Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Cheena

Minor Victories – Cogs (Music Video)

minor victories

Monday and Tuesday have all but come and gone, gifting us great new tracks from Young Jesus, The Regrettes, Purling Hiss, Drive-By Truckers, Sat. Nite Duets, Hoops, Cheena, Cass McCombs, Virgin of the Birds, Morgan Delt, The PoochesMutts, Tall Heights, and Indira Valey. Sweetening the deal were eye-catching music videos courtesy of Cara dal Forno, Boogarins, Numerators, AJJ, Slow Club, and Soto Voce. Rounding everything out was a surprisingly formidable slate of full streams belonging to artists like Stove, Dogbreth, Field Mouse, Good Morning TV, Russian Circles, Restorations, Super Defense, Soul Low, Daniel Kerr, Lungbutter, and Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band.

All of the above links contained strong material but none of those titles were as legitimately breathtaking as Minor Victories‘ latest music video, “Cogs”. The band’s been steadily revealing some of the most captivating music videos of 2016 by embracing the virtue of restraint. The best of those — the strangely moving clip for “Folk Arp” — saw them perfecting the art of the static shot, which had defined their prior two clips (“Breaking My Light” and “A Hundred Ropes“).

Following the conclusion of that static shot trilogy, the band’s turned their attention to motion. “Cogs”, which was released Monday, hinges on an exceptionally acute sense of fluidity. Presented once again through a crisp black and white, “Cogs” opens on a slow-panning shot of seemingly empty woods. Before long, a figure enters the frame at full sprint, though the video never wavers in its commitment to slow motion, unfolding at a pace that considerably heightens the tension. It’s an expertly staged trick, allowing the serenity of the setting to take on sinister undertones.

As “Cogs” goes through the motions, the central figure’s pulled tighter to the lens and some disconcerting imagery comes into play. The person assumed to be the protagonist of “Cogs” is a balding man, dressed in a hospital gown, whose movement grows more frantic and erratic with each step. It imbues “Cogs” with a sense of mystery that elevates the tension even further, prompting a series of questions that will go largely unanswered.

One of those question does find an answer at around the halfway mark as “Cogs” expertly stages the man’s exit from frame with the entrance of a figure in a poncho. Its imagery that echoes Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster and winds up benefiting from the association. The similarities serve to expand the scope of the questioning surrounding the contained narrative of “Cogs”, while offering an outcome that similarly manages to become both definitive on a small scale and ambiguous on a much larger one.

Swirling around everything is the bruising maelstrom of “Cogs” itself, a barbed, punishing song that’s one of the band’s most tenacious offerings. Surging forward with a euphoric sense of clarity and purpose, “Cogs” injects its visual accompaniment with so much additional urgency that the clip feels as if its about to come to life. It’s a staggering accomplishment that’s utterly transfixing through every frame, from its unassuming opening to its startling grand finale. In short: it’s a masterpiece.

Watch “Cogs” below and pick up Minor Victories from Fat Possum here.

Doe – Sincere (Music Video)

doe

Tuffy, TERRY, CuckooLander, Soft Fangs, Valley Queen, Cheena, Suuns, and Hot Flash Heat Wave were just a small handful of the bands responsible for releasing exceptional music videos over the past two weeks. While all of them were worth watching, it was the visual accompaniment for Doe‘s recent standout “Sincere” that earns this post’s spotlight.

One of the many reasons for Doe’s artistic success has been their willingness to subvert expectations. Whether those might be the limits of their genres or even in their instrumental approach (two guitarists, no bassist), they’ve continuously excelled in winking at normalcy. Now, they’ve applied that approach to the music video format and the results are both endearing and massively entertaining.

In “Sincere”, the band experiments with a visual depiction of malaise, the somewhat tired trope of grossout food footage, and even something as subtle as ratio presentation. For a clip where there’s ostensibly nothing happening as far as a linear narrative thread is concerned (apart from the meditation on how repetitive and mundane life can be), that’s an impressively complex setup.

