Artist Spotlight: Jon Lamboy

In the vast world of contemporary composition and production, few possess the eclectic musical background and prodigious talent of Jon Lamboy. Born in the heart of Milwaukee in 1974, this maestro of melody began his musical journey weaving between the vinyl tracks of his parents’ favored tunes. By the time the vibrant sunsets of Florida beckoned his family in 1982, Lamboy’s nascent passion for music had already taken root, with piano and keyboards becoming his first companions. However, it wasn’t long before the six strings of a guitar also sang under his fingers, leading him to form a classic rock and Pink Floyd tribute band during his high school days.The University of Miami would become the next chapter in Lamboy’s journey. Here, while diving deep into the world of mechanical engineering on an academic scholarship, the allure of music remained steadfast. The halls of the university’s music school echoed with the notes of his piano playing during free hours, and his dorm room transformed into a haven of creation and composition. Lamboy’s dedication to music remained unwavering, eventually finding him as the lead guitarist of “Don’t Flinch,” seamlessly integrating his keyboard prowess into their live performances. But Jon’s aspirations didn’t stop at cover bands; his passion for film scoring led him to the prestigious Berklee School of Music. Under the tutelage of luminaries like Pinar Toprak, the composer behind “Captain Marvel,” Lamboy honed his craft. Today, from his sanctuary in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, Jon Lamboy weaves melodic, atmospheric orchestral scores, deftly traversing genres and encapsulating listeners in his rich tapestries of sound. As we delve deeper into his discography, it becomes evident that Lamboy is not just a musician; he’s a storyteller, whose notes and chords weave tales as vivid as any spoken word.

“Energize”

In the pantheon of Jon Lamboy’s varied compositions, “Energize” stands out as a scintillating fusion of yesteryear’s groovy vibes and today’s pulsating EDM rhythms. As the track unfurls, the unmistakable influence of Nile Rodgers reverberates through funk-laden guitar licks, harmonizing effortlessly with retro synth leads that transport listeners back to disco’s golden age. Yet, “Energize” is anything but a mere nostalgia trip. The incorporation of modern beats adds a contemporary zest, making it a tantalizing auditory cocktail for both long-time disco aficionados and the newer generation of EDM enthusiasts. Every beat is a call to the dance floor, and every melody an invitation to lose oneself in its euphoric energy. Whether you’re gearing up for a workout or just looking to be enveloped in an aura of positivity, “Energize” is the sonic pick-me-up that delivers on its promise, proving once again Lamboy’s mastery in weaving different musical tapestries together.

“Glendale Funk”

A potent brew of old-school charm and contemporary flair, “Glendale Funk” pays homage to Jon Lamboy’s time at the Berklee School of Music, encapsulating the knowledge gained and channeled into this effervescent funk number. The track instantly conjures images of stylish heist scenes and the suave swagger of characters straight out of an Oceans Eleven movie. The funk guitar, with its rhythmic strumming and plucky undertones, sits at the forefront, providing a soulful melody that intertwines with the groove-heavy, lo-fi loops. The result? A laid-back yet vivacious soundscape that effortlessly marries the gritty allure of classic funk with the edginess of contemporary production. “Glendale Funk” is both a nod to the genre’s golden era and an affirmation of Lamboy’s knack for blending the traditional with the modern, serving up a track that’s as much a foot-tapping delight as it is a testament to his evolving artistry.

“Superfluous”

Channeling the essence of the ’70s while masterfully intertwining modern hip-hop nuances, Jon Lamboy’s “Superfluous” stands as a sultry sonic tapestry that evokes both nostalgia and innovation. With initial inspiration drawn from the iconic vibes of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious,” Lamboy’s track establishes itself as more than just an homage; it’s a rejuvenation. The melding of funky guitars and evocative horns offers a captivating backdrop, harmonizing seamlessly with the languid trip-hop beats, laying down a groove that’s irresistibly smooth. As the title suggests, there’s an effortless grace to the track, a kind of inherent groove that doesn’t try too hard, yet radiates an undeniable allure. The culmination of classic soul, funk, and contemporary trip-hop, “Superfluous” is a testament to Lamboy’s musical versatility and his aptitude for reimagining the past through a fresh lens, creating a soundscape that’s both familiar and undeniably fresh.

“By the Ocean”

Basking in sunlit tranquility, Jon Lamboy’s “By the Ocean” is an immersive auditory journey that captures the serene allure of a coastline retreat. It’s evident that the creative ebb and flow of this piece were nurtured over time, with its origins as a spark of an idea during Lamboy’s time at Berklee School of Music, and its eventual evolution into the polished gem it is today. The soft strumming of the acoustic guitar, harmonizing elegantly with delicate piano touches and expansive synth pads, crafts a soundscape reminiscent of golden sunsets and gentle sea breezes. Modern drum loops inject a contemporary rhythm into the track, marrying traditional instrumental warmth with the crispness of today’s production techniques. Perfectly encapsulating the languid grace of a day spent seaside, “By the Ocean” offers listeners a moment of escape, a brief sojourn to a place of relaxation and unburdened joy. Lamboy’s deft touch in blending trip-hop, lounge, and downtempo elements reaffirms his prowess as a versatile composer, adept at evoking emotion and painting vivid landscapes with sound.

Mid-Week Mixdown: United Grind, Tonique & Man, ttypes, Hotel Hugo, Madelyn Read, Jay Ssandri, Luke Elliot, Aryeè the Gem, Joe Little, and JAF 34

Welcome to another edition of the Mid-Week Mixdown on B-Side Guys, your sonic sanctuary in the middle of the work week grind. Here, we embrace the magic of music to break the monotony, casting our net far and wide to reel in tunes that enthrall, soothe, and inspire. In our ongoing quest to unearth new sounds and revisit familiar ones with a fresh perspective, we travel across genres, from the pulsating rhythms of electronica to the soulful croonings of R&B, the invigorating beats of hip-hop, and the melodious strummings of indie folk. Each track has been handpicked to reflect the vibrancy and diversity of the current music landscape.

