We go globe-trotting once again for The Matinee March 16th edition with seven countries represented. Let’s get to the music.
Bleeding Knees Club – “Chew The Gum” (Sydney, Australia)
RIYL: Blink-182, Twin Peaks, DZ Deathrays
Four years ago, Sydney-based Bleeding Knees Club burst on the Aussie indie scene, winning fans over with their whimsical garage-rock and punk-pop fusion. After a hiatus – frontman Alex Wall was living abroad and making music with his other outfit, Wax Witches – the band is back and ready to continue to blow people’s minds with their frenetic style.
Their first single since 2013 is “Chew The Gum”, which is right out of the ’90s alt-rock / punk-pop scene. The track is right out of Blink-182’s discography – a song that is fun, unpretentious, whimsical, yet surprisingly thoughtful. And no this isn’t just gnawing on a piece of Juicy Fruit, but a reflection of how life can easily becoming boring if one doesn’t change up the flavor.
“Chew The Gum” is the lead single from Bleeding Knees Club’s forthcoming EP, which is due out April 14th via Inertia Music.
If you cannot hear the audio, here’s the YouTube version.
DYAN – “What Fiction Is For” (Los Angeles, USA & Winnipeg, Canada)
RIYL: Poliça, Lower Dens, recent San Fermin
Over the past year, Canadian-American trio DYAN have swept across the indie landscape like a unsuspecting storm. Their arrival was not predicted, but their impact has been everlasting. They are favorites among tastemakers across the globe, including us, because Alexis Marsh, Samuel Jones, and Daniel Dorff, Jr. have shown a talent of merging the past with the present and subtly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Their latest single – and first since the summer of 2016 – exemplifies the trio’s creativity.
“What Fiction Is For” is a sublime offering in both complexity and simplicity. It is simple only in its effect – a low-key, immersive soundscape that borders on breathtaking. There is, however, nothing straightforward in the music. The arrangements are complex and intricate, as the band beautifully blends electronica with acoustic-pop and indie rock. Holding the song together is Marsh, whose tender vocals attempt to separate fiction from reality. “What Fiction Is For” is simply dazzling and a demonstration that a band can be innovative yet accessible.
False Heads – “Comfort Consumption” (East London, England)
RIYL: Palm Honey, The Hunna, Nirvana
London trio False Heads have long impressed us with their alternative, indie-rock approach. They have reminded us at times of Nirvana and other moments displaying the blistering rock of fellow UK bands Estrons and Palm Honey. For their newest single, “Comfort Consumption”, they find the perfect balance between the 1990s and the 2010s.
This building rocker starts off slowly and methodically, as the band takes us inside the mind of a loner or a drifter who is confused with her place and situation. The song then takes on a new identity, soaring into a blistering rocker to reflect the changing tide in the person’s life. “Take my hand or let me drown”, frontman Luke Griffiths repeats, indicating how close the protagonist is to falling off the edge. As you continue to listen to this song, Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” may come to mind, as the two tracks share similar themes and messages.
“Comfort Consumption” is from the band’s new EP, Gutter Press, which is out now via 25 Hour Convenience Store.
False Heads are Luke Griffiths, Jake Elliott, and Barney Nash.
Freedom Fry – “Napoleon” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Blondfire, Gothic Tropic, SWIMM
We’ve long been enamored by the music of Freedom Fry, the wife-husband duo of Marie Seyrat and Bruce Driscoll. From rootsy Americana to electrifying electro-pop to easy, breezing indie pop, they have long dazzled us. Three weeks ago, they released a song that has been in constant rotation here, but for some reason we didn’t share it. Well, our procrastination comes to an end today.
“Napoleon” is like the perfect cup of coffee in the morning, a song that picks up your spirits and gives you an immediate buzz. Reflecting back on her heritage, Seyrat turns the image and name of Napoleon completely upside down. Like the infamous French emperor, Seyrat sings about conquering and winning, but in this case the target is the heart of a person. But to win love one must take risks and chances, and just go after what she so desperately wants.
GANGLY – “Whole Again” (Reykjavik, Iceland)
RIYL: Samaris, JFDR, Sigur Rós
Jófríður Ákadóttir is everywhere these days. At just 22-years old, the young Icelander is involved with rising band Samaris; Pascal Pinon, which she and her twin sister, Ásthildur, founded in 2009 at the age of 14; and her own solo project under the moniker JFDR. Through these projects, she has released 9 albums already. She is essentially Ty Segall’s equivalent but operating within the indietronica and dream-folk realms. The other group she’s involved with is GANGLY, who have graced these pages in the past.
