Skirts-Always

Skirts-Always was written out of heartache.Despite the tension, it leaves the listener with a soothing and gentle calm

photo by Charles Knowles

Alex Montenegro is behind the band, Skirts. She is a young talented songwriter from Dallas, Texas, and even though she has been releasing music since 2017, her latest album Great Big Wild Oak has garnished some serious attention. Her first release from the album was “Always”, a low fi, soft, hazy, dreamer of a song. The melting guitar adds texture and depth to the bittersweetness of the tune. There is a soothing quality to every intonation and a calming feel to the music. Skirts has a real vibe that I am loving right now…a must listen.

Skirts-Always

“You wanted to mention
That I left a lasting impression
But I watched you walk away
Step into a house that isn’t mine

Take a breather, step to the side
I look for you in every eye
I turn left when the light is red
I hope it’s you who slams on the brake

Can’t always be the right one for them”

Jay Som-Pirouette

“Pirouette” exemplifies Jay Som’s signature guitar fuzz, soft hazy vocals, and contemplative lyrics.

Listen…

Donna is only one of many waiting, worrying, and wishing for answers and a different outcome…an outcome where health is restored and the normalcy of everyday life can return.

Today I sat with my simple lunch in a waiting area tucked away from the everyday hubbub of the space I was becoming all too familiar with. Despite it being a new wing, not many traveled through the automatic doors or sat upon the comfortable leather chairs. I discovered it the last time I was here a couple of weeks ago, and remembered the peace and tranquility that surrounded it. I couldn’t help but appreciate looking out at the sky through the giant windows that were an oddity in the hospital. It’s sky view was a luxury in a place where patients tend to lie in dark quiet rooms to heal, and contrasting fluorescent lights blind you when you venture outside of those, down the crazy maze of halls.

As I looked out at the gray scene, I spotted a well dressed woman in full makeup and carefully coiffed hair. She was dropped off at the door, while I finished the last bites of my tasteless lunch. A carefully placed cane used to stabilize her cautious slow steps forward, proceeded her as she stepped into the lounging area. She and I were the only ones in the large, almost cavernous space, and I looked up to smile and greet her when she let out a loud breathy sigh at her journey’s end. She smiled back and after introducing herself as Donna and exchanging pleasantries of the day, she spoke to me in hushed cautious tones about her family’s tragic health dilemmas.

Cancer

She just finished chemo treatment, her husband would likely not recover from liver cancer, and they were visiting her young, newly married son who was in surgery for multiple growths on his spine.

We bonded in the many weighty minutes that unfolded in front of us, and eventually ended our conversation with a shared exchange of prayers, well wishes, and hope for peace.

I dropped my head in heartache after she left. Then, after quiet contemplation, the realization of her powerful inner strength began to take hold of me. I then slowly lifted my head and looked out at the scene through the windows again. But this time, instead of the gray skies and the spitting rain that seemed to never let up, I spotted a beautiful hint of spring.

 

Was it a sign of hope, and renewal? I stood up and made my way outside to experience it up close and breathe in the beauty of the early blossoming redbud tree.

It wasn’t an answer to my many difficult questions, but it brought me a moment of distraction and satisfying relief.

As I sifted through new music tonight, I worried I might not find a song that expressed my mood today. Then, I miraculously heard this song.

How can I not be in awe of music which speaks to me so perfectly? I hope it speaks to you.

Jay Som-Pirouette

“Drink feels good, but it feels so rough
There’s room for calm when the going gets tough
So empty and blue, a beaten heart aches
For more and more and more

[Chorus]
Ah-ah-ah, backwards again
Ah-ah-ah, back to the sins
I pray for answers beneath the moon

[Verse 2]
Sinking moon sits on our heads
Why do we try when it’s all pretend?
Ashamed of use, can’t get out of bed ‘cause
Sleep’s a must, it’s our best friend

[Bridge]
Our bodies crease and piece
Release buried beneath
The time will come when all is done
Moon will sleep with the tides

[Chorus]
Ah-ah-ah, backwards again
Ah-ah-ah, back to the sins
I pray for answers beneath the moon
I pray for answers beneath the moon
I pray for answers beneath the moon
Beneath the moon

[Chorus]
Ah-ah-ah, backwards again
Ah-ah-ah, back to the sins
I pray for answers beneath the moon
I pray for answers beneath the moon
I pray for answers beneath”

 

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Jay Som represents Melina Duterte, a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist out of Oakland. The name, Jay Som, is what Duterte randomly found via an online baby name generator meaning “Victory Moon.”

