The Flock: Indie Rock – Raccoon Lagoon, State of Nature, The Color Forty Nine, Werwe, Houston Heard, FINE POINTS

*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 take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. 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.”

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

Raccoon Lagoon – “Tomorrowism”

Starting out this edition of The Flock, we figured we’d show you guys something a little different than what you usually see here. We love psych rock, but not a lot of great psych rock really rolls across our table. I’m not sure why, but those are the facts. Enter: Raccoon Lagoon. The video plays around with one picture for the duration of the song, and it never gets old. With gritty guitar and ethereal keys, Raccoon Lagoon has created a track/video that serves a very specific and trippy purpose.

State of Nature – “Someday Afternoon”

No strangers to the blog, State of Nature hits yet again with a genre bending track that melds funk and indie rock. With funky licks and smooth vocals, State of Nature takes a look at the casual relationship.

You think it’s going to be another love song with the opening line, “I love the way that you can bend and wrap around me much better than my clothes could ever do,” but then it dives into how alcohol influences their decision to meet up and the need to keep an emotional distance. Side note: That opening line is one of the coolest I’ve heard in a while. The lyrics are on point, but the vocal inflection on the word do speaks to the nature of the relationship: playful and definitely sultry. We are only becoming bigger fans of the indie rock band, and they land home with another great song for us.

The Color Forty Nine – “Storyteller”

I’ve watched this video so many times now. I still don’t really know where to start because I’m just so enamored by it. The music itself gives me a lot of different vibes, but the strongest one is probably My Morning Jacket. That said, I truly think this is difficult to classify in a good way, in a this is truly unique sort of way. Before we get to the actual video, let’s dive a bit into the lyrics:

“Ooh, but I have something to say
Feel like something is on the way

Your house of worship has locked the doors
Though many came here, there’s many more
were turned away

Oooh, but I had something to say
Oooh, we’re not worth it in any way

Storyteller, on the fence
Won’t you tell us
How it ends ”

Now these lyrics are very ambiguous. I would say due to the church reference, and the subject of the video itself, there seems to be both a critique of religious people today, and also a question to the Storyteller, who in this scenario could be God, or someone speaking “for God” asking what’s next? How does this all end? There seems to be a definite feeling from the speaker in the song that part of the story seems to be getting lost, or blocked.

Now I definitely want to hear some interpretations from you guys on the video. I see a man getting made up, at first I think in some sort of drag, but then it seems like that’s not quite it. He goes to a closet where he types on a typewriter, which works into the story feeling blocked or hidden trope from before. Then he gets presented on a stage, sings some more, and dances. I think all of that still fits into the questions I asked before, but I also think there’s maybe some sort of meditation on what it takes to get a message out going on here. Can an artist just dress normal and sing his heart out and be heard? Or does he need to be made up, with elaborate backdrops? 20 years ago, you could still presumably just be a good songwriter and rise to the top. Now? I like to think that’s still true, but it seems more and more there has to be an elaborate gimmick to go along with it. Maybe this song is talking about all the storytellers who never get an audience because of shallow reasons? I don’t know. I’ll continue to watch this video many more times into the future. It isn’t an immediate answer, and, I’m so thankful it’s not.

Werwe – “Different Tune”

Ah man guys. How good is this song? This song kind of gives me a mix of Jimmy Eat World and Modest Mouse. I also really dig the lyrics of this song. It seems to be calling up these nostalgic images, which is pretty normal, but then he kind of shows off how he’s different from back then, and he’s going to do his own thing. This works perfectly into his bio:

“Different Tune” is the first single from Werwe’s upcoming Birthday EP to be released on June 19th 2018.

On his new project, Philadelphia based singer-songwriter Steven Martinho set out to create the music he’s always wanted to make – skillfully crafted pop that remains unpretentious and fun.”

So, I never heard what he was creating before, but I’m glad he’s making the music he wants to make, because I’m really connecting with it.

Houston Heard – “My Divine (a little demo guy)”

As mentioned in the title, this is more of a demo than a fully polished album track like some of the others, but his voice shines through excellently anyway. He says he wrote this song about someone in your life who kind of sucks, but you always kind of root for them. Let’s dive into some of the lyrics:

“Would it kill to take some time for what I say, that’s okay
It’ll go in one ear and out the other anyway

My divine
Your kindness will come in time”

I don’t know about you guys but this sort of relationship is one of the most painful many of us will ever experience. It can get increasingly infuriating when you try to give them advice, that they don’t take. It takes a really patient person to stick with them after the first 5 or so times of being ignored. I know I’m not that patient.

