Kal Marks – It Was A Very Hard Year (Stream)

by Steven Spoerl

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Now that all of the great music videos and full streams from the first part of this week are accounted for, it’s time to turn the lens to the handful of single songs that managed to stand out. JOYA crafted a punchy tune that wielded an 80’s new wave punk influence masterfully with “Regale“, The Velveteens unveiled a beautiful indie pop slow-burner titled “Loneliness“, and California X came out swinging with career highlight “Nights In The Dark“- which will also serve as the title for their forthcoming record. My Drunken Haze gave life to the oddly hypnotic “Yellow Balloon“, Step-Panther gave a guided heist tour in their curiously dynamic “Nowhere“, and School ’94 revealed their gorgeous 80’s-indebted ballad “Like You“. Despite all of those songs being worthy of their own write-ups, it’s hard to just glaze past something as powerful as Kal Marks‘ “It Was A Very Hard Year”.

One of 2013’s strongest records was Kal Marks’ sprawling, gloom-infused post-punk masterpiece Life Is Murder, Now, only a year later, they’re preparing to release what will be one of this year’s best EP’s- Just A Lonely Fart. All of the implicit dread that informed Life Is Murder is still incredibly present in Just A Lonely Fart, which was previously teased with lead-off track “Zimmerman“. While “Zimmerman” dealt in political explosives with sharp social commentary, “It Was A Very Hard Year” pulls the reins back and delves into something equally terrifying; what it means to be human. Both songs (and their inspirations) were touched on in the interview that accompanied the song’s premiere, lending a greater insight to the thought processes driving Just A Lonely Fart. Empathy plays a heavy factor and manages to punctuate the incredibly tense “It Was A Very Hard Year” in surprisingly engaging and intriguingly subtle ways. It’s a brilliant closer that builds itself into a hurricane before settling into a quiet oblivion, successfully casting Just A Lonely Fart as one of 2014’s most striking releases. Don’t make the mistake of letting this one fall to the wayside.

Listen to “It Was A Very Hard Year” below and pre-order Just A Lonely Fart from Kal Marks’ bandcamp.