by Patrick Pilch (@pratprilch)
In stark defiance of Attila the Hun’s fateful wedding night—a debaucherously fatal affair that would leave the violent tyrant drowned in a pool of their own bodily fluid—Thanks For Coming return with Nosebleeds Always. According to their Bandcamp page, the album finds Rachel Brown “leaving these [songs] behind in 2018, a very strange year.” Nosebleeds Always is a compilation of sorts, documenting a year’s worth of withheld demos born between the walls of the Brooklyn-based artist’s apartment. The rough, brilliant sketches found on the late 2018 release demonstrate Rachel Brown’s remarkable prolificacy and melodic prowess, further proving their place as one of the most important budding songwriters right now.
This past year was a comparatively quiet one for Thanks For Coming: a full band EP, a film soundtrack, and the cathartic Nosebleeds Always are dwarfed by the 21 (!) projects they put out in 2017. Perhaps Thanks For Coming’s newfound self-censorship suggests a major, more focused project on the way, especially considering 2018 saw some of their finest tracks yet. My digital copy of Nosebleeds Always is riddled with hearts, most often appearing in pairs as the album’s best tracks occur with a one-two punch effect. “Waste Your Time” wistfully floats into the deliriously dreamy “You’re Heavy for Something That’s Supposed to be Light,” a rather fitting title for Brown’s emotional, stripped-down release. The record hits peak melancholy with “Thank God” and “Drowning,” back-to-back highlights showcasing Thanks For Coming’s keen sense of tone and song structure.
Through humble, unedited vocals and guitars, Thanks For Coming pour unhindered emotion into Nosebleeds Always’ sharp and catchy tunes, producing an immediacy that’s both intimate and inviting. At 23 tracks long, it’s an impressive body of work—mere lightwork for Brown at this point. But Thanks For Coming’s prolific output is noteworthy; their Bandcamp a diary. Nosebleeds Always offers a rare and admirably vulnerable glimpse into an artist’s back catalogue and creative process. Rachel Brown’s work as Thanks For Coming is a synthesis of the state of indie rock, emanating Bandcamp’s ethos of the compulsive and hardworking songwriter.