For those in the US, you’re probably suffering from a post-Thanksgiving hangover where the turkey and stuffing are still sitting in your gut. The rest of the world, meanwhile, cannot wait for the weekend to arrive. Either way, you probably need a jolt of energy, which we hope to provide on The Matinee November 24th edition. Granted, there are some somber songs, but most of them with catch your attention and help you overcome the stupor that’s about to settle in. While we usually post this alphabetically, we kick things off with two of our favorite artists.
Kraków Loves Adana – American Boy (Hamburg, Germany)
RIYL: Vita and the Woolf, The Cranberries, Savoir Adore
Earlier this year, German duo Kraków Loves Adana released their intense and brooding record, Call Yourself New, which is strongly being considered among our Favorite Albums of 2017. But instead of resting on their laurels, Deniz Cicek and Robert Heitmann have most of their fourth album written, and they’re in the process of putting the final touches on it. The other day, they released its lead single, which is a reminder of the duo’s artistic brilliance.
“American Boy” is a throbbing and dark spectacle that simultaneously will invigorate you while haunting your mind. A harrowing synth seamlessly merges with the shallow guitars, and the foreboding rhythms to create a sinister atmosphere. This is the anthem to world where trust no longer exists, where authority is abused, and where the me is the ruler of us all. Cicek wrote the song during a time of anger and frustration with what transpired in the autumn of 2016, and its ramifications continue to this day. Her lyrics are fantastic, particularly this stanza.
“Oh you think so much and live so little.
Got your hope stitched on your sleeve,
But you’re the one that deceives
Turning pain into a perfect product.
Modernism is a dream we’ve been living in between.”
The one-shot video is worth watching, and it’s available here.
Kraków Loves Adana’s new album, Songs After The Blue, is expected Spring 2018 via Better Call Rob Records. It’s definitely one we cannot wait to hear.
Zoey Lily – “Nothing” (London, England)
RIYL: London Grammar, Maggie Rogers, Woodes
It has been a long time. Too long, actually, since we’ve heard from Zoey Lily, who first came to our attention in September 2015 when she released a demo of “Edges”. It is a moment that we still remember, where we were completely awed by the then 18-year old who was still developing her sound and finding her way through the music labyrinth. Her debut EP was supposed to follow shortly after the release of “Edges”, but the young singer-songwriter took a step back to further refine her music. Today, she gives us an unexpected gift in the form of “Nothing”.
Dark and brooding, yet devastatingly beautiful, Lily has crafted a stunning song that echoes London Grammar’s and BANKS’ most intimate and spine-tingling numbers. The instrumentation and production work, particularly the shallow piano, are executed to perfection to give its haunting vibe. They provide the environment for Lily’s soft vocals, which mystify us with a story about the unknown. About not knowing the other person next to you and, thus, know nothing about ourselves. It’s a clever piece of a songwriting from a young woman whose potential is limitless. Hopefully Pharrell Williams will hear this song and gush about Zoey Lily in the same way he did when he came across Maggie Rogers.
Bazooka – “Ζούγκλα (Zougla)” (Athens, Greece)
RIYL: Gogol Bordello, Acid Baby Jesus, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
This is an actual conversation while Athens-based psychedelic, tribal punk band Bazooka‘s new single, “Ζούγκλα (Zougla)”, was played in our .
Partner: “Do you know what they’re saying?”
Me: “I have no idea, but it sounds really cool.”
Partner: “It’s pretty whacked.” (That is a compliment.)
Me: “That’s why I like it.”
And “whacked” is the perfect way to describe “Ζούγκλα (Zougla)” because we have not felt both awe and confusion since first coming across King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard several years ago. And that, too, is a compliment.
The song we think is Greek for “jungle” (you’ll see below how we came up with our translation). This song does sort of sound like the tropical forests found in Africa, Asia, and South America, as tribal rhythms drive the song while occasionally the vocals turn into howls, growls, and all sorts of animal noises. While we have no clue what the band is saying, we imagine they are either describing life in the jungle or using the term as an analogy for the f***ed up world we currently live in. Regardless, Xanthos Papanikolau, John Vulgaris, Bill Zelepis, Aris Rammos, and Panos Papanikolau have delivered one face-melting single.
The song is from Bazooka’s forthcoming, new EP, Zougla (Jungle), which arrives this coming Monday, November 27th via Inner Ear Records.
Chelsea Lankes – “Matches” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Phoebe Ryan, Ryn Weaver, Scavenger Hunt
Chelsea Lankes has a new song called “Matches”. The synth-pop artist took a hiatus over the last year and a half, and she is now back with new music. “Matches” chronicles a toxic relationship and the affect it had on the track’s protagonist. The hypnotic and brooding beat-driven soundscape surrounds Chelsea’s sultry vocals.
Ms. Lankes shares a bit about the track:
“This song is one of the most honest things I’ve ever written. It’s unapologetic in telling the story of how a relationship ended but it’s not about taking a victim stance. I just wanted an account of what really happened for myself when I got my heart broken, and it just ended up being a good song.”
“Matches” is the perfect break-up song and is a nice return for Chelsea Lankes. It will be interesting to see what else is in store, as she definitely has some future love songs after tying the know with musician Julian Dente aka Yøuth.
