature of the album encourages audiences to embark on a thrilling odyssey with the band.

Navigating the chaotic landscape of London’s music scene, Rum Buffalo has managed to flourish, thanks to Stevens’ unwavering dedication to community and family. Growing up in a single-parent household, Stevens was inspired by his mother—a musician and songwriter herself—who nurtured a close-knit circle of friends that formed a strong support system. This ethos has become a fundamental aspect of Rum Buffalo’s identity. After gaining recognition in the London underground music scene and embarking on international tours, the band crowdfunded £10,000 to complete their eponymous debut record. “Bloodmoon” stands as a tribute to their persistence and artistic ingenuity, featuring the combined talents of Jake Stevens, James Wilson, Jake Chapman, Jamie Reibl, Rosie Turton, Harrison Cole, Felix Weldon, and Nuno Brito. The album was produced by Ru Lemer and engineered by Ru Lemer and Leon Marley Itzler at Giant Wafer Studios in Wales.

The Kitchen Collective – “Temporary Inside”

“Temporary Inside” by The Kitchen Collective is an immersive love song that delves deep into the raw emotions of surrendering to passion. The track’s introspective lyrics touch on the complexities of love, desire, and vulnerability, drawing listeners into an atmospheric and dreamy soundscape.

The lyrics themselves create a poignant narrative about the fleeting nature of desire and the challenge of maintaining a connection as time passes. Lines like “Stevie says he stayed too long like a fool / I wouldn’t wanna do something like that to you” and “With every high and low we grow / And that’s how I know, it’s not rock bottom” convey the singer’s recognition of the transient nature of relationships and the importance of growth. The chorus, “You know you know it’s only getting harder / As you get older / So come on let’s go there oh oh / You know you know you know it’s getting harder / So come on surrender,” powerfully encapsulates the struggle to maintain love and the ultimate act of surrendering to the passion.

Hailing from Southern California, The Kitchen Collective has carved a unique niche for themselves with their edgy and funky rock sound. “Temporary Inside” showcases the band’s ability to blend introspective lyrics with a dreamy ambiance and exceptional musicianship. The sax-guitar solo trading is an unexpected and delightful addition that further elevates the listening experience. With their focus on capturing the nuances of love, relationships, and personal growth, The Kitchen Collective has proven themselves to be a band that can strike a chord with their audience and make a lasting impression.

Silicon Baby – “Cheap and Fast”

Gothenburg-based Silicon Baby delivers a poignant and captivating narrative in their latest single “Cheap and Fast.” Drawing inspiration from a diverse range of artists such as Steely Dan, Sparks, Beck, Fiona Apple, and St. Vincent, the track tells the story of a family trapped in a cycle of debt and desperation. The lyrics, filled with vivid imagery and raw emotions, paint a picture of a household that’s crumbling under the weight of financial strain and the consequences of their choices.

Silicon Baby’s lyrical prowess shines in “Cheap and Fast,” as they offer a glimpse into the family’s struggles through lines like “Always out for something cheap and fast / Expecting quick loans and credit cards / To save your ass.” The song’s somber tone is heightened by the narrative of a mother who resorts to drastic measures in an attempt to escape her circumstances, as evidenced in the verse “She got her six shooter / She got into her car / Turned on some Ry Cooder / She didn’t get that far.” The use of casual and colloquial language adds a layer of authenticity to the story, making the listener feel deeply connected to the characters and their plight.

Musically, “Cheap and Fast” is a testament to Silicon Baby’s ability to blend genres and create a unique sound that’s both captivating and evocative. The track’s haunting melody and somber arrangement serve as the perfect backdrop for the lyrics, further emphasizing the family’s desperation and despair. Overall, “Cheap and Fast” is a powerful exploration of the human condition and the lengths people will go to when faced with insurmountable challenges.

Aaronson – “The Great Swells That Carry Us Will Pull Us Under”

South Wales-based post-rock band Aaronson has unveiled their enthralling new single, “The Great Swells That Carry Us Will Pull Us Under,” via Dirty Carrot Records. As a precursor to their forthcoming album set to release on July 14th, the single offers a taste of the group’s skill in crafting mesmerizing, ambient post-rock compositions that delight the senses. Aaronson’s shared stage experiences with bands like Nordic Giants, Coldbones, A-Tota-So, and False Hope For The Savage, and their recognition as runners up at The Big Gig Wales 2020, demonstrate their remarkable presence in the post-rock scene.

“The Great Swells That Carry Us Will Pull Us Under” is a masterclass in atmospheric, layered melodies and captivating crescendos that set the tone for their upcoming album. Fans of bands such as Explosions In The Sky, MONO, and Mogwai will find themselves drawn to Aaronson’s unique sonic landscape. Their previous work, the cinematic EP “You Are Not A Stranger Here,” solidified their reputation for creating immersive, emotionally charged soundscapes, and this latest offering only serves to strengthen that standing.

With their new single and the anticipation of their album of the same name, Aaronson’s ability to merge ethereal ambience with powerful post-rock elements makes them a force to be reckoned with in the genre. As listeners dive into the profound depths of “The Great Swells That Carry Us Will Pull Us Under,” they will undoubtedly be eager to explore the entirety of Aaronson’s forthcoming album and immerse themselves in the band’s captivating musical journey.

