Like with every mini-playlist, we try to introduce you to lesser-known artists who deserve your attention because they’re creating some brilliant music. On The Matinee April 7th edition, half the acts have been previously featured while the other half are new entries to the series. Each one, though, will amaze you for their vocals or harmonies, the stunning or mind-bending sounds they create, and/or their lyrical prowess. Come take a walk
Keeva. – “Wrong Time” (London, England)
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Usually we post The Matinee in alphabetical order, but I just have to start the listen with a young woman who has mesmerized us for the past year. Like the first time we heard her, the same reaction is uttered from our lips, “That voice!” Still in her early 20s, London native Keeva writes music like a seasoned veteran, telling heartbreaking stories or sharing lessons from her youth. With her latest single “Wrong Time”, she takes us back to the ’40s and ’50s on this graceful, intimate, soulful tune of unrequited love. She’s reminded us of Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Patsy Cline (who she covered recently), but we might also have to add Billie Holiday – a voice that you will immediately fall in love with.
Keeva. is in the process of writing and recording new material. She recently spent a few weeks in Dallas, Texas, writing songs with some of the finest in the business, including soul-blues-R&B rising star, Leon Bridges.
EAT FAST – “Stammer” (Newcastle, England)
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Some housekeeping stuff to get out of the way first. EAT FAST use to be called EAT, but they had to change their name due to copyright issues. Despite the name change, this young band from Newcastle are still making some awesome garage-rock. They blew us away with their shoegaze rocker “Byker Drone”, and they’ve now returned with another heart-pounding rocker “Stammer”. The fuzzy guitars, the deep echo vocals and harmonies, and the quick tempo give the song a sense of controlled chaos, where everything seems like it is in disorder but it is not. There’s something deliriously brilliant behind EAT FAST’s formula.
The Electric West – “Death Birds” (Los Angeles, USA)
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How the heck have we not heard of The Electric West until recently? For more than two years, the Los Angeles-trio have been creating ravaging post-punk music. Their latest single, “Death Birds”, should put them more firmly on the indie-rock map. This single is awesome. It combines the cathartic and dense post-punk rock of the band formerly known as Viet Cong (although they have yet to formally announce a new name) with the blistering and anthemic rock of Eagulls. With that kind of combination, greater notoriety should be around the corner for Byron (drums), Lee (vocals/bass), and Billy the Kid (guitar/vocals).
“Death Birds” is the lead single from The Electric West’s forthcoming, new album. Name and date to be determined.
Holy Now – “Wake Up” (Gothenburg, Sweden)
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Two years ago, Canada’s Alvvays stole the hearts of indie music fans across the globe, and Swedish quartet Holy Now could do the same in 2016. Their debut single, “Wake Up”, is a stunning display of melodic indie pop. Like Alvvays, the vocals of frontwoman Julia Olander are sweeping and captivating while her bandmates craft a sound that is lush and soaring at the same time. When the two peak during the song’s choruses, you momentarily lose sight of where you are and what’s going on, as you become transfixed by Holy Now’s brilliance. This band has the skills to be an indie-pop powerhouse.
Holy Now are Julia Olander, Ylva Holmdahl, Samuel Von Bahr, and Hampus Eiderström Swahn. “Wake Up” is also the band’s lead single from their forthcoming, debut EP, which will arrive in May via Lazy Octopus Records.
Los Espinas – “Shadowboxing” (Sydney, Australia)
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Speaking of a retro-sounding band, Sydney’s Los Espinas channel late-’80s and early-’90s indie pop-rock for inspiration. If you’re like me and miss the glory days of the era when the Gin Blossoms, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and The Grapes of Wrath were must-know names, then Los Espinas could be your solace. Their debut single, “Shadowboxing”, echos the dramatic pop-rock of the time, where the music would take you on a ride through the memories of the song’s protagonist. “Shadowboxing” may be infectious with its driving, guitar hooks and breakneck rhythms, but the song packs an emotional, lyrical punch about letting go and starting anew. Los Espinas, however, are a band that could have some longevity if they continue to produce great music. We’ll learn more soon as their debut EP is expected later this year.
Solarflairs – “Carnival” (Memphis, USA)
We bookend The Matinee with another little band that captivated us, although this happen just 6 weeks ago when Solarflairs released the uplifting, power-pop number “Spirit of Johnny”. Their new single, “Carnival”, is another power-pop masterpiece. This time, however, they take a more haunting yet scintillating approach that resonates with the dreamy power of ’80s bands The Bangles and Berlin. The shimmering guitars are terrific, and frontwoman Elisabeth Eickhoff’s voice is more lush, thus sucking you in further into the emotional minefield of “Carnival”.
What’s next for the band is unknown, but after two remarkable singles the only thing that should be left before them is stardom.
Solarflairs are Greg Gentry (guitar/backing vocals), Mario Aviles (drums), and Elisabeth Eickhoff (lead vocals/bass).
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