Whether you’re searching for a tempo boost to combat mid-week lethargy, or a tranquil melody to wind down after a busy day, there’s a song in this mixdown for you. Our carefully curated selection is a testament to our belief in the power of music – not just as background noise, but as a vital component of our daily lives. So, slip on your headphones, crank up the volume, and let our Mid-Week Mixdown transport you to a world where beats, melodies, and lyrics blend into the perfect auditory escape. Dive in and discover new favorites, unexpected earworms, and tunes that hit just right for this moment in time. Enjoy the journey!

United Grind – “Ambush Ballad” feat. HiJinks & Lena Jackson

“United Grind’s ‘Ambush Ballad’ featuring HiJinks and Lena Jackson is a detonation of raw lyricism and explosive delivery. Set against the intoxicating beats crafted by Deryck/Colorful Mind of Bratislava, Slovakia, HiJinks and Jackson launch a rhythmic ambush, not just taking the mic, but seizing it with palpable authority. Their distinct vocal deliveries wrap around the hard-hitting beats, creating a symbiosis of sound that stirs a gritty, hip-hop elixir. The music video, directed by HiJinks’ own Reel Dope Cinematic venture, provides a tantalizing glimpse into their electrifying stage presence, the energy of United Grind crew members elevating the ambiance, reinforcing the track’s pulsating heart.

The song ‘Ambush Ballad’ features in the ensemble’s latest album, ‘Grind or Die (Vol. 1)’, a testament to the prowess and unity of Midwest-based indie rap talents. The album straddles an impressive range of styles and perspectives, from the hard-hitting ‘Cut Throat’ to the commanding ‘Give It Back’. The artists’ commitment to the evolution of hip-hop, and their desire to demonstrate the strength of their movement, echoes through each track. ‘Ambush Ballad’, with its lyrically charged verses and captivating performances, underscores this ethos, showcasing the tenacity and talent embedded in the United Grind collective. From start to finish, ‘Grind or Die (Vol. 1)’ is a vibrant journey through the contours of hip-hop, and ‘Ambush Ballad’ is a standout stop along the way.”

Tonique & Man – “You Make Me Feel So Good” (Mi Man Bossa Remix)

“Tonique & Man’s remix of ‘You Make Me Feel So Good’ captures the quintessence of a balmy summer day with the refined elegance of Bossa nova. This remix is not merely an alternate version; it’s an entirely new narrative, like a languid nap under the coconut trees on a warm, sunny day. Jean Tonique and Mi Man, French musical maestros, synergize their talents and channel their inner Brazilians, turning the original track into a dreamy Bossa ballad that pulses with voluptuous sweetness. From the serenely strummed guitars to the mellow trombone, and the whispery percussions, each element feels like a gentle ocean breeze on the listener’s skin.

Their forthcoming album ‘Opening Soon’ promises a culinary journey woven with gourmet grooves. Much like a buddy movie, their musical camaraderie is front and center, their joint virtuosity creating an ambiance reminiscent of an acrobatic pizza trick spectacle. The album brims with feel-good tracks, characterized by Tonique’s funk-laden guitar mastery and Man’s harmonic sweetness. The duo’s passion for disco, and their seamless blending of luminous orchestration and electronic textures, results in a sonic tapestry that is as varied as it is cohesive. ‘You Make Me Feel So Good (Mi Man Bossa Edit)’ is a taste of what’s to come, and the anticipation for the full course is palpable.”

ttypes – “I Remember in the Time of Dangerous Groups”

In “I Remember in the Time of Dangerous Groups,” ttypes crafts a rich tapestry of melancholic nostalgia with a luminous undercurrent of contentment. The track is an exploration of the paradox of joy in recalling past sadness, steeped in the themes of unrequited love and framed within a dreamy, sci-fi narrative. The deeply emotive lyrics narrate the saga of a poignant longing, expressed through the ethereal veil of interstellar metaphors. The repeated assertion, “Didn’t you believe me? I swore upon the moons I named for you,” beautifully captures the essence of the love-lorn narrative, the protagonist’s pleas echoing through the vast cosmos. This line’s power is amplified through its repetition, acting as a refrain that underlines the track’s melancholic core.

ttypes, the brainchild of Michigan-based songwriter Tim Krauss, extends beyond the boundaries of conventional indie music, venturing into a vast terrain of styles that makes every track an unexpected journey. Drawing inspiration from the vivid universes of Ursula K. LeGuin’s literature, he imbues his compositions with a sense of otherworldly grandeur that’s both captivating and intriguing. The range of musicality in this track, from the contemplative verses to the emotionally charged chorus, reflects this kaleidoscopic creativity.

“I Remember in the Time of Dangerous Groups” is a delicate balance of sadness and joy, a cosmic dance of emotions and memories that creates a sonic universe where love and longing coexist. The lyrical complexity layered over the dream pop backdrop generates a sense of timelessness, while also evoking a wistful retrospection. It’s as if ttypes has captured the spectral beauty of a distant star, which, although it may be long extinct, still glows with a light that transcends time and space. As the lyrics declare, “I remember when it was that day and it was that way,” the listener is gently pulled into this universal narrative of love and loss, resonating within their own constellation of personal memories.

Hotel Hugo – “change”

Bathing in the warmth of nostalgia, “change” by Hotel Hugo is a vibrant blend of rock ‘n’ roll and 70s pop that perfectly encapsulates the joy of a summer drive with windows rolled down. The track is a sonic journey back in time, showcasing an affectionate nod to the melodies and aesthetics of past decades. Despite its retrospective leanings, the song feels fresh and modern, embodying an enticing sense of escapism that resonates strongly with contemporary audiences. The joyous instrumentation and infectious rhythms effortlessly compliment the song’s lighthearted, carefree atmosphere, creating a soundscape that invites listeners to immerse themselves in Hotel Hugo’s radiant energy.

