Tuesday, May 21, 2019

“Hold Tight” by 900 Miles (ft. The Kooks) – A Song Feature


     Information about 900 Miles is sparse. It’s the project name of producers Zdot and Krunchie in London. They teamed with The Kooks in the song “Hold Tight.” With some digging into evidence, we believe it’s vocalist Luke Pritchard and Hugh Harris of The Kooks.
     Just one question - Why isn't this song a more prominent feature in the Indiesphere?

     “Hold Tight” by 900 Miles (ft. The Kooks)


Lyrics of “Hold Tight” by 900 Miles
Still remember like it's yesterday
When you turned
And threw yourself away
Still I cling to the memory
Of the girl that you used to be

You used to say I'm like Napoleon
Not rich enough but like a lion
And when it feels like nothing makes sense
I will jump right in front of you

And I will jump right in front of you
And take a bullet if I had to
Yeah I will jump right in front of you
Just say you feel me

Hold tight
Just let the world spin
Feels right
Don't stop the feeling
Hold tight
Just let the world spin
Don't fight the feeling
[Repeat]

How can you look me in the eye and say
That you don't still feel that way
I know a liar when I see one
And you're not so good at hiding out

You sound like you’re Napoleon
Never weak, just like a lion
Maybe what you don't see
Is that you’re slowly killing me

And I will jump right in front of you
And take a bullet if I had to
Yeah I will jump right in front of you
Just say you feel me

Hold tight
Just let the world spin
Feels right
Don't stop the feeling
Hold tight
Just let the world spin
Don't fight the feeling
[Repeat]

Yeah I will jump for you
Hold tight
Just let the world spin
Feels right
Don't stop the feeling
Hold tight
Just let the world spin
Don't fight the feeling
[Repeat]

I will jump for you
And I will jump right in front of you
And take a bullet if I had to
Yeah I will jump right in front of you


Monday, May 20, 2019

WYO and Wy – Song Features

      With a name-recognition weakness, the coexistence of similarly named bands on our list of blogworthy songs was problematic. To avoid an embarrassing mistake, we’ll share the songs from WYO and Wy in a single post.


     WYO is Andy Sorge and Scott McKay Gibson in Los Angeles. Sorge is originally from Jackson, Wyoming, thus the name of the duo. The single “On Your Way” is an upbeat, motivational track about self-discovery and finding your home. The song is designed to bring to mind the journey from a small town into a large city, overwhelmed by the change, until realizing this is where you belong. The song is the second single from the WYO’s upcoming sophomore album “Changes,” produced by Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Pete Yorn), which will be released on May 31st.

     “On Your Way” by WYO



     Wy is comprised of longtime lovers Ebba and Michel, from Malmö, Sweden. Their song “Swedish Summer” is a single from their 2019 album “Softie.” The album is a statement on the turbulence of human existence, written from Ebba's experience of being bipolar. With clarity in emotion and unapologetic use of lyrics, it's an important record in more ways than one. “Softie” was released via Hybris/Beatnik.

     “Swedish Summer” by Wy


Lyrics of “Swedish Summer” by Wy
Great job, well done
I pat my own back
Fucking baptize me and bless my soul
There's no Baltic Sea between us
I want more than I can have
I'm too much

Hey hey hey
Stop asking me when
I can't care for another when I can't care for myself
Hey hey hey
I keep setting the bar higher than I can reach
And when I reach I just let go

The trees are finally green
But you hurt me
I feel like I'm wasting my body
Always working on myself
Like I'm not finished yet
I want it to stop
I want it to shut up
Shut up

Hey hey hey
Stop asking me when
I can't care for another when I can't care for myself
Hey hey hey
I keep setting the bar higher than I can reach
And when I reach I just let go

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Blisses B - Free Saturday (“FL&R”)

     Finding songs that can be legally downloaded is easy. The difficult task is to find legally downloadable music that we recommend. Our plan is to post at least one Free, Legal and Recommended (FL&R) song each Saturday.


      With “Curtain Call,” Blisses B showed that their skillset extends into spirited synth-driven tracks. It’s the first single from an upcoming album - "Tell Your Friends You Love Them And Why.” The album is scheduled for release on June 21, 2019. 

