Caleb’s Favorite Releases June 15th: Jah Movement, David Myhr, Maddison, Johnny Conqueroo, Mikey Wax

Favorite Summer Song: Jah Movement “To You I Pray”

I always find myself getting into Reggae vibes in the summer. It’s just music that sounds like you should be sitting in the sun, with a spritzy drink in hand. This song particularly seems to focus on some Rastafarian elements of love and spirituality. There are some excellent instrumentals, with some fun melody matching with a lead guitar (or maybe a synth, not positive, but you’ll hear it). Another thing I like about this song is the message, self-described as: “With all the trouble that is going on in the world today. We hope and pray to Jah that it will get better for our Youths.” Who can’t get behind that?

Favorite Video: David Myhr “My Negative Friend”

I mean I assume after you watch 2 seconds of this video you can get what I like about it. The music itself is exceptional and upbeat, but the really cool animation style just pulls you in. The clunky FPS give it a surreal vibe, and then once the chorus kicks in, and by extension all the flowers and colors kick in, you’d have to be soulless not feel completely powerless to be a “negative friend”. I hope this song/video leaves you feeling better than when you entered. “We only get one chance in this world we’re living in, so make it a good one.”

Favorite song for my morning Bike Ride: Maddison “Lose My Mind”

So the best thing for me when on a bike ride, is a consistent beat that has me nodding my head, and something upbeat. This song checks all the boxes. It is upbeat, has a choir effect on the vocals reminiscent of The Black Keys, a sick guitar solo, and a rocking drum beat. This should be added to everyone’s workout playlists, or summer windows down playlists, your choice.

 

Favorite lyrics: Johnny Conqueroo “Why?”

Sometimes I’m a man who loves depressing lyrics. The bluesy vibe of this song, with the emotive driven vocals really add to the desperation found in these words, that ultimately end, without resolution, with a suicide attempt in a hotel room. If I’m feeling optimistic, maybe the sick outro riff, and organ give us a glimpse of redemption, or maybe that’s what death sounds like. Either way, here are the lyrics in full: (note, if you are thinking of suicide please talk to someone, you are not crazy for feeling that way, but you also aren’t out of options)

Some people think I’ve lost my head

Some people wish I was dead

and just maybe, just maybe it will come true

Checked into my motel room

looked through the phonebook

and I couldn’t find nobody I could call

And I said Why, why why, is everyone so cold?

And I said why, why, why is everyone so cold?

I saw my only friend today

he didn’t have nothing to say

So I guess I’m here all alone

And I said why, why, why is everyone so cold?

And I said why, why, why is everyone so cold?

Put the belt around my neck

smoked my last cigarette

and I felt my skin turn so cold

And I said why, why, why is everyone so cold?

And I said why, why, why is everyone so cold?

Favorite composition: Mikey Wax “Big Little Life”

This song is just so perfectly constructed. The beat is fairly consistent throughout, but the guitar work progresses really nicely, and you hear these moments where a slide is happening in the background, either with a guitar or a synth emulating it. That’s not even mentioning the lyrics which focus on building a life and growing old together with bubbly vocals. This song is going on all of my summer playlists (and also our monthly playlist which you can find here.) Also, if I’m not mistaken, Mikey is getting married tomorrow (June 16th) so congrats on “building that big little life”.

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

Mid Day Music Blast: Pistachio Gods – “a few more months”

I have a really interesting track for you today as you take a mid day break. When you start listening, you may think it is going in a pure folky direction. And then the beat starts to come in and you are like, oh okay I guess this is R&B. And then the flow kicks in, and hopefully you stop trying to define it. This one seems fully prepped to be one of my singles of the summer. It’s short and effective. It catches my attention with both catchy beats and elements of trippiness to it. The vocals are clean and various. I really can’t get enough of it.

Luckily for us, Pistachio Gods gave us a little background about the seemingly dissonant elements of this song:

“This song deals with our struggle of moving on in a relationship, we had the idea to combine folk music with hard trap drums and tell the story of how we know in a few months will get over this breakup finally and be moving on, but right now things are really hard for us.”

This song definitely pretty well encapsulates that idea. It’s so frustrating when your logical brain tells you that time is the only cure, but you still feel all the difficult emotions anyway. Hopefully this song helps some of you feel better and carries you through some of the darkness.

-Caleb

Want more music? Don’t forget to follow our monthly Spotify playlists.