The brainchild of Garrett Williams, Hotel Hugo is a testament to the enduring vitality of indie rock, infused with an unmistakable flair drawn from the 60s and 70s. Supported by a troupe of local musicians, Williams’ songwriting strikes a delightful balance between heartfelt honesty and playful mischief. He crafts evocative narratives that find beauty in the mundane and celebrate the power of friendship, setting them against a backdrop of lush, nostalgia-tinged melodies. As Hotel Hugo continues to evolve and refine their sound, the anticipation for their forthcoming studio work remains high. In the meantime, “change” serves as a captivating snapshot of the band’s unique, retro-inspired sound, a musical offering that promises to bring a touch of summer to any season.

Madelyn Read – “What I Know Now”

n “What I Know Now”, Madelyn Read weaves a captivating narrative of bittersweet longing and quiet introspection. Set against the potent backdrop of city-to-city migration, the song captures the inherent dichotomy of youth: the thirst for exploration and the inevitable cost of such adventures. The protagonist’s partner leaves for Toronto on a red-eye flight, initiating a poignant meditation on love, distance, and regret. “Just this morning we were sharing coffee/And now you’re gliding over the prairies,” Read sings, her voice brimming with a wistful melancholy that echoes the transient nature of shared moments.

The chorus strikes a chord with its universal resonance, navigating the crossroads of youth and maturity: “I know we said we’re young and that’s all right/But I don’t know if I knew then what I know now.” This refrain, repeating like a mantra, becomes the heart of the song — a quiet admission of the pain that comes with wisdom. The lyrics convey a tension between wanting to express genuine feelings (“Maybe I should call you up and tell you/What I feel is true”) and the dread of the potential aftermath (“But even if I did, what could I say to bring you here?”). These thoughtful confessions, coupled with the immersive soundscape, present “What I Know Now” as an evocative diary entry set to music, demonstrating Read’s adeptness at intertwining personal stories with universally relatable themes.

Jay Ssandri – “Change of Pace”

With the open road anthem “Change of Pace,” Jay Ssandri manages to distill the essential elements of wanderlust and introspection into an acoustic-laden journey of escape and self-discovery. It’s a song laden with raw sentimentality, itchy-feet yearning, and deliciously contagious melodies, evoking the sense of breaking free from monotony and the audacious spirit of impromptu road trips. Ssandri’s voice, both soulful and contemplative, earnestly articulates lines like “Heaven knows I’ve been searching for tomorrow, god might only know what it will bring,” manifesting a sense of poignant desperation, the quintessence of a soul yearning for something beyond the daily grind. The lyrics have an evocative quality that paints a vivid landscape of escapism – a sentiment that resonates universally.

The touch of bilingualism in the lyrics, adding a distinct yet seamlessly integrated flair, further amplifies the track’s universal appeal. It showcases a spectrum of influences from folk to alternative, imprinting his admiration for artists like Bon Iver and Jack Johnson in every strum and lyric. The chorus line, “Cause I’ve been dreaming of a sweet pine air everyday. and throwing pebbles over sunny lakes,” beautifully encapsulates the simple yet profound joy that comes with stepping out of the comfort zone, hinting at Ssandri’s aspirations to make an impact on listeners. A recurring theme throughout the song is the dread of routine and the desire for a “change of pace,” alluding to his own transformation from a quiet kid in the back of the room to an artist striving to create songs that resonate for generations. “Change of Pace” is an authentic, engaging, and visceral exploration of restlessness and aspiration, highlighting Ssandri’s potential as a powerful voice in the contemporary music scene.

Luke Elliot – “William Tell”

Luke Elliot’s “William Tell” is a murky journey into the depths of humanity’s darkest corners, an evocative murder ballad steeped in a macabre fascination with American beat writer William Burroughs. The single, which serves as a grim cornerstone for Elliot’s forthcoming album “Let Em All Talk”, is a poignant reflection of the incident where Burroughs shot his second wife, Joan Vollmer, while trying to reenact the legendary William Tell act in Mexico City, 1951. The track’s chilling narrative is masterfully delivered, underscored by Elliot’s signature cinematic musicality, eliciting a sense of creeping unease as he sings “This song is about him killing his wife by placing a glass of whiskey on her head.”

Elliot’s eclectic mix of influences – from John Coltrane and Dylan to The Cramps and Gun Club – adds a rich tapestry of sound to “William Tell”. His talent for blending elements of folk, rock, and Americana, along with his penchant for film noir, infuses his music with a unique atmospheric charm, reminiscent of the work of Tom Waits and Nick Cave. His cinematic sensibility, evident in his previous works and highly acclaimed LP “The Big Wind”, takes center stage in “William Tell”, revealing an artist comfortable in his craft, pushing boundaries and exploring new thematic terrain. The haunting narrative of “William Tell” is both a testament to Elliot’s songwriting prowess and a compelling glimpse into his upcoming album, positioning him as an intriguing force in the contemporary music scene.

Aryeè The Gem – “To It”

Atlanta-based songstress Aryeè The Gem makes an unapologetic return with her evocative R&B single “To It”. The track, a precursor to her highly anticipated debut solo EP, is a melodic musing on the challenges of navigating life’s transitions and coming to terms with emotional discomfort. Produced by the accomplished Trakmatik, “To It” flawlessly fuses a progressive soul core with elements of R&B, soul, hip-hop and indie to deliver a multi-dimensional sonic experience. The artist’s lyrical prowess is evident as she pensively explores the pressures of adulting, candidly sharing her struggles with loneliness and financial worries. This potent and deeply introspective narrative draws listeners into a vulnerable yet relatable space, establishing an emotional resonance that transcends the sonic experience.

