Twenty-year-old Caroline Culver’s new single “I Went Out With A Man” is an ironic lesson in enjoying disappointment in the form of a mesmerizingly moody anthem. Culver recounts her experience going out with a man in his late twenties and finding that her expectation that he would be any more mature or exciting than a boy her own age to be unfulfilled. Recorded and produced by Jason Cummings at the Cutting Room Studios in NYC, “I Went Out With A Man” uses Culver’s foundation as a singer-songwriter as a jumping-off point, exploring stately vocal lines superimposed on top of introspective soundscapes. The resulting atmospheric sound echoes that of bands like Alvvays and Soccer Mommy, but the distorted guitars and crashing cymbals give Culver a bit of an edge. Her powerful voice perfectly encapsulates the saturnine disenchantment of this song both in the softer verses and the grandiose choruses. Each melody line is surprising, compelling the listener as Culver’s voice flits upwards at the ends of words.
About the song, Culver says “Ultimately, this song is an anthem for single girls dating around in their twenties and all the excitement it brings.” So while the underlying emotion behind “I Went Out With A Man” is a sense of disappointment, it’s also a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the exhilaration that comes with a young girl finding her way.
Melted Bodies released its full-length debut album, Enjoy Yourself, via Sweatband Records. The energy is high and there is a groove that flows through each song into the next, although each has its own unique style. The Los Angeles-based band creates music that goes beyond just the genre of rock, there are different elements throughout that make their sound unique. For those who might not typically listen to metal, it can be hard to differentiate from the music in the genre, but Melted Bodies stand out. Whether it is elements of traditional heavy metal, thrash metal or small hints of electronic and indie rock, the quartet will surprise you with each song.
The production across all 10 tracks is consistent and binds everything together. Starting with a crescendo into “Eat Cops”, sets the tone for all that follows. “99 Scents” raises the bar; ramping up the speed and aggression. “Phone Tumor” is less aggressive and a song I would recommend to listen to first if you aren’t familiar with metal. Similarly, “The Rat” has a chorus that has a riff reminiscent of rock bands like The Strokes, but quickly transitions back to their metal comfort zone. It is the song that I think will stick out to people and one that will call them back to listen closer to. “Ad People” comes with a clever video on YouTube that spoofs vapid Internet content spewing culture. “The Abbot Kinney Pedophiles” flows into “Helplessness” without you even realizing, with a slow tempo opposite of the typical fast-paced sound. “Meat Cleanse” is the perfect finale for the album. It is seven minutes long and encompasses each of the elements visited in each song, without being too much. With solid riffs and true consistency between songs, Melted Bodies created something bound to leave an impact. Enjoy Yourself isn’t just the title, it is a message from the band.
Rising anti-pop star Dava is once again enchanting her listeners, channeling her unique brand of offbeat pop in her new single “Papercut”, the latest off her upcoming EP, Sticky. The left-of-center pop newcomer turned to music after her mom passed away when she was only 8, finding solace in writing songs on a guitar that her mother gave her. She grew up between Texas and Oklahoma, but has since moved to Colorado to build her career. Releasing tracks on SoundCloud and taking advantage of coffeehouse open mics earned Dava a substantial grassroots following, her warm R&B sound appealing to a wide audience. With “Papercut”, Dava further explores the sonic space she has created for herself. Its soulful and tangible pop sound feels like a cozy blanket wrapped around the listener. Dava’s vocals are delicately produced in a way that serves to augment her natural talent. As a whole, the track has this soothing, relaxed vibe to it. The verse melodies gently propel you along while the echoing choruses envelop you in static, yet infectious layers of the phrase “you’re just a papercut.”
Dava’s music is eccentric, yet feels instantly familiar when it hits your ears. It’s no wonder that her two previously released singles, “ASOS” and “Right Time”, have highlighted the emerging artist as one to watch. Sink into “Papercut” today.
Home Remedy tackles current issues, but gives you feelings of nostalgia with their sound. This album is the first release for Sundressed under their new label Rude Records. The indie-punk band has a sound similar to Modern Baseball, Weezer and All Time Low. The 11 tracks LP follows the 2017 release, A Little Less Put Together, and is a fresh, new sound for the band. Produced by Mike Pepe (Taking Back Sunday, Wasi), the highly anticipated album is finally out. Frontman Trevor Hedges said, “Home Remedy is a record about getting better by any means necessary. Despite many setbacks, I truly believe we were able to make our most authentic and honest record yet.”
Hedges along with AJ Peacox (guitar), Vic Chan (drums), Matthew Graham and Justin Portillo are putting their best foot forward with “Home Remedy”. The title track is everything you would want from the band and more. It is a cathartic release that is meant to be put on at full volume. Fans have been quick to praise the other singles, “Oh Please” and “Size of my Heart”, off the album. “Is This a Drug?” is the song that caught my attention the most. The lyrics are begging to be heard and belted back at the track; you can envision how this track would perform at a concert.
The Atlanta-based band rock out on “The Facts” and “Explode! (Into Pieces)” with strong guitar riffs and drums. Things get serious on “Cash Out”, which tackles the issues of money, insurance and mental health; “Is this the reason why we’re dying? / it’s probably more affordable so just stop trying”. Hedges explains that “Your Frequency”, “is about the “side-hustle” culture. How it’s never okay to relax, how something always comes up when you’re almost ahead. This song is about the desire to have less worry about essential needs and have more time to be human.” All the tracks are honest and catchy at the same time, without being cheesy. Listening to Home Remedy it is easy to see the effort and time put into crafting these tracks.