FINE POINTS – “Ready and Able”

This song just jumped off the page at us. Or jumped out of the speakers, or whatever you want to call it. This song features Hannah Moriah with absolutely beautiful harmonies. It is the second single off their upcoming album Take Shape, out July 13, 2018 on Dine Alone Records. Their genre is technically described as “Narco Pop” and they’ve landed tours with many in the genre, including: White Fence, The Warlocks, and the Fresh and Only’s. I didn’t really know much about the genre, but apparently it is primary stories set around drugs and drug smugglers, and was originally a primarily Mexican genre? That’s from a quick google search, so it could be wrong. All I know is I love how smooth the vocals work in this song, and it gives me some vibes from a lot of classic rock, with modern indie vibes. I’m pretty much always sold when a rotation of vocals and callbacks can work together and the best play to find that in this song is around 3:00 min mark until the end. If you are on the west coast, don’t miss them in July:

Performance Dates:

July 17 – Olympia, WA  @ Le Voyeur Cafe

July 18 – Seattle, WA  @ Sunset Tavern

July 19 – Portland, OR  @ White Owl Social Club

July 20 – Berkeley, CA  @ The Starry Plough

July 21 – Visalia, CA  @ Cellar Door

July 22 – Los Angeles, CA  @ HiHat

 

-Caleb and Seth

Did you know we do a podcast? It’s true. You can check out the latest episode here.

The Flock: Indie Rock – Bears in Hazenmore, The Brothers Moore, State of Nature, Hannah’s Little Sister, Vern Matz, Somehow

*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 take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. 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.”

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

Bears in Hazenmore – Wedding Season

When I saw that this music video was 3 minutes and 23 seconds of making and eating eggs, I wasn’t sure how I felt at first. Then, I decided how much I love it all. It’s a perfect example of how sometimes the most mundane times with your best friends are the times that stick out in your mind forever. In the words of the band, “The video is entirely unrelated — a sneak-peek into the life and times of five best friends and their mere interactions with one man’s obsession with eggs.”

With ethereal vocals and synths,  perfectly stated brass, and offbeat drums, this track is one that has made it onto all of my summer playlists.

 

The Brothers Moore – Moves

No strangers to the website, The Brothers Moore come through again with their unique brand of almost familiar indie rock. If you haven’t been hanging out on the blog long, check out their previous post here. It’s easy to pull the similarities between them and early Kings of Leon, but they seem to go beyond that for me personally. I think the main reason that they hold a higher spot for me than Kings of Leon (send the hate mail to bsideguys@gmail.com) is because of how much fun these guys always seem to be having. These guys are getting some rightfully deserved recognition, getting to open for bands like Ra Ra Riot, Nada Surf, and my favorite band of all time, Manchester Orchestra. That’s something these guys couldn’t be more stoked about, and it shows through the video and the tunes.

 

State of Nature – Two Weeks Notice

If you’ve been around any amount of time, you know that any song that talks about quitting a soul-crushing job to pursue your passion is a soft spot for me. Anything that promotes getting out of the grind of the 9-5 holds a special place in my heart. A lot of times I project that sentiment into a song, but in Two Weeks Notice, this band leaves nothing to the imagination. This Third Eye Blind reincarnate group from New York will have you ready to turn in your letter of resignation, and I’m always cool with that.

 

Hannah’s Little Sister – 20

“Creeping out from the pot holes and the storm drains, these four are about to take over your local cul-de-sac. With their offbeat humour, untamed manners and trashy tunes, these terrible tikes sound truly delightful.”

Hannah’s Little Sister has a wild reformed grit that isn’t quite like anything out there, and it is absolutely refreshing. This is raw roots rock at its finest. They prescribe to the genre of “alternative,” and they are definitely an alternative to anything else I’m listening to right now. They take emotive vocals and witty lyrics, and they pair that with beveled edge guitar hooks and an unrepentant snare/kick combo.

 

Vern Matz – Shelby Park

This is the kind of complex track that only a band from the likes of Harvard could create. I guess these Yale students have exceeded their surrounding threshold then. I jest. The only Ivy League school I have allegiance to is the one that accepts me. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, so for now my only allegiance is to Vern Matz… so I guess my allegiance is to Yale. Man, what a rollercoaster! It’s kind of like their song, Shelby Park, or as the band affectionately calls it, Shelby. When asked about the track, the band has a very articulate response (I would hope so from Ivy League students):

“Perhaps we are on a first name basis with the song because of how close we have grown to it; Shelby’s a big part of our lives now. But this wasn’t always the case. Shelby Park didn’t have it’s identity until it was done. It was only until after the song was complete that it really grew on all of us. With Shelby, we got to put on a lot of different hats and play something vaguely aggressive. There’s some focus on aging, and losing identities, but it’s not an overly serious song – there’s blue hearts, and martians moons, and dropped phone calls, and leaving Shelby. It’s a childish piece a lot of ways; in some ways we were sort of pretending to be 16 year-olds in a rock band from 1993.”

They perfectly encapsulated everything that made rock bands from the early 90’s popular: the Pixies progression in the intro, the ritardando in the chorus, and the cacophonous dissonance in the buildup that flirts with the line of being too much. I am absolutely in love with this song from my favorite Brown students.

 

Somehow – While the Days Go By

The wrap-up for this edition of The Flock is held by a French multi-instrumentalist, Erwan Pépiot. The first thing that got my attention about this track is Erwan’s Matt Berringer-esque timbre with his lower register ringing clearly. It’s the kind of voice that makes you feel loved. His voice could wrap its arms around you and let you know that everything will be okay. When Erwan takes the stage, he strips his performances down and delivers intimate acoustic sets. Next time I’m in the Paris area, I have to check out one of those performances.

Check out these artists, and all of our other June artists, on our Spotify playlist of the month here. 

The new episode of the podcast is live here.