The Flock: Singer-Songwriter/Folk – Leonie Kingdom, Winslow, Spazz Cardigan, Danny Starr, Chamber Band, Matt Millz

*Check out these artists and every other artist we’ve featured on the blog this month on our Spotify playlist for this month.*

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*

 

Leonie Kingdom – Night Terrors

This song actually made me cry the first time I heard it. If you know me, you may know that I experience night terrors, and this song is a beautiful song of hopelessness against them. I had just woken up from another night of sleepless turning, and this was one of the first ten songs I listened to that day. If you know someone who has night terrors but can’t really empathize with what they’re going through, Leonie Kingdom has written a song to help you understand how people feel when they have this haunting, reoccurring dream that they can’t wake themselves from.

You’ll shiver to the bone
It’s the thoughts that come alive when you’re alone
And it brings you to your knees
Like a current that’s raging through angry black seas

Don’t fight it
Don’t deny it
Don’t run, don’t run
They’ve already won

There’s nowhere to hide when they’re living inside
There’s nowhere to hide they’ll eat you alive
There’s nowhere to hide they hear all your cries
There’s nowhere to hide you’ll never survive

When Leonie sang the line, “It’s the thoughts that come alive when you’re alone,” I lost it. She has this tonality to her voice that makes her pain a tangible quality to her vocals, and when the haunting harmony comes in, it really sweeps you up in emotion. I’m not sure if this is about Leonie’s personal struggle with night terrors or if the night terrors are a symbol of something else in her life, but I like to think it’s about the actual terrors. It’s a song of hopelessness against them, but it’s also a song that reminds you that someone else is going through the same thing you are too. Knowing you aren’t alone is enough for most people to find solace through the struggle.

 

Winslow – Look at Me Now

I was dancing along to this track, having a great time, when the 2:10 mark hit. That’s when it went from me really liking this song to loving it. It’s amazing what a few moments of cacophonous dysfunction can do to make a poppy singer-songwriter track stand out. I love the fact that I also get part of the story through choices like that. It’s almost like you hear the story of their transition from who they thought they’d end up being to who they turned out being through the swirling portal of sound at that 2:10 mark because after that you start hearing paparazzi fighting for their attention on a runway, and the protagonist of the story says that all they’ve wanted is for people to call their name like this. First, I want to post their bio, and then I want to talk about what the song is possibly about.

BIO: Kate Miner (of folk band MINER ) and Briana Lane make up the new LA based indie duo, Winslow. Miner was working on a solo project when she heard Lane sing live at a Christmas show in 2016 and asked her to join forces to finish the album. After a year and half writing and recording in a garage studio in Silverlake, on a street appropriately named Winslow, the two are releasing their EP this fall. With its modern, synth heavy soundscapes and echoes of Miner’s folk roots, self titled Winslow is a compilation of stories of heartbreak and loss in Los Angeles.

First off, let’s get this part out of the way. If you haven’t checked out Miner, check them out hereSo good.

Okay, back to this song. The part I want to focus on is the story behind the lyrics. I missed the key phrase about halfway through the Alice in Wonderland transition because I was so focused on the instrumentals. The person who is becoming famous sees the paparazzi starting to descend upon them and notes how stressful everything looks on that side, but convinces themselves that it’s everything they ever wanted. I know nothing about being famous, or the pursuit thereof, but it honestly sounds like a nightmare to me. I believe that’s kind of what this song is talking about since it’s “a compilation of stories of heartbreak and loss in Los Angeles.” Everyone thinks that they want to be famous until they actually are. I mean, don’t get me wrong, fame comes with a lot of benefits I’m sure, but those are the only things people focus on. They don’t think about the fact that they don’t really have alone time anymore. I mean, once you reach a certain level of fame, even your family vacations have some creepy people following you to the beach, a sunscreen strip on their nose and camera in hand. It’s oftentimes not the life that people envisioned from the other side of the fence.

