These past couple of days have been really spectacular in the music quality that was sent to us. It’s a shame we could only share so many, but don’t fret there are four more days of mini-playlists to hear these great tracks. In the meantime, take a listen to these six fantastic songs on The Matinee February 16th edition.
Agent blå – “Frustrerad” (Stockholm, Sweden)
It wasn’t that long ago when young Swedish quintet Agent blå released their debut single, “Strand”. And while they may still be teenagers (who range between 16 and 18), there’s a fiery, no-nonsense mentality in their music. Single number two, “Flustrerad”, is a feverish, post-pop tune that blazes with the energy and honesty of Paramore. This is an anthem for all the youth seeking refuge, respite, and autonomy. It’s a familiar theme that we’ve heard before, but not since Nirvana have we heard it this spectacular.
“Frustrerad” will be released by Swedish label Luxury Records. Agent blå are Lucas Gustavsson, Emelie Alatalo, Felix Skörvald, Josefine Täck, and Arvid Christensen.
Babeheaven – “Heaven” (London, UK)
It takes a lot of gumption to name a song “Heaven” because everyone will have a different idea what the place in the sky sounds like. Babeheaven, however, have crafted a single that is undeniably stunning and mesmerizing. Frontwoman Nancy’s voice is angelic, sending this soft and graceful track to a place well beyond the existential. Her bandmates, meanwhile, have created a shimmering, spine-tingling melody. For fans of indie-folk band Phox, imagine if the Wisconsin band opted to transform itself into an ethereal, synth-pop band and you get Babeheaven. This debut song is just… Wow!
Big Thief – “Masterpiece” (Brooklyn, USA)
They have a major fan in Sharon Van Etten, and soon they will have big fans all over the world (count me as one!). Big Thief‘s music, dare I say, has personality, something long absent in music today. There’s a Neil Young- and Joni Mitchell-like poignancy in frontwoman Adrianne Lenker’s storytelling on “Masterpiece”. Meanwhile, there’s an undeniable Young- and Heartless Bastards-ish folk-rock sound created by Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums). It’s one of those intimate rockers where you will be singing every lyric as you pound your head back and forth to the song’s awesome rhythms. Big Thief, more like Next Big Thing.
“Masterpiece” is from Big Thief’s forthcoming debut album, which should drop some time this year. Official date will be announced soon, and all we know at this time is that it will be released by Saddle Creek.
The Hanged Man – “Invincible Trees” (Stockholm, Sweden)
For a couple of years, Swedish band Vulkano helped revitalized the indie-rock scene in their country with their tribal, gloom-rock sound. Now one half of the duo, Rebecka Rolfart, is embarking on a solo project, The Hanged Man. The first single from her forthcoming EP is “Invincible Tree”, a dark yet hypnotic track that whirls around a spellbinding, psych-disco soundscape. The song positions Rolfart as this generation’s Kate Bush, except wilder and far more psychedelic.
The Hanged Man’s new EP, Lord Have Mercy, comes out this Friday, February 19 via Kning Disk.
SWEAT – “Tambourine” (London, UK)
Now this is cool. The second single by London collective SWEAT echoes more of New York City than London with its melange of genres. It’s part indie rock, part new wave, part soul, part psychedelic, and 100% awesome. It’s one of those rare tracks that effortlessly combines as well as moves between genres, where “Tambourine” evokes the spirit of Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) at one moment and the Flaming Lips the next. It’s no wonder the band has been signed by Handsome Dad Records. Here’s another band that could win the mantra as this year’s biggest surprise.
South of France – “Washed Up” (Denver, USA)
Adding a bit of spice to today’s mini-playlist is the new single by South France, the project headed by husband-and-wife team Jeff Cormack and Kelly Cormack. “Washed Up” is a jubilant and splashy indie-pop song, which echoes of – possibly coincidentally – of Washed Up’s beginnings and Youth Lagoon. It’s undeniably a pop song, but one without the formulaic bursts of instruments relying instead on great harmonies and a wonderful melody. “Washed Up” may incite images of something negative, but this song is the perfect pick-me-up to a long day.
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