Black Hat – “Favorite Place”

“Favorite Place,” the latest offering from Black Hat, invites listeners to explore the alluring and comforting realms of indulgence and original programming. Stepping away from the constraints often associated with psychedelia, the band crafts a captivating and cinematic experience that evokes a sense of wonder tinged with melancholy.

Drawing inspiration from spaghetti western films, fears of the apocalypse, and transcendental expression, Black Hat manages to carve out a unique sonic space that defies categorization. While their sound shares common ground with modern psych bands and traditional 60s artists, the band’s enigmatic atmosphere sets them apart. The eerie vocals, reverb-drenched guitars, and hypnotic synth drones elevate infectious melodies and beats, creating a truly immersive experience.

“Favorite Place” showcases Black Hat’s ability to construct a fascinating auditory landscape that transports listeners to a realm of both intrigue and introspection. The band’s penchant for blending elements from various influences results in a refreshing and powerful sound that leaves a lasting impression. As Black Hat continues to push boundaries and defy expectations, they are poised to become a standout act within the contemporary music scene.

Tzarizm – “Knowwhattimeitis”

Returning to the scene with a nostalgic nod to the golden age of hip-hop, Central Florida emcee/producer TzariZM delivers a gritty, boom-bap-infused track, “Knowwhattimeitis.” With its raw energy and hard-hitting beats, fans of 80s and 90s hip-hop will undoubtedly find themselves nodding along to the rhythm.

Accompanied by a visually striking music video filmed on location in St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands, “Knowwhattimeitis” showcases Tzarizm’s skillful wordplay and dynamic flow. Underground hip-hop enthusiasts might recognize cameo appearances from Tzar’s crew, including MidaZ The BEAST, Okito, Aahmean, DJ Dolo, and Tem. As the first release from TzariZM’s forthcoming LP, O.T.H.E.R, set to drop in May, the track serves as a promising preview of what’s to come.

While TzariZM has gained notoriety in recent years for his production work with notable artists like Planet Asia, Wordsworth, Apathy & Celph Titled, Homeboy Sandman, and 9th Prince, his roots in emceeing and battle rapping run deep. O.T.H.E.R marks his first project as an emcee in nearly a decade, featuring not only his own production skills but also contributions from Nottz, Little Vic, and IMAKEMADBEATS (who happens to be Tzar’s brother). With this upcoming release, TzariZM is poised to remind the hip-hop world of his prowess both behind the boards and on the mic.

Robert John & The Wreck – “Hey Hey Mama (Live)”

Southern roots rockers Robert Jon & The Wreck have recently released an extended live version of their fan-favorite track, “Hey Hey Mama.” Captured from their sold-out show at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium on June 29th, 2022, the live rendition showcases the band’s incredible musicianship and flair for improvisation. Featured on their first-ever live DVD, https://www.amazon.com/Live-At-Ancienne-Belgique-DVD/dp/B0BW4FCLZJ/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2I8FWRAJJK90F&keywords=Robert+John+%2526+The+Wreck&qid=1682463676&s=music&sprefix=robert+john+%2526+the+wreck+%252Cpopular%252C145&sr=1-4&_encoding=UTF8&tag=calexanderpoe-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=dd55fef4eef7f24c33976ac63d850931&camp=1789&creative=9325">Robert and John WreckLive At The Ancienne Belgique, which just came out on 4/21 via Joe Bonamassa’s Journeyman Records, the performance immortalizes a particularly special moment in the midst of their longest-ever tour.

The live version of “Hey Hey Mama” breathes new life into the song, highlighting vocal harmonies and allowing ample room for trading and improvising licks. With an intro fueled by a fuzzy guitar solo and an extended, psychedelia-influenced outro jam, the band demonstrates their ability to captivate audiences and evolve their sound. Fifty-plus performances deep into their tour, Robert Jon & The Wreck were a well-oiled machine when they took the stage at the Ancienne Belgique.

The band’s new EP, One Of A Kind, showcases their wide range and dynamic sound, receiving rave reviews worldwide and propelling their popularity to new heights. Featuring material produced by Grammy-Award winners Don Was and Dave Cobb, the EP serves as a precursor to a wealth of new material to be released over the next year and beyond. With their partnership with Journeyman Records, Robert Jon & The Wreck are poised to continue delivering high-quality singles and cutting through the industry chaos, making their new music accessible to fans as intended. As they prepare to hit the road once more, opening for Blackberry Smoke, it’s clear that Robert Jon & The Wreck are a force to be reckoned with in the world of Southern rock.

New Release Friday: Luke Sullivan Jones, Curly Chuck and TyC, Caolifhionn Rose, Shoot The Duke

These are our favorite new songs of the past couple days. Every song has been released within the last 48 hours, so you can tell your friends about not only new artists, but their new songs that they’ve never heard.

