Video of the Day: SamXVI – “Such a Pretty House and Such a Pretty Garden”

 

Have a spare 15 minutes? Check out this video, or save it for later when you do, I promise it’s worth it. The video is self described as: “An audio/visual art project exploring an intense and difficult struggle with depression, and how to “stay afloat” during a difficult time.” This becomes apparent quickly with the voice over and the shocking image of someone falling into a pond. This is one of those videos that is less a conventional music video (except the music which is also exceptional) and more of an impactful short film. It has a very DIY approach to it, most of it using a single camera and very few props. Take notes musician readers of the blog. You don’t need millions of dollars to start getting your videos out there.

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The full EP, which is titled, like the blog post, Such a Pretty House, and Such a Pretty Garden” is basically played in full throughout the video. You can find the EP in broken up form on Spotify (as well as the first track on our Spotify playlist here). Something that really becomes awesome as the video progresses are the effects overlayed (like you can see in the shot above). The use of color, animation, and varied styles in music, really allow the viewer/listener to follow the progression of this depression, and the sense of feeling underwater fighting for your life that so many who have suffered from these episodes are familiar with. I won’t spoil the ending, because you need to see it yourself, but I hope any one out there who currently feels underwater can see something worth fighting for, a light at the end of the tunnel, a better tomorrow, because, at least in my experience, it does always become apparent eventually, if you can just keep fighting. Thanks again to SamXVI for reminding us how important it is to keep swimming.

-Caleb

Video of the Day: Esbie Fonte “Ace’s High”

I have a perfect video for you guys for the Tuesday blues. This song is all about dissatisfaction in corporate America, the mind-numbing nature of 9-5 work. It’s also a bit about the deep existentialism that comes with getting stuck in a loop. It reflects on a tedium that never seems to end and always repeats again every week, slowly draining your remaining life hours away from you inch by inch.

“Ace’s high, and I’m so low

Getting by on tomorrow”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly felt this despair, and I mostly like my job. I also get summer’s off. I just think human freedom is somewhat at odds with forced labor. I know, I know, its’ not literal forced labor. There’s no slavery involved, but most people don’t really have other options besides working to afford the basic tenants of comfortability in this society.

“If this is life, then why am I afraid,

9-5 just to survive in vain”

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Definitely watch the video intently. The lyrics tell the story I’ve already laid out, but I appreciate that the video also seems to intersperse how our home life is somewhat of a loop too. And that these home lives are mostly just ways to cope with our career life, and our meaninglessness.

To end on an uplifting note: I assume many of you out there feel just like the song says. Do not get stuck in a career you hate for the next 30 years. Start making moves now to do something you’ll feel more happy with. Make sure your work/life balance is in order. It doesn’t have to be something you fix tomorrow, but make sure your intentions are towards fixing it in the next 5 years. I assume Esbie Fonte has made moves to get away from 9-5 life through her artistry. Seth and I are slowly working our way away from it by creating a space for you guys to hear music you wouldn’t hear otherwise. None of us are quitting our day jobs yet (though I can’t speak for Esbie, maybe she is, her talent is already there for sure), but I’m also not wasting my days assuming that my only option is to continue down the same path as the baby boomers. I have no interest in living to work. I just want to live. Start making a game plan for you to do the same. We do not have to buy the lie that there is only one path.

-Caleb

You can find this song and all of our June posts on our monthly Spotify playlist right here. 

 

Video of the Day: The Go Rounds “Code”

Time to put your trippy pants on again. It seems like I’ve been sharing a lot of psychedelic sort of vibes recently. The first time watching through this video, you’ll probably find yourself just entranced by the visuals. There are interesting overlays. Moments where faces are singing over epileptic screen flashes. There’s really a lot to catch. It reminds me of a mix between 60s/70s special effects and getting caught between channels on old analog televisions.

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Alright. Are you past the initial experience? It’s really cool in it’s own right, but you know how we like to get into the lyrics a bit around here.

“I don’t know what is wrong
But I could use a little warning
I don’t know what to do
So I will cry all in blue and gold

And hope that we can crack the code
Open up the covered eye
Tryin how to figure why
When again we’ll have the time ”

So maybe the trippy visuals do work quite well into it. The “Code” in the title seems to imply a want to crack whatever code is holding human intuition or intellect back. I assume “opening up the covered eye” refers to the 3rd eye. The fabled concept that we have an eye (sometimes referred to as our calcified Pineal gland) that would allow us to see parts of the world that normal consciousness can’t tap into. Some people may use drugs, meditation, prayer, etc. to tap into this eye, and crack the code. Maybe I’ll just use this song and watch the video until something clicks.

