Music, Singles, The Revue — November 23, 2017 at 5:00 am

The Matinee November 23rd

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Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US and abroad who may be celebrating the holiday. While you feast on turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie, take some time to enjoy our musical platter. The Matinee November 23rd offers a mix bag of nine songs from around the globe. Let this be your starter, main course, and dessert when it comes to discovering new music.

1971 – “Anxiety (In The Depths Of Northwestern Ontario)” (Kenora, ON & Winnipeg, MB, Canada)

RIYL: Constantines, Hüsker Dü, The Men

We kick off the daily playlist on a sombre note. Two days ago, Canadian band 1971 released “Anxiety (In The Depths Of Northwestern Ontario). It is unlike any post-punk song you will hear – dark, gripping, and brooding. It starts off quietly but then it builds into an epic, mind-blowing number. But what stands out is its pure, raw emotion, as every band member has put their entire soul into “Anxiety”, and there’s a reason for it.

The song is a tribute to one of its members, and 1971 share the following:

“In February 2017 our bassist, founding member, and friend Cameron Glen Cranston suddenly passed away in the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center. He was 25 years old.

We as a band decided to not continue without our brother. Now we’re releasing our last existing recordings with Cameron; two demos we recorded for a grant we received and one of his songs.

The first track ‘Anxiety (In the Depths of Northwestern Ontario)’ was written for Cam in 2016 during a really difficult period while Cam was still around. We’re glad we have ‘his’ song, even though it’s hard to listen to sometimes.

We’ll be releasing this song as well as two others on cassette and 7” vinyl via Art of the Uncarved Block this December 1st. The EP is called ‘No Matter Where You Go, There You Are’. We really hope this release properly puts this band to rest, and we hope it touches some people who might have experienced something similar to what we went through. Cameron was a great musician and an inspiration to a lot of people he knew. He deserves to be heard and remembered.”

1971 are Garrett Iverson, Jory Strachan, Cameron Cranston, and Tanner Neil.

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From Apes To Angels – “K.I.S.S.” (feat. Chronica) (London & Sheffield, England)

RIYL: Purity Ring, Cults, darkDark

At the start of the decade, a massive wave of synth-pop bands arrived on the scene, and they created tantalizing numbers. Now, many of them have faded away or turned to heavier, harder, more EDM-oriented approaches. We’ll always have a soft spot, though, for those who create songs that cause our chests heave, our hearts to flutter, and our minds to think about the perfect moment in our lives. English duo From Apes to Angels have fortunately filled the gap this year, which makes them one of our favorite discoveries of the year. Giving us another reason to be thankful for their arrival on the music scene is their latest single, “K.I.S.S.”, which features producers Chronica.

This song is just as how the title describes it – like a soft kiss goodnight. It’s warm and embracing, intimate and unforgettable. The synth and production work are right out of the ’80s, recalling the music that once occupied nearly every coming-of-age movie. The lush vocals of Millie Gaum and the enigmatic front woman of Chronica, meanwhile, are intoxicating, where you want to inhale and treasure every word they sing. Their voices are almost mirror copies of one another, giving the song an added mysteriousness.

From Apes to Angels are Millie Gaum (vocals/synth) and Andrew Brassleay (synths/production). Here’s hoping 2018 will be their breakout year.

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I Hate You Just Kidding – “Constellations” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Lush, Sixpence None the Richer, A Sunny Day in Glasgow

2017 will be remembered as the year of the comeback with so many bands returning from extended breaks to delight our senses. Next year appears to be the same with at least one mega-band announcing their return, and another lesser-known group about to drop their long-awaited sophomore album.

Unless you live in southern California, most people will not be familiar with the name I Hate You Just Kidding. Don’t let their relative obscurity dissuade you from listening to their music. Quite the opposite, get to know them quickly because they are the present and future of dreamy shoegaze or just dreamgaze. As a taste of what to expect, they released a week ago “Constellations, which will remind shoegaze fans of the intimate soundscapes of Lush back in the ’80s and ’90s with the personal appeal of Sixpence None the Richer. This single is stunning and absolutely (inter)stellar. The guitars are intoxicating, the rhythms are chest-swelling, and Jessi Brock’s saccharine voice is incredibly enthralling. Her lyrics, too, are personal and relateable, as she sings about wishes, disappointments, and hope.

