The year is off to a blistering start. We’ve been inundated with some great singles, as evidenced by the first 18 songs we’ve already shared this week. Here are six more tracks on The Matinee January 14th Edition to blow your minds.
Army of Bones – “River” (Brighton, UK)
We kick off The Matinee with a track that can best be described as devastatingly brilliant. “River” by Brighton-based Army of Bones drips with the dark, emotional power of fellow UK bands Foals, the A.M.-edition of Arctic Monkeys, and British Sea Power. The the buzzsaw of guitars, the cathartic rhythms, and the soaring vocals combine to create an art-rock sound that would fill even the biggest stadiums in the world yet reel in every single person in the audience. It’s a gift that few have mastered, and this is Army of Bones’ debut single. What do they have in store for us next?
Dead Stars – “Calm Punk” (Brooklyn, USA)
Dead Stars are unabashedly a garage-rock band who channel some of the great bands of the past. They’ve released two singles over the past year, teasing fans about the possibility of a new album. Finally, they’ve announced that they will release their sophomore LP, Bright Colors, on March 4th via their own label Weird Tree Records. The lead single is “Calm Punk”, a rambunctious, catchy track that bleeds of reverb-filled, fuzz-out 90s indie-rock. The song echoes of Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement in their youth. Even frontman Arthur Jeffrey’s voice channels J. Mascis while John Watterberg does his best impression of Lou Barlow on bass and Jaye Moore’s rhythmic drumming would make Jefferson “Murph” Murphy proud. This first single will hopefully be a precursor to something mind-blowingly awesome.
EERA – “Drive With Fear” (Drøbak, Norway)
Daughter. Sharon Van Etten. Marika Hackman. These are just some of the artists who know how to bring us into their worlds and make us feel the heartbreak, pain, and joy of their past. We stay hooked on every single word and every note. There’s no looking elsewhere when you hear them sing and share their stories. When hearing Norwegian singer-songwriter EERA‘s debut single, “Drive With Fear”, the same reactions are uttered and the same hypnosis occurs. It’s not just a stunning song, but a powerful one of losing someone, losing oneself.
“Drive With Fear” is the lead single from EERA’s forthcoming, self-titled, debut EP. EERA drops on March 4th via House Arrest Records.
Pr0files – “Like a Knife” (Los Angeles, USA)
Nine years ago, the world was introduced to a little electronic / synth-pop duo from upstate New York. It took a bit of time, but Phantogram has emerged into one of the planet’s top electro-pop bands. With a similar flair of Phantogram’s early years is Los Angeles-based duo Pr0files. Comprised of Lauren Pardini and Danny Sternbaum, the music Pr0fies have shared to date has been dazzling, but their latest single, “Like a Knife” might be their most engrossing. It’s sensual yet cool, stunning yet immersive. Eat your heart out Phantogram!
The single makes us excited about their debut album, Jurassic Technologie, which comes out February 23.
Stroamata – “Bad” (Brooklyn, USA)
There are kiss-off songs that use an immense amount of allegory to describe the issue. Then there are songs like Stroamata‘s “Bad”, which doesn’t beat around the bush. The lyrics are deliberately vivid and honest to get the point across about abuse – a person who is being abused by her partner and herself. This awesome, gritty alt-rock tune with a spaghetti western vibe is also one of perseverance and the realization that one cannot continue traveling down such a destructive path.
Better keep an eye out on Stroamata because here’s a little band that could be this generation’s Hole. Oh, by the way, you might want to cover your kids’ ears when listening to this song.
Stroamata are Dara Eagle, Akil Marshall, Rob Morrison, and Alexander Markowitz.
Ticker X Primary Colour – “Lights” (USA & Uppsala, Sweden)
I love finding a song that surprises me at first listen, especially one that had no publicity behind it. “Lights”, the collaboration between producer Ticker and Swedish, dream-pop newcomer Primary Colour, is one such track. This dazzling shoegaze song is stunningly beautiful – from the angelic vocals provided by Primary Colour to Ticker’s lush and warm production. It’s one of those rare songs that honestly made me go “ooh” and “aah”, in many ways how Slowdive once did.
Unfortunately, I don’t know much about Ticker other than he has a number of songs – which lean heavily on the ambient and dream-pop side – on his SoundCloud account, and he’s likely from the US. Primary Colour, though, can be found in the interweb.