Local indie rockers Beach Tiger’s latest release, Companion, was added to Spotify’s New Music Friday and Indie-Pop playlist, which has led to three of the band’s singles to be streamed, collectively, more than a million times. No time like the present to drop a new song, right?
In the new track “Dead of Night,” songwriter Taylor McCleskey realizes how much of his life actually happens in the dead of night. “I realized how strange this was as I began to compare my waking hours to my wife’s,” he says. “She’s a kindergarten teacher who has her big life moments from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.; where I’m the complete opposite. I feel like most of my memories are made from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.”
But McCleskey admits that’s just a fun side note, that lyrics like “I don’t think I’ll ever fall in love again/ If this is how it feels to be complete” are really about the realities that come with loving someone deeply. “At its core, it is the realization of once you find that someone that completes your life, more than anything else, fear sets in, because if you ever lost that you’ll just be a broken puzzle,” he says.
Deviating from the band’s normal alt-rock feel, “Dead of Night” ventures into a chill-wave pop vibe, utilizing synth bass and trap-it software sounds. The single was co-produced by Kyle Patrick and Wolfgang Zimmerman, and you can hear it now at soundcloud.com/beach-tiger.
Real life. That’s what Matt Megrue sings about on his latest EP, Lost Hearts of the Jilted Age, out Fri. Feb. 10. Punk meets heartland rock in this three-song EP, which was intended to be the second in a series of three seven-inch EPs put out by his band Matt Megrue & the Daisy Chains. Megrue says, however, that he and the Daisy Chains experienced “a series of hang-ups from about March until October” of last year and Lost Hearts of the Jilted Age proved to be “a beast” to release.
For starters, the drummer of the Daisy chains left unexpectedly in February and asked for his drum tracks to be removed from the already recorded songs. Concurrently, Sean Kelly, bassist and co-producer of the record, went on tour with A Fragile Tomorrow. During this period of time, Megrue began to doubt himself and his songs, questioning whether or not he should even release the tracks, which had begun to feel “stale.” However, when Sean returned from tour, he encouraged Megrue to "nail down a drummer and put these things out there.”
Domimic Kelly, brother of A Fragile Tomorrow's Sean and Brendan Kelly, sat in on drums, coming in and, as Megrue puts it, “knocking the stale off, and the tracks began to feel fresh and exciting once again. Megrue notes “how much a drummer’s style can vary the entire feel of a song.” In addition to having a new drummer with his own style, Megrue says the recording process was “counter-intuitive to the way records are typically made where you record the rhythm section first.” The unorthodox recording method, however, is undetectable.
The first track on the EP, Lost Hearts of the Jilted Age, is all about coming to terms with adulthood and responsibility. Written at a time when Megrue felt personally and creatively exhausted, “stuck, uninspired, claustrophobic, and searching for a spark,” Megrue calls his audience to arms in the catchy, upbeat drinking song of sorts,“Mah-sha-rah, mah-sha-rae, We’ll Drink these Blues Away!” The song explores the emotions associated with maturation and the slipping away of youth, but rather than feeling apathetic or cynical, we are filled with exuberance, and we toast to change.
On EP's second track, "Worktruck," Megrue sings from the perspective of a character from his small, Southern hometown. In the past, Megrue has admitted to feeling less than proud of his Southern upbringing due to the stigma sometimes attached to it, however, he is indeed proud of his origins. “I just wanted to capture a slice of life from where I come from,” he says. The small town character, with busted knees, aching bones, and muddy shoes, doesn’t live a life of glamor, but he is a content, hard-working man like his “daddy and his daddy before him.”
Megrue wrote the final track on the EP, "Jenny," shortly after Robin Williams’ suicide, when “Genie, you’re free” memes were being shared around the internet. Though Megrue was not a lifelong fan, Williams’ suicide impacted him. He realized that the actor was “a guy who is seemingly so joyous and goofy, and even he had moments where he felt like life was hopeless.” Megrue calls this song, which slows down the tone of the EP, a “sobering reminder of how we are all struggling.” Megrue’s lyrics offer comfort to those haunted by demons and remind us that we have more life to live.
