Music, Singles, The Revue — May 2, 2017 at 5:30 am

The Matinee May 2nd

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The Matinee May 2nd offers a mix-and-match collection of new music. There are some fiery rockers, some tender folk tunes, and some get-up-and-move songs. Just listen below to discover some great new music from around the globe.

Brass Phantoms – “Waiting Up” (Dublin, Ireland)

RIYL: Foals, Kasabian, City Calm Down

As U2 gets ready to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of The Joshua Tree, another band from their hometown is looking to make waves across the indie universe. That group is Brass Phantoms.

Like Dublin’s most famous music sons, this new-ish quartet is seeking to be heard. There are traces of U2’s influence in their music, but these four young lads are inspired by the UK’s indie-rock resurgence of the late ’90s and early ’00s. Their latest single, “Waiting Up”, reveals everything you need to know about the band.

This song explodes with the anthemic darkness of Foals’ and Kasabian’s cinematic indie-rock. The delayed guitar approach echoes The Edge, although it is much more searing and blistering. The rhythm section, meanwhile, is militaristic to give the song its intensity and grit. Add in Ryan Cashell’s smooth delivery, and “Waiting Up” is more than just another song by a young band – it is a statement. An emphatic statement.

Brass Phantoms are Ryan Cashell, James Geraghty, Greg Whelan, and Adam McCabe.

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Cajsa Siik – “Empire Mine” (Stockholm/Umeå, Sweden)

RIYL: Lykki Li, Bat for Lashes, Bonnie Tyler

We’ve been enraptured with Swedish singer-songwriter Cajsa Siik for a few years now. We have used adjectives like “breathtaking”, “ethereal”, and “stunning” to describe her music. Sure, these are well-used words, but they accurately describe the beauty of her songs. Her latest single is no exception.

“Empire Mine” is, well, a stunner. Her voice, as always, is the showstopper with the same memorable tones of Bonnie Tyler and Stevie Nicks. The arrangements on the song may seem simple, but they are done spectacularly, creating the sensation of a long drive along a secluded coastal road. Similar to the cool breeze that blows from the sea, the crystalline guitar, the percolating drum line, and the pulsating bass and synths envelope your body and soothe your mind. Like with every one of her songs, you’ll just want to close your eyes and breathe is all in.

“Empire Mine” is the third single from Cajsa Siik’s sophomore album, DOMINO, which arrives May 5th via Birds Records.

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INHEAVEN – “Vultures” (London, England)

RIYL: Royal Blood, Big Deal, Paramore

Knock on your neighbors’ doors and warn them that for a little more than three minutes there will be a lot of noise coming from your place because the only way to hear INHEAVEN‘s new single is loud. Real loud!

With “Vultures”, the London-based quartet have delivered a rip-roaring, explosive, titantic, monstrous, seismic, relentless, and mind-blowing single. And these adjectives may not be enough to describe the song’s awesomeness. The guitar work is menacing and fierce, just blowing your mind. Each pounding of the drums feels like being punched in the gut again and again while the the bass line is like jack hammer bellowing in your head. James Taylor and Chloe Little, meanwhile, share the vocal leads, playing off one another to describe the rising swell of right-wing bigotry and self-righteous, self-indulging, power-hungry leaders. This is a protest song and one of the most ferocious of the year. Play it loud, play it often, and let everyone hear it.

The video for the song is worth watching, and it is below.

The single is out now via PIAS Cooperative. INHEAVEN are James Taylor (guitar/vocals), Chloe Little (bass/vocals), Jake Lucas (guitar), and Joe Lazarus (drums).

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Land of Talk – “Heartcore” (Montreal, Canada)

RIYL: Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, Feist

When an album is about to be launched, the label and artist would only release two maybe three songs. They are meant to whet our appetites, yet in many cases the songs are the best ones on the record. So what can we take from Elizabeth Powell’s – the woman behind Land of Talk – decision to release four songs ahead of her much-anticipated return? Our conclusion – this is likely to be one of the best albums of the year.

We called her last single, “Loving”, the album’s likely emotional centerpiece. The newest number, “Heartcore”, though, could be the LP’s highlight. The song would be right at home within Fleetwood Mac’s discography – a brimming, intimate track that will have the heart fluttering. Powell’s voice has an air of Stevie Nicks with her varied tones that sweep you off your feet and have you craving more. And soon enough, we’ll get what we wish for.

Life After Youth is out May 19th via Saddle Creek (US) and Dine Alone (CAN). It will include guest appearances by members of Besnard Lakes, Roxy Music, Sonic Youth, and Sharon Van Etten.

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Nicole Atkins – “Goodnight Rhonda Lee” (Asbury Park, NJ, USA)

RIYL: June Carter, Tift Merritt, Gillian Welch

There is something magical about Nicole Atkins. Whatever she puts her voice to, the song is gold. Her last album, Slow Phaser, revealed a whimsical and immensely creative side to the New Jersey singer-songwriter, as she dabbled in funk, synth-pop, and rock ‘n roll. Early glimpses into her new album sees her looking towards and channeling some of music’s legends. For instance, her last single, “A Little Crazy”, resembled the soulful folk-rock of Roy Orbison. Her latest number echoes another great.

