Morning Commute: Lion Sphere “Keep Dreaming”

SoundCloud link, if you don’t like Spotify

This song is so smooth. What better song to get you through your last day of the work week?If you’re like me and don’t work a conventional 9 to 5, this is still a wonderful song for anyone who isn’t currently where they pictured themselves at this point in their life.

“Keep dreamin’
Believin’ in you
Keep dreamin’
Reach at the moon”

The song talks about how you need to keep dreaming, but it’s not just a song to encourage you to keep dreaming. What makes this song lyrically special to me is that there is almost a call to action. They aren’t encouraging a one-sided relationship, but finding your community. Encouragement to follow your dreams is always a nice thing to receive, but they make sure giving someone else that encouragement is as prominent of an idea as the reception.

“I don’t
think that
we will fade to gray
you’ve got me
and I’m out here for you”

This groove though. My three year old just came in the room and said, “Daddy, who is this? It’s groovy, man.” First off, my three year old is saying, “It’s groovy, man,” so I’m doing something right. Secondly, he couldn’t be more right. The instrumentation is kept light and fun, keeping the song in the clouds as much as the lyrics do, and the control in Joel Montagud, the singer’s, voice is stellar as he flips from his lower register to his falsetto with ease, and then running back down the scale, all in one breath. The instrumental intro sounds like a Zelda game if it was rated “Mature” for adult themes. Starting as a sexy video game and building into something much more than that, Keep Dreaming is that summer jam that you had no idea would make it onto all of your playlists for the season. I may be projecting my feelings towards the song onto you, but if you aren’t adding it to your playlist, you’re doing summer wrong. Check out this live performance of the song to see that they aren’t a post production band, and can absolutely hold up their end of the deal in live performances.

Also, check out the June Spotify playlist if you don’t want to miss any of the artists that we post this month.

Did you know we also have a podcast? Check that out here.

-Seth

Morning Commute: Madge – “Alice”

 

 

Alright guys. Let’s get weird this morning. This song blew me away with how unique it is. I hear a 90s Dre sort of whine going on the background, there are sing-songy children vocals, there are so many instruments I can’t even point them all out. This song is truly unique, which is something that I rarely can say even about a lot of the music I’ve always liked.

After reading up on her background a bit, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising how unique this all sounds.  From her press release:

“Delving into the legacy of her Mormon upbringing in Utah, contemporary spirituality, and a passion for 80s dark wave, Madge has created her own lane with a DIY approach to maximalist pop, drawing comparisons to Grimes and Charli XCX along the way.

On ” Alice ” an unforgettable bassline sets the foundation for witchy vocals that float atop wood-block percussion, wood-winds, and a cat’s meow. The song is interjected by a call-and-response made up of childlike voices, representative of the self-destructive voices inside our heads. The line “…boys be wary, Alice gonna check you like a good library” is about as badass as it gets. ”

I really wish I could say anything nearly as neatly intricate as that summation, but I’ll just say this: Very few artists are being as simultaneously experimental and catchy as this track is, and I’m very anxious to see how this develops over time. In the meantime, go listen to this song over an over on her SoundCloud or on our Spotify playlist, which you can find here. 

Morning Commute/Video of the Day: Malak “Hard Pill”

Malak’s new single, Hard Pill, is an absolute romper, and perfect to get you pumped for your morning commute. Malak, an Egyptian immigrant due to the Arab Spring protests, currently resides in Canada. I can’t help but feel that the new freedom that is offered in her Canadian surroundings coupled with her Egyptian background is what fuels the creativity for a tumultuous song like Hard Pill. Starting out with a clean approachability in the verse, the chorus hits like a punch in the gut.

(vulnerable)
I breathe in the air you breathe out, baby,
and I believe in what you’re about

(gut punch)
Oh yeah, oh yeah,
You’re a hard pill to swallow
Yeah, oh yeah, 
So dense,
and oh so hollow

I really love that the arrangement tells half of the story here, with an obvious change in the relationship, or maybe even just the duplicitousness of every relationship. You can be their biggest champion one minute, and then really dislike everything about them the next. It is a tough balance to maintain, and Malak does a wonderful job showing that with the lyrics, the arrangement, and this really trippy video.

-Seth

Check out all of the artists we’ve featured on our Spotify playlist. Follow us so you never miss a great artist like this. 

Morning Commute: SAMMAY – “Full Moon”

Good morning guys! You’ve probably already commuted at this point, but I have some great music for you anyway. Check out this Jazzy/R&B track from SAMMAY. The song is self described as: “A song that calls in expansive holistic love forms for all who are journeying through the cosmos and celebrates the potentialities gifted by the full moon.” I don’t know about you guys, but that seems like a good way to start off the day to me.

The biggest thing that stands out to me about this song, other than the love and positive vibes it’s pushing out, is how striking the lead vocals are. I could listen to her sing about pretty much anything I think. I hope this song makes you think of someone you love, and you share some of that love with them today. I know SAMMAY has inspired me to do just that.

-Caleb

You can check out this song and all of our June TOTD’s on our Spotify playlist right here.

