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

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

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

Pkwy – “Punisher”

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

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

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

 

Charles Edison – “My Mother”

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

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

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

Friede Merz – “ALBION”

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

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

Check out more here:

FACEBOOK

Farewell Company – “Gulf Breeze Motel”

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

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

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

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

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

 

-Caleb

 

Morning Commute: Cambriana – “Lucifer”

“When it’s visible
Every bruise in your skin
I will never pray
if our god’s a virgin

He could use some learning

Satan is grinning
and I just wanna go down”

 

This is a really unique track with some amazing instrumentals and really intriguing lyrics. To me, the section I pasted above seems to be a discussion about how relate-able a “perfect” god is to his imperfect children. I know that a lot of religions teach us to suppress our human urges, namely the sexual ones that are mentioned in this song, and you can decide for yourself if that has any value, but it is certainly a temptation that is difficult to overcome, and a virtue that is difficult to relate with. Ultimately we see that this lyricist is willing to go to hell for the love of a woman named “Kate”. Here’s how the song ends:

“Open heaven’s gate
Gather all insurgents
If they knew you, Kate,
they would all be plunging down

They’d be raining down

Spend forever burning”

I love this image. This woman is something so powerful and beautiful that all of heaven would choose going to hell just to be with her. It’s really a unique take on the whole thing.

Bio:  Brazilian folk rockers Cambriana are teasing their upcoming album, Manaus Vidaloka, with new single, “Lucifer.” Injected with a heavy dose of afrobeat and traditional bossa nova, the song is a potpourri of laid back flourishes, fingerstyle guitar, and tongue in cheek lyrics.

According to producer and lead singer Luis Calil, “Lucifer” is “meant to be sensual, yet profane and funny. It uses the fall of the angel Lucifer as a metaphor on ‘going down,’ and mocks how certain religious traditions demonize non procreation sex as sin.” Calil sings on the track, “If our God’s a virgin / he could use some learning.” Ones To Watch said, “‘Lucifer’ not only blesses our ears, but delves deep…into societal constructs, and deep into our hearts.”

Manaus Vidaloka is the follow up to 2012’s House of Tolerance, and 2013’s EP, Worker, from which the group achieved widespread success, boasting over 1 million streams and 20k monthlies on Spotify, a slew of festival performances, and licensing to major Brazilian TV shows. Rolling Stone Brazil called the Goiânia-based group “…so impressive it’s almost frightening. [They’re] on the same level of bands like Islands and Grizzly Bear.”

Facebook // Spotify // Instagram // Twitter

-Caleb

Want to hear more? We’ve added this song and more to our September TOTD Playlist.

Video of the Day: Couch Jackets – “Don’t Think Just Breathe”

 

I really have to work on taking the title’s advice here. This video is so much fun. I mean, maybe fun is the wrong word, considering the subject matter that finds its way into the video (natural disasters, protests, global warming, etc.) But it’s also offset with zen-like imagery, and trippy visuals that make it one of my favorite videos of the moment. Let’s dive into some of the lyrics real quick, in between eating bullshit and emotional dissonance (if you don’t get that reference, go back and re-watch the video, hell re-watch the video anyway):

“Lighting a burned bridge between me and the purpose I’ve made,
But in my~ smoky haze I’ve forgotten to replace it’s arcade
Every game I’ve ever played engulfed by flame, left to fade.
No one’s insane we’re each of different makes which are arcane

“Don’t think just breathe
Don’t think just breathe”

Here’s a short list of things that are bothering me at the moment:

  1. Stress at my day job.
  2. Trump
  3. Writer’s block
  4. The inevitable heat death of the universe
  5. Trump

I’m going to do my best today, because of this song’s inspiration, to slow my brain down and “just breathe.”

So regardless of the thing that’s bothering you right now, hopefully you can put this video on repeat for a bit, and take a short vacation from it.

