Photo: Naomi Lee Beveridge
After over a year since their debut single release, Melbourne/Naarm trio No/Trauma are set to release their brand new single ‘Brave Face’, and we’re excited to premiere it for you today ahead of its official release tomorrow.
Produced by Ben David (The Hard Aches), ‘Brave Face’ is a striking and honest emo-folk song that opens with a solo guitar pattern that feels comforting and familiar for any of us following the DIY scene coming out of the Melbourne/Naarm area - with acts like Don’t Text Ur Ex and Georgia Maq immediately coming to mind as this song begins.
Within the first line of the song, we know exactly where the group’s songwriter and vocalist Elizabeth Tanter is going to take us. “The first time I wore a dress...” she sings, setting the scene as to the themes ‘Brave Face’ deals with, as we can anticipate the narrative that comes next. Elizabeth shares throughout the song some of the experiences she’s had with harassment and harm from strangers as well as people within her communities. In their words “Brave Face is about the terror and pain of sharing a world with other people and their expectations, entitlements and emotions.”
The chorus is where Elizabeth is most honest "I'm terrified to walk alone, I'm terrified to stay home, I'm terrified of the people I know, so I make a brave face and put on a show".
Later on we hear the tension released through the bridge, driven by distortion and the storming sounds from drummer Jade and bassist Di who bring the emotional release home. At the same time, this is brought all the way back again for Elizabeth to softly sing “I’m so exhausted of being hurt over and over and over again” - delivered in such a way that for us listening can hear her exhaustion regarding the subject matter.
The brand drive the chorus home one more time, cementing this as an amazing and important song - for both its sonic storytelling over those familiar DIY guitars and breaks, and for the story itself and the reminder of the stream of harassment and hurt LGBTQIA+ people may go through on a day-to-day basis.
I’m a big fan of this band after hearing this song and their previous single ‘Six Foot Flawless’, and I can’t wait to see what 2021 and the future brings for them.