Maybe Reality Is Not As Objective As It Seems

5 Sep

Baby Bird On 6th Street - Jay Armstrong

Okay baby birds here’s some raddness… forty tracks of it… gotsa make up for lost time.

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The Eastern Sea

“The Match” – mp3

The Eastern Sea

The Match” is one of my favorite finds this year, there’s something to the overall ambiance which pretty much defines an emotion I have overwhelmingly felt throughout my life. Songs like this kinda help face those feelings in an abstract way… Bukowski’s “Bluebird” has often came to mind while listening to this song.

I did another review for “The Match” a few weeks ago on LBYB, you can check it out here.

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The Eastern Sea Soundcloud | Facebook | Website.

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Lord Huron

“Time To Run” – mp3

Lord Huron

I’ve been anxious to hear new material from Lord Huron, more-so than just about any other band, they floored me with their Rollo And Grady Session (especially “She Lit A Fire“) so it’s been a matter of counting seconds between then and now, “Time To Run” makes it worth the wait.

I’ve recently reviewed this on on LBYB as well, check it out here.

Lord HuronFacebook | Website

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Beat Radio

“Strange Harmonies” – mp3

beat radio

Beat Radio have put out two of my favorite albums this year with their Hard Times Go EP’s. Honest lyrics with an unpretentious delivery, anyone who has been following HCK! for a while know hows much of a repeating theme that is to the music which stands out for me.

I recently caught a review of “Strange Harmonies” on QRO Magazine, they were spot on when saying “sweet, raw, earnest.  Pure pop poetry in an age where lyrics are a dying art,” I love it when someone says it better.

“…. We needed time to make mistakes
A chance to change or stay the same
To break with what we’d done before
And sleep to dream of golden days
I wanted all of you
You wanted all of me
And I was standing still
Then I was falling free
We stayed awake for 7 days
We wrote our names on paper bags
People and places fade away
And conversations start to drag
When we survive the fiery crash
Will you say prayers for all the dead?
When you put on your lion’s mask
And shadows fall around our heads
If I have all of you
And you have all of me
to fill the empty space
With strange harmonies….”

Beat Radio Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Website

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Armstrong

“Baby You Just Don’t Care” – mp3

Baby You Just Don’t Care” is a descriptive and involving track about missed opportunities from a third-person’s vantage point. For years this song seemed to be very fittingly about myself when living in Indy and it was one of many similar songs which helped to nudge me towards escaping the sorrowful midwest for something much better.

It’s strange to hear this song now after having experienced both sides of the fence, not many songs are better when seen through a different lens… this is one of the rare ones. I wonder what Julian Pitt is doing these days?

ArmstrongBio

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Strange Names

“Crazy On The Day” – mp3

Strange Names

In the process of making a mix for a friend “Crazy On The Day” has resurfaced as part of my day-to-day playlists. Strange Names have a solid end-of-summer vibe to there sound with slightly surfy somberness which bares a likeness to the absolutely fantastic Girls.

Strange Names have an upcoming EP which has yet to have an official date, when I hear it so will you.

Strange NamesFacebook | Website

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Breakfast In Fur

“Setting Stone” – mp3

Breakfast In Fur

At least one night out of the week I spend clicking through Bandcamp new-releases hoping to come up with something solid to experience that hasn’t been filtered through other websites or friend recommendations, unfortunately since everyone and their mom has both the desire to record an album and the ability to do so I’ve only had somewhere in the ballpark of a 2% success rate. The upsetting thing is that when I do find a band worth sharing they turn out to be REALLY good causing me to return week after week to my gold-mining endeavors.

I stumbled over Breakfast In Fur this past weekend and have been absolutely twitching with excitement over their three song EP Die Pfalz (name-yo-price on their Bandcamp),go ahead and allow yourself to get comfortable with them now cause we are all going to be best friends in the near future.

Breakfast In FurBandcamp | Facebook | Website

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Camp Island

“Your Cold Blood” – mp3

Camp Island

Another band I’m super-stoked to share is Camp Island. Their Demos EP is nothing short of incredible, unfortunately it’s been out for over a year so I may be running a little late to this party.

