Today’s nine songs combine to form the perfect menu of new music, otherwise known as The Matinee May 4th edition. You may recognize some of the names, and one band will definitely have you thinking about one of the greatest southern-rock bands in history. You’ll have to listen to the entire mini-playlist to find out who that is, though. So sit back, put on the headphones, and enjoy today’s batch of exquisite new songs.
Fake Shark – “NOFOMO” (Vancouver, Canada)
RIYL: Divine Fits, Future Islands, Foster the People
More than a decade ago, a little trio from North Carolina made a trickle with their debut album but over time have emerged as one of indie’s best groups. Fast forward to 2017 and look towards the beautiful city of Vancouver, and a similar trio is hoping to follow Future Islands’ lead.
Fake Shark have been around for most of this decade, and they have established a cult following with their “freak pop”. This could be the year, however, they become indie darlings, and Pitchfork, NME, and Stereogum start manically raving about them. Their newest single, “NOFOMO”, is an excellent launching point.
The song is akin to the heart-racing synth-pop-rock of Future Islands sprinkled with the pulsating guitar-pop of the Divine Fits. The song, as such, is made for summer, one that will leave you feeling like you are dancing in the clouds and soaking in the rays. It’s a clever song, too, taking a common acronym – FOMO (or fear of missing out) – but turning it on its head. In other words, the trio of Kevvy Mental, Louis Wu, and Tony Dallas have given us an anthem that celebrates life and calls for us to enjoy what we have instead of regretting what we missed. Talk about the perfect song to ring in the warmer weather.
Heaters – “Cap Gun” (Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)
RIYL: Bass Drum of Death, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Ty Segall
Almost exactly a year to the day, Heaters released Baptistina, which was a filthy garage-rock record. In case people missed them, they’re back with another single that sees them add a couple of wrinkles.
With “Cap Gun”, Heaters go a bit more psychedelic, adding some haze into their garage-rock approach. The song, as such, is at times menacing, often delirious, and just awesome. Most importantly, though, the song demonstrates this young band is maturing. Whereas their previous songs were full-throttle rockers, Heaters slow things down at first before stepping on the gas pedal and revving up the intensity. The ending is fantastic, echoing the fiery rockers of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Bass Drum of Death during their prime years. Eventually, this Michigan trio will reach such levels.
The song is out on Fuzz Club Records. Heaters are Andrew Tamlyn, Nolan Krebs, and Joshua Korf.
HotKid – “Caught In The Light” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: The Joy Formidable, Silversun Pickups, Wolf Alice
Canadian Music Week ended a little over two weeks ago, but one band that was missing from the lineup was HotKid. It’s not too late, however, to get familiar this three-piece who could be Canada’s answer to The Joy Formidable.
Their new single, “Caught In The Light”, a fireball of frenetic energy that will get you up off your seat and spontaneously combust. The guitar, bass, and drum work are relentless, where you’ll be doing air versions complete with twirls and leg kicks. Frontwoman Shiloh Harrison’s vocals, meanwhile, are simultaneously edgy and sweet, bellowing with the same captivating power of Rhiannon Bryan. Put this song on your summer playlist because for just over three-and-half minutes, you’ll escape reality and be sent to a world where rock rules.
The song is taken from HotKid’s forthcoming, debut album, Late Night Mornings, which drops tomorrow, May 5th. The band is comprised of Shiloh Harrison (guitar/vocals), Peter McIntosh (bass), and Robbie Butcher (drums).
Jack Ladder – “Susan” (The Blue Mountains, Australia)
RIYL: David Bowie, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, JOSEPH OF MERCURY
One of the most underappreciated singer-songwriters is Australian Jack Ladder. He’s not your typical artist, though, in that he’s not writing introspective songs. Instead, he’s a storyteller, telling elaborate tales like Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, like on his new single, “Susan”.
This song is incredible, as Ladder follows the exploits about a certain woman’s travels while also describing her effect on the narrator. The juxtaposition is brilliant, as on the one hand were watching Susan as an observer and the next we feel like we are Richard. Now combine his deft ability with the pen with the musical enlightenment of Diamond Dogs-era David Bowie, and “Susan” can only be described with two words – pure genius.
Ladder will touring Europe in two weeks. Check his website for dates.
Jesse Jo Stark – “April Flowers” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Pearl Charles, Jack River, Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions
Jesse Jo Stark has been in the spotlight for most of her life. Her parents are the founders of label Chrome Hearts, and Cher is her godmother. In addition, she started designing clothes since the age of 6 and has modeled on her occasion. Her talent and creativity has made her an idol for tens of thousands of people around the world, and now she’s looking to add to impressive résumé as a singer-songwriter.
For years, Stark played in various bands and dabbled in multiple genres, including pop and punk pop. However, she didn’t stick to any of them for long, so she’s focusing her energies as a solo artist. Her captivating last single, “Driftwood”, gave us a sample of her potential. Her new song, “April Flowers”, cements her as one of indie’s most promising, young artists.
Like her previous single, “April Flowers” is a moving and mesmerizing number. The song is edgy yet breathtaking, akin to watching waves crashing on a magnificent shore line. The storyline matches this scene, as Stark tells the tale of two people growing further apart and the struggle to recover. Her voice, though, is the one element that stands out from the pack. It has the softness of Hope Sandoval and the bittersweet undertones of Pearl Charles, and, the combination yields a sound that is completely intoxicating. It is a voice that you want to awaken to in the morning and be the last thing you hear at night.
