Heartbreaking Bravery

stevenmps2@gmail.com | @steven_mps | @hbreakbravery

Tag: Slow Pulp

April 2019: Three Weeks, Four Songs

Three weeks into April 2019 and the month’s yielded a staggering amount of good material and a small handful that’s genuinely great. Tonight, this site will feature a quartet of songs, a quartet of music videos (with one being a unified collection), and a quartet of full streams. A wide range of genres and styles is on display and everything’s more than worthy of some serious listening and/or watching investment. Art this strong should always be featured in some capacity, as many times over as possible. Scroll down and enjoy the riches.

Yot Club – Japan

“Japan” is a perfect song for the changing weather, sun-speckled and carefree, Yot Club have crafted something that practically exudes summer. A lo-fi, slacker surf-pop monster, “Japan” features some exceedingly light digital affectations but makes its bones with a gift of a chorus that’s more infectious than anything else from the year so far. It’s a gift of a track from a band that’s bound to be turning heads as 2019 progresses.

Truth Club – Tethering

Coming on the heels of one of the year’s best singles in “Not An Exit”, Truth Club waste no time in proving that song’s strength wasn’t a fluke. “Tethering” is another triumph, mixing some of the best elements of the East Coast’s DIY-leaning punk scene over the past decade. A contemplative narrative, a handful of atmospheric riffs, and a palpable desire to feel and to hold onto that feeling. A genre masterclass that deftly combines shoegaze, post-punk, basement pop, and trace elements of reverb-addled psychedelia, Truth Club have offered another strong hint that they may be sitting on one of the year’s best albums.

SYBS – Paid Gofyn Pam

Every so often, a foreign language song will drift across the radar and tap directly into the sound that’s predominantly featured on these pages and SYBS’ “Paid Gofyn Pam” is firmly among their ranks. Welsh for ‘do not ask why’, “Paid Gofyn Pam” is a four minute basement pop treasure that sounds like it’d be right at home on a label like Salinas. Full of vibrant life, the song leans into its clean tones with conviction and transcends the translation barrier with ease.

Slow Pulp – High

“High” is yet another demonstration of how basement pop tendencies can inform and elevate shoegaze and vice versa. It’s a towering number with a slight run-time that finds Slow Pulp at the top of their game. Dreamy soundscapes and harsh feedback twist into an unlikely marriage, the discord and the harmony locked into codependency. Doubt remains a central theme to Slow Pulp’s characteristically engaging narratives but the music surrounding the sentiment has never been so powerfully assured. Keep both eyes on the band, who seem primed to make some very memorable noise.

 

 

Okkervil River – Call Yourself Renee (Music Video)

okkervil

Monday issued a series of notable streams from acts as varied as The Men, Very Fresh, Dark Blue, Lou Barlow, Lindsey Mills, Cave People, Fruit & Flowers, Beautiful Dudes, and Squirrel Flower. Additionally, there was a small list of impressive music videos that came courtesy of Slow Pulp, The Blow, Moby & The Void Pacific Choir, Louise Burns, and Black Kids. Finally, some exceptional full streams that arrived via Joyride!, Hillary Susz, Title Tracks, and Sun Angle rounded out the day in memorable fashion. Okkervil River found themselves snagging the feature spot on the back of yet another impressive music video from Away.

Following in the visually arresting footsteps of its Away counterparts, “Call Yourself Renee” sees the band delivering their most vivid — and undeniably modern — presentation to date. Centering around two protagonists, the Bret Curry-directed (and shot) clip opts out of a literal interpretation of the lyrics and presents a slice-of-life look at the characters. It’s a decision that pays massive dividends, imbuing “Call Yourself Renee” with a subdued sense of mystery, which keeps the viewer guessing at the clip’s final destination.

Only Away, the band’s most gentle work, doesn’t deal in tidy resolutions and understands that the journey can be far more important. “Call Yourself Renee” holds true to this belief, letting its characters find a way to an ambiguous, open-ended exit point. While the two principle actors — Tyler Bates and Joy Curry — give committed performances that are difficult to shake, the band does manage to make a few appearances, grounding “Call Yourself Renee” with a sense of place that tethers everything together.

By the calmly assured ending, the clip’s firmly established a spell of its own, creating a realistic world that’s practically impossible to want to leave. Even with the visual asides that find Bates and Curry posturing for the camera, there’s a soft empathy that slowly drives “Call Yourself Renee” towards an unassuming transcendence. It’s a remarkably tender clip and a comprehensive visual realization of Away, serving as a perfect complement to the band’s most relaxed tendencies. There’s genuine moments of humanism, beauty, and confidence in every frame, leaving “Call Yourself Renee” as one of the most unexpectedly mesmerizing clips of the year.

Watch “Call Yourself Renee” below and pick up Away here.