… but how was I to know, drunk on the patio, that my situation makes sense just to me and each complication is worse than it seems. It’s time to step back and access what this means, maybe the truth is that reality is not as objective as it seems

Camp IslandBandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

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Thee Oh Sees

“Flood’s New Light” – mp3

Thee Oh Sees

Thee Oh Sees just keep on proving their worth and why there are sooooo many bands attempting to copy their sound. Check out my entire review here.

Thee Oh Sees Facebook | Website

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Follow That Bird

“The Ghosts That Wake You” – mp3

Follow That Bird

When I first heard Bad Sports they were included on the Matador Records compilation Casual Victim Pile. I recently found myself listening over the mix and noticed some songs and bands that I can’t believe didn’t capture the same amount of attention as Bad Sports did, Follow That Bird are the most blatant example.

These guys are another fantastic band out of Austin, I’m yet to catch them live, living in the same town it’s on my priority list, with a new album due out at the end of this year it’s likely that the near future of HCK! will most definitely be including more from Follow That Bird.

Follow That BirdBandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

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Pussy Wizard

“Fazzze It Out” – mp3

Pussy Wizard

One thing I’ve had to restrain myself from doing as often as I like since starting HCK! (besides sleep) is checking out Birp!. It’s nearly impossible not to repost every song they put up because of how solid of a job that site is about sharing great music before it filters into the Pitchfork crowd so for the most part I’ve had to become less involved with their playlists, I fell off the wagon last week and downloaded their August mix and am doing the best I can at not tossing up fifteen songs from it.

Fazzze It Out” from Pussy Wizard is one concession I’m willing to make, just press play and give it ten seconds and you’ll understand why there is always an exception to every rule.

Pussy WizardBandcamp | Tumblr

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Paul Banks

“The Base” – mp3

Paul Banks

The Base” is probably the best crafted song I have to share this week. Paul Banks brings this one across in layers of shifting grooves that build into a monument of free-mason like skill. It may be impossible to anticipate exactly how this track is going to evolve while listening but the second it’s over we can only stand in awe at the experience. I know to some it may seem practically blasphemous but I really dig this much more than what he’s created with Interpol and is a step forward from his Julian Plenti moniker.

Paul Banks Facebook

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The Young Evils

“Touch Tone Lovers” – mp3

The Young Evils

I found The Young Evils on soundcloud while looking up another band Melissa from LBYB had recommended. There’s a mix of pop and garage that is so evenly balanced that to take one from the other is unrealistic. Although I’m yet to check out how they sounded before releasing Foreign Spells in July from what I’ve read they seem to be straying from a more acoustic sound which defined them before, I’m not sure how long-time fans are taking the change but they’ve definitely earned a new one with their current direction.

The Young EvilsBandcampFacebook | Twitter | Website

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Blonds

“Time” – mp3

Blonds

Chiseling their way into my heart one song at a”Time” (ahhhh see what I did there), this is probably the definitive example of what all the hype has been about surrounding Blonds and why the duo is to be taken seriously.

BlondsBandcamp | Facebook

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Deap Vally

“Baby I Call Hell” – mp3

Deap Vally

Baby I Call Hell” is about as close as we’re going to get to hearing what Janis Joplin would have sounded like had she drank less, smoked more pot, and had been made in the eighties.

A friend posted this video the other day… definitely rad enough to share.

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Deap VallyFacebook | Twitter | Blog

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Team Spirit

“Fuck The Beach” – mp3

Team Spirit

Like Sweet Talk with  more of a pop edge, Brooklyn’s Team Spirit have a sound fitting for just about any mood.

Team Spirit is Ayad Al Adhamy‘s obviously successful attempt at his own band rather than supporting others which is what he’s been doing for years as owner of Black Bell Records (incredible label!) as well as playing synth and percussion for Passion Pit. The guy has been a part of so much great music, it’s nice to see him proving himself as an artist in such a big way.

Team SpiritBandcamp | Facebook

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Feral Future

“College” – mp3

Feral Future

College”  is an anthem of garage-fuzz covered in angst-ridden grime remainng simple and honest in the process, this is a song whose sentiment is easily embodied as our own.

For such a lyric driven band it’s what lies underneath it all, the attachment between guitarists and drummer, which defines their sound, a technical finesse without being pretentious or overdone… this could could very well be a statement about Austin bands in general which may explain why Feral Future are becoming the face of one of the most important music scenes in the world.

