Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: limited edition

Kindling – Sunspots (Stream)

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Towards the end of last month, Easthampton duo Kindling set about releasing one of the best unheralded 7″s of the year so far with Spike & WaveThe duo, made up of Stephen Pierce and Gretchen Williams, leans heavily on shoegaze while not completely abandoning fuzzy outsider pop, in a vein not too dissimilar from site favorites Joanna Gruesome. Spike & Wave is limited to 300 copies on lavender vinyl, courtesy of Moon Sounds Records, and- because of songs like “Sunspots”- it’s worth snagging a copy before they’re gone.

All four songs on Spike & Wave are extraordinary in their own right but it’s the second track that defines the release. “Sunspots” has all of the requisite heaviness, tension, and swirling dream-like unease that characterizes the best shoegaze, while fully embracing a near-twee pop sensibility which they manage to keep grounding. Reverb cloaks the majority of the instrumentation, granting it a blown-out and completely wide-open feel that’s as welcoming as it is daunting. Totaling a mere two minutes and 25 seconds, it’s a masterstroke of genre craftsmanship and announces Kindling as an act to watch out for.

Listen to “Sunspots” below and pick up a copy of Spike & Wave from Moon Sounds Records here.

Sonic Avenues – Bored With Love (Stream)

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Sonic Avenues released a masterwork back in 2010 with their debut full-length, which is why it went out of print- which, in turn, is why Dead Broke Rekerds is reissuing it with two bonus tracks. One of these tracks is “Bored With Love”, a song originally intended for a split with Steve Adamyk Band (the bands share members). It would have been the title of that split but, due to unnamed complications, the release never saw the light of day. Sonic Avenues and Dead Broke are now amending this by offering it as one of two bonus tracks on the reissue.

“Bored With Love” is a gem of a song, highlighting seemingly all of the band’s best qualities through it’s manic, near-perfect two minutes and 39 seconds. Not unlike their fellow Canadians in Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs, Sonic Avenues excelled at meshing the best elements across a variety of genres- most notably outsider pop and basement punk- into something distinctly unique and outrageously fun. All of that’s exemplified by “Bored With Love” which is probably worth the price of the reissue on its own. With songs as good as this one, it’s a wonder it took four years for this LP to go back to press but it did go back to press and is currently available as a pre-order. Don’t let it disappear without grabbing a copy, who knows when it’ll be available again.

Listen to “Bored With Love” below, pre-order the record from Dead Broke, and read more about the song over at New Noise Magazine.

PURPLE 7 – Wise Up (Stream)

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Among the few who have heard (and loved) it, there aren’t very many records to have been released since the turn of the century that can come even close to touching Hot New Mexicans’ should-be-classic self-titled sophomore effort. Hot New Mexicans was that band’s final release before their bandleader, Patrick Jennings, moved camp from Athens to Bloomington and joined up with Will Statler  (of Defiance, Ohio and Landlord) and Chris Mott (also of Landlord) to form PURPLE 7. Following their excellent five-song effort, Volume Two, the band’s released Jewel Finger in a limited edition LP run, which marks their first full-length to receive a physical release.

Quietly self-released just a little under a month ago, Jewel Finger is an absolute stunner and, from top to bottom, one of 2014’s very best. More than just a sum of the band member’s previous projects, they’ve already established an original voice of their very own. While the influences of their past work are still very clearly present, they’ve tapped into something else that feels entirely new, despite still trafficking in left field basement pop. From the attention-ensuring opening songs to the absolutely gorgeous title track and the arresting closer, this is a full-bodied work from a band confident enough to present themselves in a completely unguarded fashion. Most representative of all of this, though, is the raucous “Wise Up”.

“Wise Up” seems to stand out in a record literally full of highlights thanks to featuring an even more manic energy than the songs that surround it. From the stop/start rhythms to the buzzsaw riffs, menacing bass line, and impassioned vocal delivery, it’s the point where Jewel Finger shifts from truly great to completely transcendental. Continuously working in new ideas with verve and panache, “Wise Up” refuses to relent from being as gnarled, and as engaging, as possible. It’s the defining moment of a genuinely great record and deserves to be heard by anyone with even just a passing interest in the genre. This is a masterclass in songwriting and cements PURPLE 7’s growing importance- and reputation. Modern music doesn’t get much better than this.

Listen to “Wise Up” below and make sure to order a copy of Jewel Finger before they’re gone- this is a record that needs to be in as many collections as possible.