As there is so much good music being released lately, The Matinee September 20th features ten amazing, new songs. The mini-playlist features two songs from Australia, Sweden, and the USA, and one each from New Zealand, Denmark, England, and Canada.
BEATCOMBER – “Sick Breeze” (Wellington, New Zealand)
RIYL: Beach Day, Beach Baby, ALVVAYS
We kick things off with some infectious garage-pop from all the way in Wellington, New Zealand. Meet BEATCOMBER, a relatively new band from the coolest capital on the planet. Late last week, the five-piece released “Sick Breeze”, which is a short, blissful tune made for swaying in the summer breeze. The start of the song is pretty awesome, kicking off with a howling echo that is Ty Segall-esque before Sophie Scott-Maunder’s angelic vocals and the groovy melodies kick in. Could BEATCOMBER be New Zealand’s answer to ALVVAYS? If they continue to make such sweet-sounding music, there is no doubt they could be big indie stars.
The single is available on their Bandcamp page. BEATCOMBER are Sophie Scott-Maunder (keys/vocals), Thomas King (drums), Jonathan Shirley (bass), Sam Young (tambourine), and Trent Williams (guitar/vocals/space echo).
The Cherry Dolls – “Fire” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Futurebirds, The Sheepdogs, The Belligerents
Song number two is an old-school, ’60s southern rocker, except the band is from southern Australia as oppose to the southern US. Meet The Cherry Dolls, who have been laying waste to the finest (and not-so-finest) venues Down Under for the better part of two years. Their new single, “Fire”, showcases why big things are in store for the quintet. The guitar hooks are catchy and off the hook. The rhythms are hand-clap worthy, and the tambourine is pretty awesome. Yes, the tambourine. Joshua Aubry’s vocals, meanwhile, is rock star personified, lying somewhere in between Steve Tyler, Jack Bruce, and Jimmy Hall (of Wet Willie fame). “Fire”, indeed, is one of those rare songs that deserve a “F*** yeah!”.
The single is out on First Love Records. The Cherry Dolls are Joshua Aubry, Jakob Kagan, Thomas van der Vliet, Brendan West, and Jim Stirton.
Desi Valentine – “Fate Don’t Know You” (Los Angeles, USA via London, England)
RIYL: Sam Cooke, Amy Winehouse, Samm Henshaw, John Legend
His name is taken right from the ’50s and ’60s, and Desi Valentine has the sound to match. Like Sam Cooke and Amy Winehouse before him, the London native’s soulful crooning approach just grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. His new single, “Fate Don’t Know You”, is striking in its simplicity, but that is where the beauty and charm come in. The arrangements are terrific. There aren’t any overdramatic effects. Instead, the song is carried by Valentine’s engrossing vocals, his message of undying love, and the piano-driven melody. No wonder this song was featured in the season finale of TV series Suits and why Valentine has toured with the likes of Andra Day. This emerging talent is the future of soul music.
DZ Deathrays – “Pollyanna” (Brisbane, Australia)
RIYL: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Ty Segall, Bass Drum of Death
One of the best live bands not just from Oz but on the planet are DZ Deathrays. Their live songs are frenetic and intense. Their mix of punk-rock and dance-punk is highly infectious and intoxicating. In other words, their music is the equivalent of a Red Bull, which immediately energizes you and the high lasts for hours. Just to remind us how awesome they are, they released a surprise single, “Pollyanna”.
As expected, “Pollyanna” is a fireball of a track and just another weapon in DZ Deathrays’ adrenaline-rushing arsenal. It is two minutes and forty seconds of relentless power chords and crushing drumming. But what surprises you about the track and the band as a whole is that they have some pretty decent harmonies. So while you’re wildly flaring your head to this tune, you will also be “ooh oohing” during the chorus.
The single is officially out today via I Oh You. DZ Deathrays will be heading out on a lengthy tour beginning in October. They will commence in Europe before heading to North America and then back to Australia in December. See their website for details. DZ Deathrays consist of original members Shane Parsons (vocals/guitar) and Simon Ridley (drums/backing vocals) plus touring member Lachlan Ewbank (guitar/backing vocals).
Fake Palms – “Frequencies” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Preoccupations, Wytches, Wolf Parade
Trying to choose who will be the next great indie-rock band from Canada is like searching for a needle in a haystack. The country is producing some fantastic groups, but one band that has the inside track is Fake Palms. The Toronto-based band is following in the footsteps of Wolf Parade and Preoccupations in producing rock music that pushes boundaries yet remains accessible and exciting. Take for example “Frequencies”, which blends post-punk, industrial, and ’90s indie rock into one visceral experience. Like Wolf Parade, the song borders on reaching prog-rock levels, but it never reaches that cliff. Akin to Preoccupations, they incorporate the stark, hallow soundscapes of Joy Division. Together, they have produced one awesome song.
“Frequencies” is from Fake Palms’ forthcoming EP, Heavy Paranoia. It will be released September 30 via Buzz Records. For an additional sneak peek, check out the searing “Collar Bone”, which we shared a month ago.