Spazz Cardigan – Medicine & Make America

Spazz Cardigan had a couple of tracks we wanted to share with you guys. The guy is like if Jason Mraz and Mat Kearney had a baby, and that baby liked to actually sing about real stuff. The guy has a really smooth voice, nice beats, and a look that gets picked up by major labels all the time. That’s what makes his lyrical prowess so refreshing and exciting. He could sing love songs with a stupid fedora on and make millions of dollars, but he’s choosing to use his voice and his platform to say real things and to open up real conversations. He could still make millions, but it won’t be by selling out.

Medicine is a song all about owning up to your wrongdoings and making them right. It’s definitely going to suck to do and can be painful, but I like that it doesn’t shy away from that. It’s no fun to take medicine, but it’s definitely going to make you feel better. The same can be said for admitting when you’re wrong.

From what I understand, this is a free-form spoken word piece that is meant to follow closely behind the ideology of Medicine. We as a country have obviously made mistakes when it comes to gun culture in the United States, and Spazz is wanting to start talking about it. Seeing students and other people in everyday life being gunned down every single day has kind of numbed us to the conversation. I mean, a perfect example for me is the fact that I saw the murder and standoff that was committed in the Trader Joe’s in LA, and I didn’t read past the headline. It’s not that I didn’t care; I just didn’t want to read about another senseless tragedy. Stuff like that has become so commonplace that you would have to read multiple articles every single day to stay caught up. I have been very clear on my stance on gun control, and I think Spazz and I are in pretty similar camps. There’s a lot to unpack in this song, so instead of me trying to do it all myself, I want to do a live interview with Spazz Cardigan so we can have a conversation about this. We always stress the importance of having uncomfortable conversations, and he’s right,

Nobody wants to talk
and when we do
we just shut off

 

Danny Starr – Double Red Line

Have you guys ever heard that a bar is the worst place to find a spouse? I’ve seen it work for some people… for a while… I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a relationship that started in a bar lasting forever. I’m sure there are tons of cases where it’s happened, but it’s a situation that is built for disaster. Two drunk people with crazy sex drives and impaired judgement deciding that this person is their soulmate seems like a really strange way to tell the grandchildren that you met. I’m not saying it can’t happen, and neither is this song. It’s just talking about the thousands of relationships that start in a bar, or honestly not even in a bar, just in an inebriated state, and how they’re almost designed to fail because the real version of you and that other person are not in the initial conversation.

With disarming vocals and a soundscape that creates a palatable atmosphere, Danny Starr’s, Double Red Line, is a song that is going to make it onto quite a few of my playlists for the foreseeable future.

Chamber Band – Before Iping

Ellen Winter, lead singer for Chamber Band, has created something really cool here. The whole band is phenomenal, but for me personally, it’s the timbre of her voice that brings everything together. When she flips to her higher register, it sounds like her voice could give out any second, giving it this brutal, gut-wrenching honesty. Judging from the strength of her voice throughout, this is a brilliant stylistic choice on her part. Somewhere between folk pop and sea shanty, Before Iping is a song to listen to while half a bottle in with your closest of friends, gathered around a table discussing exactly what it would be like to feel weightless.

The band is currently working on their fourth studio album, and Ellen has a solo project releasing at the end of the year. Keep up with these guys. They’re perpetually churning out great tunes.

Matt Millz – My World

Matt Millz has created a song that will pull at the heartstrings of fathers all over the world. A moving homage to fatherhood, My World is the song that all fathers feel in their hearts but aren’t sure how to put into words. As a father with one son and a daughter on the way, I can relate to this song in a real way. Matt has unique voice that resonates in your mind long after the song is over. I find myself repeating lines hours after every listen, and even sang it to my son last night while we were putting him to bed.

“…the man that I used to be, has fallen away. You’ve made me the father, that I am today”


Alright guys, follow the artist’s links in their names above to find out about tours, merch, upcoming tunes, etc.

Check out the newest podcast, Episode 17: Warmth

We also have a Spotify playlist of the month where we feature every artist we share on the blog. Check it out here.

Seth’s Tracks of the Week

This is a grab bag of all of my favorite artists from the week. No genres, no themes, nothing. I mean, I guess the theme is that I love these songs.