-Caleb

As always, we have added this song to our ongoing June TOTD Spotify playlist. Check that out here.

 

Video of the Day: Alex Cuba “El Dia De Hoy”

Alright guys let’s get weird and symbolic. I do encourage you, if like me you only know enough Spanish to get you through high school classes, to copy paste the lyrics (which you can find in the video description on youtube) into Google translate. I do not encourage you to do that until after you’ve watched the video in full though. Sometimes we just need to let visuals and symbols tell us an abstract story that allow us to get something out of it without too much explanation. So what do you get out of these strange colorful creatures being hidden away in a black and white world? What is this song saying to you about creativity? The powers the be/the status quo? Artistry? Maybe I’ll give you some hints in a minute, but sit with it yourself first.

Who can explain me
This great illusion
That has no end
It's the sea
Is the sun
It's today
It's starting over
And let the night
And let the night
Allow us to dream

For other stupid Americans, like myself, that is the English translation to some of the lyrics. Like any great poetry, it seems to translate quite well, though I’m sure it’s always better in the native language. To me it seems this song, and this video is very much about keeping your dreams alive, despite the world’s best attempts to capture/destroy them. I think that’s a message and inspiration that we need more than ever in these trying times, and I am so thankful that Alex Cuba shared this with us, so we could share it with you.

-Caleb

If you’re looking for more Alex Cuba, I have good news, he is very prolific. He has several albums spanning many years on Spotify. We’ve added this song to our monthly Spotify playlist to get you started. Check it out here. 

Morning Commute/Video of the Day: Fever Feel – “Somewhere Down the Line”

Let’s take a moment to act like we are stepping back in time with our Video of the Day today. Fever Feel’s “Somewhere Down the Line” feels so familiar and yet unique simultaneously. They were described as Led Zeppelin meets Rick James, and I can definitely see that both in style and musicality. I really love the direction and aesthetic to this video. One thing that stands out in the use of red and yellow lighting to give it a throwback feel, and also I really like the overlays where the previous picture slowly fades on top of the new picture. Any up and coming bands that are listening should take notes on the simplicity of this video. It probably didn’t cost too much, and yet it was very effective at creating a vibe and ethos that will follow my mind’s eye picture of the band going forward.

“Founded by Landon Franklin and Logan Gabert, the band is a mix of seventies rock with modern sensibilities – in fact, they consider themselves to be a part of a new age for rock and roll music.”

From their brief bio, I have to say that there ambitions don’t seem far off to me at all. Let me give you a bonus glimpse at their sound from one of their live shows. This video started playing as I was finishing up the one above, and I just got entranced by it.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m fully sold at this point.

-Caleb

As always, don’t forget to check out Fever Feel on our June TOTD Spotify playlist.

 

TOTD: Little Sain✚ feat. Merger – “Remedy”

 

You’re in for a real treat on this one. The artist informed us they brought in a full brass section, and a gospel singer, and you can tell with how full the track feels. It’s got a little bit of a Kanye production vibe to me, with some deep brass, and the full vocals and samples really making the song feel epic. Not epic in the dumb “whoa bruh that’s epic” sort of way. Epic like it feels important. It leaves you with goosebumps on your arms.

Another thing I really appreciate about this song is it’s ambiguity. The song is talking about remedies, but filling it with “Hennessy”. Which I suppose is a sort of remedy. We all have probably leaned on drinking or partying to distract from our problems from time to time, but obviously a remedy would hopefully be more of a long term fix. I think this song definitely plays it a little tongue and cheek, which I appreciate. It also has a fun switch from the song/artist being the Remedy to others, to the artist needing a Remedy themselves. Anyway, a really fun song overall that deserves multiple listens.

Be sure to check out this song and all of our June TOTD’s on our Spotify playlist.

-Caleb

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. 

 

Mid Day Music Blast: Breshnyda “Coastin'”

Happy Hump Day, and happy hump hour of Hump Day. We are officially over half the work week hump! To celebrate, check out this fresh track from Breshnyda. Once you do, two things are going to become apparent.

