It’s Friday!!! To help you end the work week while kicking off the weekend, The Matinee March 31st edition goes a little longer. Instead of the usual six songs, we’ve included nine for your listening pleasure. The extended version reflects the quantity and quality of great new music we’ve been receiving. And we still have the Saturday Sampler to go! But before we put the cart before the horse, let’s get to today’s mini-playlist, which has been curated by Jeanette and Ben.
Dead Language – “The Man Who Killed My Father” (Sydney, Australia)
RIYL: Rick Astley, Har Mar Superstar, Midnight Juggernauts
We kick things off with a song that is a blast-from-the-past. A song that will have you think of days when disco and synth-pop went hand-in-hand. So just before you hit play, turn on the disco ball, put on the bell bottoms, ruffle up your hair, and stretch your legs because you’ll be grooving in your place to “The Man Who Killed My Father”.
Written and performed by Dominic Price – a.k.a. Dead Language – this song is just awesome in a really quirky, nostalgic way. Price’s vocals are akin to the booming baritone of ’80s icon Rick Astley (he’s still an icon for some today), but the offbeat disco-pop is reminiscent of Har Mar Superstar’s interpretation of the genre. The storytelling, too, is fantastic, although this song about revenging one’s father’s death has generally been heard in classic country, R&B, and rap. Just goes to show that there are no limits to Dominic Price’s imagination and ingenuity.
“The Man Who Killed My Father” is the latest single off Dead Language’s upcoming EP, ‘Like Heart’.
Flamingods – “Rhama” (London, England and Bahrain)
RIYL: Ravi Shankar playing with King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard and Tame Impala
What’s a Friday playlist without a moment of subtle introspective? We all need some time to reflect, decompress, and focus on what was and is to come. Music is a powerful tool during this exercise, especially when it sounds as relaxing, chilling, and hypnotic as Flamingods‘ new single, “Rhama”.
“Rhama” defines transient psychedelia, as it doesn’t linger in one space or place for too long. Instead, this tune is a wonderful mélange of influences and styles – from the trippy neo-psychedelia that has taken Australia by storm to the meditative delirium of India to the rhythmic hypnosis of Indonesia’s gamelan music. Consequently, the only way to experience this song is to close your eyes to absorb the beautiful soundscapes while allowing your mind to faraway lands. To go to places where peace and tranquility can truly be found. The healing power of music can never be underestimated, especially when it is as enrapturing as “Rhama”.
The song is from Flamingods’ forthcoming, new EP, Kewali. It will be released May 26th, and it can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp.
- Kamal Rasool (lead vocals, sarangi, taishogoto, keyboards, rhythm ukele, phin guitar);
- Sam Rowe (vocals, guitar, bass, gamelan, congas, taishogoto, drums, assorted percussion);
- Charles Prest (vocals, guitar, bass and synth bass, keyboards); and
- Karthik Poduval (bass, drums, percussions, darbuka).
Hoops – “On Top” (Bloomington, Indiana, USA)
RIYL: Beach Fossils, Summer Heart, Craft Spells
Bloomington, Indiana was so named because early settlers were so impressed with the “haven of blooms” they saw when they set eyes on the land they could think of no more appropriate name for the town. It seems only fitting then that Hoops is named for the hoop houses at the nursery where band founder Drew Auscherman worked as a teen.
Hoops’ new song, “On Top”, is a like a warm breeze caressing your face and blowing through your hair. It’s an easy, sun-kissed song that serves as a life-affirming reminder that dark days and cold weather are things of the past. Bright guitars and loose drums keep the air in the song light and vocals with just the right touch of fuzz are the perfect way to round out the signature DIY sound of Hoops. They sing:
Keep your head up, you’re doing fine
I know it’s hard but it’ll be alright…
This tune will work it’s way into your head like a new best friend and who wouldn’t want a friend as reassuring and melodic as Hoops?
Hoops are Drew Auscherman (vox/guitar), Kevin Krauter (vox/bass), Keagan Beresford (vox/keys/guitar), and James Harris (drums). “On Top” is from their upcoming album, Routines, out on Fat Possum. Pre-orders available here. Hoops have a slew of upcoming tour dates both in the UK and the USA.
