Heartbreaking Bravery

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Nothing Stops In November: The Month’s Streams

While only two premiere spots ran on this site over the course of November, there was more than enough new material being released to keep anyone attempting to track it all extremely occupied. A total of nearly 200 outstanding songs found their way out into the world and, just as the preceding posts did for full streams and music videos, this post will serve as a recap of the majority of those titles. If there were enough time to provide all of these tracks feature spots, they’d be receiving a lot more words. However, that shouldn’t distract from their merit; all of these tracks are more than worth hearing. So, bookmark the page, click around, and discover a few new favorites. 

Hater, Alyeska, Dama Scout, Fred Thomas, Turtlenecked, Pissed Jeans, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Wild Pink, PermitTy Segall, The Courtneys, Julien Baker, brunch., Holy Now, Breast Massage, Hideout (x2), Jitterz, Drakulas, Ted Leo, Peter Silberman, Creepoid, ot to, not to, Luxury Death, Leapling, Day Wave, No Sun, Matthew Squires, Skyway Man, Dominic, Tobin Sprout, D.A. Stern, Minor Moon, Dear Georgiana, Slumbers, FRIGS, Nadia Reid, Mark Sultan, Polyester, Imaginary People, Shiny Wet Machine.

Magic Magic Roses, Spelling Reform, The Velveteins, Rubblebucket, Cate Le Bon, A Valley Son (x2), Old Gray, The Besnard Lakes, Swampmeat, Heat, Fascinations Grand Chorus, Alexander F, Mica Levi, Steady Hands, Bell the Band, Urochromes, Idle Bloom, Mainland, Thelma, The Regrettes, Modern Baseball, Holiday Ghosts, Los Campesinos!, Fear of Me, Lilah Larson, Frederick the Younger, Silver Rose, Lucidalabrador, The Molochs, Molly Burch, Tim Cohen, Rainbrother, AD.UL.T. (x2), Decorum, MELT, Emmy the Great.

GOLDBLOOMS, The Adventures of the Silver Spaceman (x2), We Leave at Midnight (x2), Dooms Virginia, Rosebug, Paperhead, OhBoy!, whenyoung, Caitlin Pasko, Lampshades, Pie Face Girls, Brandon Can’t Dance, Kevin Krauter, Childcare, Mind Rays, Eric Matthews, The Velvet Ants, The Black Clouds, Diagrams, Marine, Corner Suns, So Stressed, Crash Club, Future Peers, Proper Ornaments, Trudy and The Romance, Will Johnson, Fond Han, Natalie Bouloudis, Jordan Burchel, Big Mother Gig, Elliot, Once & Future Band.

Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2, Pure Moods, Dude York, Sam Brockington, Del Caesar, John Travoltage, Camp Cope, Mutts, Pollen Rx, Cloakroom, Mr. Universe, Carroll, Purmamarca, Ben Pagano & The Space Machine, Tim Carr, Eat Fast, Landing, Louise Burns, Toothless, Plastic Pinks, Less Acrobats, Knifey, Known To Collapse, Cassels, Tracy Bonham, Brasstronaut, Satin Cowboys, Surf Rock Is Dead, Fruit Bats, Steph Barrak, Oliver Houston, The Sloppy Heads, Chavez, Aan, Sex Drive, The Saddest Landscape, Xiu XiuLiving Body, Lowly, JERK, Medium Mystic, Dutch Uncles, COTE, Koresma, Jailbox, Hajk, Archawah, Levek, and Grave School.

Nothing Stops In November: The Month’s Full Streams

A lot changed over the course of November, on national, global, and intimate scales. The results of the latter category led to a near-absence of posts over the past 30 days on this space. No matter how much the personal landscape changed, the tracking of new releases remained a constant. While the last post documented some of the best music videos to emerge over the course of that run, the attention here falls to the full streams that were unveiled in that same interim.