In the accompanying video, directed by Los Angeles-based MOM, Aryeè The Gem manifests her journey towards self-reflection and freedom. The visuals employ symbolic imagery to capture the singer’s tenacious spirit and the liberating process of self-discovery. As she asserts, “the video represents freedom, hope, and experiencing that place where the weights of life feel lifted from my shoulders”. The artist’s ability to gracefully negotiate this balance between personal turmoil and personal growth is a testament to her raw talent and charisma. Strikingly similar to the works of Victoria Monet, Syd, Ari Lennox, or Solange, “To It” stands as a beacon of Aryeè The Gem’s transformative potential as she prepares to etch her name in the contemporary music landscape. Rooted in her rich heritage and influenced by the likes of Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, and Brandy, Aryeè The Gem’s music is not just about artistry, but it also offers healing through musical expression.

Joe Little – “Stars”


“Stars,” the latest offering from the burgeoning singer-songwriter Joe Little, is an intimate exploration of the fleeting yet impactful moments of a past relationship. Infused with a poignant blend of nostalgia and yearning, the track delves into the paradox of love, of cherishing the beauty of togetherness while acknowledging the evanescence of such moments. Written in solitude within the confines of his bedroom, Joe teamed up with CJ Pandit to produce this evocative piece, which is a testament to their combined artistic prowess.

“Stars” was conceived as a time capsule of those magical periods of quiet companionship in a relationship, a potent reminder to be present and treasure the transient moments of intimacy. As Joe recounts, the song embodies a bittersweet sentiment, particularly when looking back at those cherished instances in hindsight. It’s a deeply personal narrative that resonates universally, drawing listeners into Joe’s emotive sphere while encouraging introspection on their own experiences of love and loss.

Joe’s distinctive approach to his music, with its genre-bending exploration into love and pleasure, emanates a dark passion that’s both artistic and dazzlingly cinematic. His craft, reminiscent of the intimate portrayals by Chet Baker and the expressive nuances of PJ Harvey, displays a rapidly evolving sophistication. Having won a live-performance competition and subsequently worked with notable producers and engineers like Adam Rust and Finn Lomax, Joe’s artistic journey is gaining formidable momentum.

JAF 34 – “Ex[hAle]” feat. Himalayan Dalai Lama

On Easter day, a symbol of resurrection, the JAF 34 project emerged anew with an intriguing remix of the original track, Inhale Exhale, titled “ex[hAle].” JAF 34’s collaboration with the electronic downtempo duo, Himalayan Dalai Lama, significantly shifted the sound spectrum, leaving the confines of shoegaze for the ethereal realm of indie electronica while preserving Viktoria Marksová’s mesmerizing vocals. This new dimension of sound, though unexpected, proved to be a welcomed change, an exploration of sonic depth where the line between the organic and digital blurs. The mix’s inception, intriguingly, can be traced back to the spontaneous strumming of the original track’s main riff on an acoustic guitar, highlighting JAF 34’s constant quest for innovation and reinvention.

The “ex[hAle]” remix is not just an audio experience; it’s a visual journey, brought to life by an AI called Midjourney, a project devoted to developing the power of human imagination. By feeding the AI the original video for Inhale Exhale, JAF 34 allowed the program to create a fresh, visually stunning narrative that spans the realm of the real to the psychedelic cosmos. This AI-generated video, coupled with the track’s NFT accompaniment, is a testament to JAF 34’s commitment to bridging art with new technologies, further enhancing the immersive quality of his music. As the last pieces of his artistically crafted debut album, “Empty,” remain available, it becomes clear that JAF 34 is not just creating music—he is building an artistic legacy, one track and remix at a time.

New Release Friday: Luke Sullivan Jones, Curly Chuck and TyC, Caolifhionn Rose, Shoot The Duke

These are our favorite new songs of the past couple days. Every song has been released within the last 48 hours, so you can tell your friends about not only new artists, but their new songs that they’ve never heard.

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.

Luke Sullivan Jones – “A Fire from the Dark”

“You don’t feel like yourself
You’re swallowed by the pain
Buried deep inside
Some things have to change

You can spark the flame
You can start again
A fire from the dark”

This song is so empathetic and hopeful! It does a great job of describing how hopeless and lonely life sometimes can be, but it encourages you to start the flame again in the dark. From a musical perspective, I really can’t get enough of the strings in the background of this song, and the interesting vocal style of Luke Sullivan Jones. This is a song that I can see myself listening to a ton this winter when I haven’t seen the sun in weeks, and I’m starting to get down.

“So tear it all apart
You’ll find your way through
Don’t wait for the world
To come and rescue you”

Bio: Luke Sullivan Jones is an independent Folk-indie artist from the UK. After the successful release of his EP ‘Through the Satellites’ two years ago, he has further developed his sound to find a unique voice in a ever evolving, yet crowded, genre.

Curly Chuck and TyC – “Get It”

How many of you checked to see if your phone was ringing when the song first started? I did too, and I’ve heard it like 10 times now. I also love how it sort sounds like parts of the beat throughout. The reason it “sort of” sounds like that is that TyC sampled all of the original Mac OS sounds, including the horns which came from the Mac “delete” song.  I also had to share this song because of how incredible his change ups in flow are throughout the song. Keep a look out for their debut EP, “Get It” is the first track, that’s going to be coming out later this summer. You better be sure to….get it.

Bio: Cleveland native, Curly Chuck has been quickly making waves on the underground scene for good reason. XXL recently said “he has the sound that can make his career go from zero to 100 in the blink of an eye.” He’s had a very busy last few months finishing up two EP’s, and spent the last week with Currency, so we can definitely expect some big things from him soon!

