🎧 Songs of the Week #16: Open hearts and open minds
📅 December 31, 2022 - January 6, 2023: Featuring Dday One, Eastghost, nøll & McCall, Giraffage & Japanese Breakfast, and Sasha Rome & CARLIE
Welcome to week #16 of the Steel Orca Songs of the Week.
Happy New Year! We made it through the holidays (seemingly intact). If you haven’t seen it yet, we did a 2022 wrap-up post highlighting our favourite selections of the year. Check it out below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
I hope everyone got some time to spend with their families and loved ones and feel inspired to take on 2023. That’s a little bit flighty, but I mean it. 2023 feels like it’s going to be a big year. I understand economically it’s going to be tricky for a lot of people (or already is), but it also feels like a year of possibilities.
On that note, I’m going to be planning a Steel Orca version 2 by the end of Q1, based chiefly on technical concerns that I at least initially documented in my Steel Orca Tech Support #1 post, which ended up being pretty popular. I’m not interested in biting the proverbial hand that feeds me by continuing to criticize the technology layer of Substack while I’m on the platform, as I’m still a user of their product and (mostly) happy about it. I don’t want to be a jerk; however, other platforms (one other platform) that I referred to in that post offer more robust customization options that seem like they would be helpful for the second version of this blog/newsletter.
The problem though is that other platform (ok, it’s Ghost.org) costs $108 USD (or around $147 CAD with the current exchange rate) for the base-level annual subscription, which isn’t cheap. However, it offers much more robust functionality in terms of SEO optimization and code injection, which make for great potential fun. I have big plans, and I’m starting to learn something. For once, I have a hobby.
Anyway, all of that to say is that I’ve said a lot in other posts about adding additional content (like more Tech Support posts), and I’m going to do all that, but I also have a job and a family and other hobbies and blah blah blah. There is only so much time in the day.
In the meantime, my goal is to stay consistent, at least with these posts, which, even if they don’t hit in terms of traffic, seem to get us some notoriety with the artists in the lists, and that has its benefit (on that note, shout out to Rommii from last week who ended up being a super friendly guy and said some nice things on Instagram; we’re going to hit him up the next time the pod swims by San Diego). I feel the key is to let things be successful on their merit, as you never know what will catch on (or who will read).
One thing to leave you with: I started a new hobby recently, which I’m still very nervous about, but I want to be brave and prove to myself that I can do new things and stick with them (like this newsletter, going on month number 4 now). The advice was simple, but I have found it pretty helpful to repeat to myself:
“Go slow. Don’t push yourself too hard.”
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Here are the songs for the week of January 6, 2023 .
▶️ Youtube Music: Songs of the Week #16
This playlist is heavy on the Americans, but then I throw that wild curveball in at the end with the Russia/UK connection.
Anyway, I came up with this while recovering from staying up too late on New Year’s Eve and readjusting the ergonomics of my desk. First, I set up a fancy new whiteboard and adjusted my monitor screen position. Next up is an under-desk keyboard tray, as I think I’m too close to my monitors now. I’ll get it right at some point. I completely dismissed ergonomics as a practice, and I am suffering now as a result.
Dday One - Rhythm Section
Release Date: June 30, 2017
Label: Content Label
Spotify Plays: 1,138,995
Origin: Los Angeles, California 🇺🇸
Thankfully, Dday One (real-name Udeze Ukwuoma) has a Wikipedia page, which makes my job as a fledgling wanna-be music journalist a lot easier.
This song is listed on Beatport (that’s where I get all of the information above, assuming Beatport has it) as “Electronica,” but this song is almost jazz. Dday One’s appeal is that he plays using the old-school hip-hop setup of a sampler, turntables, and drum machine. Here’s a video of him playing this song “live".
Dday One didn’t have any live dates at the time of writing.
Eastghost - Only One
Release Date: August 26, 2022
Label: Sable Valley Records
Spotify Plays: 79,485
Origin: Portland, Oregon 🇺🇸
So, before I get into the music, click on eastghost.com. I promise it will not give you a virus (I clicked on it, and I have McAfee, and nothing happened). Someone, please sign up for that website and tell me the deal. I’m not going to do it as I feel like it’s the start of a “The Ring”-style curse (but your computer will stay virus-free). If someone does it, please drop a comment below telling us all its spooky secrets.