Imaginary People – “The Pelican Theme” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Cameron Avery, Timber Timbre
In the last few years, Imaginary People have put out a critically acclaimed album in their opening volley EP as well as a politically-themed LP in Dead Letterbox. They’ve come back full force and full of drive in their latest release, “The Pelican Theme”, from their March released sophomore album, October Alice.
“The Pelican Theme” is a bold rock tune with driving guitars and pounding drums. It’s Dylan Von Wagner’s signature vibrato that really grabs your attention. Like a cross between Elvis and David Byrne, Von Wagner’s vocals are able to rise above and continue to stand out even with the strong rock undercurrent. The entire album was written in response to a very personal, tragic event and the listener can certainly hear the anguish and frustration in the resultant music yet there’s a certain sense that the purpose of writing this music was not only to express the pain and angst but that once emotions are put to music and out into the world some healing can begin.
Imaginary People are Dylan Von Wagner (vocals), Mark Roth (guitar), Justin Repasky (keys), Kolby Wade (drums) and Bryan Percivall (bass). “The Pelican Theme” can be found on Soundcloud and included in the LP October Alice, produced by Kevin McMahon (Swans, Titus Andronicus, Real Estate), re-establishing his role from Imaginary People’s debut LP.
Mojave Nomads – “Strange Love” (Ogden, Utah, USA)
RIYL: Sundara Karma, Split Enz, Modern English
We’ve long mentioned that we are sticklers for cinematic songs, particularly those that could fit on the soundtracks of iconic films, such as Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and The Breakfast Club. There really isn’t anything like the music of the ’80s, which had the perfect mix of idealistic storytelling and soundscapes that were simultaneously breathtaking and contagious. There are several, retro-inspired bands that have recently caught our attention, and another one to add to the list are Mojave Nomads.
Already an indie force within the Salt Lake City area and beyond, this young quintet is reintroducing the music we love to a new generation. Today, their new EP, Phases, is out, and from the record is its highlight, “Strange Love”. This song defines what weekends are for. It is a swimmingly uplifting song that will leave you gasping for a breath every few seconds. Memories of unbridled, youthful love filter through mind, and, as such, your chest begins to swell with the thought of what tonight, Saturday, and Sunday will bring. But there’s more to do this song, as it isn’t just about the love between two people but it’s a love affair with life.
Mojave Nomads are Tyler Harris (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Colter Hill (lead guitar), Bryton Bell (bass), Cole Eisenhour (percussion), and Mason Hill (synth/keys).
The Presolar Sands – “Det Stora Oväsendet” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: The Black Angels, The Black Lips, Bass Drum of Death
For all the warm, spring-like songs we have on today’s mini-playlist, we needed to break the mood with a fierce rocker. Thankfully, The Presolar Sands have re-emerged from a short hibernation, and their new single is just awesome.
“Det Stora Oväsendet” is a fiery, seismic, psychedelic-rock song that will blow your mind. It is fierce, intense, and the Stockholm-based quartet hold nothing back. The reverb-drenched, blistering guitars will have you doing your own air-guitar version with, of course, the prerequisite windmill. The screeching vocals of co-frontwoman Charlotta along with the pummeling rhythms, meanwhile, will have your eyes exploding out of your sockets while you frantically wave your head back and forth and from side to side. If this song doesn’t make you want to pulverize the stress in your bones, nothing will. This song deserves a “f*ck yeah!”
For the record, we have no clue what “Det Stora Oväsendet” means or what is refers to. We do know that this is the lead single from The Presolar Sands’ debut album, The Big Noise. It will be out April 12, and the fine folks at Lazy Octopus Records will be releasing it.
Tashaki Miyaki – “Out Of My Head” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Mazzy Star, Widowspeak, Memoryhouse
We should know by now that when Tashaki Miyaki release a new song we better take a deep breath first. Everything – and we mean EVERYTHING – they have produced is absolutely beautiful, and they have, as such, rightfully earned the distinction of being the next Mazzy Starr. Their journey to reach these heights, however, has been a long and methodical journey. Since the duo’s formation in 2011, they have kept things to a minimum, releasing only a handful of singles and one EP. In addition, they kept their identities anonymous, which in itself was quite the feat. But at long last, their debut album will finally see the light of day next wee, and we also finally get to know their names.
