(Hi all. Long time no see. Keeping it simple: one good thing as the opportunity arises. No plan, no schedule, no big ideas.
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Hope you have been well.)
My favorite song of 2021 was by the absolutely killer Montreal metal band BIG|BRAVE: Of This Ilk off their album Vital.
I read once about a furniture designer who had created a table that was all ratcheted and turnbuckled together, every component held under massive tension. It was a solid, stable object, but if you removed a single hidden bolt the entire thing would explode.
BIG|BRAVE make songs like that. Their heavy tempos stack like cinderblocks. (Louis-Alexandre Beauregard’s drum hits sound like they’re falling from a great height.) Many of their songs are in a single chord, more or less: they’re not a story told in melody but an accumulation of potential energy, a buildup, a steady escalation. Robin Wattie can sing the way a taut wire will sing, a high-tension line. She’s as expressive as Björk and filled with almost unbearable energy. Tighter and tighter. And the second half of “Of This Ilk” detonates in slow motion like the end of Zabriskie Point.