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Feral FutureFacebook

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My First Earthquake

“Cool In The Cool Way” – mp3

My First Earthquake

Remember this song? For some reason “Cool In The Cool Way” came to mind while I was listening to “College,” might as well put it up. For anyone this track may be new to, My First Earthquake are out of San Francisco and surprisingly still unsigned.

My First EarthquakeFacebook | Twitter | Website

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Wanderhouse

“Use Me Up” – mp3

Wanderhouse

Who would have thought pop could feel so sinful, “Use Me Up” is about as sexual as a recording can get.

Wanderhouse Facebook | Website

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Release The Sunbird

“Best Thing For Me” – mp3

Release The Sunbirds

I’m starting to get that fall edge to my thoughts where the only thing that seems like a good idea is cruising through the country listening to acoustic driven music. Before this last week I’d really started to believe my recent distaste for all things acoustic might not subside this year, the thought was actually beginning to depress me quite a bit.

Best Thing For Me” is a song I listened to often last year but haven’t found much use for it lately do to it’s very seasonal feel. Either way it seems more and more fitting the closer we get to calm nights in hooded sweatshirts.

Release The SunbirdsFacebook | Website

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Tyler Lyle

“When I Say That I Love You” (Live) – mp3

Tyler Lyle

I just found this live recording from Tyler Lyle and it’s an incredible listen! I began the year thinking he had potential and now has organically grown to be one of my very favorite singer-songwriters.

On rare occasions we get to hear a song that feels like it’s our own thoughts bleeding into lyrics, as important and as a part of us as the thought itself, to separate one from the other nearly impossible to imagine. For me, “When I Say That I Love You” is one of those songs drawing to the surface such a longing and regret, a sadness entangled with appreciation, which is almost impossible to carry so that we must sit and listen and partake yet change nothing.

Tyler Lyle Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

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PHOX

“Laura (Oh, Girl)” – mp3

Phox

The steady layering only to pull back so dramatically caught me off-guard the first time I heard “Laura (Oh, Girl),” since then this song has held my focus more and more with each listen.  There is a channeling of mid-nineties influences that come across reborn rather than recreated, I doubt I would have believed it were possible if I hadn’t heard Phox for myself.

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PhoxFacebook | Website

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Buxter Hoot’n

“Blue Night” – mp3

Buxter Hootn

San Francisco’s Buxter Hoot’n create catchy neo-americana with sharp instrumentation and fluid vocals, making for a very visceral experience, one of the many differences setting them apart from similar bands.

Blue Night” has some of the strongest lead I’ve heard in some time, coming in sparse yet necessary, gaining moment as the song develops, closing out frantic yet controlled, reminding me in a big way of Mark Knopfler.

Buxter Hoot’nFacebook | Website

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Benjamin Gibbard

“Teardrop Windows” – mp3

Benjamin Gibbard

I don’t think anyone is surprised to hear that Ben Gibbard is putting out a solo album. His acoustic sets have shown us time after time how deep of a delivery he has when it’s just him and a guitar. I hope I don’t sound negative when I say that “Teardrop Windows” really caught me by surprise by how little of that is present in his first leak, this sounds like it easily could be another track on Codes And Keys.

Luckily the depth of words and artful song crafting is as strong as ever so there is no loss on the new material, I was hoping for a bit more of a folk texture but it’s not my album it’s his and as long as he’s content there’s no doubt that we will be as well. Former Lives will be out on October 16.

Benjamin Gibbard Facebook | Website

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Maryse Smith

“Garden Flower” – mp3

Maryse Smith

Maryse Smith is another artist I recently uncovered. Where has she been hiding? If Smith were from anywhere other than Vermont I doubt I’d be asking that question. A song like “Garden Flower,” as well as with her sound in general, is something that rarely goes unnoticed for long, fans of Sea Of Bees and Laura Stevenson should feel perfectly at home with both her passion and control.

Maryse SmithBandcamp | Facebook

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Alt-J

“Something Good” – mp3

Alt-J

I want so badly to say that all the buzz for Alt-J is uncalled for, that it is all hype and little substance, unfortunately I can’t. I’ve fought it all year but have found myself coming back again and again to check their songs out, “Something Good” was the song to lift the veil… the rumors are true these guys are legit.

Their debut album An Awesome Wave will be out on the 18th.