      The four members of Blisses B are Noah Libby (vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo), Benjamin Keegan (keyboard, guitar, mandolin, vocals), Evan Bautista (drums, percussion), and James Touzel (bass, vocals).

      “Curtain Call” by Blisses B


Friday, May 17, 2019

Stephen Malkmus @ Lodge Room - A Concert Review

Stephen Malkmus @ Lodge Room
May 15, 2019
By Rebecca Gross

Walking into the Lodge Room, reflections of different ages of myself looked back at me. Myself in different iterations of my life –– all ages, completely in love and infatuated by Stephen Malkmus’ music.

I was 14 when I fell deeply into finding meaning in Malkmus through Pavement. I see that self stare back at me through the eyes of teenage boys wearing jeans belted to adhere to their belly button region, Doc Martens planted insecurely on the floor beneath them: relatable.

I see other versions of myself now: twenty-somethings drinking a beer, waiting for the man that was writing Pavement albums as we slid through the birth canal. They (or should I say we?) wear flannels and t-shirts with witty phrases and vans in an effort to appear of a certain moment  –– one we were born too late to really be a part of.

And then there are those who were part of that generation, lining the walls of the Lodge Room, sitting and relaxing before Malkmus takes the stage. Beards graying with 20 years of post-90s-alternative melancholia, comfortable shoes and good conversation intact, they are the most worthy group of being at this show: Perhaps they saw Malkmus in his Pavement days, or the Kim’s Bedroom days, or the early solo days. These were the true fans, who have followed Malkmus through different projects, landing here, at the Lodge Room in Highland Park, in Los Angeles.

And who knew exactly what to expect last night at the Lodge Room? Certainly not those loyal to Malkmus for the last 30 years. After Malkmus came out with Groove Denied, his latest solo record, who could know what to expect? This was nothing like what Malkmus’ earlier work has been like.

In an effort at making a Bowie-esque electronic dance record, Malkmus half-succeeded. The entire record is brilliant, but at least half of the record sounds more like Pavement songs than it does like “Let’s Dance.” Yet, walking into the Lodge Room and taking one look at the stage, you would presume Malkmus was about to perform an electronic-heavy set. One guitar. A computer. And a shit-ton of pedals. What would he open up with? What would he close with? What would he play?

Perhaps in the fullest essence of playing as himself, a multi-generational Indie Rock legend, and to the bright smiles beaming from the diverse ages in the crowd, Malkmus traveled in time between the ‘90s and the present. Opening with “Spit on a Stranger,” he fluidly transitioned between his Pavement music and his recently released music on Groove Denied. Blending boundaries between the nostalgic ‘90s Pavement songs (last night we not only heard “Spit on a Stranger,” but also “Blackout,” “Frontwards,” and “Fight this Generation”) and the late ‘70s / early ‘80s dance music, Malkmus created a distinctly 2019 sound right in front of our eyes, to our ears’ delight. Through the unmistakably 2019-time-stamped computer-generated beats, Malkmus somehow managed to create a contiguous sonical image of his past, a further back past, the present, and perhaps what is to come for his music and a new kind of genre.
 
Without a doubt, the show last night was a hit. When Malkmus didn’t come out for an encore, you could just feel a cloud of depression role over the crowd. We wanted more Malkmus. We wanted more of this timelessness he was creating and preserving all at once on the stage. He will be back at the Lodge Room tonight, but for a soldout show (don’t get your hopes up).

This is one of Malkmus’ most interesting concepts, though, and feels prescient in its meaning: connecting us, despite differences. I never thought I’d be writing that Berlin house music could seamlessly bleed into ‘90s guitar and cracking vocals. But it did. And it worked. And as usual, Malkmus is a revolutionary in creating unique (and timeless) music.



Thursday, May 16, 2019

“Nowhere” by Black Match – A Song Feature


     “Nowhere” is melodically beautiful, vocally enchanting, lyrically intelligent, and compositionally masterful. The single from Black Match is best appreciated by putting “Nowhere” on repeat play and shifting your listening focus to a different aspect after each play.

