Monday, April 6, 2020

“All Odds” by Wild Signals – A Song Feature


     Skillful mixing is important to every song recording that includes more than one contribution, but the level of difficulty varies with song characteristics. A less experienced person might be sufficiently skillful for songs in which the contributors perform much like a synchronized swim team, with each instrument hitting the same note in time with syllables of the lyrics. Toward the opposite end of the difficulty spectrum is “All Odds” by Wild Signals, a song in which the vocals and instruments are all forceful, confident and semi-independent.

     The talent of Wild Signals is apparent during an isolated listen to “All Odds.” But the multi-layered song is best appreciated by placing the song on repeat and adjusting your focus each time. The percussion is almost end-to-end energy. At any time, one guitar may adopt a Shoegaze role while another executes a quick-twitch attack. The bass does not show a willingness to accept its “traditional” role of assisting the percussion in setting and maintaining rhythm.


     Wild Signals is a four-member band in Los Angeles. Individually, they are Nicole Ridgely (guitar, vocals), Noël Brydebell (guitar, vocals), Ben Keysaer (bass), and Josh Renkow (drums). Their sound is described as “a blend of Shoegaze and Post Punk influences with driving rhythms and Dream Pop melodies, creating a perpetual wave of texture and sound.”

          “All Odds” by Wild Signals (for streaming and download options: CLICK HERE)


Saturday, April 4, 2020

Brass Phantoms - 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.

     “Wood Words” boasts the soaring guitars and anthemic sound that has seen Brass Phantoms have their music featured on the likes of BBC Radio 6…
     In frontman Ryan Cashell’s impactful vocals, he ponders the mentality of the creative lifestyle and how it can feel like trying to push a boulder up a hill. The supporting group backing vocals act as a reminder that despite the uphill battle, those around us are there to help with this weight and share the journey.

     The band is based in Dublin, Ireland. The members of Brass Phantoms are Greg Whelan (guitar), Ryan Cashell (vocals, bass), James Geraghty (guitar, Adam McCabe (drums), and Colleen Heavey (synth).

     “Wood Words” by Brass Phantoms


Lyrics of “Wood Words” by Brass Phantoms
Now you’re someone with the wrong way of looking back.
An open book full of nothing read front to back,
Curiosity was my mistake.
Don’t take me for my wooden word,
Leave the message underneath the fur.
Write a paragraph on your distaste.

Don’t fall for or take the hit,
There’s more in store.
Far from here the mind takes trips.

Count your blessings there’s a murmur from your front door.
Whispers quietly but I feel like you’ve heard enough.
Time to chase away the old and grey.
Flashbacks from your picture frame.
The world is spinning on its little game.
From the shadow I see your face.

Don’t fall for or take the hit,
There’s more in store.
Far from here the mind takes trips.
No one goes where I’ve grown old.
I’ll take the hit so my mind can quit.

Don’t fall for or take the hit,
There’s more in store.
Far from here the mind takes trips.
No one goes where I’ve grown old.
I’ll take the hit so my mind can quit.

Friday, April 3, 2020

“Alive” by Trenton – A Song Feature


       With the release of “Alive,” Trenton again showcases his skills in crafting lyrics that put life into perspective. The first verse is primarily a metaphor-littered description of woe – “Driving on a dusty road, feeling every dream has expired.” The woe continues into the pre-chorus - “We had it all and then we lost it.” However, the positive outlook rises to the top. All the things that were thought to be wanted were let go, and the discover was made, “It just feels good to be alive.” The optimistic viewpoint that springs from that epiphany triumphs throughout the final minute of “Alive.” The song's positive message is well timed in view of the current worldwide health issues.

     Instrumentally, the message at the start of “Alive” is that the single is synth-driven. That message is not deceiving. But the song as a more “classic feel,” because Trenton employs organic drums and analog synths. The most powerful hook in “Alive” is piano.

     “Alive” is particularly strong starting at 2:22, when the instruments initiate a sonic swirl and the vocals are echoed. At 2:47, the swirl ends, the energy of the instruments jumps, and the skillful vocalization is put in greater focus.