As is typically the case with these types of roundups, everything here deserves more praise than it can possibly receive here and is likely best sifted through at a leisurely pace. Feel free to bookmark the page and make return visits to hear some outstanding music because these aren’t releases that people will want to miss. Dive in and enjoy. 

Permit, Lawn, Swampmeat, Minihorse, Deerhoof, RetailThe Momotarōs, Spelling Reform, Very Fresh, Dark Blue, Skin Lies, Nine of Swords, Harmony Tividad, Miracle Sweepstakes, Monomyth, Pure Moods, if i die in mississippi, Mustardmind, Frank Weysos, Tuffy, Dr. Dog, Jess Williamson, Pastel Felt, Floating Room, Mark Sultan, Landing, Psychic Love, His Clancyness, Blank Range, Dogs At Large, Mr. Universe, Carroll, Warm Ouroboros, NGHTCRWLRS, Ava Mendoza/Maxime Petit/Will Guthrie, You Blew It.

Burial, Justin Carter, Cold Country, Gloria, Brave Timbers, Split Single, Amp, Deadaires, Cameron AG, Estrons, The Superweaks, My Education, Genders, Elle, Perfect Human, Fujiya & Miyagi, The Immoderate Past, Holy Golden, and Quit + Wuss. An outstanding GoldFlakePaint compilation and an exceptional Z Tapes compilation rounded things out in memorable fashion.

Nothing Stops In November: The Month’s Music Videos

November was a hectic month for a lot of reasons, politically and personally. Barely any posts ran over the past 30 days but, as always, the new releases were accounted for as they were unveiled. As December presses towards 2017, there will be a slew of new posts covering the best material to be released in November as well as the releases that appear throughout the month. Before those run, though, there’ll be extended recaps of some of the most exceptional releases in the three major categories (streams, music videos, and full streams). This post will cover the visual end of that spectrum and offers up a wide array of styles. Go exploring. 

Weyes Blood, Methyl Ethel, Ultimate Painting, Small Feet, Silver Rose, Adam & Elvis, The Franklys, Willie J HealeyLA BÊTE BLOOMS, Communions, Rick Rude, Slowcoaches, Landing, ROYA, NE-HI, Lost Under Heaven, Soft Lions, Shellshag, Littler, Mutts, No Nets, The Evaporators, Drive-By Truckers, Bing & Ruth, Leggy, Quilt, Lydia Loveless, Dizzyride, Bash & Pop, Kissing Party, Jamie T, Jeff Rosenstock, Martin Courtney, Thom Hell, Cass McCombs, Lou Barlow, Drugdealer (ft. Weyes Blood), Aathens.

Sammus (ft. Izzy True), July Talk, Howardian, Invisible Boy, The Empty Page, Ricky Eat Acid, Haybaby, Mikey Erg, Hodgy, Rogov, Marchildon!, Streets of Laredo, Pill Friends, Hello Shark, Owen, Bichkraft, Roosevelt, Margaret Glaspy, Clipping., The So So Glos, Joan of Arc, Jesca Hoop, Luke Temple, Lost in the Cosmos, Cut Off Your Hands, Dear Boy, The Molochs, ANOHNI, Monogold, Young Pioneers, Cherry Glazerr, Terra Lightfoot, The Smith Street Band, Waxlimbs, Hero Fisher (ft. Carol Batton), Delicate Steve.

Yael Naim, NONA, BADBADNOTGOOD (ft. Kaytranada), Uni Ika Ai, Vandaveer, Jarrod Milton, Mount Moriah, Jade Imagine, Brodka, Priests, Wolf People, The Severed Limb, and a trio of clips from Chastity.

Kindling – Black Eye (Music Video Premiere)

Kindling

For the past few years, this site’s paid close to attention to the work being done by Kindling, one of the more promising names in the new wave of shoegaze acts that have been releasing exceptional music. Stephen Pierce, one of the band’s guitarist/vocalists, has emerged as a source of inspiration in those times. Overcoming injury and contributing to items that aimed to make a positive change. Character is often reflected in music so it’s no surprise that Kindling’s has always been both reassuring and incredibly tantalizing.