     Black Match is the vocalist-songwriting duo of Hannah Kenny and Ian Kizanis in San Luis Obispo, California. Lyrically, “Nowhere” describes the mental and emotional distress of losing a beloved. It’s not new subject matter, but the treatment is fresh. In the first verse, there is an analogy of the relationship to nicotine – “Got ahold on me like, like nicotine, you’re running through my lungs and into my bloodstream.” It may not be healthy; clearly the withdrawal is difficult. Then, the existential puzzling enters with heartbeat bass percussion, “Are we all just in the, in the in-between, longing to be heard and longing to be seen.”

     Moving the listening focus to the instruments shows that the original impression of “Nowhere” as a striped down single is flawed. Yes, the beginning is merely an acoustic guitar and the end is piano. But the “in-between” includes Shoegaze-like guitar that flutters in and creates an emotion-touching soundscape. And at 2:46 the instrumental support during the song’s chorus has a sophisticated intimacy.

       Still, the vocals are what separate “Nowhere” from other songs we would place on our list of “Best of 2019.” The interplay between the voices of Hannah and Ian is enrapturing. Separately, each voice holds a charisma; together the voices are naturally balanced.

     “Nowhere” by Black Match 

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackmatchmusic/



    “Won't Let Go” by Black Match 


Monday, May 13, 2019

“Boys & Blondes” by Dear Rouge – A Song Feature


     “Boys & Blondes” hit the car speakers while the radio was tuned to a Canada-based Indie Rock station on satellite radio. The song is from 2017, so it is “aged” relative to almost all our other features. But it should be shared! Besides, Dear Rouge pushed the refresh button on the single this year, when they released a deluxe digital version of the album on which the song resides. The deluxe version of “Phases” has five tracks that were not on the original.

     Dear Rouge is the wife-husband duo of Danielle McTaggart and Drew McTaggart from Vancouver. They generate hook-filled Synth Pop/Rock.

     “Boys & Blondes” by Dear Rouge


Lyrics of “Boys & Blondes” by Dear Rouge
You're watching me like a fly on the wall
I get the feeling that I'm something you want
Take all the time you need

Around my finger got you tied up in knots
Just a word got you hanging for more
Your minds on me I got you way in deep

All the boys are coming
All the blondes are running
I like you, you like me
I like you... and you a lot
All the boys are coming

You wanna see us
You know it's understood
The finer things
Make you want ‘em for good

All the while
You know that I decide
What you get, you can't be upset if you don't get it

All the boys are coming
All the blondes are running
I like you, you like me
I like you... and you a lot
All the boys are coming

All the boys are coming
All the blondes are running
I like you, you like me
I like you... and you a lot
All the boys are coming

Another song we recommend:

Sunday, May 12, 2019

“Heaven” by Hermitage Green – A Song Feature


     The greatest strength of Hermitage Green is its rhythmic power. The band’s sound is more aligned with bands we praise from South Africa than from Ireland. Then, it adds diverse instruments and gang vocals to generate songs that make Hermitage Green a concert draw. They visited Canada and the U.S. in 2018. With the release of new songs, there is a reason to hope for a return.

     The membership of the band from Limerick, Ireland is Darragh Graham (banjo, djembe, backing vocals), Darragh Griffin (vocals, guitar), Dan Murphy (vocals, guitar, dobro, harmonica), Barry Murphy (vocals, bass), and Dermot Sheedy (bodhran).

      “Heaven” by Hermitage Green 

Website: https://www.hermitagegreen.com/

Thursday, May 9, 2019

“Willow” by Junaco – A Song Feature


     “Willow” is the inverse of our typical song-emotions pairing. That is, instead praising a song for its ability to surface an emotion, we’ll quote a member of Junaco, who explains that “Willow” is inspired by emotions. Shahana Jaffer states:
  “Emotions are often intensified by our surroundings. We rarely separate the two - when we are inspired by a feeling it is all encompassed by the environment we are in. The message of this music is to except those feelings rather than trying to mask them.”

