Critically acclaimed Austin-based singer-songwriter Matthew Squires has been releasing thoughtful, meandering audible candy for over a decade now. While his work has taken on many forms, his vocal styling and talented lyricism have remained a constant over the years. His latest track “Poor Men Southeast of Portland” was released in January, a self-aware, modern commentary on the American dream.
For context, the song is complete satire, and was written in response to Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond.” From the perspective of “a parallel universe’s version of Oliver Anthony,” Squires takes us on a ride with tortured vocals and a sense of humor that humbly brings a smile to your face, even with how hard everything seems to be right now. Further explains Squires of the song:
This song was written and passionately performed by Anthony Oliver, a parallel universe’s version of Oliver Anthony.
Oliver Anthony told Joe Rogan that he chose ‘Oliver’ as his stage name in honor of his grandfather. He was nostalgic for a more innocent time, when hardworking, God-fearing white men got a little respect (he forgot to mention how that respect was at the expense of everyone else’s, or how it was largely enabled by unions).
Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, Anthony Oliver told Roe Jogan his name was inspired by Casey Anthony. He was nostalgic for a more innocent time, when Americans could still unite around our fleeting spectacles, and weren’t yet confused as to which ones were astroturfed by right wingers.
The lyrics seem like a poignant call for justice. And they are, but in jest regarding privileged white males (who victimize themselves in a world where they have largely benefitted from every oppressive system ever built).
Baby, I’ve been working for too damn long for too little pay Don’t know nothin’ bout Marx or Freud but I know what it’s like to play the role that someone else designed to make someone else’s day but the tree of justice blooms upon the top of every grave
Love’s a lot like dyin’ Love’s a lot like a Pepsi inside a church Love’s a lot like flyin’ Love’s a lot like a heaven encased in Earth Love’s a lot like cryin’ Love’s a lot like the space ‘tween death and birth
Poor men southeast of Portland awake from their American dreams, they enlist into the culture wars to distract them from their screams about how they feel about their shame to look their children in the eyes I guess the tree of justice blooms upon the question “why?”
The unique way Squires expresses his rage is entertaining, and honestly an earworm. Check out the track below.
English indie rock outfit The Vaccines – made up of Árni Árnason (bass, vocals), Yoann Intonti (drums), Justin Young (lead vocals, guitars) and Timothy Lanham (guitars, keys, vocals) – dropped a track today that, at first look, could be considered misleading. The title “Love To Walk Away” gives off the impression that the song will be a positive one, perhaps one about finding empowerment in walking away. However, the lyrics come from the perspective of an outsider – an assumed lover – who is experiencing grief as the result of a crumbling relationship. They watch the runner prepare to run. With lyrics like “How come you’re always leaving?” it is implied that this is patterned behavior.
Sonically, there is a sunny disposition that just does not align with the lyrics, almost making the contemplative message more palatable. (Hey, who really loves confrontation or existentialism THAT MUCH?)
Says Young of the release, co-written with Andrew Wells: “This is the song responsible for the album’s direction sonically and thematically. Given the record’s central theme is not knowing what direction you’re headed in, it feels poignant that the music was so sure of itself so quickly.”
Check it out below.
The Vaccines 2024 US Tour Dates with The Kooks Feb 29 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle Mar 1 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel Mar 2 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall Mar 4 – Toronto, ON @ QET History Mar 5 – Montreal, QB @ Mtelus Mar 6 – Albany, NY @ Empire Mar 8 – Boston, MA @ MGM Fenway Mar 9 – Philadelphia, PA @ Fillmore Mar 11 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 Mar 12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel Mar 13 – Washington DC @ Anthem Mar 15 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Mar 16 – Minneapolis, MN @ Filmore Mar 18 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore Mar 19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Union Mar 21 – Los Angeles, CA @ Palladium Mar 22 – San Francisco, CA @ Fox Theatre
If you’re looking for a warm hug in the middle of this frigid (in some places, trust us) day, look no further than the latest masterpiece from queer folk-Americana duo Mouths of Babes. The duo – comprised of Ty Greenstein (of Girlyman) and Ingrid Elizabeth (of Coyote Grace) – recently released their sophomore full-length, World Brand New.
Today, they launch the title track’s music video – a gorgeous day in the life, really – and we are thrilled to be the premiere spot. Explains Greenstein of the album as a whole:
I wrote World Brand New in 2020 during lockdown. After years of touring constantly, we were trapped in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Berkeley. To our surprise, being forced to stay home was a relief. For the first time, the whole world prioritized rest and safety. We found ourselves delighting in simple activities: listening to records, hanging out with dogs, taking walks, playing guitars.
While we aren’t exactly ready to celebrate the new year quite yet, this song lifts the expectations for the slow, quiet respite of the holiday season. The sunshine in the music video – which features the duo and a dog, making the world their happy place – really drives home the idea that life can be simple and fun.
The slower pace of life made total sense to us both and reminded us of parts of ourselves and of life that we missed. With this video, we wanted to capture that feeling of just being humans without a lot of expectations and enjoying the analog joys of the world. Fortunately, we had a complete blast making the video with Skyler (Jenkins), so all the shots of us cracking up and making googly eyes at each other are 100% authentic.
