Hot New Joint: "Provisions" by Brief Candles

I think I’ve mentioned before in a few reviews over the last year or so, and I can’t really put my finger on one specific reason why—but a genre that I have truly felt my interest wane in is shoegaze.

Maybe it has to do with the forgettable My Bloody Valentine concert I went to at the end of 2013; or maybe it has to do with the fact that within the crop of recent shoegaze or dream pop outfits, rarely do you hear something interesting or innovative—it’s all just kind of more of the same, and rarely does it stick with you.

However, there is one band that falls within those genres that I will always take an interest in and care about what they are doing, and that is Milwaukee’s Brief Candles, who are slated to return this fall with their fourth full-length album. In preparation, the group recently released “Provisions” as its advance single.

I last wrote about Brief Candles in the fall of 2013 when the group released the Newhouse EP, and prior to that, their last full-length effort was 2011’s most excellent Fractured Days. The band tends to work at their own pace, leaving long gaps of time in between albums—with five years having passed, it seems we are about due for something new.

For a band that touts itself as shoegaze, one thing that is very apparent on “Provisions,” as well as a number of other Brief Candles tracks, is that they are possibly most successful when working within a tightly wound post-punk aesthetic.

This track in particular opens up with, and continues to create throughout, a vibe that is very reminiscent of Rather Ripped-era Sonic Youth—balancing a delicate contrast between reserved, distended, rhythmic guitar chugging and fuzzed out bass with sharp blasts of chaos and dissonance within its final moments.

However post-punky “Provisions” sounds musically, it stays true to Brief Candle’s shoegaze roots by burying the vocal track nice and deep within the mix, making it nearly impossible to understand anything being sung.

When “Provisions” was released earlier in the month, the band said it was difficult to pick a single since they were excited about all of the songs from the forthcoming record—and from what I can recall of Fractured Days off the top of my head, there really wasn’t a bad song on it. “Fall 2016” is an awful ambiguous release date window, and it also seems really far away, but “Provisions” provides a small yet invigorating look at one of my most anticipated new releases for this year.

"Provisions" is out now to download directly from the band for one whole dollar. Please do.