Fear and Loathing in Ottawa: Garçons’ “Froggin'” is a Surreal Genre Bending Pop Gem

The core beat of Garçons’ “Froggin’” sounds a bit like a sped up version of the Sanford and Son theme and the video cements an impression of the 70s with Deelo Avery taking on the role of Hunter S. Thompson in the drama of the song. For a video with pretty much no budget and based in Canada, the crew nailed the vibe and giving the song that seems part Afrobeat and part R&B, the surreal quality it deserves. The pace of the song is frantic but the narrator is doing the best he can given clear and present challenges and managing with some sense of style. Given that Avery grew up hearing Fela Kuti it comes as no surprise there’s more than a touch of that in this song but it manages to transcend a narrow genre of hip-hop, Afrobeat and lo-fi pop and thus repeated listens are rewarding. Follow Garçons at the links below.


Reverends’ Hypnotic “The Greater Roadrunner” Speaks Directly to the Frustration of Being Drawn to Unfulfilling Relationships

Reverends, photo courtesy the artists

“Because I’ve been here too many times,” a line from “The Greater Roadrunner” by Atlanta-based psychedelic rock band seems poignant in a song about repeating the same patterns with a relationship whose fulfillment in a larger sense is ultimately elusive. The hypnotic, stretching, distorted melody of the song and its vivid and evocative tonal range sounds both world weary and amused at one’s own folly at the same time. But that maybe the realizations will stick this time even though the person in question has the power to draw you back in almost intuitively and instinctively the way Wile E. Coyote seems unable to stop chasing the Roadrunner from the cartoon. Except that Wile E. Coyote doesn’t know better and you should. “I have to be that guy, that fuckin’ guy,” the line preceding the aforementioned speaks so directly to the well-earned frustration it would be comedic if it weren’t just too real. Watch the kaleidoscopic video on YouTube and follow Reverends at the links below where you can give the group’s new album The Disappearing Dreams of Yesterday in full as well.


Lochie Earl Reminds Us to Find a Grounding Humor in the Unpleasant Manifestations of Our Personalities on “Laugh@urseLF”

Lochie Earl, photo courtesy the artist

The title of Lochie Earl’s new single “Laugh@urseLF” should be an obvious clue that there is an element of humor involved in the songwriting. But that humor is pointed inward as a reminder to not be an insufferable jerk. Also, to remember that no matter how seriously you may take yourself that won’t change your condition or your personality and that in the end you can’t escape yourself and you may as well accept yourself as you are and have a laugh once in awhile at how your personality can have unpleasant manifestations that you can either find humor in to diminish their power or double down on your ridiculous moments. Musically it’s a dynamic and varied song that begins with a piano figure and rapid fire lyrics that reflect the rush of thoughts and emotion. The piano melody is reminiscent of Blue Oyster Cult’s 1974 song “Astronomy” and that gives it a haunted quality suggestive of maybe being stuck in your own head with the drama around you maybe in no small part existing as a figment of your imagination. Listen to “Laugh@urseLF” on YouTube and follow Lochie Earl on the  Gypsys of Pangea Febook page.


“Tears of the Past” is Duphi’s Musical Journey Away From a Cycle of Self-Punishment for Your Mistakes

Duphi, “Tears of the Past” cover (cropped)

Duphi’s latest single “Tears of the Past” brings together production and natural sounds to create a track that sounds like a cycle of processing regret and grief in the context of your whole life. It’s a natural tendency to look back and assess and, if you’re a person of conscience possessed of self-honesty, flagellate yourself a little for mistakes, reliving those moments as if that ritual of punishment is an endless act of atonement that is the only proper way to demonstrate you’ve acknowledged that mistake but are never able to live it down. The gentle beats of this song and its utilizing sampled sounds of a storm in the distance and a sense of traveling away from that storm into more tranquil zones of melodic, percussive arpeggiation that bring a clarity of mind and engender giving yourself the perspective of placing your mistakes as part of your evolution as a person and not as something to always hang over your own head. The song is a reminder that while self-martyrdom may be normal it’s really a waste of time, energy and life better spent being the better person you aspire to be. Listen to “Tears of the Past” on Spotify and follow Duphi at any of the links below.


“Twintails” by Podge is a Dynamic Blend of the Aesthetics of Indie Pop and Manga

Podge, photo courtesy the artist

A charming mix of 8-bit sounds, organic percussion and sounds and keyboards, Podge’s “Twintails” is a song that picks up where 80s Ninendo game soundtracks left off and explored the pop songwriting possibilities of that sensibility. The effect is something like a playfully yet melancholy indie pop song that draws on what is an element of so much manga and anime and that is how it reflects a sense of loneliness and yearning for connection while speaking to the aspirations and dreams of the artists. This palette of sounds thus never comes off as gimmicky or mere affectation. Podge’s songwriting is fully immersed in the blend of cultures Western and Japanese on that creative level and that gives “Twintails” an unexpected emotional and sonic depth for an effect of an eclecticism reminiscent of Alopecia-period Why? Listen to “Twintails” on Soundcloud and follow Podge at the links below.


edad del pavo’s Ambient Track “centric” Evokes a Sense of Place Both Physical and Existential

edad del pavo, photo courtesy the artist

One imagines this track inspired by dropping a small stone into a still pond from on high and watching the ripple effect as it intersects with small waves and the influence of a breeze on the water. Or contemplating a Zen garden and its use of organic and mathematical elements and contemplating how nature doesn’t do the calculations we create to model them imperfectly. Yet with the bright tone in an otherwise ethereal unfolding of sounds emits in echo like the horn of a ship in a distant harbor indistinctly on a foggy morning. Whatever was the collection of inspirations behind edad del pavo’s “centric,” it has a sense of place and wonder and a feeling of contemplative acceptance of our place in the entirety of existence. Listen to “centric” on Soundcloud and follow edad del pavo at the links provided.


“Orders of Magnitude” by Lakes of Wada Has the Mood of Summer Breaking and Descending Into the Cool of Fall

Lakes of Wada logo, cropped

Beginning with volume swells on guitar and a low background repeating synth figure “Orders of Magnitude” by Lakes of Wada edges forward like a drifting cloud formation. Melodic electronic drones thread into the mix in layers giving the composition a bit of conventional songwriting element inside the more experimental soundscape framing. Going from minimal to a full spectrum of sounds including a full drum set, the song progresses to give expression to the title. From quiet calm of the beginnings of a rainstorm to not torrents but a steady rain interrupted by sunshine as the rain clouds pass overhead away from a sun headed toward the night time horizon. Rather than morning music or night music, this is late afternoon music and while dynamic with flaring tones, it’s feel is like that time of the day when you know it’s time to wind down a bit or the part of the summer when you can tell the season has broken and cooler days area ahead. Listen to “Orders of Magnitude” on YouTube and follow Lakes of Wada at the links below.