Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Leeds

Grape St. – Free Stuff (Stream)


Today’s been another relatively quiet day for the kind of music that gets covered here, with two notable exceptions. First, there’s the defiantly great corporate sponsorship team-up that saw King Tuff being co-opted by Captain Morgan and produced by Harry Fraud, a prominent talent and product of New York’s rap scene. That the track, “Danger in the Dark” winds up being an easy career highlight for both King Tuff and Fraud is nothing short of weirdly miraculous and could pave the way for more intriguing collaboration possibilities from the King Tuff camp. On the music video side of the spectrum, there was a charming low-budget clip for Menace Beach‘s supremely catchy “Tennis Court“. Then, to top everything off, Burger Records offered up the hard-charging title track off Grape St.’s recently released Free Stuff EP.

“Free Stuff”, had it been released a few weeks prior, would have been a no-brainer inclusion for the Songs of Summer mixtape. It’s a sunny sub-two minute blast of punk-tinged powerop perfection, one that rides a jaunty progression and an energetic vocal performance into a noise-battered solo before bringing everything home with one last chorus. “Anthemic” almost doesn’t do it justice. All in all, it reveals Grape St. as a band with a taut grip on melody and structure, cementing Free Stuff as an EP that’ll be worth the purchase.

Listen to “Free Stuff” below and pick it up from Burger here.

Watch This: Vol. 26

Well, it’s been a while but by the end of today Watch This will be back on track. This is, once again, thanks in no small part to an abundance of great material to have come out over the past week or so. With the influx of material being so strong, this will be the first of two Watch This posts to go live today. Both sections are going to be filled with bands that have never been featured and old favorites. In this installment, the newcomers get featured a little more heavily but there’s still enough room for a genre mainstay or two. All of it’s worth investing some time and, really, the best course of action? Lean into it- and Watch This.

1. Picastro – Mountain Relief (BreakThruRadio)

Kicking off the series this time around is Liz Hysen’s long-running Toronto-based project, Picastro. BreakThruRadio invited her in to film a performance and Hysen delivers an absolutely haunting rendition of “Mountain Relief”. There’s a short interview that follows the performance but the real takeaway from this is just how arresting “Mountain Relief” is. It’s on Picastro’s most recent record, You, which is more than worth anyone’s time.

2. Constant Lovers – 14 Missed Calls (KEXP)

It’s been a while since there’s been a KEXP session quite as lively as the insane one Constant Lovers just turned in. Among their set’s most intense moments was this fiery as hell take on “14 Missed Calls”. All intense guitar jabs and one of the fiercest vocal takes imaginable, “14 Missed Calls” proved to be one of the best parts of the last week in music. It’s a must-watch.

3. Menace Beach – Fortune Teller (3VOOR12)

One of the more intriguing acts of the last few years, Menace Beach have yet to release a record. This hasn’t stopped them from earning praise and coverage in a variety of major taste-making publications. The Leeds-based group has one hell of a pedigree between their two main members and rotating cast; nearly everyone involved has achieved some level of notoriety with at least one other project. From this video alone, it’s abundantly clear that this band knows what they’re doing. 

4. Black Lips – Smiling (KEXP)

There are some things that just don’t change- one of them is that Black Lips are a great live band. No matter how much the band varies their sound or how strong whatever record their touring behind is, their live shows consistently bring an incredible amount of energy to the table. While not all of that translates over to a taped session (a literal impossibility considering there’s no crowd interaction), it’s still fun enough to earn a spot here.

5. Screaming Females – Baby Jesus (Audiotree)

As is the case with Black Lips, Screaming Females have one of the best live sets in the game. Having torched the basement circuit with a vengeance, the New Brunswick act has seemingly set their sights on world domination. Pity anyone that gets in their way. This will be the first of two videos from their Audiotree session to be featured today because there’s no way they don’t both deserve to be featured. This is a masterclass.