TOTD: The Sleeplings “Long-forgotten”

Bringing their new EP to a close, Long-forgotten is a sweeping indie rock epic that comes in just shy of 6 minutes, and leaves you wanting 6 more. The buildup in this song reminds me of an old Wil E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon; running in hot pursuit of this ever increasing crescendo, you feel like you’ve reached the pinnacle when suddenly you realize at the last second that you are falling off of a cliff, landing in the subdued outro below.

The song weaves a story of post breakup sadness, and the ghost that can haunt you well after the physical form has left your planet. Working through a wide range of emotions throughout the album, Long-forgotten finally lands on completely leaving this ghost behind, including the memories.

“Tomorrow all your stories are yours only 
Leave just, for we have left in silence so long ago 
Lost in the slipstream of once was”

TheSleeplings---Hans-Peter-Erbs-Hansen

The Sleeplings are an indie post-rock group of Danes that need to be on everyone’s radar. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time at all, you know I’m an absolute sucker for a good storyteller penning a song. These guys are right up there with some of my favorites right now.

Check out The Sleeplings and all of our other tracks from June on our Spotify playlist

TOTD: Skysketch “Fox Wedding”

I want to start off by sharing exactly what this song is about, and then get into my analysis of it. The song has a very specific meaning, and I want to make sure that point is understood. We focus a lot on the lyrics of songs and the meaning behind them, but when the song specifically revolves around a Japanese film that neither of us here at B-Side Guys has seen, we figure it’s best that the artist tell the story.

“The album ”Fox Wedding” originates from the movie Dreams by the acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, as the band admires both his works and the Japanese folk culture. The band imagines the suite of the excerpt named ”Sunshine through the Rain” from the movie, whilst combining Kurosawa’s story and the modern world’s problems with the weapons of mass destruction and existential dread in today’s war-ruled climate.

The band takes up where Kurosawa left off his story and knit it with their own narrative, telling two synchronized story arcs simultaneously, making them realize once again in the process how the Turkish and Japanese cultures mirror each other both in the present and in the past.”

As an American, there are very few countries that have a war-ruled climate like us, but Turkey is one of those countries that definitely know what it’s like to have a shoot first, ask questions later government. I feel like I need to watch “Dreams” to really appreciate this song, but even without those mental pictures for reference, this is a sweeping 7 minute ride that shows a child growing into an adult, forced to deal with the harsh realities of the world.

“And now he’s running 
Through the forest 
Hiding 
Do you think you can hide 
From their ever-piercing glaring 
When sun shines through rain 
Do you think you can hide 
From the fox wedding? 

Oh, oh no my foolish child 
Oh, it’s time you walk this path”

With sweeping post-rock melodies that feel akin to Glowworm in places, the haunting harmonies put you in the shoes of the child as it grows and learns to tackle problems until, “Every day, you grow taller, until your head punches a hole in the sky.”

 

Mid Day Music Blast: Welshly Arms “Down to the River”

Are you a big fans of bands like The Black Keys, Rival Sons, or Kaleo? Who isn’t right? Well I found another band to add to your collection: Welshly Arms. The song uses gospel a gospel choir song with some great blues riffs and grungy lead vocals to create a sound that mixes nostalgic rock and roll and blues with modern synth and bass backgrounds. It seems that a lot of this album was written in the past couple of years with all the turmoil that we’ve seen in this country, and I’ve often said that if nothing else, Trump’s America will have great protest art. I think the past year or so we’ve seen that come to fruition, and Welshly Arms is fitting quite nicely into that niche.

Image result for welshly arms

 

Having been ensconced in the studio working on their debut album ‘No Place Is Home’ due this June, Cleveland based six-piece blues and gospel influenced alternative band Welshly Arms preempt the release with a brand new track ‘Sanctaury’ that follows on from the much lauded ‘Legendary’ released last year. The band are also due to perform at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival.

Of ‘Sanctuary’, frontman Sam Getz says, “We wrote ‘Sanctuary’ in a time where everything on the news and in politics seemed so dark and out of control. Nothing felt safe, nowhere felt like home and there wasn’t a lot of positive news to find hope in. ‘Sanctuary’ is a reminder that hope is always there in the people you keep close. Even as the world seems to be breaking down around us, my family, friends and the people I love are where I always find my security and my home.”

This summer, Welshly Arms will support Thirty Seconds To Mars on the last leg of their upcoming US tour, before crossing the Atlantic for an exclusive performance at 2018’s Reading and Leeds Festival.

 

Catch Welshly Arms alongside every other song we’ve featured in June on this Spotify playlist. 

 

Don’t forget to check out our podcast, I’d say it’s the best thing we do. 

 

-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

TOTD: Mutant Daisies “Good People (Acoustic)”

 

It’s been two years since Conor Oberst released anything. Supposedly he has an album coming out soon (thankfully), but in the meantime, I’ve found a suitable replacement. Mutant Daises have created this 7 minute epic that mixes folk music, philosophy, and haunting vocals to create a beautiful track that keeps me wanting more, despite the long run time.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

“And they say that all good people suffer sorrow,
And they say that all good people turn their heads,
All the liars hide and weep,
In the secrets that they keep,
And they say that all good people suffer sorrow”

This actually fits in pretty well with some discussion we had on our more recent podcast (listen here) about why bad things happen to good people. I tend to think there isn’t some cosmic reason or anything, though I understand why some people think there needs to be. But I think Mutant Daisies definitely bring up that painful question in an important way throughout this song.

Let’s end with this: The term Mutant Daisies comes from this picture:

Image result for mutant daisies

Now after checking Snopes, it seems a little iffy on if these mutant daisies were actually caused by nuclear radiation after Fukishima, but it is possible. And honestly, sometimes I’m not sure they need to be true for the image to matter. Now obviously, fake news is fake news, and it’s negative in it’s own way. But if this causes people to consider the environmental impact humans have on nature, I think that’s positive.

 

They say that only good mother nature suffers sorrow.

 

-Caleb