The band released an outstanding full-length entitled Everywhere Else just a handful of months ago and are releasing an appropriately retro-minded clip for one of the record’s highlights, “Black Eye”. Using hazy overlays and strange coloration, the band invokes memories of a variety of classic ’90s clips from shoegaze, grunge, and downer punk acts. Fittingly, the visual approach also speaks to the narrative of “Black Eye”, which is driven by feelings of alienation and despair.

That sense of sadness permeates through every frame of “Black Eye”, even as the Alle Kern-directed clip eventually settles into determined resilience. “Black Eye” is a smoky, nostalgic, emotional gut-punch that never feels its length. Kindling’s constantly in the center of the tornado that’s perpetually swirling around them and the clip somehow illustrates, at least in part, how at home they are in those surroundings. Incredibly compelling and even a little thought-provoking, “Black Eye” is the band at their best. Why take shelter when you could get swept up in the fray?

Watch “Black Eye” below and pick up Everywhere Else here.

Slugger – hotel swimming pool (Live Video Premiere)

slugger

For nearly three years, the Watch This series has been focusing on the best live videos to emerge in that given, immediate week. The project’s nearing its 150th installment and during that entire run, it’s been rare that this site has given a standalone feature to a live clip. In many of the recent Watch This installments there have been Boxfish Sessions from the emergent Cuttlefish Collective.

The clips being shot, produced, and unveiled by that camp are unified by a sense of loving care; it’s abundantly clear they love the artists that they feature. It’s something that continues to be a heartening source of small inspiration for anyone with any interest in documenting live music. With all of that in mind, it’s both an honor and a privilege to be premiering their latest, which centers on Horse Jumper of Love‘s Dimitri Giannopoulos solo project, Slugger, and a new track entitled “hotel swimming pool”.

An achingly meditative piece, “hotel swimming pool” is performed and lensed with the moving tenderness that’s come to define the work of both parties. As the camera surveys Giannopoulos, the patterned backdrop, and the audience, the clip becomes impossibly immersive with “hotel swimming pool” serving as the siren call. “hotel swimming pool” and this session both tell acutely-realized stories to mesmerizing effect, leaving a lingering sense of anticipation for whatever comes next for both projects. Dive in and get lost in its magic.

Watch “hotel  swimming pool” below and keep an eye on this site for more updates on the project.

Lost Boy ? – Halloween + Haunted House (Stream)

Lost Boy ? IV

Three years ago today, Heartbreaking Bravery launched with a very quick post spotlighting Audacity’s “Hole in the Sky” music video. A lot’s happened in the years that have followed. Trips out of the country, the creation of the A Year’s Worth of Memories series, an insane showcase thrown in a small town basement, the first and only interview to ever run on Heartbreaking Bravery, an extended relocation to New York City, and the 100-song A Step Forward compilation to mark the site’s 1000th post all ranked as highlights.

A lot of friends and memories have been made over the course of these past three years and Lost Boy ? qualify in both categories. In the spirit of the season, looking back, and looking ahead, this post will focus on two of the project’s Halloween-themed offerings. “Haunted House”, the most recent, finds the Davey Jones-led act in amusingly weary mid-tempo mode, navigating holiday-appropriate imagery to effectively underscore the sense of exhaustion that prods the song towards its perfect “I’m not mad, just disappointed” hook. It’s another perfect example of Jones blending a punchy pathos with an endearing whimsicality in an incredibly fascinating composition.

“Hallowen” a song from several years back that Jones put together with Boats recently resurfaced and falls in line with the handful of Lost Boy ? tracks that are driven by restless, reckless abandon. From the absolutely insane, quasi-nightmarish industrial ambient fever dream that ends “Halloween” to its deliriously spry opening, there’s not a moment of the track that isn’t ridiculously compelling. A snarky and irreverent narrative propels “Halloween” to stratospheric highs while Jones delivers the vocals with an excess of conviction and sends everything hurtling heavenward with a riff-happy chorus section.

