Bandcamp Picks

Bandcamp Picks of the Week 3/14/18

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This article previously appeared on Crossfader

Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Barely Civil

Barely Civil – WE CAN LIVE HERE FOREVER

Genre: Emo

Favorite Tracks: “I’ve Been Getting Headaches Lately,” “You With A Cape, Me With A Baseball Bat,” “Super 8//Marathon”

On their debut full length WE CAN LIVE HERE FOREVER, Wisconsin’s Barely Civil has crafted an album that methodically checks off the key boxes on the list of Emo Revival requirements: light and clean guitars that give way to powerful, crunchy riffs at the drop of a dime, lyrics that deal with small town regret and lost love, and a proper balance of slower, more reflective tracks with more straightforward rockers. Album opener “I’ve Been Getting Headaches Lately” exudes Hotelier vibes with its tastefully utilized gang vocals and introduces the motif of the othered “you” that serve as the focal points of the majority of the tracks. As indicated in the album title and the name of lead-off single “Eau Claire? Oh, Claire,” the lyrical content on WE CAN LIVE HERE FOREVER is hyper-localized, recalling first meetings at train stations, interventions staged by friends in the living room, and formative romantic realizations in cheap motels. While the details are incredibly personal and specific, the relatable lyrics are a highlight of the record, even on slumbering tracks like “Stark” and “Kent.” The highlight of the album comes in the third single, “Super 8/Marathon,” a monster of a song that best exemplifies the quiet-to-loud song structure dynamics that are found in the better tracks on the album. The song opens with a truly beautiful ringing guitar line and the simple repetition of the line “We run” before exploding with pounding drum rolls and heavy guitar. The song continues to transition from these two sections, layering in sharp lead guitar lines and more aggressively executed rhythms until vocalist Connor Erickson’s soothing and subdued delivery erupts into a fierce howl. Overall, WE CAN LIVE HERE FOREVER is a solid first effort that demonstrates that the boys in Barely Civil have the chops to make a name for themselves in the ever-growing sea of Emo Revival. Check out their new album on Bandcamp.  [Jake Mazon]

Verdict: Recommend

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Haley Heyndrickx

Haley Heynderickx – I NEED TO START A GARDEN

Genre: Indie Folk, Singer/Songwriter

Favorite Tracks: “The Bug Collector,” “Jo,” “Oom Sha La La,” “Drinking Song”

While slightly biased after having the privilege of catching a set from Heynderickx as part of Uproxx’s new series of live showcases, it’s not hyperbole to say that I NEED TO START A GARDEN is a top contender for the strongest singer/songwriter outing of 2018. First and foremost: My God, that voice! Warm, melancholic, and utterly arresting, Heynderickx’s presence reigns supreme over a collection of tracks with nary a misstep amongst them. While the bread and butter of the album is the misty-eyed ruminations of something like “Jo,” the shifting, steadily undulating energy of album centerpiece “Worth It” and the climax to “Untitled God Song” seem to hint that there’s one Hell of a blues rock band to be found in Heyndrickx’s entourage and the inquisitive, rushing stop-starts of “Show You a Body” demonstrate a progressive sensibility that promises interesting avenues to explore in the future. While a certain gothic spaciousness pervades I NEED TO START A GARDEN that calls to mind Marissa Nadler, it’s well worth it to pay attention to the lyrics, as an undercurrent of humor and wit prevents things from becoming too downtrodden (“When you’re drunk near a sunset / Look straight in her eyes / She’s a quick glimpse of heaven / Forgetting her headlights are on”). But any way you slice it, if “Oom Sha La La” doesn’t immediately get stuck in your head and “Drinking Song” doesn’t strike you as one of the best indie folk tracks of recent memory, then you’re too far gone for me to help. You can listen to it here. [Thomas Seraydarian]

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