Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: pre-order

Versing – Call Me Out (Music Video)

The last week was a relatively quiet one for music videos but still made enough room for great clips from Caddywhompus, Lunch Ladies, Spinning Coin, The Dream Syndicate, Jeff Beam, Holy Hum, Lonely The Brave, Manchester Orchestra, Dream Wife, Swimming Tapes, Iron Chic, Carla del Forno, Elliott Brood, and Jessica Boudreaux. Joining their ranks as commendable efforts was the charmingly minimalist clip from Versing for their latest career highlight “Call Me Out”.

For a while now, Versing have been generating momentum and finding ways to accelerate it instead of opting for a route where its just sustained. Whether it’s opting for a tongue-in-cheek record name or just finding ways to improve, they seem intent on not just making a splash but staying in the water to kick up a series of waves. To that end, “Call Me Out” is a perfectly-timed release that hits all the right notes: simple, DIY, gripping, and adhering to a relatively straightforward, high-impact aesthetic while still finding enough room for a hallucinatory bent.

Directed by Daniel Salas, “Call Me Out” is little more than the band playing “Call Me Out” in a field, while simple border effects sweep in and out of the shot. It’s a clever conceit that allows the band to play up their identity and it’s elevated by everyone’s commitment to the idea. Of course, it helps that “Call Me Out” — a shoegaze-leaning basement punk ripper — is the best song from the band’s discography thus far, elevating the clip even further. When all is said and done and the clip winds to a close, it’s hard not to want to just go back and let it run from the start all over again.

Watch “Call Me Out” below and pre-order Nirvana from the band here.

Young Jesus – Green (Music Video Premiere)

More than five years have passed since site favorites Young Jesus released Home, a breakthrough of sorts that turned a select few heads at the time of its release. Back then, the band was still calling Chicago home and there were only a few evident hints at the kind of experimentation that would inform their later work. Now based in Los Angeles, the band’s continuing to evolve in a way that’s both unassuming and fearless.

The band’s been taking creative risks lately and those risks have led to riveting material, whether in the form of the ambient tape that paired with a conceptual zine that they were selling on their last tour, the noise sections spliced into their live show, or the winding free-form songs like Void as Lob‘s “Hinges“. No matter what’s being put forth by Young Jesus, there are two unifying threads: an intensity that threatens to overtake everything and split the songs apart at the seams as well as an abundance of feeling to drive those moments.

Most impressively, the band’s maintained a career trajectory that’s essentially just been one ascending line since the turn of the decade and the first look at their forthcoming self-titled full-length doesn’t do anything to dissuade the notion that’ll continue in earnest. “Green” is among the sharpest single entries in their catalog and the music video — premiering below — they’ve crafted as its complement suggests the band’s finding new levels of conviction in both their craft and their identity.

Directed by Jordan Epstein and taking place in a single room, “Green” makes an impression through its attention to detail and commitment to conceptual approach. Each band member is given time center-frame, adorned with a variety of props (furniture, plants, and yarn are all among the featured items). Accentuating everything is the decision to shoot the video as a stop-motion piece and continue the band’s winning penchant for incorporating animation into their clips.

Where “Green” separates itself from the band’s already overflowing — and deeply impressive — discography (and videography) lies in ambition. While everything the band’s done since a little after forming has been uniformly impressive, the pulse that’s always driven Young Jesus at its core seems to be reaching a fever pitch, as if the band’s found itself and has no qualms about what they’re aiming to achieve.

There’s a handful of dichotomies at play that fuel “Green” even further, whether it be the emotional intensity paired with the tacit relaxation surrounding the narrative or the meticulously detailed production design they afforded to a simplistic concept. All of those elements work in tandem to create something that feels removed enough from everything else to feel intangible but accessible enough to feel extraordinary. It’s one of the more quietly compelling moments of the year and more than proves that, while the band’s existence may be nearing the decade mark, they’ve still got a lot left to say.

Watch “Green” below and pre-order Young Jesus here.

Honeyfitz – October Air (Lyric Video Premiere)

One of the most distinct pleasures of running something like Heartbreaking Bravery is the unsolicited submissions that wind up hitting home. Artists from all corners of the world, several of which using their own bedroom as their primary recording space, making music that deserves to be heard by so many more people than what music’s disheartening industry politics will ever allow. This site was created as a push-back against the idea that something needs to attract an excess of clicks to be featured and it’s why when something as oddly moving and quietly superlative as Honeyfitz’s “October Air” comes along, it gets its due celebration.

Elihu Jones, the mastermind behind Honeyfitz, has been making exceptional records for the past few years. Old Patterns, Honeyfitz’s forthcoming effort, looks to be the project’s finest to date and it’s highlighted by tracks like “In Circles“, “Dream Restless“, and “October Air”. The latter of that trio’s premiering here today with a gorgeous, simplistic hybrid clip that acts both as a hypnotic visualizer that underpins the passing of time as well as a straightforward lyric clip.