Both songs are perfectly in keeping with the fiercely independent sensibilities and strong DIY ethos that Heartbreaking Bravery was built to celebrate. Whether it’s the “Happy Halloween!” that closes out the main section of the latter track or the distorted, modified vocal effects that pepper the former, Lost Boy ? also hit moments of uninhibited joy, showcasing a love for making art that exists well outside the confines of industry pressure. Exhilarating, heartening, inspired, inspiring, and timely, it’s hard to think of a better pair of songs to celebrate today.

Listen to “Haunted Hose” and “Halloween” below and keep an eye on this site for more updates on Lost Boy ?

Watch This: Vol. 149

The past week was teeming with outstanding live videos. Japanese Breakfast, Margaret Glaspy, Tacocat, Dolfish, The Conquerors, Liz Cooper & The Stampede, Nassau, Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam (x2), Computer Magic, Alex Izenberg, The Lemon Twigs, Runaway Brother, Julia Jacklin, Jay Smart, Full Body, Conor Oberst, Ira Wolf, The Blank Tapes, Donovan Wolfington, The Malady of Sevendials, Sammus, Tom Brosseau, Casper Skulls, Jordie Lane & the Sleepers, King Charles, Diet Cig, Gallery 47, Pat Otto, Lilian, Kyle Craft, and Thirdstory all offered up incredible entries and, in the process, pointed to the overwhelming strength of the five clips featured below. New faces and old favorites abound in full sessions, late night triumphs, and single song performances. So, as always, sit up, lean in, focus, adjust the settings, block out any distractions, and Watch This.

1. Real Life Buildings (WKNC)

A New York institution for some years now, Real Life Buildings’ members have been extremely active in the DIY punk scene and accumulated an impressive pedigree. It’s easy to forget that fact when they play, though, as their music sounds so complete. Here, the project takes to the WKNC studios and delivers an inspired set of slightly askew basement pop. It’s a series of thrilling moments from a band that more than deserves their continuously growing reputation as one of the state’s finest acts.

2. Yohuna – Apart (Radio K)

In Patientness, the Johanne Swanson-led Yohuna delivered one of the year’s most quietly compelling releases. Operating as a trio for the live shows, Yohuna recently stopped by the Radio K studios and offered up a gripping take on “Apart”, one of the many highlights from Patientness. Calm, collected, and enticing, it’s a perfect example of the project’s innate level of talent.

3, Porches – Car (KEXP)

When Watch This was in its earliest stages, Porches. would make infrequent appearances that mostly came courtesy of fan-shot footage of solo performances. In that time, the project’s reach has considerably widened, the period at the end of the name’s been all but abandoned, and it’s successfully transitioned into a full band that boasts an incredible cast of musicians. Porches hit a career highlight with “Car” and they recently gifted KEXP with this arresting run through the song. Good luck escaping the vice grip of that miraculous hook.

4. Julia Jacklin – Pool Party (The Current)

The ascendant Julia Jacklin’s been making quite a splash lately, drawing comparisons to the likes of Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, and Leonard Cohen. Just a few seconds into this gorgeous run through “Pool Party” and it’s abundantly clear that Jacklin’s tapped into that intangible element that can propel talented people to new levels of fame. A beautiful performance of a gorgeous song, it’s hard not to just leave the clip on repeat.

5. Mitski – Your Best American Girl (Colbert)

Anytime anyone from the DIY circuit starts succeeding on a grander level, it’s a heartening development, especially in the cases of artists that stay true to their convictions. Watching Mitski sit in with Stephen Colbert’s house band and lead them through selections from a discography that’s been well-covered here in the past served as a moment of triumph. The cherry on top? A full, heartfelt rendition of “Your Best American Girl” — one of 2016’s best songs — with the house band urging the song forward. All told, it was a well-earned, inspiring moment from an artist whose work deserves to be celebrated.

