Crowd pleasers. Entertaining and energetic numbers. Warm and intimate ballads. A 17-year old singer-songwriter who will knock your socks off. You’ll find all these things on The Matinee ’18 February 6th edition, so you’re sure to find a new artist that you’ll want to follow to the very end.
BERRIES – “Faults” (London, England)
RIYL: The Big Moon, False Advertising, Ramonda Hammer
Alt-rock trio BERRIES have long been a favorite of ours, and people across the UK are starting to get on the bandwagon and share our enthusiasm. Holly Carter, Lauren Cooper (bass/vocals), and Lucie Hartmann aren’t your typical fast-and-furious band, but instead they deliver oft-kilter, grueling rock that sends shivers up and down your body. Take for instance their new single, “Faults”, which is a melodic, ghostly track that sizzles with Carter’s stirring vocals and the hammer-like pulses that pump from Cooper’s bass and Hartmann’s drums. The song isn’t one that is meant to pound your fists nor wave your hair back and forth. Instead, it is one that is intended to play tricks on your mind. “Faults”, in other words, is a hallucinogen, but one that we fully encourage to be ingested multiple times.
The single is streaming on the usual sites, but it’s officially available for purchase on Friday. Pre-order it on iTunes.
Bryde – “To Be Brave” (London, England via Milford Haven, Wales)
RIYL: Emma Ruth-Rundle, Sharon Van Etten, Fiona Apple
Just as we had hoped at the end of 2017, Bryde – the project of Sarah Howells – will be releasing her debut album, Like An Island, on April 13th via her own label Seahorse Music. The Welsh singer-songwriter has long mesmerized us with her immersive and hypnotic indie rock. For all the great songs she has released, “To Be Brave“ is one of her best – if not THE best yet.
The single reveals why we have been enraptured by Howells’ talents. It is the rare gem that causes you to stare into the distance and reflect on your own vulnerabilities. As the song builds, your eyes begin to bulge from their sockets as the arrangements intensify and sweep over your awestruck face. But as is always the case with Bryde’s music, her lyrics, too, are overwhelming, as she calls on all to be stoic and strong in the face of adversity. While Howells rarely overtly categorizes her music as politically- and socially-motivated, “To Be Brave” could easily be part of a movement for change.
Death By Unga Bunga – “Soldier” (Moss, Norway)
RIYL: DZ Deathrays, White Reaper, Dune Rats
Norwegian party-punk outfit Death By Unga Bunga are music’s equivalent of The Little Engine That Could – the underdog outfit who continue to go against the mainstream wave of music and release albums just for their cult followers. As such, people who have never heard of the band may be surprised to know that they’ve been around for a decade and they’re about to release their fifth album, So Far So Good So Cool, on April 6th via Jansen Records. Those-in-the-know, however, already realize that Death By Unga Bunga are one of the most entertaining and fun groups around, and their reputation rises to another level with their newest single, “Soldier”.
Right from the start, the band delivers a massive uppercut with the energetic, disco punk-rock fare. As the guitars and rhythms get gnarlier (the final guitar solo is awesome), jab after jab are thrown at the listener, and all we can do is stand there and take it all in and enjoy the experience. One of the reasons we’re left standing is because Death By Unga Bunga provide a hilarious story about being dumped (with an underlying creepy, obsession sub-plot).
“Trying to figure out what you’re saying.
You call me creepy on the phone.
When I close my eyes I can feel you.
So I’m with you even when I’m alone.”
The band is comprised of Sebastian Ulstad Olsen, Preben S. Andersen, Stian S. Gulbrandsen, Even Rolland Pettersen, and Ole S. Nesset. Catch these guys in concerts, and you won’t regret it.
Malena Zavala – “Could You Stay” (London, England via Argentina)
RIYL: Beach House, Bedouine, Tennis
Some songs make you want to jump around and dance the day away. Others you wish you could inhale, so that you can experience and savor every note. Malena Zavala‘s new single, “Could You Stay”, is the latter.
Dreamy, breathtaking, stunning, gorgeous, wonderful – pick any of these or similar adjective, and that’s the tune in a nutshell. Zavala’s vocals are delicate yet warm, possessing the intimacy of a lover sharing an unknown secret with you. The dream-folk melody is light and dazzling, creating the feeling of levitation and enchantment. Together, they form a tune that should be played as the last song of a dance or the first to be played on one’s wedding night. In other words, “Could You Stay” is a song that leads to memories being made.
Zavala’s debut album, Aliso, drops April 13th via Yucatan Records. It should be memorable.
Marlon Williams – “Come to Me” (Lyttleton, New Zealand)
RIYL: Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, John Prine
The multi-faceted and always unpredictable Marlon Williams can entertain and make us chuckle (like with “What’s Chasing You?” and “Vampire Again”). He can also serenade us with a stunning ballad that makes us think of Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley, such as on his new single, “Come to Me”. This number is absolutely gorgeous, and it is highly advised that one is sitting down to take it all in. Or conversely, grab your loved one and slow dance the night away and allow Williams and his band mates take you back to your first date together.