TyC, also from Cleveland, left Berklee School Of Music to tour with the band Carousel. A writer first, he picked up production on the road and has been honing in ever since. His single “BW/U” already has over 115,000 plays on Spotify and his last video featuring Curly Chuck, “GET DOWN” has over 35,000 views on Youtube!

Caoilfhionn Rose – Awaken

I would watch this video with no music for how beautiful the landscapes and scenes are. Luckily, we get to pair it with some beautiful music that actually sounds like it’s being sung from one of those echoey mountain tops. It seems the main message of this song, is to go outside and see the world. It’s the cure to most of what ails you. As someone who went on a 40 day road trip last summer, I have to agree with the assessment. Everyone should do their best to find a way to travel, especially in the spectacle of nature. It’s possible to do on a budget, google it. If you were like me, and didn’t know what Caoilfhionn meant, it’s a name that is described as: Derived from the Gaelic elements caol “slender” and fionn “fair”. This was the name of several Irish saints.

“So go outside
Pick the flowers in the park
Feel the sunshine
So go outside
Awaken to the world you can hear all new sounds

Don’t get left behind
Pulled down by the roots of your mind
See the new dawn on the horizon
See the colours of life again

Awaken to the world you can hear all new sounds”

If I was standing in the middle of any of the landscapes that are shown in this video, I think I’d have to be singing “go outside” at the top of my lungs too.

Bio: Caoilfhionn (pronounced Keelin) Rose will release her debut album with Gondwana Records in Autumn 2018 and ‘Awaken’ is the title track. The song is about noticing nature and everything around you, about taking a step back from your problems and going for a walk outside.

Shoot The Duke – Cash

Ah man this song is so incredible. This is a perfect example of how to properly emphasize raw vocals. They aren’t out of tune, they just peak into an emotive state that can’t be replicated by overly polished ones. This reminds me a lot of a mix between Shakey Graves and Kaleo. The song itself is about just what the name suggests, money:

So give me some money, oh let me have some cash. I promise I’ll give it back. One day at a time. ×2

I get up at the brink of the day. I apply for jobs but they all just send me away. Sorry son but you need more experience. How can I get some experience? I didn’t know I needed any to work in Morrison’s. Come on now, make my day.”

I guess more accurately the song is about the frustration between making and keeping money, especially if you are an artist:

I go outside to play some guitar, policeman comes to tell me no you can’t do that. He gives me a fine so I sold my guitar away.

I lay down to get some sleep. Policeman comes again, he’s bothering me. Get off the floor boy, you ain’t worth a dime.”

I think on an individual level, the story is really nice and relatable, but I also think it’s an appropriate metaphor for how a lot of modern society treats artists, or anyone who doesn’t want to be an entrepreneur or work in a cubicle. There is an emphasis on “contributing” to society, without an acknowledgement that art and philosophy are equally important pursuits for humanity. Ultimately, the song ends with a haunting image of a frustrated man robbing a store for money. After being told the things he is good at/passionate about are worthless in a monetary sense, he is left with very little choices for how to proceed in a society that doesn’t seem to value him at all. It’s a really interesting look at the fringes of modern capitalism, and who gets left behind, and why.

-Caleb

Looking for more music? Don’t forget to check out: Our Newest Podcast Episode

You can also find all these songs and more on our August TOTD Spotify Playlist.

Episode 15: Addiction

Links:

Stitcher

Soundcloud

iTunes

Youtube

Show Notes:

Join Seth and Caleb as they discuss strange Addictions, what kind of drunks they are, stumbling through their first livestream, an excellent interview with Aaron B. Thompson, and tons of music you’ve never heard before.

Full Video Version, warts and al: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L4mdmwqcn4&t=10s

INTRO: Leon Stapleton – Lima
Leonstapleton – Lima

Brother Toaster – Bupropion Blues
brothertoaster.bandcamp.com/track/bupropion-blues

Riley Catherall – Watered Down Man (submithub/email)
The-same-tune – Rileycatherallwatereddownman

Aaron B Thompson – Middle of My Own Nowhere (submithub/email)
Aaronbthompson1 – 07-aaron-b-thomspon-midde-of
Youtube of Interview: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPVCP1Ya6M&t=174s

Johnny Raincloud – White Noize (submithub/email)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZTHMZzp-…&feature=youtu.be

Little Sain+ – Remedy (submithub/email)
Tniaselttil – Little-sain-feat-marger-remedyprod-by-sibling

Thanks to Juliana Strangelove for participating in the live stream: bsideguys.com/2018/07/06/the-flo…-macdougall-skout/

Video of the Day: River Whyless – “Born In The Right Country”

This one is a thinker guys. Did you already watch it? Go watch it again, I’ll wait. This is one of my favorite pieces of art I’ve seen in a long time. There’s a ton to unpack here, and I’m going to try, but first let me tell you why I connect with this song so intensely. There are two primary reasons.