The Magpie Salute – “Omission” (Marietta, Georgia, USA)
RIYL: The Black Crowes, The Temperance Movement, Lynyrd Skynyrd
They’re not quite back, but part of them are. We are talking about The Black Crowes, as Rich Robinson, Marc Ford, Svien Pipien, and Eddie Harsh have united to form The Magpie Salute. This massive collective also features Matt Slocum, Nico Bereciartua, lead singer John Hogg of Hookah Brown and Moke, former Black Crowes’ supporting vocalist Charity White and background singers, Adrien Reju and Katrine Ottosen. Talk about an All-Star cast! And to get us excited about the project, the band has unveiled a new single that will have people remembering The Black Crowes in their heyday.
The interestingly titled “Omission” is a fantastic southern blues-rocker. Hogg’s vocals are stellar, bellowing with the power and presence of Robert Plant and Ronnie Van Zant. The instrumentation is awesome, led by the familiar, fiery guitar licks, the cool organ strokes, and a rhythm section that could be right from The Mississippi All-Stars. You’ll be thrashing your head, pumping your fists, shaking your hips, and hollering to this song. The Black Crowes as a whole may not be back, but The Magpie Salute give us something that allows us to once again celebrate the greatness of southern rock. We cannot wait to hear what’s coming for this band, and it won’t be long. Their self-titled, debut album is due June 9th via Eagle Rock Entertainment.
Mammút – “Breathe Into Me” (Reykjavík, Iceland)
RIYL: Pumarosa, Crystal Castles, Samaris
On a per capita basis, no country can match Iceland’s propensity in nurturing and developing great indie bands and artists. With a population of just over 330,000, the Scandinavian country can call Björk, Sigur Rós, Of Monsters and Men, Kaleo, and Samaris among its many citizens. Another band that deserves to mentioned alongside these great names are Mammút.
The Reykjavik-based quintet are stars in Iceland, having won the Icelandic Music Awards most coveted two titles in 2014 – Best Album of the Year (Komdu til mín svarta systir) and Best Song of the Year (“Salt”). This could be the year when the rest of the world discovers what Icelanders have long known. To kick things off on their journey to worldwide success is their new single, “Breathe Into Me”.
Dark, hypnotic, and enchanting, “Breathe Into Me” is a brilliant introduction into Mammút’s expansive world. The slight strokes of the guitars, the swirl of the keys, the lingering notes of the bass, and the teetering scales of the drums create an enrapturing world. This realm is icy and cool, as if we have stepped inside the White Witch’s glacial palace. Yet, it is alluring, as frontwoman Alexandra Baldursdóttir’s enchanting vocals steal our attention, and all we want to do is share the same air that she does. Generally, such places are avoided, but in this case we want to remain Mammút’s prisoner.
We’ll get the opportunity to further worship Mammút’s existence when their new album, Kinder Versions, is releases July 14th via Bella Union. We hear it is spectacular.
Mammút are Alexandra Baldursdóttir, Andri Bjartur Jakobsson, Arnar Pétursson, Ása Dýradóttir, and Katrína Mogensen.
MANKIND – “Three Handfuls Of Dirt” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Blaenavon, INHEAVEN, WYTCHES
Seems like every time we cover a band or artist from Sweden, the music usually leans to dream-pop or breathtaking indie-pop (like Cajsa Siik above). And for great reasons because the country is reinventing pop music. We’ll have to start paying more attention to the indie-rock and alt-rock scenes of the land of the Tre Kronor; otherwise, we’ll end up missing a band like MANKIND.
Already favorites within Stockholm’s underground scene, the band are about to emerge from relative obscurity, and they so with a serial number. “Three Handfuls Of Dirt” is the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic world. It is dark and menacing, hypnotic and fierce. It starts off quietly but the mood is suspenseful, as a sinister vibe trickles underneath frontman Arthur Onion’s vocals. Then suddenly, the song explodes into an inferno of cathartic noise. Where there were once flowers, there is only debris. Where once the sun shone, there is only a nuclear sky. Yet the song is much more than what could await us on the other side. It is also a eulogy to the present, where millions of people only get “three handfuls of dirt” to live on.
The song is from the band’s forthcoming, new EP, Death. It is out May 12 via Lazy Octopus Records.
MANKIND are Arthur Onion, Fredrik Diffner, Oliver Boson, and Alex Ceci.
Modern Pleasure – “Charonné” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: Gangs of Youth, White Denim, Los Colognes
A year into their existence, Modern Pleasure have firmly established themselves as one of the UK’s most exciting bands. From singles “Youth” to “Bliss Up”, they have impressed with their attention to detail and creating songs that are different from each other and what is being shared more broadly. But one characteristic their first four songs share – they are all memorable. Song #5, “Charonné”, further strengthens Modern Pleasure’s legacy.
The song is like the perfect recipe, where only a few ingredients are required but combined the result is something that is mouth-watering, unforgettable, and leaving you wanting more. With tinges of Gangs of Youths’ pop euphoria and White Demin’s twangy indie-rock, Modern Pleasure have created the perfect song that marries the two genres. And like anything that is perfect, it must be enjoyed slowly in order to savor every note and element, whether it’s the fabulous harmonies, the heart-pounding rhythms, and stirring guitar, or the heartbreaking story. Then hit repeat and experience it all over again and again and again.
Modern Pleasure are: Scott Johnson (vocals/lead guitar), Giuseppe DeLuca (vocals/guitar), Sean Goodchild (guitar), Adam Taylor (bass), and Graham Robson (drums).
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