The Matinee June 16th features eight songs, which are not just awesome to listen to but also hopefully will inspire you. So take a listen and listen intently to the lyrics, which will either take you away to an enchanted, mysterious place or have you reminiscing about the past and future.
Arc Iris – “Kaleidoscope” (Providence, RI, USA)
RIYL: Laura Marling, Dana Falconberry & Medicine Bow, Cross Record
After departing from The Low Anthem nearly four years ago, Jocie Adams has pursued a more ambitious sound under her project Arc Iris. Together with Zach Tenorio-Miller (piano), Ray Belli (drums), Max Johnson (bass), Robin Ryczek (cello), Mike Irwin (trumpet) and a host of other musicians, the collective from Providence, Rhode Island has won people over with their orchestral, cosmic indie rock. Arc Iris’ new single, “Kaleidoscope” is a like a Salvador Dali painting put to sound – part fantasy, part mystery, and immensely vivid musically and lyrically, which together yield a spectacular piece of art.
“Kaleidoscope” is from the band’s forthcoming, new album Moon Saloon, which will be released August 19th via Bella Union. If the song is any indication of what is to come and given the LP’s name, Moon Saloon should be a concept album of incredible depth and imagination.
Dominique – “Good Girl” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Tove Lo, La Roux, Emmi
The first time we encountered Dominique‘s music, it was back in February when producer Stockholm production duo Manotett remixed her song “I Think I’m Falling”. Of the remix, she said, “As my original track was more production heavy, Manotett stripped it down and put the focus on the vocals. The remix is overall laid-back, but still has a nice beat to it.“
It seems the young, New York City-based artist has learned a few new tricks from that experience, as her latest single, “Good Girl”, is a stripped back, back-to-basic electro-pop tune. The result is a song that is stirring and riveting, as Dominique’s voice is urgent while the production act as a foil in building the drama. Could a star be born? Dominique certainly has the talent to be electro-pop’s next big thing.
The Medicine Hat – “New Survival” (Hamilton, Canada)
RIYL: Saltwater Sun, Walk Off The Earth, Twin River
Yes, there is a small city in southeast Alberta called Medicine Hat, but the band Medicine Hat come from Canada’s steel city, Hamilton, Ontario. The fivesome of Elliott Gwynne, Chris Pruden, Michael Boyd, Nabi Sue Bersche, and Tyler Bersche have been bubbling quietly along the Canadian circuit for the past five years (although they quite popular in their hometown), but buzz is starting to grow for the alt-pop group, especially following the release of their new single, “New Survival”. The song might have some comparing them with fellow Ontarians Walk Off The Earth, although “New Survival” is much more dramatic and engaging and less formulaic pop than the music of their more famous cousins. Instead, The Medicine Hat are more reminiscent of a buzz band across the pond, Saltwater Sun, who, too, create thoughtful and inspiring music.
The Medicine Hat are expected to release their new album this fall. Details still to come.
Modern Pleasure – “Youth” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: Local Natives, Lord Huron, Yeasayer
The city of Leeds is more known for its indie-rock and alt-pop/art-rock bands like Kaiser Chiefs, Eagulls, and Alt-J. Modern Pleasure , though, will change Leeds’ reputation. This young four-piece, who recently went through a name change, are channeling the euphoric indie pop-rock and Americana of the US. “Youth”, their new single, reverberates with the blissful indie sounds and stirring harmonies of early Local Natives. And with lyrics like, “Feel the ocean, so heavenly”, this is a song for everyone – young and old – and perfect for the arrival of summer. The summer is, after all, a time for renewal.
SKOTT – “Porcelain” (somewhere in Europe)
RIYL: Lykki Li, Ofelia K, Lana Del Rey, Kate Bush
Every three or four months, a young artist unexpectedly emerges and offers a memorable song, which then goes viral and shoots up the Hype M charts. The latest is SKOTT, a young artist who has opted to remain relatively anonymous and mysterious. Her debut single, “Porcelain”, is a crippling number, resonating with the power of Lykki Li while rivaling the approach of 2015 sensation Ofelia K. While the song is steeped with electro-pop and R&B textures, a hymnal undertone shimmers throughout with the slight strums of the strings in the background and the inclusion of children’s voices in the chorus. The latter’s addition is clever to further emphasize the natural vulnerability of people, which is can be as fragile as porcelain.
SKOTT’s first single is out via Chess Club Records.
Simen Mitlid – “Sleeping” (Oslo, Norway)
RIYL: The Tallest Man on Earth, Smith Westerns, Avi Buffalo
To be honest, I don’t know anything about Simen Mitlid, other than that he resides in Oslo, Norway and his band comprises of some of his closest friends – Othalie Husøy, Emilie Catrin Korsvold, Hans Olav Settem, Tyler Johnson, and Anders Søvik Hjelden. It is a bit of shame not more is know about Mitlid because his brand of folk-pop is terrific. Earlier in the year, he shared the intimate “Vacation”, and now he shares the terrific “Sleeping”. This song is at first an ear-popping, body-swaying number that transforms into toe-tapping, hand-clapping goodness. The dreamy and hazy vibe given off by the track perfectly complements this song about a long expedition – or maybe it is just one wild night out. With his infectious and engaging brand of folk-pop coupled with his imaginative songwriting, Mitlid could be Norway’s answer to Kristian Matsson – a.k.a. The Tallest Man on Earth.
The Tallest Man On Earth – “Time Of The Blue” (Dalarna, Sweden)
RIYL: Iron & Wine (Sam Beam), Zachary Cale, Richard Walters
Speaking about The Tallest Man on Earth, the universally-loved, Swedish singer-songwriter offers a surprise new single. “Time of The Blue” showcases a different side of Matsson. Instead of offering a full band, euphoric number, Matsson strips everything back yet still demonstrates he can stir emotions and stun with a simple approach. With just his voice and him finger-plucking on the acoustic guitar, Matsson offers a wonderful, tragic love song. While he sings about the world around us, he is able to masterfully isolate his feelings for his true love, separating it from the noise around them. Stunning, breathtaking, beautiful, gorgeous, whatever you want to call it, “Time Of The Blue” is simple but spectacular.
Catch Matsson on his North American tour, which starts July 1st and includes stops at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest, and the Calgary and Edmonton Folkfests.
Team Picture – “Birthday Blues” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: The Men, FKA Viet Cong, Eagulls, Chaika
We always need one rocker on the playlist, and the debut single by Leeds outfit Team Picture more than fits the bill. There are not many words on “Birthday Blues” – the guys just repeat, “Ain’t nobody want to be friends with me” – but the reason for this song made the cut is because the instrumentation is fantastic. The dueling guitars, the probing bass line, and the crashing drumming fuel the song, making this largely instrumental number into a blistering, mind-blowing experience. The approach is akin to the early days of The Men while also echoing Eagulls’ self-titled debut. This. Song. Is. Awesome!
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