  1. I grew up in the South. Like the real South. Let’s call it a state Trump won with 54%. The South isn’t inherently racist, but it’s hard not to grow up around some racist attitudes, even from people who I consider good people. For example, my parents would claim not to be racist, but I remember some stern warnings to my sister about a black kid named Jovan that was coming around. I don’t think my parents are bad people, and they are not KKK level racist, but I’m using them as an example to explain that even my educated parents, who are charitable and kind, are racist. The last frame of this video that scrolls “wolves don’t exist” after we’ve watched an entire video of a black kid being led around by a wolf is exactly how baffled I’ve felt for most of my life, watching good natured people, stay willfully ignorant to the prejudices they hold, and the damage that does.
  2. I don’t live in the South anymore, but that doesn’t solve the racism problem the way you might idealize when you’re growing up in a small town dreaming of moving to a liberal utopia. I teach at a private school in the suburbs of Rhode Island where an administrator was removed last year for getting caught using a few racial slurs. I have students sitting behind desks every day who swear Colin Kaepernick is un-American, and Michael Brown deserved to be shot for being a “thug.” I don’t necessarily think these are bad people, mostly because I’ve made it my goal in life to talk through ignorance with people, and if I believe people can’t learn and change, I think I’d become quite depressed. The thing that I most associate with both of these experiences, my past, and my present, is that most of these people just have no idea the amount of privilege they are carrying. It seems somehow offensive to their character to suggest that they are not “self-made” or that someone has it harder than them. Mostly I think this is because we all have our struggles, and it makes us feel bad that we aren’t billionaires either, so how dare people say they have it harder than us? On the other hand, to admit some people are living with a level of prejudice and difference that you can’t fully comprehend somehow seems like a weak thing for these people to admit.

Alright, enough about me. Let’s talk about the video. We can immediately get the sense where it’s going when we read the title, “Born in the Right Country”. The title itself evokes a lot of the immigration struggles we have going on right now, where a person or family is attempting to find a better life in America, despite the risks involved, and is being treated inhuman because of it. But in the video, we see a slightly different angle. We follow the story of a young black male going to high school, with a wolf around his wrist. We also see that his mother, and a girl wearing a hijab also have their own wolves, while the white kids do not. This seems to suggest that even though presumably these characters didn’t immigrate here, they were still born in the “wrong” country. Not in a literal sense, but in the sense that the rules operate differently for them because of generations of social prejudice and oppression. The video shows this clearly with the white father looking disapprovingly at the potential of his daughter being in an interracial relationship, and also with the boy being stopped on the way home by the police, when he was just minding his own business. It obviously clinches up your stomach when you see those blue lights because of the countless ways that’s gone badly over the past several years (Micheal Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, etc. etc.).

When we explore the lyrics, we see them dripping with sarcasm from the perspective of Trump, or his followers, or anyone who feels like they are superior purely because they were born white and/or affluent.

“I’ll tell you baby, a secret Manufactured truth is easy to sell When you own the factory And you own the hearts of the clientele But can you really blame me? Built on a system where some must fail So that you can break through If you’ve got the right skin Or you’re born in the right country”

The perspective shifts after this point to directly talk to these people and attempt to wake them out of their ignorance:

“Don’t you know you’re lucky kid You were raised on the right side of town Born rich, now you’re yelling “I’ve seen the inside and you’re out” But can I truly blame you? We’re built on the dreams we feed to the poor So that you can break through If you’ve got the right name Or you’ve got the right god Or you’re born in the right country”

But unfortunately, the system is set up this way. There are people profiting from the lower and middle class fighting amongst themselves. Instead of placing the blame at the top, we are continually told to look at our neighbor with different skin, heritage, religion, and blame them for any short comings or failures. It’s classic scapegoating, and this current regime is not the first to use it. My only hope is that more and more people can try to see through it for what it really is; and the best way to do that is through people using their artistic talents, like River Whyless to try to break through to people in a language they can understand.

-Caleb

We’ve added this to our July TOTD playlist. Check it out here.

We just released a new podcast episode, on the theme of Addiction. You can check that out along with all the others, right here. 

 

The Flock: New Release Friday: Mike Xavier, Foresteater, Chris Noah, Callum Pitt, Sean Tobin

*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.

Mike Xavier – “Time to Reflect”

I love when a song says something that we’ve heard before, but says it in such a eloquent way that it reaffirms everything you know. At it’s core, this song is about society, racism, and the difficulties we all face, but Mike Xavier is just so eloquent that it illuminates these issues in a way that is impossible to ignore. Other than Mike’s obvious lyrical talent, something you may not notice unless you are paying attention is that he isn’t just rapping over a track. He has a live trumpet, sax, keys, guitar, bass, and drums accompanying his songs. It really gives this song a fuller sound that you can’t accomplish from beats, no matter how good the DJ is. When asked about his inspiration Mike’s message is simple: “We just got to teach our kids they can change the world,” Xavier raps with his calm though upbeat tone. “They used to tell me, ‘Try them drugs.’ I ain’t never try it.” Mike is a shining example of using art to make the world a better place, and I’m happy to share this as our first track of New Release Friday.

Foresteater – “Unbutton”

“Momma’s shopping at the mall
Daddy’s sipping alchohol
Baby’s watching TV shows
Shoving things up in her nose

Why do the opposites look the same?
Our manufactured outfit came
and is it sincerity
or artificial empathy?

Unbutton my head
Get me out of my head
Unbutton my head please
Get me out of my head”

This song is an anthem for middle class malaise. It does the same thing several 90s movies did by taking a closer look at suburbia and showing the horrors beneath the surface. Sure, money makes some things easier, but it also brings a new set of problems. Having grown up squarely in middle class suburbia, I saw many of the things this song mentions, and experienced the surreal plasticity that it tends to create for those who inhabit these spaces but can’t fully enjoy shopping sprees, keeping up with the Joneses, and the skewed relationships created by making money and materialism such an integral part of our happiness.

Chris Noah – “River”

This song reminds me a lot of some of my favorite summertime music. It mixes pop vocals with some really interesting electronic beats to create an experience that surrounds you completely. Let’s dive into some of the lyrics:

“This state that I’m in, I can do nothing about,
Starting to wear me out, do we need disclosure
Your voice has become an eco in my mind
I don’t really recognize and you still have me reeling

Don’t swim so fast, i can’t keep up, don’t let me drown in your river
Don’t waste your love on someone else, while I’m still here in the picture ”

So it’s a very familiar scenario. The speaker is still in love with someone who is falling out of love with him, and he feels himself being left behind. It’s a really tragic position to be in, and the haunting background vocals as the song builds really hammer home the crescendo of pain that can inhabit these moments where you aren’t ready to move on, but you know it’s not your choice anymore. Keep an eye out for Noah’s upcoming 3 song compilation due in September. He has already won “Debut of the Year” last year at the Annual Latvian Music Awards, and I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with.

