Archive for ‘The B-Side’

June 17, 2021

The B-Side: Unfound Reliance

No one should be surprised when an absolute banger of a metal song is released from Sweden, it’s basically their number one export, but a lack of surprise does not make for a lack of “oh hell yeah!” “Legacy” by Unfound Reliance rips from start to finish. Brutal and melodic it’s everything we love about metal in one tight package. Turn it up and then turn it up some more.

June 16, 2021

The B-Side: James Lockhart Jr.

“Long Life” by James Lockart Jr. ebbs and flows like the flow of time itself, which given the subject matter is fitting. Sometimes a steady march, sometimes a long contemplative pause, and through it all a kind of knowing nod, beautiful and perhaps a bit wistful. Lockhart’s vocals carry the same gorgeous melancholy as Loren Beri, that sophisticated blend of Chris Martin’s heart on sleeve approach and Rufus Wainwright’s urbane detachment. This song feels like contentment after a long journey; one with challenges and disappointments but also grace and humor.

June 15, 2021

The B-Side: The Paper Airport

With “Turning” The Paper Airport give us a perfect mid-tempo indie rock number that marries the vulnerability of a ballad with the riffs and beat of a gentle, fist pumping anthem. This is the song you dance to alone in your room to celebrate the small victory: the smile from a crush, the good day you didn’t have to use your AK, etc… Put it on your positivity playlist and feel the good vibes.

June 14, 2021

The B-Side: Yellow Shoots

Perfectly blending pop leaning indie electronica with legitimately freaky psych flourishes, “Sirens” by Yellow Shoots feels a bit like a Ween song given the superstar producer remix treatment, and if that isn’t enough to get you to check it out well then I’m not sure what will. It’s fun, it’s grooves and it’s weird enough to stand out on any mix you put it on.

June 3, 2021

The B-Side: Max MacLaury

We’ve been seeing a trend of late with Americana releases sent our way, and that is an embracing of a more relaxed song structure, a movement away from the tight confines of the honky tonk and the hushed front porch confessions and into something a bit more loose and wide open. A lot of the times that manifests itself in a journey toward the psychedelic (best embodied by Leon III’s genre blending masterpiece Antlers in Velvet that came out earlier this year) and then there’s Max MacLaury‘s “Cut From The Same Cloth.” MacLaury doesn’t throw any curve balls at you, nor whips the song into an unexpected left turn, he just simply pops the top off of it and lets it breathe and stretch its legs a bit, to great effect. It gives the song a kind of natural cinematic openness that matches MacLaury’s vocals which sit perfectly between a classic country croon and roots rock attitude, and has us playing this one on repeat.

June 2, 2021

The B-Side: Oh Condor

Fuzzed out 90’s influenced indie rock will always have a special place in our heart and Oh Condor has just planted their flag there with “Bending Negative.” There’s a healthy Mascis/Barlow-ness going on here musically, with overdriven guitars riding above a loose groove that give it a decidedly slacker rock vibe, but vocally Oh Condor gives us a bit more verve and pep than is usually associated with that genre. It’s both familiar and fresh at the same time and reminds us that grunge was never a fad, it was just an evolution of the timelessness that is rock n roll.

June 1, 2021

The B-Side: The Daily Spreadsheets

Maybe it’s the fresh ears we’re sporting after taking a few weeks off, but hot damn does this number from The Daily Spreadsheets sound good. Its classic bedroom rock mixing British Invasion rock with 70’s power pop and it stands shoulder to shoulder with Uncle Bob and the rest of the boys in Guided by Voices. Don’t over think it. Just turn it up and let the easy melodies take you there.

May 14, 2021

The B-Side: Cody Uhler

Whether you call it 8-Bit Rock, Glitchpop or Super Nintendo Shredding (no one calls it that, but they should) you know it when you hear it. The instantly recognizable bleeps and bloops of our youth re-contextualized into classic pop, rock, punk, metal or hip hop song structures. It’s usually at least a little silly and always a lot of fun, but seldom is it as sophisticated as “Fairy Tech” from Cody Uhler is. This is less of an appropriation of video game culture for pop exploitation than it is an original composition that could serve as the coolest soundtrack to the coolest level on the coolest game. The power ups and extra lives are strong with this one.

May 13, 2021

The B-Side: 81355

Indianapolis super group 81355 (pronounced BLESS) brings together Oreo Jones, Sirius Blvck, and David “Moose” Adamson for a project that can be best described as adventurous hip hop. Jones and Blvck’s flow and lyricism are as good as it gets, and Adamson’s hook is haunting and hypnotic. The production keeps things interesting, combining a tinkly music box vibe with the occasional tuneful but none the less trunk rattling boom progression. All in all it’s an incredibly inventive and musical approach that still checks all the boxes hip hop heads want.

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May 12, 2021

The B-Side: New Candys

With “Zyko” the New Candys show that you can keep it simple and still be engaging and rocking. Most of the song is built on a repetitive 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 down beat that you would usually hear as an intro or build up to an explosive chorus, but here it’s the groundwork for the whole song. Sure they add and remove layers and guitars move in and out, but most of the band most of the time is playing that simple, driving rhythm. The overall effect is one of the same effortless cool of the 80’s shoegaze movement, just don’t try to dance along.

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