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

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

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

Pkwy – “Punisher”

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

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

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

 

Charles Edison – “My Mother”

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

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

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

Friede Merz – “ALBION”

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

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

Check out more here:

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Farewell Company – “Gulf Breeze Motel”

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

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

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

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

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

 

-Caleb

 

Morning Commute: Delafaye – “Go Away Just To Stay”

“Keep walking by
Girl with southern lit eyes
Smoke away your best days
Go away just to stay

I thought about it
Maybe once or twice
Maybe it was Chicago called and you had to leave”

I am so excited to share this beautiful track with you guys this morning. It seems like it’s a song about missed opportunities. It’s that relationship that never happened, even though you always thought it would work if things lined up right. I guess it’s the idea of “the one who got away.” I don’t know about you guys, but that person sometimes still pops in my head. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m not happy with the way things have turned out, but I think it’s human nature to wonder about different crossroads and paths we left behind, and this song is a beautiful representation of that impulse.

Remember to look out for the debut album, Delafaye set to release in December 2018

 

Connect with Delafaye: Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/delafaye321

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/delafaye777

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Delafayemusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/delafayemusic_

 

-Caleb

 

Morning Commute: Nate Smith – “None of These Things”

“The weather man says it’s gonna rain
The TV man says the world is full of pain. Oh
The white man comes and the white man goes
He takes what he takes and he never lets go. Oh

I know a girl who don’t care about none of these things –
She talks to the birds and she learns about what they sing –
All of her memories are turning into dreams – ”

 

This song is so classic. I feel like it could fit into almost any era in the past 60 years, and it would give whoever is listening to it chills. To me it seems like it’s a classic sense of disenfranchisement. There are a million voices to listen to, in the media, from those in power, and it can get pretty dark if you are paying attention. But also, we have the option to focus on nature, personal growth, creativity. We could all be like the girl “who don’t care about none of these things.” It’s a really inspiring message overlaying a classic blues guitar riff. I really can’t get enough of it. One last note of praise: I LOVE the weird sample that comes in at the end of the song. I can’t make out all of it, but it fits perfectly with the vibe that’s being created.

Bio: With nearly twenty years of song writing experience under his belt, Nate Smith has evolved into a beacon of honesty and real life experiences especially when it comes to the process of composing lyrics. Harboring a belief that all artists are most often struggling poets, Nate strives to create songs that take people on an emotional and reflective journey that can only be described as both gripping and beautiful. Check out more here: The Nate Smith Band.

-Caleb

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

Morning Commute: The 502s – “Olivia”

This song is so perfect for your morning commute. I don’t know about you guys, but Tuesday mornings are hard for me. I’m tired from one day of work, and I can’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel of the week yet. I drink an extra cup of coffee, and I try to find something to motivate me. This song fits into that category with it’s infectious energy and fun vibes. The lyrics themselves seem to focus on a girl, and wondering if the way they feel about her is real love or just lust. But the instrumentals, especially the horns and the rambling drum beat are perfect for putting me in the right head space this sleepy Tuesday morning.

Image result for the 502s

Bio: Listening to their lighthearted gang vocals and buoyant trumpet lines, you could certainly slap The 502s with an ambiguous indie label. Their loosely boondock, on-the-road-again acoustic tenor makes them a fit with the Americana crowd. And with their big, open strumming patterns, fingerpicked banjo, and mildly twangy vocal flair, it would be easy to call them a folk band, throw on a plaid shirt, and compare them to The Lumineers or The Avett Brothers.

Looking through a bigger lens, however – one that takes into account all aspects of their collective persona – The 502s are best described as the sound of a celebration: a wild, friendly shindig down the street that everyone wants to attend.

And the Orlando-based six-piece (Ed Isola, Jonathan Ruiz, Jake Isola, Matthew Tonner, Kaleigh LeBeau, and Tristan Smith) know that they’re ready to host. Operating within a city that sees thousands upon thousands of entertainment-hungry visitors every day has led the band to embrace their need to delight, to amuse, and to create the party for which they’re already providing the soundtrack.

The 502s’ forthcoming album Because We Had To is a lesson in finding what feels good – both in music and in life. Recorded in 36 hours over Memorial Day Weekend, it’s the kind of album you could take on a road trip, or one you might hear at a raucous New Year’s Eve Party where the lead singer smashes a pint of Guinness onstage (true story). “It’s the sound of a big rowdy party,” laughs singer/songwriter Ed Isola.

-Caleb

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

TOTD: Mia and Jonah “Spin as One”

I’m so happy to introduce you guys to one of my favorite songs of the moment, off of a brand new EP that came out on Friday. I had a great interview with both Mia and Jonah that I’ll be posting soon as a podcast episode, so keep your eyes peeled for that. They were absolutely delightful, and even played a live song for you guys. For now though, let’s focus on this super hopeful song in not so hopeful times, a song that encourages us to “spin as one” when the world turns upside down. The press release describes the inspiration behind the song with: “The couple’s daughter, Rose, was born in 2012. Spin as One’s lyrical themes reflect on family life—overcoming struggles through love and care of one other—as well as Mia and Jonah’s wishes of soulful self-discovery and a collective coming-together for our world to find its way back home.” Both personally and collectively, I really need this song in my life right now, and that’s before even mentioning how beautiful it is instrumentally. The strings in particular are just incredibly arranged over flawless harmonies from both Mia and Jonah, and trust me, the whole EP is just as good as this song.

Image result for mia and jonah

Bio: “With accomplished highlights such as opening for pop idols such as Sia, Tracy Chapman and Ben Taylor at the Fillmore, the duo eventually migrated south to Los Angeles whereby they quickly ingratiated themselves into the local scene, sharing a residence with the Burning Man star William Close (Earth Harp Collective creator). Since their arrival, they’ve been religious performers at LA’s annual Truck Stop “Hootenanny!” where they played with Central California icon Brett Dennen and round the fire with up ’n coming legends such as Lukas Nelson.

In 2016, Jonah, along with his 6-pc band, released a 9-track excursion entitled Midnight Ball. With a funky sound that recalled the sunny effervescence of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime, LA Weekly commended “its vibey, eclectic sound, that embodies the laid-back coolness of Southern Californian culture.”

Scheduled for release on September 7, their new album, Spin as One,features the talents of bass player Seth Ford-Young (Tom Waits, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), and drummer Steve DiStanislao (David Gilmour, CSN, Kenny Loggins), with banjo by Chris Pandolfi (Infamous Stringdusters), and violin by Alan Grubner. Americana UK praised their “highly effective harmonies, as good a pairing as anything out there.”

Discography

2005 Shine I

2006 Hallelujah EP

2008 Rooms for Adelaide

2011 The Golden Ass (with claymation based on ancient story “The 11 Book Metamorphosis” by Greek writer Apuleius)

2012 Mountainside (single)

2016 Midnight Ball (Jonah’s band)

2018 Spin as One

-Caleb

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

Like I mentioned before, we will soon have an interview with Mia and Jonah on our podcast, you can check out our most recent episode here: Episode 18: Existentialism (Part 1)

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.