Lost Hearts of the Jilted Age earnestly tackles authentic feelings associated with aging and the struggles of getting through life, exploring these themes in a nostalgic yet invigorating way. The guys who put this record together, Megrue and the Kellys, are also working on a more evolved, full-length album to be released later this year.
For further updates on Megrue and to check out Lost Hearts of the Jilted Age, visitmattmegrue.com.
Coming this spring, Yonder Field is South Carolina's newest large-scale concert venue, and it's less than an hour away from the Holy City.
Situated in Bowman, between Charleston and Columbia, the venue promises to deliver A-list arena and stadium-caliber artists as well as festivals.
So how big are we talking? It's a two-stage, 30,000-capacity venue encompassing over 200 acres of green fields and parking for over 15,000 vehicles — plenty of room for tailgating, camping, and more. Its "Tailgate Stage" is scalable and able to cater to smaller audiences of 7,000 to 15,000.
The venue can accommodate 1,000 VIP ticket-holders and also features two air-conditioned luxury cabins for 20-25 guests per cabin that are inclusive of gourmet food, drinks, restrooms, and rooftop decks for VIP stage viewing.
There's also a food-truck village that can hold eight trucks, plus a beer-and-wine pavilion the length of a football field and room for 20 food vendors within booths designed with a marketplace look and feel.
Seems to us Yonder Field, much like what Bonnaroo did for Manchester, Tenn., could put Bowman on the map and, ultimately, help push South Carolina as a music destination.
Bandcamp announced today that the independent music platform will donate 100 percent of its share of proceeds this Friday to the American Civil Liberties Union, the organization that is working to oppose last week's executive order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States.
In a statement released here, Bandcamp founder Ethan Diamond states that the ban "violates the very spirit and foundation of America and is an "unequivocal moral wrong, a cynical attempt to sow division among the American people and is in direct opposition to the principles of a country where the tenet of religious freedom is written directly into the Constitution."
Bandcamp is also showing solidarity with the immigrants and refugees from the seven banned countries by compiling a list of albums made by artists from those affected countries.
Diamond says, "We hope that, as you listen to these albums, you’ll not only discover some great new artists, but will also gain a further appreciation and understanding for the way music transcends all borders, and remember that, even in the darkest of times, there is more that unites us than divides us."
Many Charleston artists use Bandcamp as their medium for sharing, streaming, and selling their music and other merch. Check out a list comprising a few of those artists here.
SUSTO’s new LP & I’m Fine Today has received some impressive, well-deserved press of late from the likes of Consequence of Sound and Pitchfork, but today's New York City pitstops in the offices of Rolling Stone and Paste Magazine take the dang cake.
The band went live on each publication's Facebook page to perform tracks from the new album and chat about everything from the feeling of performing in Washington, D.C. on Saturday — the evening of the historic Women's March on Washington (Rolling Stone) — to what it's like to live and record on the Carolina coast (Paste). Frontman Justin Osborne also gave some love to friends, Charlestonians, and current tourmates, Heyrocco.
SUSTO performed "Waves," "Hard Drugs," and "Jah Werx" for both offices, which you can check out here and here.
Another round of recognition came last week on Conan O’Brien when his teamcoco.com debuted SUSTO's official (and lyrical) video for the latest single, “Waves.” Filmed by new guitarist Dries Vandenberg (also Human Resource frontman), produced by Paul Chelmis, and illustrated by Marie Holder, “Waves,” in all its luminous energy, comes to life under the carefree backdrop of the Lowcountry.
From the Carolina shores to railroad tracks on the East Side to the Angel Oak, the video brings pretty magnificent local context to the line, “Why so much trouble when we live in such a remarkable place?”
Check out the official “Waves” video for yourself here.