     Trenton is the performance name of Nashvile-based Ryan Courtney. Press materials accurately state that he produces  a sound laced with ambient textures and moody alt-pop; Ryan is always creating and has had a number songs appear in a various television shows including ABC's Brothers & Sisters, MTV's 'Teen Mom, and Degrassi.

     “Alive” by Trenton – A Song Feature

Website: https://www.trentonmusic.net/

Thursday, April 2, 2020

“Cheryl” by Gaspar Sanz – A Song Feature


     “Cheryl” begins with a cat cry, raising a curiosity that grabs a listener’s attention. As noted later in this post, the sound of the cat also hints at the motivation for the song from Gasper Sanz. “Cheryl” is then launched into a high-energy mode by skillful percussion and intriguing guitar. Once launched, the vocals are the propulsion. The lead vocals are rhythmic, while the occurrences of the larger-voice chorus are more melodic and catchier – lower the drawbridge to listener participation.

     The song is infectiously energetic, but not at the sacrifice of being dynamic. The best illustration is the transition from the first chorus to the next verse. The relatively melodious chorus ends at 1:03. What follows is skillfully selected and crafted “noise.” Then, a quick-speak verse raises the appreciation for the skills of the lead singer of Gaspar Sanz. The members of the band from Sydney (via Perth), Australia, are Jimmy Bell (vocalist), Sammy Davenport (drums), Dom Coulton (bass), and Jesse Lawrence (guitar).

     The identify of “Cheryl” was shared by the band:
   "This song was inspired by a cat called Cheryl who used to live with Jimmy (singer) and Sammy (drummer). Cheryl was a stray who was living on the roof of our other flatmate's previous residence and after a period of time, he ended up adopting her. She was very old and had a litany of health issues, but was a beautiful and gentle old soul, who had clearly seen some shit. The meows that are featured in the song are from Cheryl herself. Jimmy followed her around the apartment with a microphone for about half an hour to capture them."
   Despite the simplicity of the song's namesake, the lyrics delve deeper, exploring the parables between human relationships and those we have with feline companions.
  "Cats are extremely complicated and difficult. Loving anyone, in any capacity, is never unconditional or uncomplicated, it requires constant attention and comprise, much like a relationship with a feline."

     Gaspar Sanz is signed with Helium Records Australia. “Cheryl” is their first release of 2020. It was recorded at Golden Retriever Studios in Marickville with producer Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy).

     “Cheryl” by Gaspar Sanz



Lyrics of “Cheryl” by Gaspar Sanz
Wear you off
Wear you off
Were you out of it
I was young, on my own, when you doubted me
See I would love nothing more than the sound of it. oh, yeah, eh.

It started off like a lucid dream that I liked
It’s not at all like it used to be in my mind
It stared off like it used to be in my life
It’s not at all for me, for me, right.

Slipping off me when I’m stoned and you wanna say ooh, aah
Slipping off me when it’s cold and you wanna stay, aaah
Slipping off me when I’m stoned and you wanna say aaah, aah
Slipping off me when it’s cold and you wanna stay, aaah

I wanna get more space
Wanna feel safe and more important in my life.
Start with the daze
Start with my head it hurts so hard it feels alright.
Just see it my way (Feels alright)
Give me more peace
Give me no creeps more faith (No creep)
It’s only lonely
I’m starting to want to say it, hey

It started off like a lucid dream that I liked
It’s not at all like it used to be in my mind
It stared off like it used to be in my life
It’s not at all for me, for me, right.

Slipping off me when I’m stoned and you wanna say ooh, aah
Slipping off me when it’s cold and you wanna stay, aaah
Slipping off me when it’s cold and you wanna stay, aaah
Slipping off me when it’s cold and you wanna stay, aaah

Slipping of me when your stoned and you want to say, aaah
[Repeat 4x]

(Aaaaaahhh, Hey!)

Slipping off me when I’m stoned and you wanna say ooh, aah
Slipping off me when it’s cold and you wanna stay, aaah

Slipping off me when I’m stoned and you wanna say ooh, aah
Slipping off me when it’s cold and you wanna stay, aaah

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

March Songs that Bear Repeating

     As a welcome to the new month, here are the favorite songs from March posts of Indie Obsessive.

