Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Flannel Gurl

Affordable Hybrid – Bat (Stream)

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As invigorating as it can be to hear a band playing with the idea of genre boundaries, there can be a thrill to be found in perfecting a tried-and-true approach. Affordable Bat take the latter route with “Bat”, an exhilarating, hard-hitting burst of psych-punk. Recalling the work of Thee Oh Sees, the band finds a different, higher gear in the song’s ferocious chorus section. Quick riffs, tempos, and decision-making provide “Bat” with a confrontational identity and the band never loses sight of their convictions while those elements congeal.

Deeply felt and no-holds-barred, “Bat” is exactly the type of song to make people sit up and take notice. In a little over two minutes, Affordable Hybrid make a formidable mark. “Bat” is a song worth owning and Affordable Hybrid’s a name worth learning. Get on board or get run into the ground.

Listen to “Bat” below and pre-order Bat / Roky from Flannel Gurl here.

Molly – People (Music Video)

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Going forward with last week’s coverage, there will be a trio of posts with a music video taking up residence in the headline accompanied by a few auxiliary items. Starting that run off is Molly’s incendiary basement pop number “People” and its montage-heavy video. Before diving further into that clip, though, the attention will be refocused on two great songs and one great record. For the songs, Sea Ghost unveiled the hazy indie pop of “BBQ” while Gnarwhal unleashed the intimidatingly feral “Anal Riffage“. For the full streams, there was Little Wings’ deeply felt and winningly shambolic outsider folk record Explains.

Molly get the featured spot thanks to the complementary rapid-fire pace of both “People” and their new clip for the song. Constructed to create what essentially amounts to an immersive people-watching experience may have been a bit on-the-nose if it wasn’t executed with such stunning panache. Mixing in some minimal artistic renderings to overlay what appears to be stock crowd footage, the Julian Nielsen-directed clip finds its rhythm (and it’s charm) on a commendable commitment to simplicity. As the track surges forward, growing more intense, the animations follow suit. By the time it winds down to a close, footage slowing in reverse, it’s left a considerable mark. With Peach Melba already streaming in its entirety, it’s safe to say that the band’s potential isn’t falsified by a pairing this strong. Molly are most definitely a band worth keeping both eyes on.

Watch “People” below and pre-order Peach Melba directly from the band here.

Hop Along – Texas Funeral (Stream)

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Over the past year-and-a-half I’m not sure any band at this point has come up in coverage without snagging a headline feature than Hop Along. While they’ve appeared in various Watch This installments and a handful of mixtapes (including the best-of for 2015’s first quarter), they’ve never actually had an individual focus piece. That changes today. First, though, as was earlier relayed, are ten songs to have emerged this April that are absolutely worth hearing. Among them: Grounders’ psych-pop dream “No Ringer“, Saul Williams’ characteristically vicious “Burundi“, Honey Radar’s tantalizingly lo-fi “Per Schooner Agro“, Cyberbully Mom Club’s hazy new demo “Make Time“, and Vomitface’s pummeling post-punk number “Never Make It“. In addition to those five there was Diamond Youth’s powerpop rave-up “In the Clouds“, Wild Yaks’ defiantly triumphant “Paradise“, Estates’ searing “Not Now“, The Holy Circle’s mesmerizing “Basel (About What Was Lost)“, and site favorites Vaadat Charigim‘s typically extraordinary “Hashiamum Shokea“. While all of those deserve a slew of plays, it’s high time to give Hop Along their proper due and “Texas Funeral” provides the perfect opportunity.

After making a memorable impression on the DIY circuit and cultivating a small but extraordinarily passionate following, the band signed to Saddle Creek for the release of their forthcoming record, Painted Shut. The lead-up to the record’s been extremely promising with both songs preceding “Texas Funeral”- “Powerful Man” and “Waitress“- easily ranking among the year’s very best. “Texas Funeral” joins their company with a practiced finesse that even furthers Painted Shut‘s likelihood at being something truly special, even in regards to this year’s already formidable stockpile of musical highs. The band’s last record, 2012’s staggering Get Disowned, showed glimmers of bigger things to come- hinting that the band was capable of producing a classic.

Ever since then, guitarist/vocalist Frances Quinlan and company have been refining their sound and delivering heartfelt sets that have occasionally taken on a monumental feel. It’s a peak that “Texas Funeral” hits again and again, emphasizing both Hop Along’s considerable growth and undeniable talent. Quinlan, in particular, sounds more assured than ever, with her vocals (sometimes sung, frequently nearly-screamed) hitting stratospheric heights. Unpredictable, exhilarating, vibrant, and unapologetically alive “Texas Funeral” makes it sound like Hop Along is in the throes of a victory lap, bringing to mind the feel and aesthetic of another Saddle Creek record on more than a few occasions- Rilo Kiley’s career highlight The Execution Of All Things (one of the best records of last decade). With an exasperated youthfulness on full display and a keen eye for life’s minutiae, Hop Along seem to have tapped into something genuinely thrilling with “Texas Funeral”- and at this point it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to expect that the rest of Painted Shut will follow suit.

Listen to “Texas Funeral” below and make sure to pre-order a copy of Painted Shut from Saddle Creek here.