Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Song Premiere

Strange Relations – Weeknites (Song Premiere)

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Last August, this site had the distinct pleasure of hosting the premiere of Strange Relations’ music video for “Panther’s Conquest” and the differences between that song and their most recent, “Weeknites”, is staggering. While “Panther’s Conquest” was undoubtedly a strong single and a fine piece of work from a band growing comfortable with their footing, “Weeknites” is the sound of a band that knows their strengths and can utilize them to astonishing effect.

The trio still specializes in wiry post-punk that’s as nervy as it is subtle, ultimately revealing a deep kinship to acts like Sonic Youth. It’s something that the best moments of -CENTRISM, the band’s last record, hinted at when it could but never to the extent that it appears here. There’s an emboldened attitude that simultaneously heightens the musical interplay of “Weeknites” while it grounds its narrative. There’s a nervous energy that powers “Weeknites” and draws the listener closer in by conjuring up an air of mystique.

Even as the vocals leap from calculated half-spoken/half-sung whispers to distressed half-screams, the band’s minimalism remains in tact and opens up an incredibly effective chorus. There’s a sultry menace that “Weeknites” alternately hides and brings to the forefront, creating a buoyant sense of unease that goes a long way in establishing the song as something more singular than it may seem at first glance. While “Weeknites” is a curious joy on the first few listens, it does require some investment to realize its full potential; the song’s a meticulously crafted work and that commendable level of effort runs far deeper than the most immediate surface levels.

By the song’s breathtaking final sequence, it’s abundantly clear that the three members of Strange Relations have completely committed themselves to this band. Every facet of “Weeknites” is complementary to the other functions, from the ancillary production to the intuitive drumming, there’s not a single piece that ever threatens to jeopardize the entire operation. Incredibly successful on dynamic, atmospheric, and narrative levels, “Weeknites” marks an exciting new era for Strange Relations. They’ve more than done their part, all that’s left is to wait — and to hope — that larger audiences will follow.

Listen to “Weeknites” below and pre-order Going Out from Tiny Engines here.

Sun’s Out Bummed Out – Cut All My Hair (Song Premiere)

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One of this site’s first posts of the year was an introduction to the tantalizing hyper-skittishness of Ubetcha and it set the tone for the months to follow. 2016 has been extraordinarily generous in its offerings from new acts making their way out into the world for the first time. From the triumphantly withdrawn powerpop of Mo Troper’s Beloved to the razor-sharp cacophony of Cadet Kelly, the past six months have been overflowing with acts who already seem primed to break out into larger roles. Sun’s Out Bummed Out — the new project from Blind Lovejoy‘s Laura Daegling — can now be added to that growing list.

“Cut All My Hair”, taken from the project’s debut digital single, is Sun’s Out Bummed Out’s first song and demonstrates a sense of identity and understanding that a lot of seasoned bands fail to achieve. From a wispy opening section, the song blossoms into something that embraces an array of influences from the wave of psych and proto-punk that came in on the heels of the British Invasion to the kind of bedroom pop that carries greater weight and greater substance than what the genre’s most streamlined offerings typically provide.

Beyond the ancillary production and general aesthetic, Daegling proves to be a very adapt lyricist, deftly navigating the spaces between self-doubt and begrudging confidence. Of course, the narrative of “Cut All My Hair” wouldn’t be half as effective if it wasn’t grounded by a head-turning sincerity in its fiercest moments. Whether the song’s tipping towards hope or despair, there’s never a lack of conviction; Daegling keeps the song’s loftiest goals within arm’s reach before finally bringing the song home in an effective and affecting cyclical moment.

By that climactic final moment, Sun’s Out Bummed Out seems more than ready to be termed a legitimate force. Every single facet of the song seems necessary to its success, each piece perfectly aligned to constitute a whole that nears the transcendent. It’s a beautiful piece of music from a commanding voice that demands to be heard. One can only hope that a very big audience decides to quiet down enough to listen.

Listen to “Cut All My Hair” below and keep an eye on the site for further updates on Sun’s Out Bummed Out.

