Heartbreaking Bravery

stevenmps2@gmail.com | @steven_mps | @hbreakbravery

Tag: Jayson Gerycz

Cloud Nothings – Modern Act (Stream)

cloud-nothings

Two weeks may not seem like that long of a stretch but considering the rate new material surfaces, it can be a challenge to keep up to speed. As the previous posts have indicated, there was a lot of material to cover and not all of it can be granted the attention that its due. A large portion of songs, full streams, and music videos have already been posted but this post marks the beginning of a small onslaught of single-item features. Kicking things off: site favorites Cloud Nothings’ just-released triumph, “Modern Act”.

Once again operating as a quartet, Cloud Nothings seem to have rekindled a very specific spark that’s been dormant since Turning On. In the time that’s elapsed since that point, the band’s been responsible for some of the current decade’s finest records but all of them were gnarled, weary beasts, where “Modern Act” comes across as cautiously optimistic. There’s a lightness to the songwriting that all but evaporated as Cloud Nothings transitioned from a solo project to a full band endeavor.

Even ignoring the distortion and fuzz that so heavily informed Attack On Memory and especially Here And Nowhere Else, which is barely present in “Modern Act”, the songwriting structure seems to have rekindled some more playful sensibilities. Guitarist/vocalist Dylan Baldi remains one of the more engaging narrators currently playing out, anchoring “Modern Act” with the relatable, peculiarly grounded sentiments that have consistently provided the band with a point of appeal.

Drummer Jayson Gerycz remains one of the best things to happen to recent music and propels “Modern Act” with a characteristic amount of intuition, verve, and raw feeling. It provides a perfect counterbalance to Baldi mining the project’s earlier signposts and becomes the perfect catalyst for what could prove to be a career-defining stylistic marriage. Everything the band tries out here works to surprising degrees and “Modern Act” winds up as an unassuming career highlight as a result. If the rest of the band’s forthcoming Life Without Sound winds up being anywhere near this impressive, 2017 will be off to an incredible start.

Listen to “Modern Act” below and pre-order Life Without Sound here.

Total Babes – Heydays (Music Video)

tb

Throughout the past week there’s been a steady rollout of a slew of great songs and full streams. While the music video category didn’t quite hit the preceding week’s exhilarating highs, there was still solace to be found in some genuinely enjoyable clips from Joe Bordenaro, Algiers (who still have my pick for breakout act of 2015), Weird Mob, and Magic Potion.  Topping that batch off is Total Babes’ charming, lighthearted video for “Heydays”. Total Babes, at this point, is mostly known for its connection to Cloud Nothings (the band was founded by drummer Jayson Gerycz, whose work on Here and Nowhere Else was so impressive I shortlisted his turn-in on that record as one of last year’s most memorable moments). The singular vision on display in “Heydays” suggests that may not always be the case.

In addition to being a perfectly crafted burst of irreverent basement pop, the accompanying video comes laced with a kind of very specific comedic sensibility points towards Total Babes staggering self-awareness in terms of identity. All of the factors bode well for the band and subtly factor into the clip’s endearing narrative, which follows an air tube dancer through a turbulent time in his life. Even though our braver protagonist loses his girlfriend, his job, and part of his will to continue, he never loses his smile. Utilizing a simple idea and maximizing it’s unique factors to incredible effect (generating what are essentially organic jump cuts is a brilliant move), the video never loses its sense of playfulness. Masterfully executed, “Heydays” is a welcome dose of wit-laced humor that goes a long way in establishing Total Babes as much more than just a side project.

Watch “Heydays” below and order the album that’s named after the song from the increasingly formidable Wichita here.