Saturday, March 31, 2018

Nice Biscuit and Mylk - Free Friday/Saturday (“FL&R”)

     Free and Legal Downloads? Yes, at least temporarily. Bands often temporarily permit free downloads of their releases.  The end of an offer may be based on the expiration of a set period of time or on a limited number of downloads.  But at least for now, here are songs that qualify as Free, Legal and Recommended (FL&R) downloads.
     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 FL&R song each Friday/Saturday.
     Each of today’s tracks is available via Triple J Unearthed, the outstanding Australian site.

     During performances, the duo front women wear matching outfits; and during photo sessions the four male members often have the “surfer dudes” look. They are Nice Biscuit from Brisbane.
     The members of Nice Biscuit are Ben Mulheran (guitar, keys, harp, vocals), Billie Star (vocals, guitar, percussion), Grace Cuell (vocals, guitar, percussion, keys), Jess Ferronato (guitar, vocals), Kurt Melvin (drums) and Nick Cavendish (bass).

     “Captain” by Nice Biscuit– To access the free download, go to the Triple J site ( and click the download arrow.  

     We enjoy vocals that carry anguish. Mylk does so in harmony. The quartet is from Melbourne. They are Nathaniel (guitar, vocals), Harry (guitar), Julian (bass) and Ewen (drums).

     “Day 4//Now” by Mylk – To access the free download, go to the Triple J site ( and click the download arrow.  

      “Internet Cafe” by Mylk – To access the free download, go to the Triple J site ( and click the download arrow.  

Friday, March 30, 2018

“Embrace” by Samuel J – A Song Review

     The selection of a marimba to accompany the positive message of “Embrace” is intelligent and revealing. The resonance of the instrument melds with that of the message to enrich the impact. The marimba is not typically heard in releases from artists based in the U.S., but Samuel J’s exposure to music from other regions of the world is atypical. He has performed at European festivals and has explored the Brazilian music circuit, where he spent much of five years.

     In describing “Embrace,” Samuel J stated, “The song was written in honor of all those things we have to Embrace in life, those things that are unavoidable that we have to go through, in order to grow and come Into The Light …” “Embrace” is not his first song in which the lyrics reflect a belief in the unifying power of music.  Samuel J has even performed at the Dalai Lama’s 70th birthday celebration.

     The Facebook page of Samuel J indicates that he is currently based in Santa Monica, California (and that his surname is Tellam). He is the vocalist and composer of his music. He will use a Loop Pedal for solo performances, but also makes appearances with his band collective, THE LIVING REVOLUTION.

“Embrace” by Samuel J

     Quoting the Soundcloud content for “Embrace:”
  In preparation for the release of his album and life's best works, ‘Into the Light,’ Samuel J debuted his encouraging new single ‘Embrace.’ The track embodies luminescence and possesses an infectious melody that will resonate with every listener’s ear. The soulful and uplifting lyrics create the perfect vehicle for his polished and feathery vocals. ‘Embrace. is now available for download and streaming on your favorite digital music platform.
  Samuel J has successfully toured with many artists including Ben Harper, Michael Franti, Jack Johnson, Jurassic 5 and more. He has collaborated with sponsors in leading surf brands like Mormaii, Alma Surf and 69 Slam. As a well-known singer-songwriter, composer and producer within the music industry, this has allowed him to use his platform to discuss and engage in world issues that he holds dear to his heart. He regularly contributes to the conservation world through affiliations with Sea Shepherd, Ocean Care, Save The Children and World Peace One. Through his music and open discussion with his audience, Samuel J hopes to bring optimism, clarity and consciousness to his listeners, enabling them to contribute the world in a positive and productive way.

Released March 30, 2018
Flemming Vilbo Hansen (producer and mixing)
Arjang Shishegar (producer and mixing)
Artwork Amazing Benidigital

Thursday, March 29, 2018

“Hide” by Rainbow Kitten Surprise – A Song Review

     The vocals in “Hide” are refreshingly distinctive. And while our understanding of the lyrics (included below) is far from fully developed, there is a sense of integrity that percolates from each verse. That integrity sits atop instrumental support with both subtle shifts and ear-grabbing jumps that evidence the passion Rainbow Kitten Surprise holds for its craft.

     “Hide” is most closely aligned with the Indie Folk genre, but has an instrumental and vocal quirkiness bearing similarities to the Worldbeat of some of the best offerings of tUnE-yArDs. The track includes many praiseworthy features, but we particularly enjoy the bursts of band vocals/shouts. For comparison, the video of the more melodic “Holy War” is included in this post.

      Rainbow Kitten Surprise is based in Boone, North Carolina. The members are Sam Melo (lead vocals), Ethan Goodpaster (lead guitar, backing vocals), Darrick “Bozzy” Keller (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Charlie Holt (bass, backing vocals), and Jess Haney (drums). On April 6, 2018, they will release the LP “How To: Friend, Love, Freefall,” which will include "Hide" and "Holy War."

