Heartbreaking Bravery

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Total Babes – Heydays (Music Video)

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Throughout the past week there’s been a steady rollout of a slew of great songs and full streams. While the music video category didn’t quite hit the preceding week’s exhilarating highs, there was still solace to be found in some genuinely enjoyable clips from Joe Bordenaro, Algiers (who still have my pick for breakout act of 2015), Weird Mob, and Magic Potion.  Topping that batch off is Total Babes’ charming, lighthearted video for “Heydays”. Total Babes, at this point, is mostly known for its connection to Cloud Nothings (the band was founded by drummer Jayson Gerycz, whose work on Here and Nowhere Else was so impressive I shortlisted his turn-in on that record as one of last year’s most memorable moments). The singular vision on display in “Heydays” suggests that may not always be the case.

In addition to being a perfectly crafted burst of irreverent basement pop, the accompanying video comes laced with a kind of very specific comedic sensibility points towards Total Babes staggering self-awareness in terms of identity. All of the factors bode well for the band and subtly factor into the clip’s endearing narrative, which follows an air tube dancer through a turbulent time in his life. Even though our braver protagonist loses his girlfriend, his job, and part of his will to continue, he never loses his smile. Utilizing a simple idea and maximizing it’s unique factors to incredible effect (generating what are essentially organic jump cuts is a brilliant move), the video never loses its sense of playfulness. Masterfully executed, “Heydays” is a welcome dose of wit-laced humor that goes a long way in establishing Total Babes as much more than just a side project.

Watch “Heydays” below and order the album that’s named after the song from the increasingly formidable Wichita here.

Westkust – Dishwasher (Stream)

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Continuing on in what promises to be a weekend full of posts, Westkust’s latest tops off a list of four more great songs- all of which appeared within the past week. There was Veruca Salt’s unexpected, punchy return that was spearheaded by “Laughing in the Sugar Bowl“, Nap Eyes’ brilliantly minimalist take on basement pop in “Dark Creedence“, The Hussy’s characteristically spiky “Turning On You“, and J Fernandez’s psych-tinged “Between the Channels“. “Dishwasher” earns the headline of this batch by virtue of sheer power, marking one of Westkust’s strongest offerings thus far.

Westkust had already made a considerable impression with their last single, “Swirl”, which was strong enough to warrant inclusion in our First Quarter Highlights mixtape earlier this year. Now, Makthaverskan’s sister band has begun to expand on their sizable early promise with the propulsive, hard-hitting “Dishwasher”. Utilizing a production style and aesthetic not too dissimilar from site favorites Joanna Gruesome, Westkust definitively carves out their own variant pocket in a very niche genre. Powerpop, twee, post-punk, and shoegaze all collide to create something spectacular. Teeming with personality and tapping into an unlikely fierceness, “Dishwasher” comes off like a warning shot. It also proves that Westkust refuse to be relegated to the sidelines; this is a band intent on a reckoning. Give into their charms or miss out on a golden opportunity.

Listen to “Dishwasher” below and pre-order Last Forever ahead of its July 10 release directly from Run For Cover here.