It’s elegant, clever, and uniquely absorbing in its construction but everything’s heightened by the song itself, which is sung with an urgent quaver and awash in pristine tones as much as it is noise damage. Clocking in at just under two minutes, it’s a testament to Honeyfitz’s penchant for coaxing maximal impact out of a minimal setup and it’s a beautiful window into one of today’s many great bedroom pop artists. This is exactly the type of effort that should receive a lot more praise.

Watch “October Air” below and pre-order Old Patterns here.

The Holy Circle – Early Morning (Song Premiere)

Only a short while ago The Holy Circle were kind enough to offer up a premiere for their “Polaris” music video. Today, a new premiere is on the table: the brooding, pulsating, melancholic “Early Morning”. Taken from the band’s forthcoming self-titled full-length, “Early Morning” is a characteristically dark piece of synth pop, underscoring  the band’s gift with atmospherics as much as it highlights their penchant for forward-thinking composition.

A calm, steadily swirling vortex of mood, emotion, and quiet determination, the track represents another important step forward for the band, whose evolution has been a privilege to witness. Hypnotic and mesmerizing in all of the right ways, “Early Morning” takes on a complex narrative involving perceived beauty and hard-fought individuality, weaving it into a gentle dreamscape couched in some subtle menace, creating an absorbing tapestry that’s difficult to shake. A commentary on the emotional duality of burdensome expectation, “Early Morning” transcends its outward tranquility to become something that cuts deep. One of the band’s finest moments to date.

Listen to “Early Morning” below and pre-order The Holy Circle here as a download, from ANNIHILVS on CD, and from Black Horizons on cassette.

Amy O – Lavender Night (Stream)

Over the past week or so, there have been exceptional songs by the likes of Grizzly Bear, Crumb, Greg Ashley, Les Big Byrd, The Holy Circle, Big Bliss, Carcara, Korey Dane, Munroe,  Trü, Hundredth, Beach Fossils, High Signs, and Nick Cave & Warren Ellis that have surfaced. Those weren’t the only great songs to find release in that time, something proven by Amy O’s winsomely spiky “Lavender Night”.

Energetic, forceful, and masterfully composed, “Lavender Night” continues an unassuming winning streak for the songwriter just as it underscores all of the things Amy O does so well. Drawing from past decades of musical influence to create something that feels familiar yet unique enough to be singular, “Lavender Night” is a melting pot getting thrown across the room at a massive canvas. Once again, Amy O finds a way to stick the landing, creating an absorbing and memorable canvas worth revisiting.

Listen to “Lavender Night” below and pre-order Elastic here.

Bruising – I Don’t Mind (Stream)

bruising

EDITOR’S NOTE: This series of posts reflects back on some of the best material to be released over the past few weeks. Each post with this heading is a part of this series. After this series has concluded regular coverage will resume. 

Last year Bruising very quickly established themselves as a site favorite and they’ve only solidified that status in the time between the release of “Think About Death” and now. Just a few short days ago, the band unveiled the electrifying “I Don’t Mind”, which finds their sound reaching exhilarating new peaks. In full control of their craft, the band leans into a towering, dynamic basement pop anthem leaving  nothing but smouldering wreckage in their wake.

In just under three minutes, the band offers up a striking reminder of their preternatural abilities with melody and composition. There’s a sense of ennui but it’s offset by a frantic sincerity that continues to pay massive dividends for the band. Every second of “I Don’t Mind” is impressive and continues to heighten the anticipation for the day the band issues their debut full-length. Until then, “I Don’t Mind” will be on repeat until the other half of the band’s forthcoming single finds release.

Listen to “I Don’t Mind” below and pre-order I Don’t Mind b/w Rest In Peace Kurt Donald Cobain (1967-1994) here.

Living Body – Choose (Stream)

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Over the past few days streams from Stef Chura, Slothrust, Cheap Girls, Ex-Girlfriends, Loamlands, Del Caesar, Yuppies Indeed, Miniature Tigers, The Molochs, Louise Lemon, Dooms Virginia, Big K.R.I.T., Slow Bullet, Field Trip, Julia Holter, and a newly remastered presentation of Clem Snide’s “Parable” all surfaced, serving as strong statements for the artists. There were notable music videos that arrived via Minihorse, Shirley Collins, Mums, Nassau, and Kamikaze Girls. Full streams rounded out the new releases and included memorable titles from the likes of Kevin Devine, Hurry, Uni Ika Ai,  Just, The Dazies, Forest Veil, Personal Space, Jackson Reed, and Earwig. While all of those, as always, are worth exploring, this post’s feature was secured by Living Body’s enchanting “Choose”.

Living Body, a new band that consists of members of Juffage, Sky Larkin, and Vessels (among others), are only a few songs into their career. Yet “Choose”, their most recent single, sounds like the work of a band that’s already released a handful of critically acclaimed records. Incredibly self-assured, remarkably confident, and spellbinding beyond reason, “Choose” is an immediately unforgettable slow-burn of a number. Gorgeous horn charts, a sneakily effective vocal melody, and a genuine sense of identity elevate “Choose” to a level of transcendence that’s incredibly uncommon for new bands to achieve.

