Whether you’re looking for an edgy, post-apocalyptic song; a get-of-your-seat Motown number; some gnarly indie-rock; or something foul yet delightfully intoxicating from a Dark Angel, The Matinee August 24th will fit your mood. Nine songs once occupy today’s mini-playlist, featuring several artists and bands who will be releasing some of the most highly-anticipated records of the fall.
Chelsea Wolfe – “Offering” (California, USA)
RIYL: Zola Jesus, PJ Harvey, Hope Sandoval,
Is there any limitation to Chelsea Wolfe‘s artistry? Whether it’s dark, brooding, and cinematic numbers, gothic rock, or doom metal rockers, the Dark Angel has enchanted her followers. Her sixth album, Hiss Spun, is around the corner, and it promises to be her most diverse and creepiest effort to date. The first single, “16 Psyche”, was a rip-out-you-heart, menacing number. Song number two, “Vex”, was a piercing, howling track made for the creatures of the night. Now comes the third single from the album, which sees Wolfe turn heads once again.
Whereas “16 Psyche” and “Vex” were like stiff uppercuts in their impact, “Offering” is eerily and gorgeously seductive. Hovering strings and martial percussion create the spellbinding soundscape, drawing us slowly into the Wolfe’s lair. Her lush and vulnerable voice, though, depicts a different artist than what was heard on the first two singles. On this one, Wolfe peels away the masks and reveals her nakedness to us. It is the voice of one making a sacrifice – or being it. The song is chilling and, despite being more cinematic and breathtaking in its approach, equally as pulverizing as its predecessors. My goodness, what will the rest of the album hold?
Chelsea Wolfe is joined by Bryan Tulao (guitar), Ben Chisholm (keys, bass), and Jess Gowrie (drums).
Weaves – “Walkaway” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Big Thief, Sunflower Bean, Ian Sweet
There’s not a better time than now to get on Weaves‘ bandwagon. The Toronto-based indie-rock quartet are on the verge of something immensely special, which is another way of saying that they’re about to reach Broken Social Scene levels of success. Their self-titled debut album was one of the surprise hits of 2016, and their sophomore album, Wide Open, should validate them as one of indie’s great bands.
The first single from the new record, “#53”, was an exhilarating anthem about taking control of one’s life. Their latest number, “Walkaway”, further expands on this message, but this time around they take us into their warm, sunny pastures with an indie-rock number reminiscent of Big Thief’s cathartic intimacy. Through the sizzling guitar riffs and uplifting vibe, the song is meant for one final summer road trip to escape the chaos around us. During this expedition, woman Jasmyn Burke is our guide, telling us:
“Walkaway, walkaway girl,
If you know what’s good to do.
Walkaway, walkaway girl
If you know what’s good for you.”
It’s pretty clear that Weaves’ new album should be one to behold, and we’ll get to hear it on October 6th. Three labels – Buzz Records, Kanine Records, and Memphis Industries – will be releasing. Pre-orders are available here
Weaves are Jasmyn Burke, Morgan Waters, Spencer Cole, and Zach Bines.
Elsie and The Vibe – “Stop” (Melbourne, Australia and New York City, USA)
RIYL: The Supremes, Martha and The Vandellas, Vintage Trouble
Everyone loves the classics. It doesn’t matter what decade you were born, but everyone has a soft spot for old-school soul, funk, and Motown. For instance, when The Supremes “Baby Love” is heard on the loudspeaker of the grocery store, customers are dancing in the aisle, families are screaming the chorus, and the staff have an extra spring in their step. This is the power of music, and only the classics can reach across generations. Channeling that same spirit are Elsie and The Vibe, who are unabashedly a retro-inspired collective who are rekindling the magic of Motown.
Earlier in the month, the band released their self-titled, debut EP (available on SoundCloud and Spotify), which echoed the boisterous euphoria of the ’50s and ’60s. From the record is “Stop”, a jubilant, anthemic number that will cause every single person to get up and dance (or at least shake their shoulders and noodle their heads). The orchestration is stupendous with the funky hours and the tickling of the ivory keys. Frontwoman Elsie, though, steals the show with her soulful voice that beckons to a bygone era and will, well, stop you in your tracks. Given how Elsie and The Vibe are resurrecting the classics, maybe one day we’ll be hearing them in our local grocery stores and everyone will be dancing in the aisles.
FM-84 – “Never Stop” (feat. Ollie Wride) (San Francisco, USA / Brighton, England)
RIYL: Flock of Seagulls, Thompson Twins, Work Drugs
Speaking of groups that are unabashedly retro, producer FM-84 and his long-time collaborate Ollie Wride are exactly this. A year ago, they released a debut album that should have been released in 1984. It was a synth-pop delight, filled with coming-of-age songs that would have been perfectly placed on the soundtrack of a John Hughes film. The duo have returned, and no one would blame them for wanting to change the formula and try something new. Instead, they’ve opted to stick with what works, and we’re not complaining one bit.
Their latest single, “Never Stop”, is ’80s pop perfection. The synths and production work are radiant and exhilarating, making us think we’re back in the days of acid-washed jeans and big perms. Wride’s voice belongs in the era that brought us Rick Astley, Christopher Cross, and Peter Cetera with the heart-wrenching songs to match. If he was alive back then, he would have been a star and currently doing the cruise ship scene. Instead, he is a modern-day balladeer and writing songs that make us feel like we can take on the world. Songs that encourage us to never stop chasing our dreams and going after the things we want.