Last week, GANGLY released a new single, “Whole Again”. The song is sheer elegance. Ákadóttir’s voice is godlike, hovering effortlessly above the production work that is glacial in its pace but dreamlike in its effect. So clear your mind, allow GANGLY to take control of it, and be introduced to their beautifully devastating world.
In addition to Jófríður Ákadóttir, GANGLY are Sindri Már Sigfússon and Úlfur Alexander Einarsson.
Grayson Gilmour – “Hundred Waters” (Wellington, New Zealand)
RIYL: Jack Garratt, Bonobo, Bon Iver
The Flying Nun family continues to expand with the legendary label extending itself beyond New Zealand’s borders and outside the “Dunedin sound” it helped popularize. Although Grayson Gilmour hails from Wellington, he is part of a growing number of musicians branching out to new musical territory.
The gifted, young musician is like a mosaic. His music goes beyond description as he cannot be pigeonholed into a single genre, and this is reflected in his new single, “Hundred Waters”. The song combines the spine-tingling ambience of Bonobo, the titillating soul of Jack Garratt, and the experimentation of Bon Iver’s latest work. Consequently, the song simultaneously feels like a trip through the cosmos, an exploration deep into one’s psyche, and an exhilarating ride down the Tongariro River. Gilmour is unquestionably a talent on the rise, and he has the chance to be New Zealand’s next big breakout star.
His new album, Otherness, will be released in mid-2017 via Flying Nun Records.
Jalen N’Gonda – “Why I Try” (Liverpool, England via Wheaton, MD, USA)
RIYL: Leon Bridges, Sam Cooke, Vintage Trouble
When Jalen N’Gonda released “Holler” last year, we became immediately excited that a new singer-songwriter channeling the likes of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke had arrived. It’s taken a bit of time, but N’Gonda has finally returned with a new single that has once again feeling stupendous.
“Why I Try” personifies cool. It mirrors the vibrancy and the smoothness of the past and current soul and R&B legends’ work. There is also an extra layer of smoky grooviness that would make Smokey Robinson immensely proud. As such, you’ll be shimmering your shoulders or getting up and cutting the dancefloor (or the living room floor) with this tune. In due time, N’Gonda will be a legend in his own right, especially if he continues down this path.
“Why I Try” and “Holler” are available now via a 7″ vinyl. It can be ordered here.
Kikagaku Moyo – “In a Coil” (Tokyo, Japan)
RIYL: Ravi Shankar + George Harrison meet King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Whereas King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard just want to blow our minds with their delirious psychedelic rock, Kikagaku Moyo choose to create a hallucinating effect. The Japanese quintet have become a favorite in these parts for cleverly bringing the music of Ravi Shankar and George Harrison into the future. Their 2016 album, House in the Tall Grass, was a musical masterpiece, and they look to build on with a new EP coming next month.
The lead single from Stone Garden is the whirlwind “In Coil”, and the song represents Kikagaku Moyo’s ingenuity at their finest. Heavy, distortion-filled guitars combine with clean lines of the sitar to create a trance-like atmosphere. The harmonies add to the hallucination, as we follow the vocals despite not being able to discern their meaning. We are the children and Kikagaku Moyo are the Pied Pipers – where they lead, we will follow, especially when Stone Garden arrives April 21st via Guruguru Brain.
Kikigaku Moyo are Tomo Katsurada (vocals/guitar), Daoud Popal (guitar), Ryu Kurosawa (sitar/organ), Kotsuguy (bass), and Go Kurosawa (drums/vocals).
TOMA – “1000 Times” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: White Denim, Bop English, Temples
As Austin, Texas teems with over two thousand artists and bands looking for a breakthrough and hundreds of labels and thousands of music fans searching the next big thing, people should be looking over the shoulder. That is because Austin-based TOMA are creating some of the best indie rock on the planet.
Their previous singles were joyous occasions. “Count Me Out” was a blast of sun-kissed fun, and “Going Nowhere” was outrageously nostalgic. Their latest single, “1000 Times”, is just simply a kick-ass, delirious southern psychedelic rocker. The groovy intro sucks you but by the psychedelic ending takes you on a mental trip. Or another way to think about the song – if My Morning Jacket when trippier, it would probably sound a lot like this. Cannot wait to hear what TOMA does with this song live because it has huge jam potential.
TOMA’s self-released, debut album, Aroma, is due March 31, and it can be pre-ordered on their Bandcamp page.
The band is comprised of Willy Jay (vocals/guitar), Waldo Wittenmyer (vocals/keys), Neil Byers (bass), and Jake Hiebert (drums).
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