The Matinee April 28th edition is a little bit more relaxed than past playlists. There’s still a rocker in there and one tune that will have you moving, but for the most part the songs below are meant to be enjoyed in a relaxed environment.
Conner Youngblood – “A Summer Song” (Dallas, USA)
Riding a wave of accolades of the past year, Dallas native Conner Youngblood‘s debut EP, The Generation Of Lift, was a favorite among critics in 2015. The album is getting a second life, as Counter Records have picked up the distribution rights and will re-release it tomorrow (Friday, April 29th). The album does have an extra track, “A Summer Song”. The track is warm and has a summertime feel, yet it is an intimate track. The song reveals why so many have compared Youngblood to a younger Sufjan Stevens and Elliott Smith.
Fascinations Grand Chorus – “Growing” (Brooklyn, USA)
Last month, newcomers Fascinations Grand Chorus released their debut single, “Welcome”, a catchy, lo-fi, bubblegum pop gem that echoed The Shangri-Las and Chiffons. Earlier this week, they shared their second single, “Growing“, which once again hearkens back to the era of high socks, bee hives, mini skirts, and The Beach Boys. With a groovy, surf-pop melody, you cannot help but get up, shake your hips, and do the jitterbug. It’s another classic pop gem by a little band set to surprise the world, especially when their debut EP drops later this year.
FM-84 – “Don’t Want To Change Your Mind (feat. Ollie Wride)” (San Francisco, USA / Brighton, England)
One of the most gorgeous songs of the year without a doubt is “Don’t Want to Change Your Mind”. The song is reminiscent of the power-pop, soulful ballads of the ’80s, which were cinematic, dramatic, and breathtaking. The chemistry between San Francisco-based producer FM-84 and Brighton-based singer-songwriter Ollie Wride is undeniable, as FM-84’s melodious, synthwave beats perfectly envelope Wride’s remarkable vocals and poignant storytelling. This is a song that will bring you to your knees. It is that stunning.
“Don’t Want to Change Your Mind” is from FM-84’s debut album, Atlas, which is out now. Get it on Bandcamp. Wride performs on a handful of the tracks.
Maya Payne – “Self Defined” (Christchurch, New Zealand)
With a growing fanbase in her home country and overseas, electronic producer Maya Payne is starting to gain recognition as being New Zealand’s answer to Grimes. It is easy to understand why the comparisons are being made after one listen of her new single, “Self Defined”. Like the Canadian star, Payne isn’t creating EDM. She’s instead taken an edgier approach to her electronic and synth-based music, using it as the palette to tell her stories about youthful angst and societal injustices. Payne is among a small group of artists who represent the future of electronic music, transforming it into a social movement much like what punk did for rock in the ’70s.
“Self Defined” is the lead single from Maya Payne’s forthcoming, debut EP, The Lucky Ones, which will be released on May 13th via Rolley Records. Download the song now on Payne’s Bandcamp site (link below and you can name your own price) or clicking the SoundCloud link above.
Samm Henshaw – “Our Love” (London, England)
We’ve been predicting greatness for London singer-songwriter Samm Henshaw for a year now after he shared his stirring single “Redemption” and later his second EP, The Sound Experiment. It seems this prediction came true, as Henshaw has signed with Columbia Records. His first single with the label is the soulful, hip-shaking “Our Love”. Don’t let the backing of a major label fool you – “Our Love” stays true to the soul revitalization currently happening and the music that Henshaw has been creating for a couple of years.
“Our Love” is the lead single from Henshaw’s forthcoming, third EP, The Sound Experiment 2, which will be released on July 15th.
The Van T’s – “35mm” (Glasgow, Scotland)
Last autumn, The Van T’s released a blistering EP called Laguna Babe, that was filled with some awesome post-punk and indie-rock. Fast forward five months and the Scottish quartet have released another rocking tune for another EP, A Coming of Age. On “35mm”, The Van T’s focus on the grunge and alternative rock scenes of the ’90s. With a blazing guitar rift and the great harmonies of twin sisters Chloe and Hannah Van Thompson, the song resonates the sonic power of Veruca Salt and Elastica. If The Van T’s continue to release blistering singles and albums like “35mm”, they’ll soon be joining the company as the aforementioned groups as one of alt-rock’s best bands.
The Van T’s are Chloe Van Thompson, Hannah Van Thompson, Joanne Forbes, and Shaun Hood. A Coming of Age will be available on June 10th via Bloc+Music.
Yumi Zouma – “Barricade (Matter Of Fact)” (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Another band from New Zealand’s South Island that is making waves is Yumi Zouma. The collective of friends create music that could best be described as glacial, bedroom pop – electronic and synth-based music that is intimate and feels like a warm blanket on a cold day. Their new single, “Barricade (Matter of Fact)” evidences the grace and beauty of the band’s music. Nothing is done heavy-handed, but instead like a great sculptor they manicure every detail with the slightest touch – from the beats of the electric drum kit, which are never over done; the soothing sounds of the synthesizers that never go overboard; and the smooth, whispery vocals of Christie Simpson, which never feel tiresome. For those being exposed to Yumi Zouma for the first time, think of a cross between Toro y Moi and rising Brooklyn, synth band Wet, and you get Yumi Zouma.
“Barricade (Matter of Fact)” is the lead single from the quartet’s forthcoming, debut album, Yoncalla, which will be released May 27th via Cascine. The band is commencing a worldwide tour next week, beginning with a hometown show on May 4th. Check their website for tour dates.
Yumi Zouma are Christie Simpson, Sam Perry, Charlie Ryder, and Josh Burgess.
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