Today's Songs are "No Looking” by BLOODbath64, "Mall of America" by vern matz, and "Gold Edges" by mr. Gnome. Written by Noor Harajli.
BLOODbath64 - "No Looking"
BLOODbath64 is the lovechild of the vaporwave musical genre, and TV Girl’s lead singer, Brad. At the beginning of August, he put out an album titled Aestheticadelica, where he experiments with unique sounds and samples. What personally stood out to me was the track, No Looking, that quickly drew me in with its low-pitched mumbles at the beginning, which happens to be a slowed down sample of Kitty Pryde talking about “Bud Light Lime.”
As soon as Brad begins to sing, the two vocal layers, one being his regular low voice, and one a falsetto higher voice, reminded me of the classic sound synonymous with TV girl. It adds dimension to the song, enriching the vaporwave, ‘dreamy’ factor, where you instantly feel like you’re hovering through outer space. This is a track that, according to BLOODbath64, is about “feeling disconnected in a mundane, corporatized world.” It could relate to sheer vulnerability as well, and the avoidance of revealing one’s true self. Looking at someone can put people at their most vulnerable, which explains why a lot of nervous people tend to avoid eye contact. If you relate to this, and enjoy sampled music with encapsulating synth-lines, I cannot recommend this track enough. It was definitely one of the songs of my summer. Stream it here.
vern matz - "Mall of America"
It is fundamental to the experience that you drive through a long, billboard-filled highway on a very sunny day with all the windows open once you connect Mall of America to the AUX. Listening to it for the first time reminds me of the modern indie sound of the 2010s, but there were some other clear influences of 60s and 70s southern rock, reminiscent of bands like the Eagles, Crosby, Stills & Nash, etc. Vern Matz have been putting out music since 2017, and this track reiterates their calming, melodious sound that instantly instigates a surge of emotions. The chord progression allowed me to really float along the vocalist’s resonant, mellow voice. My favorite line he sings is, “I thought I had somebody, I wish it was you.”
Mall of America isn’t just an assembly of pretty sounding instruments– the band knows how to use its skillset without overdoing it. At the beginning of the chorus, I wasn’t expecting the drums to stop, which after listening to the song, was a smart move by the drummer. It let the 12-string guitars in the background, along with the echoes of the vocals to further stand out. The guitarist also kept the lead guitar to a minimum, bringing it out only when necessary. As crucial it is to look at how artists perform their instruments, the silences are just as important. They are often times criminally underlooked, and it’s very vital to acknowledge the blank spaces when listening to indie music like this. Mall of America is a beautiful song, and you can stream it right here.
mr. Gnome - "Gold Edges"
Hitting on the more upbeat content, Mr. Gnome’s Gold Edges has you singing along from just the first few seconds. I knew for a fact that the drums at the beginning, courtesy of drummer/pianist Sam Meister, wouldn’t disappoint me – they reminded me of the pop punk bands whose albums I would abuse in high school. The band in question here, Mr. Gnome, are an art-rock duo from Cleveland who have been releasing music for over a decade. The fuzziness and intensity of the vocals, complimented by the rage of the guitars and bass, really gives the song a lot of raw power that you can see yourself bopping out to. It’s simple, with the anthemic lyrics “my baby really wants to move it, move it” sung by singer/guitarist Nicole Barille repeating several times through the song, makes you feel like you really want to move it. It has a really uplifting and cheerful mood, and if you’re not feeling too great, I highly recommend checking out Gold Edges and the band’s other stuff. Their new double LP, The Day You Flew Away, will be available October 16th on El Marko Records. For some extra energy throughout your day, stream Gold Edges here.