TOTD: LUI HILL “Words Become Useless”

LUI HILL takes our late night track with his new single, Words Become Useless. This is the third release from his upcoming album, “5000 Miles,” which will go live this coming August. It also has a really cool video with it that I will post below.

LUI HILL is one of those artists that I’ve never heard of, but when I hear his music, it sounds like a familiar hug. It’s a similar feel, a similar sound, and similar lyrics to things that I’ve heard before, but it feels so comforting every time I hear it. Then, at the :30 mark, the hug gets tighter, warmer. Finally, when the synth and the beat really kicks in at around the minute mark, I’m embraced in this bear hug, lifted on the ground, feet flailing, and my heart racing. LUI HILL gives the best hugs.

“There comes a time,
when there is nothing left to say
All words are useless,
sent from a thousand miles away
This is the time,
I need your heart beating next to mine
All words are useless,
if your heart is beating next to mine”

My assessment of this song is tainted after watching the video below, but I’m still going to stick with it. Watch the video to see what I mean. In this song, there is a relationship that has been damaged due to distance. We’ve all been there. It could be anything from a summer camp crush, a partner moving across the country for a job opportunity, or moving across state lines to move back in with your parents because your degree doesn’t automatically come with ‘5-8 years of experience,’ so it’s basically just a $70,000 piece of paper. Ya know. Nothing too specific here… just generic circumstances. Anyways, in these long distance relationships, there becomes a time where words, no matter how meaningful and beautiful, don’t make up for the person not being present. Until I saw the video, this song was about that. Watch the video below, and tell me what you think.

Either way, it’s a stellar new song, and LUI HILL should have a spot on everyone’s playlists.

Also, if you missed a song for the month of June, or want to have every song we review in one convenient place, check out our monthly playlist here.

-Seth

 

 

Mid Day Music Blast: io & Titan “Wandering Mind”

While the name may be deceptive, io & Titan is a one man show out of Brooklyn. Matt Schlatter, the man behind the music, has developed a complex sound and stunning arrangements that feel grandiose and take up a whole stage.

Wandering Mind is like a beautiful film, beginning with setting up the characters and setting the routine, breaking that routine, rising through the climax, and then bringing you in for the final resolution. The story it tells is one of losing yourself in the dream. Matt talks of both a literal and figurative wandering mind through immersive travel and holding onto the dreams you set before yourself.

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“I have always been a dreamer,
don’t keep my thoughts on a chain.
Hasn’t gotten me far.
It’s still my faith,
and it is blind.
I believe in the wandering mind,
oh I believe in the wandering mind.” 

Based on the choices I make, this could be written about my life. If you know me at all, you know that I am constantly trying to figure out how to make impossible situations come to fruition. I feel like staying rooted in these dreams is the only way to stave off being an old curmudgeon. If we lose sight of the sky, we forget what the sun feels like. I know that’s cheesy, but it’s true.

io & Titan’s song is firmly ground in the idea of experiencing the world. Not only traveling to other countries, but diving into the culture. Travel without immersion is just a vacation. io & Titan want to learn from and experience the world, not just take snapshots of it.

TOTD: Julian Sherwood “Make Stay”

Julian Sherwood. This guy is the reason that we are doing this blog. Drummer turned singer-songwriter, this guy is the Anderson .Paak of angsty, off-beat indie.

When I’m figuring out which songs to feature in posts on the blog, I always look for something a little different than what I’ve heard before. The timbre of Julian Sherwood’s voice is that perfect blend of familiar but new. He is like going to a new town that has a replica of your favorite coffeehouse from your hometown; the streets, sights, and sounds are all different, but it has that piece that makes you feel at home. With a piercing, yet exposed voice, Julian Sherwood sets the perfect stage for a story about the negative side of love.

This song digs into the hard truth and the “tragedy of commitment.” When you love people and things, and allow them to take up your time, you have that much less time to do what you please. It really brings up so many questions about what we value as individuals, and that we need to really pay attention to the things that we give our love and time to.

A close friend of mine once told me that we need to focus on the very few big “yeses” in our lives, and if the choice you have to make has an option that doesn’t get you closer to those “yeses,” then go with the other option. For example, my big yeses are family, travel, and working for myself. If I have to make a choice about spending time doing something, I will always try to make the choice that moves me closer to those three goals. This song makes you examine the things you love, and at least attempts to get you to trim the excess.

