Heartbreaking Bravery

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Sat. Nite Duets – Attached to the Lamp (Stream)

satniteduets

Yesterday saw the release of memorable music videos from Cherry Glazerr (who nearly nabbed this post’s featured spot), Diners, Diamond Hands, Molly Burch, Headwaves, and Jenny Hval. A trio of full streams from the camps of Radar Eyes, Chris Farren, and J&L Defer tied everything up in a neat bow, providing a dash of energy in the process. While all of those releases are worth exhaustively exploring, this post’s feature spot was claimed with brash confidence by Sat. Nite Duets‘ exhilarating career highlight, “Attached to the Lamp”.

Heartbreaking Bravery was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of Air Guitar several months back and “Attached to the Lamp” has been in near-constant rotation since its initial play. From the song’s epic-ready intro onward, “Attached to the Lamp” cranks out an astonishing amount of genuinely great moments, never once slowing down or bothering to look back at the carnage left in its wake. The band’s lyrics have never been sharper and the guitar leads echo the most sweeping moments conjured up by the likes of Titus Andronicus and Diarrhea Planet at their very best, elevating them with the narrative’s ridiculously effective tongue-in-cheek humor.

“Attached to the Lamp” may come as a shock to the system for anyone who wrote the band off as a Pavement retread several years ago (an unfortunate tag that never really did what the band was doing any kind of justice) or anyone who was expecting something more along the lines of the excellent “TAFKA Salieri“. More than anything the band’s done in an already impressively storied career, “Attached to the Lamp” is a frantic, all-out blitz of a song that showcases a band with a serious amount of assurance in their identity.

Sat. Nite Duets are typically at their very best when they’re at their most unhinged and every second of “Attached to the Lamp” feels like a definitive example of that aspect of the band’s stylistic makeup. Tearing away at a breathless pace, the song winds up nearing the three minute mark but feels less than half as long (and more than twice as complete as most songs that run a similar length).

The band find an unteachable amount of joy in reveling in snark, expertly doling it out at a rapid pace in the song’s opening stanza:

I don’t wanna pick up the phone when it rings
‘Cause I know who it is they wanna talk about things
Oh yeah, I prefer the silence of nothing at all
Just the books on my shelf and the shit on my walls

The quips don’t let up from that point forward, including an absolutely perfect and absurdly clever stanza that retells the story of watching an opening act get picked up by his dad providing an unexpected twist with the repeated insistence that “it’s happening right now”, which paves the way for all kinds of painfully honest moments when the band takes this on tour. All of the sly lyrical moments ultimately culminate in an unforgettable final verse that abruptly switches gears from comedic distancing to open sincerity, providing “Attached to the Lamp” with one last grace note that ensures its status as one of 2016’s most outstanding moments.

Not a second of “Attached to the Lamp” is wasted and the band coaxes maximum effect out of every scintillating solo, turn of phrase, dynamic moment, and snare hit they can muster. Whether it’s the final bridge that finds the vocals dipping to match the sudden recession of intensity or the intuitive bends of the soaring main riff, Sat. Nite Duets seem hell-bent on making a mark that lasts. By the end of “Attached to the Lamp” one thing’s very clear: they have themselves one hell of a little motherfucking rock n’ roll band.

Listen to “Attached to the Lamp” below and pre-order Air Guitar from Father/Daughter here.

Terry Malts – Seen Everything (Stream)

terry malts

Nearly a dozen streams comprised Wednesday’s enviable run of new material, including new tracks from Hypoluxo, Slow Hollows, Fresh Snow, Totally Slow, Cloud Cover, Tomaga, Almanac Mountain, Lisa/Liza, HEALTH, Anchoress, and Alcest. Whether soft and ambient or punishingly heavy, all of those songs contained flashes of an intangible something that propelled them to breathtaking heights. All of them are worth several listens but tonight’s feature falls to an old favorite: Terry Malts.

Ever since hearing the pulverizing, punk-damaged basement pop  triumph “No Big Deal” several years back, Terry Malts has been a name that’s stuck. For more than six years, this project’s been evolving in surprising ways and the first track to be released  from their forthcoming Lost at the Party, “Seen Everything”,  continues to demonstrate their dogged pursuit of artistic growth.

While the elements that made the band a standout in their early goings are still extremely evident, the band’s polished their well-informed pop sensibilities into the focal point of their music- or, at the very least, the focal point of “Seen Everything”. After a string of releases that were fully committed to emphasizing the band’s tenacious aggression, “Seen Everything” finds them easing up a little and coming away with exhilarating  results; this is the downhill coast after the uphill battle.

As is usually the case, there’s an abundance of memorable hooks and the band still has a keen knack for how to implement lo-fi aesthetics. The narrative deals with the struggle of acceptance in surprisingly acute ways, offering up brief, rapid-fire vignettes that tie together into a devastatingly complete picture. From every angle, “Seen Everything” is an impressive work and seems to be a statement release for Terry Malts, who are more than ready to transition into a more recognizable name.

“Seen Everything” is a refreshing piece of work from a band that’s still finding compelling ways to flourish without losing any of their ferocious bite. Fascinating, galvanizing, and incredibly immediate, Terry Malts have produced one of the more startling tracks of 2016, setting a very high bar for Lost at the Party. If the rest of the record doesn’t wind up being diminished by this sharp run of near-perfection, it’ll be a permanent staple in a whole lot of collections. Looking at the run the band’s put together so far, it’d be a safe move to clear out a space now.

Listen to “Seen Everything” below and pre-order Lost at the Party from Slumberland here.