Heartbreaking Bravery

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Meat Wave – Delusion Moon (Stream)

meatwave

Few bands have meant more to this site and its early development than Meat Wave. They’ve been granted one of the only On the Up feature spots, they’ve offered premieres, and they played the first (and, so far, only) Heartbreaking Bravery showcase. The band’s earned quite a bit of coverage over here and today’s news ensures that’s a continuing development.

Before delving into their new song, though, I’d like to take a minute to congratulate them on signing to SideOneDummy, a highly revered- and influential- punk label. The trio’s new home looks like a promising one and will undoubtedly push their name recognition to (deservedly) greater heights. Meat Wave weren’t the only band with a noteworthy release today, so a few more bands will be highlighted before circling back to the main attraction.

Cosmicide released a deeply cinematic clip for “A New Disaster” and four artists teased two splits (Jeff the Brotherhood and Colleen Green and Audacity and together PANGEA, respectively). Cassels revealed their bruising Hating Is Easy EP while both Little My and Derider pulled back the curtains on their forthcoming albums. Once again, single streams made up the bulk of the day’s items and included a few genuine stunners.

Ought’s sprawling “Beautiful Blue Sky” nearly wound up with today’s feature, while it fended off strong competition from the likes of Sharkmufffin’s fiery “Mondays“, Reservations’ noir-tinted “Planet“, NE-HI’s punchy “Drag“, Girls Names’ compellingly bleak “A Hunger Artist“, and Helen’s surprisingly massive “Motorcycle“. Comfy’s sunny basement pop tune “Neck Hz“, GospelbeacH’s breezy backwoods number “Sunshine Skyway“, and Elway’s revitalized “Albuquerque Low” all added up to the format’s considerable tally.

Then, of course, there was “Delusion Moon”. Anyone who heard what Meat Wave accomplished with their self-titled (to date, the only tape I’ve worn thin) or their EP from earlier this year, Brother, knows just how much weight this band throws into its punches. “Delusion Moon” is the title track from the band’s forthcoming record and follows “Erased” in its rollout campaign.

While details on the record were scarce when the latter was introduced, a few things have been clarified for this round. Delusion Moon‘s intended to run as a whole (something that’s hinted at by the ending/starting(?) notes of “Delusion Moon”) and is a quasi-conceptual record that was written during a strange period of guitarist/vocalist Chris Sutter’s life. There’s a palpable sense of brooding on “Delusion Moon” that seems like it may turn out be one of the record’s more defining characteristics.

The rhythm section of bassist Joe Gac and drummer Ryan Wizniak continues to be one of the more formidable forces playing shows today. A quantifiable powerhouse, the duo lends Sutter’s playing an additional element of urgency, capitalizing on its inherent immediacy with brute strength. All of this is evidenced in the astonishing “Delusion Moon” and will likely culminate in the band reaching the levels of success they’ve deserved since the very beginning. More and more, Meat Wave are starting to look like the future of basement punk. If that’s the case, we’re all in very good hands.

Listen to “Delusion Moon” and keep both eyes on this site for any upcoming announcements regarding the forthcoming record, which is due out on September 18.

Noun – I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do (Stream)

screamales

The first post today will be dedicated to a slew of yesterday’s outstanding releases and the focus will fall on one that evaded scrutiny by virtue of a very quiet release. Before diving too far into that song, though, it’s worth taking a beat to highlight a few other great pieces of media. Free Cake For Every Creature’s lo-fi visual presentation of “Take On Me” and Jane Weaver’s mesmerizing, animated clip for “Mission Desire” both constituted strong examples of retro-leaning music videos. The full streams colored in a very broad range of punk and punk influence, containing forthcoming releases from the following: Negative Scanner, EZTV, and American Culture.