Hillary Susz – “Make Me Make You” (Boulder, CO, USA)
RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Feist
There are several singer-songwriters for whom we’ve fallen head over heels. One of those is Colorado native Hillary Susz. Last month, she stopped us dead in our tracks with “Pollution”. Today, she steals our hearts with her engrossing new single, “Make Me Make You”.
This is not your typical love song about a broken or longing heart. “Make Me Make You” is, instead, about the sacrifices people make to be with someone, and sometimes that leads to one losing herself. It is a song that is as much a love song to another person as it is to oneself. The lyricism is brilliant, filled with imaginative allegory that perfectly strikes our emotional chords. Then there is Susz’s voice, which has a beautiful smokiness and vulnerability that you won’t soon forget it. For that matter, Susz is an artist you won’t forget easily, whose emotional power is akin to the great Sharon Van Etten.
“Make Me Make You” is the fourth single released from Susz’s forthcoming, debut album, The Heart Will Jump (With Nowhere to Fall). Release date to be announced.
Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – “In Madrid / Rainbow Lollipop” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: The Limiñanas, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Fuzz
It has been a little while since we’ve heard from psychedelic band Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation. They did release a track earlier this year, but it was “Sunny Afternoon” that caught our attention. Since then, we have been awaiting anxiously for something, anything new.
Lo and behold, the Swedish band announced last month they would be releasing a split EP. The first track is “In Madrid / Rainbow Lollipop”, which is a dizzying, trippy, 7-plus minute mind warp. It isn’t a full-on rocker, but rather a melodic, methodical number that slowly hypnotizes with the fuzzy guitars, arousing rhythms, and Öhrn’s mesmerizing, angelic vocals. It’s like slow dancing with someone you ought not to be with – an experience that is so wrong but oh so right.
Julia Clara – “Still Dancing” (Åland Islands, Sweden)
RIYL: Jenny Hval, Aurora, Lana Del Rey
On the other end of spectrum that is the great Swedish music machine comes Julia Clara. The young singer-songwriter has quietly made a name for herself within Europe’s underground music and festival scenes, although she had yet to officially release any music. That is until now.
On Sunday, Clara released her debut single, “Still Dancing”. The song is simultaneously breathtaking and heart-pounding. The arrangements, led by the pulsating rhythms, are cinematic and engrossing. Clara’s stunning vocals, however, are the driving force behind the song. Her voice alone is powerful force that will lure in even the most timid individual. While we get mesmerized by Clara’s voice, her songwriting is terrific, as she paints the image of a woman who has been beaten down yet she continues to fight back. Her voice, as such, isn’t the only thing that will blow you away. What a way to introduce oneself to the world, as “Still Dancing” is one of the most mind-blowing debuts of the year.
Meredith Meyer (of Young Unknowns) – “Magic Castle” (Los Angeles via Oklahoma City, USA)
RIYL: Jenny Lewis, Joni Mitchell, Angel Olsen
“Timeless” and “instant classic” get bandied about too frequently in the blogosphere. We’ve used the terms on occasion, and we truly mean it. So when we say Meredith Meyer‘s new song, “Magic Castle”, is “timeless”, it truly is and in more ways than one. The track is breathtaking and beautiful, sharing the same dazzling effects of a young a Joni Mitchell and the height of the Laurel Canyon era. While the instrumentation is dreamy and lush, Meyer, who performs with underrated NYC indie band Young Unknowns, shines throughout the song. Her vocals are gorgeous, and the story she has crafted about love and sacrifice is enchanting.
But what makes this song even more remarkable is the story behind it. “Magic Castle” almost never got made. As Meyer describes: “The song was written over 8 years ago and lost in a box, after I visited a basement dressing room for magicians that was supposedly haunted. It resurfaced when I moved and unpacked and was finally recorded with the help of musician Matt Keating, guitarist Brandon White, and finished in Laurel Canyon to give it that ghostly vibe. It’s mixed by Bill Racine who is my go-to sonic mentor.” See, “Magic Castle” is truly timeless.
The song is from Meyers’ forthcoming, debut EP, Magic Castle. It will be released this week – Friday, September 23rd.
Roxy Jules – “Rubies & Blood” (København, Denmark)
RIYL: PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Fiona Apple
Speaking of long-time artists who have flown under the radar, meet Roxy Jules. The veteran Danish singer-songwriter is preparing to release her third album next month (yes, third LP!), and the lead single is “Rubies & Blood”. The song is dark and gritty, akin to some of PJ Harvey’s best work. There is, as well, a cinematic quality, like a modern-day western, as the reverb-drenched guitars and apocalyptic drumming create the stark environment. Jules’ story, too, fits the soundscape, as she takes us on an endless night out filled with mystery. Be careful when streaming this song because it will get into your head and stay there for a very long time.
Jules’ third album, ROXY JULES III, will be released on October 21st.
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