Video of the Day: BUHU – “La Truth”

Hope everyone that doesn’t have to go into work tomorrow has an excellent Labor Day Sunday. Let’s get it kicked off right with this intriguing video from BUHU. This is my favorite mud people video of all time. I think it’s the only mud people video I’ve ever seen, but that’s irrelevant. I don’t entirely know what to make of the symbolism. But we clearly see a graceful woman in a white dress, unsullied, juxtaposed with a man, with animalistic and jerky movements covered in mud. When they finally meet, she cleans him off, while getting her white dress and skin dirty. Then they wash off in the river and seem to be living happily ever after. Again, it could stand in for a lot of things. But I think we’ve all had the feeling of someone coming into our life at the right time, and helping us clean up some broken part. That doesn’t mean we should be dependent on people for an ideal relationship, but part of a relationship is being there for one another and making each other better. It’s a difficult balance to strike. Sometimes your dirt just gets on them. But when it does work correctly, it’s a beautiful thing. According to the artist, there is also an element on this song dealing with keeping secrets in a relationship, and being forgiven. That makes the symbolism in this song that much stronger in my opinion.

Bio: “La Truth” is a retrospective of Jeremy’s guilt in being dishonest with his wife and the strains that keeping secrets can cause on a loving relationship. Originally released as a demo in May 2017, “La Truth” was the initial spark that inspired the opus which would become BUHU’s debut studio album, Tenets. BUHU hits a galloping pace with “La Truth,” settling into a confident stride similar to some of the strongest synthgaze moments from Washed Out’s catalog. Here more than ever, Rogers leans unabashedly into the Melodyne bends of his vocal processing, laying plain his emotions without denying the synthetic tools of his trade.

-Caleb

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

Don’t forget to check out past playlists as well. Here is August: August TOTD Playlist

 

 

The Flock: Indie Rock/Alternative – LUI HILL, Path, The Ruralists, Manta Rays, Blue J, The Caracals, cleopatrick, Dirty Hank

*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.

LUI HILL – Words Become Useless

LUI HILL, the German neo-soul alternative artist, hits us with a new song, and we couldn’t be more stoked about it. A stripped down intro with only piano chords and emotive vocals slowly builds until you’re in the middle of a full formed symphonic funk ride featuring a tightly formed drum sequence, open brass, and vocals that you can feel throughout your body. The video itself is a fun ride too (pun intended).

Path – Don’t Ever Love Me

Say one thing and you’ll say the other 
Never a chance that we were for each other 
Flower in the dirt could bloom if you let it 
A love to call your own, remember to forget it 

Don’t ever love me 
Don’t ever love me

This bedroom rock song is the kind of song that makes breakups harder, and I’m not even mad about it. It’s equal parts a lesson on relationships, and a lesson in polarities.

One thing that people don’t know about me (probably) is that I’m a huge fan of rim clicks and rim shots. This song sets up a song of heartbreak with subtle rim clicks, and then hits home with honest and vulnerable vocals and delicate guitar, making a much fuller sound together than you’d expect given the intimacy of each individual track.

The Ruralists – Eggs

I can’t stop listening to this song. I am absolutely enamored. From allusions to Chicken Little and the world ending to finding solace in the right person’s words, this song is an absolute ride. The whole album, in fact, has made its way into a lot of my playlists recently. I have a list of criminally underrated bands, and these guys have definitely joined their ranks. There is an intimacy in tone and delivery that is unlike anything I’ve heard in quite a while, and they remind me of my favorite band, Manchester Orchestra, in both lyrics and delivery; they are rough around the edges and keep everything raw and open, leave minor idiosyncrasies and easter eggs (that’s my second pun of the post) throughout the track, and they have tight harmonies around an emotive and raw lead vocalist.

These are guys that you definitely need to keep up with. This is why we do this blog. How the hell do they have less than 1,000 plays per song on Spotify?

Manta Rays – Mountain Dew

I rarely share the releases that they send us word for word because A.) it feels like cheating, and B.) I feel like it takes away from my personal enjoyment of the song if I let those influence my writing. I have to make an exception in this case strictly because of how they derived through divine intervention the title of the song.

“Mountain Dew” is a song about; being lonely in the real world, pushing speeds that no blue man can begin to apprehend, and that it takes a man to know when no means no. Now you ask, Why is this song in particular called “Mountain Dew”? because in the very beginning of the song the bass guitar goes ‘deeeeew’.

