Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Bilal

Dusk – Too Sweet (Music Video)

dusk

Capping off tonight’s run of the best music videos of the past few months is Dusk— one of the year’s best new bands– with 2015 highlight “Too Sweet“. Over the course of the past 10 years of my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet most of Dusk’s members and share bills with their bands. The most notable of these directly affiliated bands is Tenement, a band I’ve written about on this site in great detail thanks to their key role in my artistic and personal development. As a kid who was just figuring out how to play guitar, I remember stepping foot into The BFG (a DIY punk house venue that the band used to run) and being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of records that the house had amassed, each showing the residents’ eclectic tastes.

I’d later come to find that a bulk of these belonged to Tenement guitarist/vocalist (and Dusk bassist) Amos Pitsch, who had a penchant for old soul and country records from the likes of artists like Sam Cooke and The Louvin Brothers. Those influences would gradually present themselves in subtle ways on Tenement songs (which have been erring closer to the band’s jazz influences) but they’d never featured as prominently as they do with Dusk, who also seem to share a very serious kinship with acts like The Band. After coming out of the gate with “(Do the) Bored Recluse“, the band followed up with “Too Sweet” arriving perfectly at a marriage between classic country and classic soul without ever sounding remotely inauthentic.

That sense of authenticity, the complete rejection of cheap revivalism, is evidenced again in the song’s Finn Bjornerud-directed music video, which simply features the band playing the song in an average living room (like their affiliates, Dusk has a tendency to find the beauty in the everyday rather than try to capture grandeur or bombast). A few striking compositions are spliced in here and there– including an absolutely gorgeous silhouette shot of a soft-lit Ryley Crowe playing pedal steel and a beautiful final group shot cleverly framed by an archway– but more often than not, the clip opts to celebrate the communal act of playing music surrounded by people you love.

Led by Julia Blair’s attention-ensuring crooning, a cavalcade of impressive backing vocal harmonies, and committed performances from all the featured players, “Too Sweet” feels like more than just a music video, it skews closer to a mission statement; celebrate the things you have and strive to elevate the people around you. Defiantly honorable to the end, “Too Sweet” is the most perfect encapsulation of Dusk to date and suggests that the band, thankfully, is only just getting started.

Watch “Too Sweet” below, pick up a copy of the 7″ here, and explore a list of some of the best music videos of the past few months underneath the embed.

Bing & Ruth – Broad Channel
Summer Twins – Ouija
Total Makeover – Self-Destructive
Francis – Follow Me Home
EL VY – No Time to Crank the Sun
Half Japanese – That Is That
James Clark Hangover – Maria
Oscar – Breaking My Phone
Wray – Hypatia
NZCA Lines – Persephone Dreams
Overlake – Travelogue
Rah Rah – Be Your Man
Paul Bergmann – You May Never Know
Pink Lung  – Chinese Watermelons
Laura Stevenson – Jellyfish
Ben Millburn – Don’t You Wait
Big Harp – DIEV
Busdriver – Much
Erica Glyn – The Killing Moon
Neonderthal – The Ride
Jackson Boone – Runaway
Freddie Gibbs – Fuckin’ Up the Count
Lowly – S.W.I.M.
Joey Kneiser – The Wilderness
Tuff Sunshine – Fire in the Hero Building
The Rashita Joneses – White Wave
The Goon Sax – Sometimes Accidentally
Kenrick Lamar – These Walls (ft. Bilal, Anna Wise, and Thundercat)

The Hussy – Turning On You (Stream)

the hussy

The Hussy, a Wisconsin mainstay, were part of the very first live review to ever be published on this site. Even before then, the duo held a connection to the site’s archives: one of the first live sets to ever be uploaded to YouTube was one of their very first shows (at the dearly-missed Appleton house venue that was run by members of Tenement, The BFG). Since then, the band’s become a celebrated force in DIY punk and found friends in the likes of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, who have championed the band on more than one occasion.

For the past several years, the duo- made up of Bobby Hussy and Heather Sawyer- have managed to sustain a schedule that sees them releasing nearly one full-length for every year, continuously upping their levels of ambition. The band’s upcoming full-length, Galore, was recently unveiled as part of Impose’s excellent Week in Pop series and sees an extension of that pattern. Before the project was revealed in full, the pair offered up their scorched-earth single “Turning On You”.

As manic and urgent as anything in the band’s discography, it immediately showcases the band’s innate charisma and sets about doing its best to destroy everything in its path. As bruising as it is exhilarating, it proves that The Hussy haven’t lost their touch and goes an even longer way in justifying their insanely prolific release schedule. Turn it up or get out of the way; all that’s left in its wake is smoldering wreckage. 

Listen to “Turning On You” below and pick up Galore from Southpaw here.

Veruca Salt – Empty Bottle
Nostalgist – Pull of the Plow
Heaters – Kamikaze
Hurula – Betongbarn
Bilal (ft. Kendrick Lamar) – Money Over Love
Jacob Banks – Grace
EZTV – Soft Tension
Owen Pallett – The Phone Call
Doubting Thomas Cruise Control – Lillehammer
Tearjerker – Perfect