After much success from her album last year, Everybody Works, she recently released a new 7 inch via Polyvinyl Records with two tracks that she felt didn’t really fit on the album. “Pirouette” was one song and “O.K., Meet Me Underwater” was the other.

According to a press statement from Jay Som,

“Both of these tracks were made during the spring of 2016 – the first demo stages for Everybody Works. They were fun to write and record but felt out of place on the track list during the finalization of the album. These tracks remain close to my heart and I’m really grateful they’re finally out in the world.”

“Pirouette” exemplifies Jay Som’s signature guitar fuzz, soft hazy vocals, and contemplative lyrics. Ending in almost two minutes of instrumentals, it captures a mantra of sound that hypnotizes and captivates the listener. As I play it on repeat, I recognize the whirl of music to be balanced and resplendent like the pirouette of a  ballerina. Raw in its aural intensity, the music provides a backdrop for the much needed answers we all seem to long for, at one time or another.

 

 Check it out and click to learn more…

Jay Som  Facebook,  Instagram, and  Twitter

 

 

 

Soy Christmas-Get Upset

What begins as a simple guitar strum, moves to a conversational confession, and then shifts to a chorus of woos and powerful lyrics.

Mood Monday…Damn.

Limits.

A limit is a silent quiet line that dances inside and then one day it rears its ugly head. My limits are pretty negotiable. I lose myself in caring for those around me, I ask, I listen, and I act often. Well and I say yes…a lot.

Then in a quiet low moment and fueled by random dramas swirling around me, I feel my limit. It bubbles up like an awful bile that can’t be suppressed in a new flu victim. Not just one thing occurs, but another and another, and another. The line for saturation is moved and rearranged and then without warning, you feel the gagging and drowning

So, before you know it, a normal conversation becomes a testy random toss of emotional vocabulary and interjections with no real substance. Your words are lost in emotion and sadness. Rational thoughts become wedged dangerously between reaction and response while completely lost on the listener. I wonder, does anyone really listen anymore? I mean really listen?

Regret.

You wish you could take it all back, but you hit your personal limit, your threshold of holding and keeping emotions and calm in check. Your humanity and sadness becomes aired and quite public. Why can’t people just get along with compassion, caring, and respect? Of course, I am reminded again of the obvious….everyone else always has MORE to deal with. But putting that aside for once, one can only take so much….

When will I ever learn?

Soy Christmas-Get Upset

 

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Soy Christmas is a band out of Saint James, NY. How did they come up with that name and where in the heck is that? Could they be named after a popular soy Christmas candle, flickering a simple warm light? I tried to do a little Googling, but only found that Saint James is on Long Island.  I find it kinda honestly raw to claim the little “hamlet” as the band’s hometown. It isn’t surprising when you hear their music. Their music is a raw, creative, bonanza of sound that roots itself in honesty, but also swirls a dreamlike cloud in my mind.

Especially today, as I listen and everything in my life seemed to take a nose dive. I will recover, because they are all just weird superficial wounds that will, cell by renewing cell, begin to repair.

Or not.

Music is a true healer for me. Soy Christmas’ song “Get Upset” found me when I needed it most. This tune creates an illusory world that understands me when no one else seems to even make a minimal effort. What begins as a simple guitar strum, moves to a conversational confession, and then shifts to a chorus of woos and powerful lyrics….

“I don’t trust anything

I can’t give back

and I feel your heart beating

I get upset

It’s unfortunate…”

As I finished hearing it for the millionth time, I can’t help but spill over and listen to their entire EP, Spent. Another must listen quick track is, “Envoy”, a one minute forty-seven second guitar driven, poetic folk song full of longing.

This EP is a sonic joy for my ears today. I am soothed, satisfied, and may even find a moment of slumber, despite my overworked thoughts, brain, and emotions.

I hope this blog finds you not needing the comfort I needed today, but Soy Christmas has a solid sound for anyone willing to explore, expand, and learn to breathe in deeply the important gasps of life-giving air.

In and Out.

In and Out.