As well, I’m not sure if this is what he was going for, but this image makes him look pretty demonic, in my estimation.
Eastghost is signed to Sable Valley Records, which rang a bell, so I looked it up. It’s RL Grimes’ label.
Anyway, this is a great song that just came out in the late summer of last year. I hadn’t heard of him before this, but he does have over 100,000 followers on Spotify and a few million+ plays songs.
Eastghost didn’t have any live dates listed at the time of writing.
nøll, McCall - Pushing It Off
Release Date: June 4, 2021
Label: Create Music Group
Spotify Plays: 404,426
Origin: Los Angeles, California 🇺🇸
Another “Trap/Wave” song. I was going to write regarding the previous song that I didn’t know what the “Wave” part of the “Trap/Wave” is, but I guess I do now after two straight songs. It’s the wavy part of the chorus/bridge. I’m sure there’s a technical name for how they oscillate the sound, but I’m not a sound engineer (maybe ocean or water-related). I have no idea.
McCall sings the vocals on this and does so admirably. Her debut album “…to be a dream…” came out a year after this was released, in July 2022, to positive reviews. Mitch Mosk of Atwood Magazine writes:
As captivating as it is charming – and utterly disarming – McCall’s music is best listened to with an open heart and your best set of headphones. An intense sonic and emotional tapestry, the alt-pop artist’s debut album is beautifully radiant, charismatic.
nøll (I’m not going to lie; I wouldn't say I like it when people use non-standard characters in their names, and I’m sure it drives down their engagement correspondingly) is an LA-based DJ (everyone on this list is LA-based, I guess). From his Insomniac profile:
A lifelong musician, nøll strives to create music that evokes nuanced emotions and vivid imagery. Early classical roots and an emphasis on music theory has equipped nøll with the ability to not only produce complex trap and bass soundscapes, but also heartbreaking ballads and anthemic pop.
nøll currently only has one tour date listed - Beyond Wonderland SoCal at the end of March in San Bernadino, California. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any dates listed for McCall.
Giraffage, Japanese Breakfast - Maybes
Release Date: September 13, 2017
Label: Counter Records
Spotify Plays: 2,195,166
Origin: San Jose, California / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 🇺🇸
Another Wikipedia page for both artists - the boon of the late-night blog writer.
Giraffage (real name Charlie Yin) is a San Francisco Bay Area-based DJ who’s been active since 2011 (and picked an amusing name). His first big claim to fame was supporting Porter Robinson on the fall leg of his US “Worlds” tour in 2014.
Japanese Breakfast is an indie pop band fronted by Michelle Zauner. Zauner, who is Korean-American, also wrote a 2021 memoir, “Crying in H Mart” which was critically acclaimed and spent 60 weeks on New York Times hardcover non-fiction list.
Unfortunately, Giraffage has no live dates currently listed. On the other hand, Japanese Breakfast is presently touring the world, with their next date at the end of January at Lollapalooza India in Mumbai.
Song of the Week 🙌
Sasha Rome, CARLIE - Release
Release Date: July 6, 2022
Label: Jadu Dala
Spotify Plays: 241,580
Origin: Russia 🇷🇺/ Brighton, England 🇬🇧
Sasha Rome (real name Dan Sokolov) is a New York City-based DJ who immigrated to the US from Russia at the age of 4. He describes his music as “indie disco,”…“deriving influence from French House, Funk, and his Russian roots.”
CARLIE is an England-based vocalist and musician. As her Instagram states, her job is to “make music so you can cry on the dance floor.”
This is their second collaboration after Ocean Eyes, which came out in August 2021. This is a better song than that one. The numbers seem to indicate that as well.
CARLIE does not currently have any live dates. However, Sasha Rome is booked to play a packed lineup at Elsewhere in Brooklyn on February 11th. You can get tickets to that show here.
That’s it for this week from all of us here at the Steel Orca.✔️👋
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Saved a few songs :)
seconded on the 2023 feeling like a big year sentiment, not sure exactly whats in store for us but im excited.