Video of the Day: Alex Bloom – “Elevator”

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Reminds me of: Ben Howard mixed with The Beatles and Radiohead

If you watched the video, I feel like this is already pretty clear, but let’s check out what the artist said about this excellent tune:

“I wrote a song about the existential elevator ride of life. I think it’s something everyone thinks about all the time. My creative inspiration came from this little white Casio keyboard with preset beats that I set to ‘Rock’. Then I started with this guitar riff and immediately noticed the shape and movement of the chord I used, kind of looked like an elevator.” – Alex Bloom

And what an existential elevator ride it is. From the lyrics, it seems to suggest that a lot of that ride points downward (although the end of the video finds our elevator in ethereal space). I think this metaphor is an excellent way to describe the existential dread that comes with post-modern existence. A lot of us know/believe there is no purpose to any of this, but most of us think it is important to create our own meaning regardless. It is an unwinnable game that each of us has to decide whether or not to play. I think that this song suggests that even though it’s hopeless, that doesn’t necessarily mean the game isn’t worth playing. If you can fully accept that there is no inherent purpose, that can be depressing, but it can also be freeing. This can be seen most clearly in this section:

“I don’t believe
I don’t believe
let me cheer you up
let me offer
let me take a sponge
to your human condition now I’ll boil down
all your suffering to an
elevator ride
no one will survive terminal speed Hades receive me
you can be afraid
of all your sins
you can’t see yourself breakin mirrors
climbing through the shaft see what’s coming
elevator ride
no one will survive terminal speed Hades receive me
I don’t wanna cheat it
I don’t wanna cheat it
there’s no way to beat it that’s the way I want it”

If you fully accept reality for what it is (or as close as we can get to perceiving what it is), then you can perhaps live a better personal existence, even if no one is watching over you.

One more thing I wanted to mention about the video, is how cool the blurred effect is. I have (under control) DPDR. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a shorthand for Depersonalization and Derealization. This video gets very close to explaining how I feel when I go through DPDR episodes (which is a pretty difficult thing to explain fully). It fits along nicely with the existential lyrics, and atmospheric vocals. I’m not suggesting that the video was trying to explain DPDR or anything, but I just found it comforting in a strange sort of way from a personal angle.

Bio: His 2017 “One More Shot” song became a “quiet” YouTube hit with over 2 million cumulative streams and his debut album Blue Room already has over 450,000 plays on Spotify.

Earlier this year, in the midst of working on his new material, Bloom’s song “Evanesce” was featured in the Netflix Original movie “The Open House.” An exciting moment for an indie artist who runs his own label…

Alex has received early critical praise for his songwriting and complex vocal arrangements.

“Elevator” is just a foreshadow of the rest of Bloom’s new material (sophomore album) set for release in 2019.

 

-Caleb

Video of the Day: Tender Glue – “Rudy”

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I have a really chill song for you guys to check out this morning. Before we get into the song itself, I really like the vibe of this video. There’s nothing overly complicated going on. It’s mainly just quick shots of various things, and an occasional video of the guitarist playing the song in a shadowy room, but the bright colors and strange effects keep me glued to it, and it fits so well with the music and vibe of the song in general. If you guys are trying to make a good video on a budget, take notes. Now, let’s dive into the song itself a little bit, listen to it again here if you want, to give my guy some Spotify plays:

 

“And if I go
Roll one for me
Cigarettes you used to smoke
Hope you will quit
And if I die
Bury me so deep under all our lies
Hope you will quit”

I love the sentiment to the chorus here. There is this awesome dissonance of wanting what’s best for someone, and accepting them as they are. He wants this person to remember him when he’s gone, and remember him in the way that they feel comfortable, even if he’d rather the person quit smoking and be healthy. It’s really a beautifully melancholic sentiment.

Don’t just take my word for interpretations though, let’s check out the artist’s idea about his creation: “‘Rudy’ was written about 6 years ago and was inspired by a girl I met once. I had chords and a melody written beforehand and the words came quickly to me. This girl had shown me how she rolls her cigarettes, which was inspiration for the lyrics “And if I go ; Roll one for me; Cigarettes you used to smoke; Hope you will quit”. Although some of the lyrics were based on real scenarios, the whole idea of the song is more of an imagination. I took some of the details of this brief non-intimate meeting and created a story.”

I love the idea of these random encounters allowing us to create an entire universe of art, a relationship that never actually happened, and yet, I, as the listener, feel the same emotions regardless of how real or not it was. Really incredible.

Bio: Tender Glue (noun): Not a person. Not a band. Music made by an urge to create.

Tender Glue is made up of Tom Gluewicki, who was originally born and raised in Poland and later moved to New York in 2002. He explains his first encounter with playing music when he was twelve years-old after he had fixed a broken guitar that his brother brought home. You can learn more about his story in the “ABOUT” section of his website.

