With Halloween only two days away, The Matinee October 29 edition does feature one spooky track from a collaboration involving three best friends, who also are aspiring musicians. In addition, find singles from two great New Zealand singer-songwriters, two bands that could be the next Wolf Alice, and a collaboration that will leave you breathless.
Dolores Haze – “Touch Me” (Stockholm, Sweden)
With the popularity experienced by Wolf Alice and Bully this year, more bands that combine electronic and synth esthetics, pop melodies, and arock under vibe are increasingly getting more notice even though they may have been around a little way. Exhibit A – Dolores Haze. The noise-rock quartet from Stockholm, Sweden formed over three years ago, and earlier this year released their debut EP, Accidental, which leaned more towards lo-fi post-punk rock. But with their latest single, “Touch Me”, they’ve opted for a fuller and more anthemic sound, and the result is awesome. It has a dance-pop feel yet retains some of the edginess of their earlier work. If people were looking for an anthem for the fall, This. Just. Might. Be. It.
It’ll be interesting to see in which direction the young foursome will head. Something in between their post-punk grittiness and their euphoric electro-pop-rock could be dynamite.
Identical Triplets – “Wolfcop” (Southern California, USA)
With Halloween around the corner, I had to add at least one track that was a wee spooky. And what’s Halloween without a great story? Identical Triplets is the project of three aspiring singer-songwriters from California, and the three were classmates at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Maddie Ross, Caitlyn Notey (a.k.a. Huxlee, who was previously featured on The Revue), and Madison Scheckel (a.k.a. Wolfy). The idea of Identical Triplets started during university and as an inside joke between the three artists, basically a self-described term for their “clique”. Over the course of the next five years, however, they would start playing shows with one another as Identical Triplets, but they never released any material until this past week.
Hello Humans is the Triplets’ debut EP. The album focuses on their favorite holiday – Halloween. As Wolfy describes, “We basically threw a Halloween party in the studio, wore costumes and cranked this thing out in a few days!” The four-track EP is a a little zany and wacky in a Vincent Price-meets-Richard Swift kind of way, but a whole lot of fun. The star attraction is “Wolfcop”, a combination of a punk-pop / garage-rock track that has an infectious hook, great harmonies, and an awesome Halloween storyline. The song, though, does go off-kilter midway through the track with a collision of noise and reverb, which actually fits within the song. If you’ll be throwing a Halloween party this weekend, spin this EP.
Whether Maddie, Caitlyn, and Madison continue to release songs and albums as Identical Triplets remains to be seen. In the meantime, check out their individual social media pages.
We all have a soft spot for specific bands, artists, or even genres. One of those artists for me is Michael Milosh, the Toronto native who comprises one half of the ethereal, ambient duo RHYE. With one of the most unique and stunning voices in the business, everything Milosh touches is mesmerizing. This holds true once again on his collaboration with j. viewz, the project of Brooklyn-based producer Jonathan Dagan. “Don’t Pull Away” could be a RHYE song – stunning, sensual, and breathtaking. While Milosh’s voice stands out, much of the credit goes to Dagan for creating the palette of stirring and spine-tingling beats and sounds to complement Milosh’s delicate vocals. Together, the two have created one of the most chilling singles of the year. After listening to this track, don’t forget to exhale.
Marlon Williams – “Hello Miss Lonesome” (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Earlier this month, we shared Marlon Williams‘ first single with Dead Oceans, “Strange Things”. The New Zealand singer-songwriter has released his second song, “Hello Miss Lonesome”, which is the polar opposite of the low-key, acoustic initial track. On “Hello Miss Lonesome”, Williams kicks up the tempo tenfold and transforms himself from a classic folk storyteller to a raging indie folk-rocker that is one part Neil Young and another part Marcus Mumford. The two songs do retain some similarities – haunting, dark tracks that tell fantastic stories about the rise and fall of vulnerable characteristics. These first two tracks are putting Williams on the path to becoming indie folk’s next great singer-songwriter.
Williams’ self-titled debut album with Dead Oceans drops February 19, 2016. Mark it in your calendars. Hopefully Williams will be an addition on many festivals next year, including Newport Folk Festival.
Spring King – Who Are You? (Manchester, UK)
The UK continues to produce bands that create emphatic and infectious music. A band that has received plenty of buzz – from BBC Music and Stereogum no less – is Manchester, UK quartet Spring King. Their take on garage pop-rock is fun, unpretentious, and high-energy. Imagine Eagulls and Sundara Karma coming together, and you get Spring King. Their latest single, “Who Are You?”, is an anthemic rocker that will brighten up these dreary autumn days. The addition of a brief saxophone solo at the end is awesome and a clever inclusion to give it a ’60s pop feel.
Oh, if you think the band is using auto-tune to create that echo effect, think again. The song was recorded in the bathroom studio of singer and drummer Tarek Musa’s family home. Yes, bathroom studio (must be one huge bathroom).
“Who Are You?” will officially be released on December 4th via Highs & Lows / PIAS Recordings. Next year, expect Spring King’s popularity to explode a la Wolf Alice this year. This band is that good. Don’t believe, check out their awesome EP, They’re Coming After You, on SoundCloud.
Tiny Ruins – “Hurtling Through” (Auckland, New Zealand)
Another one of our favorites has returned with a pleasant surprise. Hollie Fullbrook of New Zealand indie-folk trio Tiny Ruins, who had one of our 50 favorite albums of 2015, announced the band was releasing a new EP called Hurtling Through next month, w and the lead single is The Clean’s Hamish Kilgour. The title track is the first song from the album, and it reflects everything we love about Tiny Ruins – a sanguine story told through a simple but endearing melody. A song that draws you in and endlessly holds on. Yet, there is something slightly different in the track. It’s a little bit edgier to create a darker mood that channels Sharon Van Etten‘s early works. For those hearing Tiny Ruins for the first time, this is a great introduction to a fantastic band and songwriter.
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