Going in to record their latest collection of “existential psychedelic soul music”, Saroon had to get the tape ready. This is to say that every head-turning moment of their new album, Our Transparent Future, was recorded to tape. But the method of recording isn’t the only unique part of this record. From vocal style to the overall highs and lows that it reaches, Saroon have crafted a unique record.
“Masters of the Road” illustrates this with ease. Here, you are reminded that despite social expectations, we are in charge of so much, yet we miss out because we are trapped in the cycle of doing things the “right” way. Mostly consisting of soft-spoken lyrics and a gentle guitar that speeds up towards the end, it has all the elements of a classic folk song. Immediately following is “Old Fashioned Protest Song”, which actually seems to focus on the things we as humans have less control of. Simply put, Saroon call into question those who put money ahead of more important and worthy causes. Seemingly calling attention to current social movements, they make it a point to reject the idea that we should just stand by and let ignorance win. One of the final songs, “Golden Age”, is both a reflection on the past and a nod to the present, urging us to think of the current moment as the height of our lives.
Our Transparent Future makes its way to various corners of life, all which come together to form an idea for what the future may look like not only for the world, but for individuals. It remains hopeful while not shying away from the heartbreak and struggles that come with being human.
Principle songwriter Ayal Alves explains: “There’s always the element of hope to it, and an acknowledgement that the nature of reality is that there is pain and suffering. The relationship between those two things is a transformational process.”
Samantha Margret’s newest release is a badass anthem for those who have experienced frustration when talking to someone who thinks they are more “woke” than they are. Margret was inspired by a man who claimed to be a feminist, while his actions seemed to fall short of these claims.
The video reflects the fierceness of the lyrics. With a dark theme present in both the song and the video, Margret takes no prisoners as she exposes the hypocrisy in identifying as feminist while having no issue talking down to the people you claim to support. Perhaps the most defining moments are the close-up shots of her face, letting the viewer know that she is an unapologetic boss who is not willing to put up with being patronized. In every way, it is a gripping visual that asks the viewer to sacrifice comfort in exchange for real commentary on being a woman in 2020.
Margret says of the experience that led to the track:
Sometimes it cuts deeper when that kind of patriarchal hurt comes from someone you think is on your team. I think of myself as really outspoken and try to be the first to speak up when another woman is in trouble, but I sometimes have trouble when the comments are directed at me.
Eddy Lee Ryder has released her brand-new music video for her awe-inspiring song, “Vultures”. With a visual that flashes between color and black and white, Ryder compares her lover to a vulture, presumably as a metaphor for somebody who takes so much without giving a lot in return. The video seems to represent the very end of a relationship, perhaps the moment she has come to the realization that she was not fulfilled the way she should be. Because the video takes place almost entirely in the car, one may infer that this symbolizes an attempt to move away from a relationship that is harming her. Also significant is a broken-down car that leaves her stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. This seemingly suggests that she isn’t able to leave the relationship like she once thought. This inability to leave illustrates the struggles of toxic romance in a rather poignant way.
We got to speak with Ryder briefly leading up to the new release.
What was your first musical memory, or the first album you remember listening to?
When I was growing up, I only loved new, mainstream pop music. I remember being pretty obsessed with The Coors song, “Leave Me Breathless,” specifically that yodel. On the way to a day of skiing with my dad, I made him listen to that song for about two hours straight. Finally, he was like, “This is the last time, then my old people music.” He put on “Solsberry Hill” by Peter Gabriel. That song hit me like a ton of bricks… and I was hooked on classic rock from that moment.
What, specifically, inspired “Vultures”?
I wrote the first line about four or five years before I actually finished the song, so I knew I had the mood down before I figured out what the rest of the lyrics would eventually be. Around the start of the #MeToo movement, I was involved with a guy I thought wouldn’t treat me the way other men in the past had. As the story goes, he ended up treating me worse. He was slowly taking from me, and I felt picked apart. Once I realized that, I wrote the song in about ten minutes.
The colors used in the video are gorgeous. Where did the concept for the video come from?