Video of the Day: Golan “Rocket Love (feat. Island Chain)”

I just found a song for your summer music playlist! Check out this amazing video from Golan. I’m most struck by how impressive the cinematography and direction of this video is. The wide angle shots of a beautiful beach are immediately striking. The lonely setting of the main protagonist sitting the edge of an empty rooftop pool  is eerie and beautifully barren. Another thing I really loved is that we see the protagonist carrying a video camera around, and we sometimes get some old school 90s VHS shots where we can look through her eyes directly.

I think there is still a lot to unpack with this video, and the song itself, and I would love to hear from you guys what you think in the comments. It should give anyone who’s worked a summer job in a beach town some intense nostalgia, and it captures a level of early 20s angst through visuals that I can’t even fully express because it’s more emotional than logical.

-Caleb

Want to hear more music? Check out our June TOTD Spotify playlist here. 

 

Mid-day Music Blast: Mary-Elaine Jenkins “Fools Don’t Stay”

“Storm is rolling, my house is shaking 
My man’s not coming home tonight 
He drinks whiskey in his water 
Likes to gamble with his life 

Hard lovin’ woman and a hard luck man 
Playing house in the promised land 
Cracked foundations and real bad habits 
And nobody tells me nothing”

The story is familiar, but the storyteller is new. Mary-Elaine Jenkins takes the trope of the deserter leaving home and makes it feel fresh. We see a story unfold like so many others with this lover who isn’t exactly a catch. The first thing that caught my ear though was the line, “And nobody tells me nothing.” While this could be a call to the fact that Jenkins comes from a long line of strong and independent women who can’t be bossed around, I think it is a callout to the friends who knew of this man’s “cracked foundation and real bad habits,” but failed to mention anything to Jenkins, choosing to instead watch her, or the protagonist of the song, fall down a deep well of second chances and cheap thrills.

This line is probably the most important line in the song because there is such a real life message that is applicable to so many people. If you have a friend or family member who is getting into a relationship that isn’t advisable and all of the information isn’t on the table, you have an obligation to that person to have a hard conversation. They may choose to ignore whatever you tell them, but at least the pieces are laid out for everyone to see.

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Luckily, thanks to the matriarchs in Jenkins family who have brought her up to be a free-thinking woman who won’t take shit from anyone, she (or once again, the protagonist) is able to separate herself from him, barricading her heart, and alluding to changing the locks to make sure he doesn’t try to come back.

Jenkins, a Brooklyn resident, has a pure Southern sound that can’t be imitated. As a South Carolinian who can hear a fake accent from a mile away (and because I read Jenkins’ bio), I can tell a fellow South Carolinian’s voice when I hear it. She honed her craft for years in the deep south, learning from and playing with the old-timers at her local guitar shop every Saturday afternoon, but quickly longed for a setting that could help her pursue music as a career. She moved from South Carolina to Washington D.C. and then to Spain before finding her new home in Brooklyn in 2013. With true Southern charm, and a bit of an edge to her lyrics and voice, Jenkins is the perfect artist for people looking to flirt with country music while keeping their feet firmly planted in Americana roots.

Check out Mary-Elaine and all of our other tracks from June on our Spotify playlist

Mid Day Music Blast: Breshnyda “Coastin'”

Happy Hump Day, and happy hump hour of Hump Day. We are officially over half the work week hump! To celebrate, check out this fresh track from Breshnyda. Once you do, two things are going to become apparent.

  1. The music is so trippy and awesome. It really reminds me somewhat of Dntel with the drones and dissonant beats. Really cool production on this.
  2. The lyrics are so wonderfully playful:

I got an accent made of fire
The constables inquire to decipher the scattered pattern
By which my lingual sniper shots take flight through the night
I’m lightin up all mics until the temperature spikes to nigh extreme Fahrenheit

Firestarter like a Charlie, Writer King like a Stephen
I spark the kindling on sleepy folks every weekend
Dragon’s breath must bequest bars to the rest
I protect the chest to keep the treasure unpossessed

Want more from this song? I’m glad you asked. There’s a music video!

If that doesn’t make you nostalgic for early video games while also tripping you out a bit, I don’t know what will. It has to be the premiere NES/Hip-hop/Acid trip video on the market.

 

-Caleb

Don’t forget to check out Breshnyda and all of our June artists on this Spotify playlist. 

