The final long weekend of summer has passed, which means the kids are back in school and the grind of the 9-to-5 returns. To help ease you back into your routine, The Matinee September 6th has eight new singles. There is everything from soothing bedroom pop to euphoric shoegaze-y dream-pop to blistering punk-rock. So sit back, relax, and hear some great new music by these talented artists.
The Bad Years – “In The House (High All Day)” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Avec Sans, The Divinyls, Sumeau
It has been more than a year since we have heard from Aaron Mort and Sami Akbari, who comprise The Bad Years. In the spring of 2015, they tickled our auditory senses with their terrific EP, Beautiful Liar, which was a mix of July Talk and Veronica Falls. The Los Angeles-based duo is now back with another captivating song.
“In The House” seems at first listen like the perfect summer song with its dreamy synths, the lush twin harmonies, and the euphoric chorus. Listen closely, though, and the duo have shared a heartbreaking song about losing a loved one. Akbari’s repeating lyrics, “All I want to do is get high all day”, isn’t an ode to people’s favorite weed, but rather the desire to live within the memory of the loved one who was taken away. As you listen to the song, close your eyes and be swept away by this beautiful track.
No word on whether The Bad Years will be sharing any new music soon. If the past is any indication, there should be a record on the horizon.
Bloodhounds On My Trail – “Over The Wall” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Orchin
Another band that dazzled us a year ago is Bloodhounds On My Trail. At the end of 2015, they shared their second EP, Escape II, which was a bristling display of enchanting shoegaze. They return with a new song, which sees the band move away from the dreamworld and launch itself into the stratosphere.
Akin to My Bloody Valentine’s trailblazing work, the Melbourne-based quartet have created a cosmic and spine-chilling number with “Over The Wall”. Everything about the song is eerie yet hypnotic. Frontman Johnny Green’s deadpan yet whispery vocals are creepy. Thee hallow crystalline guitars have an industrial feel, and each note penetrates deep into your mind. The lyrics could be something written by Clive Barker, as Green sings about someone who is always watching you. Bloodhounds On My Trail prove once again with “Over The Wall” that they are not just another shoegaze, indie-rock band. These four gents are masters of their craft.
Bloodhounds On My Trail are Johnny Green (guitar, vocals); Chris Donaldson (guitar); Nik Donaldson (drums); and Ché Walden (bass).
Courtney Marie Andrews – “How Quickly Your Heart Mends” (Seattle via Phoenix, USA)
RIYL: Margo Price, Joni Mitchell, Gillian Welch
By now you have noticed that there is a seismic transformation happening in country music. We are not talking about country-rock, country-pop, or the dreadful country-rap. Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Margo Price, Jason Isbell, and Dori Freeman, just to name a few, are taking country music back to its heyday. A time when Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, and Emmylou Harris were the talk of the industry. Another young singer-songwriter doing her part in making country honest and real is Courtney Marie Andrews.
A little over two weeks ago she released her new album, Honest Life. From it is this beauty of a track, “How Quickly Your Heart Mends”. The first thing that is noticeable is Andrews’ stunning vocals, which are similar to the warmth of Angel Olsen. After you stop swooning over Andrews’ voice, get lost in her fabulous storytelling. Like the all-time greats, Andrews paints an elaborate tale of an ex-lover who has rebounded quickly from their breakup. While she describes the events unfolding before her, you can hear and feel her heartbreak with each passing second. No wonder Ryan Adams has been signing the praises of Andrews. She is one remarkable talent whose star is about to explode.
Goon – “Green Peppers” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Kurt Vile, Car Seat Headrest, Mikal Cronin
America’s indie-rock scene has never been stronger. Veterans like Kurt Vile and The War on Drugs continue to amaze people with their experiment musicianship and personal stories. Newcomers like Car Seat Headrest, Hop Along, and The Districts have infused new energy into the genre. The next name to know if Los Angeles-based quartet Goon.
Despite the name, Goon’s music is anything but rowdy. Their music is thoughtful and honest, although it is a bit whimsical as evidenced by the title of their new single, “Green Peppers”. The song resonates with the warm intimacy of Kurt Vile, particularly during the acoustic guitar solo midway through the number. The storytelling, meanwhile, has the oft-kilter, analogical approach preferred by the new wave of singer-songwriters such as Mac DeMarco and HOMESHAKE. Not once is green peppers mentioned in song, but in all likelihood the vegetable represents the love-hate relationship many of us have within someone in our lives. Could be our parents, siblings, friends, or even our partners. In this case, Goon have left it up to us to decide.
