Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: recap

Nothing Stops In November: The Month’s Streams

While only two premiere spots ran on this site over the course of November, there was more than enough new material being released to keep anyone attempting to track it all extremely occupied. A total of nearly 200 outstanding songs found their way out into the world and, just as the preceding posts did for full streams and music videos, this post will serve as a recap of the majority of those titles. If there were enough time to provide all of these tracks feature spots, they’d be receiving a lot more words. However, that shouldn’t distract from their merit; all of these tracks are more than worth hearing. So, bookmark the page, click around, and discover a few new favorites. 

Hater, Alyeska, Dama Scout, Fred Thomas, Turtlenecked, Pissed Jeans, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Wild Pink, PermitTy Segall, The Courtneys, Julien Baker, brunch., Holy Now, Breast Massage, Hideout (x2), Jitterz, Drakulas, Ted Leo, Peter Silberman, Creepoid, ot to, not to, Luxury Death, Leapling, Day Wave, No Sun, Matthew Squires, Skyway Man, Dominic, Tobin Sprout, D.A. Stern, Minor Moon, Dear Georgiana, Slumbers, FRIGS, Nadia Reid, Mark Sultan, Polyester, Imaginary People, Shiny Wet Machine.

Magic Magic Roses, Spelling Reform, The Velveteins, Rubblebucket, Cate Le Bon, A Valley Son (x2), Old Gray, The Besnard Lakes, Swampmeat, Heat, Fascinations Grand Chorus, Alexander F, Mica Levi, Steady Hands, Bell the Band, Urochromes, Idle Bloom, Mainland, Thelma, The Regrettes, Modern Baseball, Holiday Ghosts, Los Campesinos!, Fear of Me, Lilah Larson, Frederick the Younger, Silver Rose, Lucidalabrador, The Molochs, Molly Burch, Tim Cohen, Rainbrother, AD.UL.T. (x2), Decorum, MELT, Emmy the Great.

GOLDBLOOMS, The Adventures of the Silver Spaceman (x2), We Leave at Midnight (x2), Dooms Virginia, Rosebug, Paperhead, OhBoy!, whenyoung, Caitlin Pasko, Lampshades, Pie Face Girls, Brandon Can’t Dance, Kevin Krauter, Childcare, Mind Rays, Eric Matthews, The Velvet Ants, The Black Clouds, Diagrams, Marine, Corner Suns, So Stressed, Crash Club, Future Peers, Proper Ornaments, Trudy and The Romance, Will Johnson, Fond Han, Natalie Bouloudis, Jordan Burchel, Big Mother Gig, Elliot, Once & Future Band.

Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2, Pure Moods, Dude York, Sam Brockington, Del Caesar, John Travoltage, Camp Cope, Mutts, Pollen Rx, Cloakroom, Mr. Universe, Carroll, Purmamarca, Ben Pagano & The Space Machine, Tim Carr, Eat Fast, Landing, Louise Burns, Toothless, Plastic Pinks, Less Acrobats, Knifey, Known To Collapse, Cassels, Tracy Bonham, Brasstronaut, Satin Cowboys, Surf Rock Is Dead, Fruit Bats, Steph Barrak, Oliver Houston, The Sloppy Heads, Chavez, Aan, Sex Drive, The Saddest Landscape, Xiu XiuLiving Body, Lowly, JERK, Medium Mystic, Dutch Uncles, COTE, Koresma, Jailbox, Hajk, Archawah, Levek, and Grave School.

Dentist – Joel (Stream)

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Monday tends to be one of the more eclectic release days for standalone streams and today proved to be no different. Worthwhile material emerged from just about every genre this site typically covers and continued to stretch some boundaries. The following artists all had songs that deserved to be heard: Consilience, Jackal Onasis, Gap Dream, Sweat, Scarlett Saunders, Cheena, Possible Humans, Ranch Ghost, Above Top Secret, and The Meltaways. In addition to those releases, a small handful of notable music videos from angelic milk, Wireheads, Haley Bonar, Preoccupations, and Ali Beleitc also saw the light of day.

Dentist’s surf-tinged “Joel” wound up securing the feature spot by virtue of sheer strength. Opening up on a foreboding riff and staccato chord stabs awash in reverb, “Joel” sets an intriguing — and oddly compelling —  tone at its onset. Slowly, the guitar fades and gives way to a creeping piano figure that injects the song with an eerie Southern Gothic sensibility. Then, after a brief rest, the song snaps into a sugary overdrive that kicks the energy up from 15 to 80 in an instant.