Callum Pitt – “Away From The Rousing Parades”

This song just starts off so calming and soothing. The mix of the intricate picking and the beautiful vocals take you to a sunny day driving with the windows down.

“There’s a warm wind coming, marching along with a big brass band

I’m waving an outstretched aching hand, so slow”

When these lines kick in, the song transforms into an anthem worth screaming at the top of your lungs. The thing I like most about this song though, is despite how upbeat and warm the song sounds; it has some truly existential moments.

“We search fora meaning before disappearing and hope that our memories survive”

Ultimately the song ends in a conclusion that all we can do is try to find someone to share the time we do have with and hope for the best. It’s a grounded but hopeful ending to a very complex poetic song.

Sean Tobin – “This Midnight”

And last, but certainly not least. Enjoy this single off of Sean Tobin’s new release of the same name. Throughout the song, he seems amazed that he is currently where he is in life, considering some of his past and the way he viewed the world. My favorite word play in the whole song is probably:

“Met a girl one February evening, swore to God there was no God at all,

Sunday came, she was praying for God knows what she done,

guess she was just talking to the wall”

The several switch ups and double meanings in that one line are astounding. Ultimately, the song seems to have a similar message to the one before this: life is potentially meaningless, there are no guarantees, life is short, thank god I have you, let’s enjoy the time we have for now and hope it lasts forever. “Baby, we could make this midnight last, come the morning, our stories will be in the past.”

-Caleb

If you enjoyed these songs, we’ve uploaded them all to our July TOTD playlist on Spotify.

If you haven’t followed us on Facebook, check it out. We have two new live streams that we posted today.

TOTD: Tim the Lion Tamer – “Dancer”

I really feel like I could break down every single line in this song. It’s one of those haunting songs with minimal production that relies on the beauty of the voice and the depth of the lyrics to carry everything, and damn, does it ever carry everything in this song.

“i’ve never seen nobody
dance like you
in times like these i wonder
if that’s true
if you are lonely too
’cause we’ve always been
hopelessly fucked up”

I don’t know if any of you have ever been in a relationship like the one described here, but it’s brutally beautiful. Two people messed up and in love and unstable, like a collapsing star. It’s full of passion and beauty, but it also isn’t sustainable. Ultimately the song sees the instability become too much, but it’s not as easy as just walking away and never thinking about it again.

“i guess i should move away
’cause in some sad way
i’m already gone”

I’m a known crier. I cry during emotional movies. I cry the first time I realize what an emotional song is really saying, like “Limousine” by Brand New, or “Honey Jars” by Bryan John Appleby, or a billion other instances. This song can now be added to that list, because when I read this last stanza, I couldn’t help but cry:

“it hits me when there’s nothing
left to give
in the ashes of my failures
there you live
ageless and possible
i’m watching you
dancing in your prime
twenty-some
frozen in time”

It may hit me particularly, because I had a 5 year relationship fall apart in my early twenties, and even though it was the best possible thing for me and her, I can relate to the idea of an ageless dancer, stuck at twenty something, frozen in time. Also, from a songwriting standpoint, the symmetry of the first and last stanza are just perfect. Go check out more of Tim the Lion Tamer’s stuff. It’s been added to our July TOTD Spotify playlist.

-Caleb

 

Mid-Day Music Blast: MOWUKIS – “A Quick Stab In The Heart”

 

I don’t know about you guys, but I immediately thought of Radiohead or Polyneso when I first heard these guys. Considering those are two of my favorite bands, that immediately made this one of my favorite new songs. MOWUKIS bio says simple: “I write music to lower the weight.” I’m not entirely sure what it means, but I have some guesses. My silly answer is that he writes so much music that he doesn’t have time to over eat. My serious answer is that he’s using music as a form of therapy, like a lot of us artists tend to. He’s lowering the weight of the world, or his soul, or whatever metaphor you want to use.

The song only has two verses, so even though I normally wouldn’t put a full song’s lyrics, it’s not too egregious. Let’s check them out:

“I…
I just fed the lions
made them such cowards
made them such a lie.
I had,
I had to draw out solutions
to keep this jungle of eyes
from eating my delights.

King,
Alone in full possession
A kingdom-broken-passion
A quick stab in the heart.
Walls,
To keep ourselves from motion
Citizens as pollution
Are slowly passing by.”

I feel like I could attempt to write an essay on these lyrics. Instead, I’ll hit a couple of high points. How does feeding the lions make them cowards? If you put them in captivity and give them a consistent meal, does their drive for hunting start to dissipate? If that’s true, and we generally know that it is. It changes them into a “lie”, a shell of what nature shaped them into over the millennia. We then see this King, who can make lions into cowards, ruling over a kingdom with a broken passion. A citizenry that is safe behind walls, but wasting their lives away now that all the passions are gone. It’s a really great mirror to the lions before and a beautiful song overall.

-Caleb

 

The Flock: Singer/Songwriter: Simon Lewis & Onk Lou, Martha Hill, keatsu, Kaiak, Boyce Avenue, David Madras

*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.