As usual, the majority of releases where very strong single streams. Knife Pleats brought out a very strong duo of tracks with both “One Step Too Far” and “Terrible”, Dark Palms unleashed the nightmarishly bruising, post-punk ripper “Dead Horse“, and Sleepy indulged their brightest pop sensibilities and blistering aggression simultaneously on the hard-charging “The Ride Up“. Worriers unloaded another brilliant politi-punk anthem with “Yes All Cops“, further suggesting that their upcoming full-length will rank among the year’s very finest releases. Shelf Life’s gently lilting (and gorgeous) “The Curse“, You Beauty.’s driving “ILLYWHACKA“, and DIV I DED’s pop-heavy shoegaze number “Electric Age” rounded the day’s releases out.

Highlighting that batch of new music was an unlikely release, quietly uploaded to bandcamp and announced via Facebook: Noun’s devastatingly beautiful acoustic ballad, “I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do”. At this point, it’s safe to assume a lot more people are familiar with guitarist/vocalist Marissa Paternoster’s work in Screaming Females than they are with either her excellent solo project, Noun, or her (relatively) new ventures in the deliriously spastic Bad Canoes. Throw in Paternoster’s elevating name recognition (and career) as an artist and it’s not surprising that a thing or two loses

The continued success of Screaming Females and the emergence of Bad Canoes seemingly relegated Paternoster’s Noun project to the back-burner but its flame was kept at a stubborn flicker during that time, with hints of a potential future release being unveiled as of late (including both “Far From Me” and “Glass Diamond“). While the live sets are still fairly infrequent, that’s made up for with the strength- and grace- of “I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do”.

Parernoster’s had a tradition of being vulnerable in her prose but it’s rarely been laid as bare or presented as intimately as it is here. A gentle bass hums underneath “I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do” as Paternoster wearily pleads for companionship in a time of desperation. Riveting, haunting, and- ultimately- heartbreaking, “I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do” presents a very strong case for Paternoster as one of this generation’s strongest voices. It’s always worth listening to what that voice has to say.

Listen to “I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do” below and keep an eye on this page for more updates on Noun.

Swirlies – Live at The Silent Barn – 7/4/15 (Pictorial Review, Live Video)

Swiries VI

Fourth of July, traditionally, is an American holiday that’s characterized by pride and excess. A clear amount of both traits were visible in the lead-up to the celebration that was hosted by Silent Barn, an event hosted by adhoc and headlined by Swirlies. Over the past decade a feverish, cult-like dedication has been granted to Swirlies, whose impressive body of works deserved far more acclaim than it initially received.

Now, there’s a renewed interest in the exact type of music Swirlies excelled at- and possibly even perfected- when it was distilled into their career highlight, Blonder Tongue Audio Baton. Before they took the stage to a diverse, adoring audience, those in attendance were treated to two excellent opening sets. ADVAETA had the first slot and they wasted no time in setting the tone for the evening.

Kaleidoscopic guitar work, frenetic drumming, off-kilter composition, and an impressive pop sensibility permeated throughout the trio’s set and it was evident that they were pushing themselves to deliver at their absolute best. It was an impressive display of fireworks that seemed perfectly suited to the date. Krill followed up as the second opener and anyone that’s kept even an irregular eye on this space knows exactly how this site feels about Krill. To succinctly quote bassist/vocalist Jonah Furman: “Krill forever.

Swirlies took to the stage amidst a flurry of technical problems and eventually decided to forego the opening noises of Blonder Tongue Audio Baton, opting to imitate them vocally instead of attempting to sort out that particular issue. After that brief hiccup, the band was off, playing with a very palpable love for their songs, the album, and each other- a despairing rarity in today’s musical landscape.

If a note was flubbed, they’d smile and push forward. They invited fans to the stage to play the radio and a string of brief CB-style exchanges poured out of the PA, ranging from mundane to hysterical. Following a deeply impressive run through the record that climaxed with a beautiful rendition of the record’s closing track, “Wait Forever”, the band was successfully called back to the stage for an impassioned one-song encore.