Following the switch, Dentist falls comfortably into a groove that operates as a pastiche of pop influences from decades long gone. It’s a perfect transition that illustrates the band’s understanding of their craft, suggesting that Dentist’s forthcoming Ceilings may be one of 2016’s most unexpected joys. Apart from the invigorating dynamic shifts of “Joel”, the song’s vibrant second act endearingly instills the song with a surplus of giddy joy. “Joel” ultimately goes from bleakly intimidating to openly welcoming, leaving one hell of an imprint in the process.

It’s another entry in an already-long string of unlikely summer anthem candidates, carefree and just about perfect.

Listen to “Joel” below and pre-order Ceilings from Little Dickman here.


[Editor’s Note: The beginning of coverage in 2016 was an extremely hectic time and one odd quirk of this site was overlooked. That particular oversight will be amended in this post, which precedes the resumption of posting the 100 immediately preceding entries in the continuously-expanding Heartbreaking Bravery catalog of posts. A few of the image links are broken and some of the galleries are missing but all of them will eventually make the migration to Heartbreaking Bravery’s flickr. Keep an eye out.]

To access posts 700-799, click on the links listed below.

HB700: Wrap Up Warm (Mixtape)
HB701: Ronnie Stone & The Lonely Riders – ❤ Race. Cold Sweat. Nu Dance. Do It. (Glassio Remix Premiere)
HB702: Phooey! – Molly’s at the Laundromat (Song Premiere)
HB703: Idle Bloom – Pride Line (Stream, Live Video)
HB704: METZ – Spit You Out (Music Video)
HB705: Alex G – Brite Boy (Music Video)
HB706: Dilly Dally – The Touch (Music Video)
HB707: Dusk – Too Sweet (Music Video)
HB708: Watch This: Vol. 108
HB709: Watch This: Vol. 109
HB710: Watch This: Vol. 110
HB711: Patio – Patio Songs (Demo Review, Stream, Live Video)
HB712: PURPLE 7 – Garden Eyes (Album Review, Stream)
HB713: Milk Crimes – Milk Crimes (EP Review, Stream)
HB714: Bad Wig – Bad Wig (EP Review, Stream, Live Video)
HB715: Beliefs – Colour of Your Name (Stream)
HB716: Bruising – Honey (Stream)
HB717: Lucy Dacus – I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore (Stream)
HB718: Mothers – Too Small For Eyes (Stream)
HB719: Birth (Defects) – Ascetic (Stream)
HB720: Casket Girls – Deep Time (Stream)
HB721: Two Inch Astronaut – Good Behavior (Stream)
HB722: bed. – The Rule (Stream)
HB723: Dark Blue – Delco Runts (Stream)
HB724: A Short Review (Live Video Compilation
HB725: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. I
HB726: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. II
HB727: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. III
HB728: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. IV
HB729: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. V
HB730: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. VI
HB731: 2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. VII
HB732: 2015: The Best of Watch This
HB733: 15 of ’15: The Best EP’s of 2015
HB734: 15 of ’15: The Best Music Videos of 2015
HB735: 15 of ’15: The Best Odds and Ends of 2015
HB736: 15 of ’15: The Best Songs of 2015
HB737: 15 of ’15: The Best Albums of 2015
HB738: The Honorable Mentions of the 2015 Music Categories
HB739: The Best Scenes of 2015
HB740: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Loren DiBlasi)
HB741: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Lindsey-Paige McCloy)
HB742: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Sabyn Mayfield)
HB743: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Nicola Leel)
HB744: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Lindsay Hazen)
HB745: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Tica Douglas)
HB746: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Fred Thomas)
HB747: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Phil McAndrew)
HB748: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Isabel Reidy)
HB749: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Jessica Leach)
HB750: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Sami Martasian)
HB751: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Ben Grigg)
HB752: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Amanda Dissinger)
HB753: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Bella Mazzetti)
HB754: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (David Anthony)
HB755: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Jamie Coletta)
HB756: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Chris Sutter)
HB757: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (John Rossiter)
HB758: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Cole Kinsler)
HB759: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Megan Manowitz)
HB760: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Gabriela June Tully Claymore)
HB761: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Stephen Tringali)
HB762: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Alisa Rodriguez)
HB763: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Toby Reif)
HB764: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (100%)
HB765: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Amelia Pitcherella)
HB766: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Katie Bennett)
HB767: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Miranda Fisher)
HB768: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Christine Varriale)
HB769: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Sam Clark)
HB770: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Julia Leiby)
HB771: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Kelly Johnson)
HB772: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Jessi Frick)
HB773: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Nicholas Cummins)
HB774: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Lily Mastrodimos)
HB775: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Jerard Fagerberg)
HB776: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Athylia Paremski)
HB777: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Eric Slick)
HB778: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (David Glickman)
HB779: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Ryan Wizniak)
HB780: 2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories
HB781: WASHA – Bury Our Love (Music Video Premiere)
HB782: 2016: The First Two Months (Streams)
HB783: 2016: The First Two Months (Full Streams)
HB784: 2016: The First Two Months (Music Videos)
HB785: Introducing: Ubetcha
HB786: Inside Voices – Nomad:Begin (Song Premiere)
HB787: Watch This: The Honorable Mentions of 2016’s First Quarter
HB788: Horse Teeth – Dark & Gloomy (Song Premiere)
HB789: March 2016: The Full Streams
HB790: March 2016: The Music Videos
HB791: March 2016: The Streams
HB792: Ladada – Hi Five (EP Premiere)
HB793: The 50 Best Songs of 2016’s First Quarter
HB794: The Nudes – Nowhere To Be (Song Premiere)
HB795: Watch This: The Best of 2016’s First Quarter, Vol. I
HB796: Watch This: The Best of 2016’s First Quarter, Vol. II
HB797: Watch This: The Best of 2016’s First Quarter, Vol. III
HB798: Watch This: The Best of 2016’s First Quarter, Vol. IV
HB799: Watch This: The Best of 2016’s First Quarter, Vol. V

