Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Rosemary Fairweather

PWR BTTM – Projection (Stream, Live Video)

PWR BTTM III

The last few days held a whole host of incredible new songs from the likes of Turtlenecked, ScotDrakula, Animal Lover, Dolores, Rips, Dott, Sex Stains, Devon Welsh, Dogbreth, Honey Bucket, Lumer, Atticus Ross and Leopold Ross, Raccoon Fighter, Jenn Champion, Field Mouse, Luke Winslow, The Pooches, Butch Bastard, Ravenna Woods, Young Summer, Bellows, Rosemary Fairweather, Alice MK, Grey Gersten, JEFF The Brotherhood, and Royal Oakie as well as a two-song sampler of the forthcoming record from Echo Courts. While all of those songs should receive listens, it’s an old favorite finally finding release to capture this post’s featured spot.

The first time I saw PWR BTTM was at Miscreant’s Northside showcase last year and it immediately ensured the band a hefty amount of future coverage (especially in the live department). Having been impressed by their earlier material, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect that day but it was one particular song that convinced me PWR BTTM was capable of achieving greatness: “Projection”.

Over time, “Projection” solidified its spot as my favorite song in the band’s arsenal. From Benjamin Hopkins’ remarkably tasteful guitar theatrics to a startlingly intimate lyric set to Liv Bruce’s intuitive drumming to the exchanged vocal leads, the song highlights several of PWR BTTM’s strongest aspects. From that first performance over a year ago, the band’s kept it as a live staple and subsequently afforded me the opportunity to document it several times over.

Recently, PWR BTTM announced they would be partnering with the excellent Big Scary Monsters label for their European releases, beginning with an extended version of Ugly Cherries that will come equipped with “Projection” (it’ll be available as a standalone single in America). While the band offers a mischievous wink towards the song’s main influence with its title, the narrative of “Projection” takes a much more serious tone.

From its opening couplet onward, “Projection” offers a very acute look at the displacement its songwriters have been subjected to because of their identities and preferences, rendering it heartbreaking in its realism– something enhanced even more by the song’s direct approach.

With its reprise of “my skin wasn’t made for the weather”, it’d be easy for the song to tip towards defeatism and while that’s an element that never completely disappears, the music surrounding the narrative becomes a retaliatory burst of frustration that seems to energize the band; they’ve found an outlet through creating music that feels like home. In that regard, “Projection” could be viewed as somewhat celebratory, though its down-trodden narrative keeps it tethered to the earth.

In creating that dichotomy, PWR BTTM fully demonstrate their enviable gifts as songwriters who have an uncanny understanding of their identity as a band (with only one full-length under their belt, no less). “Projection” finds every element of their songwriting at a stratospheric peak, underlining the hefty emotional undercurrent that informs their work but frequently winds up getting overlooked.

It’s an extraordinary song that offers insight, frustration, joy, longing, and some of their finest composition work to date. Empathetic and earnest in its unblinking sincerity, “Projection” is the type of song that’s capable of making converts out of skeptics; a genuine work of art. Greet the song’s official arrival with the kind of understanding and care that should be granted to others throughout life, free of discriminatory practices, prejudices, and blind hatred. Grab a copy, reciprocate its warmth, and never let its message fall out of reach… then hit repeat.

Listen to “Projection” below — and watch an early live performance of the song — and keep an eye on this site for more news on any of PWR BTTM’s forthcoming releases.

Trophy Dad/Barbara Hans (Split Single Review)

trophydad

After a quiet holiday, the releases nearly doubles from their daily average. There were great songs Amy Klein, Honeysuck, Lisa Prank, Ranch Ghost, Rosemary Fairweather, and Savoy Motel, Mesmerizing music videos were unveiled by Pinegrove, Jackal Onasis, PLGRMS, and Slow Club. Impressively, there was a shocking amount of full streams that appeared from the following artists: Erin Tobey, ghostbusters VHS, Bag-Dad, Psychic Ills, Skatebored, Rae Fitzgerald, Dream Wave, Mourn, Pudge, Whelpwisher, the A-side of Cult Values’ self-titled, PUP (easily one of this year’s finest records), and a vinyl issue of Tenement’s self-titled cassette (easily one of last year’s finest releases). Since the Tenement self-titled was extensively covered at the time of its initial cassette release, the feature spot today falls to an astonishing split single between Trophy Dad and Barbara Hans.

The split opens with Trophy Dad (pictured above), who are continued to ride a wave of momentum they generated with last year’s excellent Shirtless Algebra Fridays. 2o15 felt, in a lot of ways, like a breakout year for the quartet with Shirtless Algebra Fridays serving as their crown jewel, indicating a growing level of confidence. That trend continues its upward ascension on “Addison”, an explosive song that approaches the six minute mark without ever losing its energy or pacing. “Addison” opens with a beautiful piano outro before blooming into a Waxahatchee-esque verse section, building to a breathtaking crest before falling away into a hypnotic middle section. Just as it seems “Addison” is content to ride out in a storm’s wake, a solo erupts and viciously cuts any semblance of serenity to shreds before returning to the more median operative mode that the first verses called home.

Bundt Cakes“, the song that Barbara Hans contribute to the split, is a far spikier and complements the impressive dynamics of “Addison” nicely. Barbara Hans specialize in basement pop rave-ups and stompers and “Bundt Cakes” may be their best to date, incessantly surging forward towards some unknown ending like its destined for a fiery wreck and openly embraced its own death. Just as it seems Barbara Hans are content to coast on their own adrenaline-generating powerpunk, they veer sharply left into a chaotic outro that could ostensibly resemble a free-form Sonic Youth noise session. It’s a thrilling end to an exhilarating song and makes a sizable impression. Paired with “Addison”, it experiences a natural elevation (and “Addison”, in turn, does the same). It’s the perfect capper to one of the best split singles of the year. Don’t miss out.

Listen to Trophy Dad/Barbara Hans below and pick it up here.