     “I'm Glad You're Happy” by Early Internet (from the post of March 19, CLICK HERE if interested).


      “Son” by Gordon Franklin Jr. (from the post of March 16, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Break in the Willow” by Vandalye (from the post of March 12, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “No Trial In The Dark” by The Holy (from the post of March 23, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Dust In The Sunlight” by Dust In The Sunlight (from the post of March 30, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Strangers” by Mt. Joy (from the post of March 18, CLICK HERE if interested).


      “Smokescreen” by Tourists (from the post of March 9, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “The Storm” by FITUMI (from the post of March 3, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Rewind” by Jet Black Alley Cat (from the post of March 20, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Honest by Caroline Culver (from the post of March 27, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “When Nothing's Said” by Make Friends (from the post of March 5, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “This Is Your Time” by Demons Of Ruby Mae (from the post of March 14, CLICK HERE if interested).


     The comprehensive list of songs with Spotify accessibility and with deserving bonus tracks (via Spotify):
     “Pedestal” by Phantogram
      “Sometimes” by Kodaline
     “Why Won't You Admit” by Sea Girls
     “Guillotine” by Elektric Animals
     “Terrible Times” by Foreign Fields
     “Be Fine” by Enola Fall


Monday, March 30, 2020

“Dust In The Sunlight” by Dust In The Sunlight – A Song Feature


    The vocals and melody radiate warmth, while the lyrics express a willingness to remain cool. “Dust In The Sunlight” voices a willingness to keep a relationship a secret in order to appease the other person. The concession is described with poetic elegance in the first four lines:
You whispered hello
Still it hangs in the air like smoke
Raise my hand in half-surrender
I’ll pretend, just a friend

     “Dust In The Sunlight is from a duo with the same name as their single:
 “The song speaks about being caught up with someone who's emotionally unavailable and being prepared to compromise your own values in order to keep them around. We liked the imagery of the title so much that it became the namesake of the band.”

     The duo is Annie Rew Shaw and Billy Wright. They are equally skilled vocalists, which is evidenced during their harmonization and undeniable during vocal layering. Twice, a verse is started before the end of the previous verse. In both cases, the word “oxygen” is layered with the start of the next verse. It is done skillfully and elegantly.

      Dust In The Sunlight is based in in the UK. Annie Rew Shaw and Billy Wright met by chance, and quickly recognized how well their voices melded together. Within 12 months of their formation, Dust In The Sunlight signed a record deal with the label Project Melody. Together, they plan to release their first E.P in 2020.

     “Dust In The Sunlight” by Dust In The Sunlight

Streaming and download options: https://project-melody.lnk.to/GxAOv



Lyrics of “Dust In The Sunlight” by Dust In The Sunlight
You whispered hello
Still it hangs in the air like smoke
Raise my hand in half-surrender
I’ll pretend, just a friend
Breathe you in, oxygen

No one knows it
Keep it secret, keep it tight
Float by like dust in the sunlight
Dust in the sunlight

Oh, behave in any way you want
Just let me know
Or/ I’d change just to make you stay a minute more

Kept me hidden, stashed away
Your creature comfort, misheard name
The all-pretending, it means nothing
‘Til you lose it
Snatched away like oxygen

If no one knows then there’s no pressure
Love with no pain
Empty pleasure
Dust in the sunlight
Dust in the sunlight

Oh, behave in any way you want
Just let me know
Or, I’d change just to make you stay a minute more
[Repeat]

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Jacksonport - 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.


      “Western Stars” has a melodic calmness and vocal beauty. The song is from Jacksonport, the project name of John Fatum. Jacksonport was named for a small town in Door County, the peninsula on the eastern edge of Wisconsin. Fatum grew up in Brooklyn, but spent summers in Jacksonport.

     In addition to John Fatum with the acoustic guitar and percussion, contributors to “Western Stars” were Julian Pollack (aka “J3P0”) on keyboards and Taylor Ashton on banjo. Fatum is the lead vocalist, with harmony vocals provided by Hannah Read, David Moss, and Taylor Ashton.