Alt-JFacebook | Website

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Tigermilk

“Departure” – mp3

Tigermilk

As already mentioned, I’m a sucker for an unpretentious lead, simple sounding yet intricate and perfectly placed such as in “The Departure.” Tigermilk finds a way of making every tangent to her songs follow the same kind of minimal yet stylistic structure and I’m digging it in a big way.

Tigermilk Blog

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Fanfarlo

“Bones” – mp3

Fanfarlo

Although I can comfortably say I’m a Fanfarlo fan, I can’t help but question myself since “Bones” came out back in February and I’m just now giving it a fair listen and some long-overdue recognition on HCK!.

Not much has changed in the Fanfarlo sound, there is a tighter delivery and a new confidence which typically comes from bands filling into themselves from months and months of touring.

Fanfarlo –  Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Photocomfort

“Holy Ropes” – mp3

Photocomfort

Justine Bowe creates ambient songs which sound like Laura Burhenn (The Mynabirds) singing for Widowspeak… to say it sounds good would be to sell her short. “Holy Ropes” solidifies my initial reaction to her songs which was the thought of this being the closest thing to what Stevie Nicks would have been creating had she been born thirty years later.

PhotocomfortBandcamp | Facebook

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Teen

“Electric” – mp3

teen

Teen are four babes out of Brooklyn who make some sweet lo-fi surf-rock with an edge to it teetering between chill-wave and psychedelia. The is the first leak from their new album which is seeing it’s official release today, I believe the title is In Limbo but don’t quote me on that, all of the songs from it can currently be streamed via their website.

TeenBandcamp | Facebook | Website

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Crozet 

“Neon” – mp3

Crozet

Think of that scene where we see the two people falling in love, most likely in some summer/spring-break John Hughes-esc type of movie when the music plays over scenes of sundowns and arcades full of hand-holding and laughter, if a decent movie came out today this would be the song playing  during that montage.

CrozetFacebook

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The Nervous Wreckchords

“Shapes Of A Dove” – mp3

The Nervous Wreckchords

Although I’m a pro-sad-song advocate equally there is a place for music on the other end of the spectrum which gets as much negativity thrown its way as the later. Both group of naysayers are idiots.

I’ve started my day off every day at work this week with “Shapes Of A Dove.” I’m not sure what it is about this song but I can not listen through it without letting go of every negative thought in my body and just jumping along. I’m not sure how to classify The Nervous Wreckchords and it doesn’t even matter, music that feels this good doesn’t need any other labels than “Necessary.”

The Nervous WreckchordsFacebook | Website

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Glass Pear

“Dizzy” – mp3

Glass Pear

If you played a Glowbug song at the same time as a Stornoway song I’m pretty sure it would sound identical to “Dizzy.” This song belongs on a crush mix; I would have killed to have this song at my disposal when I was sixteen, I would have handed it out in bulk to every girl who sat within three feet of me in every class. In baseball .300 will get you in the hall of fame, I’m confident this song would have had me batting well above that, I’d been a teenage Don Juan for sure.

Another thing is if you think this guy has unabounding pop-confidence that’s because this isn’t his first rodeo. Remember Jem? This is her brother who apparently helped create many of the songs from her debut album.

Hit up his bandcamp page if you dig the sounds, all songs are there fo free.

Glass Pear –  Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

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JJAMZ

“Heartbeat” – mp3

JJAMZ

As I’ve stated before, one obsession I’ve had devolop since starting HCK! is with reading bands bio’s on facebook; Most bands either take it way too seriously and use all third party quotes about how they are the greatest thing to write a song since the last greatest band to write a song or they completely half-ass it and sound more like dicks than the funny passive group of dudes I believe they are trying to convey. Every now and then though a band will nail it with something both memorable and spot on as is the case with JJAMZ (pronounced juh-jamz). They start it off with a brief statement about how people always ask what they sound like (anyone ever to play in a band with individual integrity understand how mundane and unrealistic of a question that is) only to say that this is how he wishes he would answer them:

Have you ever been to Venice Beach late at night, when the cops have stopped patrolling, and you’re not sure which shadows the drug dealers and pickpockets are hiding in, but the ocean is loud and the air is wet and you feel safe because you’re with someone you know? It sounds exactly like that feels!

Yep, sounds about right. Their new album Suicide Pact is rather great, you can get it here.

