As you start day two of the work week and the second-to-last week of summer, The Matinee August 23rd will provide the shot of adrenaline you need. From electronic to art-pop to indie-rock to industrial, there is a little bit of everything.
Chasms – “Black Ice” (San Francisco, USA)
RIYL: Savages, Jenny Hval
Very few bands have names that match their sound. San Francisco-based Chasms, though, are one of the rareties. The project of Jess Labrador and Shannon Madden, Chasms’ new single, “Black Ice”, sounds like music that has been shot out of the depths of the sea – dense, melodic, and hallow. But beneath the brooding, crystalline guitar, the piercing percussion, and the dark, ghostly vocals, there lies an unexpected beauty that is simultaneously haunting and striking. If the music could be observed, it would probably be similar to bright light shining through the darkness and offering a ray of hope. The song is devastatingly beautiful and transfixing. You won’t be able to get this out of your head.
“Black Ice” is from Chasms’ forthcoming, debut album, On The Legs Of Love Purified. It arrives October 14th on felte.
Few Bits – “Sweet Warrior” (Antwerp, Belgium)
RIYL: Hope Sandoval/Mazzy Starr, Le Sera, Day Wave
After a few false starts, Few Bits‘ sophomore album, Big Sparks, will finally be released in the autumn. The Belgian band has shared a few fantastic singles already, including the sweet, summery “Summer Sun” and the breezy “Anyone Else”, and the latest single is no different.
“Sweet Warrior” is another delightful pop treat that is sweet on the ears and soothing on the soul. Frontwoman Karolien Van Ransbeeck’s vocals are tantalizing and engrossing with a delivery and dazzling quality akin to Hope Sandoval. The jangly, surf vibes that percolate throughout the song are delicious, lush, and cinematic, and they provide a feeling of escapism. That feeling is an urge to want to wander off the beaten path, to discover something unexpectedly, and to answer the question what are we fighting for.
“Sweet Warrior” is thoughtful and stunningly beautiful, and these two words will be endlessly repeated when Big Sparks arrives September 30th via Play It Again Sam (Belgium).
FRAME – “Love Wasted” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: LP, El Perro Del Mar, Cat Power
The ’80s was littered with songs that felt a warm blanket. Music that you wanted to tightly wrap yourself in and be taken away to a dreamy place. So whatever you want about the ’80s, but today’s music lacks the intimacy of that era. FRAME‘s new single, “Love Wasted”, however, gives us a taste of what we long for and miss about that decade. Highlighted by Cailtin Frame’s easy and breathtaking vocals and a melody that would make Berlin envious, the song is endearing and heartwarming. It is a song that spans generations, where every person between 16 and 100 will understand the yearning and hurt FRAME is expressing in the song. “Love Wasted” is a beautiful number, a new song with an old, tender heart.
“Love Wasted” is FRAME’s first single in two years. It is also the lead track from her forthcoming new album, whose name and release date will be shared soon. If she doesn’t immediately release her album, word is that Dirty Dancing is getting the remake treatment, so “Love Wasted” could be the soundtrack’s first song.
Get Inuit – “Teriyaki” (Kent, England)
RIYL: Spring King, Johnny Foreigner, Heyrocco
The summer is almost over and we all need a song that allows us to just break free and feel like a juvenile again. Surging English quartet Get Inuit have provided that anthem with their latest single “Teriyaki”. The song is pure guitar-pop bliss with its frenetic pace, infectious melody, and dizzying energy. At just over 2 minutes in length, “Teriyaki” is the Red Bull of pop songs – a track that will surely energize you and have you bopping all over the place. No wonder the likes of Huw Stephens and Annie Mac of the BBC are huge fans of the band.
The band has released ten songs to date, and they can be heard on SoundCloud. They are working on new material, and their “official” debut album should be released later this year or early in 2017. “Teriyaki”, meanwhile, will officially be released on September 2nd.
Glass Spells – “Danger Streets” (Calexico/San Diego, USA)
RIYL: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Psychic Twin
Our fandom for Glass Spells is no secret, and it commenced even before The Revue days. The songs they have released this year, including the feverish “Rebellion”, only cemented our love affair for the southern California quartet. For us, they have become a worthy successor to Yeah Yeah Yeahs with their highly contagious and energetic disco-punk.
Like the New York City legends, Glass Spells are evolving. Their new single, “Danger Streets”, is the first foray into a new space for the band. Moving away from their grittier initial singles, Glass Spells have opted for a more melodic, synth-pop approach. The result is a shimmering song that dazzles and lulls you into a false sense of security. A song that for four minutes will erase all thoughts, steal away your affection, and have you swirling uncontrollably on the dance floor. If a song could feel like stimulant, it would “Danger Streets” and its manufacturer would be Glass Spells.
Look Vibrant – “Bull & Eagle” (Montreal, Canada)
RIYL: Papa, Royal Canoe, Bell Atlas
Montreal is one of the world’s epicenters of great new music. I’m not saying this as a proud Canadian, but the city has produced some of the most innovative and influential bands and artists. Leonard Cohen, Arcade Fire, Coeur de Pirate, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Wolf Parade, Patrick Watson, and No Joy are just some of the names. Pretty soon we might have to add the name Look Vibrant.
The quintet of Justin Lazarus, Matt Murphy, Andrew David, Eli Kaufman, and Alex Rand recently released their new single, which is a brilliant introduction to the band’s version of art-pop. “Bull & Eagle” is a firebrand of a song. The tempo is manic; the melodies are oft-kilter; and the rhythms are off-the-hook. Despite the frenetic nature of the song, it all works. “Bull & Eagle” is bright, unique, whimsical, and completely intoxicating. The experience is like being taken down the rabbit hole, and just as Alice felt at the end we never want to leave. So when will Look Vibrant take us back to their spiraling world?
Matsu Mixu – “Sandcastle Ride” (Portland, USA)
RIYL: Frankie Rose, Kristin Kontrol, Crystal Castles, HEALTH
Portland is mostly known for its impeccable songwriters and imaginative storytellers. The Rose City, however, does not get recognized enough for its burgeoning electronic scene. Maybe Matsu Mixu will change this (mis)perception. Comprised of Michelle Yue and Mat King, the duo’s new single “Sandcastle Ride” is a hypnotic dream. Like the great Frankie Rose, Matsu Mixu have not solely crafted a song filled with sensual beats and mind-altering effects, but they have included a story that is exhilarating. Big things are in store for the band – really big things. It wouldn’t surprise us they are mentioned in the same breath as Crystal Castles in the very near future.
“Sandcastle Ride” is from Matsu Mixu’s forthcoming, debut album, LP1. It drops this Friday, August 26th via Manimal Vinyl.
Still Corners – “Lost Boys” (London, England)
RIYL: Chromatics, Memoryhouse, Crystal Castles
Through their first two albums, London duo Still Corners separated themselves from the rest of the electronic and synth-pop scene. Their dark, sinister approach was unmatched, as every song gave the feeling one was traveling down an endless highway or that something, someone was awaiting for us behind every corner. After three years away, Tessa Murray and Greg Hughes return with a song that builds on their past efforts, and it is, to no one’s surprise, brilliant. “Lost Boys” is dazzling and cripplingly beautiful, where it bores a hole deep into your body and rests next to your soul. Hughes’ instrumental work is mesmerizing, as he incorporates synth-pop, new wave, and contemporary electro-pop. Murray’s voice, meanwhile, is as enrapturing and intoxicating as before.
The song evidences why Still Corners have become a cult favorite to many, including myself, but hopefully that will change when their third LP, Dead Blue, is released. The album is expected September 16th via Wrecking Light Records.
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