Music, Singles, The Revue — September 13, 2016 at 6:00 am

The Matinee September 13th

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With so much great music the past couple of weeks, The Matinee September 13th edition has been extended to include nine songs. Unfortunately, there aren’t any “exotic” countries represented, but England, Canada, Iceland, Australia, and the USA are still pretty great.

Archive – “Bright Lights” (London, England)

RIYL: Massive Attack, Phoria, Mt. Wolf

archive-bright-lights

Before there was Röyksopp, Mt. Wolf, and Phoria, there was the brilliantly named Archive. For twenty-three years, the mini-symphonic collective have been dazzling audiences with their cinematic indie-electronica. Their popularity, particularly in Europe, is immense, as they have been regularly been selling out venues.

Anticipation is now growing for their 12th studio album, The False Foundation. The second single is the gripping “Bright Lights”. Oozing with the delicate trip hop of Massive Attack and the sensuality of Phoria, the track is absolutely stunning. Whereas as many similar songs take us to the cosmos, Archive have us looking inward, taking a journey through our own psyche. The adventure could either be rewarding or devastating, just like every Archive experience.

The False Foundation lands on October 7th via Play It Again Sam.

Darius Keeler, Danny Griffiths, Pollard Berrier, Rosko John, Dave Pen, Maria Q, Smiley, Steve Harris, Steve Davis, Jonathan Noyce, Holly Martin, Mickey Hurcombe.

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Francie Moon – “Walked Away” (New Jersey, USA)

RIYL: Shannon and the Clams, Sonny & The Sunsets, Colleen Green

francie-moon-walked-away

Kicking things off is an underappreciated hidden gem from New Jersey. Despite a relatively modest following, Francie Moon mastermind Melissa Lucciola has developed a reputation as one of America’s hardest-working musicians. She has traversed the continental US a handful of times, playing in virtually every city that will have her. Her van has more miles on it than what most people will travel in a lifetime. The road, however, is the only place she knows, the only place this free spirit calls home.

Lucciola’s new single, “Walked Away”, encapsulates her life and mindset in three minutes and twenty-five seconds. This catchy garage-rocknumber has the singer-songwriter admitting she has a fear of commitment and being tied down. The only lifestyle Lucciola understands is one that requires her being on the move. Her choices, however, come with consequences, including feelings of regret of leaving people behind and never feeling settled. The music and vibe on “Walked Away” are fantastic, echoing Shanon & the Clams. It is Lucciola’s confessional-style of songwriting, though, that will soon make her an indie favorite a la Courtney Barnett. She can count us as new fans.

“Walked Away” is from Francie Moon’s forthcoming, self-titled EP, which arrives on September 23rd. Joining Lucciola (vocals/guitar) are Adam Pumilia (bass), and Richie Samartin (drums).

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GANGLY – “Holy Grounds” (Iceland)

RIYL: Sigur Rós, Röyksopp, Samaris, Björk

gangly-holy-grounds

Iceland should be anointed as Earth’s electronic mecca. The creativity and diversity of music coming from the country of 330,000 inhabitants is extraordinary. One of the newest additions to the Icelandic music scene is GANGLY, who, like Sigur Rós and Samaris before them, are creating ethereal yet bone-jarring ambient and electronic music. It is music that is crippling yet beautiful, and their new single builds on the Icelandic legacy.

“Holy Grounds” captures everything people love about Iceland. It is breathtaking and stunning, yet the soundscapes are stark and eerie. Every note is a wonder, like driving through the country’s desolate landscape where every corner can leave a spine-chilling surprise. The precision and patience GANGLY have demonstrated is remarkable, akin to what the true masters of the genre have exhibited. Their skills have also made “Holy Grounds” a song that you will want to revisit again and again. The video, which is provided below, will also keep you coming back.

(Note: view the stunning video if you are unable to play the SoundCloud audio in its entirety.)

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Gothic Tropic – “Don’t Give Me Up” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Psychic Twin, Tennis, Blouse

gothic-tropic-dont-give-me-upCecilia Della Peruti – a.k.a. Gothic Tropic – is undoubtedly a favorite of ours here. She is a chameleon when it comes to music, dabbling in indie rock, indie pop, art-rock, and alt-pop. For her new single, she once again plays the role of the mad scientists and has crafted arguably her best song to date.

“Don’t Give Me Up” is a complex and deeply layered track. Peruti builds on the alt-pop approach she shared on “How Life Works”, but adds more synth-pop signatures and a touch of Blood Orange-esque R&B. The guitar work on the track is superb, and the bass line is fantastic, echoing the beat of a wanting heart. While the song sees Peruti extend herself, her intimate and personal songwriting remains. “Don’t give me up, don’t give me up”, she repeats as she battles to win back her partner. It is a theme many of us can relate to, and her relateable storytelling is one of the reasons why Peruti has captured our hearts and imaginations. Another reason is that Peruti is an underrated and immensely gifted musician. She is the one playing the lead guitar and bass on the track. Todd Dahlhoff is on keys/synth while Rhys Hasting performs on drums.

“Don’t Give Me Up” is the third single from Gothic Tropic’s forthcoming, new album, Fast or Feast. It drops October 28th via Old Flame Records. Pre-order it now.

