A while back, the now-defunct soon-to-be-revived Watch This series featured a spellbinding acoustic performance from Tuxis Giant. A lot has happened between that moment and this one, including the preparation of the project’s forthcoming record Here Comes the Wolf and Tuxis Giant’s transition from solo project to full band. Embracing an ethereal slow-burn approach, Tuxis Giant offers up a hypnotic piece of music built on a bed of shuffling drums and winding guitars in “Regan”.
Over its five minute run-time, “Regan” takes several routes, tilting into post-rock, emo, folk, and post-punk on separate occasions, managing to weave together a comprehensive tapestry of their genre influences while carving out a distinct voice as a band. It’s an impressive work and — following the similarly excellent “Fiona” — goes a long way in stoking anticipation for Here Comes the Wolf. It’s a fittingly hopeful start for the band’s next chapter as well as a potent reminder of guitarist/vocalist Matt O’Connor’s songwriting talents. Don’t let it go unheard and give Tuxis Giant the attention they deserve.
Listen to “Regan” below and pre-order Here Comes the Wolf here.
Typically Watch This installments run on Sunday but the 143rd installment was given a later slot for a specific reason. While the videos covered in this post will have been released, exclusively, in the time frame of last Monday to this past Sunday, this particular entry serves as somewhat of a gap-fill. The next post to run after this one will be the 1,000th that Heartbreaking Bravery has published and there will be a brief period of inactivity, only punctuated by the 143rd volume of Watch This.
1. Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math + Pins and Needles (World Cafe)
In the past few months Margaret Glaspy has managed to become a staple of this series thanks to both songwriting and the subdued but outsized personality that the songwriter exudes in every performance. Glaspy’s two-song set for World Cafe is particularly crisp, offering up two spellbinding runs through two of Emotions and Math‘s brightest moments: the quietly exhilarating title track and “Pins and Needles”. Don’t miss out on this one.
2. Long Neck – Rosy + 10,000 Year Old Woman (Boxfish Sessions)
For the past few years, Lily Mastridomos has been releasing mesmerizing music under the moniker Long Neck. Known primarily for Jawbreaker Reunion, Mastridomos’ solo project allows the emphasis to fall to uninhibited tales of heartache. In Mastridomos’ shattering entry to this site’s A Year’s Worth of Memories, there was a courageously open emphasis on personal depression, something that informs both “Rosy” and “10,000 Year Old Woman” to heartbreaking effect in one of the finest Boxfish Sessions to date.
3. PUP – Doubts (q on cbc)
A lot has been written on this site about PUP, from their galvanizing live show to their self-titled debut (which has the distinction of being the first album review to run on Heartbreaking Bravery) to this year’s extraordinary The Dream Is Over, a record that earned them a Polaris Prize nomination. Here, the band stops by the q on cbc studio and unleashing holy hell with a fiercely committed take on “Doubts” that underscores the band’s terrifying level of conviction as well as their sheer force of will. It’s a characteristically exceptional performance and an outstanding document of a band that’s intent on pushing themselves to the absolute limit.
4. Tuxis Giant – Almost Enough (Boxfish Sessions)
The second Boxfish Session to be featured finds the spotlight falling to Tuxis Grant, an emerging songwriter who has a penchant for bleary-eyed folk that comes with a twinge of a punk-informed sensibility. “Almost Enough”, the song performed here, is a breathtaking example of Tuxis Giant’s considerable songwriting gifts, never becoming anything less than incredibly memorable. “Even when it isn’t hungry, it eats” is a refrain that sticks, perfectly complementing a compellingly singular introspective lens. If “Almost Enough” is any indication, Tuxis Giant will be a name worth learning.
5. Japanese Breakfast (PressureDrop.tv)
2016 has been a breakout year for Japanese Breakfast, the project of Michelle Zauner. Little Big League, Zauner’s other band, had a handful of entries throughout the existence of this series. Japanese Breakfast seems set on continuing that tradition with a remarkable amount of poise. While all of the songs the band runs through for this PressureDrop.tv session are consistently impressive, “Everybody Wants to Love You” stands out as a particularly inspired highlight. It’s the start of an exclamation mark on the band’s coming out party, creating room for both celebration of what’s come before and wild anticipation for what comes next.