Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Advance Base

Two Months, 12 Records

Over the past two months, hundreds of good records have found release. This post takes a look back at a dozen of the most notable titles in that crop. A handful of site favorites make appearances here, with the styles ranging from gentle folk subgenres to incredibly volatile brands of explosive strains of punk. A few records choose to cast their sights on hope, while others embrace an unrelenting heaviness. All of them, of course, are worth owning. Explore, listen through, and find ways to support the records that connect.

Saintseneca – Pillar of Na

A band that has yet to put out a bad record keeps that trend alive with Pillar of Na. Even with a slight lineup change (Maryn Jones parted ways with the band after relocating to the East Coast), Saintseneca‘s identity shines through on another album that finds the band embracing a more prominent Eastern influence within their Appalachian Folk-informed music. Pillar of Na also feels even more contemplative and complete than the band’s previous effort, Such Things, which is a point driven home by near-circular bookends. Not a false note from start to finish, Saintseneca’s records remain an immense joy.

Options – Vivid Trace

When post-punk and basement pop exist in harmony, the results typically range from good to incredible. Options’ Vivid Trace makes it abundantly clear from the opening salvo onward that this is a record — and a band — that skew towards the latter. Masterfully composed, produced, and sequenced, Vivid Trace is an important reminder of the potential of a niche subgenre that has direct ties to this site’s very roots. Vivid Trace is the exact type of album that Heartbreaking Bravery was built to celebrate: an astonishing work from a band fighting an uphill battle for greater recognition.

Lonely Parade – The Pits

A trio of advance singles suggested that Lonely Parade may have a legitimate Album of the Year contender on their hands, especially within the realms of energetic post-punk. The Pits confirms those suspicions with emphasis. Every song on the record’s teeming with ferocity, hooks, charisma, and conviction, as if the band’s been allowed to unleash all of their unchecked aggression. It’s that sense of purpose that makes how refined The Pits ultimately winds up being even more impressive. Lonely Parade intentionally take the train off the rails and treat us all to an unforgettable ride.

Fred Thomas – Aftering

Billed as the final installment of an ongoing trilogy of records, Fred Thomas delivers another record that cements his reputation as one of today’s most thoughtful songwriters. Aftering, Thomas’ latest, also finds the songwriter collaborating with contemporaries far more than usual, a decision that reflects on some of Aftering‘s narrative themes (especially the importance of support structures). As is always the case with a new Fred Thomas release, a few career highlights are thrown in, ranging from sunny, fast-paced basement pop to devastating ambient ballads shot through with a wealth of longing and regret. Being alive brings us to the peaks of joy and cycles us through unimaginable pain but Aftering is good company to keep no matter where the hammer falls.

Waxahatchee – Great Thunder

Ever since American Weekend began Katie Crutchfield‘s transition from a DIY circuit staple to an internationally beloved voice, Waxahatchee has picked up an increasing amount of scrutiny. Curiously, Great Thunder — Crutchfield’s project with Keith Spencer (formerly of Swearin’) — managed to get lost in the wake. The duo released two lovely records, before retiring the project, leaving behind some of their best work. Waxahatchee’s latest release pays homage to that project and Crutchfield’s roots as a songwriter, rescuing some of the project’s standout material to present in a new light. Great Thunder winds up as one of Crutchfield’s warmest releases as a result, rendering the EP unmissable.

The Sofas – Nothing Major

The Sofas proudly wear their influences on their sleeve from the very jump of Nothing Major, which immediately recalls Sonic Youth’s most pop-leaning moments in their Rather Ripped era. Fortunately, those influences never threaten to overwhelm the proceedings, each track standing firmly on its own, letting the record stand as a collection of noise-leaning, feedback-heavy basement pop triumphs. Every song on Nothing Major has addictive qualities, striking the perfect balance between an influx of energy and an incredibly present sense of melancholy.

Mutual Benefit – Thunder Follows The Light

In 2015’s “Not For Nothing”, Mutual Benefit can already claim one of the present decade’s best songs. Anything any artist does from that point forward comes with great expectation and Thunder Follows The Light renders those expectations meaningless. Every song is guided with the same gentle hand, infused with the same sense of calm and tacit understanding that allowed the project’s earlier works to thrive. Every gorgeous, mesmeric second on the record seems to instill a sense of peace, making Thunder Follows The Light a deeply important record in the face of today’s overwhelmingly combative climate.

Whitney Ballen – You’re A Shooting Star, I’m A Sinking Ship

The debut record from Whitney Ballen‘s one of many releases on this last that grapples with a challenging dichotomy. What sets You’re A Shooting Star, I’m A Sinking Ship apart from those releases is its operative velocity. A breathtaking record in the truest sense, You’re A Shooting Star, I’m A Sinking Ship finds Ballen grappling with deeply uncomfortable truths, desires, and impulses, while delivering compositions that suggest lighter material. Imbued with genuinely shocking moments, a masterclass in sustained dynamic tension, and a sense of steady control amidst an expressed sea of uncertainty, Ballen’s released one of the year’s most unforgettable records.

