Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Paralyzed

PWR BTTM – Ugly Cherries (Music Video)

PWR BTTM III

Now that the site’s been brought back up to speed on some of the week’s best songs and full streams, it’s time to turn an eye towards some genuinely great music videos. Roah Summit’s soft, dreamlike “Take Care” kicked off this week’s viewing necessities, shortly followed by Honduras’ lightly deranged “Paralyzed“, Girl Band’s deliriously unhinged “Paul“, Sunshine & The Blue Moon’s nostalgia-ready “Lucy“, and Nano Kino’s poised “Never Seemed To Happen“. Joining those titles were The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s frantic “The Ballad of Joe Buck“, Of Montreal’s animated adventure “Last Rites at the Jane Hotel“, Worriers’ self-effacing “Most Space“, and Foals’ visually stunning lyric clip for “A Knife In the Ocean“. While the feature could have gone to any one of those entries, it felt most appropriate to give it to PWR BTTM’s intentionally bold video for the title track off of their forthcoming record, Ugly Cherries.

PWR BTTM has surfaced an astonishing number of times as this site’s entered its Brooklyn-based era, something that was all but guaranteed a few songs into my first experience of the band’s exhilarating live show. Of course, it also helps that their focus on the area has intensified as of late (the duo recently announced plans to move to the city) and two DIY institutions (Father/Daughter and Miscreant) have both thrown their weight behind the band’s forthcoming record. A lot of that record has been evidenced through this site’s live coverage but the only official preview thus far has been “Ugly Cherries” itself, the record’s shamelessly, refreshingly bombastic title track.

For the video, the camera’s lens places the song’s guitarist/vocalist Benjamin Walter Hopkins front, center, and sidescreen. Almost immediately the viewer’s brought to confront Hopkins’ complete embrace of identity. Shots alternate and contrast the co-existing versions of Hopkins: the to-the-elevens glittery drag queen and the dressed-down lounger. Curiously, Hopkins’ bandmate Liv Bruce is all but absent throughout the video, though they’ve issued an assurance that this is intentional and that Bruce will be prominently featured in the band’s forthcoming clip. It’s a strange move because the duo’s collaborative partnership is one of PWR BTTM’s defining characteristics but eschewing that aspect does allow for the band’s presentation of gender identity to be thrown into a sharp focus on an individual level rather than presenting it as a combined effort (even though the two aren’t mutually exclusive).

Of course, this does nothing to detract from the actual music itself, which- as always- is a deeply felt, ridiculously impressive composition. The band’s commitment to both aesthetic and craft is allowed to thrive in the music video format and “Ugly Cherries” makes the most out of that opportunity right out of the gate. While it’ll definitely be interesting to see what’s in store as a companion piece (and going forward from there), it’s incredibly hard to argue against “Ugly Cherries” being representative of the band at their fiercest. Glamorous, unapologetic, hallucinatory, and surprisingly forceful, it’s both obviously compelling and a perfect way to make a statement. Fortunately, that statement’s left with a lot of room for expansion- something the band will undoubtedly capitalize on with no shortage of conviction and mischievous glee.

Watch “Ugly Cherries” below and pre-order the record from Father/Daughter and/or Miscreant ahead of its September 18 release.

Big Huge – Late At Nite (Stream)

big huge

Already a few small releases into a promising career, Big Huge have yet to hit a false note. Instead, they seem to gain strength as they go; sharpening their songwriting ability and honing their presentation accordingly. 2014’s Don’t Be Shy EP was among the year’s more joyous (and promising) basement pop excursions but “Late At Nite” finds the band lighting a much stronger fire.

A little over two minutes, “Late At Nite” hits a lot of familiar beats from the powerpop structure to the gruff vocal delivery. All of it’s been done before but it’s rarely been delivered with such venom. Like a lot of the best music that deals with pent-up aggression, it derives part of its narrative from a very frustrating dichotomy. In this case, that dichotomy comes to the forefront by virtue of the inescapable post-party come-down. On the surface, it’s an absolute joy but buried somewhere in the subtext is a very human examination of some of life’s more intriguing moments. Packaged together, it becomes something that approaches the levels of a summer anthem. Right on time.

Listen to “Late At Nite” below and keep an eye on the site for more information about the band’s upcoming self-titled EP. Beneath the embedded player, enjoy 10 more outstanding songs to find release over the past two weeks.

Vundabar – Darla
We Take Fire – Kashyyyk
Bad Bad Hats – Fight Song
Johnny Marr – Exit Connection
Naps – Sandspurs
Baby in Vain – Muscles
Cold Showers – Plantlife
Street Eaters – Paralyzed
Aye Nako – White Noise
Showyousuck – All Pizza Everything

Coaster – Paralyzed (Stream)

coaster

Community Records have been putting together an extraordinary run of releases lately and that patterns set to continue with Coaster’s Slow Jams. Approaching outsider punk-inflected basement pop with an immediately distinguishable identity is one thing to simply achieve but Coaster’s on the verge of perfecting that dynamic. Restrained but strangely volatile, the band’s sunk their teeth into something that feels familiar but incredibly unique.

“Paralyzed” elicits the opposition reaction of its title; it’s nearly impossible to not find your head nodding along as the song wills itself towards a powerful, climactic finish. It’s a fairly astonishing piece of work that bodes well for the band’s future. If Slow Jams can sustain the best qualities of “Paralyzed”, it’ll very easily find itself among my favorite release of the year.

Listen to “Paralyzed” below and pick up a copy of Slow Jams from Community Records here. Find 10 more excellent songs to have been released in the past two weeks below the embed.

Gardens & Villa – Fixations
Clearance – You’ve Been Pre-Approved
Widowspeak – Girls
Ricked Wicky – Tomfoole Terrific
Peter Matthew Bauer – Hold on to Someone (Quiet Version)
Scott Bartenhagen – Beacons
White Reaper – Pills
Alice – Shitty
Native Eloquence – Habits
Advance Base – Trisha Please Come Home