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

Luke Sullivan Jones – “A Fire from the Dark”

“You don’t feel like yourself
You’re swallowed by the pain
Buried deep inside
Some things have to change

You can spark the flame
You can start again
A fire from the dark”

This song is so empathetic and hopeful! It does a great job of describing how hopeless and lonely life sometimes can be, but it encourages you to start the flame again in the dark. From a musical perspective, I really can’t get enough of the strings in the background of this song, and the interesting vocal style of Luke Sullivan Jones. This is a song that I can see myself listening to a ton this winter when I haven’t seen the sun in weeks, and I’m starting to get down.

“So tear it all apart
You’ll find your way through
Don’t wait for the world
To come and rescue you”

Bio: Luke Sullivan Jones is an independent Folk-indie artist from the UK. After the successful release of his EP ‘Through the Satellites’ two years ago, he has further developed his sound to find a unique voice in a ever evolving, yet crowded, genre.

Curly Chuck and TyC – “Get It”

How many of you checked to see if your phone was ringing when the song first started? I did too, and I’ve heard it like 10 times now. I also love how it sort sounds like parts of the beat throughout. The reason it “sort of” sounds like that is that TyC sampled all of the original Mac OS sounds, including the horns which came from the Mac “delete” song.  I also had to share this song because of how incredible his change ups in flow are throughout the song. Keep a look out for their debut EP, “Get It” is the first track, that’s going to be coming out later this summer. You better be sure to….get it.

Bio: Cleveland native, Curly Chuck has been quickly making waves on the underground scene for good reason. XXL recently said “he has the sound that can make his career go from zero to 100 in the blink of an eye.” He’s had a very busy last few months finishing up two EP’s, and spent the last week with Currency, so we can definitely expect some big things from him soon!

TyC, also from Cleveland, left Berklee School Of Music to tour with the band Carousel. A writer first, he picked up production on the road and has been honing in ever since. His single “BW/U” already has over 115,000 plays on Spotify and his last video featuring Curly Chuck, “GET DOWN” has over 35,000 views on Youtube!

Caoilfhionn Rose – Awaken

I would watch this video with no music for how beautiful the landscapes and scenes are. Luckily, we get to pair it with some beautiful music that actually sounds like it’s being sung from one of those echoey mountain tops. It seems the main message of this song, is to go outside and see the world. It’s the cure to most of what ails you. As someone who went on a 40 day road trip last summer, I have to agree with the assessment. Everyone should do their best to find a way to travel, especially in the spectacle of nature. It’s possible to do on a budget, google it. If you were like me, and didn’t know what Caoilfhionn meant, it’s a name that is described as: Derived from the Gaelic elements caol “slender” and fionn “fair”. This was the name of several Irish saints.

“So go outside
Pick the flowers in the park
Feel the sunshine
So go outside
Awaken to the world you can hear all new sounds

Don’t get left behind
Pulled down by the roots of your mind
See the new dawn on the horizon
See the colours of life again

Awaken to the world you can hear all new sounds”

If I was standing in the middle of any of the landscapes that are shown in this video, I think I’d have to be singing “go outside” at the top of my lungs too.

Bio: Caoilfhionn (pronounced Keelin) Rose will release her debut album with Gondwana Records in Autumn 2018 and ‘Awaken’ is the title track. The song is about noticing nature and everything around you, about taking a step back from your problems and going for a walk outside.

Shoot The Duke – Cash

Ah man this song is so incredible. This is a perfect example of how to properly emphasize raw vocals. They aren’t out of tune, they just peak into an emotive state that can’t be replicated by overly polished ones. This reminds me a lot of a mix between Shakey Graves and Kaleo. The song itself is about just what the name suggests, money:

So give me some money, oh let me have some cash. I promise I’ll give it back. One day at a time. ×2

I get up at the brink of the day. I apply for jobs but they all just send me away. Sorry son but you need more experience. How can I get some experience? I didn’t know I needed any to work in Morrison’s. Come on now, make my day.”

I guess more accurately the song is about the frustration between making and keeping money, especially if you are an artist:

I go outside to play some guitar, policeman comes to tell me no you can’t do that. He gives me a fine so I sold my guitar away.

I lay down to get some sleep. Policeman comes again, he’s bothering me. Get off the floor boy, you ain’t worth a dime.”

I think on an individual level, the story is really nice and relatable, but I also think it’s an appropriate metaphor for how a lot of modern society treats artists, or anyone who doesn’t want to be an entrepreneur or work in a cubicle. There is an emphasis on “contributing” to society, without an acknowledgement that art and philosophy are equally important pursuits for humanity. Ultimately, the song ends with a haunting image of a frustrated man robbing a store for money. After being told the things he is good at/passionate about are worthless in a monetary sense, he is left with very little choices for how to proceed in a society that doesn’t seem to value him at all. It’s a really interesting look at the fringes of modern capitalism, and who gets left behind, and why.


Looking for more music? Don’t forget to check out: Our Newest Podcast Episode

You can also find all these songs and more on our August TOTD Spotify Playlist.

TOTD: Isak Thomas and The Stoop Boys – Old School Walk

Spotify, if you prefer

This is such an appropriate song to wind down your Thursday night with. It is a great way to end a date night, and it’s that perfect groove track to get your weekend moving in the right direction.