Holiday Ghosts – “Quiet Carriage” (Falmouth, England)
RIYL: The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Strokes
Holiday Ghosts first tickled our senses earlier this month with the folk rocker, “In My Head”. With Katja Rackin on lead vocals, images of Courtney Barnett and Whitney danced in our head, and the song had us proclaiming that we found our new favorite band. That statement may have been a bit premature since one song doesn’t make a career. But what about two songs? And what if that song sounded like a classic rock ‘n roll tune from the ’60s? Now they have really grabbed our attention.
“Quiet Carriage” is a song that even our parents would be shaking their hips and cutting a few twists on the living room carpet. This tune is straight out of The Kinks’ discography or even the Rolling Stones’ early catalogue. Heck, the lo-fi recording of the song sounds like it was pressed straight to vinyl as the band performed it in a telephone booth-sized studio. While the percolating rhythms and the jangly guitars notes are awesome, Samuel Stacpoole’s vocals, which have a Julian Casablancas edge with a touch of Mick Jagger’s showmanship, are outrageous, and the lyrics are fantastic, as he sings about winners, losers, and followers. Aah… we have to say it, “Fuck yeah!”
The band is comprised of Samuel Stacpoole, Katja Rackin, and Charlie Murphy.
METZ – “Mess of Wires” (Toronto/Ottawa, Canada)
RIYL: Death Grips, Swans, Protomartyr
Oblivion has arrived in the form of METZ‘s new single, “Mess of Wires”. The garage-rock / post-punk band from Toronto have released their share of post-apocalyptic songs, but this one takes the cake. “Mess of Wires” is a massive wall of menacing, bone-jarring noise that will shake you right to your core. The warring rhythms feel are cathartic with each drum roll by Hayden Menzies and every pounding bass line by Chris Slorach feeling like artillery fire. Alex Edkins, though, leads the charge, as his searing vocals and thunderous guitar work are like the cavalry piercing through the enemy’s lines.
The intensity in the music is matched by Edkins’ edgy lyrics. This isn’t just a political song. It’s a political statement that calls for people to stand up and have their voices heard. That encourages people to not be silent but to stand up and fight against hate and bigotry. METZ have given us the battle cry, and now it’s time for us to march forward.
“Mess of Wires” is from METZ’s forthcoming new album, Strange Peace, which drops September 22 via Sub Pop Records and Royal Mountain Records. They previously unveiled two other singles – “Cellophane” and “Drained Lake”.
METZ are Alex Edkins (guitar/vocals), Chris Slorach (bass), and Hayden Menzies (drums).
Roger Harvey – “Two Coyotes” (Philadelphia, USA)
RIYL: Ryan Adams, Calexico, Robert Ellis
If dream Americana was a genre, its creator would undoubtedly be Roger Harvey. The young artist from Philadelphia has a knack for taking something familiar and turning it into a cinematic masterpiece, which is exactly what he has done with his new single, “Two Coyotes”.
This song requires one to be sitting down because its lush dreaminess will cause some to faint or become weak in the knees. The waning cello, the dissonant electric guitar, and the quivering rhythms converge to create a soundscape that sounds like the Wild West set within the beautiful confines of Eden. Harvey’s rich vocals only add to the song’s jaw-dropping effect, and we fall deeper and deeper into his spell with each word he sings.
The imagery of “Two Coyotes” is also a beautiful one. It depicts two free-spirits who should have the entire world to themselves and who can run wild and free. It’s an ideal that we could all believe in or at least dream about having. An ideal that should apply to everyone.
The song is the title track from Harvey’s forthcoming, sophomore album. It arrives October 13th via Chunksaah Records.
Rome Is Not A Town – “I’m In A Brand” (Gothenburg, Sweden)
RIYL: Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, Pavement
When bands like Sonic Youth and Pavement arrived on the college radio scene in the early ’80s, they re-wrote the rules when it came to making rock music. They weren’t following the typical AB song format. Instead, they were making it gnarlier, using oft-kilter arrangements, drenching their sound in reverb, and, for good measure, adding a few snarls and howls. Channeling these legends’ spirit are Rome Is Not A Town.
The Swedish quartet’s new single, “I’m In A Brand”, rages and roars with the fury of a person who has had enough of the image-conscientious status quo. Front woman Kajsa Poidnak’s wailing vocals provide the perfect foil to the frustration, as she tears into the people who’ll do anything to look good. In the end, though, we’re all just walking billboards for the big brands, and nothing could replace the boredom that truly exists in our hearts. Look out Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, indie rock has a new band to worship.
The song is from Rome Is Not A Town’s forthcoming, debut album, It’s A Dare, and it will be in stores on September 29th via Startracks.
The band is comprised of Kajsa Poidnak, Susanna Brandin, Caroline Kabat, and Emma Wättring.
Surf Rock is Dead – “Everything They Said” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: DIIV, Joy Division, Beach Fossils
One band that we can proudly say we’ve been following from Day 1 (ok Day 50) is Surf Rock is Dead. The duo of Kevin Pariso and Joel Witenberg first appeared on one of the early Weekend Showcases back in January 2015 when their debut single, “Late Risers”, was one of just 15 songs. That song, though, was just the tip of the iceberg, as in the span of 32 months Surf Rock is Dead have become wider screen in their approach. They’re not just making jangly and summery surf rock – they’re making it fuller, richer, and bolder. Case in point their brand new single, “Everything They Said”.
This song is dynamite. A post-punk energy a la Joy Division percolates under the surface, due in large part to the harrowing trembling of the bass line and the military-style drumming. But instead of giving way to a harder and more menacing approach, SRID sprinkle in their trademark surf-rock vibes and transport this song from the underworld to the clouds. The crystalline guitars and crisp vocals are the cause for the transference, and their dazzling effects make us feel like we’ve entered a whole new realm where dreams come true.
The single is taken from SRID’s forthcoming new EP, We Have No Friends, which arrives September 22nd via Native Sound. It should be a good one.
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