Bio:  “Couch Jackets sounds like an alligator’s eating us,” reads the explanatory note on the Little Rock, Arkansas quartet’s Bandcamp page. Fans of the band have become accustomed to this sort of irreverence – these are funny guys, and they lead with their personalities. Yet it’s not just a joke. Listening to Couch Jackets can be like entering a whirlpool: songs don’t behave the way you expect them to. They come at the listener with manic energy; they twist and turn, shiver and shake, and no matter how playful they seem, they always carry with them a whiff of danger.

We suppose that if we were asked to be particular about it, we could try to classify Couch Jackets. Given their ambition and the idiosyncratic nature of the music they make, it’s fair to call them a progressive rock act. Their emphasis on texture and love of experimentation aligns them with the neo-psychedelic movement, and their supple grooves are redolent of classic ‘70s pop. There’s even a hint of country music somewhere in the mix. But we don’t think we’ve ever heard a band combine its influences in quite the same way. Go To Bed, the group’s most recent set, was made in Nashville, and it’s the fullest realization of their visionary sound yet committed to record. It somehow manages to sound more polished than their prior recordings while preserving the primal chaos and sense of fun that has always distinguished the band. We have no idea how they’ve pulled off this trick. Like so much about Couch Jackets, their methods are shrouded in mystery.

Just as the band has developed a singular sound, they’ve come up with a visual aesthetic that’s wholly theirs – and that matches the music perfectly. For a still-new band, Couch Jackets have made a lot of videos, and they all display the group’s inventiveness, imagination, and sense of humor. Consider, for instance, the clip for “Don’t Think Just Breathe”, which manages to satirize obsessive news-watchers, cooking shows, reality television, and the act of eating dinner.

 

-Caleb

Looking for more music? We’ve added this song and more to our September TOTD Playlist.

Video of the Day: BUHU – “La Truth”

Hope everyone that doesn’t have to go into work tomorrow has an excellent Labor Day Sunday. Let’s get it kicked off right with this intriguing video from BUHU. This is my favorite mud people video of all time. I think it’s the only mud people video I’ve ever seen, but that’s irrelevant. I don’t entirely know what to make of the symbolism. But we clearly see a graceful woman in a white dress, unsullied, juxtaposed with a man, with animalistic and jerky movements covered in mud. When they finally meet, she cleans him off, while getting her white dress and skin dirty. Then they wash off in the river and seem to be living happily ever after. Again, it could stand in for a lot of things. But I think we’ve all had the feeling of someone coming into our life at the right time, and helping us clean up some broken part. That doesn’t mean we should be dependent on people for an ideal relationship, but part of a relationship is being there for one another and making each other better. It’s a difficult balance to strike. Sometimes your dirt just gets on them. But when it does work correctly, it’s a beautiful thing. According to the artist, there is also an element on this song dealing with keeping secrets in a relationship, and being forgiven. That makes the symbolism in this song that much stronger in my opinion.

Bio: “La Truth” is a retrospective of Jeremy’s guilt in being dishonest with his wife and the strains that keeping secrets can cause on a loving relationship. Originally released as a demo in May 2017, “La Truth” was the initial spark that inspired the opus which would become BUHU’s debut studio album, Tenets. BUHU hits a galloping pace with “La Truth,” settling into a confident stride similar to some of the strongest synthgaze moments from Washed Out’s catalog. Here more than ever, Rogers leans unabashedly into the Melodyne bends of his vocal processing, laying plain his emotions without denying the synthetic tools of his trade.

-Caleb

Looking for more? We’ve added this song and more to our September TOTD Playlist. 

Don’t forget to check out past playlists as well. Here is August: August TOTD Playlist

 

 

TOTD: Nica “Ashes”

 

Check out this spacey song with a familiar “allusion” to a certain song about children dying from the plague. This one seems to focus on an emotional death, mainly of friendship.

