Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Yes All Cops

Watch This: Vol. 146

Continuing on with this week’s two-part installment of Watch This — and officially catching Heartbreaking Bravery back up to both the current release cycle and regular coverage — this volume of the series features a wide range of selections. From the remarkable efforts put forth that centered on performances from Good Personalities, Man Is Not A Bird, Family Mansion, Pinegrove, Naked Giants, Okkervil River (x2), Benjamin Francis LeftwichÖsp, Dramady, Castle Ruins, Henry Jamison, The Felice Brothers, and Bob Mould to the featured items, there’s a depth to the range of options that nicely illustrates what Watch This can offer on a weekly basis. Live edits, full sessions, abbreviated sessions, and an out-and-out concert all make appearances below, from veteran artists and tantalizing new names. So, as always, sit up, adjust the volume, forget any troubles, focus, and Watch This.

1. Mulligrub – Canadian Classic

All the way back in August 2014, Mulligrub found their way into a feature spot on this site thanks to the sheer strength of “Canadian Classic“. The trio’s made consistent appears on Heartbreaking Bravery following that event and “Canadian Classic” has more than proven to have staying power. The band recently unveiled a live edit clip for the song, which finds them playing the song in a balloon-filled room, cutting shots of the members goofing off for the camera to round the visual accompaniment out. It’s an endearing clip and a potent reminder of the telling endurance of “Canadian Classic”.

2. Lucy Dacus (Amoeba)

Touring behind this year’s excellent No Burden, Lucy Dacus continues to impress in the live setting. The latest example of the emerging songwriter’s charismatic prowess comes from Amoeba, who present a gripping three song performance with a loving tenderness that suits the material well. Dacus has had a very strong 2016, steadily increasing favor among critics and fans alike by bridging a fierce intellect with an easy relatability. Every song on display in this session is incredibly formidable enough to suggest Dacus will go on to have a storied career. For now, this is a perfect document of an exciting era for one of today’s brightest emerging songwriters.

3. Gurr – Moby Dick (Auf Klo)

The past few months have seen no shortage of great exuberant indie pop. One of the headlining acts of that haul has quickly become Gurr, a duo who excel at conjuring up sun-speckled bursts of warm tones, reassuring vocals, and carefree sensibilities. In this charming run through “Moby Dick” for Auf Klo, the young musicians find themselves sequestered away in a bathroom stall, trading smiles and playing “Moby Dick” to their hearts content. There’s a clear camaraderie between the pair and that familiarity and connection enhances every second of this clip, right down to the final, celebratory flush.

4. Worriers – Good Luck + Yes All Cops (Live! From the Rock Room)

Worriers have earned themselves a loyal following for several reasons. Whether their crowd’s at their show’s for the pointed social politics, the jangly tension, the ramshackle energy, all of those reasons, or another reason entirely doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the band continuously offers several strong angles into their world and commit to those angles with a fierce conviction. It’s a trait that translates to their live show, which is lovingly captured in this memorable two-song session for Live! From the Rock Room.

5. Okkervil River 

This year’s allowed the opportunity to expand on what Okkervil River meant to the foundation of Heartbreaking Bravery and their key role in forming some of the ideas that would eventually drive the site into existence. Away, the band’s most recent release, has followed a post-release formula all too familiar for the band: fawning critical embrace, relative commercial indifference. Here, the band offers up a recent concert that showcases not only their range and uncanny ability to re-work old songs into fascinating new presentation but their jaw-dropping discography as well. The end result: an honest portrait of one of this young century’s most important bands.

Noun – I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do (Stream)

screamales

The first post today will be dedicated to a slew of yesterday’s outstanding releases and the focus will fall on one that evaded scrutiny by virtue of a very quiet release. Before diving too far into that song, though, it’s worth taking a beat to highlight a few other great pieces of media. Free Cake For Every Creature’s lo-fi visual presentation of “Take On Me” and Jane Weaver’s mesmerizing, animated clip for “Mission Desire” both constituted strong examples of retro-leaning music videos. The full streams colored in a very broad range of punk and punk influence, containing forthcoming releases from the following: Negative Scanner, EZTV, and American Culture.

As usual, the majority of releases where very strong single streams. Knife Pleats brought out a very strong duo of tracks with both “One Step Too Far” and “Terrible”, Dark Palms unleashed the nightmarishly bruising, post-punk ripper “Dead Horse“, and Sleepy indulged their brightest pop sensibilities and blistering aggression simultaneously on the hard-charging “The Ride Up“. Worriers unloaded another brilliant politi-punk anthem with “Yes All Cops“, further suggesting that their upcoming full-length will rank among the year’s very finest releases. Shelf Life’s gently lilting (and gorgeous) “The Curse“, You Beauty.’s driving “ILLYWHACKA“, and DIV I DED’s pop-heavy shoegaze number “Electric Age” rounded the day’s releases out.

Highlighting that batch of new music was an unlikely release, quietly uploaded to bandcamp and announced via Facebook: Noun’s devastatingly beautiful acoustic ballad, “I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do”. At this point, it’s safe to assume a lot more people are familiar with guitarist/vocalist Marissa Paternoster’s work in Screaming Females than they are with either her excellent solo project, Noun, or her (relatively) new ventures in the deliriously spastic Bad Canoes. Throw in Paternoster’s elevating name recognition (and career) as an artist and it’s not surprising that a thing or two loses

The continued success of Screaming Females and the emergence of Bad Canoes seemingly relegated Paternoster’s Noun project to the back-burner but its flame was kept at a stubborn flicker during that time, with hints of a potential future release being unveiled as of late (including both “Far From Me” and “Glass Diamond“). While the live sets are still fairly infrequent, that’s made up for with the strength- and grace- of “I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do”.

Parernoster’s had a tradition of being vulnerable in her prose but it’s rarely been laid as bare or presented as intimately as it is here. A gentle bass hums underneath “I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do” as Paternoster wearily pleads for companionship in a time of desperation. Riveting, haunting, and- ultimately- heartbreaking, “I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do” presents a very strong case for Paternoster as one of this generation’s strongest voices. It’s always worth listening to what that voice has to say.

Listen to “I’m Afraid of What I’ll Do” below and keep an eye on this page for more updates on Noun.