On April 7th, Paige Stark and Luke Paquin’s new record, The Dream, will be released on Metropolis Records. They have already shared a handful of songs, but the latest might be the best. “Out Of My Head” is a slice of blissful, dream-pop perfection. Stark’s soft, angelic vocals are extremely inviting, like a cool pillow that you cannot wait to sink your head into on a warm, still night. Paquin’s guitar sears at just the right moment, and in between it settles into an effortless glide to allow Stark’s voice to take center stage. The addition of the strings is also brilliant, taking the song to a place where only dreams exist.
Trevor Sensor – “The Money Gets Bigger” (Sterling, Illinois, USA)
RIYL: Bob Dylan, Kevin Morby, Elvis Costello
Trevor Sensor is one of the most gifted singer-songwriters around, and he’s only 23-years old. His lyrical genius is akin to that of a young Bob Dylan, and his style belongs in a time when singer-songwriters were revered as the queens and kings of music. Unlike so-called “singer-songwriters” who regurgitate the same old themes of love, lust, and heartbreak, Sensor, despite his youth, has long told stories about the everyday person and his country, America.
His new single, “The Money Gets Bigger”, just might be Sensor’s masterpiece – his “Mona Lisa”. The song is witty, yet it is incredibly real and relevant as Sensor tells two tales. On the one hand, the song is an observation of what America has become, where greed has consumed American values and where the few benefit and the majority suffer. On the other hand, the song is about the American Dream. Sensor takes on the persona of a person trying to rise above the ashes to become someone of importance in a world lacking in substance. In the song, Sensor subtly asks whether a person can be something in a place of insignificance? It’s a clever question to ponder, particularly during these uncertain times.
“The Money Gets Bigger” was produced by Foxygen’s Jonathon Rado, and it features Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek of Whitney. Sensor will be releasing a new album later this year. In the meantime, the song is available via Jagjaguwar.
Wolf Solent – “Red Moon” (York, England)
RIYL: Beck, Guided By Voices, Elvis Depressedly
Qualia is the word for the way that a particular color appears to us in our minds or the particular noise a sound wave causes us to experience it when it interacts with our inner ears. We experience colors qualitatively as yellow or as red. Similarly, noises differ from the sound waves themselves which cause us to hear them. The philosopher G.E. Moore is famous for advancing the notion of the relationship between qualia and goodness being indefinable. We can break down the chords and beats and sound waves of a song but still be unable to define what makes it so good sometimes.
It is just that indefinable qualia that Danny Trew Barton brings to anything he is involved with. Wolf Solent, in his words, his “kinda” bedroom project, has just released an incredible single in “Red Moon”. The song is dreamy with spacey guitar riffs and fuzzy lo-fi vocals, and it is somewhat reminiscent of Beck’s Sea Change but with an intentionally less polished production and more shoegaze. Barton, in “Red Moon”, brings an addictive melody with a laid back comfortable approach that slowly intensifies, ending in a reverb soaked crescendo that only comes with years of experience.
When writing, I (Jeanette) usually try to listen to a song once for an overview trying not to think too much and just experience it, and then listen again with headphones really focusing on the lyrics and the subtle nuances in layering. I’ll admit that I listened to this song 5 times in a row completely immersed and getting lost in it before I realized I hadn’t written a thing. That is solely because of the indefinable qualia Barton brings to his projects. And that list of projects is staggering. The Federals, JUNK, Sewage Farm, Cowgirls, and White Firs, although the list may be even longer than that. It’s almost as if Barton is exploring every separate facet of his personality in each different project.
“Red Moon” is one track of seven that Wolf Solent has included on his March 31st release of EP//4, the fourth EP by Wolf Solent and released on the same day every year. This is a clue as to how deliberate and intentional Barton is in everything, even seemingly casual, dreamy songs. EP//4 can be pre-ordered here through Sea Records.
Wolf Solent is Danny Trew Barton. Barton is responsible for vocals as well as playing every instrument.
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