We have seven more singles on The Matinee July 14th edition. Let’s get to the music on this scorching Thursday.
BLAJK – “Lethal” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Cavalry meets Arctic Monkeys meets The Weeknd
Toronto five-piece BLAJK are on the verge of a major breakout. They are creating music unlike anyone else in the country with the brooding indie rock that borders on Arctic Monkeys. Their new single, “Lethal”, however, sees the band add a twist to their dark sound by incorporating a hint of R&B and soul. The result is a song that is not only hypnotic but sultry, dramatic, and heart-racing.
The song is from their forthcoming EP, Limited, which arrives on July 19th. If the rest of the EP is like this tune and their previous numbers such as “French Class” and the epic “Lost”, we just might end up like the protagonist in the song – in a comatose state.
BLAJK are Jordan Radics (vocals), Paul Doherty (guitar, production), Brent Gordon (guitar), Thomas Conrad (bass, keys), and Ray McTaggart (drums).
Candy Cigarettes – “Cabin Fever” (Portland, Oregon)
RIYL: Jim James, Bon Iver, City and Colour
First, I need to apologize to Lane Mueller for not sharing his music under the moniker Candy Cigarettes sooner. I have been meaning to for some time, but always got distracted. His single, “Cabin Fever”, though, could not be ignored. The song is a microcosm of Mueller’s talent – a stunning, cinematic track that will have you saying, “Wow!” The song starts off gently with just Mueller’s soothing vocals and a swatch of quiet instrumentation in the background before it builds towards its mind-blowing finale. It is a song that you would expect to hear from more accomplished musicians like Jim James of My Morning Jacket or the Justin Vernon-led Bon Iver. However, it is a gentleman from Portland, Oregon, who has created this brilliant song.
Mothers – “Easy As Possible” (Athens, GA, USA)
RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Lucy Dacus
Earlier this year, Mothers released their terrific debut album, When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired. It is one of the most beautiful and emotionally powerful records of the year. The stories are not for the faint of heart, yet musically it at times is breathtaking. In case we couldn’t wait the standard two years for the band to share new material, they have offered us a gift. Yesterday, they announced they would be sharing a deluxe edition of their critically acclaimed album, offering four new tracks. One of those songs is “Easy As Possible”, which is even more stripped back than anything they have produced. The scratchy recording – which sounds like an old 8-track demo – adds another emotive layer to the song, simultaneously accentuating the track’s beauty and its heartbreaking story. Kristine Leschper’s slight and distant vocals, meanwhile, take us alongside the protagonist as she travels to the depths of those forgotten. This band never ceases to amaze us.
The deluxe edition arrives July 29th via Grand Jury Music. This song, however, can be ordered separately as a 7″ record with the other side being another deep cut, “Accessory Cloud”. Pre-order the 7″ here. The band is currently on a lengthy tour that sees them cut across North America and Europe from now until October. They will be headlining some shows and playing numerous festivals, but most of their gigs are in support of Band of Skulls and Frightened Rabbit. See tour dates here.
Mothers are Kristine Leschper (guitar, vocals); Matthew Anderegg (drums); Drew Kirby (guitar); and Patrick Morales (bass).
night pilot – “Hotel” (Wellington, New Zealand)
RIYL: Blouse, Faith Healer, Nite Jewel, DOE EYE
From the place that I currently call home comes a little gem. night pilot is the project of Wellington, New Zealand native Hannah Brewer, and she is quietly getting set to release her debut EP. The second single from the record is “Hotel”. While Brewer sings about a breakup, the gorgeous yet intimate dream-pop vibe and the hum of the electric guitar will have you wanting to experience this song again and again and again. This song along with her first single, “Drive”, could have Brewer on the fast track to indie stardom.
Pink Flames – “I’m Just A Star On A Democratic Flag” (London, England)
RIYL: Widowspeak, Saltwater Sun, Broadcast
A year ago, NME listed London duo Pink Flames as one of its bands to know in their weekly feature. At that time, the duo of Isabel Spurgeon of NOVELLA and Max Claps of The Proper Ornaments shared their dreary yet terrific cover of “I’m Just A Star On A Democratic Flag”, a song originally released by Los Angeles, 60s stoner band Smiles. Just as quickly as the band emerged, they immediately disappeared (more accurately they returned their original bands). In the wake of the “Brexit” follow up and the forthcoming US elections, Spurgeon and Claps have opted to re-release this brilliant cover.
Recorded with The Horrors’ guitarist Joshua Third and The History Of Apple Pie’s Jerome Watson, Pink Flames have transformed this song into a dark and harrowing number to better reflect the song’s message of innocence loss and the realization that we are all just pawns in the bigger game of life. This is not only a great rendition of an underground tune, but also a fantastic (re-)introduction to Pink Flames.
The cover will be part of a double A-side, 7″ vinyl, which will be released by Raft Records on July 22nd.
Sykoya – “The Wolf” (London, England)
RIYL: Stranded Mermaid, ØLLEBIRDE, Portishead
A lot of bands get anointed as the next Portishead, and some fit the bill and others are unable to live up to the lofty expectations. London trio Sykoya, though, checks every mark. As evidence, their single “The Wolf” from their stirring debut EP, Strange Night, captures the haunting enchantment of the original indietronica legends. Frontwoman Anna Marcella’s are dazzlingly vulnerable, bringing you into the song’s mythical storyline. The production and percussion work of Curtis ElVidge and Joe Cross, meanwhile, are masterfully controlled, creating the dramatic and cinematic backdrop. We do not say this often, but Sykoya are something special.
Ultimate Painting – “Bills” (London, England)
RIYL: Dick Diver, Whitney, Woods
There are so many bands that have us asking, “Why aren’t they more popular?” Near the top of this list is London’s Ultimate Painting. After two awesome albums, including their terrific sophomore record Green Lanes, the project of Mazes’ Jack Cooper and Veronica Falls‘ James Hoare are set to launch their third LP. The lead single is “Bills”, which retains the duo’s focus on reinterpreting classic rock. On this tune, there is an added lushness that is provided by the 70s’ psychedelic folk-rock vibe and the delicate, smooth dual harmonies of Cooper and Hoare. Hopefully this song and the new album will draw more fans to the Simon & Garfunkel of our generation.
Their third album, Dusk, is set to be released on September 30th via Trouble In Mind Records.
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