On September 25th, 2015, Tender Glue released his debut EP titled, “Wait For Steady Light”. After several years of creating original music, this album is a culmination of raw recordings, composed with minimal equipment, using the resources Tom had in his home. Full length album “Steady Light”, which was a continuation of the EP, was released year later on August 26th, 2016.

The latest album titled “Closet Leftovers”, was released on September 28th, 2018 on Tom’s record label called Don’t Label Me Records. The first four singles from the album were released between February to June of 2018. “Closet Leftovers” was recorded and produced by Tom in his studio apartment closet after he moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan more than a year ago.

-Caleb

Morning Commute: Small Words – “Darling”

Good morning B-Side Back Massagers (idk man, I’m running out of alliterative ideas). I have a really great indie/pop-punk style track from Small Words to share with you this morning. This song reminds me of the best parts of my late teens/early 20s. It captures the angst, the newly found freedom, and the cautious hope that I sometimes get nostalgia for now that I’m pushing 30. Let’s dive into the first verse and chorus:

“Darling, I am calling.
I’m locked outside
With someone else,
A fragment of my former self.
So darling, could you save me?
I’m not the type to ask for help,
But if you could I’ve never felt this way.
Lets get away.
I’m far too drunk to drive,
Do you think you could??
We took the back road
singing ladadadada”

  1. I appreciate this song advocating for not driving drunk.
  2. On a serious note, these lyrics perfectly capture that youth I was talking about before. Drunk, figuring out who you are, singing on back roads with friends (or more than friends), it’s really a beautiful nostalgic picture.

If you are looking for more from Small Words, this song is from an EP called For What It’s Worthless which you can find here: For What It’s Worthless.

 

Bio: Small Words is an energetic Indie-Rock band out of Indianapolis, IN.

With 2016’s “For What It’s Worthless” EP, the 5-piece quickly began making a name for themselves in the music scene.

Drawing influence from a myriad of genres, the band keeps the audience on their toes, and glued to their performance.

2019 will see the release of their new record, “Good Day, Bad Me”, recorded at The Lumberyard in Hammonton, NJ. (Produced, and mixed by Ace Enders, and Nik Bruzzese)

The album explores the struggles of addiction, grief, depression, and accepting one’s own mortality without spoon feeding you “it’s gonna be okay”’s. In these trying times we need to know that it’s okay to struggle, and no one needs to fight their demons alone.

 

– Caleb

TOTD: We Are All Fossils – “The West”

 

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Good morning B-Side Battletoads! (I like that one, and it also shouts out the hardest game of my childhood) Before we get into this song, I just need to say that this artist/band name is one of my favorites I’ve ever seen, along with the cover art. It’s one of those when you hear it, you are bummed that you can’t use it for your future project haha. Not that I would be creative enough to come up with it anyway. Alright now let’s dive into the song. Let’s start with the lyrics:

“You can take the water
You can take the wine
From our souls
You can drink it dry

Well you can see the storm
It’s coming from the west
It’s been howling for days
You can see the sun yeah it’s leaving the bay

You can save tomorrow
Or relive yesterday
Or you can drown in sorrow
and feel the pain”

I love the ambiguity and mystery in this song. There seems to be some biblical nods, with the water and the wine, but the idea of this storm in the west reminds me of a personal experience. I don’t know how many of you have been to the American west, but one of the defining characteristics is how open everything is. This openness allows you to see a storm for several hours before it ever gets to you. So the chorus of this song reminds me of that concept, and even though you can see the storm for miles and miles and miles, you still can’t avoid it. It gives you more time to hunker down maybe, but the storm is coming anyway. It seems that this song explores what to do while you wait on the storm. Do you focus on the past? Do you drown yourself in sorrow? Do you anticipate the pain? I don’t know if we get a clear answer here, but maybe that’s the point. We each have to find our own answer.

Bio: The musical story of a South African born singer songwriter, inspired by the likes of Gregory Alan Isakov, Nathaniel Rateliff, Damien Rice & Sufjan Stevens. We Are All Fossils started in late 2014 but music has been the way of life for many years before that. March of 2015 saw the released of ‘Aether’ a live 6 track EP.

‘Songs For Strangers’ soon followed. A unique process where anyone could anonymously send in story (fiction/non fiction/undefined) to inspire a song. Out of these connections 8 tracks were created.

Late 2014 through to early 2018 were spent writing and recording for the debut album, a collection of songs that have survived the seasons. ‘The Optimist’ is the 10 track debut album from We Are All Fossils, released 4th June. The opening track and debut single ‘Honey Drop’ is a distinctive Indie/Folk sound that is a great introduction into the record.