We try to group artists with similar artists, but the fact of the matter is that most music fans don’t solely like one genre. If you’re like me, there are very few genres that you don’t get into in some capacity. What I’ve found is that a lot of people cross paths with the same people in their musical taste. Caleb and I are going to start posting our favorite tracks of the week, and you can start to figure out whose musical taste you like more. Caleb and I have a lot of crossover, but one distinct difference right out of the gate is that I get more into the folk scene, and he gets way more experimental with what he likes. Some of what I listen to sounds like Elvish chants in the woods, I’m sure, and some of what he listens to sounds to me like what Michael Caine listened to  in Children of MenYou’ll probably start to notice a trend in these posts at some point. We have a lot of crossover, especially when it comes to hip-hop and emotive indie rock, but there’s a lot of music that Caleb and I don’t necessarily agree on. We both know that objectively they’re good tracks, we just don’t subjectively like it as much as some other stuff. Without further ado, here are my favorite tracks of the week.

*click on the artist’s name to go to their website*

 

Glassmaps – My Head My Heart

This is the eternal struggle between what the head wants and what the heart wants. Usually on two opposite sides of the fence, it is a constant battle on whether to give in to what is smart or to give in to your passions. If anyone knows me at all, they know which way I tend to lean. I’m a guy that jumps straight into the deep end without checking the temperature of the water… or checking for sharks. I pursue my heart, and I do it with gusto. It seems that the folks in Glassmaps may be a little more cautious than me, or at least they take pause before deciding to go with the heart.

The song starts out with what almost sounds like an organ from an early ’90’s video game, and immediately goes into the stomp clap chants that always get me going. They stay there throughout the song, adding a beautiful fuzzy guitar at times, but staying pretty constant until the ethereal breakdown that carries until the song draws to a quiet and abrupt close. I have this habit of trying to envision a scene in a movie or tv show that songs would fit in, and this is the perfect fit for a young adult blockbuster like Maze Runner or Hunger Games where the protagonist is deciding between pursuing their ultimate goal or battling 15 bad guys to help the love interest that was just kidnapped. Cue the music montage of them slicing through bad guys while this song plays in the background.

 

Ezra Vancil – Complicated Man

I love themed/concept albums, and Ezra Vancil has created something really interesting here. He released an album that chronicles the story of a ten year marriage. As easily understood by the lyrics (and the fact that it’s track two of the album), you can tell that this is the beginning of everything. This is the beginning of his world. We see a young man who is wild about a girl, and she has no idea he’s alive. I mean, she knows he’s alive, but she doesn’t know that he lives for her, if that makes sense. I suggest listening to the album from start to finish, and watching this saga unfold right before your eyes.

Ezra Vancil makes emotive music with a message. It’s really nice when songs don’t paint hyperbolic pictures of love (I like those too, I just need something more realistic a lot of the time), and they just say, “This is the chain of events. Do with them what you will.” People sometimes confuse poetry with depth. If I say, “Her eyes were as blue and as deep as oceans, and my love for her could outshine the sun,” I immediately tune out. Why? Because it’s not true, and it’s not something that I can really envision because it’s so wildly outlandish. Tell me a story about love with your music. Love is laughter, affection, and connection, but it’s also awkward misunderstandings, fights, and sometimes tragedy. That’s the story I want to hear. Ezra Vancil is a great storyteller.

 

Lossapardo – Sleep (3 a.m.)

This is one of the most interesting music videos I have seen in a long time. I thought that it was just a still when I first saw it. Then, when the lyrics kick in, the song comes to life.

I’ve tried to get to sleep
but nothing came
Sandman and I
playing hide and seek
for too long
I’ve tried

It’s already 3 am
and as usual I won’t sleep tonight
every time it’s the same
I’ll be a mess in the morning

This has been me more nights than I care to admit. Tossing and turning, falling asleep just long enough to have a nightmare scare me awake, and keep me reeling for the next couple of hours. Rinse and repeat. Lossparado has this quiet conviction to his voice that makes you understand exactly what he’s going through even if you sleep like a baby through the night. I mean, I guess “sleeping like a baby” doesn’t make too much sense seeing as how when my son was just born, he slept in oscillating two hour shifts, rotating between wide eyed screams and restless sleep. Maybe I should say “even if you sleep like a drunk frat guy after 3 too many.” Anyways, Lossparado has a vulnerable voice that instantly makes him relatable and endearing to listeners. I can’t wait to follow his ascent.