I love their definition of what makes a man. I feel like it’s a very topical point in this tumultuous landscape we find ourselves navigating these days. You put topical lyrics with nice harmonies and a funk bass line, and you’ve got a track that’s perfect for beach days.

Blue J – Hard to Know

Blue J’s “Hart to Know” is that melancholic groove indie rock track that you hear in a movie when everything falls apart for the protagonist. Their father died, their partner doesn’t feel a spark anymore, and their car is sitting lifeless on the side of the road while they sit 3 miles away from a job interview that starts in 25 minutes. Now I’m building this movie in my head. Zach Braff stands in the middle of the road as the camera zooms out, framing him on the right and the car to the left. Flashbacks of the aforementioned events start running through his head: good times with his father, a scenic drive in the then-running car with his partner, who is still very much in love with him, and spinning his daughter around in a park, with her laughing until it’s hard to breathe. More flashbacks follow of everything falling apart with the partner, dad dying, turning to an opioid addiction, and losing his daughter in a custody case. At this point in the movie, Braff’s been clean for a month, but this interview fiasco has him feeling like it’s completely pointless to try. He should just turn around and go home.

And if your whole life turns to shit / I know it’s hard to know /
you drag your body around behind you / everywhere you go /
you don’t wanna live and I know it’s hard to know /
to realize you can’t just let it go 

The memory of his daughter pops back into his head, and he remembers why he’s starting this new life. Zach runs to the job interview, making it with 15 seconds to spare, and somehow not covered in sweat. He lands the job, and starts working on a new life for him and his daughter. Fast forward 6 months, and he’s enjoying his job while getting to see his daughter on weekends with allusions between mom and Zach about expanding custody rights. Roll credits.

The point is, this is a song that makes you feel something real. It is a tangible, living song that has its own legs and a destination in mind.

The Caracals – Catch Your Eye

This is a really interesting song. It has some raw indie rock Black Keys vibes, The Strokes-esque melodies, and instrumentation and progression that’s perfect for your next Halloween party.

The lyrics are as haunting as the music, and can cause some real self-reflection. The song centers around the idea of how technology has made us slaves to devices and keep us from interacting with each other on a personal level, especially when it comes to keeping a partner interested.

“Checking your phone all night as I fail to catch your eye.”

cleopatrick – youth

Not to be confused with Daughter’s hit song, “youth” from cleopatrick shares nothing but a name with the singer-songwriter. With heavy breakdowns and gut punch vocals, this is a different beast entirely.

The day I turn 23, I’m getting married
shortly after, I’m getting buried

This is the kind of song that has something for everyone: sincere and interesting vocals for the singer-songwriter, instrumentals for the metalhead, and the raw vocals for indie rock purists. This song is a hell of a ride.

July Spotify Playlist

Podcast Link

Morning Commute: Air Stranger “Sunday So Good”

Let’s get funky this Saturday morning. I love getting these studio session versions of songs. You really get a feel for how talented each member is, and how well her voice holds up in a personal setting. I was kind of half listening when the song first came up, and then I heard the voice and wasn’t expecting it to be coming from a tiny white girl. I don’t know where she stores all that soul and lung capacity, but it’s very impressive. She has a spoken word break down, she hits every note on the range, and she’s seemingly pretty charismatic with her presence. This band has quickly hit the top of my “must see in person” list. It seems like they are mostly around Vancouver at the moment, but I’m holding out hope for an eventual U.S. tour.

Image result for air stranger

Luckily for us, Air Stranger has given us some insight to what inspired this song:

“Sunday So Good takes its inspiration from a Richard Pryor stand-up routine where he imitates an old man reminiscing about the days when the sun came out only on Wednesdays and people used to rub it all over their bodies. That monologue spurred Irish vocalist Sophie Ricshar to write a verse for the song Summertime and she superimposed the melody over a Meters song. When she traveled from her hometown in Dublin to Vancouver, Canada, she met Air Stranger, who had composed a funk jam that fit her idea perfectly.

The line, ‘Working five to live two is not a thing that you should do,’ exemplifies how life should not be experienced through the monotony of a day job just to live on the weekends. The lyrics are a call for society to get out of the routine of everyday life and ‘make each day a Sunday So Good.'”

So I guess Sophie kind of does her own thing and this is a one time installment? Hopefully they can make more music together, because this track really works. I also love the Richard Pryor reference and the lesson to not live for the weekend, but find a life that you want to live daily. I know that is something that a lot of us in the music world are working hard at achieving.

-Caleb

Did you know we do a podcast? It’s pretty great. I’m editing our most recent episode today, so look out for a new one Monday. In the meantime, check out our first 13 episodes here.