And don’t forget to check out the best part of our (small) empire, The B-Side Guys Podcast.

 

Morning Commute: LV Baby “Keep Me High Up”

Every track we feature on this site is going to be something that makes our personal playlists in some fashion. There are some songs that end up making every playlist we put together, and this is one of them. Windows Down Playlist? Keep Me High Up. Smooth Brass Playlist? Keep Me High Up. Feel It In Your Soles (lyrically conscious songs to dance to)? Keep Me High Up. Funeral Pyres? Keep Me High Up. Okay… maybe not the last one, but you get the picture.

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Cal the 3rd starts out with the trumpet, beckoning your attention, almost like a king is about to enter. LV Baby may not be royalty, but his voice is about as close as you get to being knighted. There are so many rappers out there who fall in line and do something safe that they know everyone will enjoy. Those guys are needed for the kingdom to succeed. They have their place, and are greatly appreciated. Then, there are guys like LV Baby. With a raspy timbre and his constantly changing cadence, he tells a story of familial struggle; from almost losing his father to an aortic dissection, to losing contact with his brother, LV Baby leaves it all out on the table. He then follows up talking about his struggles by focusing on the many blessings he has in his life. When asked about the album and his creative process, LV Baby said,

“Simply put, I poured my heart into this record. I’ve been going through a lot, but I haven’t stopped working/creating. Thank God I’ve been able to make some of my best music throughout this period in my life. This song is a happy-sad summer jam that may have saved my life.”

These are the people in the kingdom who get to kneel before the kings and queens of rap-gone-by and get to become knights. Men and women who tell real stories, try new things, and hold nothing back. If you think that this song is a one-off lyrically, go check out American Pie. Damn!

Video of the Day: Jungle Youth – “Don’t Do It”

I love how strong this song starts. “I refuse to be another one of your mistakes.” And it keeps that strength throughout the whole song. The vocals really hammer home that defiance. As for the video itself, it follows along 3 people (the band members I believe, but I don’t know if we can assume they are playing themselves) as they hang out doing fun young people things, like exploring in nature, and various urban settings, as well and driving around and hanging out. There seems to be somewhat of a subtle love triangle that forms throughout the video, with the two guys both seeming to enjoy flirting with the girl, but one guy seems to break through and hold her hand, put his arm around her, etc. Eventually, when something goes wrong with the car, the two guys get in a fight. It really reminds me a lot of how these tiny jealousies, if unchecked, can build until they explode. I love the subtle build and the rich imagery of the entire video.

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Jungle Youth is a young band from Quebec City that was born out of a common love for music. In March 2018, the band emerges from the darkness by releasing their version of Loud’s “Toutes les femmes savent danser”. The cover rapidly reaches 2000 views in less than a week and gains media attention by being featured in Le Journal de Québecand on the website of CKOI 96.0. Refusing to identify to one style of music in particular, Jungle Youth projects a modern yet retro sound that combines elements that are Pop, Rock and Indie all at the same time.

 

-Caleb

Want more music? Listen to Jungle Youth and all our June artists on this Spotify playlist. 

Don’t forget to check out our latest podcast episode: Ep. 13 Bad Luck

 

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.

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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

 

Video of the Day: The Rebels of Tijuana “Et le blizzard s’estompe”

Sunday Scaries in full effect for you yet? I have just the thing to chill you out. Take a 8 minute journey into the past with this amazing video from The Rebels of Tijuana. It is everything I love about music. It has these excellent visuals of a recording studio that is using all analog production techniques. It has great instrumentation that gives each musician his space to jam out. It has just enough lyrics (that I don’t understand, though I did hear the word cigarette), to keep you engaged in the sultry Jim Morrison style voice. It has drinking, and bandmates chumming about. It has interspersed nature shots. You’re really missing out if you don’t take the time to watch the whole thing. I guarantee you’ll find yourself tapping your foot.

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Don’t forget to check out more from them, as this just a single off an upcoming September album, “Aisle”, a double album recorded on analog tape. If you’re like me and you often miss the grainy sound that we used to get out of old 60s and 70s records, this is the band for you.

 

Don’t forget to check them, and everyone we’ve featured this month out on our spotify playlist (updated daily.) 

Also, don’t forget to listen to the thing we do best, the podcast. We just released a new episode last week on Bad Luck.

-Caleb