 

The Lifers – New Eyes

This is the kind of song that you have to listen to with your eyes closed. Don’t know what I mean? Pull the car over, stop doing whatever you’re doing, close your eyes, and let this song be your only focus for four minutes. If you don’t, you’ll miss something. There are so many layers to this track. They’ve truly created something unique but familiar, and they’ve done an excellent job of layering the track. Whoever mixed and mastered their album needs a raise.

The beginning starts out like something you’ve heard numerous times with a picked guitar and a really clean vocal track, but then it goes off the rails almost immediately, opting to take the path less traveled. Flutes (probably? I’m not super familiar with my woodwinds. Could be piccolos for all I know.), a symphonic string section, and one of the most interesting resonating guitar parts I’ve heard in some time are only a fraction of what is going on in this piece. I’d really love to know who arranged this song and thought of all of the neat tricks to incorporate.

I was going to try and wrap it up with that last paragraph, but I just have to say one more thing about this song. The key change is one of the most subtle and interesting parts of the song. I usually get really burnt out on key changes because they are made to be this grandiose event where it’s a “look at me, I know about music” moment. This key change is almost a tertiary piece of everything that is happening at that point in the song. It’s perfect, and that’s coming from a guy who thinks that 99 out of 100 key changes should just stay home.

 

Baba Sonya – Enough

Baba Sonya is the emotive and raw combination of songwriter/vocalist, Rachel Gawell, and producer/engineer, Mike Costaney. They started as a “he sings, she sings” singer-songwriter duo, but soon realized that they were more suited for the roles they have now (and there are fifteen million duos like that). I never heard their original stuff, but I’m glad they abandoned that project because that decision is what got us to this song. This is new. Gritty and fuzzy instrumentals with clean drum kit overlays combine perfectly with Gawell’s vulnerable vibrato to give us a track that makes for a perfect introspective, lonely night tune. This is the kind of song that I put a notebook on the table while listening. I don’t expect epiphanous moments, but when they happen, it’s usually to songs like this. I want to be ready.

I’m not sure entirely what the song is about because it’s obviously personal to a specific story in Rachel’s life, but the overarching feeling I got from it was the feeling of constant inadequacy. In relationships, platonic or romantic, we tend to measure our worth by the people around us, and we give extra emphasis to the people we care about the most. If you feel like you’re inadequate, stop listening to those voices. Whoever you are is enough for who you need to be and who the people who actually give a shit about you need you to be. That may not even be closely related to what the song is about, that’s just good life advice.

 

Raena Jade – Forever in my Pocket

This song hits an interesting perspective, and makes my track of the week for two reasons: it’s a self-aware song, and it’s the perfect crossover for me and my wife’s wildly different musical tastes. Raena Jade tells a story about knowing she’s in the wrong. Well, not necessarily in the wrong, but she knows that her actions are the cause of someone else’s pain. She’s tried again and again to convince herself that she loves this person who is madly in love with her, but she just can’t do it. She can’t force love. With honest lyrics and a defenseless demeanor, Raena writes an apology letter that makes me feel like she ripped my heart out of it’s socket instead of the person in the song.

 

Tru Vonne – Crazy Love

BEFORE YOU WATCH, READ THE CONCEPT BELOW

The concept of the video was to capture 4 different type of realities; What you wanted to happen, what you feel inside, what’s going on through head, and what actually happening in a conscious space. In creating that virtual consciousness, each color represents each of these realities. I would want you to decide which is which because based on how the video makes you feel will determine which color means what to you. The entire video is up for interpretation. When writing the treatment, I wanted to make sure that each of these concepts were properly shown.