Structure and personality in music can carry a band some distance but Living Body separate themselves from many of their peers with direct, emotionally resonant lyricism. “Choose” is the sound of a hard-learned lesson that finds bandleader Jeff T. Smith quietly repeating the mantra “get out while you can” in the song’s painfully beautiful chorus, injecting it with an air of resignation and regret. There’s a lightness to the proceedings but it’s one that’s grounded in a harshly honest reality, evoking the best works of acts like Belle & Sebastian without ever sounding like a carbon copy.

Living Body have a very distinct identity and the extent of their grasp on that aspect of their music is astonishing. There’s a deliberate nature to “Choose” that never betrays the song’s warm nuance or its ability to breathe comfortably on its own. Make no mistake, though, from the contained euphoria of the intro through to the muted, gentle close, “Choose” is consistently breathtaking. One of 2016’s loveliest moments and most promising new bands all wrapped into one irresistible package.

Listen to “Choose” below and pre-order Body Is Working here.

Affordable Hybrid – Bat (Stream)

affordable-hybrid

As invigorating as it can be to hear a band playing with the idea of genre boundaries, there can be a thrill to be found in perfecting a tried-and-true approach. Affordable Bat take the latter route with “Bat”, an exhilarating, hard-hitting burst of psych-punk. Recalling the work of Thee Oh Sees, the band finds a different, higher gear in the song’s ferocious chorus section. Quick riffs, tempos, and decision-making provide “Bat” with a confrontational identity and the band never loses sight of their convictions while those elements congeal.

Deeply felt and no-holds-barred, “Bat” is exactly the type of song to make people sit up and take notice. In a little over two minutes, Affordable Hybrid make a formidable mark. “Bat” is a song worth owning and Affordable Hybrid’s a name worth learning. Get on board or get run into the ground.

Listen to “Bat” below and pre-order Bat / Roky from Flannel Gurl here.

Monomyth – Puppet Creek (Stream)

monomyth

Every so often a band comes along and quietly subverts genre tropes and winds up producing something that’s both comforting in its familiarity and tantalizing in its difference. Enter: Monomyth. The band’s landed on a formula that siphons out the very best of indie pop, chillwave, and slacker punk and churns it into a cohesive whole. Their latest single, “Puppet Creek”, is a perfect example of this approach. Light in tone and substantial in content, “Puppet Creek” is a work that sounds as grounded as any veteran band while being suffused with a wide-eyed sensibility of a band that’s only just found its place.

It’s an inspired — and oddly inspiring — listen that sets the bar extraordinarily high for the band’s forthcoming Happy Pop Family, which should have the type of wide-ranging appeal to secure the band critical and commercial success. Until we find out sure, it’s best just to leave “Puppet Creek” on repeat.

Listen to “Puppet Creek” below and pre-order Happy Pop Family here.

Cloud Nothings – Modern Act (Stream)

cloud-nothings

Two weeks may not seem like that long of a stretch but considering the rate new material surfaces, it can be a challenge to keep up to speed. As the previous posts have indicated, there was a lot of material to cover and not all of it can be granted the attention that its due. A large portion of songs, full streams, and music videos have already been posted but this post marks the beginning of a small onslaught of single-item features. Kicking things off: site favorites Cloud Nothings’ just-released triumph, “Modern Act”.

Once again operating as a quartet, Cloud Nothings seem to have rekindled a very specific spark that’s been dormant since Turning On. In the time that’s elapsed since that point, the band’s been responsible for some of the current decade’s finest records but all of them were gnarled, weary beasts, where “Modern Act” comes across as cautiously optimistic. There’s a lightness to the songwriting that all but evaporated as Cloud Nothings transitioned from a solo project to a full band endeavor.

Even ignoring the distortion and fuzz that so heavily informed Attack On Memory and especially Here And Nowhere Else, which is barely present in “Modern Act”, the songwriting structure seems to have rekindled some more playful sensibilities. Guitarist/vocalist Dylan Baldi remains one of the more engaging narrators currently playing out, anchoring “Modern Act” with the relatable, peculiarly grounded sentiments that have consistently provided the band with a point of appeal.

Drummer Jayson Gerycz remains one of the best things to happen to recent music and propels “Modern Act” with a characteristic amount of intuition, verve, and raw feeling. It provides a perfect counterbalance to Baldi mining the project’s earlier signposts and becomes the perfect catalyst for what could prove to be a career-defining stylistic marriage. Everything the band tries out here works to surprising degrees and “Modern Act” winds up as an unassuming career highlight as a result. If the rest of the band’s forthcoming Life Without Sound winds up being anywhere near this impressive, 2017 will be off to an incredible start.

Listen to “Modern Act” below and pre-order Life Without Sound here.