Jacky Boy – Bad (Song Premiere)

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Every so often a new, unknown band emerges and challenges the entire infrastructure of the music industry. For all of its deeply unnecessary — and potentially damaging — support beams, overt interest in revenue over quality, and grossly tilted geographic priorities, the one thing it can’t hold down forever is raw talent. This is where bands like the Bloomington, IN-based Jacky Boy come into play. Operating out of America’s heartland, several steps removed from the hyper-connected trappings of LA and NYC, the band will likely have the unique opportunity to pace their own artistic growth, though “Bad” suggests that they’re already well on their way to realizing their full potential.

Very few songs have the immediate impact that “Bad” carries, even less when the band doesn’t even have an official release under its belt. From the onset “Bad” surges ahead like Courtney Barnett at her most furious before abruptly tapering off into a territory that’s decidedly more indebted to ’90s powerpop and slacker punk. Dynamic shifts, soaring backing vocals, and sharp, effective guitar work coalesce and elevate “Bad” from a promising entry into a legitimately great one.

Only a few songs into their career, the trio’s embraced a remarkably well-crafted identity that pays homage to both its forebears and their unlikely contemporaries (many of which are affiliated with Exploding In Sound). There’s a decisiveness to the decision making on “Boy” that reveals itself gradually. From the isolated Dinosaur Jr-esque guitar breaks to the hushed bridge to the deeply relatable world-weary sensibilities contained in the lyrics, “Boy” manages to perfectly bridge the divide between the past and the present by identifying the unifying traits of both the eras and the genres that have formed their approach.

Everything Jack Boy tries out on “Bad” works to an uncanny perfection, all the while piecing itself into something much larger than its opening segment might indicate. There’s a somewhat shocking level of nuance to “Bad” — especially considering the band’s only a few songs into their career — that ably expands the song’s pull on both an intellectual level and something that’s far more immediate. “Bad” doesn’t just reward investment, it openly invites, encourages, and all but guarantees that the listener will actively want to explore it further.

A triumphant opening statement and an exhilarating listen, “Bad” confidently marks the beginning of a new stage for Jacky Boy. With any luck, they’ll find that their audience never stops growing.

Listen to “Bad” below and pre-order the Jacky Boy EP from Turd Wurld here.

Oceanator – Sunrise (Song Premiere)

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There were very few songs released over the past year that hit as hard as Oceanator’s breathtaking “Nowhere Nothing“, which not only served as an extremely formidable introductory piece for the project but bludgeoned its way into this site’s 50 Best Songs of 2016’s First Quarter list. Now, the project — masterminded by Vagabon drummer Elise Okusami — is following up that first glimpse with another meaningful look.

“Sunrise” is the latest Oceanator track and it trades out the relentlessly dark brooding of “Nowhere Nothing” for a warmth that feels true to its title. That warmth isn’t just present in the tones of the driving bass, surf guitar, or synths that define the song’s carefree approach, its also evidenced by the lyric set. In one song, Oceanator veers sharply away from the introspective damage that made “Nowhere Nothing” such a hair-raising experience to focus on something a little less miserable; romantic yearning.

Framed by a simple desire to have someone to share in some warm weather experiences, “Sunrise” succeeds as a narrative by managing to get its point across in broad strokes while putting an acute point on personal tendencies. The bouncy, breezy instrumental approach distracts from the inherent loneliness that drives the subtext of “Sunrise” and keeps the song in a place that’s much more immediate, allowing it to breathe and enhancing the carefree nature of its surface.

In two songs, Oceanator proves to be a project with a surprising amount of range, depth, understanding, and versatility. Equally successful on two very opposite side of the spectrum, “Nowhere Nothing” and “Sunrise” offer up a very clear indication that this project could very well bloom into a serious vehicle that attains an impressive level of name recognition and praise.

