Tag Archives: tough love records

Brooch (Members of Ought and Yung) Find Delicate Beauty on “Blood Spitting/Broken Glass”

Brooch, “Blood Spitting”/“Broken Glass” 7” (Tough Love Recordings)

Brooch is a musical collaboration featuring Ben Stidworthy (Ought) and Mikkel Holm Silkjær (Yung), born of a relationship between the two musicians forged while on tour with their main bands.  They’ve released a double a-side single, “Blood Spitting/Broken Glass,” each taking turns handling vocal duties.

Each track has a weary, intimate quality juxtaposed against stately 3/4 time.  Personal fave, “Blood Spitting”, feels reminiscent of Elliott Smith, a beautifully delicate melody like fissures in bone china or imperfections in a piece of amber, fading out in a melancholic drift of what sounds like a melodeon or concertina.  “Broken Glass” is a bit rougher, but no less lovely, its droning organ, bending guitar and tremulous falsetto bringing the feel of an endless twirl.

The single is out now, courtesy of Tough Love – order here.  You can find more about Brooch on fbook and the twitt.

New Track: Communions, Out Of My World

Communions, “Out Of My World” (Tough Love)

We here at thegrindinghalt previously sang the praises of Copenhagen’s Communions and their progression from insular post-punk to a larger, cinemascope take on ‘80s indie.  This new single is their most wide-eyed yet.

The title gives one a pretty good idea of what to expect.  I’ve no idea how old the members are, but this is the sound of crushing (noun and verb) love, in a way felt during a certain period of one’s life. Martin Rehof’s despaired vocalizing of lines like “you’re the queen of your scene/and I’m just watching through a screen” and “no boy or girl/has made me feel the same” runs thick with the salt water taffy (melo)drama of unrequited love/lust.  The largeness of the arrangement almost consumes the vocals, reflecting the wistful beauty of the strongest of emotions being left unspoken, or restrained within the four corners of one’s mind (or room); a love note labored over, but never sent.

The production is filled with ‘80s touchstones – from the shotgun reverb on the drums to the synthesized sheen over the guitars – and calls to mind everything from mid to late period The Smiths and The Cure, New Order at their more romantic, even OMD in their pomp.

An alternate Ducky’s theme from Pretty In Pink? Perhaps – maybe this one would’ve worked.

Taken from new, self titled EP, due June 1 in Europe and June 2 in the U.S. on Tough Love and in Japan on Big Love.

Band to Watch: Communions

Communions “Cobblestones” ep (4/23/2014, Posh Isolation); “So Long Sun/Love Stands Still” (Tough Love, 11/10/14)

First wide releases by this young Danish band, based out of Copenhagen and comprised of two brothers (Martin and Mads Rehof) and two others (Jacob van Deurs Formann and Frederik Lind Köppen), both released in 2014.  A part of the much-discussed “Copenhagen scene” (patent pending), Communions do share similarities with bands like Iceage:  drunken vocal phrasing, reverb-heavy post-punk married (on newer material) with travellin’, road-song aspects of older country – but come across as more wistfully romantic (with all of the heart warming and rending that this entails).

Much of Cobblestones takes 60s and 80s jangle indie/college rock (early Smiths, late Joy Division/early New Order), post-punk and even a bit of punk urgency (the insistent drum and bass on the title track are reminiscent of “God Save the Queen”), and buries them ‘neath a heavy coverlet of reverb.  A strong effort – particular faves being the final two tracks, “Children” and “You Go On”.

So Long Sun/Love Stands Still shows a good deal of growth in a short period of time.  “Sun”, begins with a bright, John Squirely guitar hook, before the bass and drums crash along as Martin Rehof’s vocals seem exhaled through a hookah (the higher register he employs on this single made it almost impossible for me to believe it was, in fact, the same vocalist).  “Love” might be my fave of all, though – it is, in fact, quite lovely – Rehof adding a falsetto over a straight ahead rhythm and melody recalling the jauntier moments of The Smiths.

Very much looking forward to more from these guys in 2015 (and beyond).  Check them out on Facebook and on their website.