Johanna Warren – Live at The Grove – 8/9/15 (Pictorial Review, Live Video)

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Johanna Warren is an incredibly important person to me who has been a central figure in two of the larger undertakings I’ve completed in the past year. The first was her beautiful contribution to the A Year’s Worth of Memories series (one where she detailed the first effort of what was originally going to be the video for “Black Moss” before it became “True Colors“) and the second being a multimedia artist profile for Consequence of Sound that included a photoshoot, a live video shoot, and an extensive interview. After being fortunate enough to take in Waren’s unforgettable, all-acoustic rooftop performance only a few weeks ago, I was more than willing to accept her invite to come to her quasi-release show (one specific to NYC) for this year’s outstanding nūmūn.

Held at a basement venue, the menu for the evening was far more eclectic than is usually covered here and perfectly suited to Warren’s sensibilities. An abbreviated meditation session was given, poetry was read, a mothering station was set up (and very briefly caught fire), tarot readings were available, and there was a bold, intense performance art piece from Gretchen Heinel (one of the directors of the “True Colors” video) involving nudity, white flowers, foreboding music, and a blood bag (which was partially consumed by Heinel herself). All the while, a few other vendors were offering their goods or services and a looped projection from visual artist Elisa Ghs. While it was officially titled a healing fair, the two main draws came in the form of its performing artists.

After Heinel’s incredibly intense performance art piece, Mikaela Davis (a new name to this site) immediately set about bringing some tranquility back to the proceedings. Davis is the kind of performer that exudes a natural grace that can frequently easily lend itself to an inherent magnetism, so I was very close to completely positive I’d enjoy her performance before a single note was played. After she’d set up her harp and made sure that Warren was seated at her harmonium (a recent addition to her live oeuvre), the duo had me frozen with a half-minute soundcheck of a beautifully arranged Elliott Smith cover. In less than a minute, Davis went from a promising prospect to an artist with my undivided attention. By the time her first song’s last notes were ringing out (the only she’d play with Warren and/or a harmonium accompaniment), an audience member succinctly summarized everyone’s reactions with a soft, awed expletive.

That sentiment crept in again and again as Davis’ set progressed, looping through my head with each new movement and figure of her songs. Positioned in front of the projection screen, still looping visuals, the effect was so transfixing that it almost became unnerving. Undeniably beautiful and occasionally deeply mysterious, Davis’ slow-burning songs melted over a hushed audience, all of which knew they were witnessing a rarity and providing it with the according levels of attention. It was a mesmerizing set of songs that has less in common with Joanna Newsom’s work (a frequent comparison that holds some waters but mostly comes up somewhat flat) and falls more along the lines of the likes of Elliott Smith and Priscialla Ahn. As much as I wanted to see Warren perform again, it was impossible to want Davis’ set to end. It did, though, as all good things must, and watching/hearing the closing song was an unforgettable experience- one that ensured that this won’t be the last time Davis’ name is mentioned on this site. Mouth agape, it took me several moments to collect myself, process what I’d just witnessed, and prepare myself for whatever magic Warren had conjured up for the evening.

Before long, Warren was seated in front of the microphone, guitar in lap, ready to launch into a set that drew on nūmūn and new material at a fairly equal rate. “Figure 8”, “The Wheel”, and a handful of others all evoked the same stunned reactions that keep me coming back to Warren’s music and, surrounded by friends, family, and fans, she looked even more at peace than usual. When it came time for “True Colors”, Warren made sure to dedicate it to Heinel and the clip’s other director, Damon Stang, who were seated next to each other, all smiles. Warren’s set marked the third time I’d seen the songwriter perform this year and the performances have all occupied the same space of unshakable quiet intensity but, for whatever reason, “True Colors” came off as particularly alive in the basemen (officially titled The Grove).