“Sunrise” isn’t just ancillary, though, it’s also an impressive song in its own right and its an essential addition to any summer soundtrack. Any way it’s spun, it’s a song that demands to be heard and refuses to live by any rules other than its own. Keep an eye on Oceanator, with a track record this strong at such an early stage, whatever’s waiting around the corner is worthy of a tremendous level of anxious anticipation. “Sunrise” will be more-than-welcome company as Oceanator constructs its next step.

Listen to “Sunrise” below and download it here.

Horse Teeth – Dark & Gloomy (Song Premiere)

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One of the most notable advantages of running a blog that mostly focuses on non-marquee names is the increased likelihood of being clued into promising bands at the earliest stages of their list.  About a week ago, this manifested in the form of the premiere of Inside Voices’ extraordinary “Nomad: Begin” and now that aspect of this site is being brought to the forefront once again with another premiere from a band just starting out: Horse Teeth.

Boasting a sound that’s not too dissimilar from the finest crop of Saddle Creek acquisitions (Hop Along, Big Thief, etc.), the trio’s already showing remarkable poise for a new project. Beyond that, Horse Teeth — a band comprised of Andrew Stocker, Adeline Hotel’s Dan Knishkowy, and Minor Moon’s Sam Cantor — seems so assured in their songwriting that it’s difficult to imagine they’ll be able to expand on an already fully-formed identity as they push their way into the future.

Folk, Americana, blues, and punk influences are all evident throughout “Dark & Gloomy”, the band’s lead-off track from their debut effort, the Horse Teeth EP. Recorded during a January blizzard, the song offers a tantalizing preview of the band’s exceptional songwriting and compelling aesthetic. Striking the absolutely perfect balance between polish and grit, Horse Teeth manage to secure a level of production that goes beyond just complementing their sound and winds up ensuring it’s enhanced.

On top of every other promising quality the band shows in great abundance both on “Dark & Gloomy” and throughout the EP is their vice-like grip on dynamic flourishes. From the breezy, wide-open riffing that drives the track to the effective rests and crescendos, there’s never a moment anything less than utterly captivating. From memorable couplets to well-versed rhythm work, “Dark & Gloomy” isn’t just a solid introduction to a tremendous new band, it’s a genre masterclass. Don’t make the mistake of letting this one slip by unnoticed.

Listen to “Dark & Gloomy” below and keep an eye out for both its April digital release and the EP’s limited tape run, courtesy of Bad Look Records.

Slight – Hate the Summer (Song Premiere)

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Photograph by Stepahnie Griffin // INDAFF

Ever since hearing Slight‘s Run (an online single that would go on to top this site’s odds and ends of 2014 list), they’ve been easy to pin down in the “favorite bands” category. While the respective successes of Painted Zeros, LVL UP, and Normal Person have kept its members occupied in 2015, the trio’s managed to find a way to keep pushing forward. Tomorrow, they’ll be releasing their Hate the Summer EP (which includes both songs from Run) in conjunction with their show at Palisades, which will also feature sets from Museum of Recycling, Normal Person, and The Glow.

In advance of the show (and the release), the band’s allowing everyone a look ahead with the EP’s title track. “Hate the Summer” is another basement pop triumph, expertly balancing a clear-eyed conviction with a determined grit that elevates the song well past the levels that most bands who attempt that feat achieve. Surging with a punk bite but grounded by Jim Hill’s enviable gift for pop songwriting, “Hate the Summer” comes across as both immediate and accessible without ever sounding or feeling hollow.

While the vocal and guitar hooks abound, the song’s kept anchored by the characteristically impressive rhythm section work laid down by Alberto Casadevall and Greg Rutkin, who provide the song with a remarkable amount of drive. Hard-hitting and heavy-hearted, the song’s eventually defined by its resilience in the face of a detached weariness. It’s nuanced, it’s effective, and it’s one of the finest songs to have found release in the past several months. By the time the bridge kicks in, it’s clear that Slight’s members haven’t placed this project on the back burner and are intent to push it forward with all the strength they can manage. We’re just fortunate enough to be along for the ride.

Listen to “Hate the Summer” below and keep an eye on this site for any upcoming news about the band.