 

TOTD: Pandarama – “Toxic”

Hey guys, we are going to try to share tons of music with you over the next few days. I’m stoked for you to hear this track from Pandarama. I thought the vocals were really unique, and I really like the guitar work. You don’t hear too many acoustic riffs that don’t get boring and repetitive, but this one keeps me interested and it’s impressive how clean it sounds.

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This band, full of recent college grads, are definitely one to keep your eyes on. And I’m really excited to see where they go from here, with such a strong debut effort. If you are in Miami area, you should definitely try to see them, because I expect them to be branching further and further out as time goes on. On September 3, 2016, they released their first EP, “37.5%”, which is available both as physical copies at their shows and on digital on all the major online retailers and streaming services, including iTunes and Spotify.

After performing many live shows and writing new songs, the band had enough material for an album and decided to record again. Before officially recording their new songs, they wanted to showcase their softer side and record acoustic versions of their songs, leading to the more ambient and experimental approach used in their new EP, “Mixed Messages”, which is where this song stems from. Check it out now wherever you enjoy music.

-Caleb

Want an easy way to find this song on Spotify? Check this one and all of our June tracks out right here.

Did you know we make a podcast? It’s pretty good. You can hear our latest episode here. 

 

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. 

 

TOTD: Basement Revolver “Baby”

I am so excited to share this track from Basement Revolver with you. It’s the first single off their upcoming project which will be available in August, so make sure you follow them on SoundCloud or Spotify so you can hear that as soon as it drops. I expect, if it follows the vibe of this song, it will feature haunting vocals, spacey instrumentals, and relatable lyrics. If you like bands like the Pixies or Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I think you’ve found a new band to add to your repertoire.

Songwriter Chrisy Hurn boldly shares intimate stories and personal wounds from her past, which have come together to reveal a deeply affecting and rewarding debut full length. Album opener and lead single “Baby” was written at a time when she was seemingly happy but felt an underlying sadness and dissatisfaction, “it’s about feeling confused about what I want in life, and how that affects other people. It is about crying a lot and feeling like I was burdening my partner with those questions and not wanting him to feel like he was the source of my anxiety.”

You can hear Christy’s pain in the lyrics:

“Baby I’m so sorry, I’m trying to figure this out.”

“Just give me some time.”

As someone who has constantly struggled with depression and anxiety, and then allowed those things to spiral in front of people I cared about, I related so much with this song. There is nothing worse than going through an episode, and then also feeling aftershocks of the burdensome feeling when it’s over. I can’t tell you how many panic attacks I’ve had that I ended up apologizing for “being stupid” for afterwards. Obviously my partner never acts like I am burdening them at all with that, but it’s still hard to get past it in my own mind, which causes a new spiral. It can definitely be a sick cycle. Luckily, a few years back I found a therapist that helped me through some of it. And I encourage any of you feeling this way to find another outlet besides your partner. Obviously I still share with her, but I try not to only share with her, and not every single day. You want to keep the relationship a relationship and a therapist a therapist. Anyway, didn’t mean to pour my heart out there for a second, but that’s what art does sometimes. It’s a wonderful mirror. Anyone of you that has listened to our podcast has heard more intimate stuff than that haha.

-Caleb

Go check out this song and more on our June TOTD playlist.

TOTD: Robin Hayes “Autopilot Hijack”

Let’s get weird one more time today. What are you really doing other than panicking about work tomorrow? Let this track chill you out. I mean maybe not the lyrics, which certainly give me a bit of an existential “what the hell are you doing with your life” vibe. The title itself, which is repeated several times throughout the song, kind of lends itself to that vibe. Even the hijacking is in autopilot. Which I suppose could be some sort of commentary about automation, but I’m going to take it more metaphorical.

As far as the instrumentals go, it should actually chill you out. Unless you focus too hard on the dissonant percussion that leaves you feeling a little uneasy in the best way. I guess Psychedelic rock is all about capturing the sublime right? Capturing that feeling of awe and shock that is similar to a drug experience, or seeing a dinosaur in person, or 30 ft waves, or thinking about space for too long. I think this song has all of that wrapped into a neat little package that keeps me coming back. Now go to sleep. Capitalism calls tomorrow.

-Caleb

You can find this song and all of our June TOTDs at this Spotify link right here. Holy shit, you didn’t even know you were reading a link did you?