As promised, here’s the second part of today’s Watch This double-headed. It’s decidedly more minimal than the last installment in terms of performance content (two of the videos featured here are solo performances) but the featured videos are just as impressive. Ranging from yet another video from Chart Attack’s coverage of the Sonic Boom Records jaw-dropping lineup for Record Store Day 2014 to another Exploding in Sound BreakThruRadio takeover feature, it’s one of the broader installments this series has ever offered up. It’s a great way to showcase some of the best bands from the DIY circuit and all of it’s just begging to be viewed. So, stay reclined, erase the last semblances of that hangover, and make sure to Watch This.
1. Laura Stevenson – The Hole (Radio K)
It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes Laura Stevenson so magnetic- it could just be raw talent but it seems to go beyond even that to something more transcendental. The singer/songwriter found a home on New Jersey’s Don Giovanni, a label full of some of the fiercest basement punk bands currently going, while leaning closer to folk than anything else. Impossibly, it managed to be a fit that felt more naturalistic than not and their collaborations have resulted in a handful of incredible releases (the most recent of which, Wheel, was an easy 2013 highlight). Here, she sits down for a stunning rendition of “The Hole”. It’s a mesmerizing performance from a singular talent that’s worth bootlegging for inclusions on a million different homemade mixtapes.
2. Luke Lalonde – Needle (Chart Attack)
This is the third performance from Toronto’s Sonic Boom Records to be featured over the past two installments of this series. It’s also, arguably, the most arresting. Born Ruffians have always been one of the more intriguing powerpop acts making music and to hear them stripped down to their barest form is surprisingly rewarding. Great songwriting’s always worth listening to.
3. Mutual Benefit – Golden Wake (Allston Pudding)
Love’s Crushing Diamond was a record that almost felt sacred while it wove itself in and out of dreamlike states. It was one of 2013’s most riveting listens, constantly coming off like the most reassuring hug. It was impossibly fierce in its gentleness, delicately assembled and expertly executed, it established Jordan Lee as an undeniable talent and ensured that just about everyone who should be paying attention to his project was doing just that. Allston Pudding was on hand to capture this video from Mutual Benfit’s first-ever sold out show and the results are entrancing.
4. Krill (BreakThruRadioTV)
There’s just something about Exploding in Sound’s roster that makes throwing caution to the wind feel appropriate. This is the second video to earn a Watch This feature from the label’s BreakThruRadio takeover. Like Kal Marks before them, Krill took this spot by force through a series of incredible featured performances. Serious Business being Serious Business, there are also a few revealing interview moments intercut with a few separate performance clips. It’s all great fun and worth paying attention to. Oh, and Krill, Krill, Krill Forever.
5. Radioactivity – Locked in My Head (Razorcake)
It’s been months since a video from Razorcake earned itself a spot in this series, which is a shame because of all the places that regularly wind up in one of these five slots, they’re likely the one that matches the DIY ethos this place celebrates most closely. That reasoning paired with a performance from Radioactivity was more than enough to land this a spot on the list. This is what this place is all about. Watch This and then go spin Radioactivity for the 800th time. It’s impossible to resist.