Further expands the duo: “We felt like this video needed a dog to be complete, but sadly our dog Kali passed away last November. So we borrowed our videographer Skyler’s sweet senior pup July and she did a bangup job! Her slow, chill energy was perfect for the vibe of ‘World Brand New’ and we were fine with her stealing the show.”
Beauty can be found in the small moments, and this season we are truly ready to experience it all. (With the help of Mouths of Babes, of course.)
Well, it seems as though the cold weather is calling. And honestly, it’s been a minute since we curated a soundtrack for your everyday life that pulls in a multitude of brand-new tracks from a variety of genres. We’ve been plotting and scheming for 2024 and, in the meantime, want to ensure we are continuing to bring the best new music finds directly to you. Thank you for your continued friendship and inspiration as a part of this artistic, joyful community.
Well, since we are well overdue, let’s get to it. We scraped around several of our (incredibly full) inboxes. Then we sifted through an abundance of music groups and Google updates. Admittedly, we found some pretty incredible new audible art. The tone of each track brings with it a sense of appreciation. Be it a celebration, an examination of the soul, or a story of love — for anything, really. Some of the most impactful work we have heard lately has included vocal-free tracks. These have allowed us to embrace the magic of man-made instrument, and, often, to indulge in the way said instruments engage with silence.
Alt-rock outfit We The Kings – yes, THAT We The Kings – recently signed to Graveboy Records. The momentous partnership is marked with the release of their latest work, a single titled “Alien.” The song begins with a melancholic feel, rectified by a quintessential upbeat, fast-paced chorus. “We’re all just a bunch of kids who feel like aliens searching for the answer to the question – ‘does anybody else feel like I do,’” shares lead singer Travis Clark.
One part anthem and one part inquiry, “Alien” seeks the match to our souls, any minor detail to connect us to others. It asks everyone who feels “other” to be proud. The song itself seeks similarities in the irregularities and differences. Combine this journey with relatable lyrics and a catchy tune, and this release is poised for charting success.
“Every few albums or so I get a strong feeling about a song,” says Clark. “It’s hard to explain, but the last 2 times I felt this way were with ‘Check Yes Juliet’ and ‘Sad Song’. I have that same feeling about “Alien” so only time will tell what that means!”
Get ready to crank up the volume and dive into the electrifying world of rock with IRONTOM‘s ‘SUPER//STAR.’ This high-energy track is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, fueled by edgy guitar riffs, pulsating rhythms, and a captivating vocal delivery that demands your attention from the get-go.
From the moment the first chords hit, ‘SUPER//STAR’ sets the stage for an exhilarating musical journey. The lyrics oscillate between bold self-confidence and introspective vulnerability, creating a dynamic contrast that draws listeners in. The repeated chorus, declaring the speaker as a ‘superstar,’ echoes with anthemic power, making it impossible not to get caught up in the hype.
IRONTOM‘s masterful fusion of rock elements and electronic textures adds a modern twist to the song, creating a sound that’s both familiar and fresh. The band’s tight instrumentation, combined with the lead singer’s charismatic delivery, captures the essence of rock ‘n’ roll energy. The way the track builds, combining catchy hooks with an explosive chorus, makes it an instant earworm that’s bound to leave you singing along.
What makes ‘SUPER//STAR’ truly shine is its ability to encapsulate the allure and complexities of fame in a single track. The lyrics dive into themes of love, betrayal, and the pursuit of recognition, painting a vivid picture of the highs and lows that come with the superstar lifestyle. The song’s clever blend of sarcasm and genuine emotion adds layers to the narrative, inviting listeners to consider the various facets of the ‘superstar’ identity.
Overall, ‘SUPER//STAR’ by IRONTOM is a rock anthem that doesn’t just rock your speakers—it rocks your world. Its infectious energy, magnetic lyrics, and skillful musical arrangement come together to create a track that’s as hype-inducing as it is thought-provoking. Whether you’re a rock enthusiast or simply a fan of high-octane music, this song is a must-listen that will have you hitting the replay button again and again.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES 9/22 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe* 10/3 – Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater* 10/7 – Ventura, CA – Majestic Ventura Theater* 10/19 – Los Angeles, CA – Moroccan Lounge (album release show) 10/31 – San Jose, Costa Rica – Estadio Nacional # 11/4 – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil – Estádio Engenhão Nilton # 11/7 – Brasilia, Brazil – Arena BSB Mané Garrincha # 11/10 – São Paulo, Brazil – Estádio Do Morumbi # 11/13 – Curitiba, Brazil – Estádio Couto Pereira # 11/16 – Porto Alegre, Brazil – Arena Do Grêmio # 11/19 – Santiago, Chile – Movistar Arena # 11/21 – Santiago, Chile – Movistar Arena # 11/24 – Buenos Aires, Argentina – Estadio River Plate # 11/26 – Buenos Aires, Argentina – Estadio River Plate #