“Green Peppers” is from Goon’s forthcoming, debut EP, Dusk of Punk. It will be released independently on September 16th. Pre-order the six-song record on Bandcamp.
Ritual Howls – “Spirit Murder” (Detroit, USA)
RIYL: Joy Division, Preoccupations, DIIV
If you lived in the late ’70s or early ’80s or have an infinity for music for that genre, then write down the name Ritual Howls. The Detroit-based band resembles in many ways one of music’s great bands of that era, Joy Division, and one of current indie rock’s bests, Preoccupations. Their new single, “Spirit Murder”, is exhibit A.
Like the two great bands, Ritual Howls have created a song that is haunting, mesmerizing, and frighteningly real. The song has the stark industrial feel of the era, but the trio have enhanced the sound by adding a lush, crystalline layer to keep one enchanted. Consequently, the song is gripping and subtly dramatic, yet the ethereal undertones keep you in your place. It is like watching a horror movie unfold in your ears, except this one is surprisingly beautiful to experience.
“Spirit Murder” is from Ritual Howls’ new album, Into The Water. It is out now on Felte. Purchase the LP on Bandcamp. If you’re in the Detroit area, the band will be hosting a record release show on Friday night at El Club.
Ritual Howls are Paul Bancell, Chris Samuels, and Ben Saginaw.
Rosemary Fairweather – “I Wasn’t There” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Sadie Dupuis, Yumi Zouma, MADEIRA
There is a line in Rosemary Fairweather‘s latest single, “I Wasn’t There”, that is startlingly powerful. “I wasn’t there when you killed me. No, I wasn’t there.” The words are simple, but the message is like a knife piercing into one’s heart. The lyrics are further heightened by Fairweather’s delivery and the sparse production, as the two combine to create a feeling of intimacy and vulnerability. The song is absolutely beautiful, but those ten words will have you feeling a little weak in the knees. Or at the very least, they will leave a scar in your mind.
This is not the first time that Fairweather has been blown us away with her stunning bedroom-pop. “Calling Listening” and “Moonlight” were previously featured on The Matinee. Later this fall, we will have the chance to experience her breathtaking sound when her new album, Heavenly – A Collection of Songs, arrives.
Slowcoaches – “Norms & Values” (London / Leeds / Nottingham, England)
RIYL: Screaming Females, Slant Chant, Swearin’
The UK has given us its fair share of awesome, female-fronted rock bands. Wolf Alice. Black Honey. The Van T’s. The list goes on and on. With all due respect to these three great groups, none of them rock as hard as Slowcoaches.
The trio originally started off as a garage-pop band, but over time they have evolved into a harder, grittier, and more menacing punk-rock band. Their new single, “Norms & Values”, demonstrates the Slowcoaches’ new and heavier sound. The transformation, though, is awesome. Right from the start, Slowcoaches unleash a fury of grimy guitars, raging drums, and hardcore bass line. The blistering noise, the fiery intensity, and the frenetic pacing echo the punk rock that blared in the caverns of New York City and London in the ’70s and ’80s.
And similar to bands like The Ramones, The Pixies, The Buzzcocks, and The Sex Pistols, the London-based band are socially conscientious. On this track, they condemn the materialistic society and the ambition it breeds inside everyone. The song is basically one big middle finger at the establishment and the celebration of the punk mentality of yesteryear. For those who grew up during this era or still live by the punk ethos, you just yell, “F*** yeah!”, when the song is finished.
“Norms & Values” is from Slowcoaches’ debut album, Nothing Gives. It comes out December 2nd. Pre-order it here.
Wild Meadows – “Nowhere” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Still Corners, American Wrestlers, A Place to Bury Strangers
This week must be Melbourne week, as Wild Meadows are the fourth group we have showcased in the first two days. This is just more proof about the depth and talent that exists in city in the southeastern portion of Australia.
Wild Meadows are carving out their own plot in the crowded thanks to their awesome sound. They first caught our ears with the rapturous “Rebel”. Late last week, they shared their newest single, “Nowhere”. Whereas “Rebel” was delicious and euphoric psychedelic pop, “Nowhere” is dazzling indie pop-rock. In actuality, the single is really two songs in one. It starts off as a catchy, soothing dream-pop number in the mould of Still Corners. As the song progresses, it seamlessly transitions into a shoegaze monster a la My Bloody Valentine and A Place to Bury Strangers. The progression is brilliant and showcases a band that may be new to the scene but has a firm understanding of what captivates listeners. “Nowhere” is really special, which is what we can say about Wild Meadows.
Wild Meadows are Jessica Aliese Lawrence, and James Ross, Donovan Pill, Chris Rodgers, and Simon Gemmill.
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