JJAMZFacebook | Website

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My Great Ghost

“Plain Sight” – mp3

My Great Ghost

I’m early on with my awareness of My Great Ghost. Thus far the duo has really caught my attention with their minimalistic-electro sound which is lite yet slightly dark, there songs develop with an almost question like quality.

Bonus: My Great Ghost – Photograph

While looking over some of their other songs I just found this track they released back in January, it’s pretty damn good as well.

My Great Ghost –  Bandcamp | Twitter | Website

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Heavenly Beat

“Elite” – mp3

Heavenly Beat

Finally we have a complete album from former Beach Fossils bass player John Peña. I realize how much shit I’m going to catch for saying this but I actually like Heavenly Beat better, it feels much less contrived.

Heavenly BeatFacebook

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FAVORS

“Shoot Hoops” – mp3

Favors

While I’m thinking of bands which I strongly feel are better than other bands lets just get the similarities between Favors and Foster The People out of the way. Really it’s only “Shoot Hoops” which sounds anything like the epically overrated FTP the rest of their songs (free through their bandcamp link) carry the same full on electro-gold sound without any other similarities feeling as close to the surface, unfortunately for them this is, without a doubt, my favorite song of theirs and it wouldn’t feel right if I put up any of their other tracks without this one being first.

FavorsBandcamp

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Aesop Rock

‘Zero Dark Thirty” – mp3

Aesop Rock

By this time I’m sure we’ve all come to realize just how great Aesop Rock is so I’m not putting this up expecting any sort of eye-opening epiphany more just as an excuse to point out the fact I’ve been sampling his line about “china-town turtles” (1:19) like it’s my job.

If you by chance have just figured out how the internet works and haven’t heard anything from Aesop Rock,Zero Dark Thirty” is a perfect example of how this San Francisco artist has an addictive smoothness that the likes of Lil Wayne and Kanye only can dream about, probably because Aesop is intelligent and has the ability to actually say something rather than hope for a catchy enough hook to look past generic lines about bathing in gold and catching herpes from strippers.

Aesop RockFacebook | Twitter | Website

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The Weeknd

“Initiation” – mp3

The Weeknd

While I’m thinking about sampling, here is “Initiation” from The Weeknd who is hands down one of the more incredible sampling artist. I can’t decide whether it is a positive or negative that Abel Tesfaye is so damn good as a vocalist that the majority of his instrumentation winds up being merely cliff notes to a sound where with any other artist it would be the corner stone.

The Weeknd Facebook | Website

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The Echo-Friendly

“Same Mistakes” – mp3

The Echo-Friendly

As I take in “Same Mistakes” I can’t help but begin looking around at my group of friends and pointing fingers, I wonder if they think the same way about me when this song comes on? Seems like the vast majority of my friends would feel this song is about them if any of us were willing to take an honest look at who we are and what we’re about, (un?)fortunately we spend too much time enjoying life to ever partake in an introspective self-reflection such as that.

Word on the street is that we should have a new album from The Echo-Friendly by the time fall is here, it’s gonna be fantastic I can feel it.

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The Echo-friendlyBandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Henry Clay People

“Hide” – mp3

The Henry Clay People

I feel like going out with a song that is both upbeat as well as feeling like an embodiment of the mindset I mentioned with The Echo-Friendly. I’ve been on a kick for anthemic-rock songs fitting with the general psyche of Austin. Each day I feel more and more like the utopian place I always dreamed of is becoming tangible and realistic.  I’m sure there will be bad days but after being here for seven months I’m yet to have one, that being a dream come true in itself. When you go out and everyone feels like they are on the same exact level as this song how can you not be content.

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Henry Clay People Facebook | Twitter | Website

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I was skeptical about putting up such a long post but it turned out well enough, right? Sorry for the lack of consistent mixes, been working fifty plus hours for the man each week and trying to enjoy the life I actually have outside of there.

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All songs are for promotional purposes only. If you or an artist you represent would like to have some content removed email me at Heycoolkid@yahoo.com and it will be taken down immediately.

4 Responses to “Maybe Reality Is Not As Objective As It Seems”

  1. Jamie November 6, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    I found Julian Pitt! Armstrong:
    http://thebeautifulmusic.com/

    http://www.myspace.com/armstrongwales

    • heycoolkid! November 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      That is awesome! Looking forward to that purchase.

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