Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Everywhere Else

Kindling – Black Eye (Music Video Premiere)

Kindling

For the past few years, this site’s paid close to attention to the work being done by Kindling, one of the more promising names in the new wave of shoegaze acts that have been releasing exceptional music. Stephen Pierce, one of the band’s guitarist/vocalists, has emerged as a source of inspiration in those times. Overcoming injury and contributing to items that aimed to make a positive change. Character is often reflected in music so it’s no surprise that Kindling’s has always been both reassuring and incredibly tantalizing.

The band released an outstanding full-length entitled Everywhere Else just a handful of months ago and are releasing an appropriately retro-minded clip for one of the record’s highlights, “Black Eye”. Using hazy overlays and strange coloration, the band invokes memories of a variety of classic ’90s clips from shoegaze, grunge, and downer punk acts. Fittingly, the visual approach also speaks to the narrative of “Black Eye”, which is driven by feelings of alienation and despair.

That sense of sadness permeates through every frame of “Black Eye”, even as the Alle Kern-directed clip eventually settles into determined resilience. “Black Eye” is a smoky, nostalgic, emotional gut-punch that never feels its length. Kindling’s constantly in the center of the tornado that’s perpetually swirling around them and the clip somehow illustrates, at least in part, how at home they are in those surroundings. Incredibly compelling and even a little thought-provoking, “Black Eye” is the band at their best. Why take shelter when you could get swept up in the fray?

Watch “Black Eye” below and pick up Everywhere Else here.

Ghost Gum – More (Stream)

ghost gum

Occasionally, there are days that underwhelm in terms of new releases. Then there are days like today, which churn out more than a dozen legitimate contenders for the headline slot and serve as reminders that we’re currently living in the best (and most accessible) time for new releases. There were incredible songs from Jack (who came a hair’s breadth away from getting a standalone post), Eric Slick, Lost Boy ?, Eyes of Love, Johanna Warren, Soft Candy, No One Mind, Peaer, Diners, Chris Farren, M. Lockwood Porter, Seeing Hands, Nots, Oldermost, Sex Stains, SubRosa, Lambchop, The Minders, Elijah Ford, Sports, and an outstanding one-off cover from site favorite Mo Troper.

Several music videos made an impressive impression as well, including new entries from the camps of Sunflower Bean, Dust From 1000 Yrs, Death Valley Girls, Uni Ika Ai, Silent Pictures, Le Boom, EL VY, WatskyAmber Arcades, and Chris Staples. Tying everything together were the full streams that were unveiled by Pleistocene, Earth Girls, Kindling, Katie Dey, Ant’lrd, and Lié.  In terms of quality, it matched an above-average week’s worth of material. Topping it all off is “More”, a near-perfect new track from Ghost Gum.

After turning some heads last year with “Again“, their contribution to a loaded 4-way split (Loose Tooth, Clique, and Mumblr rounded out the release), the quartet’s returned with a vengeance. “More” comes loaded with hooks, exhilarating moments, and genuine feeling. At every turn, the song provides something fascinating, from the tremolo picking that sets the tone of “More” to the rapid-fire hi-hat pattern to the earworm-ready bass line and guitar riff that kick the track into the fifth gear.

In less than three minutes, Ghost Gum offer a masterclass in dynamic structure, getting the most mileage possible out of a soaring chorus, a searing solo, and a compellingly muted verse that keeps everything grounded and breathes in some fractured humanity. Some aching backing vocals enhance the song’s half-haunted atmosphere to great effect and everything clicks in ways that both satisfy and induce genuine excitement.

When everything’s through, “More” stands as a song that not only lives up to the promise of its title but redefines that very same title as a winking understanding of how listeners should be feeling upon hearing the song’s final notes. Explosive without being bombastic and contemplative without dipping into tedium, “More” is a sharply crafted piece of work from a band that’s been continuously bettering themselves with each successive release. If the rest of their forthcoming release, The Past, The Future, Dwelling There Like Space, is anywhere near this good, it’ll be among the strongest releases of the year.

Listen to “More” below and download it here.