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Longing, Pain, and Revenge

Edition #40 • Sharon Van Etten, Casper, King Hannah, LAWN CHAIR, TEMMIS

Sharon Van Etten

A beautiful day awaits. Not necessarily just weather-related, but also musically.

In today‘s edition, you can discover cinematic experiences, infinitely vast like a science fiction flic or grainy, dusty like a western. There is a tragedy based on actual events and a coming-of-age love story.

And if you love at least one recommendation, please share this post with your friends. It helps me very much to create a more extensive community that shares our passion for music.

All the best,

Sharon Van Etten – Porta

YouTube

Sharon Van Etten doesn’t need an introduction. The US singer and songwriter has long made a name for herself with songs like Seventeen or Every Time the Sun Comes Up. And last year, she collaborated with Angel Olsen to create Like I Used To.

Van Etten’s latest single, however, pivots away from her original influences in American folk and country. Instead, Porta is an infinitely atmospheric hymn, referencing powerful, ethereal pop music. It’s a song of grand gestures and a dreamy ambience.

Above the wide, expansive composition, Sharon Van Etten’s crystal clear voice sails like an almighty eagle. Porta propels longing and desire with every note and tone.

Casper – Billie Jo

YouTube

The jangly guitar intro gives nothing away, but then, the hi-hats hint that something intense is about to happen. Then, suddenly, Billie Jo explodes.

The latest track by Casper, the artist that coined the genre “emo rap”, is a dramatic epos with a sweeping arrangement. And yes, a ton of pathos that some might find too much to swallow.

However, it’s not a fictional story of a PTSD-suffering Iraq veteran gunning down his kids and wife before setting the house on fire before killing himself that Casper tells with his raspy voice. On Instagram, the rapper explains:

Billie Jo was the name of my cousin from the USA and the song is about her life. I wondered for a long time if I wanted to tell this story. Who cares at all. But it's been on my mind for a long time and I have a lot of questions. A lot of anger too.

King Hannah – Big Big Baby

YouTube

The heavy bassline indicates that Big Big Baby by King Hannah will be an exciting piece of a Western noir song. The soundtrack to a duel on dusty roads. The tension is rising, but the calm, conspirational voice of Hannah Merrick adds slow motion to the scene.

I hope you choke on, on a dupling
At least that would be midly fun
And more exciting than just sitting
Watching you eat them one-by-one

King Hannah, the duo consisting of Merrick and Craig Whittle, formed in 2017 in Liverpool, delivers with Big Big Baby a dark, creeping rock song, an act of sonic revenge to a former lover.

LAWN CHAIR – Men with Shifty Eyes

YouTube

LAWN CHAIR boldly blend post-punk vibes with punkish loud indie rock bursts. Men with Shifty Eyes sounds like the legendary Siouxsie & the Banshees returned and got even wilder.

Men with Shifty Eyes is only the third single by this promising German quintet but already demonstrates the playfulness of the band. After the indie rock track Counting on Love and the heavy Just Because We Can, the new song roams in the more melancholic territory.

Despite its obvious inspiration, Men with Shifty Eyes doesn’t feel leaden or sinister. There still retains an airy feel in the composition. It’s neither forced darkness nor constrained happiness. Cool, that’s what it is.

TEMMIS – Wenn du da bist

Stomping beats, melancholic lyrics, eery synthesizers. Wenn du da bist by TEMMIS sounds like the weird lovechild of Grauzone’s Eisbär and some underground techno producer. Is this the new Neue Deutsche Welle?

The four-piece band from Tübingen, Germany, won last year’s #amplified newcomer contest with no official release at hand. Their first three singles—one of them being Wenn du da bist—are proof of TEMMIS’ potential.

Wenn du da bist is a restless amalgamation of techno and post-punk, a combination that seems bound to collide in a bad way. However, TEMMIS somehow make it work spectacularly.


P.S. For the fans of more extreme sounds, I can fully recommend Zeal & Ardor’s freshly released, self-titled record. Naturally, Church Burns, featured in Edition #37, or Run from Edition #25 are worth another go, but the album is full of thrilling songs like Götterdämmerung or my personal favourite J-M-B.

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