Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Wednesday

The Best of November & December 2019

For the past 5+ years, I’ve been dividing this site’s content between three main platforms: Soundcloud, YouTube, and bandcamp. A rare Spotify link appeared on occasion for truly exceptional releases but I tried my best to avoid that situation entirely. I chose those three for ease of access and general convenience, as they seemed to provide a more direct way to unlock off-the-radar artists and their work, while not engaging in the casual classicism that’s built into paid subscription services. The extent of how much I used those sites will be revealed in the ensuing post, which may or may not break this site entirely, but to warm up, I’ll divide the best offerings of the past two months between those triangular points. Songs, music videos, and records are all accounted for and will be mixed in together. Click on anything and reap the rewards of that decision.

SOUNDCLOUD

YOUTUBE (1-8)

BANDCAMP

 

 

Happy Diving – Holy Ground (Stream)

happy diving

Omni, Earth GirlsVanity, Total Slacker, Eluvium, Navy Gangs, Skinny Blonde, Kindling, Few Bits, and Sleepy all released songs in the past two weeks that came incredibly close to being featured on this site. In the end, the featured spot for this post wound up going to a band that’s been featured here several times before: Happy Diving. Following up one of last year’s best 7″ records, the band’s started unveiling incredibly promising pieces of their forthcoming sophomore effort, Electric Soul Unity.

Most recently, they released the surprisingly gorgeous “Head Spell” — which easily could have claimed a feature spot of its own if there were more time — but the spotlight here falls to the first glimpse of the record they offered up to the public: “Holy Ground”. Clocking in at under two minutes, “Holy Ground” hits with all of the unrelenting force that defined their best work but also equips itself with a more nuanced finesse that nicely underpins the song’s more beautiful, if extremely damaged, aspects.

Soaring guitars, swirling feedback, an absolutely vicious rhythm section, and impassioned vocals constitute the foundation of “Holy Ground” and the band opts to not only embrace but emphasize those traits. Everything Happy Diving does exists happily in the red and they’ve figured out how to make that aesthetic beneficial to their compositions. Punishing, unapologetic, and oddly soothing, “Holy Ground” is the rallying cry of a band at the peak of their powers, warning anyone in earshot to either get out of the way or to fully commit to being trampled.

Listen to “Holy Ground” below and pre-order Electric Soul Unity from Topshelf here.