     “Western Stars” by Jacksonport (name your price - "tips" appreciated)


Lyrics of “Western Stars” by Jacksonport
Who are you
And who am I
To watch the world go by?
Sipping from the moon
Between bites of apple pie
We're two little lights
At the edge of a dock

Two little lights: Western Stars
Burning bright
We guide the night
The whole world's dark
It's a little bit cold out here
But the sky's so clear
I can see alright

Now look me in the eyes
I know you see yourself in mine
I see a troubled mind
That's a little bit lost out here
But if you choose
There's a path in front of you
The starlight's shining through
The corner of your windowpane.

We're two little lights: Western Stars
Burning bright
We guide the Night
The whole world's dark
It's a little bit cold out here
But the sky's so clear
I can see alright

Two little lights: Western Stars
Burning bright we guide the night
The whole world's dark
It's a little bit cold out here
But the sky's so clear
I can see alright
I can see alright

Friday, March 27, 2020

“Honest” by Caroline Culver – A Song Feature


      Her voice engages in a slow-dance embrace with the lyrics of “Honest,” as Carolina Culver vocally displays the anguish of being in a relationship that is held together by inertia. “Honest” is about remaining silent instead of being honest. In explaining the song, Culver said:
  “It’s easy to lose sight of who you are when you're with the wrong person. So, I wrote this song about not being real with yourself and the relationship you are in. It’s also about finding my honest self-expression as an artist.”

     Caroline Culver’s connection to the song is apparent in the nuances of “Honest.” The lyrics are included at the bottom of this post. The two verses surprisingly have a total of only eight lines. There are three occurrences of the chorus, but each takes a different approach. In the first, the vocals are somewhat guttural and a little angry – “If I’m being honest / I don’t feel the way I should / You don’t wanna leave / But I wish you would….” The second occurrence of the chorus begins around the two-minute mark. Now, for most of the chorus, every other line is harmonized. The second voice (probably overdubbing) has a gentleness that smooths the edginess of “Honesty.” Another difference is the repeating determination to “keep my mouth shut” at the end. This second occurrence is separated from the third by a short, distanced call. Then, Caroline Culver jumps to a higher octave, until the song suddenly quiets for the outro. It is powerful.

      The instrumentation is also noteworthy. For the verses, an acoustic guitar is the prominent instrument. But there is Shoegaze-style guitar that enhances the effectiveness of the description. In comparison, the choruses feature guitar distortion.

     Caroline Culver is based in Nashville, but was raised in Atlanta. She describes the connection to the single:
  “’Honest’ is about being in denial and hiding from your real emotions. Whether those feelings stem from a toxic relationship or something else; I think no matter what - the most important thing to do in life is get real - confront these things. This song grows a new meaning in my life as I continue to sit with it. As a person, I strive to be honest with everything I do; I hope to be transparent with my songs. So ‘Honest’ has really helped me find my self-expression as an artist.”

     For streaming and download opportunities, go to https://on.cmdshft.com/-Honest. Today (March 27), she will perform “Honesty” live from her "living room” facebook.com/events/233527951379442/

     “Honest by Caroline Culver




Lyrics of “Honest by Caroline Culver
Tattoos on his skin
Stories I get lost inside of them
Wake me up at 3am
Just to tell me that I’m something different

If I’m being honest
I don’t feel the way I should
You don’t wanna leave
But I wish you would
If I’m being honest
I don’t say what I could
You don’t wanna hear it
So I keep my mouth shut

Cherry lips pressed to his neck
We’re both sharing my last cigarette
He is darkness
The kind that makes you scared and gets you runnin’

If I’m being honest
I don’t feel the way I should
You don’t wanna leave
But I wish you would
If I’m being honest
I don’t say what I could
You don’t wanna hear it
So I keep my mouth shut
I keep my mouth shut, keep my mouth shut
Keep my mouth shut

If I’m being honest
I don’t feel the way I should
You don’t wanna leave
But I wish you would
If I’m being honest
I don’t say what I could
You don’t wanna hear it
So I keep my mouth shut
I keep my mouth shut, keep my mouth shut
Shut my mouth