Archive for ‘The B-Side’

September 8, 2022

The B-Side: Wreath

Y’all remember Midwest emo? Specifically that genre’s version of a power ballad? Sensitive and thoughtful yet still mathy with squiggly guitars and unconventional rhythmic elements? Well, whether you do or you don’t Wreath is here to drop a fine example on your eardrums with “Voodoo Doll.” Patience is a virtue and this one is most upstanding. Slowly building and then receding into quieter moments, all the while teasing a big bombastic release that…never comes. Waves rise and fall throughout and things get churny at the end of the song, but no big crash upon the beach. Musical edging or masters at their craft avoiding an easy payoff? Either way it leaves us feeling funny inside in a good way.

September 1, 2022

The B-Side: InTechnicolour

There was a time when every other song we received was a blatant rip off of Queens of the Stone Age. Some good, some bad, but each one uninspired carbon copies and it frankly was a bummer. The bummer being of course that the desert rock sound is a great sound, and just like the desert itself, one with a lot of different variations of life within it – not just Homme & Co’s most successful venture. Consider our faith in the genre renewed with the arrival of “The Wave” by InTechnicolour. Yes, the tell tale melodic riff-centric approach is here, but it’s done in a way that feels original and a valuable addition to the genre, not just a lift from it. It rocks and we’re hoping this means we’re headed into a desert resurgence, lead by these lads from Brighton.

August 25, 2022

The B-Side: Bad Flamingo

Atmospheric and vibey without sounding gimmicky, “Bees Making Honey” by Bad Flamingo is a sexy strut in a genre that we’re calling Noir Americana. Reverbed guitars and a subtly grooving bass slink and slide over one another like stormy lovers on a dance floor. Do they have knives hidden discreetly upon them? Probably. The vocals play up the sexiness of the track without being obvious or obnoxious about it, and the whole thing is wrapped in the mysterious feel that Bad Flamingo roll with. Wearing Lone Ranger masks and listing themselves as “the one on the left” and “the one on the right,” BF let the music do the talking and the imagination do the walking and we’re all the bit more sexy for it.

August 18, 2022

The B-Side: Reticent Alien

What a cool song. “Get the Picture” by Reticent Alien has a bopping, galloping acoustic guitar core that gives it a unique sense of movement you just don’t hear in songs these days. It pulses and moves things along like a strong current, upon which swim the vocals and lyrics that remind us a bit of one of the all time unsung great songwriters; Michael Penn. It’s one of the coolest combinations we’ve heard in a while, with a distinctly different type of shredding and a top notch song to boot.

August 16, 2022

Tuesday Tip-Off: MoonBell

“Something New” by MoonBell starts off slow and lush, the type of indie ballad we’ve become accustomed to, so it’s an unexpected treat when it blooms with a drum loop and expansive synth pads and does so tastefully. The surprises don’t stop there, a breakdown with a few measures of low brass (tuba perhaps?) and a fast finger picked guitar part make appearances as well, but in all of these things MoonBell does it in a manner where it makes sense. This isn’t switch up just for the sake of switch up, it feels integral and that’s the magic of it all.

August 11, 2022

The B-Side: Joan of Arkansas

Well, well, well, what do we have here? Some perfectly fuzzed out, rough around the edges in just the right way sunshine pop in a grungy indie rock cloak? Just what the doctor ordered. “Erase Me” by Joan of Arkansas has the energy of early Superchunk, but with its own “sludge pop” twist. It is effortlessly catchy and in a better world would be a smash radio single, or at the very least the break out song at Fest this year (we checked, they’re not on the bill, which is a bummer). Luckily for us love don’t cost a thing and neither does smashing that play again button.

August 4, 2022

The B-Side: Bobby JaGGer Jack

We’re pretty simple when it comes to hip-hop. Lyrics and flow. That’s it. Yes, a dope beat and samples are always nice, but if you can’t flow and got nothing original and/or authentic to say we’re not interested (see almost all of emo/cloud hop). Bobby JaGGer Jack has bars and he knows how to spit them. His flow is fast and his declaration of being “built different than the people who say they’re built different” comes off less as bravado and posturing than it does as part self-love and objective fact. Comparing one’s self to greats like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole in a song is not uncommon in hip-hop, but doing it in a song that backs up that statement is.

July 28, 2022

The B-Side: Jimmy Joyride

From Lithuania we get “Expire” from Jimmy Joyride, a mishmash of shoegaze, jangly driving indie and fuzzed out alternative rock that somehow manages to feel both audacious and natural at the same time. On first listen the skipping through styles felt a bit disjointed, but now that we’ve spun it a few times we realize we were the ones out of sync. This is a banger of a song if you can get on it’s level of stitched together beauty. They got chocolate in the peanut butter and we’re all the better for it.

July 21, 2022

The B-Side: Jenny Mayhem

One of the things we look for in a song to be considered for the blog is the instantaneously, undeniable, home run on a gut level reaction. “Karma Tattoo” by Jenny Mayhem is the most instantaneous “of course, duh, yeah” submission we’ve received in a hot minute. A shimmering, hazy, timeless slice of vibes n’ groove that falls neatly between indie pop and indie rock – it’ll make you want to get up and post modern hippie chick dance in a room by yourself. This is the home run that not only escapes the ballpark, but the entire county.

July 14, 2022

The B-Side: Chazei

Bringing the same kind of funky, fantastically fun lack of self seriousness that Bruno and Anderson had on Silk Sonic, Chazei threads the needle between electro funk, alternative pop and underground hip hop on “Head Over Feet.” It’s the type of song that demands prominence on every mixtape (we know they’re called playlists now, but ugh, how sterile – mixtapes forever) and is so damn catchy in so many different genres simultaneously it’ll probably cause you to start a new one just to see what songs you can put with it.

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