It’s time for The Matinee September 15 edition. Six new tracks representing six countries and just as many genres. Happy Tuesday everyone!
Lee la Loa (Poland) – “Whispers”
Back in February, we featured a hidden gem from Wroclaw, Poland called Lee la Loa. The project of Paulina (I don’t know her last name) and supported by four talented musicians, the band’s sound most closely resembles Lady Lamb with tinges of Angel Olsen and Marissa Nadler. It’s been over seven months since the quintet released new music, but yesterday they dropped a brand new single, “Whispers”. It’s a short track – comes in under 2 minutes – but it retains the intimate and haunting sound of their previous songs. If the single wasn’t enough to stir your mind, see the video below that has Paulina running in a corn field and then wallowing in the mud as she cannot find her way out.
Yast (Sweden) – “Together Forever”
Another gem from Europe is five-piece indie collective Yast. In 2013, they released their self-titled debut album, which featured some fabulous melodies. The album landed somewhere between Travis, Starsailor, and DIIV – breathtaking and sublime indie pop-rock. The band has been relatively quiet the last two years, but they’ve returned with a couple of new singles. The latest one is the stunning “Together Forever”, which retains the breathtaking melodies the band has become known for but the sound is likely different as the band heads more in a shoegaze, dream-pop direction on the song a la Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. The crystalline guitars perfectly pair with frontman Carl Kolbaek-Jensen’s dreamy voice, and the combination results in a truly breathtaking and mind-blowing number.
“Together Forever” is the second song from the band’s forthcoming, sophomore album, My Dreams Did Finally Come True. An exact date of the album release, but it’ll be distributed by Swedish label Adrian Recordings. Yast are Carl Kolbaek-Jensen, Tobias Widman, Marcus Norberg, Markus Johansson, and Niklas Wennerstrand.
New Pharaohs (Lebanon/Great Britain) – “Empire”
If every band’s debut single sounded as mesmerizing and hauntingly beautiful as New Pharaohs‘ “Empire”, people probably wouldn’t be able to awaken from the enchantment to which they’ve succumbed. The song merges the lushness of Lana Del Rey with the smokiness of Pearl Charles to create a sound that is absolutely intoxicating. But beneath the ethereal elements is a sound about loss and pain. Born in Beirut during a time of constant upheaval and instability, frontwoman Maya Marie sings about the people she once knew and the conflict that continues to grip the regime. Her voice may be whispery, but the pain she feels as she recalls the memories of childhood can be heard. Her remarks to The Line of Best of Fit should be read, as it gives more insight of her beginnings and where she is now today. One thing is clear – if Marie and her band continue to release such breathtaking songs, everyone will get to know her story and others like her.
Saintseneca (USA) – “River”
Way back in May 2014, Rich wrote about Saintsenenca, saying the band has a “unique sound with some creative use of instruments” and comparing them to Dr. Dog and Neutral Milk Hotel. Their latest single, “River”, will continue to lead to such comparisons. It’s a jumping, percussion-driven track of some fine indie-folk rock. The anthemic track also has touches of The Head & The Heart with the sublime harmonies provided by Zac Little and Maryn Jones, and like the Seattle band, Saintseneca’s forthcoming sophomore album, Such Things, could be their breakthrough.
Saintseneca are from Columbus, Ohio, are comprised of Little, Jones, Steve Ciolek, Jon Meador, and Matthew O’Conk. The band will embark on a lengthy North American tour starting October 2. They’ll be in Europe during the months of November and December in support of the great Widowspeak. Check for tour dates here.
Shunkan (New Zealand/USA) – “The Pink Noise”
What would a Matinee list be without a band with intercontinental roots? Shunkan is currently based in the quaint city of Dunedin, New Zealand (noted for being the NZ home of Cadbury chocolates and having the steepest residential street in the world), but frontwoman Marina Sakimoto is originally from Los Angeles. Instead of adopting to the cinematic pop that prevails across the small country, Sakimoto along with fellow American Reese Jensen joined forces with Joseph Boath, Sonny Heremia, and Andy Gibbs to create a punk-pop band. Their latest single, “The Pink Noise”, is a catchy, little ditty with a great riff and Sakimoto’s clever lyrics about living through the mundane events of life. The track echoes of Joanna Gruesome, although more melodic.
The single is being released by Art is Hard Records, which is a label based out of Bristol/London, Great Britain. Hey, this is a global world and playlist.
Ava Lake (USA) – “Crude”
One of the things we love doing is featuring a young artist. Last week it was Zoey Lily and previously we’ve had Blonde Maze and Esther Joy Lane. Joining these excellent musicians is Ava Kilborn – a.k.a. Ava Lake – an eighteen-year old singer and producer from Chicago. Her new single, “Crude”, is a shimmering electro-pop track akin to the aforementioned Blonde Maze and Grimes. The beats and electric drums percolate in just the right spots to replicate a stuttering heart during times of lust and heartbreak. What’s the most impressive about the song is that Kilborn doesn’t resort to constantly repeating a chorus, but instead tells a story that we can all relate to.
If you enjoyed “Crude”, check out her other recent single, “Blow Up My Truth”, which is a groovy, funky, electro-pop song.
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