The Matinee August 9th has a selection of eight sumptuous tunes. You might recognition a few of the names on the list while many will be brand new. The songs range from dark and mysterious to fun and whimsical. So whatever your mood is today, this mini-playlist likely has it.
Andrew Judah – “Blue” (Kelowna, BC, Canada)
RIYL: Why We Run, Lo-pines, Okkervil River
One of Canada’s most prolific yet underrated songwriters is Andrew Judah. Like Leonard Cohen, the British Columbian has a sense for the dramatic, as shown on “Blue”. Actually, this song is more than that. It is about a fractured love affair is mysterious like a John Le Carré espionage novel, yet it has a dizzying effect like Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. This brilliant song is by an artist you have to know.
“Blue” is from Judah’s new EP Metanoia, Pt. III, which is out now and get be purchased on Bandcamp.
Elle Belle – “Knock On The Light” (ft. Misty Boyce of BØRNS) (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Twin Shadow, Neon Indian
In a time where a lot of R&B songs have adopted the same arrangements and approach, it is difficult to find an artist that sticks out from the masses. Elle Belle, the project of Christopher Pappas, is one of those rare finds. His mixture of R&B and electronic is intoxicating and has resulted in him being a favorite within the LA music scene. As evidence, Pappas enlisted the assistance of BØRNS’ keyboardist Misty Boyce to sing backup vocals on his latest single “Knock On The Light”. The tune echoes early Twin Shadow – innovative yet infectious, enticing and engaging. It is only a matter time before Pappas becomes a household name, and “Knock On The Light” is the first stone into the pond.
Gina Leonard – “Playing Dead” (Bristol, England)
RIYL: Fiona Apple, Sara Watkins, Andrew Bird
Take one listen to Gina Leonard‘s new song, “Playing Dead”, and one word will likely come immediately to mind – provocative. The arrangements are simple yet beautiful, and Leonard’s voice is captivating. Leonard’s songwriting, however, is the standout. The song describes a relationship built on abuse and coercion, where her only means of survival is to submit or “play dead”. The meaning of the song, though, extends beyond her actions. It also represents how she feels, as her soul and dignity have been taken away everyday. A story like this is usually told in a mini-series, but Leonard has done it in under three-and-a-minutes. She is a storyteller to watch. A provocative storyteller that is.
Gold Fir – “Night Walk” (London, England)
RIYL: Anteros, Sister Sledge
We do not know much about Gold Fir other than they are a new electronic duo from London, and their names are James and Mabel. For now, they are a mysterious entity. But if they continue to make ear-popping singles like their debut, “Night Walk”, they won’t be able to hide for long. “Night Walk” is a modern-day take of the disco era, buzzing with the trippy beats of the ’70s yet filled with contemporary electronica. Mabel’s vocals, too, are tantalizingly smooth and intoxicating. This is an awesome track by a group that we want to know more about.
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Lake Jons – “Tree” (Helsinki, Finland)
RIYL: Broken Social Scene, Plants & Animals, Midlake
It was back in May when we caught wind of Finnish folk-rock band Lake Jons, who mesmerized us with their harmonious “In Time”. Their latest single is the equally stunning, “Tree”, which is filled with the trio’s trademark beautiful harmonies and melodies. The song is like the first cup of tea or coffee in the morning – something that will warm your soul and add an extra pep to your step. Like that first beverage, you will be coming back to it each and every day.
“Tree” is from Lake Jons’ second EP, Explode. The band consists of Jooel Jons, Mikko Pennanen and Jaska Stenroth.
Lowell – “Blow The Bass” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Braids, Crystal Castles, BØRNS
We have been infatuated with Elizabeth Lowell Boland’s project, Lowell, for a couple of years. Her debut album, We Loved Her Dearly, was a poignant album that challenged the social order. Lowell’s live shows are not just energetic but energizing. With her new single, “Blow The Bass”, though, the Canadian artist takes a step away from the anthemic synth-pop of her debut to the claustrophobia of an underground club. The bass is heavier, and Lowell’s vocals are filtered and given a more sultry vibe. While the sound is different, the thoughtful songwriter remains. The song is an ode to our topsy-turvy world and how its chaos can leave so many feel disenfranchised. So dance away your sorrows and feel enlivened by Canada’s next big thing in synth-pop.
“Blow the Bass” is the second single from Lowell’s new EP, Part 1: PARIS YK, which is due out in August via Arts & Crafts.
Morgan Delt – “Some Sunsick Day” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Tame Impala, George Harrison, Mikal Cronin
When Morgan Delt released his self-titled album in 2014, he blew our minds with his psychedelic kaleidoscope. For his sophomore album, Delt might be taking a different approach. The lead single from Phase Zero (August 26th via Sub Pop), “I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside”, was more melodic yet deeply engrossing. The second single, “Some Sunsick Day”, is similarly melodic and immensely beautiful akin to George Harrison’s solo work. Akin to the great artist and member of The Beatles, Delt takes us high above the clouds and sends us into a dream state. However, while the first two songs may be enchanting, there is a disenchantment in Delt’s lyrics. No longer the wide-eyed, young singer-songwriter, Delt is offering a different perspective of the puzzling world – where reality is being clouded by a false believe that everything is just fine.
Virgin Of The Birds – “Spooky, Stony, Barely Over Thirty” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Anthonie Tonnon, Lawrence Arabia, Joel Plaskett & The Emergency
To finish things off, we share a single from a band from the United States’ Pacific Northwest, although maybe Virgin Of The Birds should be from elsewhere. The trio currently call Seattle home after stops in San Francisco and Austin. Their brand of chamber pop and irony-drenched songwriting, however, echoes the music from New Zealand, and their new single, “Spooky, Stony, Barely Over Thirty”, exemplifies their Kiwi sound. The song follows the adventures of a young woman who is “barely over thirty” and comes from – you got it – Wellington. The song is fun and whimsical, and storytelling is fantastic. If you follow the NZ music scene, the band’s style and frontman Jon Rooney’s vocals sound awfully akin to Anthonie Tonnon.
This is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming, sophomore album, Secret Kids. The LP drops in October via Song, By Toad Records (UK/Europe) and Abandoned Love Records (US). Virgin Of The Birds are Jon Rooney, Colin J Nelson, and Ken Nottingham.
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