Several years have passed since Lydia Loveless’ emergence and, time and time again, the songwriter’s proven to be one of today’s most formidable talents. Each of Loveless’ past handful of releases have been met with a heavy amount of anticipation and the songwriter’s still finding ways to surprise. Case in point: Desire b/w Sorry. While the gripping Justin Bieber cover constituting the B-side has been rightfully receiving a lot of press, “Desire” has been — somewhat unfairly — overshadowed, which is a shame because it ranks as one of the finest entries into Loveless’ increasingly impressive discography.
“Desire” is a swirling mix of aggression, melancholy, Southern rock, Americana, country, and punk-tinged rock n’ roll. In short, it’s one of Loveless’ most definitive songs. Shot through with the songwriter’s unmistakable voice, world-weary wit, and fierce power, it’s a five and a half minute reminder of Loveless’ seemingly innumerable strengths. Each decision, from ornate guitar figures to vocal sustain to the characteristically gritty instrumental tones, all serve a higher purpose rendering “Desire” an exhaustively complete work. “Sorry” may be the icing on the cake but “Desire” more than earns its place as the main attraction.
Listen to “Desire” below and download Desire b/w Sorryhere.
Just a short while ago, a handful of pieces ran on Heartbreaking Bravery recapping some of the year’s finest first quarter releases. In the time it took to assemble those lists, a fresh slate of songs, music videos, records, and live videos emerged. Tonight’s posts will be dedicated to highlighting the most noteworthy releases of that selection. Starting off with the individual songs category, which was characteristically rich in terms of output over the course of the past two weeks. To that end, here are some of the finest titles to have surfaced in that time. Click around, there’s a little something for everyone. Enjoy.
After the past few days were spent on catching this site up on the studio releases, music videos, and radio sessions that came to light over the past few weeks, it’s time to turn the attention towards the best live clips to have surfaced in that time. All of the bands in this week’s collection- the 73rd installment of the series- have already been featured on the site. As usual, there was an overabundance of material to work with and there were multiple entries deserving of attention. Waxahatchee, Froth, Jeff Rosenstock, Eternal Summers, Husky, Surfer Blood, and Steve Smyth all had outstanding performance clips. The five featured clips switch between single song performances and full sets, all of which come from great artists. So, as always, sit back, turn the volume up, tune out any worries, relax, and Watch This.
1. Cayetana – Madame B (World Cafe)
Once again, we’re kicking things off with a World Cafe clip from a band that challenges genre limitations. Cayetana’s Nervous Like Me was one of 2014’s stronger records and saw the band finally receive some of the recognition they’d been deserving for years. Part of that is likely due to relentless touring which has paid massive dividends for the trio in the live department. Here, they turn in a powerful performance of Nervous Like Me highlight “Madame B” and give a resounding demonstration of why they’re worth the praise they’ve received in the process.
2. PWR BTTM – West Texas (Play Too Much)
PWR BTTM’s “Hold Yer Tongue” was one of 2015’s first great songs, which was why it was included in our First Quarter Highlightsmixtape. Turns out the band’s not just fascinating in the studio; their live act’s got all sorts of intrigue. More notably, though, it packs a lot of force. Cut away any of the frivolity or things that could be construed as gimmicks and there’s still a deeply impressive musicality at play. Paired with a fierce stage presence from both members (they frequently switch duties on guitar, vocals, and drums), their appeal expands to dangerous levels. All of that, and maybe even a little more, is evidenced in this Play Too Much clip of “West Texas”.
3. Kevin Morby (3voor12)
For a while now, Kevin Morby‘s been kicking away in the shadows, delivering one stunning record and performance after another. While a healthy few have latched onto Morby’s magic those numbers are still relatively slim, all things considered. None of it has affected Morby, though, and he’s only growing stronger as he goes. In his London Calling performance, lovingly shot by 3voor12, he tears into a trio of tracks with abandon. Starting off with a deeply felt version of the sprawling “Harlem River”, Morby and his band set the tone early for what quickly becomes an awe inspiring set. Hell, maybe it can be capped off at just inspiring.
4. Lady Lamb (KEXP)
After shortening her project’s moniker two words, Aly Spaltro- like Cayetana before her- started picking up the attention she’s so richly deserved for years. After, Spaltro’s first record as Lady Lamb is full of career highlights but it’s teeth are sharpened into fangs in the live setting. Irresistibly clever and intensely dynamic, Spaltro leads her band through the record’s sharp passages with a clear-eyed ferocity. All four songs in this KEXP session, including the massive After single “Billions of Eyes“, are performed with a joyous passion, one that’s betrayed by the band’s quick, uncontainable smiles throughout the half an hour session. Add in an illuminating interview and the end result is a new KEXP classic.
5. Kevin Devine (Off The Avenue)
Kevin Devine’s earned his share of love on this site and, coincidentally, has made the most appearances here through the Watch This series. Devine’s always been a dynamo live and that holds true now more than ever, as evidenced by this 1-2 knockout punch for Consequence of Sound’s Off The Avenue series session. Ever since Devine released Bubblegum he’s been skewing more towards an incendiary hybrid of basement pop and basement punk. “She Can See Me” and “Cotton Crush” are both electrifying pieces of work aided by the band’s unerring conviction. All in all, it’s just another extension in what’s proving to be a formidable winning streak from one of today’s most quietly compelling songwriters. Don’t miss out on what happens when he turns the volume up.