As familiar as I’ve come to be with Warren’s work, I’d been keeping an eye on the untouched harmonium throughout Warren’s set, hoping she’d return for at least a song. Finally, at the very end of a characteristically arresting performance, Warren took a seat and began the repetitive motions required to breathe life into the instrument (one of my personal favorites). Titled “There Is A Light”, the song ranks among the best in her discography. Gentle, gorgeous, and reaffirming, it almost comes across as a once-silent prayer pulled out into the world. Instead of feeling voyeuristic, there’s a very welcoming sense found in the song’s radiant warmth- one that likely had more than a few people (myself included) on the verge of tears. As the final lines of the song hit (“Well, we could lie down and collectively seal our fate. You know it’s now or never but it’s never too late.”) and the chords drift off into silence, that silence is sustained. In that moment and the several moments that followed, no one made a sound, collectively drawing out the impact of a perfect ending.

A full photo gallery of the show’s musical acts can be seen below and a video containing some of the evenings performances can be found beneath the gallery.

NXNE: Day 1 (Pictorial Review, Video)

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And so it begins; the photographs are undergoing their respective editing phases, the videos are being uploaded, and the countless thoughts pertaining to this year’s NXNE are being organized. There will be a lot of coverage that gets run here in various formats: video features, summaries, pictorial reviews, full reviews, and more. Virtually all of it will be posted immediately after the final edits are made so expect a wealth of daily content to close out this week and throughout next week as well. With all of that out of the way, let’s move on to the photographs and video that got captured during Day 1 of NXNE 2014- and the summaries to help give them some context.

Day 1 began with a stunning contrast; the manic post-everything insanity of Guerilla Toss vs. their unusually elegant surroundings (The Great Hall). Arriving a little bit late to Guerilla Toss’ set didn’t prove to be too much of an issue- the crowd that had gathered for them was abysmally small- but they played like they always do, unleashing virtually everything they’ve got (and showcasing some very promising new material in the process). It wasn’t too long before at least one band member had lost an article of clothing (though they’re notorious for losing much more) and were coercing everyone up onto the stage. With the crowd now split, half on the stage and half still in the standing area, the band instructed those that were on the stage to promptly get off of it, then join hands and surround the audience members who didn’t come up in a circle. From that point forward, the hand-held circle was now instructed to run counterclockwise at the start of their next song, increasingly tightening around the audience in the middle in an effort to force them out and onto the stage. This somehow lasted for close to three songs before it dispersed- and Guerilla Toss left soon after, looking visibly spent and more than a little ecstatic.

After Guerilla Toss’ well-intentioned shenanigans, The Great Hall was abandoned for Toronto’s best sweatbox: Smiling Buddha. Arriving just after a dispute of some sort had broken out inside the venue caused a brief delay while the police were called to the scene. After everything had fallen back into pace, people were admitted once again- and just in time for Mexican Slang. It may have been due to whatever the disturbance was (no one seemed to know the specifics) but Mexican Slang wound up playing the shortest set of the festival. While they weren’t NXNE’s most engaging or energetic live band, it’s worth noting that their sound was very tight-knit and the last song of their set was one of the very best of Day 1.

Greys took the stage soon after that, tuning and setting up as usual before doing something very unusual: they announced they were done before they played a single song. Instead of starting their set, they cleared the stage for their labelmates The Beverleys and allowed them a couple songs. There were many speculating this was a reaction to NXNE’s problematic “radius clause” that prohibited several bands from participating in conflicting non-festival shows (this clause was, thankfully, lifted before the festival came to a close). The Beverleys took full advantage of the opportunity and played with genuine heart making for the festival’s first truly great moment.

Greys then took their mantle back up and guitarist/vocalist Shehzaad Jiwani delivered a heartfelt speech which addressed the young musicians in the audience, making sure they remembered that they didn’t work for the music industry- that the music industry worked for them. Following that, the band tore through a blistering set that leaned heavily on their extraordinary just-released Carpark debut If Anything. All of the songs seemed to melt into each other, giving the whole thing a feeling that was as relentless as their music.  It was easily the best set of Day 1 and even found time for a ferocious cover of Mission of Burma’s “That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate”. By the time their set had come to a close, it was evident that more than a few people would be making sure to see them at least one more time before the festival came to a close. Packaged with everything else, it was a fairly strong start to what would prove to be an incredibly memorale festival.

Watch a slightly blown-out sounding video of Greys performing “I’m Okay” below and look through the photo gallery of Day 1 beneath the video.