Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Katie von Schleicher

Three Weeks Down: A Handful of Streams

It’s been a little over three weeks since the last regularly scheduled post appeared on this site. In that time, a whole host of excellent songs have been released. Below is a long compilation of some of the best of those offerings. There will be compilation lists in this vein for both music videos and full streams following this one. Following those posts, there’ll be posts featuring seven outstanding entries that have emerged in that time from each category. So, dive in, bookmark this page, and click around. A new favorite band’s always just around the corner for everyone, it’s just a matter of taking the time to look.  

See Through Dresses, BIRDS, Hater, Elle MaryTrü, Jason Loewenstein, Rips, Mt. Doubt, Livingmore (x2), Amy O, Japanese Breakfast, Mise en Scene (x2), Algiers, James Riotto, B Boys, The Drums (x2), The Last Dinosaur, Human Potential, The Rememberables, Deer Tick (x2), Rose Hotel, Nathan Oliver, A Giant Dog, Grim Streaker, Worriers, Slaughter Beach, Dog, Mardou, Psymon Spire, Suntrodden, Rainer Maria, Tomten (x2), Jack Cooper, The Fresh & Onlys, Lee Bains III + The Glory Fires, Quiet Hollers, Baby In Vain

Dentist, SOAR, Montrose Man, Sharon Van Etten, Absolutely Not, Randy’s Got A Playdough Face, Katie Von Schleicher, Hundredth, Night Click, CHIMNEY, Atlas Wynd, Exhausted Pipes, Tall Friend, Spodee Boy, Delafye, L.A. Witch, David Nance, Spit, New Swears, Sun Riah, Sleep Party People, Manzanita Falls, Pronto Mama, Cheap Fantasy, Susanne SundførRadulaFrøkedal, Jacques Labouchere, Single Mothers, Cody & Danz, Pill, Bien, Frightened Rabbit, Ratboys, Trouble, Low Hums, Michael Nau, First Light

Alex D GoldbergSQÜRL, Ride, Dead Heavens, The Domestics, Nathan Oliver, Milburn, House of Feelings, Modern Crowds, Demure for Sure, Broken Social Scene, Dove Lady, bukowski, Partner, The Big Drops, Kazyak, Diet Cig, Monk Parker, Black Thumb, Face of Man, Blimp Rock, DieAlps!, Fronds, Pearl Earl, Abbie Gale, Trevor Sensor, Great Woods, Best Ex, The Bandicoots, Chris Merick Hughes¡Moonbeams No Mas!, TobaccoJason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Moderate Rebels, Rostam, Fallow Land, Banditos

Hammydown, Institute, Eerie Gaits, Parker Longbough, GILA, Cameron Boucher, The Last Dinosaur, LAPêCHE, The Clientele, Maneater, Holy Wars, Guerilla TossHoneyrude, Superorganism, and Rudy Stone.

Watch This: Resuscitations, Pt. I

Two Watch This posts will run tonight, bringing the series back up to the current release cycle. After more than 100 entries and several long-form packages, Watch This has only managed to expand in both scope and range. The underlying principle remains steadfast: this is a project to celebrate the very best in live performance video, one of the most under-recognized and under-appreciated multimedia art forms in the music and film world. An intense amount of craft is required to make a live video memorable (or, failing that craft, a formidable level of personality) and some of the people who are brave enough to make entries turn in unforgettable work.

Below are 25 great performances from 25 artists who are worth exploring. Whether it’s PUP tearing through the strongest opening 1-2 punch any record’s boasted this year, Courtney Barnett putting her heart into a gentle solo rendition of “Depreston“, Midnight Reruns unveiling a new song, or Small Houses putting a warm spin on a Weakerthans classic, there are a lot of moments to appreciate embedded into this compilation. Old favorites and emerging acts found themselves posited as the centerpiece(s) of artful documentation and this installment of Watch This is a presentation of those documents. So, as always, turn up the volume, calm down, lean in, and Watch This.