?When was the last time you looked up at the stars?
Polluted with light,
No constellations here.
Whatever happened to all those late nights?
We stared at the stars,
And dreamt about the future.”

IHYJK’s sophomore album, Constellations, arrives on Earth on February 2nd, 2018. It is comprised of nine tracks originally written in 2011/2012, and they were finally recorded in 2016. In the five years, Jessi and Jeremy Brock got married and had two children. Now, they’re about to leave them (and us) a gift.

In addition to the Brocks, I Hate You Just Kidding are Greg Anderson, Kevin Manwarren, and Roxy Radulescu.

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Jonathan Bree – “Say You Love Me Too” (feat. Clara Viñals) (Auckland, New Zealand)

RIYL: Leonard Cohen, Marlon Williams, Baxter Drury

New Zealand innovator and musical genius Jonathan Bree is back. For those who are not familiar with the Auckland resident, he is the founder of indie darlings The Brunettes as well as the indie label Lil’ Chief Records. When he’s not busy with these two projects, he focuses his creativity on his solo project. This makes Bree the equivalent of Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, who double as the founders of Merge Records and the leads of Superchunk. But as oppose to playing fiery indie rock and post-punk, Bree specializes in experimental and chamber pop. His last single, “You’re So Cool”, was exactly that – cool as in ultra cool. For his latest endeavour, he has enlisted the assistance of Colombian singer-songwriter Clara Viñals, and the two create magic.

“Say You Love Me Too” is a smoky, sexy, and spooky number. The taut bass and drum line create a suspenseful atmosphere à la the great films-noir of the ’50s and ’60s. Bree’s and Viñals’ vocals, meanwhile, do a dance with each one taking a turn to strut around the motionless partner. Who will flinch first and move towards the other? Who will reach out and break the silence and this charade? The song doesn’t give any clues, but the video might. It is definitely worth watching just to see Bree and Viñals sing in what has become a Bree trademark – the full body suit.

The single is from Bree’s forthcoming new album, Sleepwalking, which arrives March 2nd, 2018 via Lil’ Chief Records. This single is also available for purchase now on Bandcamp page.

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OROUNI – “The Sea Castle” (feat. Emma Broughton) (Paris, France)

RIYL: Belle and Sebastian, Elephant 6, The Decemberists

Besides the cowbell and banjo, the ukulele is probably everyone’s next favorite instrument. Who doesn’t like a little twangy riff from time to time? But what about a cavaquihno, the Brazilian equivalent to the uke that has more a chiming ring to it? We’ll have to add this to the list. When this instrument is coupled with horns in a song that channels the quirky alt-pop of Belle and Sebastian and The Decemberists you get one joyous occasion, which is exactly what OROUNI‘s new single is.

Featuring the vocals of London School of Economics and Political Science graduate Emma Broughton (you don’t see that often), the French collective deliver a fun, alt-folk-pop number that get the toes tapping, the knees shaking, and the head noodling. Heck, if you like to polka or square dance, go ahead and let the energy and pure joyful atmosphere of this song take you away.

Broughton’s lyrics, however, are much more serious. They’re actually quite political, as she describes the quick crumbling of the world and how friends are becoming foes. This almost sounds like a thesis dissertation, but one that everyone can understand (as well as dance to).

“Sea Castle” is taken from Orouni’s latest EP, Somewhere in Dreamland, which is out now via Les Disques Pavillon. Pick it up on Bandcamp.

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Pinkshinyultrablast – “In The Hanging Gardens” (St. Petersburg, Russia)

RIYL: Cocteau Twins, Bat for Lashes, Tame Impala

One of the great shoegaze bands with one of the great names in music finally has given us the news we have long been waiting to hear. St. Petersburg trio Pinkshinyultrablast have been teasing a new album for a little while, but on the weekend they announced that Miserable Miracles will be released May 4th via Club AC30 (Europe) and Shelflife Records (US). The second single from the LP is a bit unexpected and definitely out of the box, but it reveals the band’s immense creativity.

