Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: White Raven

IAN SWEET – #23 (Music Video)

ian sweet

Over the past several days, there have been excellent music videos to surface from Caspian, DJ Shadow, The Hairs, Clipping., Pleistocene, WL, Pop & Obachan, Donovan Wolfington, Chromatics, Matt Kivel, Dogbreth, Hiss Golden Messenger, Joyce Manor, The Cradle, The Avalanches, Barren Womb, and Walker Lukens. A few of those will undoubtedly be appearing on some year-end lists but that doesn’t mean that the rest should be ignored. All of those titles are worthy endeavors that deserve a certain amount of investment.

As good as all of those clips wound up being, this post’s feature was secured by IAN SWEET‘s endearing, Michael Jordan-influenced “#23”. Tenderly shot and directed by Eleanor Petry, “#23” imbues the subdued tone of the song into a clip that jumps, seamlessly, back and forth from a pick-up game in a park to a varied romp through Coney Island. There’s a lyrical poetry to the imagery that winds up complementing the best song of IAN SWEET’s emergent career.

In four minutes, IAN SWEET (and Petry) conjure up a narrative that feels alternately introspective and fearlessly outgoing, demonstrating a range of humanity that should serve the band well down the line. There’s a keen awareness to the entire affair that’s infused with a heavy amount of empathy, allowing “#23” to radiate a kind of warmth that’s been increasingly rare in the landscape of the punk-tinged basement pop genre. Should the rest of their forthcoming Shapeshifter live up to this precedent, we may very well be looking at — and listening to — one of the finest records of 2016.

Watch “#23” below and pre-order Shapeshifter from Hardly Art here.

Dark Blue – Delco Runts (Stream)

dark blue

[EDITOR’S NOTE: With the site now entering emergency year-end catch-up mode thanks to the cruel, mocking nature of time, tonight’s trio of posts will simply be short reviews of the song(s) in the headline(s) and an accompanying list of tracks that deserve to be heard.]

John Sharkey III once led Puerto Rican Flowers, a band that earned an almost excessively devoted following thanks to a small string of incredible records. The band’s eventual demise was a crippling blow but opened up the floor for new opportunities, one of which was quickly seized and invested in until the project, Dark Blue, began accruing an impassioned following of its own. Last year, the band put out the monumental Pure Reality, which was highlighted by songs like the brilliant “Here On My Street” which incorporated a greater emphasis on Sharkey’s formidable pop sensibilities.

In January the band will be returning with Vicious Romance b/w Delco Runts, a 7″ that recently got off to an extremely promising start with the record’s driving B-side. “Delco Runts” sees the trio continuing to expand their more pop-leaning influences without ever sacrificing their post-punk roots. Damaged, romantic, and wide-eyed, “Delco Runts” is a bruiser with a backwards grin, dissecting moments of youth with all the panache of the best tragicomedies. Eventually, “Delco Runts” builds itself into a heartbreaking conclusion that feels lived-in and brutally honest before dropping into a mournful outro section that lends the song some additional emotional weight, ensuring the song a valued place in what’s shaping up to be a formidable discography.

Listen to “Delco Runts” below and pre-order Vicious Romance b/w Delco Runts here. Underneath the embed, explore a list of great songs to have appeared over the course of the last several months.

Royal Brat – Shadethrower
Francis – Follow Me Home
Nathaniel Bellows – Oh, Now
Connie Constance – Answer
Cian Nugent – Things Don’t Change That Fast
Deleter – Seclusion
The Missendens – Rolling Start
Mount Moriah – Cardinal Collector
Crescendo – Repulsor
jj – Paranoid
Fews – The Zoo
Tangerine – Tender
Kiska – Long Divide
Butchers Blind – Black & White Dreams
Total Abuse – DNA Evidence
Bianca Casady – Poor Deal
Barren Womb – White Raven
High Highs – Cascades
The Secret Storm – The Dragon
Palm – Doggy Doctor
Val Hollie – Stepping Outside