Mixing in low-grade special effects, strong visual composition, and crisp editing, “Sincere” is progressively elevated throughout its overall running time. As with all great clips, the song and the video inform each other, operating in a symbiotic relationship with virtually no drawback. As the band members dispassionately mime the words to the song in an effectively tongue-in-cheek runner, the Andrew Northrop-directed clip capitalizes on a modicum of momentum to hit a climactic section that involves the band remaining blasé while a variety of odd things happen with their food selections.

It’s a humorous moment, elevated by the band’s impressive deadpan performances but it’s overshadowed by the last section of “Sincere”, which takes a sharp left and sees guitarist/vocalist (and A Year’s Worth of Memories contributor) Nicola Leel breaking character and dissolving into laughter before rapidly cutting to a series of loose chaos and finally settling on a short vacuum clean-up sequence.

In those moments, “Sincere” transforms from an entertaining curiosity into a legitimately great video. By pulling back the layers of conventional expectation that’s normally applied to the type of clip that’s typically so aggressively straight-laced, Doe open up an invigorating new territory. It’s a wildly satisfying reveal that paints the entirety of “Sincere” as both radical deconstruction and loving homage. In short, it’s perfectly, unequivocally Doe.

Watch “Sincere” below and pre-order Some Things Last Longer Than You from Old Flame here.

Dentist – Joel (Stream)

dentist

Monday tends to be one of the more eclectic release days for standalone streams and today proved to be no different. Worthwhile material emerged from just about every genre this site typically covers and continued to stretch some boundaries. The following artists all had songs that deserved to be heard: Consilience, Jackal Onasis, Gap Dream, Sweat, Scarlett Saunders, Cheena, Possible Humans, Ranch Ghost, Above Top Secret, and The Meltaways. In addition to those releases, a small handful of notable music videos from angelic milk, Wireheads, Haley Bonar, Preoccupations, and Ali Beleitc also saw the light of day.

Dentist’s surf-tinged “Joel” wound up securing the feature spot by virtue of sheer strength. Opening up on a foreboding riff and staccato chord stabs awash in reverb, “Joel” sets an intriguing — and oddly compelling —  tone at its onset. Slowly, the guitar fades and gives way to a creeping piano figure that injects the song with an eerie Southern Gothic sensibility. Then, after a brief rest, the song snaps into a sugary overdrive that kicks the energy up from 15 to 80 in an instant.

Following the switch, Dentist falls comfortably into a groove that operates as a pastiche of pop influences from decades long gone. It’s a perfect transition that illustrates the band’s understanding of their craft, suggesting that Dentist’s forthcoming Ceilings may be one of 2016’s most unexpected joys. Apart from the invigorating dynamic shifts of “Joel”, the song’s vibrant second act endearingly instills the song with a surplus of giddy joy. “Joel” ultimately goes from bleakly intimidating to openly welcoming, leaving one hell of an imprint in the process.

It’s another entry in an already-long string of unlikely summer anthem candidates, carefree and just about perfect.

Listen to “Joel” below and pre-order Ceilings from Little Dickman here.


[Editor’s Note: The beginning of coverage in 2016 was an extremely hectic time and one odd quirk of this site was overlooked. That particular oversight will be amended in this post, which precedes the resumption of posting the 100 immediately preceding entries in the continuously-expanding Heartbreaking Bravery catalog of posts. A few of the image links are broken and some of the galleries are missing but all of them will eventually make the migration to Heartbreaking Bravery’s flickr. Keep an eye out.]

To access posts 700-799, click on the links listed below.