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Kestrels – “No Alternative” (Halifax, Canada)

RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, How To Bury Strangers, The Raveonettes

kestrels-no-alternative

You know every playlist needs a shoegeze rocker. A song that gets the blood flowing and the adrenaline piercing through our arteries. “No Alternative”, the latest single from emerging Canadian band, Kestrels, does just that.

The song is classic shoegaze awesomeness. Kestrels have combined the raw and intense energy of My Bloody Valentine and How To Bury Strangers with the dramatic edge of The Raveonettes. The crystalline guitars, the fervent drums, and the pulsating basslines weave beautifully together to create that familiar sound. The track consequently will have you rocking out hard while feeling like you have been launched 30,000 feet into the air.

The song is taken from the Kestrels’ eponymous debut album. It arrives on September 30, 2016 via Sonic Unyon Records.

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Kevin Morby – “Tiny Fires” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Ray Lamontagne, Bob Dylan, Whitney

kevin-morby-tiny-fires

Kevin Morby is undoubtedly one of the great, young singer-songwriters and musicians around today. At 20-years old, he was already cutting his teeth with the awesome folk-rockers Woods. In 2013, he released his debut album, Harlem River, and since them his star has only shone more brightly. His latest album, Singing Saw, is one of 2016’s most acclaimed albums.

If you missed this great album, Morby has shared an unreleased, non-album track just to whet your appetite. “Tiny Fires” is brilliant. It is old-fashion Americana in its purest form. Morby’s vocals have the warmth of greats like Van Morrison and James Taylor, perfectly complementing this story of the underdog. Meg Duffy’s beautiful work on slide guitar and bass and Justin Sullivan’s masterful drumming, meanwhile, help bring the song to its dramatic and scintillating finale.

“Tiny Fires” is the type of song that will warm the soul on a brisk day, radiate sunshine during a storm, and could be your best friend when you need him most. The song is outstanding.

Singing Saw is out on Dead Oceans. Order it on Amazon and iTunes.

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Lizzy Rose – “Walk The Walk (You’re A Whore)” (Seattle, USA)

RIYL: Fiona Apple, early St. Vincent, David Byrne

lizzy-rose-walk-the-walk-youre-a-whoreYou might be familiar with the name Lizzy Rose, who at one time fronted Denver weirdo indie-pop outfit Vitamins. Or maybe you recognize her from her time spent with the Flaming Lips during their Dark Side of the Moon tour. Now it is time to acknowledge Lizzy Rose the solo artist.

Last week, she released her debut album, Crocodile Tears, which is a varied album that moves from art-rock to unconventional indie-pop to indie folk. One of the songs from the album is “Walk The Walk (You’re A Whore)”. The song is a crushing drama, as the oft-kilter and crashing of guitars, drums, and organs provide the cinematic soundscape. Rose’s songwriting, however, is the star. From start to finish, Rose curses and lets loose against a cheating partner, cleverly using religious analogies to make her point. She sings, “I don’t know why I thought I knew you better. Now you lie here, so far away. I’m still choking on the fruit.” The song is stupendous, where throughout its four minutes you feel like you are Rose and on the warpath of revenge.

To learn how everything unfolds, get Crocodile Tears on Bandcamp.

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Telempathy – “Carry Me Away” (Buffalo, USA)

RIYL: Juliana Hatfield, Alanis Morissette, Speedy Ortiz

telempathy-carry-me-away

Another name you will want to remember is Nicole Marie and her project Telempathy. Up until this month, The Buffalo, New York native has only released one song, the punchy, lo-fi instrumental “On The Way”. She is currently in the studio working on songs for her debut album, The Temple of Music, and the first song is “Carry Me Away”.

With the mi-fi sound of ’90s grunge and indie-rock, Marie has crafted one awesome song. Her voice and musical style echoes Juliana Hatfield, but grittier and with lyrics that are real and biting. On this song, she sings about false beliefs and unrealized hope, and how people lose themselves in them. There are not many artists around who are writing such hard-hitting lyrics these days, making Telempathy a talent to watch. If this song is any indication of what is to come, music may finally have its next grunge queen. Possibly the next Alanis Morissette.

The Temple of Music is expected early in 2017.

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VENUS II – “Inside Your Sun” (Melbourne, Australia)

RIYL: New Order, The Music, Temples

venus-ii-inside-your-sun

Even in the early 2000s, a handful of bands dominated my daily music library. One of them was The Music, the psychedelic / psych-disco band from Leeds. They had released three memorable albums, but unfortunately they succumbed to the same syndrome that resulted in the breakup of The Verve and Oasis. After an endless search, I may have finally found a band who lives up to The Music.

Meet Venus II, the project of Melbourne multi-instrumentalists and producers Jarrad Brown and Ryan Grieve. The duo just released their debut album, Inside Your Sun, on Friday. For it, we share the dazzling title track. “Inside Your Sun” is like a time warp through music history, exploding with ’70s psychedelia while mixing in ’80s and ’90s new wave a la New Order. The combination results in a sound that is highly infectious and delirious. You won’t be so much as dancing to the track, but rather spinning around uncontrollably but gleefully.  “Inside the Sun”, as such, is much more than another great song. It is a visceral experience you will not forget.

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