Wendy is on holiday this week so Hollie and Ben are doing double duty and taking over The Matinee June 15th edition (and also this Friday’s edition). We hope Wendy approves of our mini-playlist, which covers a vast array of genres – Afropunk, alternative rock, soul and R&B, dream-pop, gothic Americana, and folk-rock.
50FootWave – “God’s Not a Dick” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Throwing Muses, Belly, The Breeders
If you’re a fan of indie rock pioneers Throwing Muses, then you’re probably aware of 50FootWave, the side project that Kristin Hersh formed in 2003. If not, it is our pleasure to introduce you to this Los Angeles-based power trio. Like their name implies, their bold sound will hit you like a sonic tsunami. Over the last 13 years they have steadily cranked out guitar-driven rock that might not fit the Throwing Muses style. Late last month the group delivered their sixth release, the Bath White EP. They’re not playing around here. Hersh knows how to rock, and this project is her vehicle for amplified expression. What else can you expect with producer Mudrock (who’s known for working with Godsmack) at the helm? The trio’s sound is balanced by Throwing Muses bassist Bernard Georges with drummer Rob Ahlers adding percussive depth.
50FOOTWAVE are: Kristin Hersh (vocals, guitar), Bernard Georges (bass), Rob Ahlers (drums).
Adia Victoria – “Howlin’ Shame” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: Valerie June, Neko Case, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
Last month a southern American singer/songwriter/poet released a debut album that generated a lot of buzz. Nashville-based Adia Victoria stunned listeners and critics alike with her left-of-center goth Americana on Beyond the Bloodhounds. OK, we understand if you’re confused by the term “goth Americana” since it’s not an everyday genre. While “gothic country/folk” might not be commonplace, the term definitely fits this artist who is also anything but ordinary.
Adia Victoria puts her own spin on the Southern gothic trope on the swampy, brooding “Howlin’ Shame“. Atmospheric and haunting, this single sounds like it would have been a perfect choice to be featured in an episode of True Blood. There’s a mysterious vibe at play here that’s heightened by the edginess of Adia’s vocals. Beyond the Bloodhounds is one of the most arresting debuts we’ve heard from an artist in quite some time. Take a listen to this and you’ll understand exactly what we mean.
Anthony D’Amato – “Golden Gloves” (Blairstown, New Jersey USA)
RIYL: Ryan Adams, Josh Ritter, Conor Oberst
What happens if you take a heaping dose of Ryan Adams and add equal parts of Bruce Springsteen and Josh Ritter with a hint of Rhett Miller? You’d get the emerging talent named Anthony D’Amato. This young singer/songwriter hails from the Boss’s home state of New Jersey, and his sound bears much of the same honest grittiness that made Springsteen famous. But there’s more to this multi-instrumentalist than meets the eye. For starters, this guy plays enough instruments (guitars, bass, keyboards, banjo, mandolin, accordion, harmonica, and pedal steel) to have a full band. As if that wasn’t impressive enough on its own, he’s an Ivy League graduate who recorded his first EP in his Princeton dorm room. There’s no denying that Anthony D’Amato is an emerging star in the world of singer/songwriters. When it comes to intelligent, thoughtful music that touches both heart and soul, “Golden Gloves” packs a punch and leaves you wanting more. Get to know this guy now, because he will soon be orbiting the same sphere as guys like Jason Isbell and Ray LaMontagne.
D’Amato’s American east coast/southern tour kicks off tonight in Boston and runs thru mid-July.
AZEKEL – “Linger” (London, England)
RIYL: The Weeknd, Jack Garratt, Dev Hynes
Before he was performing on stage with Massive Attack, young London singer-songwriter AZEKEL was already on the rise with his Weeknd-esque mix of soul, R&B, and electronic as displayed on his debut EP, Raw, Vol. 1, which included the terrific “Mad About the Boy”. While we do not normally share music within this genre, AZEKEL’s style is more stripped back and thus, grittier and rawer than many of his contemporaries. Using this approach allows his songs, like his latest single “Linger”, to feel intimate and stark, where you are sucked into the body of the person who has just lost everything. It was not luck nor chance that had AZEKEL performing with the trip-hop legends last year; the young man is an emerging force and innovator within a genre rife with imitators.
“Linger” is the latest single from AZEKEL’s forthcoming, new EP, Raw, Vol. 2, which is expected this summer or fall.
Belle Mare – “How Much Longer” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Broken Social Scene (later work), VIOLENT MAE, Beach House
The last time we heard from Amelia Bushnell and Thomas Servidone, the masterminds behind one of our favorite bands Belle Mare, was back in November when they shared “Dark Evening” and before that February 2015 when we premiered “Cicada”. For over two years, we have been anxiously awaiting their debut full-length, and finally it might come out this year (fingers crossed!).
Their new single, “How Much Longer” (which is a question we have been asking repeatedly) presents a new sound and phase for the band. Whereas their debut EP, The Boat of the Fragile Mind, and previous singles were sprawling, mesmerizing dream-folk, “How Much Longer” is breathtaking and blissful dream-pop, yet it retains the bedroom intimacy of their earlier work. This song is like a first rays of sun that shine each day – it just brings a smile to your face. And if this is Belle Mare’s new sound and a hint of what is to come, then the lengthy wait will have been worth it.
Kutiman – “Shine Again” (Jerusalem, Israel)
RIYL: Beats Antique, Polyrhythmics, Imarhan
It’s been almost a year since we first fell in love with the world music of Israeli artist/composer Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman. His inventive style of jazzy Afropunk is unlike most anything else we share. The single we featured last August, “Inner Galactic Lovers”, was a unique, intoxicating trip. Now he’s returned with a new single from his forthcoming EP, 6AM.
“Shine Again” is less dizzying than what we’ve heard from Kutiman before, but don’t be mislead by the seeming mellowness. The sound here is still bold, still heady, and definitely still dazzling from start to finish. The sensual nature of the Kutiman sound will make you want to lose yourself in its richly woven tapestry of rhythm.
You can find 6AM on his Bandcamp page.
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