 

Video of the Day: Jules Rendell ft. Goz-i-am – “The Return”

It really doesn’t get much more gorgeous than this. The music is soothing and beautifully sung. The cinematography knows how to be subtle with it’s shots of the gorgeous piano. On their press package they explained a bit about why they chose to do such a stripped down version of this track:

“There was something about the third single from my album IMAGINE, The Return, that called out for a more raw, emotional offering… maybe it’s because we all worry too much and deep down we want to be free of it. We stripped out the electronic aspects of the song and took it back to basics with just a grand piano and vocal, reminiscent of an Emeli Sandé reworking or an intimate Jessie Ware vocal.

We spend our lives worrying about things that don’t really matter. We chase after success, value achievement and stature, but it’s a trap that can tie us up. I think love is what can free us from all that stuff, a place of acceptance. That’s what the song is about.”

That’s what I love most about this song too. It almost sounds like a gospel song in structure, though she nicely mentions the “chains of religion” in the song. But what I mean is it’s one of those songs that makes you tear up and you don’t really know why. It warns us of worrying our lives away, while also seeming to swell to a sea of positivity and hope that touches something deeply human inside us. If it doesn’t, poke yourself with a stick or something.

-Caleb

Want to hear the original album version of “The Return”? We did too, so we added it to our June TOTD Spotify playlist. Check that out here.

 

Video of the Day: Chris Reardon “Fighting Man”

Prefer Spotify? Click here.

With a very straightforward message, Chris Reardon’s song, Fighting Man, is a story of perseverance, and the video is a beautiful story of redemption. I want to break them down separately, because I think while being symbiotic stories, they are different beasts.

The lyrics: This song could be right at home in any number of action or sports films, with a very clear message, strong vocals, and heady, reverb laden, guitar riffs. It’s exactly what you want to hear when the protagonist is going through the rigorous training set before him by his coach, master, sensei, or whoever is teaching them their chosen practice. It is more of a man vs. nature or man vs. man situation. How much can you take from outside forces before you give up? It’s telling you to keep fighting, survive, and become immortalized as a legend in the eyes of family, peers, etc. Okay, maybe becoming immortalized is a stretch. He really means that giving up isn’t really an option, but he does say, “Don’t you ever die.”

“It’s mighty cold,
when you’re on your own,
but the wind won’t blow,
the wind won’t knock you down.”

The video: Like I said, the video and song are very cohesive stories and can definitely apply to the same person, but the video is more of a man vs. self scenario. It starts with the main character being pulled over, obviously drunk, and getting into trouble with a police officer. It breaks into showing you how despondent and distant he has been from his loved ones, succumbing to the thralls of alcoholism. The story of redemption takes place with change. The man cleans up his act, gets sober, and starts to deal with his demons. While this story could be considered a trope of sorts, tropes exist due to an excess of examples. Alcoholism runs rampant, and most cases can be traced back to tragedy like this one. While it doesn’t explicitly tell you parts of the story, I believe the man was pushed to alcoholism after the death of his daughter. He dealt with his depression like millions around the world, and drank it away. He pushed his partner away because of his actions, and you see that in the video, even though he’s cleaning up, he still has to deal with the consequences of his actions. The video ends with him in a meeting, presumably AA or a grief support group. Now, it could be that he just hasn’t gotten to a point where the ex trusts him with his daughter, but you never see the daughter in anything but a memory. With the subject matter of the song, it leads me to believe the death theory over the typical “mom has full custody because dad can’t handle himself” trope. 

I know I haven’t gone into the song as much as I have the lyrics/video, but with a video this stellar, it took me away from the normal train of thought that I have when writing these reviews. Chris Reardon is a stellar multi-instrumentalist who covers a wide range of genres with his music, and he does them all equally well. I’ve never done this before, but I’m posting an extra video below. I just want you to check out the range on this guy. Also, Chris is from the UK, and I’m currently sitting in an airport in Boston, having just returned from Northern Ireland. This video makes me want to go back already.

Chris Reardon’s song hasn’t been picked up by a movie, to my knowledge, but I’m calling it now. By the year 2020, this song will be part of a montage (or at least part of the end credits) in a sports or action movie. It is too fitting to sit idly by and watch the fight from the sidelines.

See what I did there? Yeah, I know I SHOULD be embarrassed by the lame joke, but you don’t know me well if you think that’s enough to turn my cheeks red.

Okay, I’m going to go watch Rocky now.

-Seth

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

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

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

-Caleb

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