Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Grace

Watch This: Vol. 149

The past week was teeming with outstanding live videos. Japanese Breakfast, Margaret Glaspy, Tacocat, Dolfish, The Conquerors, Liz Cooper & The Stampede, Nassau, Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam (x2), Computer Magic, Alex Izenberg, The Lemon Twigs, Runaway Brother, Julia Jacklin, Jay Smart, Full Body, Conor Oberst, Ira Wolf, The Blank Tapes, Donovan Wolfington, The Malady of Sevendials, Sammus, Tom Brosseau, Casper Skulls, Jordie Lane & the Sleepers, King Charles, Diet Cig, Gallery 47, Pat Otto, Lilian, Kyle Craft, and Thirdstory all offered up incredible entries and, in the process, pointed to the overwhelming strength of the five clips featured below. New faces and old favorites abound in full sessions, late night triumphs, and single song performances. So, as always, sit up, lean in, focus, adjust the settings, block out any distractions, and Watch This.

1. Real Life Buildings (WKNC)

A New York institution for some years now, Real Life Buildings’ members have been extremely active in the DIY punk scene and accumulated an impressive pedigree. It’s easy to forget that fact when they play, though, as their music sounds so complete. Here, the project takes to the WKNC studios and delivers an inspired set of slightly askew basement pop. It’s a series of thrilling moments from a band that more than deserves their continuously growing reputation as one of the state’s finest acts.

2. Yohuna – Apart (Radio K)

In Patientness, the Johanne Swanson-led Yohuna delivered one of the year’s most quietly compelling releases. Operating as a trio for the live shows, Yohuna recently stopped by the Radio K studios and offered up a gripping take on “Apart”, one of the many highlights from Patientness. Calm, collected, and enticing, it’s a perfect example of the project’s innate level of talent.

3, Porches – Car (KEXP)

When Watch This was in its earliest stages, Porches. would make infrequent appearances that mostly came courtesy of fan-shot footage of solo performances. In that time, the project’s reach has considerably widened, the period at the end of the name’s been all but abandoned, and it’s successfully transitioned into a full band that boasts an incredible cast of musicians. Porches hit a career highlight with “Car” and they recently gifted KEXP with this arresting run through the song. Good luck escaping the vice grip of that miraculous hook.

4. Julia Jacklin – Pool Party (The Current)

The ascendant Julia Jacklin’s been making quite a splash lately, drawing comparisons to the likes of Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, and Leonard Cohen. Just a few seconds into this gorgeous run through “Pool Party” and it’s abundantly clear that Jacklin’s tapped into that intangible element that can propel talented people to new levels of fame. A beautiful performance of a gorgeous song, it’s hard not to just leave the clip on repeat.

5. Mitski – Your Best American Girl (Colbert)

Anytime anyone from the DIY circuit starts succeeding on a grander level, it’s a heartening development, especially in the cases of artists that stay true to their convictions. Watching Mitski sit in with Stephen Colbert’s house band and lead them through selections from a discography that’s been well-covered here in the past served as a moment of triumph. The cherry on top? A full, heartfelt rendition of “Your Best American Girl” — one of 2016’s best songs — with the house band urging the song forward. All told, it was a well-earned, inspiring moment from an artist whose work deserves to be celebrated.

The Hussy – Turning On You (Stream)

the hussy

The Hussy, a Wisconsin mainstay, were part of the very first live review to ever be published on this site. Even before then, the duo held a connection to the site’s archives: one of the first live sets to ever be uploaded to YouTube was one of their very first shows (at the dearly-missed Appleton house venue that was run by members of Tenement, The BFG). Since then, the band’s become a celebrated force in DIY punk and found friends in the likes of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, who have championed the band on more than one occasion.

For the past several years, the duo- made up of Bobby Hussy and Heather Sawyer- have managed to sustain a schedule that sees them releasing nearly one full-length for every year, continuously upping their levels of ambition. The band’s upcoming full-length, Galore, was recently unveiled as part of Impose’s excellent Week in Pop series and sees an extension of that pattern. Before the project was revealed in full, the pair offered up their scorched-earth single “Turning On You”.

As manic and urgent as anything in the band’s discography, it immediately showcases the band’s innate charisma and sets about doing its best to destroy everything in its path. As bruising as it is exhilarating, it proves that The Hussy haven’t lost their touch and goes an even longer way in justifying their insanely prolific release schedule. Turn it up or get out of the way; all that’s left in its wake is smoldering wreckage. 

Listen to “Turning On You” below and pick up Galore from Southpaw here.

Veruca Salt – Empty Bottle
Nostalgist – Pull of the Plow
Heaters – Kamikaze
Hurula – Betongbarn
Bilal (ft. Kendrick Lamar) – Money Over Love
Jacob Banks – Grace
EZTV – Soft Tension
Owen Pallett – The Phone Call
Doubting Thomas Cruise Control – Lillehammer
Tearjerker – Perfect