Only two countries are on The Matinee October 8, but the music is no less awesome. There’s also an artist from one of our favorite discoveries (and who had one of our favorite albums) who makes a guest appearance. Let’s get to the music.
Tiger Waves (featuring Jana Horn) – “In Retrograde” (Austin, USA)
This was an accidental find and a fantastic one at that. Tiger Waves are an Austin-based band who have established a solid fanbase in the indie music capital of the US. They recently released a pretty cool album called Lost Album, which is streaming in its entirety on SoundCloud. But it wasn’t enough for the quartet to share an album, they collaborated with Jana Horn, the frontwoman of Reservations (one of our favorites), to create an awesome new single “In Retrograde”. The song has a bit of both bands. It retains the catchy art-pop melodies of Tiger Waves while adding the alluring indie-rock of Reservations. When I first heard the song, it made me go “Wow”. Just an absolutely stunning song.
FOREVER – “Contest” (Brisbane, Australia)
Speaking of stunning, newcomers FOREVER‘s latest single, “Contest”, is breathtaking delirious. Imagine Phantogram in their early days but adapting a shoegaze, atmospheric sound and that’s “Contest” in a nutshell. It’s that rare song that stirs every bone while emoting a wide-range of feelings.
This approach is characteristic of FOREVER, who are comprised of Sam George-Allen and Donovan Miller. Earlier this year, they released their debut EP, Demonstration, which can be heard in its entirety on SoundCloud. The EP shares a lot of similarities with Phantogram’s own debut, Charlie Everywhere EP 1.
You can find FOREVER’s “Contest” and EP at Aussie indie label TYM Records.
SLOOM – “Magic Cup” (Sydney, Australia)
What’s a Matinee feature without some psychedelic rock from Australia, a country that has been producing some awesome psych-rock bands the past five years such as SLOOM. The Sydney-based quartet released an EP, Kahayalan, last year, and they’ve followed that up with “Magic Cup”. The Ty Segall / Thee Oh Sees-esque tune sees the band refine its sound and create a blistering track that echos of the California legends. “Magic Cup” is mind-blowing fun.
SLOOM are Chris Diamond, Cristian Di Paolo, Dane Macintosh, and Jamie Graham. The single is being released by The A&R Department.
Queen of Jeans – “Dance (Get Off Your Ass)” (Philadelphia, USA)
Another band looking to the past is Queen of Jeans, which is just an awesome band name. Like some of the great, recent acts like Springtime Carnivore and Kind Cousin, the Philadelphia trio channel ’60s-era pop music. Their debut single, “Dance (Get Off Your Ass)”, is a grittier interpretation of the bubble-gum pop that dominated that period and the song has the women taking the lead and not the men. The song is smile-inducing; it’s ultra-cool; and it’s an exciting first single from a trio putting a clever spin on a familiar sound.
Queen of Jeans are Miriam Devora (lead vocals, rhythm guitar); Matheson Glass (lead guitar, backing vocals); and Nina Scotto (bass, backing vocals).
Rare Monk – “Warning Pulse” (Portland, USA)
Whereas Tiger Waves and Jana Horn’s collaboration was a pleasant find, I have to admit that Rare Monk’s latest single was overlooked. It took another listen to realize how great “Warning Pulse” is. It’s a visceral indie-rock tune that edges on Snow Patrol’s euphoric approach and the brooding brilliance of The National. The echo of the electric guitar that commences the song draws the listener in while the anti-climatic finish has you wanting more. It obviously had that effect on me.
This stunning track, which was released earlier in the year on one of Urban Outfitters’ playlists, is the lead single from Rare Monk’s self-titled EP, which is expected to drop on November 20th. Pre-order it now via B3SCI Records.
John Heart Jackie – “Nevada City” (Portland / Brooklyn, USA)
We all know that for so many independent artists, it takes years before they gain a substantial following. Often, a new artist, duo, or collective will be “found”, yet only to find out later they’ve been percolating below the surface for several years. Such is the case with John Heart Jackie, the project of Jennie Wayne and Peter M. Murray. For more than five years, the duo has been creating both classic folk and lush dream-folk. And like so many before and after them, they’ve traversed the US to be heard and have made their homes in two of the nation’s great music cities – Portland, Oregon and Brooklyn, New York.
Set to release their latest album, Episodes, early in 2016, John Heart Jackie have released the lead single “Nevada City”. This gorgeous indie-folk tune is sweet, warm, and endearing. Wayne’s voice has a slight twang yet is angelic while Murray’s light tickling of the electric guitar creates the song’s shimmering atmosphere. The duo’s sound is reminiscent of the haunting harmonies of Luluc and the euphoria heard in The Wild Reeds‘ folk music. Maybe this will be the year where the music world will say “I heart John Heart Jackie”.
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