This is a song of old school chivalry and a feeling of how things used to be, which is really strange considering that Isak and the other two stoop boys are so young. I don’t have an exact age, but let this picture speak for itself.

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses and closeup

That’s Isak. The same Isak who sings about going way back like a ’69 Cadillac. I am sure that people talk about the discrepancy between his lyrics and tone, and the picture he presents, so I don’t want to linger here too long. The point I wanted to make is that Isak and his fellow Berklee grads have a sound that’s refined well beyond their years,  bringing that old school soul vibe with harmonies cusping on doo-wop to a new generation with soulful ad-libs along the lines of a Hozier-esque vocalist at times, and some really smooth guitar riffs.

The lyrics speak for themselves, so I don’t want to touch on them too much. I did want to point out that the lyrical route they take is important because the robust flavor of the love songs in old school soul are almost as synonymous with the genre as the vocalists who made it famous. If you start singing 60’s soul with lyrics centered around politics, rambling stories, or any other off-brand topic, it loses a lot of the power. That’s coming from someone who relates to political dissidence and rambling tales of rail workers a lot better than I relate to love stories like this.

Follow these guys on Facebook to stay up to date on everything they have going on.

Also, if you’re interested, check out our podcast Here.

Episode 15: Addiction






Show Notes:

Join Seth and Caleb as they discuss strange Addictions, what kind of drunks they are, stumbling through their first livestream, an excellent interview with Aaron B. Thompson, and tons of music you’ve never heard before.

Full Video Version, warts and al: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L4mdmwqcn4&t=10s

INTRO: Leon Stapleton – Lima
Leonstapleton – Lima

Brother Toaster – Bupropion Blues

Riley Catherall – Watered Down Man (submithub/email)
The-same-tune – Rileycatherallwatereddownman

Aaron B Thompson – Middle of My Own Nowhere (submithub/email)
Aaronbthompson1 – 07-aaron-b-thomspon-midde-of
Youtube of Interview: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPVCP1Ya6M&t=174s

Johnny Raincloud – White Noize (submithub/email)

Little Sain+ – Remedy (submithub/email)
Tniaselttil – Little-sain-feat-marger-remedyprod-by-sibling

Thanks to Juliana Strangelove for participating in the live stream: bsideguys.com/2018/07/06/the-flo…-macdougall-skout/

Video of the Day: River Whyless – “Born In The Right Country”

This one is a thinker guys. Did you already watch it? Go watch it again, I’ll wait. This is one of my favorite pieces of art I’ve seen in a long time. There’s a ton to unpack here, and I’m going to try, but first let me tell you why I connect with this song so intensely. There are two primary reasons.

  1. I grew up in the South. Like the real South. Let’s call it a state Trump won with 54%. The South isn’t inherently racist, but it’s hard not to grow up around some racist attitudes, even from people who I consider good people. For example, my parents would claim not to be racist, but I remember some stern warnings to my sister about a black kid named Jovan that was coming around. I don’t think my parents are bad people, and they are not KKK level racist, but I’m using them as an example to explain that even my educated parents, who are charitable and kind, are racist. The last frame of this video that scrolls “wolves don’t exist” after we’ve watched an entire video of a black kid being led around by a wolf is exactly how baffled I’ve felt for most of my life, watching good natured people, stay willfully ignorant to the prejudices they hold, and the damage that does.
  2. I don’t live in the South anymore, but that doesn’t solve the racism problem the way you might idealize when you’re growing up in a small town dreaming of moving to a liberal utopia. I teach at a private school in the suburbs of Rhode Island where an administrator was removed last year for getting caught using a few racial slurs. I have students sitting behind desks every day who swear Colin Kaepernick is un-American, and Michael Brown deserved to be shot for being a “thug.” I don’t necessarily think these are bad people, mostly because I’ve made it my goal in life to talk through ignorance with people, and if I believe people can’t learn and change, I think I’d become quite depressed. The thing that I most associate with both of these experiences, my past, and my present, is that most of these people just have no idea the amount of privilege they are carrying. It seems somehow offensive to their character to suggest that they are not “self-made” or that someone has it harder than them. Mostly I think this is because we all have our struggles, and it makes us feel bad that we aren’t billionaires either, so how dare people say they have it harder than us? On the other hand, to admit some people are living with a level of prejudice and difference that you can’t fully comprehend somehow seems like a weak thing for these people to admit.

Alright, enough about me. Let’s talk about the video. We can immediately get the sense where it’s going when we read the title, “Born in the Right Country”. The title itself evokes a lot of the immigration struggles we have going on right now, where a person or family is attempting to find a better life in America, despite the risks involved, and is being treated inhuman because of it. But in the video, we see a slightly different angle. We follow the story of a young black male going to high school, with a wolf around his wrist. We also see that his mother, and a girl wearing a hijab also have their own wolves, while the white kids do not. This seems to suggest that even though presumably these characters didn’t immigrate here, they were still born in the “wrong” country. Not in a literal sense, but in the sense that the rules operate differently for them because of generations of social prejudice and oppression. The video shows this clearly with the white father looking disapprovingly at the potential of his daughter being in an interracial relationship, and also with the boy being stopped on the way home by the police, when he was just minding his own business. It obviously clinches up your stomach when you see those blue lights because of the countless ways that’s gone badly over the past several years (Micheal Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, etc. etc.).

