The Matinee July 6th edition features only eight songs instead of the usual nine, so we could add two videos. Besides the number of tunes, the mini-playlist is also a bit different in that it has a heavy UK emphasis. Today’s list could be mistaken as a BBC Introducing episode. Anyway, enjoy the mini-playlist, which has plenty of variety. Be sure to go read through to the end because one of the super indie bands offers a huge surprise with their new single. Things get started, however, with a new band from Finland.
Cina Polada – “Gloom” (Helsinki, Finland)
RIYL: Amber Arcades, Fazerdaze, Future Islands
Another day and another band from Scandinavia arrives who piques our ears and has us saying “Whoa!” This week’s award goes to Cina Polada, a young quintet from Helsinki who have been around a couple of years making some delicious dream pop. They’ve flown under the radar during this time, but this should change now that they’ve signed with Strangers Candy. Their first offering with the super Swedish label reveals what so many of us have been missing.
“Gloom” is spectacular, and it is the ideal summer anthem for these dark days. Waves of synths and jangly guitar riffs wash over the percolating rhythms to give the song a shimmering vibe. Frontwoman Hilla’s soft yet dazzling vocals possess an enchanting intimate quality that you want to hear every morning. “I’m just a waste of time. It’s just the way that I feel,” she sings with a slight quiver to reveal a heart that is on the verge of breaking. These are words with which we are all familiar, but Cina Polada give us a reason to push forward with this truly awe-inspiring number.
In addition to Hilla, the band is comprised of her brothers Tatu and Teemu, plus Tony and Nita.
Their self-titled debut EP comes out September 29 via Strangers Candy.
Flying Hair – “Tantrum” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, DZ Deathrays, Ty Segall
If you are in a dire need of an adrenaline rush or are craving some blistering rock, then one of Burger Records‘ newest signings have the cure for you. Meet Los Angeles-based trio Flying Hair, whose name personifies their music and for those lacking hair (like me) wishing they had some when spinning their new “Tantrum” single.
This song absolutely rocks. It is a 150-second whirlwind of whiplash-inducing, scuzzy, psychedelic garage-rock. It is fun, explosive, and unrelenting, like fireworks going off on the Fourth of July. You’ll ooh and ahh at every fiery guitar lick, every single hammer of the drums, and each pounding pluck of the bass line. My friends and I have imagined what a collaboration between Aussie rock royals King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, DZ Deathrays, and Dune Rats would sound like, and Flying Hair have given us the answer with “Tantrum.” Excuse us while we go find a neck brace.
Flying Hair are Bobby Martin, Matthew Clark, and Kurt Mangum.
Grymm – “Gravity” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: Blaenavon, The Hunna, Palm Honey
There must be something in the water around Brighton because the city continues to produce some of the best indie-rock bands on the planet. That’s not an exaggeration. Do a Google search on “Brighton indie rock bands” and you’ll find a huge list. One name you won’t find is Grymm, but it won’t be long before they join the likes of British Sea Power, The Kooks, and Blood Red Shoes.
Their new single, “Gravity”, is a menacing number, though not in the way you think. It does get heavy (the bridge is awesome), but its ferocity lies in the dark, haunting, gritty vibe that permeates the song, making this track sound like a séance. It is tantalizingly eerie as the deliberate pace builds the suspense, while Morgan Jones’ vocals are creepily delivered. The lyrics, too, are spine-tingling, as Jones delves into the world of a man left behind and who may be possessed by the devil. For us, we’ll just be completely absorbed in this wonderfully diabolical track.
Grymm are Morgan Jones (vocals/lead guitar), Arthur James (drums), and Andrew Brookes (bass).
Hero Fisher – “Sylvie” (London, England)
RIYL: Bat for Lashes, Ingrid Michaelsson, Hannah Georgas
There are some songs that truly need to be enjoyed while sitting down, relaxed, and with eyes shut. Only then can you experience its beautiful grandeur, which is the case with “Sylvie”, the new single by London-based singer-songwriter Hero Fisher.
Her angelic voice is mournful but stunning, immediately capturing your attention and whisking you away into her world. It is the first thing that shines on the track that starts off like a lullaby before building into a cinematic beauty. The orchestration is superb, particularly the synths and production that together create a dark yet hypnotic soundscape. The fluttering notes surround Fisher’s vocals and heighten the drama around this dedication to a woman from her past. “Don’t let them make them leave me / Don’t swim back to the shore,” Fisher hopelessly calls out. We feel every inch of her pain and longing, yet we want to experience this little masterpiece again and again.
“Sylvie” is from Fisher’s forthcoming sophomore album, Glue Moon. It will be released in early 2018.
INHEAVEN – “World On Fire” (London, England)
RIYL: Savages, Big Deal, Paramore
INHEAVEN are one of the great indie bands today, even though they have yet to release a full-length album. For years, they have sold out venues in the UK while blowing away fans across the globe with their fiery and unrelenting indie rock. Their debut album is finally around the corner, and the band has slowly been sharing songs. “Vultures”, the single they released in May, reminds us of the band’s anthemic sound. “World On Fire” reminds of us how politically and socially involved they are.