Elephants – The Turtles Were Right (Song Premiere)

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Photograph by Sasha Pedro

Over the past few weeks, the submissions that have come into the site’s inbox have introduced me to some of the most fascinating music of 2014. Toby Reif and Space Mountain were two that immediately stood out- Elephants shortly followed. The Boston-based quartet’s upcoming record, Strange Waves, is one of 2014’s most vibrant and defiantly lively records. The band’s formula differs from the norm, most notably in the basslines acting as lead guitar riffs instead of driving the rhythm. It’s a kinetic approach and it suits the band (whose powerpop sensibilities come tinged with a surprisingly aggressive noise-punk bite) surprisingly well.

All of Strange Waves is a joy but no song on the record clicks everything into place with as much power and finesse as “The Turtles Were Right”. Sun-splashed melodies meet a restless bass figure, propulsive drumming, vicious guitar work, an abundance of energy, and a few joyful hand claps. Before long, the song establishes an alternating contrast pattern in mood with the verses taking on a pensive melodramatic feel before the rousing chorus picks everything up and pushes it forward. It’s also Elephants at their finest- it’s no surprise that “The Turtles Were Right” is the song that includes the lyric which gave Strange Waves its title. “The Turtles Were Right” cloaks its fuzz in an undeniable affability and the end result is something that deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.

Listen to “The Turtles Were Right” below and keep an eye on Elephants’ bandcamp, which is where Strange Waves will be available to download on December 16 (the download will be free for the first day).

Watch This: Best of 2014 (Video Mixtape)

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Live music videos never seem to get the emphasis they deserve. It’s part of why Watch This was created; to celebrate stunning documents of equally stunning performances. A good band can make a great record but a truly great band usually excels in the live setting. With 2014 winding to a close (and with another 100 posts in the past), it seemed appropriate to start reflecting on some of the year’s best offerings. Lists of LP’s, EP’s, 7″ releases, and more will be forthcoming but today the focus will fall on live clips. And, yes, 2014’s not quite over yet and there will be a few weeks worth of live clips to consider (in addition to the past few weeks, which will be focused on in the posts immediately following this one) and “best” is still subjective- but the videos contained in this mix were simply too good to just feature once. If there’s enough material, an appendix will be added around the start of next year.

To be eligible for this video mixtape, the videos involved had to have been previously featured in Watch This and not contain an interview sequence. Full sets were ruled out as well (with a lone exception being made for one of 2014’s best videos in any capacity to provide a sense of closure to the proceedings). These videos were pulled in from as many places as possible with only Chart Attack, La Blogotheque, and Little Elephant making repeat entries (with two each). From the painfully gorgeous (Mutual Benefit, Angel Olsen) to sublime perfection (Radiator Hospital, Little Big League) to the absurdly impressive (Kishi Bashi) to the most electric late night performance of 2014 (Ty Segall), there’s a little something for everyone. 25 clips are included and listed below, with a hyperlink provided to their respective installments in Watch This‘ always expanding catalog. Since this brings the site to another 100 post mark, hyperlinks will be provided to posts 300-399 for anyone interested in checking out past material. With all of this exposition out of the way, there’s really only one thing left to do: sit back, focus up, and Watch This.