  1. The music is so trippy and awesome. It really reminds me somewhat of Dntel with the drones and dissonant beats. Really cool production on this.
  2. The lyrics are so wonderfully playful:

I got an accent made of fire
The constables inquire to decipher the scattered pattern
By which my lingual sniper shots take flight through the night
I’m lightin up all mics until the temperature spikes to nigh extreme Fahrenheit

Firestarter like a Charlie, Writer King like a Stephen
I spark the kindling on sleepy folks every weekend
Dragon’s breath must bequest bars to the rest
I protect the chest to keep the treasure unpossessed

Want more from this song? I’m glad you asked. There’s a music video!

If that doesn’t make you nostalgic for early video games while also tripping you out a bit, I don’t know what will. It has to be the premiere NES/Hip-hop/Acid trip video on the market.

 

-Caleb

Don’t forget to check out Breshnyda and all of our June artists on this Spotify playlist. 

And don’t forget to check out the best part of our (small) empire, The B-Side Guys Podcast.

 

TOTD: Phil Simmonds “Drive”

This is the third time I’ve listened through this song completely while trying to write this review, and I’ve made it through one sentence. I keep closing my eyes and getting absolutely lost in this song. From the straightforward and beautiful instrumentation like the piano to the finesse of the dulcimer, the arrangement to this song is so relaxing. Then, we get to Simmonds voice. Laying the groundwork with a pure rich tone, and an incredibly captivating falsetto, Simmonds’ voice sounds like the guy she tells you not to worry about.

In the song, Simmonds addresses moving on from addiction and heartbreak, and needing to get out of certain situations by getting in the car and driving. I think that, or at least the thought of that, is something we can relate to.

Originally hailing from the UK, now LA based artist, songwriter and producer, Phil Simmonds, returns today with his cinematically beautiful single “Drive”. In “Drive” Simmonds brings listeners into his world, taking you on a journey from the start. Guitar rifts guide you sonically along as Simmonds grabs your attention through atmospheric hues and warm tones provided by his strong vocal work.

 

The record comes in a timely manner as May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Simmonds lyrically addresses the choice of moving on from addiction and heartbreak. All at once emotive and intimate, “Drive” is a strong first record to be released from Simmonds forthcoming project “Saint Arc [Part One] In The Oak” to be released in July 2018 and will follow with “Saint Arc [Part Two] Down To The Waters” and “Saint Arc [Part Three] The Fallen” later this year.

 

Phil came to the public eye as a musician to British artist’s Jessie J, Rae Morris, Leona Lewis. Since then he’s become Musical Director for Detroit rapper Angel Haze, Australian singer Conrad Sewell, Atlantic Record’s Zak Abel, and British band Lawson to name a few. Now residing in Los Angeles Phil splits his time between his solo project and producing for other artists. He is currently working on the next Eryn Allen Kane album.

 

In June he will play in both LA and NY, showcasing his Concept albums “Saint Arc” Part One, Two and Three.

Video of the Day: Jungle Youth – “Don’t Do It”

I love how strong this song starts. “I refuse to be another one of your mistakes.” And it keeps that strength throughout the whole song. The vocals really hammer home that defiance. As for the video itself, it follows along 3 people (the band members I believe, but I don’t know if we can assume they are playing themselves) as they hang out doing fun young people things, like exploring in nature, and various urban settings, as well and driving around and hanging out. There seems to be somewhat of a subtle love triangle that forms throughout the video, with the two guys both seeming to enjoy flirting with the girl, but one guy seems to break through and hold her hand, put his arm around her, etc. Eventually, when something goes wrong with the car, the two guys get in a fight. It really reminds me a lot of how these tiny jealousies, if unchecked, can build until they explode. I love the subtle build and the rich imagery of the entire video.

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Jungle Youth is a young band from Quebec City that was born out of a common love for music. In March 2018, the band emerges from the darkness by releasing their version of Loud’s “Toutes les femmes savent danser”. The cover rapidly reaches 2000 views in less than a week and gains media attention by being featured in Le Journal de Québecand on the website of CKOI 96.0. Refusing to identify to one style of music in particular, Jungle Youth projects a modern yet retro sound that combines elements that are Pop, Rock and Indie all at the same time.

 

-Caleb

Want more music? Listen to Jungle Youth and all our June artists on this Spotify playlist. 

Don’t forget to check out our latest podcast episode: Ep. 13 Bad Luck