The orchestration on the song is tremendous with the soaring strings filling the air in the background as the crystalline guitar and titillating rhythms spark in the foreground. Williams’ unique vocals, though, are the star attraction, where he sounds like a blend of a young Orbison and an in-his-prime Presley. Now all that awaits Williams is reaching the legendary status of these greats.
As always, take a peek at the video for the song, where Williams and his pals show off their basketball skills. Let’s just say none of them will put Lebron James or Steph Curry on the unemployment line anytime soon.
merk – “Lucky Dilemma” (Auckland, New Zealand)
RIYL: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tame Impala, The Dig
For nearly two years, Mark Perkins – a.k.a. merk – has been popping up in and around the Auckland music scene. Like so many Kiwi artists, his style goes beyond characterization. But since we’re in the business of trying to find comparables, the only ones that came to mind are Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kevin Parker (or Tame Impala), and the oft-kilter pop-rock of The Dig. Although these are some heavy hitters, Perkins will have you soon believing in his talents when hearing his new single, “Lucky Dilemma”.
Funky, trippy, and catchy, “Lucky Dilemma” is a cross-genre masterpiece. Like UMO and Tame Impala, the song reels you with a fantastic and catchy melody, a rapturous beat, and Perkins’ soothing vocals. You’ll be grooving to the rhythms while daydreaming about the one who got away. Then, you’ll be like us and say we have heard the future in merk. Let’s hope many others will follow suit quickly.
Millie Turner – “The Shadow” (London, England)
RIYL: Grimes, David Byrne, Lorde, St. Vincent
Let’s get this out of the way – Millie Turner is just 17 years old. Take a moment and absorb this piece of information and think what you were doing before you became an adult. It likely wasn’t creating a song as mind-blowing and brilliant as “The Shadow”. This number is absolutely awesome.
The dark, hypnotic, but exhilarating production work is reminiscent of Grimes, M83, and Purity Ring with a dash of CHVRCHES. There’s even a heavy trace of David Byrne in her music through the sweeping arrangements and pulsating, new wave beats that bubble throughout the song. Beyond her production work, her songwriting is the star. Whereas many young artists would be sharing songs about love and other teenage experiences, she’s crafted a fabulous story about a person being followed if not hunted down. It’s a creepy storyline, yet one that way too many women know. Again, Turner is just 17 years old, and she’s already delivered one of the year’s truly “OMG” moments.
Titus Andronicus – “Above the Bodega (Local Business)” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, The Men
Thirteen years ago, Titus Andronicus burst on the scene with their propulsive indie rock / punk rock. Patrick Stickles (lead vocals/guitar), Alex Molini (piano), Liam Betson (guitar/vocals), RJ Gordon (bass/vocals), and Chris Wilson (drums) were celebrated for their relentless style, explosive live shows, and unmatched songwriting. Over time, they’ve mellowed out a bit, but only a few can match their artistry and lyrical prowess. Yesterday, they dropped a single that has instant classic written all over it.
“Above the Bodega (Local Business)” is an old-school, soul-infused, rock ‘n roll ballad. It recalls the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen in their primes or the cool intimacy of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. The addition of the horns gives the track its retro vibe, and the sing-along melody makes it a sure-fire crowd pleaser for the audiences of Pitchfork Festival to Newport Folk Festival. Yet the success of the band lies in Stickles’ songwriting, who this time around pays tribute to rallying places of inner-city communities. In this case, it’s the neighborhood deli, where stories and secrets are shared and friendships renewed. The one person who witnesses it all is the person behind the counter. That friendly face who we see everyday, who knows our vices, and whom we consider to be a member of our family.
Young Statues – “Somebody Else” (Philadelphia, USA)
RIYL: Manchester Orchestra, Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad
As the City of Brotherly Love continues to bask in the glory of their first Super Bowl victory, they should turn their attention to Young Statues, who, like the Philadelphia Eagles, are an underdog band that will make people quickly believe in their ability to astound and surprise. With this in mind, be prepared to be wowed with their new single, “Somebody Else”.
Sounding more like a Scottish band or one out of Atlanta (like Manchester Orchestra), the quartet’s song is unforgettable. It is a delirious slice of anthemic indie folk-rock that will simultaneously have you clapping, dancing, and gasping for an extra breath or two. Or maybe you’re looking to escape from your current predicament and forge a new path, but need something to motivate you. This song – musically and lyrically – is your ticket to starting a second life. Fantastic!
Young Statues’ new EP/7″, Amarillo, is out February 23rd via Run For Cover Records. The band is comprised of Carmen Cirignano, Tom Ryan, Daniel Bogan, and Matt Weber.
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