1. Audacity – Counting the Days (Jam in the Van) — vol. 24
2. Greys – Guy Picciotto (Chart Attack) — vol. 24
3. Radiator Hospital – Fireworks (BNTYK) — vol. 51
4. Ovlov – Where’s My Dini? (Little Elephant) — vol. 23
5. Frankie Cosmos – Embody (Radio K) — vol. 55
6. Mean Creek – My Madeline (Wondering Sound) — vol. 19
7. Joanna Gruesome – Anti-Parent Cowboy Killers (BTR) — vol. 51
8. Sweet John Bloom – Aging In Place (Allston Pudding) — vol. 48
9. Emilyn Brodsky – Someone Belongs Here (TCGS) — vol. 28
10. Mitski – First Love // Late Spring (bandwidth) — vol. 43
11. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street (ACL) — vol. 54
12. Sharon Van Etten – Serpents (Pitchfork) — vol. 40
13. Mutual Benefit – C.L. Rosarian (Bruxelles Ma Belle) — vol. 19
14. Angel Olsen – Enemy (La Blogotheque) — Vol. 11
15. Kishi Bashi – Philosophize In It! Chemicalize In It! (WNYC) — vol. 29
16. Little Big League – Year of the Sunhouse (Little Elephant) — vol. 45
17. Screaming Females – It All Means Nothing (Audiotree) — vol. 27
18. Ty Segall – Feel (Conan) — vol. 40
19. Dilly Dally – Candy Mountain (Chart Attack) — vol. 51
20. Cloud Nothings – Now Hear In (Amoeba) — vol. 57
21. MOURN – Otits (Captured Tracks) — vol. 53
22. Courtney Barnett – History Eraser (KEXP) — vol. 34
23. Lee Fields – Don’t Leave Me This Way (La Blogotheque) — vol. 54
24. Jenny Lewis – Slippery Slopes (KCRW) — vol. 52
25. Saintseneca (NPR) — vol. 38