“World On Fire” is another menacing, chest-pounding banger, and it is the political statement of the year. The guitars, as always, are blistering and fearless, and the rhythms are like jackhammers pounding against your skull. The dual vocals of Chloe Little and James Taylor are brilliantly delivered with Little taking the lead on the main portion and Taylor leading on the chorus. Little’s lyrics, however, are the most biting, as she calls out the President of the United States:
How do you fight a man you cannot stand
When he’s got the world right in his hands?
I don’t want to bring you down
But this whole world don’t feel good now
He’ll build a wall and kill them all
So he’s the last man standing tall.
Stupid is what stupid does
A man who lies you cannot trust
His women bound they must obey
Every grooch does what he says.
The single is from INHEAVEN’s forthcoming eponymous debut LP. It arrives September 1st via PIAS Cooperative.
INHEAVEN are James Taylor (guitar/vocals), Chloe Little (bass/vocals), Jake Lucas (guitar), and Joe Lazarus (drums).
Rose Gray – “Give It All To You” (East London, England)
RIYL: Amy Winehouse, Diana Ross, Alessia Cara
Rose Gray is a prodigy who showed at a young age her uncanny knack for soul music. Not surprising, she caught the eye of music insiders and now is working toward releasing her debut EP later this year. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it? But not only does her story parallel Amy Winehouse’s beginning, but her classic approach to soul music is akin to the late, great singer-songwriter. To give us a flavor of what is to come, Gray recently released her debut single – and it is a cracker.
Like the soul music of the ’60s, “Give It All To You” is a smooth, delicious piece of sonic candy. It is groovy yet sensual, inviting yet steamy. Gray’s vocals are extremely sultry with the perfect amount of smoky seduction. Her lyrics are clever and biting, calling out a partner who doesn’t respect her. So while the song may be pleasantly enticing, there is plenty of attitude and grit in the song. So gentlemen, don’t mess with Rose Gray because she has other ways to get even and have everyone on her side. This young woman has the potential to be a massive star.
Gray’s debut EP is expected later this year from ANVU Records.
Toya Delazy – “Diamonds In The Rough” (London, England via eMahlabathini, South Africa)
RIYL: Grimes meets M.I.A. meets Ceiling Demons
Latoya Nontokozo Buthelezi, who is better known by her stage name Toya Delazy, is one of the most gifted artists on the planet. She’s not merely a singer and songwriter but also a multi-instrumentalist, composer, social advocate, and humanitarian. She has won numerous awards, including Best Pop Album at the 2013 South African Music Awards, and was nominated by BET, NYC Out, and MTV EMA. Oh, she’s just 27 years old.
Born in the town of eMahlabathini in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, Delazy now calls London home. There she has transformed herself, moving way from her pop, gospel, and classical origins to what some people like to call “mixtape” because her new sound doesn’t fit any specific genre. Her latest single, “Diamonds In The Rough”, for instance, blends R&B, hip-hop, classical music, ambient, and soul into one intoxicating concoction. The melody is sultry yet groovy, cool yet steamy. Delazy’s wordplay is smart but delivered at a steady pace to allow her fantastic songwriting to come through.
As you might expect from a gifted artist and activist, she’s written a song for people who are struggling to make ends meet and find their way in this convoluted world. But instead of criticizing everyone and everything for her situation, she finds strength in the struggle and within the people who share her plight. It’s a beautifully moving song, and one of those rare gems that have you quietly saying, “Wow.”
Speaking of which, the video for the song is incredible for its honesty. You can watch it here.
Wolf Alice – “Don’t Delete The Kisses” (London, England)
RIYL: CHVRCHES, Grimes, Operators
Last month, Wolf Alice announced their sophomore album would arrive in the fall, and the first single was an absolute banger. “Yuck Foo” was a fierce, in-your-face, hold-nothing-back post-punk number that melted faces. We were forewarned, however, that the new album is filled with surprises and that not one genre dominates. Sure enough, the second single form the album is on the other end of the spectrum of “Yuck Foo.”
“Don’t Delete The Kisses” is another face melter, though in a much different way. It is an extravagant piece of summery dream-pop that will leave you speechless and basking in the radiance of Ellie Rowsell’s glimmering vocals and story of being in love. The buzzing synths and groovy rhythms play off one another fantastically to create a mood that is simultaneously euphoric and delirious. Seriously, grab your headphones, get outside, stand under the heat of the sun, close your eyes, and let yourself go. Wolf Alice will take you to a breathtaking wonderland where everything feels perfect, just like this song. It is absolute perfection. By now, we should be used to the London quartet’s mastery.
The band is comprised of Ellie Rowsell, Joff Oddie, Theo Ellis, and Joel Amey. They’re about to commence a massive tour, and dates can be found on their website.
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