Artist: John The Conqueror Song: "Waking Up To You" Album: The Good Life
"As folks get older, they begin to see the mistakes they've made," Pierre Moore tells Rolling Stone. "This song isn't about one woman. It's about every relationship I've ruined because I thought sleeping around would make me happy. A few years go, I woke up realizing that I was never satisfied and I caused all my own problems. This song is about that moment."
Artist: Outlands Song: "Warm Winds" Album: Love is as Cold as Death
"We recorded 'Warm Winds' in the middle of a cold Virginia winter," Mark Arciaga tells Rolling Stone. "It's about letting love be the catalyst to move forward. The song was written about these lush Cocteau Twins piano chords, which we ended up reworking and recording on a grand piano to give the song more warmth, and we brought it our friend Kevin Knight to sing some sexy lower background vocals. Those Jessie Ware-inspired harmonies are what really gives that song an extra layer of sensuousness."
"I've always been fascinated by graffiti art. Growing up, my older brother and I would watch vandalized trains pass by, and he would point out which paintings had been done by the same person," Maggie Chapman tells Rolling Stone. "I had just gone through a breakup with a guy who was a painter when the title 'Graffiti' popped into my head. He was so talented and I was mesmerized with how he could bring things to life through his art. Even though the song is not about him, I was visually inspired and wanted to paint a picture with words in this song. That vivid, colorful, passionate love that has the power to make or break us, to taint our hearts or turn them into works of art."
Artist: The Tontons Song: "Magic Hour" Album: The Make Out King and Other Stories of Love
"'Magic Hour' is named after a bar in New York's lower east side," Asli Omar tells Rolling Stone. "The actual name of the bar is "The Magician," which is something I only realized after writing the song. The song basically describes the final week of my relationship which kind of reached a head at this particular bar.
Artist: Charlie Greene Song: "Man on Fire" Album: Charlie Greene
"'Man on Fire' [is] kind of a lyrical cuspidor," Charlie Greene tells Rolling Stone. "Some simple music that became a home for some orphaned ideas that couldn't take shelter in another song. A manger for stranger phrases that were told there was no room at the inn for their kind. It's the wail of a weirdo trying to explain himself and failing spectacularly. It's also just some good hillbilly shit that's fun to play."
Artist: Jake Troth Song: "Real Life Thing" Album: Double Black Diamond
"'Real Life Thing' is a result of me trying to blend classic music with contemporary topics, like internet dating," Jake Troth tells Rolling Stone. "Sadly, some people feel more comfortable texting and emailing than speaking face to face. I prefer the real thing until the connection is clearer."
Artist: Ducky Song: "Two Over Ten" Album: Two Over Ten (Single)
"'Two Over Ten' is about the fight with something or someone coming after a part of yourself, and the feeling of giving in," Morgan Neiman tells Rolling Stone. "The title is actually a reference to the symbol 2/10, used during the Great Depression. It means, 'hush, there are thieves about!'"
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