 

Morning Commute: Emilie Mover “Fallin’ In”

When I came across this new single from Emilie Mover, I knew the name was familiar. I couldn’t place where I knew it from, but there was something very familiar about the timbre of this Canadian turned New Yorker folk artist. I started looking through her discography, and immediately knew where I had heard the pure and articulate, while having just enough rasp, vocals before; she has an incredible album where she covers some of my favorite Peggy Lee songs that you can find here.

Okay, now let’s focus on Fallin’ In, the second single off of her new album, Night Owl. Mover says of the song,

“Fallin’ In is actually the last song I wrote for Night Owl. I wrote it in a park near my apartment the morning we left for Bathouse.  I was kind of just going through the tunes, finalizing idea and starting to think about the order for the album.  I was watching some kids play together in the park and it was a beautiful late summer day and it was one of those things that just came together within minutes.  It kind of wrote itself.”

She goes on to say that the idea behind the song is to get into what really happens when we grow up. How do we go from being carefree kids playing together in the park to overworked and overstressed adults?

emilie

Okay, that last part may be me projecting, but the true idea behind the song is trying to maintain that childlike whimsy and excitement for life throughout adulthood. She lets us in on the fact that her dad has always upheld that view on life, and has been a sterling example of how to maintain a fervor for all things fun. The children in the park made Mover think of all of her childhood friends, and only thought it appropriate to have them play on the track. Those same friends that she played with in the parks as a kid are now playing on a track about them playing in those parks. If that’s not absolutely beautiful and very meta, I don’t know what is. Her dad, Mover’s “favorite kid at heart,” is also featured on the track, absolutely crushing the horn solo at the 2:30 mark.

I haven’t gotten around to listening to the whole album yet, but if Night Owl is anything like Fallin’ In, it is going to make plenty of our personal playlists. Reeking of jazz chords and off-beat rhythms, this song has a lot heavier package than most folk songs.

Want to listen to Emilie and all of our other featured artists for the month of June in one neat and tidy playlist? Click here.

Want to listen to me and Caleb talk about Bad Luck and feature new artists you haven’t heard of yet? Click here.

-Seth

Video of the Day and Morning Commute: Jessicka “Penniless Fools”

This is the first song that has been the perfect fit for the Video of the Day (for obvious reasons), and the Morning Commute. Jessicka’s track, Penniless Fools, is the first song we’ve considered for cross-categorization, and it is a well deserved accolade.

Starting out with almost a minute of B-roll footage, Penniless Fools really gets started at around the :50 mark, but the shots beforehand are nice enough to keep your interest focused on the song. Once the song does get started, you’ll be instantly happy that you stuck around. Jessicka’s voice and the instrumentation is reminiscent of Florence + the Machine, but Jessicka has a style all her own. With a powerful voice and a beautiful arrangement to back her up, the singer-songwriter from Vancouver takes a very meta look at the roles we play in life. The tape she plays in the middle of the song at the 3:15 mark plays the role of the average human mind:

“It’s a measly manner of existence,
to get on that subway on the hot mornings in summer
to devote your whole life to keeping stock,
or making phone calls,
or selling,
or buying.
To suffer 50 weeks of the year
for a two week vacation
when all you really desire is to be outside with your shirt off,
but still,
that’s how you build a future.”

Penniless Fools gets into the dilemma of working to support yourself financially vs. doing the things that you love to support yourself mentally. A very small percentage of people get up and go to a job that they love, a larger percentage enjoy a lot of the aspects of their job, and a much larger percentage hate what they do much more frequently than they enjoy it. This song gets into that and makes you really question whether the financial stability is worth using your only shot at life to be completely miserable.

This is a song that really resonates with me and a situation I went through recently. I was making a lot of money in a position where I essentially had to sell my soul to the devil. I decided it would be best to leave that job without a backup plan in place because I couldn’t take one more day of the soul-crushing position I was in. I knew that we would take a substantial pay cut for a while and that I may not find something for quite a while, but the financial stability that job provided wasn’t worth the strain it put on me and my family. Fast forward 7 months, and I now have multiple streams of revenue, all coming from sources that I absolutely love (or at least love more than I dislike). I still don’t make the same kind of money I made previously, but that really doesn’t matter when I’m about to be buried.

“Living the dream, but not much sleep.”

Morning Commute: Keyiente “Why Don’t You”

Sometimes on the Morning Commute we like to get you pumped up with a headstrong jam, and sometimes we like to get introspective and use the commute as a way to figure out where you want not only the day to take you, but the future. Today, we just want to groove. It’s Friday, so let’s get the party started on the way to work this morning.

This NYC singer and songwriter has been making music since the ripe old age of seven, and it definitely shows in this reggae meets hip-hop track. Lyrically, it is exactly what you want the song to be. A track like this shouldn’t dive into problems like depression, politics, or heartbreak like so many of the songs we share. This song has one goal, and that’s to have a good time. With that goal in mind, Keyiente is the Lionel Messi of music.

“Why don’t you come, come,
and shake that bum, bum?”