Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: OFF!

Mean Creek – My Madeline (Music Video)

Well, after a night of catch-up via writing about some of the best music videos to have come out in the past few weeks, what’s one more? Before getting into that, though, it’d be a missed opportunity if light wasn’t shed on some other notable music videos from the likes of Curtis Harding, Screaming Females, Thee Oh Sees, OFF!, Cloud Nothings, Popstrangers, Vertical Scratchers, Pure X, Sweet Apple, Nothing, Yuck, Tacocat, The Antlers, Courtney Barnett, Parquet Courts, and Owls (as well as a deeply unsettling short film from The Body). While all of those are well worth taking multiple looks at (that short film, especially), the video earning the feature spot is for recent Watch This act Mean Creek.

To celebrate the release of the band’s recent Local Losers, they released a somewhat haunted clip for Local Losers standout “My Madeline”, directed by Richard TK Hawke and James Lindsay. In the video, guitarist and vocalist Chris Keene stalks an apartment that’s either full of tripped-out scenes from the aftermath of an afterparty or projected memories on a wistful tour-through. All the other members of Mean Creek make appearances in various guises as the video glides along, retaining a sense of subtlety that emphasizes the song’s finer points. It’s an immensely impressive works on all accounts and solidifies their status as a band to know.

Watch the hazy video for “My Madeline” below and pick up Local Losers from Old Flame Records or any record shop that carries it.

Young Widows – King Sol (Stream)

Due to some recurring technical problems (which have hopefully been permanently resolved) Heartbreaking Bravery was forced into a brief hiatus. During that time, a lot of worthwhile material was released. Even though the songs from Mikal Cronin, People’s TempleAmen DunesEx-Cult, Odonis Odonis, Hamilton LeithauserRuined Fortune, OFF!, Sheer Mag,  and the videos from King Khan & the Shrines, The Hold SteadyTokyo Police Club, and especially Fear of Men made strong impressions, none of them stood out as strongly as Young Widows’ breathtakingly massive “King Sol”.

Young Widows have been teasing material for Easy Pain for a while now and each new reveal has been more impressive than the last. This pattern holds especially true for “King Sol”, which just may be the best thing the band has ever done. A slow and suffocating sense of dread permeates throughout the track as it grows more menacing, making it reminiscent of Swans at their absolute best. It’s a monumental step for the band, deftly incorporating all of their strengths into a towering, masterfully produced, whole. “Set fire at the witching hour; and now I’m free” is a small part of the song’s terrifying conclusion before it gives way to an ambient epilogue. When all falls to a final quiet, it’s as if the band’s allowed a release from their stranglehold and are finally granting an intake of air. Once everything’s righted itself and their all-too-convincing world-building has slowly evaporated, one thing becomes abundantly clear: when Easy Pain finally gets released , it’ll be something to reckon with.

Hear “King Sol” below and pre-order Easy Pain from Temporary Residence ahead of its May 13th release date.

Brain F≠ – Sicks (Stream)

It’s been another one of those days. A day with a cavalcade of new and noteworthy music news descending at an impossible velocity. There was official live performance videos from Cloud Nothings (which came with an accompanying tour announcement), Fever the Ghost, and Those Darlins. Following that, official videos from Metronomy (which has the distinction of being directed by Michel Gondry), OFF!Soak, Tacocat, and Quilt. Additionally, there was new music from Black Lips, The CoathangersCreative Adult, Denney and the JetsEx-Cult, and Woods (which would’ve been the feature today but it’s difficult to shake the feeling that With Light and With Love is going to be picking up a lot of press in the days to come). All adding up to an overload of material before the day even hit its halfway point. In the midst of all that chaos, a song by Brain F≠ (pronounced Brain Flannel, apparently) called “Sicks” managed to stand out.

Brain F≠ sound sort of like Be Your Own PET and OFF! were thrown into a blender while riding an adrenaline high, attempting to beat each other to death. “Sicks” is a manic blast of charged-up punk-leaning hardcore that’s accessible enough to snag a lot of potential interest. That interest will undoubtedly be coming their way following today’s release of Empty Set (via a joint release between Grave Mistake and Sorry State Records), the full-length that “Sicks” is taken from. Importantly, the band seems to have already grasped one of the keys to an early success- and that lies in the fact that no matter how aggressive Brain F≠ gets, they always retain a sense of fun that’s often far too buried (and crucial) to music that operates on the fringes of hardcore. “Sicks” is a genuine moment of excitement from a band worth getting excited over. Hear “Sicks” below and go destroy something useless.