“Besties forever says a locket that’s lost
Buried under consuming flaws
Noticing absence surrounded by dust
Ashes to ashes all fall down

Remembering lovers in awe at first meet
Discussed plans, high hopes, real dreams
Fired by passion, add details, we drowned
Ashes to ashes all fall down”

At its core the song seems to ask you to remember that nothing is permanent, friendship, our bodies, life itself. That could be a really depressing message, but the song seems to try to take a positive out of it when it urges us to:

“Make life count everyday
It’s so special
Ashes to ashes all
Fall down”

Bio:  Ashes is the second track on Nica’s upcoming album Bruised

Her album Bruised reflects the painful beauty of growth from personal experiences

Nica’s songwriting does not follow the standard formula that ears have grown tired of

Her soulful style is nostalgic, raw, and real

Bruised Release Date 08/31/18

-Caleb

We’ve added this song to our August TOTD Spotify Playlist. You can find that here.

 

TOTD: Dylan Lawrence – “Dreamland”

Ah yeah. We are back after a brief vacation and we are coming back with a track that’s so smooth it’s silly. This track is perfect for me right now because I (as a school teacher) have to go back to work in a week, and this song kind of bottles all the best sounds of summer into one track for me. So hopefully I can squeeze out just a little more before I go back. Now when you get to the lyrics, they aren’t particularly summery, but that’s cool with me, my favorite music sounds upbeat but hides a deeper message in the lyrics. One set I really identified with:

“As a child, as a child I was the only one who knew in the back door of your mind there is a ladder
It makes me sadder now to know that it’s true
I was baptized in a Georgia church that sang as loud as god
When the congregation parted I was handed a facade
Singing lord, wade in the water and let everyone applaud
And I was blue”

That’s some grade A poetry. As someone who was baptized as kid in a South Carolina church, I really identified with the sentiment. They pushed us a lot as kids to accept Jesus or whatever, and then once that was accomplished, and you start to age, you’re like, hmm… is this really something an adult version of myself would’ve opted into? Or at least that’s what I experienced, I can’t speak for everyone.

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing, sky, sunglasses and outdoor

The most impressive thing to me about his whole EP, is that even though it often sounds like a full band, Dylan played every instrument. He is currently based in either Miami or Providence (he claims both), but if he is in Providence, I hope to see him soon.

-Caleb

Looking for more music? We added this song and many more to our August Spotify TOTD Playlist. 

 

Morning Commute: Natty – “Things I’ve Done”

Things I’ve done is the most personal song and video I have ever chosen to release. It was written in a state of redemption just before my first child was born and the video was recorded by a close friend of mine. It’s fitting that this is the final release before we celebrate 10 years with a new album and tour.”

Let’s start this morning with a chilled out introspective track. Like many great artists before him, this song comes from a place of reflection as he begins to think about how his life is going to change with a child. Some of my favorite albums have this same theme, notably: A Black Mile to the Surface by Manchester Orchestra. The styling of this song and video are beautiful. I love how it opens with the gorgeous guitar, and not much else, but then later we get tons of interesting instrumental woodwinds and guitar effects and even some bird sounds (or maybe that’s outside my window). We see a peeling back of layers physically and metaphorically that can only occur when the absolute seriousness of a moment strikes you and makes you reevaluate your entire self. Am I ready to be a father? Am I going to screw it up? What do I need to change? What do I want to do differently than my parents? etc. etc.

From the artist: “The official music video showcases a stripped back performance to camera with locations chosen to echo the explicit and implicit themes of the song – The abandonment and desolation of the waste land give a metaphorical image to one’s soul searching journey towards personal redemption and the once prestigious and now worn out chair, represents the perilousness of seeking salvation in the material world. The video is also interspersed with a continual scene of multiple scarves being unraveled to finally reveal Natty, representing the unpacking oneself of labels, pain and (false) identities to free the essence of self. As the song begins its dramatic climax the final breaking of daylight leads us through to a better day and renewed dignity.”

-Caleb