I have to be careful with this interpretation. This is something that I haven’t really seen before in a music video, and I absolutely dig it. I don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole with this one because I want you to figure out what the video means to you personally without any outside influence, so I’ll keep everything objective. This story reminds me of the old adage, “There are three sides to every story: one person’s side, the other person’s side, and the truth.” Let me know in the comments what you got after you watch the video, and we can talk about it more.

Tru Vonne has such a smooth, sultry voice. She drips confidence, and hits every single note with a slight rasp that gives her words a reel, pulling you in closer with every word.


As always, go to these artist’s sites, spend money, go see their shows, become their #1 fan. The sole reason that we do this blog is to try to shine a spotlight on artists who deserve it.

We have a podcast. Click here to listen.

We have a Spotify playlist that has every song we’ve featured this month. Give it a follow. 

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
Souvenir
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.

 

-Seth

Monday Mix – Rowan Kerrick, Arms Akimbo, George Hadfield, Nik Freitas, Curly Vampiro, Rea Garvey, Simon D. James, Liza, The Hollow Ends, Matt Andersen

Ten new artists to help you get through the next five days of work. 

 

Rowan Kerrick – Your Song

Rowan Kerrick has created something cool here with her new album, Foolish. The album tells a story of a relationship from beginning to end with Your Song leading starting the album by learning from the mistakes of previous relationships, and making promises of how this relationship will be different. Do yourself a favor and listen to the album from beginning to end and see how this relationship turns out.

With soulful vocals, and raw and emotive lyrics, Rowan Kerrick is an artist that people can appreciate regardless of their genre preferences.

 

Arms Akimbo – Velleity

Arms Akimbo makes the kind of music I wish I made. They have emotive lyrics, tight harmonies, wide open guitar, a lot of fun, but most importantly, a cynicism that runs deep in their veins. Velleity itself is an inclination or a wish that isn’t strong enough to act upon.

the notions on the road are keeping me at home
velleity to roam is keeping me at home

They delve into the idea that people become too comfortable with where they currently are to really break out and chase the things they really want. The idea that the grass isn’t always greener has been beat into our head to the point where we accept our current position and are content with dreaming and living vicariously through others. Fear of the unknown can be crippling, but as Michael Scott said that Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

 

George Hadfield – Brenda

George Hadfield has created a really interesting synth funk track with Brenda. What I can’t stop focusing on here is the idea behind the lyrics. Now, I have very little experience with synthesizers, but I do have experience with first instruments. George Hadfield has written a song that is an ode to his first synthesizer. He talks about the scenario that really kicked off his love for the instrument he affectionately named, you guessed it, Brenda. My guess, based on the lyrics, is that he sold it and knows that due to the increasing rarity of the vintage version he had and the increasing popularity of the instrument itself, he will probably never get to play with Brenda again.

If the loss of Brenda makes Hadfield continue to create more fun songs about loss, I hope Brenda stays lost for quite a while.

*I do hope they’re reunited one day though.*

 

Nik Freitas – Listen

“We live in a very self centered culture and its becoming harder to disconnect from everything, including yourself. My oldest daughter started preschool this year and when I’d pick her up in the afternoon she had so much to say about her day, just tons of words trying to explain herself. I had to stop everything i was thinking about or doing and really listen to piece it all together. Its been so refreshing stopping everything to listen and I try to apply it in more conversations now with everybody. Maria Taylor is a good friend and mother of two and i knew she’d get what the song was about, so i asked her to sing backing vocals on the song. I think her performance helped give it a softer and more inviting tone and really brings the point across.”

With a son who is close to entering preschool, this is a song description that really hits home. My son is the exact same way as Freitas’ daughter in regards to how they describe their day. I’ll return home from work and he will just start unloading all of the thoughts he’s tried to stash away to tell me, and they bust out with seemingly no rhyme or reason. He will unload everything from which dinosaur he decided was his favorite (ankylosaurus) to asking me if I had to pick a kitchen appliance, which would it be. This song and description has made me analyze the way I view my conversations with Ollie and the way I view my conversations with the rest of the world. I tend to give Ollie all of my attention and focus while giving most other people about 50% because I’m focusing on the other 298381 things that I currently have going on. I need to have my ears and mind wide open while I’m in ever day conversations so I can really connect with the person I’m talking to.