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HB300: Songs of Summer: 2014 (Mixtape)
HB301: together PANGEA – Badillac (Music Video)
HB302: Night School – Birthday (Stream)
HB303: The Midwest Beat – Vortex Hole (Stream)
HB304: Watch This: Vol. 42
HB305: All Dogs at Bremen Cafe – 8/19/14 (Pictorial Review, Videos)
HB306: Attendant – Freaking Out (Review, Stream)
HB307: Grape St. – Free Stuff (Stream)
HB308: Iceage – Forever (Music Video)
HB309: Ed Schrader’s Music Beat – Televan (Music Video)
HB310: Young Jesus – G (Stream)
HB311: Watch This: Vol. 43
HB312: LVL UP – Ski Vacation (Stream)
HB313: Radiator Hospital at Cocoon Room – 9/8/14 (Pictorial Review, Video)
HB314: Nano Kino – Eyes Before Words (Music Video)
HB315: Tenement at Mickey’s Tavern – 9/9/14 (Pictorial Review, Videos)
HB316: Bass Drum of Death – For Blood (Stream)
HB317: Pretty Pretty – Feels Like Rain (Stream)
HB318: Watch This: Vol. 44
HB319: Medicine – Move Along – Down the Road (Stream)
HB320: Mitski – Townie (Stream)
HB321: Allah-Las – Follow You Down (Music Video)
HB322: Sonic Avenues – Teenage Brain (Music Video)
HB323: Iceage – How Many (Stream)
HB324: The Honeydips – No Shirt, No Shoes (Music Video)
HB325: Watch This: Vol. 45
HB326: Watch This: Vol. 46
HB327: Iceage – Glassy Eyed, Dormant and Veiled (Stream)
HB328: Zulu Pearls – Lightweight (Music Video)
HB329: Two Inch Astronaut – Foulbrood (Stream)
HB330: Little Big League – Property Line (Stream)
HB331: Mikal Cronin – I Don’t Mind / Blue-Eyed Girl (Stream)
HB332: Mutts – Everyone Is Everyone (Lyric Video)
HB333: LVL UP – Hoodwink’d (Album Review, Stream)
HB334: Watch This: Vol. 47
HB335: The History of Apple Pie – Jamais Vu (Music Video)
HB336: Iceage – Against the Moon (Stream)
HB337: Speedy Ortiz – Doomsday (Stream)
HB338: Hurry – Oh Whitney (Stream)
HB339: Thalassocracy – Shimensoka (Stream)
HB340: Mitski – iPhone Voice Memo (Stream)
HB341: Watch This: Vol. 48
HB342: Watch This: Vol. 49
HB343: Screaming Females – Wishing Well (Stream)
HB344: Meat Wave – Brother (Music Video)
HB345: Joanna Gruesome – Jerome (Liar) / Trust Fund – Reading the Wrappers (Music Video)
HB346: Ovlov – Ohmu Shell (Stream)
HB347: Ty Segall – The Singer (Music Video)
HB348: Pet Sun – Gimme Your Soul (Music Video)
HB349: Washer – Rot (Stream)
HB350: Three Quarters Down (Mixtape)
HB351: LVL UP – Big Snow (Stream)
HB352: Weaves – Shithole (Stream)
HB353: Pile at The Burlington Bar – 10/10/14 (Pictorial Review, Video)
HB354: Audacity – Counting the Days (Stream)
HB355: LVL UP at Beat Kitchen – 10/12/14 (Pictorial Review, Video)
HB356: Two Inch Astronaut – Part Of Your Scene (Stream)
HB357: Watch This: Vol. 50
HB358: Girlpool – Plants and Worms (Stream)
HB359: Watch This: Vol. 51
HB360: Cherry Glazerr – Nurse Ratched (Stream)
HB361: The Gotobeds – Wasted On Youth (Music Video)
HB362: Happy Diving – Big World (Album Stream)
HB363: Filmstrip – Don’t You Know (Stream)
HB364: Nobunny – Nightmare Night (Short Film)
HB365: Heartbreaking Bravery Presents, Vol. 1: Meat Wave, Mumblr, Geronimo! (Videos)
HB366: Watch This: Vol. 52
HB367: Watch This: Vol. 53
HB368: Cymbals Eat Guitars – Warning (Music Video)
HB369: Mitski – Bury Me At Makeout Creek (Album Review, Stream, Photos, Videos)
HB370: Chandos – ..Pretty Sure it’s ‘Tang Top’ (Stream)
HB371: Toby Coke – Face Taker (Stream)
HB372: Two Inch Astronaut – Dead White Boy (Stream)
HB373: Left & Right – Low Expectations (Music Video)
HB374: Watch This: Vol. 54
HB375: Deerhoof – Exit Only (Music Video)
HB376: Meat Wave – Sham King (Stream)
HB377: Kal Marks – It Was A Very Hard Year (Stream)
HB378: Band Practice – Bartending At Silent Barn (Stream)
HB379: Big Lonely – Dirty Clocks (Music Video)
HB380: Slight – Run (EP Review, Stream)
HB381: Screaming Females – Ripe (Stream)
HB382: Girlpool – Blah Blah Blah (Music Video)
HB383: Mutts – Black Ties & Diamonds (Song Premiere)
HB384: MOURN – Otitis (Stream)
HB385: Iceage – Against The Moon (Music Video)
HB386: Watch This: Vol. 55
HB387: Watch This: Vol. 56
HB388: Watch This: Vol. 57
HB389: Kal Marks – Don’t Pussy Foot With A Pussy Footer (Stream)
HB390: Trust Fund – Cut Me Out (Stream)
HB391: Alex G – Soaker (Stream)
HB392: Band Practice – Theme Song (Stream)
HB393: Chandos – Cobra Points (Stream)
HB394: Screaming Females – Empty Head (Stream)
HB395: Title Fight – Chlorine (Music Video)
HB396: Space Mountain – California Blue (Stream)
HB397: Liam Hayes – Fokus (Stream)
HB398: Toby Reif – 2014 (EP Stream)
HB399: Beliefs – Tidal Wave (Music Video)

Mutts – Black Ties & Diamonds (Song Premiere)

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Chicago trio Mutts have been steadily building a deeply impressive resume for over five years. Each time the band steps up to the plate, they improve on their previous best- leaving 2013’s extraordinary (acoustic-based) Object Permanence as their current high-water mark. As unlikely as it seems considering Object Permanence‘s unfailing grace, the record they’re about to release- Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4– may surpass it to take up the mantle of career-best. “Everyone Is Everyone” kicked off the pre-release roll-out for Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4 in exhilarating fashion with bandleader Mike Maimone passionately dismantling the politics of negative slurs- a stance that takes on a much more personal meaning considering Maimone spent the last few records grappling with the anxieties and emotional releases that accompanied his decision to come out.