What started as Hedges project in 2012 to help maintain his sobriety has turned into a place for others to find comfort in themselves. The band tries to make an impact with their music and pushes listeners to keep moving forward. In this record, Sundressed focuses on topics like frustrations with money, hustle culture and mental health issues. While being relevant with the lyrics, there is something about their sound that isn’t forced and feels warm. If you are looking for a sign to listen to Home Remedy, this is it. This is the sign.
Local Nomad took to our virtual stage for A Night w/ One in a Million Media: Imperfect Fifth’s Anniversary. With minor microphone problems and a lot of passion, the performance is what music is all about. With just a guitar in hand and a microphone, there was a feeling like you were at an intimate, acoustic concert. Watching an artist perform takes you out of the moment and transported to a different world, which is what happened here. If you weren’t a fan of Local Nomad yet, you definitely are now. Starting out with “Love is Gone”, off the EP LOCAL NOMAD, it is easy to tell that Mike Desmond loves what he does. Throughout the set, there is a fire behind his voice that ignites the lyrics and brings the songs to life. He plays three more songs, and talks about his decision not to play a Leonard Cohen song. With the help of his friend James, the set was a real success and gives you that feeling you might be missing from seeing live shows. If you have around 20 minutes and missed the original stream, check out Local Nomad’s performance below.
“Spotlight” is the latest single off Brit Drozda’s upcoming EP Seashells & Stories. It is an anthem to friendship, celebrating a selfless friend finally finding her truth. The lyrics are reflective and full of heart, shining a light on the kind of artist Drozda is. Not only was this song written about a friend, but it has the power to reach the listener as if the song is about them. “I had a very close friend share a truth with me that allowed me to see her in a whole new light. Watching her come into her own, made me so proud and happy for her. I felt like I was watching her step into a spotlight and own this stage of her life,” Drozda said.
Nowadays more and more music is coming out that is meant to empower and support people. Drozda is a great example of how and why this type of music works. On the EP, she worked with producer Scott Jacoby (Coldplay, Vampire Weekend) who helped transform the songs into a more distinctive and three-dimensional expression. The single “Spotlight” is accompanied with a lyric video with art by Windy O’Connor that brings the words to life. During the challenging times we are facing, take time to support your friends and listen to “Spotlight”. Who knows, you could be giving someone the boost you never knew they needed.
Have you ever heard of Transylvanian salsa? Me neither, until Sacramento-based artist Dutch Falconi’s new single “Ride With Me” crossed my path. As you might have guessed, the music of this wildly unorthodox composer exists entirely outside the norm, taking the form of cohesive and border-transcending instrumental pieces. But while Falconi is off breaking boundaries and crossing into new territories, he also delicately pays attention to what his notes are saying: “When you think about writing instrumentals, you realize that if you take away the dimension of having a vocal as a bridge to people who aren’t musicians, you restrict the palette, then you have to figure out a way to really make the instruments say something.” But rather than words, “Ride With Me” speaks in images. Coming from a place of disillusionment and drudgery, Falconi pictures a spirited escape on horseback from the ordinary details of life, but for myself the Transylvanian connection and the dark, yet slightly groovy undertones of the track firmly implant in my mind the brooding scene of a sophisticated vampire function. In any case, “Ride With Me” is offered as an anthem to those seeking a better life. It’s easy to escape from reality in the layers and layers of unusual instruments that I’m not even going to tryto name. Just know that there are many, they all have their own unique sound, and they are intricately layered and mixed together to achieve a form of sonic enlightenment. On the surface notes may crash into one another and get into a jumble, but underneath there’s this distinct and smooth harmonic framework and danceable percussion that holds everything together. The syncopated beats are somewhat disjunct, yet easy to follow.
Because of its noticeable focus on layers, “Ride With Me” is a testament to Falconi’s compositional technique: writing songs piece by piece, folding instrumental tracks on top of each other to create a thickly woven tapestry of sound that is as jolting as it is remarkable. Though it was written as an antidote to Falconi’s own disenchantment, he offers it to the entire world, and he hopes that it translates well into something his audience can appreciate. He explains “That’s the hardest thing about making instrumental music when you’re multi-tracking all the instruments yourself. I don’t know whether I’m speaking to the audience with my instrumental music because I’m so intimately involved in it. It speaks to me because I’m speaking to myself. Hopefully, I’m not the only one listening.” Well, let me tell you Falconi: we hear you. So keep up your peculiarly bewitching endeavours, your listeners will be captivated from the moment that first layer of sound unravels in their ears.
On July 10th, the world was graced with an invigorating and indulgent album Souvenirs, Vol. 1 from alt-pop geniuses Paper Jackets. High energy, songs that take you away to that vacation you didn’t get in the middle of the pandemic, that sort of incredibly magic work that makes us all smile just thinking about it. But the music is introspective, vulnerable, and intrinsically relatable. We are smitten. Thinking about it, we are all the more pleased to premiere the virtual performance video of the band singing “What They Call a Life” from their respective homes. Says the band of the song:
A virtual version of us for this unforeseen age! We are telling a story about the human condition, how no one is ever really OK and how we’re all learning to cope in life. It’s about hope, clarity, the need to have a voice and, I think most of all, the promise of having a legacy. I think the biggest fear in our hearts is being forgotten, and even though nothing truly lasts forever, it is impossible sometimes to comprehend. “What They Call A Life” is about having strength while you’re here in this life, keeping friends and family close and being present. The song is a reflection of the darkest fears and brightest hopes.
With that in mind, the video couldn’t have been done any differently. So turn it on, turn it up, and have a moment of community with everyone, because this song and its message apply to everyone.