Beaming, exhausted, and grateful, Swirlies made their final stage exit of the night, having just provided an explosive finale memorable enough to surpass just about any state, county or city’s airborne exhibitions. All the bald, middle-aged man standing next to me could do was stare out blankly and shake his head in awed silence. I had to agree.

A gallery of photos from the show can be found here and an embed containing performance captures of various songs in each band’s set can be found below. Enjoy.

1. ADVAETA – Come With Me
2. Krill – Brain Problem
3. Krill – Turd
4. Krill – Purity of Heart
5. Krill – Torturer
6. Swirlies – Bell
7. Swirlies – Jeremy Parker
8. Swirlies – Wait Forever

Watch This: Vol. 84

Nothing was posted on this site over the holiday weekend but there were multiple items that were being prepared. One of them, naturally, was the weekly installment of Watch This– a series that celebrates some of the finest live video captures of that week. A lot of familiar faces are featured in this installment, especially considering the massive promotional runs that the teams for Courtney Barnett and Torres (two of the more exciting live acts of the moment) have managed to string together. Once again, a lot of videos that were considered for feature in this 84th issue point towards a fascinating spike of quality in this format. Artists in those videos include: The Kyle Sowashes, Andrew Bird, Fat White Family, Perfume Genius, The Fall, Rozwell Kid, DYGL, Mitski, Klangstof, Strand of Oaks, Heartless Bastards, Other Lives, and Crosss. So, as always, sit up, lean in, settle down, focus up, and Watch This.

1. Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me (BBC)

“Archie, Marry Me” was first released in 2013 to a small amount of claim but eventually blossomed into one of 2014’s defining songs with its re-release. Now, two years after it was first introduced to the world, it still sounds vital despite the amount of playtime (and references) it’s received. Alvvays recently played the Glastonbury festival and knocked the single out of the park with a heartfelt rendition- something that wasn’t lost on an effusive crowd. Fortunately, for everyone, the BBC had their cameras rolling and captured the whole thing.

2. Courtney Barnett – The Fox (The Current)

Courtney Barnett is an exhilarating performer and her insistent placement in this series is continuously justified and warranted. Barnett and her band recently stopped by the twin cities to deliver a powerhouse set as part of the Rock The Garden festival. While the songwriter had strong showings via a solo performance of “Depreston” for Jimmy Fallon and a typically charged take on “Pedestrian At Best“, it was the capture of “The Fox” that played strongest, earning its placement here.

3. Torres (Sound Opinions)

Over the past several installments of this series, no artist has made as many appearances as Torres. Now deep into a fierce touring schedule, Mackenzie Scott’s assembled a (relatively) new crew of musicians to perform the songs and the group taps into three of Sprinter‘s more subdued tracks for Consequence of Sound’s Sound Opinions series. Never anything less than enthralling, there’s a gentle- but firm- grip that gets held throughout this run of “Son, You Are No Island”, “The Harshest Light”, and “Ferris Wheel”. There’s some strange magic at work here and it’s best to just let go and lose yourself to its power.

4. PINS – Young Girls (WFUV)

Wild Nights has already established PINS as one of 2015’s most exciting breakout acts and here- in a characteristically angular session for WFUV- the band stealthily unloads on the record’s finest song, “Young Girls”. It’s a startling reminder of the quartets considerable talent(s) and will likely act as a perfect introduction for anyone unfamiliar with the band. Confident and measured, completely self-aware and reassuringly uninhibited, their performance here goes a long way in laying out the myriad of bigger opportunities that will become available to this band over time.

5. Exquisite Corpse (NPR)

Some things are just so enticing and beautiful that they warrant featuring, no matter their distance from the regular coverage spectrum. In this clip, a small troupe of jazz musicians comprised of different groups play a game of exquisite corpse, with each section taking an idea from one group’s presentation of a song and expanding on it until it becomes a whole; an evolving construction that provides room for individual showcases without ever succumbing to anything other than camaraderie and trust. Gorgeously lensed- and performed on Duke Ellington’s grave- this is a truly remarkable piece of work, noteworthy by even NPR’s enviable standards.