When we explore the lyrics, we see them dripping with sarcasm from the perspective of Trump, or his followers, or anyone who feels like they are superior purely because they were born white and/or affluent.

“I’ll tell you baby, a secret Manufactured truth is easy to sell When you own the factory And you own the hearts of the clientele But can you really blame me? Built on a system where some must fail So that you can break through If you’ve got the right skin Or you’re born in the right country”

The perspective shifts after this point to directly talk to these people and attempt to wake them out of their ignorance:

“Don’t you know you’re lucky kid You were raised on the right side of town Born rich, now you’re yelling “I’ve seen the inside and you’re out” But can I truly blame you? We’re built on the dreams we feed to the poor So that you can break through If you’ve got the right name Or you’ve got the right god Or you’re born in the right country”

But unfortunately, the system is set up this way. There are people profiting from the lower and middle class fighting amongst themselves. Instead of placing the blame at the top, we are continually told to look at our neighbor with different skin, heritage, religion, and blame them for any short comings or failures. It’s classic scapegoating, and this current regime is not the first to use it. My only hope is that more and more people can try to see through it for what it really is; and the best way to do that is through people using their artistic talents, like River Whyless to try to break through to people in a language they can understand.


We’ve added this to our July TOTD playlist. Check it out here.

We just released a new podcast episode, on the theme of Addiction. You can check that out along with all the others, right here. 


The Flock: Indie Rock – The General Good, Tim Freitag, Hooli, Campdogzz, Eden Mulholland, Summerteeth, Galapaghost, Tetra

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 fanbase 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*


The General Good – Where We Began

There is a music video that this reminds me of. If someone can help me out, I would be forever grateful. I feel like it’s The Black Keys from many years ago, but can’t find the video anywhere. It’s a two piece group where they’re playing on a television show set that’s akin to the set from the Eric Andre Show. This reminds me of that music video, but they graduated to a new set. It’s got gritty guitar, pacesetting drums, and unique vocals that carry on in your head long after the song ends.

The lyrics tell the story of a relationship that seems to have ended on a sour note, but the writer can’t seem to move on. They know the relationship isn’t good for them, but still want to leave a line open just in case. Just like with most past relationships, you reflect upon them more fondly the further you’re removed from the situation, even though they were truly nightmares.

But if you ever make it home again, 
I’m pleased to show you `round all the troubles I’m / we’re in. 
no need to choose words wisely, no more nightly chases, 
no thinking twice and no `glad to see you later`. 
But something’s keeping me from moving on, 
inbetween places it’s hard to hold on. 
I’m sending signs to nowhere, 
down the milky way. 
Sweet memories of nightmares 
a burning needle in the hay.

The album itself is a really interesting idea that doesn’t happen all that frequently. The drummer, Florian Hellekin, produced the whole album in his home studio, and invited a multitude of talented vocalists to sing on the tracks. The album has a ridiculous amount of variance. Go check the Spotify page and listen to Healer and Snow Yellow Carpet back to back to see what I mean.

Tim Freitag – The Wave

This song has made its way onto so many of my personal playlists outside of the ones we post on the blog. The video only adds to what is a beautiful track of undying love and dependency. First off, before we go any further, Tim Freitag isn’t a person. I mean, there’s definitely a person named Tim Freitag, but he’s not in the band. I had to check to make sure, and I absolutely loved what I found. This is straight from their facebook page:

Tim Freitag are and always will be: Janick Pfenninger, Lorenzo Demenga, Daniel Gisler, Nicolas Rüttimann, Severin Graf

I don’t love it because there’s nobody named Tim. I love it because of the words “are and always will be.” This group isn’t just a band, they are brothers. That camaraderie and friendship comes through in a track that is well-rounded, instrumentally straightforward while still having complexity, and a vocalist that has a unique tone and incredible vocal inflection.

Hooli – Cider Sue

This track is so good. It’s like Two Door Cinema Club’s existentialist cousin. The Two Door reference is easily noticeable on the track, but the existential part may have you hung up. Let’s dive into it. The song has some of the most interesting lines throughout it. I’ve listened to it three times in a row while trying to write this post and every single time I pick out a new piece that makes me smile. It’s not the content itself that makes me smile (a study of mortality and the finite time on this planet), but the way they talk about it.

I said the noose brings infinite youth, 
The more you tighten it’s hold the truth will unfold for you, 
Woah oh oh 
So come at me with your best shot best believe that i ain’t got time

Those first two lines are some of the best I’ve heard in a long time, and I listen to a ton of new music every single day. I feel like I could break that single line down and do a whole post about that, but I just want to bring up a couple of points about it. It works in multiple ways, but let’s break down just two of them.

