The Matinee December 17 edition features new music from artists who are expecting to release new albums in 2016 with one exception. They are some old favorites in the list and new artists that people ought to know. All six singles, however, share another thing in common – they are mind-blowingly gorgeous.
Damien Jurado – “Exit 353” (Seattle, USA)
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In 2014, the incomparable Damien Jurado released Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, which was an instant classic and among our Favorite Albums of that year. The constantly active resident of Seattle not surprisingly is readying a new album for 2016, which will easily be among our most anticipated. The lead single from Visions of Us on the Land is “Exit 353”. The track retains the spirituality and ethereal nature of his past music. A subtle difference, however, can be heard with Jurado incorporating 70s psychedelia to raise his dream-folk to a whole new level. I think I speak on behalf of everyone at The Revue that we cannot wait for the new album.
Visions of Us on the Land is expected March 18, 2016 via Secretly Canadian.
Fazerdaze – “Little Uneasy” (Auckland, New Zealand)
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Having recently relocated to Wellington, New Zealand, I had to feature a Kiwi band people should know. The country is developing a reputation for producing bands that create a deliriously dreamy sound, whether it’s experimental haze of Phoenix Foundation or the lush, dream-pop of French for Rabbits. Fazerdaze, which is the brainchild of Amelia Murray, is another band creating atmospheric pop music, but one with a slight shoegaze twist. The latest single, “Little Uneasy”, is breathtakingly stunning. Murray’s cool, wavering voice is hypnotic while the crystalline guitar has a calming effect. Get to know this band, who are currently touring with Unknown Mortal Orchestra and likely having the time of their lives.
Pick up the single on Fazerdaze’s Bandcamp site, where you can name your own price.
Living Hour – “Seagull” (Winnipeg, Canada)
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If searching for some true shoegaze, look no further than Winnipeg four-piece, Living Hour. Brilliantly melding ’70s psychedelia with dazzling shoegaze, it is not a surprise that they caught the attention of Lefse Records, who will be releasing Living Hour’s debut full-length. The lead single is the soothing and mind-bending “Seagull”. The track has a calming effect, taking you to places where only the mind can enter. It’s one part Slowdrive and another part Pink Floyd, and 100% earth-shattering.
Living Hour’s yet-to-be-named debut album is expected February 19.
Memoryhouse – “Arizona” (Toronto, Canada)
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It’s been nearly four years since Memoryhouse released new material. When they released The Years EP in 2011 and followed that up with The Slideshow Effect in 2012, the band was charting a similar path to indie stardom as Beach House and Phantogram. Their indie-pop and synth-pop sound was both nostalgic yet refreshing.
The duo of Evan Abeele and Denise Nouvion have used the time off extremely well. Within a couple of months, they’ve released two new singles. In addition, two days ago, they released a holiday album, Digital Fire, Digital Songs – Holidays Songs 2010-15 (hear it on Bandcamp). Saving holiday music for another time, we’re focusing on their latest track, “Arizona”. The song represents a new stage in the duo’s career – moving away from creating music that channeled the ’80s to a more forward-looking electro-pop-rock sound. The single is deep, haunting, and edgy, yet breathtaking and moving, akin to the cathartic brilliance of The Raveonettes. Whether this latest single represents something entirely new remains to be seen because their previous track, “Dream Shake”, reflected the band’s previous sound.
Regardless, these new singles plus the holiday album should excite fans. Even more exciting is the announcement that Memoryhouse will share their sophomore album, Soft Hate, sometime in 2016.
Mothers – “Too Small For Eyes” (Athens, Georgia)
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While magazines and blogs are putting together their “Best of” lists, it’s also the time of year to look forward and identify the bands and artists that are set to make huge noise in the new year. One such band is Mothers, the quartet from Athens, Georgia. Their music, however, won’t blow you away with crystalline guitars or anthemic pop. Instead, they will be winning audiences around the globe for the brilliant combination of intimate and sorrowful indie-folk and their quiet indie-rock burners. It’s a combination that a handful of artists have mastered, such as Lady Lamb, Waxahatchee, and another young band Reservations.
Their latest single, “Too Small For Eyes”, is one of those quiet tracks that unexpectedly bowls you over. The slight plucks of the banjo, the tender and yearning voice of frontwoman Kristine Leschper, and the echo of the piano and acoustic guitar result in a song that is hauntingly captivating and stunning. This is a song that bands with ten years of experience have yet to master, yet it has only taken Mothers a little more than a year. Don’t be surprised if they explode in the same manner as Courtney Barnett.
Mothers are Kristine Leschper (guitar, vocals); Matthew Anderegg (drums); Drew Kirby (guitar); and Patrick Morales (bass).
Scott Liss – “Medicine” (Ashbury Park, NJ, USA)
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Today’s Matinee started with Damien Jurado and it ends with an artist who has his sights set on matching the great singer-songwriter’s mastery. Scott Liss, like Jurado in his early days, has hovered under the radar for a few years. That could soon change next year when he releases his third album, Modern Isolation. The lead single from the LP is “Medicine”, a stunning, acoustic psych track. Imagine a collision of the imaginations and sounds of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and Neil Young and that’s what you get with this fantastic track.
Modern Isolation is due out January 12, 2016.
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