Goodnight, Sunrise – “Remember Now” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Arkells, Mother Mother, Yukon Blonde
Goodnight, Sunrise are a trio from Toronto who have been making music for quite a while. The band was started by David Kochberg (guitars/vocals) and Vanessa Vakharia (keyboards/vocals), who began as friends and later started dating. They broke up this past summer, but they made the decision to keep on playing as a band with drummer Paul Weaver. Goodnight, Sunrise share that “Remember Now” is about remembering that beneath the hurt, sadness, and pain there’s always love at the core. An if you’re careful and committed, it’s possible to preserve that love even if it’s in a different form.
The track is electric and proves their sound feels so much bigger than just three members. Not only is it a hopeful track regarding any obstacles in life, it’s also a great rock tune that showcases Vanessa’s vocals. The production of the track was geared toward capturing the spirit of their live set and it definitely shines through.
“Remember Now” is released via Rejection Records.
ROOKES – “The Heel of My Hand” (London/Birmingham, England)
RIYL: Susanne Sundfør, Aldous Harding, Soffía Björg
There is a new voice in the UK music scene to take notice, and her name is Jenny Bulcraig – a.k.a. ROOKES. The young, Birmingham-born singer-songwriter’s voice resides between Adele, Norwegian star Susanne Sundfør, and New Zealand heavyweight Aldous Harding. Her music, though, is more akin to the glacial alt-folk-pop that encompasses the Scandinavian music landscape, and her newest single showcases her multiplicity.
“The Heel of My Hand” is like the dead of winter – a cool, dark, but blustery number that will sure you give you chills. Like it blizzard, it arrives suddenly with the slow throb of the beats and the shallow echo of the guitar. The howl of the wind is Bulcraig’s voice. But instead of being a piercing and shrilling cry, all we hear is the voice of a snow angel, which is lush, ethereal, and transcendent. She is calling out to us, seeking our hand so she and we can heal. So we can move forward and away from this inescapable memory that imprisons us much like how the snowstorm outside keeps us trapped indoors. But with her remarkable voice and sound, there’s no chance anything will hold Bulcraig back from indie stardom.
W. H. Lung – “WANT” (Manchester, England)
RIYL: Talking Heads, David Byrne, Neu!
And here’s another band that we have not heard from in a long time – exactly a year to the day. W.H. Lung, which features members of the now defunct CHAIKA (who were really awesome), made a massive impressive with their first single, “Inspiration!”. It literally blew us away, as we described the song as a psychedelic post-punk epic. The band only released one other song, but they have been silent for most of this year, and now we know we why. Instead of following in the footsteps of fellow post-punk groups like Preoccupations and Eagulls, the band has done a complete 180 and headed down the krautorck and new wave path.
“WANT” is their first single in eight months, and it’s like David Byrne has teamed up with Neu! to deliver a mega-surprise – and with a splash of Mick Jagger thrown in for good measure. This song is indeed an unexpected delight. Akin to the music of the three aforementioned artists, “WANT” will leave you pulsating on the dance floor (or in the living room). It’s groovy, addictive, delirious, and a mind-altering experience, and it is all awesome.
The single is out now via Melodic Records. Hopefully more music from W.H. Lung is coming in the new year.
White Room – “Twisted Celebration” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: The Beatles (Magical Mystery Tour era), Connan Mockasin, Pond
“Twisted Celebration” is the newest release from one of our all-time favorite groups, White Room. It’s a brilliant track providing completely addictive psychedelia that hints of mid-career The Beatles and current influences like Pond. Lyrically, the song tells a tale of two people that might just not be the best match for each other as the lyrics state:
“Take a step closer, you’re almost out the door.
I can’t hold you up forever, I’ve got my own fears to explore.”
“Twisted Celebration” is part of their upcoming, double EP, Eight, which will be released next week via Deltasonic Records.
White Room are Jake Smallwood (vocals), Jacob Newman (guitar), Tristan Sava (guitar/keys), Josie McNamara (bass), and Hen Sava (drums).
Wooly Mammoths – “Broken Wings” (Brussels, Belgium)
RIYL: Tame Impala, Temples, Masasolo
We end our Friday selection of new music with another band that we’ve followed for some time and who have taken a bit of a break. That group is Wooly Mammoths, the psychedelic-pop outfit from Brussels. They are a bit unique in that they’re not trying to imitate any specific band, but instead they’re meshing the brilliance of some of the great psychedelic bands of the current era. The result is pure extravagance, which is heard on their new single, “Broken Wings”.
The delirious neo-psychedelic disco pop of Tame Impala swirls throughout this groovy song while the strikes of the brightly-tinged guitar riffs and shimmering harmonies are Temples-esque. Yet the fantasy-meets-reality songwriting approach is very much like DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith. As such, while the song will make you want to at the very least bop in your seat if not have you up and dancing, behind the sonic wonderland is a thoughtful of story of a person losing control. Of a person losing himself, which is what this song might do to you.
Wooly Mammoths are Sean Michael Raab, Cedric Vaessen, Freek Welkenhuyzen, Mikey Buffa, and Wouter Carlens. Here’s hoping this under-the-radar band will release their first album in 2018.
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