Simon Lewis & Onk Lou – “Home 2.0”

The way this was described when it was sent to us was simply: “Two incredible voices in one song that couldn’t be more variant.” When I first started listening to the music, I was like, okay, this first guy has a beautiful voice; I’m sure the other guy does too, but how variant could they really be? And then the second guy came in; and I immediately started to type my response about wanting to feature this song on the blog. Then they harmonize together and I had to stop typing and just listen to the rest of the song before I responded. I was trying to think of who they reminded me of; and I couldn’t come up with anyone that they actually sounded like. They remind me slightly of Middle Brother in the sense that they have very different voices and beautiful lyricism, but these guys have much better voices than Middle Brother (not hating, I love Middle Brother). Let’s dive in briefly to the beautiful lyricism I mentioned:

“I dig a hole in the woods and I grow with the roots and I go with the flood as life tells me so, I let go of the mess created in my head because,
Home is where the heart is and that’s wherever I go.
bridge:
I close my eyes to feel the moment, I walk this path made out of cobblestone, I take a breath before I let it go, when stars collide they fall apart but in the end there’ll always be a start, till than I’ll dance beneath the waterfall”

I could’ve really picked any section of the song and found something to talk about, but I particularly like the message of home being different for different people. In particular; it doesn’t have to be a place with roots stuck in one place, it can also be a flooded river you float down. “Home is where the heart is, and that’s wherever I go.”

Martha Hill – “Spiders”

Do you ever feel like you’re losing your mind? Well this song perfectly describes exactly what that feels like:

“One head two minds

Hands pressing glass from separate sides

Three seconds till I dive

1 2 3 stop

CHORUS

The spiders in my head they just won’t leave me alone

I pick the legs off while I wait for the seconds to slow ”

There’s something about the lyrics that remind me a bit of the short story “The Yellow Wall Paper”, a story where a woman being shut in the house by her husband, becomes increasingly crazy; which causes her husband to shut her in even more for…being crazy.

The beautiful instrumentals that have a nice beat throughout, and then go off the rails like a Pink Floyd bridge at the 2 minutes mark only add to Martha’s haunting vocals that carry you right up to the very last second of the very last “1, 2, 3, stop.” It’s a song that strikes a perfect balance between catchy and disorienting; and I really can’t get enough of it.

Bio: “Martha Hill is a an alternative pop artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne.

After growing up as one of six siblings on a remote Scottish peninsula, where the only link to the mainland was via ferry, she left home at 17 and spent two years touring across Europe as a street musician.

Eventually relocating to north-east England and falling in with a local ‘scene’ for the first time, Martha and her band have spent the past year touring all over the UK – supporting the likes of Holy Moly & The Crackers and Let’s Eat Grandma at venues such as Borderline, The Cluny etc. – with two DIY tours of Europe falling in between. Her most recent gig was for BBC Introducing, supporting Atlantic-signed Mahalia on The Biggest Weekend Fringe Tour.”

keatsu – “Feel Good”

I realize this isn’t necessarily what you might initially think of as “Singer/Songwriter”, but keatsu is basically a one man show, and it’s my blog, so don’t worry about it. Also, if you only listened to the first little bit, you’d assume the whole thing was just a normal lo-fi project with a guy with an acoustic guitar, and then you quickly see it advance and evolve from there into a beautiful call and response with himself that repeats “I just feel good on the dance floor.” This is something you’d expect to be said by Justin Timberlake with a break beat behind it, but is instead said with lo-fi effects and an a minimalistic guitar. The irony and self awareness of keatsu is my favorite thing about all his projects. He’s one of my favorite artists out the moment. On his full-length, he references everything from Nirvana, to Linkin Park, to pop songs, and it all just works. Literally go throw a dart at his Spotify page and you’ll find 3 new favorite songs. We can get you started with our Spotify link at the bottom of this page (don’t skip down there yet, still plenty of good music to hear).

Kaiak – “No Regrets”

I really could see this song making waves on some mainstream channels in the summer months. The thing that really solidified this song for me, other than the beautiful production and vocals, was the interesting use of horns during the later half of the song. It really was a nice surprise for me that took this song from a nice sounding song that I would listen to again, to a song I immediately saved to all of my Spotify playlists. “Lesson learned, passed the test, life goes on, no regrets.” It’s a message that we’ve all heard before, but gets solidified by the pretty package that Kaiak has presented it in here.

Boyce Avenue – “Ride The Wave”

I immediately thought this looked like an advertisement. I guess that might come off as a bad thing; but I mean like a Super Bowl Ad. It’s one of those heartfelt ones that you expect from Budweiser or something. It’s just so beautifully shot, and the music itself fits the vibe that it’s created so well.

“The tide will rise and fall; some days you will feel small, but ride a wave, I’ll ride it in with you.”

I don’t have kids, but that sentiment is just so beautiful to me. It’s both a lesson and a show of support, an acknowledgment of the harshness of the world, but also saying “I have your back as long as I can.” This message mixed with the family fun and love shown in the video can melt the coldest of hearts. Trust me on that.

David Madras – “Me & You”

And last, but certainly not least. Do you like Phosphorescent? Who doesn’t? David Madras’ voice reminds me so much of Phosphorescent. I’m really excited to announce that this song will be a part of our upcoming podcast episode that focuses on Existentialism. Oh you didn’t know we had a podcast? Check it out here. Since we are focusing on it on the podcast, I don’t want to spoil too much here, but let’s dive briefly into one of the lines.

“She said she had a little revelation, about the way the clouds appear, and how a day becomes a year. She said she had a little realization, about everything she’s ever feared, and suddenly it’s drawing near.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I connect to the “she” in this song so strongly. The existentialism episode is going to talk about it at length, but basically the idea is that you suddenly feel and question how tiny and insignificant you are in the cosmos; and this song perfectly captures that feeling. Is that a bad feeling? Yeah, sometimes. But it can also be empowering. “She says, we are young, me and you, there’s so much that I don’t know and I’m never going to. We are young, there’s so much left to do, all the wonders of the world for a boy and girl like me and you.”

 

-Caleb

Did you like these songs? Good, me too. Want to hear them again? They are all on our July TOTD Playlist on Spotify.