“Black Ties & Diamonds” may not be as fiery as its predecessor but it’s just as- if not more- immediately gripping. Easily the band’s most atmospheric moment to date, “Black Ties & Diamonds” is as fire-and-brimstone as it is smoky haze, a classically noir-ish retreat down a murky riverbank. It’s an entirely new look for Mutts and one that suits them so naturally that it’s easy to forget their standard mode is blistering blues-infused noise-punk. As always, Maimone’s lyrics and keyboard work are just as sharp as Mutts’ rhythm section (which is made up of drummer Chris Pagnani and bassist Bob Buckstaff, respectively)- adding to their easily posited claim as one of the tightest units in the upper Midwest.

In lyric copy, “Black Ties & Diamonds” becomes a total deconstruction of a myriad of events, eventually revealing itself as a collection of vignettes that illustrate the trials of life’s overwhelmingly mundane nature. There’s a melancholic nature permeating throughout the track, accentuated by organ stabs, mood-heavy drumming, and frighteningly intuitive bass work. Musically, this veers far closer to the realms of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds than the usually inevitable Tom Waits comparison the band’s so frequently earned in the past. It’s a complete anomaly in the band’s catalog; a minor headphones track in a sea of turned-to-11 explosives.

Production-wise, “Black Ties & Diamonds is the best Mutts have ever sounded electric- something that holds true for the rest of Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4. This is a record that’s layered, sequenced, and mastered to perfection, with “Black Ties & Diamonds” standing out as the definitive track. Mutts aren’t done experimenting, moving forward, challenging themselves, or progressing. Not by a damn sight. “Black Ties & Diamonds” cements this as inexorable proof in stunning fashion, playing directly into the commendable ethics of one of America’s hardest-working bands. Don’t be too surprised to see their name starting to fight its way into regular conversation- and don’t make the mistake of ignoring something as subtly haunting as “Black Ties & Diamonds”.

Mutts will be throwing an LP release party for Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4 which will be presented by Gapers Block and feature additional performances from Archie Powell & the ExportsThe Kickback, and Pop Goes The Evil. This will take place on December 6 at The Metro. 8 pm. $12 at the door and $8 in advance. Don’t make the mistake of missing this one.

Stream “Black Ties & Diamonds” below and make sure to pick up Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4 as soon as possible.

Big Air – Cemetery With A View (Song Premiere)

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There are times a band just clicks. First it clicks with itself and then it clicks with its audience. Big Air are one of those bands. It’s hard not to be floored by just how good this band is directly out of the gate. While both guitarist/vocalist Rob Dobson and drummer Greg Sloan have already put in a fair amount of time on former like-minded projects, it’s hard to predict chemistry. From the sounds of things, incompatibility was never an issue; the two play off each other as well as any duo going today. They’re only a few weeks away from self-releasing an outstanding debut cassette entitled Buds (that’s the official album art up above), an extraordinary seven-song achievementBig Air were gracious enough to allow Heartbreaking Bravery the premiere of that collection’s lead-off track, “Cemetery With A View”. The song itself  is a hard-charging blast of whip-smart lyrics and off-kilter indie punk that teems with powerpop sensibilities, a la current-era Superchunk (and classic-era Guided by Voices).

From the squalls of feedback that open it to the propulsive riffing throughout, there’s no shortage of the kind of vibrant energy that allows people to feel truly alive. It’s a great indicator of both Big Air’s sound and of Buds‘ overall tone. Unsurprisingly, the band’s already finding themselves in great company; their next few shows will be alongside acts like Grass Is Green, Speedy Ortiz, Drowners, Nude Beach, and The Men. Big Air’s clearly not fucking around and Buds is one of the first must-purchase prospects of 2014.

Keep up with the band on their facebooktwitter, and tumblr because Buds will be available for purchase on February 4th and those sites will likely be the most direct method of purchase. Stream “Cemetery With A View” below and see what all the fuss is about.