Music, Singles, The Revue — February 4, 2016 at 6:00 am

The Matinee February 4th

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The Matinee February 4th head to Australia, New Zealand, and the US for new music. Some of these artists will just blow you away with their intimacy while others will just have you tantalized with their anthemic sound. Take the time to get to know these artists.

Aisha Badru – “Happy Pretending” (New York City, USA)

Aisha Badru - "Happy Pretending"In October of last year, singer-songwriter Aisha Badru had us eating from her hands with her stunning single, “Vacancy”. She returns with another terrific single. “Happy Pretending” is an extremely delicate track that is made even more brittle with Badru’s fragile voice and her soul exposed for all of us to see. It is this vulnerability where the true beauty of the song can be found, where each note, each word must be handled with the utmost attention. The song is a reminder of how simplicity can be still powerful.

“Happy Pretending” is the latest single from Badru’s forthcoming EP, Pendulum, which is due out later this spring.

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Hot As Sun – “Little Friend” (Los Angeles, USA)

Hot As Sun - "Little Friend"Singer-songwriter Jamie Jackson has been popping up all over the LA music scene the last few years, sharing her infectious brand of electro-pop. She’s released a few EPs, including Little Friend, which was released last year. The highlight of the five-track compilation is the title track, “Little Friend”, a shimmering, dreamy number that recalls the mesmerizing effects of Priest and Purity Ring. There’s even a trace of Donna Lewis in terms of the drama that Jackson creates with the driving beats and the intensifying melody. Ah, so good!

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Kane Strang – “Things Are Never Simple” (Dunedin, New Zealand)

Kane Strang - "Things Are Never Simple"To be signed to indie labels like New York City’s Ba Da Bing Records and Auckland’s iconic Flying Nun, you must be creating something truly special. Dunedin, New Zealand-native Kane Strang‘s brand of indie-pop is guitar driven and can ebb between fuzzed-filled to dreamy crystalline. The second single from this forthcoming debut album is “Things Are Never Simple”. The single is a highly infectious guitar-pop track that reminds us that indie-pop can both be blistering and cool and vibrant at the same time, much like the great music produced by the Smith Westerns and American Wrestlers. Can Strang meet the hype when Blue Cheese arrives on Friday, February 26th?

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Le Pie – “Up All Night” (Sydney, Australia)

Le Pie - "Up All Night"At long last I’ve discovered an artist on this side of the Pacific making glamorous, raucous indie pop of the ’60s and ’70s. Le Pie, an artist from the Newtown suburb of Sydney, Australia, is taking a retro sound and applying her own modern touches. Her latest single, “Up All Night”, is a driving, immensely catchy indie-pop delight that will have you bopping around no matter the time and place. It’s one of those tracks that you just want to let loose, kind of like the music of one of her favorite artists Misun creates. Looks like I just found another new favorite.

If you really did the track, purchase it on Bandcamp.

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Patti Yang – “Black Box” (Los Angeles via London, UK via Wroclaw, Poland)

Patti Yang - Black BoxLast month when we listed 25 artists to watch in 2016, Polish-born, LA-based Patti Yang was on our list. We cited her ability to create cinematic, ear-popping music for naming her. Proving us to be prophetic, Yang and her Group have released their first song of the new year, “Black Box”, like her previous songs, is a dazzling, expansive track. Filled with multiple layers and textures along with Yang’s haunting voice, this immersive single just sucks you in to Yang’s world, a world that you will want to revisit again and again. The track’s combination of electronic with post-punk traits is reminiscent of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Patti Yang could very well be positioning herself to occupy such lofty heights.

As for as we know, this is the first single from Yang’s forthcoming new album, which should be out this Spring (or we hope it will be).

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SWMRS – “Drive North” (Oakland, USA)

SWMRS - "Drive North"If you’ve been paying attention, we’ve featured quite a few bands from Los Angeles these past couple of days. And no, it was not intentional to choose SWMRS‘ new single, “Drive North”, which is one massive middle finger to the City of Angels. Nope, as always, the song was chosen on its merits – a blistering, no-holds-bar, in-your-face, post-punk song. From the blazing guitars to the incessant bassline to frontman Cole Becker’s aggressive wail, the song will either have you thrashing your head from side-to-side or just melt your face.

The quartet of Cole Becker, Max Becker, Joseph Armstrong, and Sebastian Mueller have been around for over a decade, breaking through as young teens and releasing songs through labels like Burger Records. Next Friday, February 12th, the band surprisingly will release their debut full-length on their own Uncool Records.

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