     Rainbow Kitten Surprise is on tour in support of the LP. The demand for tickets has led to shifts to larger venues, added dates, and many sellouts. We sheepishly admit to missing the opportunity to purchase tickets for their visit to The Fillmore in San Francisco. For ticket information, CLICK HERE.

     “Hide” by Rainbow Kitten Surprise 

Lyrics of “Hide” by Rainbow Kitten Surprise
I got some radio wires
Soldered to my heart
You're the only thing that's coming in
I'm getting static from my better sense
Nothing on the FM

See, I've been praying for a signal
A sign that you haven't sent
You might be an angel
Falling from the heavens
Or a stranger from a garden party
Drunk and roaming ever since

I've got a Radio Heart
And you're the only thing that's coming in
Static from my better sense
Stagnant on my betterment
I'm praying for signal
Or a sign that you haven't sent
Running from a place
Where they don't make people like me

I keep the car running
I keep my bags packed
I don't wanna leave
Don't wanna leave last
I've been praying for your touch
Your glance, your hand

And he's a better kisser than you'd think, Mom
He's a better listener than most
We took pretty pictures by the sea, Mom
Fell in love and sailed off

And when the Son of Man had me in his clutches
The Son of Man had me in his clutches
The Son of Man had me in his clutches
The sons of men pulled me to the touch
And I loved it

I hate you more than I miss you
That's not true, I'd hate to miss you
Anywhere I go anywhere you've been before
I get the chance to say goodbye
Or hello I mean
You don't call
You don't write
You know I've been up for forty days
And forty nights and all my fears have multiplied
By the silence in your eyes

Does he stay for the way for the air you're movin’
You're movin’
Does he stay for the way for the air you're movin’
You're losing it

Better hide your love
Hide your love
Don't let it slip away, don't let it slip away
You better hide your love
Hide your love
Don't let it slip away
Don't let it slip away
You better hide your love
Hide your love
Now now hide your love
Hide your love

The Friend, Love, Freefall Tour 2018:
29 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West – SOLD OUT
30 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West – SOLD OUT
31 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel – SOLD OUT

2 – Charleston, SC – Music Farm– SOLD OUT
3 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre– SOLD OUT
4 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore – UPGRADED VENUE; SOLD OUT
6 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz – SECOND SHOW ADDED; SOLD OUT
7 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz – SOLD OUT
8 – Washington, DC – The 9:30 Club – SOLD OUT
10 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel – SECOND SHOW ADDED
11 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel – SOLD OUT
12 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer – SOLD OUT
14 – Boston, MA – Royale – SOLD OUT
16 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall – UPGRADED VENUE
17 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
18 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall – SOLD OUT
20 – Nashville, TN – The Cannery – SOLD OUT
21 – Chicago, IL – Metro – SOLD OUT
23 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre – SOLD OUT
24 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
25 – Kansas City, MO – Madrid Theatre
27 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre – SECOND SHOW ADDED; SOLD OUT
28 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre – SOLD OUT
30 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot

1 – Missoula, MT – The Wilma – UPGRADED VENUE
3 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo – UPGRADED VENUE
4 – Vancouver, BC – The Vogue – UPGRADED VENUE
5 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom – SOLD OUT
7 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst
8 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore – SOLD OUT
10 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre – SOLD OUT
11 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre – SECOND SHOW ADDED
12 – San Diego, Ca – The Observatory – North Park
14 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
15 – Tucson, AZ – 191 Toole
17 – Austin, TX – Stubbs – UPGRADED VENUE; SOLD OUT
18 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater – SOLD OUT
19 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

“Philadelphia Babe” by Flagship – A Song Review

      “Philadelphia Babe” is an affirmative, vocals-driven track with a well-executed transition from a Rock emphasis to an Indie Folk slant. The genre blend is present throughout the song, but the transition is in the formula of the blend. It’s first felt a few seconds before the two-minute mark, when a guitar with Folk/Country sensibilities enters, but stays in the background. By 2:45, the guitar hook is featured, and the song has a Lord Huron vibe within a Flagship texture.

Flagship in SF
     “Philadelphia Babe” is a track from Flagship’s upcoming EP, “The Ladder” (the title track of the EP is embedded in this post). We agree that “"Philadelphia Babe" is a song that makes you move; it is a song that you can relate to, but most importantly, it is a song that helps you break down those walls and makes you feel.”

Flagship in SF
      Flagship has twice graced the stage at perhaps our favorite San Francisco venue – The Independent. On both occasions, the band showed a strong stage presence and an ability to engage with the attendees. The band is made up of Drake Margolnick and Michael Finster from Charlotte, North Carolina. During the two visits to The Independent, the duo was supported by other skilled musicians from the Charlotte area.

     Flagship is preparing to tour with Blue October, another band Indie Obsessive places high on its list of recommended live performers. The tour dates are included in this post.