The Wisconaut – Dad (EP Review)

the-wisconaut

EDITOR’S NOTE: This series of posts reflects back on some of the best material to be released over the past few weeks. Each post with this heading is a part of this series. After this series has concluded regular coverage will resume. 

One of the most effective ways to discover new artists is through the lens of other artists. Petite League‘s Lorenzo Cook was kind enough to provide such an introduction via a recommendation to The Wisconaut, a retro-leaning, punk-tinged basement pop project from a young Wisconsin-based musician. Dad, the project’s latest release, is a two-song EP that quickly demonstrates what makes the project so intriguing; an informed sense of musical history, a reserve of energy, and a commitment to the material, which frequently sounds like a slightly more polished take on the type of music that the Black Lips were peddling over their earliest releases.

Neither “Salt Shaker” or “Pipe Dream” exceed the two-minute mark but both songs come loaded with conviction, feeling, and an infectious lightness. Dipping into a ’50s doo-wop influence and expertly combining in with proto-punk aesthetics, The Wisconaut still manages to find a way to sound decidedly modern. The clever lyrics are well above par, the vocal melodies are earworms all on their own, and each of the songs pack enough power in their running times to start a whole host of parties. Fun, impressive, and surprisingly substantial, Dad‘s does more than enough to make sure that this won’t be the last time the name The Wisconaut is printed on these pages.

Listen to Dad below and keep an eye on this site for more updates on the project.

Walkingshoe – All the Wrong Places (Stream)

walkingshoe

EDITOR’S NOTE: This series of posts reflects back on some of the best material to be released over the past few weeks. Each post with this heading is a part of this series. After this series has concluded regular coverage will resume. 

A strange amount of comfort can be found in invoking nostalgia by staying true to trends from decades past. Walkingshoe takes that philosophy to stratospheric heights with “All the Wrong Places”, which combines that approach across multiple decades and congeals those tendencies into an astonishingly coherent whole. ’60s instrumentation, ’70s composition, ’80s excess, ’90s aesthetics, and ’00s manipulation all find fascinating ways to connect on “All the Wrong Places”, leaving the song as a modern day miracle.

Impressively, from second to second, all of the nostalgic points are incredibly malleable. The most dominant frame of reference is likely the slacker pop movement of the late ’90s and early ’00s that found an unassuming figurehead in Ben Kweller. Walkingshoe, while not too far removed from Kweller and his ilk, still comes across as refreshingly new. Bold and unpredictable, “All the Wrong Places” is the sound of a new artist finding an engaging voice.  It’s an extraordinary feat and it deserves to be recognized, shared, and celebrated.

Listen to “All the Wrong Places” below and download it here.

The Van T’s – Fun Garçon (Stream)

the-van-ts

EDITOR’S NOTE: This series of posts reflects back on some of the best material to be released over the past few weeks. Each post with this heading is a part of this series. After this series has concluded regular coverage will resume. 

Earlier this week, The Van T’s reminded everyone of their formidable strength with the rousing “Fun Garçon”, a sharp blast of pop-friendly basement punk. Scrappy, melodic, and incredibly forceful, “Fun Garçon” brings a shoegaze influence to the forefront and grounds itself with the swirling, reverb-soaked lead guitar line that dominates the proceedings.

Every decision the quartet makes on “Fun Garçon” propels the song forward, sending it blindly hurtling towards an inevitable moment of impact with reckless abandon. Riding a wave of excess adrenaline, The Van T’s draw power from sheer aggression and never look back at the terrain they’ve scorched. Unwieldy and wildly entertaining, “Fun Garçon” finds The Van T’s fully charged and ready for anything. With the momentum they’re building, it’s best to try to get on board, if only to avoid getting absolutely flattened.

Listen to “Fun Garçon” below and keep an eye on Bloc+Music for the November 25th release of “Fun Garçon”.