The Matinee December 3 edition spans multiple genres. You’ll find a sultry and soulful electronic single. Terrific storytelling is told through the media of alt-folk and Western-folk. A genre dubbed “underwater pop” might leave you breathless. Industrial-style indie-rock, meanwhile, may blow your mind. Or you might be tantalized by the retro jangle-pop of a previously featured band. All this on The Matinee.
Anana – “Swimmer’s Body Illusion” (Nøtterøy, Norway)
Under the moniker Anana, Norwegian producer, DJ, and musician Anniken Jess Iversen is creating music she has dubbed “underwater pop” – a lush, soothing sound that does have the feel of being submerged in the vast sea. Her latest single, “Swimmer’s Body Illusion”, exemplifies her approach, which utilizes subtle electronics while her whispery voice transcends the music. Listening to the song is a titillating experience, as one is awashed in Iversen’s gorgeous voice and the stunning melodies.
“Swimmer’s Body Illusion” is being released by KOSO, a Norwegian collective focused on showcasing the talents of women songwriters, producers, and artists.
Arbitraire – “Compound” (somewhere in Europe)
There is very little known about newcomers Arbitraire other than the electronic trio comprising of Andrea, Adrian, and Genji are from Germany. They’ve released three singles, including the latest “Compound”. They’re not like your ordinary electronic group. Arbitraire combine the sultry and soulful voice of Andrea with haunting and pulsing electronic rhythms to form a truly mesmerizing sound. It’s not electronic music to dance to, but it is music that you can easily get lost in. “Compound” is all of this and more. Even if you’re not an electronic music fan, you have to hear this.
Josh Gray – “Ballad of Brady” (Frederick, MD, USA)
Some of music’s great, emerging storytellers often get overshadowed or are completely hidden from us because they’re not creating massive anthems or blowing speakers with overdubs and a tremendous amount of bass. Instead, they’re focused on creating imaginative songs while using a stripped-down, musical approach as the palette to tell their stories. Josh Gray is one such singer-songwriter. The Maryland-based musician has released his self-titled, debut EP, and from the album is terrific “Ballad of Brady”. The song recants the events leading up to the death of an abusive man named Brady. With its country-folk style, you’ll be imagining a scene directly out of an old-fashion Western.
Matt Kivel – “Jamie’s” (Los Angeles, USA)
Matt Kivel has long hovered under the radar despite releasing a great album in 2014, Days of Being Wild, which was distributed by Woodsist. His creative take on folk and alt-folk music has left many saluting his exploits, which hopefully will be amplified in 2016 when he launches his new album, Janus. The second single from the record is “Jamie’s”. This tender and sincere song tells the story of a young woman named Jamie and the troubles she encounters.
As is the case with Kivel’s past efforts, nothing is as it seems. While “Jamie’s” at first comes across like a sullen alt-folk number, the interspersing of static and the ending saxophone solo add to the song’s drama and the fall of Jamie.
Janus is due February 5th, 2016 via Driftless Recordings. Get to know the genius that is Matt Kivel before others do.
Morning Smoke – “How Does It Feel” (Brighton, UK)
Another day and another great indie-rock band from the UK. Morning Smoke, though, have a more organic, rawer style than their contemporarie. Recalling the industrial rock of the late ’70s, the band’s latest track, “How Does It Feel”, is a blistering and gritty track. The guitar hooks provided by Milo McNulty and Max Wright combine fuzz and crystalline effects to a delirious effect. The throbbing rhythms of bassist Isaac Ide and drummer Christopher Shaw are sublime, adding fuel to the track. A year from now, Morning Smoke could be 2016’s Royal Headache, who blew bloggers’ and critics’ minds with High.
Queen of Jeans – “Rollerdyke” (Philadelphia, USA)
Two months ago, we heard from newcomers Queen of Jeans, who lavished us with “Dance (Get Off Your Ass)”. The quartet return with another retro-sounding track, “Rollerdyke”. While “Dance” was a nod to ’60s-era pop musich, “Rollerdyke” sees the quartet rock out a little louder and grittier. The song pays homage to ’70s- and ’80s-era jangle-pop and garage-rock. There’s a lot of The Vaselines in this highly infectious track.
Queen of Jeans are Miriam Devora (lead vocals, rhythm guitar); Matheson Glass (lead guitar, backing vocals); and Nina Scotto (bass, backing vocals). The single is the second from their forthcoming, self-titled, debut EP, which is due January 22, 2016. The album will be released via Super Fan 99 and Third Uncle Records.
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