In and Out.

Tomorrow is another day. The sun will come up, the alarm will go off, I will get dressed for work, and move on.

 

 

Lontalius-All I Wanna Say

All I Wanna Say speaks of the inability to really change or fix a situation or someone else and expresses a helplessness that we probably all feel at one time or another.

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Miracles.

They happen every day with the rising of the sun, a warm cup of coffee at the flip of a switch, and even the simple joyous wag of a dog’s tail. So many wonders happen throughout the world we may not even be aware of…

It is a mystery, a phenomena of intrigue, and I am begging the universe for one.

Begging.

No not for me, but for an adored loved one who continues to get bad news. In just a week’s time, a health scare has become a crashing nightmare world of prodding doctors and mind-blowing information hurled at them like multiple fastball pitches.

One day laughing and celebrating life, and the next, fighting for it.

So please, we need a miracle and some quiet relief.

Lontalius-All I Wanna Say

“..Cause all I have to offer is my love
It’s not enough… “

I have been listening to Lontalius since last spring.

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courtesy of Partisan Records

Lontalius is Wellington, New Zealand teenager, Eddie Johnston. His music is movingly beautiful and bittersweet. Known for his incredible covers of artists like Drake, Beyoncé, and Pharrell, he is making a name for his original music since the release of his debut album, “I’ll Forget 17”. The album is chock full of songs that are emotionally charged where his innermost thoughts are exposed and vulnerable. It is like a personal diary revealed in music. He successfully combines electronic, shoegaze and indie rock and emphasizes each track with his soft spoken voice which whispers his reflective questions, thoughts, and feelings.

“All I Wanna Say” is truly all I want to say today. It speaks of the inability to really change or fix a situation or someone else and expresses a helplessness that we all feel at one time or another.

A simple sentiment, but a very complicated condition.

Relatable, whether you are seventeen or not.

Mood Monday//Hovvdy-Meg and Problem

Fuzzy, lo-fi gems teasing us for the Hovvdy album, Taster

Mood Monday

Why am I deep into songs with a melancholy, fuzzed out sound?  It is a bit weird, and it doesn’t make any sense, because it is incredibly beautiful outside and it makes me wildly happy.  All I can say is these songs impact me and make me obsessed about the band, Hovvdy, out of Austin, Texas.

Give a listen.

Hovvdy-Meg

Perhaps this band is a purely nostalgic sound for me. You know, the 90’s era of fuzzy, lo-fi vocals, a bit off kilter and perfectly paired with a rhythmic drumbeat? I think bands are trying to reinvent this sound lately, but Hovvdy really pulls it off  creatively and authentically.

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Hovvdy is Charlie Martin and Will Taylor out of Austin. Both band members are primarily drummers, and they had to pick up the guitar to round out their music. Even though the songs are somewhat simple, there is an appeal that is unavoidable. “Meg” is the latest release from their album out on April 15th. “Problem” was their first tune sent to the masses, and both songs prove to be exciting, tempting appetizers that excite my musical palate.  All puns intended, because the title of their album is Taster. Bet they hear that a lot! Sorry, I couldn’t help my nerdy self.

Hovvdy-Problem

Perhaps my mood is joyous based on listening to a nostalgic sound that recalls an important time in the shape shifting of music. The sound is calming as it dances on my brain, but at the same time plays a little tough to decipher with the hushed out vocals (worthy of repeated listens). I am clearly a fan of Hovvdy and I expect you might be too. Beginning tomorrow, they are touring around the states in support of the new album, so mark the dates and be sure to check them out live.

April 5-15 – Hovvdy Tour
     5 – Nashville, TN – Pill Haus
     6 – Athens, OH – The Pink Mistress
     8 – Philadelphia, PA – Goldilocks Gallery
     9 – Brooklyn, NY – 603^ (Silent Barn) w/ Fraternal Twin
     10 – Brooklyn, NY – Palisades w/ Doubles, Harmony Trividad, & The Glow
     11 – Washington D.C. – Above the Bayou w/ Princess Reason, Tall Friend & Jauze
     12 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter w/ HeadlessMantis, Cat Be Damned, & Ghosts
     13 – Athens, GA – The World Famous
     14 – New Orleans, LA – Heaven’s Gate
     15 – Austin, TX – French House (album release)