 

Curly Vampiro – A new new new here

I am such a fan of Curly Vampiro’s honesty on this track. When asked to give and elevator pitch about what the song was about, Curly states simply, “jobs, birthday, death, etc ty.”

An experimental track in the same vein as King Krule, A new new new here is the perfect blend of melancholic truth, perfectly placed samples, and the fuck all attitude that makes it impossible to stop listening.

I can’t believe I lost last month’s work check 
I drink hibiscus tea am I fucking high yet 
Use chapstick cherry, kiss July very 
I’m 25 i’ll eat cake and just be happy 

 

Rea Garvey – Is It Love?

If you have been keeping up with us for a month or so, then you know I recently got back from a trip to Ireland. Rea Garvey, an Irish singer-songwriter, has written a song that kind of sums up a lot of the struggles going on over there right now. Women are fighting for the right to control their own bodies and have the right to not be controlled by a government full of men who don’t understand them.

I won’t pretend to know the full scope of the struggles going on in Ireland right now because I am neither a woman nor am I Irish, but I know a culturally relevant piece that will last a lot longer than a season when I hear it. Rea Garvey’s song has been adapted as an anthem for many across the world, garnering over 14 million plays on Spotify within the first month of its release.

 

Simon D. James – In The Fields

With his second single, Simon D. James writes what may be one of the warmest songs we’ve ever shared on the blog. This is a song that talks about the deep and infinite bond that true friendship creates, and that even though time and distance may separate us, we are always family until the end.

With a timbre all his own, Simon creates a distinct sound of pure emotion with a very humbling gravitas to his music.

 

Liza – Vladimir and 1 Girl, 2 Cups

We have never shared two songs from the same artist in one post, but Liza is a truly unique musician who deserves the distinction that we will call, due to the song title, 1 Girl, 2 Songs.

Vladimir starts out, appropriately enough, like a scene from Eastern Promises; it’s wide open, full of intrigue, and could not possibly sound more Russian. The dark echo of the guitar sets the scene for something truly beautiful.

I can beg you all I want
But you won’t give in
It’s either me or the world in her arms
And I heard she’s with stars
Next to god
She’ll breathe you in

It’s either me or the world in her arms, and I heard she’s with the stars. Damn. She could’ve packed it up after that line, and she would’ve had a more developed world than 98% of the songs I come across. This song is lyrically gut-wrenching, the composition is gorgeous, and Liza’s voice is something that is on a visual spectrum when you close your eyes.

The reason we had to share both is because this song is the yin to Vladimir’s yang. The buildup is smooth and calculated, and develops into a strong finish at around 2:30. The songs have two similarities: Liza’s raw and developed voice full of pain and emotion, and the fucking lyrics. I mean, dear god. Liza is a woman after my own heart as a writer. I’m sure she’s seen happy times, but she doesn’t write about them. This song is about a physically and emotionally abusive piece of trash that is written in such a way that it has to be at the very least “based on a true story.” She writes in a way that could only be achieved if you have been on the other end of flying fists and venomous words.

I hope the boys like a girl who can’t breathe
You think about spending another nice night with me
You live in a dream and my fists are all you can see
And don’t you ever pick up that phone
Your friends never liked you
They want you alone
I told you this countless times
You only have me and that should be fine

Finding artists like Liza actually kind of pisses me off, and it’s not because of anything she did; I tried to find her page on Spotify and had to sift through so many objectively bad artists who have more of a following than her. She easily joins the ranks of my “Criminally Underrated Artists.”

Also, if you are in an abusive relationship and need help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233.

 

The Hollow Ends – Bears In Mind

With a rambling melody, tight harmonies, and vocals that mix James Mercer and Chris Thile, Bears In Mind is the kind of ride that is best taken with the windows down.