Let’s talk about what I believe is their intent behind the lyrics first. They are saying that as we age and as we get closer to death, we find ourselves thinking more and more about mortality and wishing for our youth again. It brings wisdom, but it also brings pain and understanding of past mistakes and wishing you could go back and fix them. Maybe they aren’t talking about fixing them, but a chance to do things right now. I don’t know. I do know that they follow it up with the sentiment of understanding that there’s definitely a timer, and don’t waste part of my timer with petty bullshit.

Now I want to talk about another idea I had about these lyrics. The noose brings to mind the idea of suicide, and I think this tells a great truth about that topic. I watched a documentary recently that told the stories of people who survived their suicide attempt. One common thread between the people, especially the ones who jumped from a bridge, building, etc., was that as soon as they leapt, they immediately felt regret, even before hitting the bottom. As that noose tightened, the truth opened up for them and it wasn’t something that they truly wanted to do.

The song actually has a lot of allusions to suicide, but I believe the huge underlying message is that we all have a timer that whittles away every second, and we can’t waste our time by complaining, getting caught up in petty things. Nobody beats the reaper.

Also, if you are having suicidal thoughts, give 1-800-273-8255 a call. Also, feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to talk to you. We aren’t trained professionals, but we have pretty big shoulders. 


Campdogzz – Souvenir

This song is raw emotion. The band is a phenomenal look at how moving gears do so for the betterment of the machine, but Jess Price, lead vocalist, is the pinion gear. For those of you not familiar with a pinion gear, that is referred to as the “drive gear” in vehicles*. She has an otherworldly voice that drips with energy and emotion. She has the kind of voice that you create in your dreams to set the scene conflict of the story. You don’t have soundtracks to your dreams? Don’t worry. It’s not as cool as it sounds. It just makes bad dreams way scarier.

*I didn’t know what a pinion gear was prior to writing this article, so if I’m way off, you get the idea.

Anyways, let’s talk about some lyrics. Ambiguity is the word of the day here, and this song is no different. I honestly couldn’t tell you what I lean towards this song being about, but we’ll give it a go.

Hold the wheel
Feel my head
Probably should have stayed in bed
Come right here
I’ll be yours a little bit
Did you want to get me gone
Did you want to get me
Well that train is going by

*Disclaimer: This is one of the first lyric assessments that I don’t feel great about my interpretation vs. what the song is supposed to be saying. Once again though, as we always say, once an artist releases their song to others, it’s not solely theirs anymore. Music is a beautifully subjective world*
The first three lines are fairly easy to decipher; someone is sick and shouldn’t have gotten out of bed. Now comes the fun part. The souvenir is tricky. By itself, it doesn’t really mean anything, but with the following line, we see that it is an animate object. Knowing that people typically write songs about other people, I think it’s fairly safe to say that the souvenir is a person. Now we have a bit of a story. Go back to the first line where they’re holding the wheel, put it with the souvenir, and all of a sudden we met someone on a trip. “I’ll be yours a little bit” is such a cool line, telling the person that you are invested in this fun and new relationship, but you ultimately know it’s temporary. Maybe it’s not though. The next line says if you want me gone, do it now because that *train is leaving the station. The next verse follows up with my theory, stating that their look is the smoldering look, barely keeping their emotions or even their anger below the surface, but this is so fresh that that kind of thing still looks good. The next line says “come right here, and let me feel you miss your dead,” effectively shooting my theory to shit. Possibly it’s just saying open up to me, I want to know your deepest emotions, but I’m not sure. Either way, it’s an absolutely phenomenal piece. Reach out to us, Campdogzz, and give us the full scoop.

*Just a fun fact: The first successful steam engine used a huge pinion gear to help power it.

Well that train is going by
Well that train is going

Eden Mulholland – Wild Animal

I usually don’t post full lyrics, but these are too good not to. Plus, there aren’t too many lines.

I’ve had the opportunity to do a little thinking
and I hope that you can understand
Somewhere along the way I got a little distracted
and I hope I get away with it
Because if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and be totally untameable
Yes if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and I’d always be wild animal
I’ve had the opportunity to see a new perspective
and I hope that you can understand
somewhere along the way I think I stopped believing
and I hope that don’t stand in our way
Because if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and be totally untameable
Yes if I were a leopard I’d run really fast
and I’d always be wild animal
A wild animal

This seems to be a battle between the flesh and the mind. He seems to be moving on from something that made him feel caged. It may have been smart, it may have been the right move at the time, but the animal in him wants out of the cage. I feel like this song is applicable to so many aspects of our lives. Jobs, relationships, religion, or any number of things can fit into this song. It is human nature to want to explore so you can see the full gamut of the human experience. Once again, life is too short to feel like you’re in a cage.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

With emotive vocals, and an instrumental track that plods along at the perfect pace to show the current pace of the caged life, this track shows that the stories in lyrics can be told through the instruments around them too.

Summerteeth – Stay Warm

This is the song I wish we had found prior to doing our podcast episode about “Warmth.” It’s the perfect song where you hear one thing, but feel another. Instrumentally, it’s like the bands I listened to in high school (and still do), but lyrically it’s on a different level. If I’m reading into it correctly, it’s a song about battling seasonal depression, or just depression in general.