Dilly Dally – Heaven

One of 2018’s most heartening moments came in the form of Dilly Dally‘s self-resurrection. The band opened up about their own difficulties recently and Heaven is their testimonial offering of those challenges and where they’ve arrived as a band: reborn and with a renewed sense of purpose. Desire was a record that embraced the ugly and the damaged as beautiful, with a suggested distance between the band and those observations. Heaven reframes that dynamic and positions the band dead center in a brutal storm of reckoning, staring out at a sliver of light on the horizon, knowing that the ruins of the world will be theirs for the taking.

LOOSE – Haircut 

A relatively new band to this site, LOOSE nonetheless make a sizable impression with Haircut, an extremely impressive record that finds them tethering together strains of math rock, emo, basement pop, noise-punk, and bedroom pop. It’s an endlessly fascinating listen that never wavers in its surging momentum, anchoring ambitious compositions with relatable narratives. Head-turning in the best sense, Haircut suggests a wealth of talent and an abundance of promise reside in LOOSE. Unpredictable and unexpected, Haircut is an extraordinarily pleasant surprise.

Puppy Problems – Sunday Feeling

Sami Martasian‘s Puppy Problems project has been going for quite some time now, steadily evolving over the years while gaining a small cult following. All of those lessons come to a head on the project’s debut record, Sunday Feeling. As always, Martasian proves to be a commanding lyricist, waxing poetic on meditations about what it means to be a young adult today. Gorgeous folk-leaning bedroom pop compositions abound, echoing traces of (SANDY) Alex G‘s quieter works while containing enough personality to stand on their own. It’s an impressive record from a project that deserves an expanded audience.

Advance Base – Animal Companionship

Owen Ashworth’s projects have an infamous penchant for tapping into a sense of overwhelming sadness to create work that ultimately winds up life-affirming. Animal Companionship, Ashworth’s fourth effort as Advance Base, sees this formula ringing especially true. Corpses, both literal and metaphorical, riddle the record’s landscape, with an emphasis on pets. Throughout, Ashworth turns in the best work of an illustrious career, reaching something so human and so intangible that Animal Companionship can momentarily become a difficult listen. In the end, the journey becomes worthwhile, and Animal Companionship stands proudly as one of 2018’s finest, most moving records.

 

 

 

A Look Back at the Past Two Weeks: Streams, Music Videos, and Full Streams

The past two weeks of material, once more, have been loaded with exceptional works. Each of the major categories saw the influx of notable items keep the same ridiculous pace that 2018 has set across multiple genres. No matter the level of notoriety or recognition, every week this year has brought in a slew f entries that have ranged from wildly entertaining to legitimately unforgettable. With that being the case, featuring everything is an impossible task. This post serves as a reminder and reference point for a slew of those songs, clips, and records worth remembering.

Songs

Gia Margaret, Mooner, Snow Roller, Izzy True, Babehoven, Richard Rose, Honyock, ASM, Tokyo Police Club (x2), Tony Molina, Dead Soft, SIGNAL, Evan Jewett, Advance Base, Gold Star, Beak>, Astronauts, etc., LT Wade, The Rizzos, perfume-v, Dyan, DelafyeFrøkedal, Quiet Hollers, Saul Williams, Super Paradise, Westerman, Tunng, Ohmme, United Ghosts, El Ten Eleven, Lucero, Koschika, Claw Marks, Miss World, Mister Lies, Menace Beach, Bleeth, Taylor Janzen, Wild Pink, Lewis Burg, Brother Reverend, Swamp Dogg, Darren Jesse, The Coup, La Force, Verse Metrics, Ancestors, Joe Kaplow, and David Bazan.

Music Videos

Waxahatchee, Saintseneca, Curling, Steady Holiday, Fred Thomas, Trust Fund, Jeff Rosenstock, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Night Shop, The Goon Sax, Cat Power, Queen of Jeans, The Beths, Macajey, Slang, Frankie Cosmos, Devon Welsh, Saintseneca, Bully, Estrons, The Molochs, GRLWood, Jane Church, Sad Baxter, Richard Reed Parry, Dama Scout, The Black Delta Movement, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, Campdogzz, Harrison Lipton, The Velveteins, Lala Lala, PR Newman, and Couch Jackets.

Full Streams

Harvey Trisdale, trulyyrs, Cold Lunch, Spissy, Shapes In Calgary, Cruel Diagonals, Delhia de France, and Wilder Maker.