Lyrics of "Philadelphia Babe" by Flagship
I did not believe
That love would find me
Now I feel it somehow
Philadelphia dreams

I’m telling you the truth
Yeah I've never flown so high
I’m never coming down
Never falling back to ground

No, I cannot believe
How it feels in the city
She’s everything that’s bright
It’s taking over me.

We are gonna fly
High over the rest
Philadelphia love
I feel it in my chest

I have never seen
Anyone so bright
Now I'm never coming down
I’ll never be lost in the night

Now I will never be
Some soul lost in the sea
Yeah now that I have found
Someone that I believe

I’ll give something true
wont give you something fake
I’m never coming down
Never falling back to ground

So the story goes again
And it fucks me up, the best way
Now I'm flying off the page
As you burn so bright

Now I will never be
Some soul lost in the sea
Yeah now that I have found
A love that carries me

I’ll give something true
Won’t give you something fake
I’m never coming down
My Philadelphia babe.

     “The Ladder” by Flagship

Tour Dates with Blue October
4/18 Little Rock, AR - Metroplex
4/19 Louisville, KY - Mercury Ballroom
4/20 Chicago, IL - House of Blues
4/21 Fort Wayne, IN - Piere's
4/22 Flint, MI - Machine Stop
4/25 Niagara Falls, NY - Rapids Theater
4/26 Toronto, ONT - Opera House
4/27 Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
4/29 Wilmington, DE - World Café Live at the Queen
5/2 Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre
5/3 Charlotte, NC - Fillmore
5/4 Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
5/5 Orlando, FL - House of Blues
5/9 Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall
5/10 Baton Rouge, LA - Varsity Theater
5/13 Springfield, MO - Gillian Theatre
5/16 Columbus, OH - Athenaeum
5/17 Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls
5/18 Cincinnati, OH - Bogarts
5/19 Stroudsburg, PA - Sherman Theater
5/20 Baltimore, MD - Baltimore So

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

“Show Me The Way” by Suzi Island – A Song Review

     “Show Me The Way” reflects a sophistication in the expression of youthful exuberance. The song is the debut track from a pair of 19-year-old musicians in Brighton, UK. The instrumental support is assembled in the early portion and intelligently varied throughout the body of the song, including a temporary dismantling that begins around the 2:30 mark. Thus, “Show Me The Way” modestly begins with relatively calm vocals and guitar support, until aggressive percussion enters fourteen seconds into the track. Slightly later, the vocals shift and then the support is fully assembled at 0:45 – but only briefly.  

     Suzi Island is Hugh Reilly-Smith and Matthew Carter. The pair played in bands together prior to moving from Andover to Bristol  to study music. During performances, they are joined by Carlie Randall-Smith and Harvey Norman. “Show Me The Way” was produced and mixed by Pete Robertson of the Vaccines.

     We briefly wondered is the duo felt a connection to the year 1975, when Peter Frampton released a less energetic “Show Me The Way” and Suzi Quatro was in her prime. Alas, it is mere coincidence.

     “Show Me The Way” by Suzi Island 

     This 22-second teaser for the song shows the Suzi Island in performance. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

“Settle” by ARLO – A Song Review

     Some vocalists are able to wrap a listener in an emotion, as though covered by a cloak that brings sensitivity and a sense of shared experience. ARLO has that capability. In the track “Settle,” ARLO tailors the cloak from an admission of vulnerability and a soulful plea for an explanation.  

     ARLO states, “'Settle’ is about doing everything in your power to be loved or wanted. It's full of desperation and hopelessness. It's my most vulnerable moment on record. We all want to be loved by somebody one day. This is real heartbreak filled with real rejection, something I think most people can relate to."

     Similar to “Shake The Room” and other earlier singles from ARLO, “Settle” can be identified as an Electro Soul song with Pop sensibilities. But “Settle” has a greater reliance on piano and a minimalist approach. It is an arrangement that works well for “Settle.”

      After attending Goldsmith University (London), ARLO moved to Harlem for two years. The songwriter/vocalist has returned to the UK and is deservedly becoming a force. 

     “Settle” by ARLO 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

“Peace” by Bryde – A Song Review

     Bryde revealed another track from her upcoming album, “Like An Island.” Expectations soared with the earlier single “To Be Brave.” There isn’t any reason to adjust your sight line. “Peace” again shows Bryde as having skills across a spectrum of force. The track is almost serene at times, but aggressive at others.

      Bryde says of the track, “'Peace' is about the warm glow of two drinks and real connection with another person. It's about the end of anger and the settling calm after a storm. Being able to be entirely yourself and still be liked. I had to make it the loudest track on the album because if something's not a little subversive...”

     Bryde is London-based Sarah Howells, who is originally from the town of Milford Haven in West Wales. According to the Facebook page, the other band members are Jay Chakravorty and John Harris. “Like An Island” is scheduled for release on April 13, 2018.

     “Peace” by Bryde