Watch This: Vol. 45
by Steven Spoerl
As mentioned in the previous post, this has been a tremendous week for new music- and the same can be said for new live footage as well. When Watch This started, Heartbreaking Bravery was already in its third week of operation. To help create a greater consistency, today will feature two installments of Watch This instead of the usual standalone entry. Everything in Volume 45 surfaced during the earliest part of the week but have more than held up to repeat viewings. From site favorites to living legends to new discoveries, this installment covers a spread that encompasses next to everything that this series was designed to celebrate. So, sit back, switch off the lights, warm up, wind down, and Watch This.
1. Tweens – Bored In the City (Faits Divers)
That Tweens wound up being as great as it was shouldn’t have surprised anyone familiar with the band’s early demos or tapes. What was somewhat unexpected was how readily they were embraced by the public. They’re a band that built a lot of their reputation by having consistently impressive live shows so it’s a joy to finally be able to feature one here. Faits Divers recently took them in for a session while the band was touring Europe and “Bored In the City” wound up being an easy highlight.
2. The Rocketboys – Time Is A Devil (Audiotree)
As far as first introductions go, it’s hard to beat something like The Rocketboys’ Audiotree session for “Time Is A Devil”. While there are an abundance of polished pop/rock elements that are fighting their way to the forefront, the whole song’s underpinned by a brooding anxiety that’s completely antagonistic for most stadium-ready bands. If music like this winds up being the future of the radio, we’ll likely all be better off for it.
3. The Dream Syndicate (KEXP)
It’s a little disheartening that The Dream Syndicate’s comeback didn’t get as much press as it deserved. The seminal 80’s band has been massively influential for a number of great bands that emerged since the band’s initial departure in 1989. After reforming in 2012, the band’s never paused to look back. Here, they tear through an assortment of classics for KEXP at the Bumbershoot Music Lounge, sounding as vital as ever.
4. Alice Boman – Lead Me (Allston Pudding)
On rare occasion there are extraordinarily intimate performances that wind up earning features on here by virtue of their impact. Swedish songwriter Alice Boman falls into this category with ease. Performing “Lead Me” for Allston Pudding, Boman carries a stunning solo performance with an easy grace, undoubtedly rendering it an unforgettable moment for anyone that was fortunate enough to be in attendance. All Boman needs is a keyboard and her voice to create something completely ethereal.
5. Little Big League – Year of the Sunhouse (Little Elephant)
There haven’t been very many bands on Little Elephant that have been as easy to fall in love with as Little Big League. “Year of the Sunhouse” is punk-leaning outsider pop at its absolute finest. Unsurprisingly, they’ve been running with the Exploding in Sound family (“Year of the Sunhouse” originally appeared on a split with Ovlov) and making some waves as a result. Of course, that never would have happened if they hadn’t been conjuring up some of the most likable music being released today. Watch their Little Elephant session below and get converted (or have everything reaffirmed).