Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: retro

Shannon & the Clams – Mama (Stream)

Not too far removed from Reigning Sound on the very-particular-brand-of-timelessness is Shannon & the Clams, the doo-wop-leaning throwback outfit. Led by the powerhouse vocals of Shannon Shaw, the band’s earned their place on many specialists year-end lists over the past several years for their distinct take on the basement pop aesthetic, seamlessly blending in specific influences from the last 60 years into their core sound.

While last year’s Dreams in the Rat House wasn’t their best record, it was close to their best record. Maintaining a standard of excellence as high as they’ve been over the years isn’t an easy feat but it looks as if they’re barreling along anyway. The most recent piece of evidence working in their favor is “Mama” taking from an upcoming split 7″ with Portland punk rippers Guantanamo Baywatch (both acts share common ground via both Suicide Squeeze, the label releasing the split, and Burger). “Mama” comes off as breezy and effortless as the bulk of the band’s very best material. There’s an elusive looseness as well as a hint of perfectionism running through “Mama”, making it a somewhat paradoxical and completely enthralling listen.

If Guantanamo Baywatch’s side proves to be even half as good as this, then 2014 will have one of its first contenders for split of the year. Listen to “Mama” below and pick up the split when it comes out on April 29.

Tweens – Forever (Music Video)

From the top: apologies are in order for one of the longest hiatuses this place has been pushed into since it came into being last October. There were conflicts that needed resolving (and some that continue to need resolving) that forced a delay. These situations always carry a duality of good and bad with them and the former category is what will be emphasized here. Yes, there was lots of lost time- but that just means a collection of riches to post about in several long sprees. The days following this post should see multiple articles until the 1:1 day-post ratio is restored. While soundcloud is still experiencing issues from the heartbleed virus, the first batch of new content will be largely occupied by the music videos that have come out in the past week or so and Tweens‘ “Forver” may just be the best of the bunch.

Tweens is also now officially out on Frenchkiss records and slays just as hard as everyone expected it would. Filled to the brim with a glam-spiked retro sugar-rush, the trio’s debut is the fullest realization of their alluring basement pop aesthetic to date. While the whole thing is worth wearing out over the course of however long the warm weather lasts, “Forever” is one of the record’s most scorching high points- and the Joe Castrucci-directed music video captures its mood perfectly. Putting a fun twist on the prom theme, the video revels in its clever concept and offers up an endless barrage of great moments (personal favorite: a cop chases a skateboarder who eventually drops a case worth of PBR’s into a freezer and all are taken immediately). While all the low-stakes insanity unfolds on the dance floor, the band’s on stage urging everyone on and having the time of their lives.

Tweens is the feel-good record of the year and “Forever” continues its roll out campaign in grand tradition. Watch it below and pick it up as soon as possible- it’s a must-own.