Any band that’s origin story can be traced back to a Perfect Pussy t-shirt’s going to be one that will have at least some of my attention. That’s getting a little ahead of schedule, though, so we’ll come back to that later. Just as all of the preceding posts have done, this one will start with 10 tracks well worth hearing. Among them are two tracks from Thee Oh Sees mastermind John Dwyer from both his main vehicle (“Withered Hand“) and his new(er) Damaged Bug project (“Jet In Jungle“)- both of which sound like some of the songwriter’s most vital material yet. Slow Down Molasses indulged their atmospheric sensibilities with “Home“, Protomartyr turned in their most biting lyric track to date with “Blues Festival“, and Spray Paint continued to sound downright feral with “Day of the Rope“. Miniboone unveiled a surprisingly punchy indie pop tune in “Any Other City“, Your Old Droog unleashed a masterclass in throwback hip-hop with “Hidden Persuaders“, and Honeyblood turned vicious in “The Black Cloud“. Rounding everything out was Oddissee’s typically inviting “Belong To The World” and Paul de Jong’s typically inventive “Hollywald“. All ten are worth attempts at total immersion but the focus for this particular post falls on yet another duo: Bruising.
The duo, as mentioned above, formed in a Leeds nightclub after guitarist/vocalist Naomi Baguley saw Ben Lewis wearing a Perfect Pussy shirt (the band this site has covered to exhaustive detail). If that meet-cute scenario wasn’t enough, the band they formed now has a makeshift home in site favorites Art Is Hard, a label that’ll be releasing the second volume of their excellent Family Portrait series on May 11. Topping everything off, the song they’re contributing to the series- “Think About Death”- is precisely the kind of song this site was created to celebrate. Clearly clinging to a DIY ethos while bringing in elements of twee, powerpop, basement punk, and shoegaze to create something that feels new and exhilarating, the band’s latched on to a kind of near-magic that’ll serve them extraordinarily well going forward. As ambitious as it is easygoing, “Think About Death” is an absolute triumph for a band that seems to have already figured out exactly who they are what the want to achieve. One climactic moment crashes in after another, with gentle vocals floating over impassioned drumming and urgent guitarwork, weaving one of the year’s most captivating tapestries. Only a few songs into their career, Bruising have already emerged as one of the most exciting young bands of today- a point driven emphatically home by “Think About Death”.
Listen to “Think About Death” below and pre-order Family Portrait Pt. II from Art Is Hard here.