Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: fuzzy

Watch This: Vol. 128

Lady Lamb, Eleanor Friedberger, La Luz, Bob Mould, Tangerine, Weaves, Lacrymosa, Bye Beneco, The Big Pink, Weaves, Sex Tide, David Bazan, Plants and Animals, LUH, The Wooden Sky, Mumblr, Bleached, Adult Mom, Hattie Marsh, Stephen Steinbrink, Destroyer, Mount Moriah, Muuy Biien, Young Magic, The Kills, Adeline HotelDeclan McKenna, Palehound, Friendship, Titus Andronicus, Petal, and Foals all had very strong live videos surface over the past seven days. Unsurprisingly, that cast of titles underscores the strength of the five performance that are highlighted in this, the 128th installment of the Watch This series. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch each of the five acts featured below and can confirm that these captures come close to doing them justice, chronicling their charisma, emotional pull, and talent spectacularly. So, as always, sit up, adjust the settings, elevate the volume, block out all distractions, and Watch This.

1. Seratones (Audiotree)

Ever since Seratones‘ run at last year’s CMJ, the band’s been slowly escalating nearly every facet of their already-formidable presentation. Boasting one of the most awe-inspiring vocalists currently on the circuit, the band delivers a commanding performance here for Audiotree. Grabbing onto something won’t save you from being flattened.

2. Car Seat Headrest – Fill In The Blank + Vincent (WXPN)

Teens of Denial still confidently stands as one of 2016’s finest records, a fact that will inevitably be reflected by several sources come December, and thanks to the band’s live show it’s still gaining traction. The band tore through “Fill In The Blank” and “Vincent”, the record’s opening two tracks, for WXPN. It’s a masterful run that shows Car Seat Headrest have plenty of tricks up their sleeves.

3. Courtney Barnett (Strombo Sessions)

Courtney Barnett may very well hold the record for the most Watch This series appearances at this point. An endlessly gifted — and obscenely likable — performer, Barnett’s hyper-intelligent songwriting is allowed to thrive in the live setting. All of those qualities can become even more pronounced in her endearing solo performances, which is squarely the case with this beautiful set that comes courtesy of Strombo Sessions.

4. Midnight Reruns – Richie the Hammer (Set List)

Last year, Midnight Reruns‘ brilliant Force of Nurture made a very strong showing in this site’s year-end rankings and a large reason for that placement was guitarist/vocalist (and principal songwriter) Graham Hunt’s growth as a lyricist. The record’s most surprising moment may very well have been the emotional devastation contained in “Richie the Hammer”, which the band recently performed for WPR’s excellent Set List series.

5. Weaves (NPR)

After several years of stellar performances and continuous evolution, Weaves have managed to create quite a few converts. “Shithole“, a fiery moment of reinvention, kicked off a run of songs that currently comprise the most formidable stretch of the band’s still-blossoming career. The band takes on a trio of those selections for one of the most galvanizing Tiny Desk sessions in recent memory. It’s downright electric.

Happy Diving – Weird Dream (Stream)

happydiving

This week has had no shortage of great material to choose from thanks to great new songs from the likes of Glish (whose upcoming self-titled is among the year’s best releases), Miss Destiny, Straight Arrows, Colleen Green, Cozy, and VCR. There were also eye-catching music videos from the likes of site favorites Creepoid and Happyness to round things out on the visual end of the spectrum. One of the most arresting things to be introduced into the world, though, was Happy Diving’s lo-fi basement punk rager “Weird Dream”.

Bookending a song with sheets of feedback is a bold move that normally indicates a fair amount of aggression. It’s a trick that Dinosaur Jr. has used to great effect and a proclivity that Happy Diving seems to have picked up (among a few others that offer a strong connection between the two bands). From the scorching guitar work to the scuzzy production, “Happy Diving” isn’t content to drift by without landing a cavalcade of punches. As damaging as it is damaged, the song’s one hell of an introduction to a band on the verge of releasing their debut record, Big World, through a label as revered as Father/Daughter Records. If “Weird Dreams” does prove to be truly indicative of what Big World has in store, October 21 can’t get here fast enough.

Listen to “Weird Dream” below and make sure to pre-order Big World directly from Father/Daughter Records here.