If you were expecting Wendy to be posting today’s mini-playlist – a.k.a. The Matinee March 18th – you’re out of luck. She’s too busy rubbing elbows with some of the finest indie music acts at South by Southwest, leaving it to me to prepare your six-pack of new music.

In making the selections, I did ask myself, “What would Wendy like?” Knowing her, we have to music that is upbeat and energizing. Music that is exciting not just physically but emotionally, too. And of course, we need a song that totally rocked. With that, here are today’s six new tunes on The Matinee.


Air Traffic Controller – “Warrior” (Boston, USA)

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Air Traffic Controller - "Warrior"One of our must-see acts at SXSW was Air Traffic Controller, the Boston-based band who has crafted songs in more genres than we can remember. The creative genius of the band belongs to co-songwriters Dave Munro and Casey Sullivan, who develop expansive and cinematic songs to complement their majestic storytelling. “Warrior”, their latest single, might be their most grandiose and ambitious number. The Norse-like hums, the symphonic peaks, and Sullivan’s gorgeous, floating vocals make “Warrior” a song of myth. A song that is legendary – a description we’ll soon be applying to Air Traffic Controller.

Air Traffic Controller are Dave Munro, Casey Sullivan, Steve Scott, Jeremy Van Cleave

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blasé – “On My Own (Blipp)” (Brooklyn, USA)

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Blasé - "On My Own (Blipp)"

Today, Brooklyn-based, multi-instrumentalist blasé will be releasing their debut EP, EP A. Merging a wide range of sounds and influences. From Afro-beat to indie-rock to indie-pop to Caribbean soul to hip hop to choral pop, you name it, this band is pushing the limits on how we define “new music”. The lead single from EP A, “On My Own (Blipp)” is a microcosm of the creativity and innovation of the band. The song has a bit of everything – a percussion-driven tempo in the second and fifth stanzas, a soulful opening, an R&B vibe, and a Portugal. The Man-esque blaze of luxurious indie pop-rock. It’s a great tune by a fan who is following in the footsteps of notable New York innovators like Dev Hynes, Yeasayer, and Vampire Weekend.

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Chris Wild – “Never Gonna Give” (ft. Natalie Royal) (Nashville via Cleveland, USA)

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Chris Wild - "Never Gonna Give" (feat. Natalie Royal)Since the early years of The Revue, we’ve been fans of Chris Wild (then referred to as Christopher Wild), the blues-rocker based in Nashville. He has electrified us with this blistering guitar work and explosive, gritty music as heard on his self-titled debut. Like Reignwolf, Wild is one of those rare artists whose live shows leave you exhausted. Yesterday, he released a new/old track that he recorded in 2011 with Natalie Royal. The song is a bit of a rarity in Wild’s arsenal, as the duet starts off slowly and playfully before Wild unleashes his blistering blues-rock. The young man is immensely talented and sooner or later the buzz will start to match his musicianship.

Royal, meanwhile, is a gifted singer-songwriter in her own right. She recently released her new album, Harbinger, which can be purchased at iTunes.

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Matt Woods – “Ain’t No Use” (London via Cornwall, UK)

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Matt Woods - "Ain't No Use"We’ve had this song percolating in our queue for a week, and why we didn’t share it I have no clue. But after Wendy gushed about his sets at SXSW, it was a no-brainer to include Matt Woods‘ remarkable new single, “Ain’t No Use”. This soulful ballad is simply breathtaking. Woods’ voice obviously stands out. His unforgettable voice is right up there alongside Sam Smith and another emerging future-soul artist, George Cosby. The production work on the song is also terrific, where simplicity and subtlety are the focus to create the haunting and chilling atmosphere. Woods, unquestionably, will be a future star.

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Queue – “Falling Into Skies” (Eastern USA)

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Queue - "Falling Into Skies"It’s rare – extremely rare – for a brand new band to release a single that made me say, “I have to share this”. The debut single by quintet Queue, however, elicited that very reaction (it helps to have a great band name).

Comprised of five friends who met at Penn State, Queue’s debut single, “Falling Into Skies”, is a mesmerizing number. Like the dark sonicscapes of Daughter, it is entrancing. Like the quiet pulses heard in Wolf Alice‘s quieter number, the song is exhilarating. Akin to the driving sound of Warpaint, “Falling Into Skies” is excitingly new and refreshing. And like these three bands, don’t be surprised that by the end of the year – if not sooner – everyone, including Stereogum and Pitchfork, is talking about Queue, especially when their debut EP drops some time this summer.

Queue are Olivia Price, Tyler Ringland, Aida Mekonnen, Dan Snelling, and Steve Vannell. The five are, for now, scattered across the eastern US, specifically Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York.

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TEN FÉ – “Elodie” (London, UK)

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TEN FÉ - "Elodie"We’ve always been amazed by TEN FÉ‘s music. They have this effortless style reminiscent of The War on Drugs, like they displayed on “In The Air”. Their latest single, “Elodie”, is another example of this band’s uncanny ability to create nearly perfect pop-rock tracks. Beautifully paced, lush and vibrant, immersive, and a terrific story, “Elodie” is everything you look for in a fantastic song. It won’t be long before Ben and Leo, the brains behind TEN FÉ become indie music stars and maybe even bigger, like this generation’s The Eagles. These guys are that good.

“Elodie” is officially out today via Bad Life Artists.

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