Dowsing – Meant to Shred [Chicago, US]

Emo / Pop / Rock

dowsingEmo is often stereotyped as being a way for sad boys to cry about their break-ups in public with a crowd screaming along to validate their feelings and is quite often accurate. That said, the genre doesn’t always take emotions as seriously as the name and stigma suggests. Illinoisian band Dowsing are particularly known for their willingness to ride on the goofy side, with their debut titled It’s Still Pretty Terrible which features the track Gengar! Gengar! Gengar! (and if that Pokemon reference doesn’t make you at least smirk, then I’m sorry your childhood was so bleak and empty). Meant to Shred, fourth track off of this year’s I Don’t Even Care Anymore (released by Count Your Lucky Stars Records) pops out clearly from the album with its shiny, pop hooks of pure gold and buoyant gang vocals. The topic is still a break-up note “meant to shred” at the newly single narrator’s dignity, keeping their face aimed sullenly at the ground, so it’s still very much “emo,” but when sad jams feel this good–that’s just a whole other level of music altogether.

Check out the band’s catalog here, or similar music on the CYLS’ bandcamp here.

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Brand New – Out of Range [Long Island, US]

Downtempo / Emo / Rock

Brand New

This is Important with a capital “I.” Legends of emo, Brand New are at the same time very particular and very vague about releasing music (they are currently have “stuff” planned), and with their latest release, Daisy, which found them at their most interestingly experimental, nearing four years old, their fanbase has gotten pretty hungry for…well, anything. So when this “previously unreleased” track (which best guesses say has actually been around for a couple of years) finally found its way to popular attention, people went a little crazy–myself included. What’s great is that it can be over such a gorgeous track as well. Twinkling and glistening guitars fade in and out, like the shine of “gold and silver” bracelets, while dreamy vocals and distant harmonies fill in the rest of the ear candy that is this song. There is some angst, some existentialism in the lyrics here, but rather than repelling, it feels inviting. Playing like a pleasant dream about your worst fears, it feels like pure comfort.

Official Brand New website can be found here.