Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Daniel Johnston

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

Lost Boy ? – Live at Shea Stadium – 6/20/15 (Pictorial Review, Live Video)

Lost Boy ? IV

Tomorrow there will be a slew of posts and content that cover a large handful of notable new releases and semi-regular progress will continue (again, there will likely be a greater emphasis on live documentation in the coming weeks since it’s more readily accessible). Today belongs to a playlist that will run some time after this review (likely later on in the evening) and a show review of a packed bill that went down at Shea Stadium on Saturday night.

Unicycle Loves You, Mumblr, Leapling, Clearance, and Lost Boy ? all played impassioned sets and although I only managed to catch the tail end of Unicycle Loves You (the only band I didn’t manage to capture on film, an oversight I’ll be actively seeking to amend in the coming weeks), they’re a band worth recommending without any hesitation. Site favorites Mumblr— who played the only show this site’s ever presented [additional color: Ben Grigg from Geronimo! was also in attendance, wearing a Meat Wave shirt to round out the circle.]– drove from Canada to deliver a blistering set that leaned heavily on considerably noisier work than they’ve produced in the past. The dimly-lit setup proved restrictive for photography but all the lights were on for Leapling.

Playing a staggering amount of new material, Leapling seemed eager to test out their new songs and their focus seems to have sharpened in the brief interim that’s followed Vacant Page, a record that’s only been out for just over four months. Unfailingly sharp, the trio (a new lineup for the group) came off as having a practiced finesse and tapped into an exciting rawness when they embraced their noisier tendencies. Clearance would take the stage following Leapling’s run, further enhancing an off-kilter raucousness that Leapling had touched upon in their closing number.

The Chicago-based quartet leaned heavily on a Pavement influence to unusually exhilarating results, crafting something that nonetheless managed to feel like part of a unique identity. Scuzzy, surprisingly heavy, and just a little post-punk, Clearance have managed to cultivate a style of basement pop that translates perfectly to the live setting. Hitting all the right notes and building momentum as their set progressed, the band definitely left a mark on Shea Stadium and created a few converts in the process, all the while setting the stage for Lost Boy ?.

Following the unlikely saga of the 2014 tape release of Canned (I’m one of the few people that have stubbornly held onto an incorrectly sequenced cassette copy) with the official release of the record in 2015, Lost Boy ? have managed to keep their name in circulation for a while. If the record had been streaming at the end of last year, it would have been towards the absolute top of the specialty release list. A long-time favorite, the band delivered on every conceivable level with a high-energy set that made room to incorporate a few surprise guests (among them, Titus Andronicus’ Patrick Stickles and Eric Harm).

Partially a celebration for Cammed, the cassette release of the Canned demos, the band also revealed a few new songs that were delivered with the same kind of manic energy that characterizes the bulk of their discography. Played with a sly smile and no shortage of determination, it came off as a proper headlining set that a lot of people wished would just keep going. Even after the band made their stage exit following a fiery performance of “Taste Butter”, the night felt far from over (likely thanks to the energy incited by Lost Boy ?).

In the last surprise of the evening, those that stuck around and saw Lost Boy ?’s set through were rewarded with an impromptu Neil Young cover set that saw members of Lost Boy ? and Titus Andronicus teaming up for ramshackle takes on some of the songwriter’s early career highlights. As far as epilogues go, it felt fittingly communal; a moment shared between friends who were all pursuing the same common interest(s). After a long take on “Down By The River” that saw Stickles take over on bass duties- and absolutely go off on a few furious, fuzzed-out solos- the night had drawn to a conclusion that mirrored the preceding events; subtly chaotic, fairly unexpected, and just about perfect.

A gallery of photographs from each band can be seen below and a video player containing performances from Mumblr, Leapling, Clearance, and Lost Boy ? has been included beneath the gallery. Enjoy.