With “Goodnight Rhonda Lee”, Atkins turns into a modern-day June Carter. She transforms her powerful, soulful voice into a radiant glimmer of sunshine as she tells the tale of Rhonda Lee. The song, as a result, is incredibly gorgeous. Warm, intimate, and stirring every bone in your body, “Goodnight Rhonda Lee” is like a timeless romance – one you won’t soon forget. Hopefully more people will be saying the same thing about one of music’s most underrated artists.

Atkins’ forthcoming, fourth album, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, will be released June 21st via Single Lock Records. It was one of most anticipated albums of 2017, and she has given us another reason to get antsy about its arrival.

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The Sunday Reeds – “Drowning In My Love” (Melbourne, Australia)

RIYL: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Ali Beletic, Bass Drum of Death

In the city that redefined jangle pop and brought the world Courtney Barnett, Alex Lahey, and a bevy of emerging singer-songwriters, The Sunday Reeds‘ popularity is a testament to their talents. The project of Romana Ashton (vocals/bass) and Drew Jones (guitar/drums), the duo are not the typical band associated with the city that annually hosts the Australian Open. They don’t write tongue-in-cheek songs nor sound like many of Melbourne’s indie artists. Instead, they are a garage-rock band who incorporate 1930s and ’40s film-noir elements to create a fiery, cinematic sound.

Their latest single, “Drowning In My Love”, is the perfect example of their genius. The guitar, bass, and drum work are heavy and devastating, pounding your mind like a prize fighter repeatedly wailing overhand hooks to your temple. But the experience is too awesome to escape. Instead, you take fiery blow after fiery blow until you finally reach the point of bliss, just as Jones’ guitar finishes piercing through the air and Ashton’s vocals settle into a slight fade. There is nothing like capturing cinema in a song, and The Sunday Reeds are master of this fine art.

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Temples of Youth – “Amber” (Winchester, England)

RIYL: Cathedrals, Flora Cash, Sky Cathedrals

Within ten seconds of Temples of Youth‘s new song, “Amber”, you immediately realize this will be more than just something entertaining. The smile that emerges on your face is instantaneous. You mind, meanwhile, is swept away into an unforeseen, beautiful place, as the synths and production work create an ethereal soundscape.

There is, however, much more to this song that would beautifully fill the grandest cathedrals and temples in the world. Jo Carson’s splendid vocals guide us on a journey of reflection, exploring the world around us and our place in it. “Amber” isn’t so much a sermon as a confession, realizing that in these chaotic times we must appreciate what we have. The song is a beautiful reminder to take a moment to escape and live life. If you cannot spare the time, then just set aside five minutes to listen to his stunning number and be temporarily transported to a new place.

Temples of Youth are Paul Gumma and Jo Carson.

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Wild Year – “Twitching + Teasing” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Lush, Celebration, A Sunny Day in Glasgow

A year ago, Wild Year quietly released their debut EP, Creatures, which was like the ’70s fast-forwarded into the 2010s. Their song, “Adventurous”, in particular, caught our attention like the first sunshine after the passing of a severe storm. The quartet return with another song that will get you up off your seat and dancing and jumping around.

“Twitching + Teasing” is an infectious and exuberant number. The instrumentation – highlighted by a wonderfully soaring synth – is sublime, creating a summery, breezy soundscape. Frontwoman Cole Morral’s vocals are intoxicating, and they only become more mesmerizing as the song reaches its euphoric finale. This is a stunning song and one just in time for the approaching summer, as the music perfectly mirrors Morral’s cat-and-mouse love story. If you’re one with a broken heart, this song will make you temporarily feel stupendous and believe in love once again. Or the very least, you’ll have a new band to adore.

The song is available via Bandcamp. You can name your own price, but we suggest leaving a tip.

Wild Year are Will Volkmann, Cole Morral, Ajay Awasthi, and Hunter Gurney

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Yule – “I’m A Stranger” (Melbourne, Australia)

RIYL: Bon Iver / Justin Vernon, José González, Simen Mitlid

Just exactly who is the man called Yule? We have no idea to be honest, having come across his music by accident. All we know is that he hails from the great city of Melbourne, characterizes his music as “acoustic ambient”, and prefers to have his picture taken with a Venetian mask. We are not here to judge a person, however, by their image or disguise – our purpose is share music that moves us, which is what “I’m A Stranger”, Yule’s latest single, does.

The song bleeds of Bon Iver / Justin Vernon and the majestic dream-folk of his early beginnings. “I’m A Stranger”, as such, is mesmerizing in its delivery, as the acoustic guitar, stuttering drums, and subtle bass lines reach ambient levels. Yule’s storytelling is superb, as he offers a tale of a person who slowly loses her memory and her longtime partner becomes a stranger. It’s a wonderful story that matches the lyrical prowess of Swedish master José González. Look out Melbourne, you’ll soon have a new favorite son.

The single can be purchased on Bandcamp.

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