1. Summer Cannibals – Go Home (KEXP)
2. Sunflower Bean – Easier Said (The Current)
3. Meat Wave – Delusion Moon (Ratio Beerworks)
4. Small Houses – Watermark (Onder Ivloed)
5. PUP – If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will + DVP (Stiegl)
6. Bird Laww – In My Sleep (Public Radio /\)
7. The Black Angels – Better Off Alone (Jam in the Van)
8. Mise En Scene – Show Me You’re Real (BreakThruRadio)
9. Wolf Solent – Countless Minds (Sea Records)
10. Courtney Barnett – Depreston (The Current)
11. The Coathangers – Make It Right (Paste)
12. Midnight Reruns – Warm Days (Set List)
13. Kevin Morby – Singing Saw + Doroth (The Daily Indie)
14. Katie Von Schleicher (Jenn Harrington)
15. Emily Yacina – Soft Stuff (This Has Got To Stop)
16. Bob Mould – Voices In My Head (Sound Opinions)
17. Palehound – Healthier Folk (Radio K)
18. Hemming – All I Want (Weathervane)
19. Odio Paris – En Junio (BalconyTV)
20. Mike Krol – Neighborhood Watch (Radio K)
21. Journalism – Watching & Waiting (BreakThruRadio)
22. David Bazan – Oblivion (Little Elephant)
23. Murder By Death – Shiola (Paste)
24. Lucy Dacus – Green Eyes, Red Face (BreakThruRadio)
25. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Clean Slate (3RRR)

Ben Seretan – Ben Seretan (Album Review, Stream)

benser

If anyone was paying attention to the majority of this site’s content over these past two months, then they’ll be aware of how extraordinary 2014 was for new artists. One record that crept in just before the year wrapped also wound up being one of its best. While it’s impossible to imagine that Ben Seretan’s extraordinary self-titled record will hit the stratospheric heights of popularity that Beyonce elevated with her just-before-close 2013 self-titled, it’s a record fully deserving of similar levels of acclaim. Seretan’s been putting out records under his own name for the past four years, quietly building an absurdly strong discography. No record in the songwriter’s elegantly powerful streak hits as hard as the monumental achievement that this review aims to bring into sharp focus: Ben Seretan.

The breathtaking scope of the record is immediately evidenced by the towering “Ticonderoga”, which not only establishes Seretan’s penchant for mantra-esque writing earlier on but acts as a showcase for his versatility in composition. Elements of genres as varied as drone, post-rock, and math-punk get thrown into a melting pot and escape through an oddly beautiful cinematic lens. “Ticonderoga” also succeeds in illustrating Seretan’s gift with the tension/momentum dynamic, conjuring up an atmospheric peak that reaches a new zenith every time it enters its next movement. Unnervingly hypnotic and deceptively intricate, it’s a palette-setter that succeeds in seemingly every possible way. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the record seems to follow suit in its endlessly compelling roads that lead to that inevitable conclusion.

Masterful guitar-playing augments Seretan’s earnest vocal delivery, each always lending the other an emotional punch that’s impossible to ignore. Nature references garnish Seretan’s lyrics, lending the proceedings an ethereal feel that suits the music to a tee. Organs, synths, strings, and brass drift in and out as the record hums along, never becoming a distraction (this is thanks to the record’s brilliant production and Seretan’s uncanny control over his creations). Only one song- “My Lucky Stars“- clocks in under the five-and-a-half minute mark, while the majority of them exceed seven. As impossible as it seems with those numbers involved, Ben Seretan never overstays its welcome- instead, it excels in creating all-enveloping atmospherics that are built on equal parts restraint and exploration.

It’s that same dynamic that drives one of the record’s most staggering moments- eloquently-titled centerpiece “the Confused Sound of Blood in a Shining Person“. Opening with a narrative adorned with the arresting imagery of a “dead dog laying on a pile of sawdust”, it evokes a very specific place of time and all of the accompanying feelings, right down to the most minute detail, as it swells to an unforgettable climax where the title is- as is so often the case on Ben Seretan– repeated, unapologetic as it lodges itself into the listeners consciousness. While there are a great many of these moments on the record, this one stands as the sharpest thanks to the unexpectedly heavy emotional heft. Only album closer “Swing Low” comes close, thanks to its unhinged cathartic release. Driven by Seretan’s enviably masterful guitar work and a palpable sense of urgency. As closing notes go, it’s hard to best something like “Swing Low” which acts both as an epilgoue for its precedents and a likely foreword for the great things that seem destined to come.

Listen to Ben Seretan below and order a copy from Hope for the Tape Deck here.