Due to the avalanche of new music that has arrived over the past 36 hours, we’ve opted to split the The Matinee ’18 January 11th edition into two parts, dividing the 16 songs alphabetically. Part 2 is available here. Without further delay, let’s get to the music.
The Cavves – “Beaches” (Wichita, KS, USA)
RIYL: Dick Diver, Wavves, The Regrettes
As parts of North America recover from the winter “weather bomb” and many European countries shake off the chills, let’s warm things up with a summery, surf-rock tune. With a song that will have you thinking about warm, sandy “Beaches”, which happens to be the title of a track from The Cavves.
Coming from Wichita, Kansas, this young quartet have delivered a highly infectious song made for, well, dancing on the beach (although the backyard and living room would suffice). The jangly guitar, the hip-shaking rhythms, and the sweet vocals of Sophie Emerson will get you in a jovial mood, making you think that the calendar says July and not January. Emerson’s lyrics, though, have nothing to do with the shoreline, but rather she tells a clever tale about how two people can grow up together and still not know one another. So like the warm weather, don’t take anything or anyone for granted.
“Beaches” is taken from the band’s EP, Learn To Swim, which was released last month. Spin it on SoundCloud.
The Cavves are Troy Toon, Jackson Relph, Sophie Emerson, and Matt Bennett.
Courtney Marie Andrews – “May Your Kindness Remain” (Phoenix, USA)
RIYL: Brandi Carlile, Mavis Staples, Margo Price
Courtney Marie Andrews finally achieved her much-deserved breakout in 2017. Her rise in popularity was spurred by significant interest in Europe, who were captivated by her classic country and Americana sound, her immaculate vocals, and intimate songwriting. Could this be the year when the US finally embraces this fantastic talent? We’re betting on it, especially when she arrives at SXSW this year with a new album in tow and a song like “May Your Kindness Remain”.
The LP’s lead single is a stirring number that combines the power of Brandi Carlile and the soul and gospel grace of Mavis Staples. It is a song that highlights the humanity in all of us and the beauty of the human spirit. It is a reflection of Andrews’ own personal struggle to get to where she is now.
“If your money runs out
And your good looks fade,
May your kindness remain.”
Cruel Cruel – “Swim” (Bogotá, Colombia)
RIYL: Daughter, Desperate Journalist, Douse
Like a whisper in the night comes “Swim”, the haunting new single from Colombian band, Cruel Cruel. Forget Latin-infused music performed for Vallenato, salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, or Bambuco dances. This song is made for sipping a strong cocktail in a dusky room, where you drown yourself within your own thoughts and the foreboding nature of “Swim”. Ivanna Palacio’s vocals tantalize like that voice in the dark, which emerges from the delirious and stark soundscape that she and her bandmates have crafted. And like waiting for the night to end, patience is a virtue because the final minute is eye-opening, where the whisper becomes a revealing scream.
Cruel Cruel are Ivanna Palacio (vocals/guitar), Mariana Londoño (vocals/guitar), Carlos Muñoz (bass), and Nicolás Martínez (drums).
Erika Wennerstrom – “Extraordinary Love” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: Heartless Bastards, Brandi Carlile
Not since 2015 has anyone heard a peep from Heartless Bastards and their front woman Erika Wennerstrom. The Austin-based artist has popped her head from time-to-time by providing background vocals on a handful of songs and showing up at Newport Folk Festival as an attendee. Finally, we get to understand why Wennerstrom has remained largely quiet with the release of her first song in years with “Extraordinary Love”
For the past two-plus years, Wennerstrom took a brief hiatus from the grind of writing and performing. It wasn’t a break from her critically acclaim band but a personal one. Now she’s back and sounding better than she ever has, and “Extraordinary Love” is her re-emergence. Her resurrection. This powerful, titanic rocker is one woman’s anthem of perseverance, of self-confidence, of finding herself. If her booming voice doesn’t blow you away, her lyrics will, as she reveals her heart and soul for us to hear. For her to embrace once again. Brilliant!
Wennerstrom’s debut solo album, Sweet Unknown, lands on March 23rd via Partisan Records. Pre-orders available on Bandcamp. She’s currently on tour with The Dream Syndicate and then later with Drive-by Truckers, and dates and information can be found here.
Gaz Coombes – “Deep Pockets” (Oxford, England)
RIYL: Spoon, The Shins, Divine Fits
As UK alt-rock legends Supergrass continue their extended hiatus (at last that’s what long-time friends are hoping), Gaz Coombes continues to make a name for himself as a solo artist. Maybe he doesn’t rock out as hard as he use, but one thing is definitely clear – he’s not willing to fallback on the laurels of his past successes but instead is blazing new trails and turning rock on its head. His latest single, “Deep Pockets”, is evidence that even a veteran artist can innovate and surprise. It is exhilarating and intense, groovy and blistering, raucous and enrapturing. It is a trip through the rabbit hole, but we land in a place where rock ‘n roll has been rejuvenated. Where rock’s future has been unveiled in the form of 41-year old genius.
Jack White III – “Connected By Love” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: Jack White
Jack White is often associated with piercing and fiery rock – from garage-rock to alternative to the bluesy version. With his new single, “Connected By Love”, however, he takes a dive into the deep, dark end of the spectrum to deliver one of his most brooding and enchanting numbers. His masterful guitar playing is still on display during the awesome bridge, but what stands out is the blues and gospel-infused approach and White’s socially-charged lyrics. The song feels like White is conducting a sermon, and he’s encouraging the congregation to look past hate and fear and to trust in the one thing that unites us all – love.
The video for the song is below, and it’s well worth watching. For all that White has achieved to date, his next album could be the pinnacle of his career.
Speaking of which, White’s third solo album, BOARDING HOUSE REACH, will be released on Third Man Records and Columbia Records. No release date has been shared, but the single can be purchased, including limited vinyl editions, now over here.
Lake Jons – “Lake Family” (Helsinki, Finland)
RIYL: Midlake, Plants & Animals, Local Natives
It’s only a matter of time before Finnish band Lake Jons capture the attention of not just music sites in North America but also festivals like Newport Folk and Pickathon. We’ve been fans for a year because their alt-folk-rock is a stirring mix of the majestic and cinematic qualities of Midlake and the groovy and euphoric nature of Local Natives. For all the songs that have stirred our souls, their best comes in the form of “Lake Family”. The song is simple in its arrangements, which includes some jovial hand-clapping, yet the trio create a stunningly superb track that leaves you in awe. The upbeat nature is perfect to celebrate our families, our communities, and our collectivity.
The band consists of Jooel Jons, Mikko Pennanen and Jaska Stenroth. Their self-titled debut album is due out January 19th via AntiFragile Music.
LLORIENT. – “Love Lost” (demo) (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Frank Ocean, Michael Kiwanuka, Billy Raffoul
Take a guess at the ages of Melbourne-based newcomers LLORIENT. In hearing the soulful lead vocals, the introspective songwriting, and the stirring production and piano work, you likely the duo were in their 20s. Nope, they’re not even adults. LLORIENT. are two young men aged 15 and 16 years old. And that is the extent of what we know about the band, whose debut single sounds like the perfect mash-up of Frank Ocean and Michael Kiwanuka. To think, this is just a demo. The sky is the limit for the pair, whose identities will soon be revealed if they continue to startle with such thoughtful and moving music.
LLORIENT. currently don’t have any social media, but hopefully that will change soon.
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