“In The Hanging Gardens” isn’t your typical shoegaze number where reverb-drenched, crystalline guitars fill the air. On the contrary, the synth-driven melody yields a psychedelic-disco vibe, which seamlessly merges with the band’s trademark shoegaze. And the result is a song that feels like a fantasy come to life, where the most beautiful and stunning colors and objects unfold before our eyes. Another way to think about this song is the imagination of Tim Burton put to music, but even more beautiful than what the acclaimed director and producer could ever create.

Pinkshinyultrablast are Lyubov (vocals), Rustam (synths/electronics), and Roman (guitars). Again, their third album drops May 4th. This single will be available on a limited edition 10″ on February 23rd via the aforementioned labels.

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The Royal They – “Sludgefucker” (New York, USA)

RIYL: Estrons, False Advertising, Screaming Females

When a song is called “Sludgefucker”, you pretty know what you’re in for. Or do you? The immediate reaction is that this must be some hardcore punk band that just wails in every aspect – guitars, rhythms, and vocals. Well, The Royal They are not quite like that. They are an intense, full-throttle alt-rock / punk-rock band, but their music is not just much more accessible but also more awesome (or is it awesomer?).

With “Sludgefucker”, they unleash their fury. This is a demolition of a track, where the blazing guitars act as the explosives and the bone-jarring percussion is the jackhammer. For over three-and-a-half minutes, all we can do is relent to The Royal They’s propulsive fury and sonic fireworks. Front woman Michelle’s lyrics are also worth paying close attention to as she describes how many people feel today – entrapped by unrealistic expectations and asinine social norms. “Sludgerfucker” indeed.

The single is out on King Pizza Records.

The Royal They are Michelle (vocals/guitar), Darrell (guitar), and Rick (drums).

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Salad Boys – “Psych Slasher” (Christchurch, New Zealand)

RIYL: college radio R.E.M., Sebodah, Hockey Dad

Joe Sampson, Ben Dodd, Ben Woods, and Brian Feary – who make up Salad Boys – are four really cool dudes and your typical New Zealanders. They’ll use all forms of communication to ask for favours or seek advice (like venues to play), offer a lending hand when you need it, and show up when you least expect it and a good time will ensure. That’s the Kiwi spirit! This mentality permeates across their music, which is fun and thoughtful. Their new single, “Psych Slasher”, illustrates exactly what we mean.

These guys are, as we described them when reviewing their debut album Metalmania, vintage rockers, and “Psych Slasher” beckons to a time when R.E.M. and Dinosaur Jr. were ruled college radio. The catchy guitar riffs could be mistaken for the work of either Mike Mills or J. Mascis. The lyrics, too, are reminiscent of the late ’80s and early ’90s, as the band share a tune about finding one’s way in this complicated world. In many ways, the current environment is like a horror movie, but who will come to save the day? The Salad Boys, of course, whose new album, This Is Glue, will be released January 19th via Trouble In Mind Records. Pre-orders are at iTunes.

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Super Extra Bonus Party – “Switzerland” (Newbridge, Ireland)

RIYL: The Phoenix Foundation, Caribou, LCD Soundsystem

Aging longer than a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey are Super Extra Bonus Party, the krautrock / new wave outfit from Ireland. Most people will hardly know the band because just as the indie scene exploded they took a break. Specifically, a seven-year hiatus. We’ll probably never know the exact reasons, but the seven long-time friends who won the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year in 2007 have decided to give it one more shot. Boy did they make the right decision.

“Switzerland” is the septet’s latest number, and it is, as they say Down Under, a cracker of a song. This is delirium bottled up into six fantastic and unforgettable minutes. The energy of this mini-epic feels like seven years of pent-up ambition being released in one seismic number. The song does start off on a more groovy note, but then it develops into a whirlwind of cathartic guitar riffs, rhythms, beats, and harmonies before settling down again. It doesn’t stay mellow for long, as Super Extra Bonus Party once again rev up the intensity – not once but two more times. Awesome. Just awesome!

The single is out on 045 Recordings, and alternate streaming and purchasing sites are available here. Definitely add this song to your workout playlist because it is the musical equivalent of a Gatorade.

The band is comprised of Stephen Conlon, Gavin Elsted, Cormac Brady, Gary Clarke, Stephen Fahey, Sean Corcoran, and Mike Donnelly.

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