Stay warm for the weekend
for the winter
for the year
Stay inside til the summer
but show the sunlight you’re still here
Cause you don’t know what love is
but you hate who you are without it
Stay warm forever
even after your whole world disappears

I feel like they’re letting you know that depression is okay and it’s going to happen, it’s all about how you handle it. You’re going to have those weekends, seasons, or years where you have to bundle up and fight to stay warm, but remember that you need to break out at some point and you need to feel the sun, feel something new. The line, “you don’t know what love is, but you hate who are without it,” is so powerful. People act like depression is this thing that people do to themselves, instead of understanding that a lot of clinical depression is a chemical imbalance that can’t be helped outside of pretty powerful prescription drugs. It’s an affliction. Nobody on this planet is like, “Hey, I think I want to feel like everything is hopeless and there’s really no point to anything I’m doing for a while.”

The video is great because not only are they having a lot of fun, but they’re also sending a clear message; find a supportive community and make it through the hard times together. This is one of the most important things to realize; most people are meant to live in packs. Also realize that nobody around you knows shit about shit (TM).

Don’t you know?
We’re all making it up as we go
We wouldn’t have it any other way

Galapaghost – Bedtime

No stranger to the B-Side Guys, Galapaghost was one of the first artists on this planet who knew about and believed in what we were doing, and let us feature his song, Goodbye (My Visa Arrived), on the very first episode of our podcast. On the episode, he mentioned that he was working on a completely electronic album that would be a bit of a removal from his previous work. This is it, and it is phenomenal. He took the instrumentals and gave them more life while not losing the honest lyricism on the previous album. Once again, I’m going to go out of my box and share all of the lyrics, but once again, they need to be shared and they’re not too long.

Go on and have fun with your friends on the weekend 
Don’t stay home all alone with your feelings 
But I gotta say no 
I’m not a superhero 
And that’s the kind of effort that it would take 
For me to stay out late 

And I will see you 
I will see you someday 
And I will love you 
I will love you always 

So here’s my idea of fun 
My struggle book one 
Then dinner for two 
Then put on my running shoes 
In bed by 10 so if you wonder where I’ve been 
I’m too old to party on the weekend 
And every night of the week 

And I will see you 
I will see you someday 
And I will love you 
I will love you always

This is a song about growing up. Maturing, if you will. Maturation looks different for everyone, but this is fairly similar to my version of life. Gone are the days of partying, going out on the weekends, and staying up until the sun shows back up. Looking back, I don’t miss them, but I totally get why some people have chosen to stay there. There’s nothing wrong with that, we’re just on two different paths now. The song is possibly talking about a romantic relationship, but I think I lean towards this being about friendships. They can be severed with no ill intent; people just move on. It’s not saying that the friendship is over, it’s just saying that until our life goals cross paths, I understand why we don’t hang out much. It’s actually a pretty beautiful story of adulthood.

It might also be about a romantic relationship, and that synopsis works the exact same way.

His new album, Sootie, will be releasing soon, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.

Note to Casey: I love the old stuff, but this is a totally different beast as far as complexity. I love it, man.

Tetra – Fridays

“Fridays” is about the crushing sense of emptiness that follows when one realizes the subjective and thus, pointless nature of consumption under capitalism. Depression, drug abuse, loneliness — to me they are all symptoms of a culture that idolizes competitive individualism and defines success through one’s ability to consume more than others.

At the end of the tune, I talk about taking LSD and I ask myself “Why did it take so long to figure it out that it was all in my head?” To me it’s one of those things where you spend years searching for answers and a lifetime praying for ignorance.

When you can’t say it better yourself, don’t. This is a song that fights the idea of consumption and gluttony in all aspects of life, so we are naturally going to be all about it. I love that second part to the song where it talks about the idea “stuff” being important is something that is force fed to us from a very early age, and we are made to feel like that is the key to happiness. If having stuff was the key to happiness, we wouldn’t have so many celebrities with bank accounts in the tens of millions taking their own lives. Stuff consumes.

That’s 8 new artists that everyone needs to add to their rotation, but more importantly, go spend some money on these folks. A few bucks can go a long way when it comes to making more music. Remember to click the artist links in the name to check out tour dates, see merch, listen to more music, or even just send them a message to tell them you dig their sound.

Check out these artists on our July Spotify playlist.

Check out our podcast.



The Flock: New Release Friday: Mike Xavier, Foresteater, Chris Noah, Callum Pitt, Sean Tobin

*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.”

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

Mike Xavier – “Time to Reflect”

I love when a song says something that we’ve heard before, but says it in such a eloquent way that it reaffirms everything you know. At it’s core, this song is about society, racism, and the difficulties we all face, but Mike Xavier is just so eloquent that it illuminates these issues in a way that is impossible to ignore. Other than Mike’s obvious lyrical talent, something you may not notice unless you are paying attention is that he isn’t just rapping over a track. He has a live trumpet, sax, keys, guitar, bass, and drums accompanying his songs. It really gives this song a fuller sound that you can’t accomplish from beats, no matter how good the DJ is. When asked about his inspiration Mike’s message is simple: “We just got to teach our kids they can change the world,” Xavier raps with his calm though upbeat tone. “They used to tell me, ‘Try them drugs.’ I ain’t never try it.” Mike is a shining example of using art to make the world a better place, and I’m happy to share this as our first track of New Release Friday.