-Caleb

TOTD: Thacker – “From The Hands of Angels”

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“Well ever/greens don’t grow/ overnight/ so tell me/ when can I start
And treetops/ once grown pierce/ the sky/ freeing the sun/ shine upon me now”
I love the sentiment at the end of this song. I think we all want to be evergreens, able to withstand changes, in weather, seasons, years. The problem is, most of us don’t know how to build ourselves up to that level, because we only see the finished product. I think this song encourages us to just aim to be a sapling, and try to grow a little each day. And that’s just the lyrical content! The best part of this song, is even if you didn’t hear the message, you’d love it. It’s got some beautiful horn arrangements, a consistent and polished vocal track, and crisp string sound from the rhythm sections. I really can’t get over how phenomenally constructed the whole track is. Everytime I listen to it, something different stands out, as I’m writing this, I’m just noticing how fun the bass line is that’s driving the song. This is a band that is criminally underrated. I hope our followers go give them some much deserved listens and love.

Bio:  First EP from the Los Angeles artist Thacker. Members include:

Andrew Thacker

Matty Margallo

André Eliazar de Carvalho

Masaki Micky Miyase

They say they are forever in gratitude for and to family, friends, listeners now and in the future, supporters, and the musicians who have illuminated the path.

-Caleb

 

Morning Commute: Edwin – “Uncontrollable Pride”

Edwin live.

Good morning B-Side Bandicoots (nah, that’s not it)! Before we talk about the song, go back to the :41 second mark and wince in fear with me one more time that Edwin was going to get his guitar wet for the shot. Okay. Are you back? Now let’s talk about this song. I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE this song and video. I was sold from the first few frames. I love music videos that take a simple concept and just execute the hell out of it, and Edwin does exactly that with “Uncontrollable Pride.” I got so drawn in by the video and beautiful melody, that it took me a few times to pay attention to the lyrics, but luckily for you, I can point them out now, so you don’t miss how awesome they are:

“I was under pressure when the Devil told me what she thought.
Nothing made much sense and I said “Jesus, you sound just like God”
Will my life come at a cost, cause my money’s gone to rent?
What else would you want, to get my life back again?

Uncontrollable pride
Me and the Devil dining side by side
Uncontrollable pride
How much love will it take to make this right?”

That opening is so playfully witty, and yet deeply interesting at the same time. At first I thought maybe the Devil was telling him what “she”, as in some third party girl who the narrator was crushing on, thought. But the more I read it, I think the Devil is the she. And the Devil doesn’t make any sense, which makes her sound like God. I really can’t emphasize how cleverly worded that stanza is. It’s really a thing of beauty. The next verse explores the whole idea further:

“I was under pressure when the Devil came to speak to me
She said “You’re a fool for loving someone you don’t truly see”
How much would it cost, cause my hair is getting thin?
Well, what else would you want, cause my beauty’s at its end?”

So is the “someone you don’t truly see” also the Devil? Since the Devil doesn’t make much sense, and he and the Devil are dining side my side. It could be speaking about a third party girl, and I think both are interesting, but I can’t get over the idea of being in a dysfunctional relationship with the Devil just because it’s such an interesting concept to me. Either way though, it’s a great song that’s hiding an ambiguous poetry behind beautiful upbeat melodies. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And Edwin, keep your guitar dry buddy.

“You Have No Idea, Man” EP available on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7AYZxQyhNgswFgKJ9ZaxwL?si=XUCVLGl5Q1mi6NmC3VXJbQ

Morning Commute: Favours – “In The Night”

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Good morning B-Side Badasses! (oh, I like that one, that’s pretty good). I have an incredible song for you this morning. Their spotify numbers are mind blowing to me. This song only has 1,000 plays? What? Hopefully we can get those numbers up some today because I think everyone on the planet needs to hear this one. The band describes the track as: “‘In The Night’ is a ballad for the stuck ones in an unfulfilling cycle of repetition. It’s about escaping from the banality of the day and longing for the dreams that seem just out of reach.” Um…so…basically all of us in modern society no? I know it at least applies to me. One of my goals for 2019 is to dream bigger, and take some practical steps to achieve those dreams, so I appreciate this song this morning as a nice reminder of why it is important. So many of us let our lives drift by without trying to do anything to shake it up, or rock the boat, me included. Let’s reflect this morning, as we listen to this beautiful orchestrated synthy jam, on what parts of our lives we are just going through the motions on, and how we can shake ourselves out of that.

Links: Facebook / Instagram

Bio: Favours plays 80s and 90s influenced dark synth rock combining British new wave with modern dream pop influences. The band features female and male vocals using their lyrical identities to embody the narrative they croon about.

-Caleb