HB700: Wrap Up Warm (Mixtape)
HB701: Ronnie Stone & The Lonely Riders – ❤ Race. Cold Sweat. Nu Dance. Do It. (Glassio Remix Premiere)
HB702: Phooey! – Molly’s at the Laundromat (Song Premiere)
HB703: Idle Bloom – Pride Line (Stream, Live Video)
HB704: METZ – Spit You Out (Music Video)
HB705: Alex G – Brite Boy (Music Video)
HB706: Dilly Dally – The Touch (Music Video)
HB707: Dusk – Too Sweet (Music Video)
HB708: Watch This: Vol. 108
HB709: Watch This: Vol. 109
HB710: Watch This: Vol. 110
HB711: Patio – Patio Songs (Demo Review, Stream, Live Video)
HB712: PURPLE 7 – Garden Eyes (Album Review, Stream)
HB713: Milk Crimes – Milk Crimes (EP Review, Stream)
HB714: Bad Wig – Bad Wig (EP Review, Stream, Live Video)
HB715: Beliefs – Colour of Your Name (Stream)
HB716: Bruising – Honey (Stream)
HB717: Lucy Dacus – I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore (Stream)
HB718: Mothers – Too Small For Eyes (Stream)
HB719: Birth (Defects) – Ascetic (Stream)
HB720: Casket Girls – Deep Time (Stream)
HB721: Two Inch Astronaut – Good Behavior (Stream)
HB722: bed. – The Rule (Stream)
HB723: Dark Blue – Delco Runts (Stream)
HB724: A Short Review (Live Video Compilation
HB725: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. I
HB726: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. II
HB727: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. III
HB728: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. IV
HB729: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. V
HB730: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. VI
HB731: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. VII
HB732: 2015: The Best of Watch This
HB733: 15 of ’15: The Best EP’s of 2015
HB734: 15 of ’15: The Best Music Videos of 2015
HB735: 15 of ’15: The Best Odds and Ends of 2015
HB736: 15 of ’15: The Best Songs of 2015
HB737: 15 of ’15: The Best Albums of 2015
HB738: The Honorable Mentions of the 2015 Music Categories
HB739: The Best Scenes of 2015
HB740: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Loren DiBlasi)
HB741: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Lindsey-Paige McCloy)
HB742: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Sabyn Mayfield)
HB743: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Nicola Leel)
HB744: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Lindsay Hazen)
HB745: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Tica Douglas)
HB746: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Fred Thomas)
HB747: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Phil McAndrew)
HB748: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Isabel Reidy)
HB749: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Jessica Leach)
HB750: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Sami Martasian)
HB751: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Ben Grigg)
HB752: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Amanda Dissinger)
HB753: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Bella Mazzetti)
HB754: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (David Anthony)
HB755: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Jamie Coletta)
HB756: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Chris Sutter)
HB757: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (John Rossiter)
HB758: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Cole Kinsler)
HB759: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Megan Manowitz)
HB760: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Gabriela June Tully Claymore)
HB761: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Stephen Tringali)
HB762: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Alisa Rodriguez)
HB763: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Toby Reif)
HB764: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (100%)
HB765: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Amelia Pitcherella)
HB766: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Katie Bennett)
HB767: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Miranda Fisher)
HB768: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Christine Varriale)
HB769: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Sam Clark)
HB770: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Julia Leiby)
HB771: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Kelly Johnson)
HB772: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Jessi Frick)
HB773: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Nicholas Cummins)
HB774: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Lily Mastrodimos)
HB775: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Jerard Fagerberg)
HB776: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Athylia Paremski)
HB777: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Eric Slick)
HB778: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (David Glickman)
HB779: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Ryan Wizniak)
HB780: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories
HB781: WASHA – Bury Our Love (Music Video Premiere)
HB782: 2016: The First Two Months (Streams)
HB783: 2016: The First Two Months (Full Streams)
HB784: 2016: The First Two Months (Music Videos)
HB785: Introducing: Ubetcha
HB786: Inside Voices – Nomad:Begin (Song Premiere)
HB787: Watch This: The Honorable Mentions of 2016’s First Quarter
HB788: Horse Teeth – Dark & Gloomy (Song Premiere)
HB789: March 2016: The Full Streams
HB790: March 2016: The Music Videos
HB791: March 2016: The Streams
HB792: Ladada – Hi Five (EP Premiere)
HB793: The 50 Best Songs of 2016’s First Quarter
HB794: The Nudes – Nowhere To Be (Song Premiere)
HB795: Watch This: The Best of 2016’s First Quarter, Vol. I
HB796: Watch This: The Best of 2016’s First Quarter, Vol. II
HB797: Watch This: The Best of 2016’s First Quarter, Vol. III
HB798: Watch This: The Best of 2016’s First Quarter, Vol. IV
HB799: Watch This: The Best of 2016’s First Quarter, Vol. V