 

Dilly Dally – Desire (Stream)

dilly dally

While the slowly circulating news that The Weakerthans have decided to call it a day after a storied career has cast an unavoidable pall on the day, it seemed more appropriate than ever to celebrate the new music that’s been steadily surfacing over the past few days. All Dogs (deservedly) were the only band to get coverage yesterday and there’d only been specialized and series posts in the days leading up to the release of their extraordinary “That Kind of Girl”. In an effort to shed some light on some of the memorable entries to have surfaced in the time since the last standard post, a collection of songs will be posted below the included embed of today’s featured track: Dilly Dally’s “Desire.

Literally every song Dilly Dally has released to the public has earned glowing praise from this site and “Desire” ensures that streak’s not broken. Released in tandem with the announcement of the band’s forthcoming debut full-length, Sore, and the band’s signing to Partisan Records, it’s another piece of stunning noir-punk that comes laced with an emphatic gloom that only elevates the track’s foreboding atmosphere. It’s a dynamic that the band’s managed to perfect in just a small handful of songs (most of them appearing on two jaw-dropping 7″ records from 2014) and capitalizes on once more in “Desire”.

Opening with a cacophony of feedback and relative atonality, the song quickly settles into a serrated attack that waxes poetic on basic human impulse. Katie Monks has one of the most heart-stopping voices in music and the music Dilly Dally continues to conjure up around its central draw manages to simultaneously play into its darker sensibilities and elevate it into something that’s nearly transcendental. After a few lineup changes, the band’s found a powerful rhythm section that anchors the expressive nature of the band’s deceptively sharp guitar work (courtesy of Liz Ball, who’s always been essential to the band’s success).

Monks stated recently that Sore‘s central narrative hinged on the recurring thematic of rebirth and that “Desire” was- explicitly- about sexual release. “Desire” subtly incorporates both to create something that feels abnormally genuine and oddly harrowing. In a statement released to Fader- who premiered “Desire” earlier today- Monks expounded on the two threads and equated them with a struggle to find happiness while extolling the virtues of the fight required to obtain what proves to be an elusive emotion for so many. Grounded in bleak reality and stretching outwards towards a hopefulness, “Desire” quickly becomes one of the band’s strongest efforts in a discography that’s already obscenely strong for being so limited.  If this recent run of releases is indicative of the strength of the remaining releases on 2015’s slate, we’re in for one hell of a back stretch.

Listen to “Desire” below and keep an eye on this site for further updates on Sore in the lead-up to its October 9 release date. Beneath the embed, explore a list of other memorable songs to have surfaced in the past several days.

Happy Diving – My Zone
Yung – Burning Bodies
Swervedriver – Winter Depths
Nolita View – Departed
Advance Base – Pamela
The Lees of Memory – Let’s Turn Our Love Up Loud
Jaye Bartell – Lilly
Natural Snow Buildings – Sun Tower
Salad Boys – Dream Date
Menace Beach – Super Transporterreum
Best Behavior – Star Signs
Diane Coffee – Mayflower
Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake?
Amy Bezunartea – New Villain
Lost Boy ? – Big Business Monkey (Daniel Johnston cover)
Antarctigo Vespucci – Lost My Mind
Funeral Advantage – Gardensong
FIDLAR – West Coast
toe – The World According To
Helta Skelta – 55mm
Babes – I’ve Got A Reason To Keep On Living
Joe Jackson – A Little Smile
Youth Lagoon – The Knower
ON AND ON – Behind The Gun

Coaster – Paralyzed (Stream)

coaster

Community Records have been putting together an extraordinary run of releases lately and that patterns set to continue with Coaster’s Slow Jams. Approaching outsider punk-inflected basement pop with an immediately distinguishable identity is one thing to simply achieve but Coaster’s on the verge of perfecting that dynamic. Restrained but strangely volatile, the band’s sunk their teeth into something that feels familiar but incredibly unique.

“Paralyzed” elicits the opposition reaction of its title; it’s nearly impossible to not find your head nodding along as the song wills itself towards a powerful, climactic finish. It’s a fairly astonishing piece of work that bodes well for the band’s future. If Slow Jams can sustain the best qualities of “Paralyzed”, it’ll very easily find itself among my favorite release of the year.

Listen to “Paralyzed” below and pick up a copy of Slow Jams from Community Records here. Find 10 more excellent songs to have been released in the past two weeks below the embed.

Gardens & Villa – Fixations
Clearance – You’ve Been Pre-Approved
Widowspeak – Girls
Ricked Wicky – Tomfoole Terrific
Peter Matthew Bauer – Hold on to Someone (Quiet Version)
Scott Bartenhagen – Beacons
White Reaper – Pills
Alice – Shitty
Native Eloquence – Habits
Advance Base – Trisha Please Come Home