Foresteater – “Unbutton”

“Momma’s shopping at the mall
Daddy’s sipping alchohol
Baby’s watching TV shows
Shoving things up in her nose

Why do the opposites look the same?
Our manufactured outfit came
and is it sincerity
or artificial empathy?

Unbutton my head
Get me out of my head
Unbutton my head please
Get me out of my head”

This song is an anthem for middle class malaise. It does the same thing several 90s movies did by taking a closer look at suburbia and showing the horrors beneath the surface. Sure, money makes some things easier, but it also brings a new set of problems. Having grown up squarely in middle class suburbia, I saw many of the things this song mentions, and experienced the surreal plasticity that it tends to create for those who inhabit these spaces but can’t fully enjoy shopping sprees, keeping up with the Joneses, and the skewed relationships created by making money and materialism such an integral part of our happiness.

Chris Noah – “River”

This song reminds me a lot of some of my favorite summertime music. It mixes pop vocals with some really interesting electronic beats to create an experience that surrounds you completely. Let’s dive into some of the lyrics:

“This state that I’m in, I can do nothing about,
Starting to wear me out, do we need disclosure
Your voice has become an eco in my mind
I don’t really recognize and you still have me reeling

Don’t swim so fast, i can’t keep up, don’t let me drown in your river
Don’t waste your love on someone else, while I’m still here in the picture ”

So it’s a very familiar scenario. The speaker is still in love with someone who is falling out of love with him, and he feels himself being left behind. It’s a really tragic position to be in, and the haunting background vocals as the song builds really hammer home the crescendo of pain that can inhabit these moments where you aren’t ready to move on, but you know it’s not your choice anymore. Keep an eye out for Noah’s upcoming 3 song compilation due in September. He has already won “Debut of the Year” last year at the Annual Latvian Music Awards, and I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with.

Callum Pitt – “Away From The Rousing Parades”

This song just starts off so calming and soothing. The mix of the intricate picking and the beautiful vocals take you to a sunny day driving with the windows down.

“There’s a warm wind coming, marching along with a big brass band

I’m waving an outstretched aching hand, so slow”

When these lines kick in, the song transforms into an anthem worth screaming at the top of your lungs. The thing I like most about this song though, is despite how upbeat and warm the song sounds; it has some truly existential moments.

“We search fora meaning before disappearing and hope that our memories survive”

Ultimately the song ends in a conclusion that all we can do is try to find someone to share the time we do have with and hope for the best. It’s a grounded but hopeful ending to a very complex poetic song.

Sean Tobin – “This Midnight”

And last, but certainly not least. Enjoy this single off of Sean Tobin’s new release of the same name. Throughout the song, he seems amazed that he is currently where he is in life, considering some of his past and the way he viewed the world. My favorite word play in the whole song is probably:

“Met a girl one February evening, swore to God there was no God at all,

Sunday came, she was praying for God knows what she done,

guess she was just talking to the wall”

The several switch ups and double meanings in that one line are astounding. Ultimately, the song seems to have a similar message to the one before this: life is potentially meaningless, there are no guarantees, life is short, thank god I have you, let’s enjoy the time we have for now and hope it lasts forever. “Baby, we could make this midnight last, come the morning, our stories will be in the past.”


If you enjoyed these songs, we’ve uploaded them all to our July TOTD playlist on Spotify.

If you haven’t followed us on Facebook, check it out. We have two new live streams that we posted today.

TOTD: Tim the Lion Tamer – “Dancer”

I really feel like I could break down every single line in this song. It’s one of those haunting songs with minimal production that relies on the beauty of the voice and the depth of the lyrics to carry everything, and damn, does it ever carry everything in this song.

“i’ve never seen nobody
dance like you
in times like these i wonder
if that’s true
if you are lonely too
’cause we’ve always been
hopelessly fucked up”

I don’t know if any of you have ever been in a relationship like the one described here, but it’s brutally beautiful. Two people messed up and in love and unstable, like a collapsing star. It’s full of passion and beauty, but it also isn’t sustainable. Ultimately the song sees the instability become too much, but it’s not as easy as just walking away and never thinking about it again.

“i guess i should move away
’cause in some sad way
i’m already gone”

I’m a known crier. I cry during emotional movies. I cry the first time I realize what an emotional song is really saying, like “Limousine” by Brand New, or “Honey Jars” by Bryan John Appleby, or a billion other instances. This song can now be added to that list, because when I read this last stanza, I couldn’t help but cry:

“it hits me when there’s nothing
left to give
in the ashes of my failures
there you live
ageless and possible
i’m watching you
dancing in your prime
frozen in time”

It may hit me particularly, because I had a 5 year relationship fall apart in my early twenties, and even though it was the best possible thing for me and her, I can relate to the idea of an ageless dancer, stuck at twenty something, frozen in time. Also, from a songwriting standpoint, the symmetry of the first and last stanza are just perfect. Go check out more of Tim the Lion Tamer’s stuff. It’s been added to our July TOTD Spotify playlist.