All six artists / bands featured on The Matinee March 8th edition are all fronted by women. This wasn’t intentional, although today is International Women’s Day. It just happened. What this does tell you is how the music landscape is changing, where women artists are at the forefront in creating the best new music today. Whether it’s fist-pumping garage or post-punk rock, moving indie-rock, or breathtaking alt-soul, they are making it and doing so in a way that is truly awesome. Let’s get to the singles.
Acapulco Lips – “Awkward Waltz” (Seattle, USA)
What would Ty Segall sound like if he opted to create some surf-rock? It might something like “Awkward Waltz”, the pulverizing new single by Seattle-based trio Acapulco Lips. Pronounced close to apocalypse, Acapulco Lips have created a song that could be considered the Tasmanian devil of indie-rock tracks with its blazing, reverb-soaked guitar work (and killer guitar solo at the end), the frenetic drumming, and the pulsating bass line. And we haven’t touched on Maria-Elena Juarez’s slight but hallowing vocals, which sit in the background a la Wooden Shjips’ style. Dance, jump, or whirl around incessantly to this awesome single.
“Awkward Waltz” is the lead single from Acapulco Lips’ self-titled debut album, which drops April 15, 2016 via the freshly-minted Killroom Records. The trio is Maria-Elena Juarez (lead vocals/bass), Christopher Garland (guitar), and Davy Berruyer (drums).
Bleached – “Wednesday Night Melody” (Los Angeles, USA)
Bleached are back! It’s been nearly three years since we’ve heard from Los Angeles-based trio, who in 2013 released their terrific debut album, Ride Your Heart. With a new album coming, the trio share “Wednesday Night Melody“. The song reflects Bleached’s unparalleled blend of melodic and harmonious post-punk rock. How many songs will have you swaying from side-to-side and singing to the chorus before suddenly you’re jumping frantically around in a mosh pit? It’s a combination that has made Bleached a favorite among many (including yours truly) and why their forthcoming album, Welcome The Worms, is highly anticipated.
Bleached are Jennifer and Jessica Clavin and Micayla Grace with Nick Pillot.
Julia Jacklin – “Pool Party” (Sydney, Australia)
Roughly a year ago, a slight, unassuming, young singer-songwriter started making waves for her powerful, brooding style of indie folk-rock. Julien Baker has since been anointed by major sites as one of music’s finest storytellers. Who could be this year’s Julien Baker? My vote goes to Australian Julia Jacklin. While her style leans more towards a mix of the intimate alt-country of Patsy Cline and the forceful balladry of Angel Olsen, it is no less mesmerizing and sensational. Her debut single, “Pool Party”, may sound warm and lovely, yet beneath the song’s beauty is a story of vulnerability and innocence lost. “Pool Party” is one of the year’s most powerful songs by one of music’s soon-to-be breakout stars.
Jacklin will be at SXSW for five days and embarking on a mini-Australian tour afterwards. Find dates here.
Lyves – “Darkest Hour” (London, UK)
A favorite of the underground music scene in London is Lyves, the project of Francesca Bergami. A year ago, she released three singles, which all went viral on the interweb, including an astounding 300,000+ streams for “Shelter”. After nearly a year off, which saw the singer-songwriter return to her home in Italy to write and recollect her thoughts, Bergami is back to prove that 2015 wasn’t a fluke. Her newest single, “Darkest Hour”, is Bergami’s most haunting work to date. Her soulful voice gently wades through the dark rhythms and beats like a lonely wanderer who is only looking introspectively and with little regard to the crowd around her. That feeling of loneliness and self-reflection is beautifully captured in this mesmerizing work of art.
The Pack A.D. – “So What” (Vancouver, Canada)
One of our favorite duos is back and with a vengeance. Becky Black and Maya Miller – a.k.a. The Pack A.D. – return with a brand new single, “So What”. It’s not the thrashing, post-punk rock of their earlier years, but instead it’s an infectious and melodic garage-rocker that will still have you wailing your air guitar. It’s also arguably their grooviest track they’ve released and one that will have you dancing as oppose to moshing around. It’s a cool new sound by one of Canada’s great, under-the-radar bands. If this is a hint at what is to come, that “under-the-radar” label could soon be quickly removed.
Weaves – “One More” (Toronto, Canada)
Canada has produced some great post-punk rock bands – really great. Japandroids, METZ, and P.S. I Love You are just some to name. Here comes the next one. “One More”, the debut single by Toronto’s Weaves, has the frenetic and explosive chaos of these bands’ past songs. However, it’s a bit different as it mixes some of the buzzing punk rock of The Dead Kennedys and The New York Dolls. As a result, we get a ballistic pyrotechnic of a punk-rock track that is incredibly infectious, and the only thing to do is get up and start gyrating to the wild tempo and pace. Yes, it’s one of those “Eff-yeah” songs.
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