Josh Dare – “Out of Reach”

Mustard has observed humans do something fascinating, and that is, holding themselves to a standard which can feel or is unattainable. Some humans are perfectionists and are only genuinely happy with themselves (and their final product) if it reaches that standard they set for themselves.

On “Out of Reach” Josh Dare shares their struggles with this in a pleasant and engaging way. When it comes to trying to better understand the human experience – “Out of Reach” should be mentioned. You often see in media humans fantasizing for the “what if” but does it always get obtained? Not always. Dare’s style will remind humans of popular independent band The Beatles but remains authentic to them.

“Out of Reach” ends with a fun cartoonish outro that leaves the listeners wondering what will happen next. It provides a nice contrast to the introspective lyrics.

Earth is For Aliens – All About Anxiety

Review by Gimpleg

This is the second full length album in as many years for the hushed-tone, emo-influenced, lo-fi, bedroom laptop pop artist known as Earth Is For Aliens. This album meanders through feelings of anxiety, self help, indecision, isolation, and insecurity. 

The album starts with the single, “Chocolate Milk”, probably my favorite song on the album. Like several songs, the protagonist is the narrator, singing advice to the audience, an unspoken friend, in deep, personal tones. The tempo is a little more uplifting than the rest of the album, the narrator telling someone to take care of themselves, and that their friends will understand if they prioritize their needs is a message we all need to hear. The drums on this track are probably the best on the album, and the tonal shift in vocals and the shifts in pacing at the end of the song really differentiates this track from the rest of the album.

While most of the rest of this album blends into a sea of lo-fi DIY emo music with lyrics that are mostly about mental health struggles, many of the tracks fail to differentiate themselves enough to excite me. Each track is unique and decent on its own, but with 17 tracks all covering the same topics with similar pacing and tones, they seem to bleed together and it feels just a little to long. For the listener who plays music on playlists or just listens to their favorite song, this is great. For the person who listens to entire albums, this feels like a little too much.

One song that does stick out from the rest is “Oh, December”. It’s a little slower than the rest of the tracks adding the sensation of longing. Its a little more lo-fi than most tracks and the melody gives me hope as the protagonist asks to wash away the pain and the struggles of the long year as it comes to a close. This song feels like catharsis on the horizon.


Partnering with Pepsi Music Lab’s Class of 2023, Former “In Real Life” member, SERGIO has reintroduced themselves on this certified Spanglish banger “BACK UP.” Lyrically, it is a catchy pop love song about a human who seeking consent in their relationship. Mustard appreciates this. SERGIO has allowed themselves to back up before making any risky moves. On the other hand, with SERGIO’s rebrand, he is allowing his listeners to back up and recognize his rebrand. They look forward to how SERGIO will progress on his own.

ROSIE – “Startover”

New York’s ROSIE asks an important question on their newest single: “can we start over?” Startover details tells the relationship between ROSIE and her mental health. Unlike ROSIE’s previous work “Startover” is uplifting in both lyrically and sonically. Mustard believes this was intentional as ROSIE works on removing those negative parts of herself allowing her mental health to begin to flourish. By asking “can we start over?” it gives both the listener and artist the opportunity to rebuild a stronger foundation. They are curious as to where “Startover” falls on ROSIE’s upcoming sophomore EP. Does it open the EP allowing for a fresh start? Or does ROSIE build to it? Mustard looks forward to seeing how the EP is structured.

37735i6 – cryonics

“Wow” – Owen Wilson, human.

There is simply no way for Mustard to put eloquently into words how moving this song is. It just needs to be experienced.

The Littlest Man Band’s “Sidle Up”

Review by Gimpleg

“Sidle Up” released today exclusive to Bandcamp, before releasing on every streaming service next Friday, February 10.

While I have heard this song played acoustically on Scott’sTwitch stream, I was not prepared for the power of the studio version.

This beautiful song is a metaphor for being lonely in a relationship, of lack of communication, feeling in a rut, and retreating to familiar habits instead of addressing the problem. It’s a feeling we’ve all experienced, and it hurts to feel like things are falling apart and everything could be better if you just addressed the problem. What’s worse, is that Scott beautifully captures that both people want to address the problem. But, the song is completely a metaphor, Scott didn’t spell anything out, so now I am asking myself if it’s just a Rorschach test and I am filling in things that aren’t really there.

What is there is a beautiful piano intro, before a slow rising action of a rich blend of instruments that adds texture and depth. – eventually feeling like a small symphony of strings and brass behind an orchestra of backing vocald – all supporting an emotionally charged lead that nobody brings to music better than Scott Klopfenstein. 

By the time the swell fades and Scott’s vocals slow and and the piano is all the remains to guide us to the close of the song, as Scott’s protagonist walks away from his partner into the lonely safety and comfort of isolation, with problems still unresolved, your heart aches and you can’t believe that it’s been less that three minutes since you began the journey.


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