     Junaco is the duo of Shahana Jaffer and Joey LaRosa, who are based in Los Angeles. LaRosa is a guitarist and percussionist, while Jaffer is a pianist. They share vocal responsibilities. In the live session of “Willow” (embedded below), Kit Perkins plays bass and Tejas Leier Heyden contributes guitar and backing vocals.

     “Willow” by Junaco 

Website: https://www.junacomusic.com/



Wednesday, May 8, 2019

“Young and Depressed” by Sean Kennedy – A Song Feature


     It’s an ear-grabbing melody with a deceptive simplicity in its arrangement and an intelligence in its production; then the song’s message comes into focus. “Young and Depressed” leads us along a path toward social empathy for troubled adults, who still do “some fucked up things.”

     “Young and Depressed” includes a conversation between Katie and her mother. It is insightful in illustrating the disconnect between a parent’s perception and her child’s reality. There are similarities to the mother’s lament in “She’s Leaving Home” by The Beatles, which also shows the disconnect. But the parent in “Young and Depressed” is more relatable, since it is always tempting to take the easier, more pragmatic approach when dealing with a difficulty that must be faced each day.

     The song belongs to Sean Kennedy, who is from the Boston area. He now resides in Los Angeles. Quoting content with which we agree:
  Kennedy's effortless style is ever-present in ‘Young & Depressed,’ a stunning track about the effects that a troubled childhood has on an adult. Written and recorded in just 24 hours, Sean has given us a gift with this intimate, vulnerable, and intoxicating track. Folk-infused vocals add another layer of intrigue to this nod-worthy single and we can't get it off repeat."

      “Young and Depressed” by Sean Kennedy 


Lyrics of “Young and Depressed” by Sean Kennedy
[Kids who get high repeatedly don’t wanna come down]
I used to have this dream when I was younger
That someone put a monster in my head
I could feel it swimming in my thoughts
Woke up in a pool of my own sweat

Mamma took me in to see the doctor
He didn’t even look up at my face
I became an addict in that office
And young boys love to numb the pain

You know, I still love to numb the pain
And the whole world is going insane
Cause,

People do some fucked up things
When they get older, but
Deep down, I bet,
They still feel young and depressed
Kids see some messed up stuff
They can’t get over, and
Deep down, I guess
We’re all still young and depressed

“Katie put the ghost back in the closet.
Brush your teeth and come downstairs”
But Mom, there’s a spider in my backpack.”
“I thought we agreed that those weren’t there
Just do what I tell you
Don’t ask questions
No more talking back, we don’t have time
And don’t forget your pill, it’s on the counter
Remember Katie, big girls don’t cry”

But sometimes I cry
For no reason, not
There’s no meaning but

People do some fucked up things
When they get older, but
Deep down, I bet,
They still feel young and depressed
Kids see some messed up stuff
They can’t get over, and
Deep down, I guess
We’re all still young and depressed
[Repeat]




Tuesday, May 7, 2019

“Deeper Water” by Meltt – A Song Feature


     “Deeper Water” sets existentialism in a melodic environment. Meltt is in Vancouver, Canada, but there the guitar shows influences from UK’s Foals. They describe their sound as “alternative music to sonically paint your soundscape and sweep you into an ethereal dream.”

     “Deeper Water” by Meltt 


Lyrics of “Deeper Water” by Meltt
I can see a flickering candle
Faint from the distant moor
We race toward it
Without a question
Without a second thought
I don’t know
Where to go

Every night I’m dreaming
There’s a feeling
It’s a feeling
I’m a human being
What’s the meaning?
Is there meaning?

The wick burns dimmer
Losing my sense of
Where I had sought to go
Isolation, aimless frustration
Flooding the daily soul
Overflow
Take control

Every night I’m dreaming
There’s a feeling
It’s a feeling
I’m a human being
What’s the meaning?
Is there meaning?

And we can do better
We should know better
I know
And we should be stronger
Tread deeper water
To grow

Time slips away
You wouldn’t believe
You wouldn’t believe
Gotta go
Never know

Every night I’m dreaming
There’s a feeling
It’s a feeling
I’m a human being
What’s the meaning?
Is there meaning?

And we can do better
We should know better
I know
And we should be stronger
Tread deeper water
To grow
Feet don’t reach
At least for now I’m still afloat