The concept of the music video was loosely based on The Birds. I wanted a very 1960s Hitchcockian mood. I wanted to be stalked by these vultures, which represent men in my life that I’ve known who have torn pieces of me away, little by little, the way that vultures do. The color palette was referential of vintage Hitchcock, and glitches that happen throughout are meant to segway from color to black and white to represent what’s being taken away by the vultures.
Any fun anecdotes from set?
We had one day to shoot this video due to time constraints, so it had to be done very fast. Because of this, in the aerial shots, there was a body double for me. The body double was a tall, slender man in a wig who offered up his car for the video. But probably the highlight of our stay, we were filming in California, and I booked a beautiful AirBnB that was reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. When we got there, the Lyft driver dropped us off at the wrong place, so we had to lug our luggage–costumes and bags–up an incredible hill until we found the right place. That should have been the first sign of something ominous.
But when my stylist (and good friend) and I got there, we saw a puddle of blood splatter by the pool. We started calling my then-manager, who had supposedly checked in before us, but he wasn’t picking up. We both huddled in a corner in case there was a murderer on the loose for a long time, afraid to actually go in. We were prepared to cancel the shoot because we were convinced my then-manager had died. We called the police, and saw helicopters overhead. Turns out, my then-manager just left his phone charging in a different room, and was fine, so we figured we’d just ignore the blood splatters and check-in. In the meantime, the director and producer who we had yet to meet were well aware of the possible murder story that was unfolding; and I don’t think there is a better way to meet new people!
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I have a lot of new music in the pipeline. I’ve been writing nonstop, and I have been developing a concept album. If you like “Vultures,” I think you’ll be really excited for what’s to come!
Ryder channels the experience of reflecting on a former relationship into a beautiful and heartbreaking visual with “Vultures”. Check out the official premiere below.
In the new music video for his song “My Mind”, Trent Toney creates an intriguing visual where he and the subject of all of his woes are replaced by two stuffed animals. This silly interpretation of the track should not take away from the heartbreaking words that he sings, however. In the simplest sense, it is a breakup song. With a dominant guitar, Toney sings about how unbearable it is to go on without his former love. At first glance, it might seem like using stuffed animals takes away from the sadness of the lyrics.
When listening and watching further, the song is loud and clear about how heartbreaking it is to go through a breakup. The video paints this picture well. From going through an old pile of photos from the relationship to trying to keep oneself busy by doing household chores or taking a long drive, Toney does an incredible job of creating imagery that the viewer can identify with. Through a blend of lighthearted storytelling and heart wrenching lyrics, this video is the perfect balance of emotions. It is also a great reminder that animals make perfect music video stars.
Heartfelt songstress Jessie Wagner is revving up to release her new, gorgeous, love-induced track “My Darlin, My Dear” tomorrow. As someone with quite an impressive musical resume, Wagner really knows how to create an ambiance, as she frames a very relatable and unfortunate experience in an enchanting way. Admits the artist of the track:
There’s always that guy that you know is no good for you, but you keep going back anyway. This song is an amalgamation of the guys I wished would love me and not just keep me around for convenience.
To really feel the emotions that went into this track, one must experience it. So check out our premiere of the lyric video below, and try to convince us we aren’t burning a candle and playing it on the big screen on repeat all evening!
“My Darlin, My Dear” is out tomorrow. You can pre-save the track here.
Though his sound has been shaped and mastered over years of musicianship, John Shipe’s greatest collection of work comes, arguably, with his new release, a full-length titled The Beast Is Back. His twelfth release, Shipe has poured what seems to be his entire heart and soul into it. Though most of this release edges on a lighter feel instrumentally – we admit, there are some heavy topics involved here -, Shipe makes sure to pay homage to his blues roots with songs like “Jesus” and “Cosmic Repo Blues”. Meanwhile, his relatable life experiences are palpable in his lyricism, a factor we have always been partial to.
John’s struggle to be as vulnerable as possible really makes each one of these masterpiece songs that much more heart-wrenching. Admits Shipe:
This is the album of my life. I may not make another one because I may not have anything left in me. My experience in recovery—both as an alcoholic and an artist—brought me to places of brutal honesty, and it has been exhausting.
This extensive collection is so well done, from beginning to end. Experience The Beast is Back in its entirety below, and let us know what you appreciate about the album on our Facebook page!