The song starts out at a Decemberists pace and flow before moving into an absolutely untethered frenzy of abrasive guitar, sweeping harmonies, and a sympathy head rush for Zachary Schwartz, the brain behind the Bear. He hits notes with a strength that is very difficult to do, and then he holds onto those notes for longer than most can. I would go light-headed if I attempted to do what he does.

Starting in a controlled folk environment and ending in a cacophonous folk rock boot stomper, Bears In Mind is like if all the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park somehow made it out into the real world; they are beautiful to look at and admire, but you don’t truly know their power until they’re in your every day life. That’s this song.

 

Matt Andersen – Going Down

If you’ve used this list correctly, this is your Friday afternoon song. This is the song that is going to start your weekend, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than with Matt Andersen and crew absolutely melting your face off. Their larger than life live track features roaring vocals, multiple feature solos, and the deep emotion and stage presence needed to carry the audience through six and a half minutes of head rush blues. I’ve listened to this song three times in a row, and it still makes my lip curl and get that stink face whenever one of them steps forward to show us what they’ve got.

 

Check out all of the artist’s songs in a convenient Spotify playlist here.

Did you know we have a podcast? Check it out here.

TOTD: Cloud Daddy & the Kingston Big Smokes “Two Things”

Looking for that Netflix and chill song to start your night out right? This is that groove for you. Two Things is one of the groups debut tracks on a double comprised of this song and Elizabeth, and we couldn’t be more stoked about it. The lyrics are very pointed, and take you on a smooth ride where there are only two stops: weed bags and you. I mean, I guess it’s more like those two things are already on the ride, and you make no stops; you just float. I mean, the lyrics may seem a bit on the nose, but I think that’s kind of the point here. This isn’t a song built to answer deep philosophical questions. This is a song to smoke to.

All I want to do in this life, 
is suck on a bag (filled with weed). 
All I want to do in this life, 
is fall in love with you (endlessly). 
And suck on a bag 

The track itself is so complex, building to cacophonous dissonance at some points before pulling everything back in to slick bass lines and what sounds like R2-D2 samples. I’m pumped to see what these guys bring to the table going forward because their debut is lights out. It serves its purpose, it’s complex, and it makes you move. What else is there?

Check out the artists we’ve had on the blog in June in one convenient spot on our Spotify playlist.

Also check out our latest podcast on Creativity.

Video of the Day: Sophia Danai “Come Thru”

If I only had one word to describe Sophia Danai’s voice, it would be the word “raw.” She has a very powerful voice, but it’s the emotive rasp that really sold me on her. The cadence and timing of her words is exceptional as well. She is what you would get if Billie Holiday was brought to 2018 and fell in love with blues riffs.

Danai says that the lyrics and the passion behind this song come from a very personal place. The words may be repetitive, but they carry so much power with them. Her message is simple, but has so much weight to it, “Even though it can be terrifying, it’s such a release to claim your space and stand your ground. That is one of the most difficult things in life for me, and that is what this song is about.”

If you are looking for raw emotion, we’ve got it for you with this track.

TOTD: Into the Ark “Caroline”

Everyone from Neil Diamond to OutKast have written about their experiences with a girl named Caroline. Aminé, Noah Gundersen, and Netherfriends are among the multitude who have written their reviews of Caroline in the last ten years alone. Add Into the Ark to those ranks with their new song… “Caroline.” Of course.

That is where the similarities end though. This track is phenomenal. I also like that this song starts out going in a much different direction than most songs about the famous Caroline.

“I was the deer and you were the car. Such pretty lights to the eye that doesn’t know that the feeling of weightless means the higher you fly, the further you fall.”

These lyrics set the stage for a much different love story.

Then, the falsetto in the chorus really takes the song to another level as you learn that “only Caroline can do this to you. Only Caroline can be this cruel. Caroline will beat you at the only game you know.”

In summation, Caroline’s have been having an impact on musicians since the beginning of time, and the guys at Into the Ark were able to break free of the Caroline Curse* and write this vulnerable song about their time together.

*The Caroline Curse is not a real (proven) thing, and all Carolines I know are wonderful and beautiful people.

Spotify Link

-Seth