I’m very excited to share my first Matinee with you and tried include a little something for everyone.  We have some amazing soul, folk, alt-rock, and synth pop on The Matinee September 23rd edition. Please feast at this delicious buffet of music…and enjoy!


Devon Gilfillian – “Shortcut” (Nashville, USA)

RIYL: Michael Kiwanuka, Gary Clark Jr, Alabama Shakes, Al Green

Devon Gilfillian‘s music is like comfort food from a new friend. It hits you in that knowing and familiar place. As such, it is instantly recognizable but with that new flavor, that little twist, that recipe with a dash of extra. You know it was made with love and leave feeling warm and full, and that’s exactly how good blues and soul music should leave you.

Devon hails from Morton, Pennsylvania, a place which belies the deep soul roots of his music. He now resides in Nashville, which is a bit closer to that signature sound. We share his song “Shortcut” here which Devon states was written about his younger brother. He says, “It’s a song I wrote about my brother who is a year younger than me. Basically the song is about him being a hard headed kid, always trying to take shortcuts. He got into a car accident back in 2008 which left him paralyzed from the waist down, but that didn’t slow him down, he’s still a trouble maker and I love him for it.”

Devon’s self-titled EP is out now and was engineered by Jesse Thompson and Chad Brown and mixed by Chad Brown. It was recorded at Fat Back Studio and Fate Sound in February of 2016 and independently released May 24th, 2016.

Supporting Devon Gilfillian (lead vocal/tremelo rhythm guitar) are Jesse Thompson (lap steel), Taylor Thompson (bass), Zack Smith (harmonica, claps), Jonathan Smalt (drums), Meggan Utech (vocals), Abigail Dempsey (vocals), and Jeff Carl (vocals)

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Frances Luke Accord – “Who Do You Run From” (Chicago, USA)

RIYL:  Iron & Wine, Darlingside, Andrew Bird, Punch Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel 

If you like killer harmonies, you will LOVE Frances Luke Accord. This is an indie-folk duo that know exactly what they’re good at and use it to full advantage. In the song “Who Do You Run From”, harmonies, silences, and tempo changes are all superb. Catchy vocals backed up by jaunty mandolin and guitar will having you singing along and tapping your foot. You hold your breath as the song launches with crisp isolated harmonic vocals.  The tempo changes and the plucky instruments chime in to hopeful lyrics like, “bear in mind, sun will shine, rain will dry.” Catch these guys in their hometown of Chicago or on their upcoming national fall tour supporting Darlingside.

Their album Fluke was out May 20th, 2016. It is their debut full-length and was released under their own label, Fluke Studio Records.

Frances Luke Accord are Brian Powers (vocals/mandolin/producer) and Nick Gunty (vocals/guitar/producer/percussion/bass)

You can catch them on tour here.

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Starling – “So Text Book” (Atlanta, USA)

RIYL: Regina Spector, Kate Bush, Tori Amos

Starling is the new project of power duo Starling (vocals/keyboard/guitar) and Ariel Scherbacovsky (bass/producer). You may know them for the off the chart rowdy energy they bring to their other band, Hank & Cupcakes.

In the song “So Text Book”, the twinkling piano perfectly highlights Starling’s crystalline vocals. Stripped down and vulnerable, there is a sweetness to it and yet the lyrics smack of defiance and frustration. They write, “You said I was never gonna make it. I kept it real and all you did was fake it.” If they set out to prove a doubting someone wrong, they certainly succeeded. A total departure from what you would expect from Hank & Cupcakes, Starling seems to provide that reflective, thoughtfulness to the music. The new EP titled, Stories Untold, gives you a glimpse into its contents. Song titles like “Precious”, “Head Strong”, and “Soul Wide Open” could just as easily be journal entries in a personal diary and indicate just how personal and introspective this new project is. They just got off of a several month long tour, all while Starling was VERY pregnant. Talk about dedication and keeping things interesting!

Starling are Starling (vocals/keyboard/guitar) and Ariel Sherbacovsky (bass/producer).

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Patience – “The Pressure” (London, England)

RIYL: Karen O, Starlight Girls, Alvvays

The already sold out 7″ of “The Pressure” by Patience may be an indication of the thirst for more songwriting from the new solo project of Roxanne Clifford, the frontwoman for Veronica Falls. This single out on Night School Records is a follow up to her debut June release of “The Church”. Nostalgia will hit you full force, as there are definite ’80s synth vibes woven throughout (the good part of the ’80s, so think boomboxes and pegged pants, not mullets and embarrassing line-backeresque shoulder pads).

With strong hooks and catchy lyrics, Clifford’s writing is timeless. You know when lyrics contain “My friends tell me…”, you’re going to be dealing with relationships rife with challenges, to which most of us can relate. Sweet, sweet vocals are backed up by strong synth and snare. What Patience brings next will be worth the wait.

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Seekae – “Turbine Blue” (Sydney, Australia)

RIYL:  Shigeto, Schlomo, Deptford Goth

After two years, Sydney-based electronic trio Seekae return with force on their new single “Turbine Blue”. Frontman Alex Cameron continues providing smooth vocals as a follow up to their 2014 album The Worry. The dreamlike quality to this song makes you feel suspended in mid-air and in time. The synth-y vibe may have you thinking this would be a cold song, but the gentle rhythm and vulnerable lyrics exude warmth. The song practically reaches out to you with lover’s arms to draw you close.  A slight departure from the typical Seekae experimental tunes, we’re excited to see what else they bring.

“Turbine Blue” is out now on Future Classic. Seekae are Alex Cameron, George Nicholas, and John Hassell.

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Slothrust – “Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone” (Brooklyn, USA)

RIYL:  Bully, Girlpool, Hop Along, Diet Cig

Brooklyn’s alt-rock band Slothrust will take you on a ride with their new song “Like A Child Hiding Behind A Tombstone”.  Sweet, innocent, stripped-down vocals in an almost folkish vein draw you in, but you’d better be sitting down because the pace quickly changes to a full-blown rockin’ tune. As soon as you start getting into the groove and nodding your head in time, it winds down again to finish the song with a few select notes.

Leah Wellbaum’s emotional vocals lead the charge. That’s not to undersell the beautifully arranged and produced reverb drenched guitar and driving percussion. The three pieces are so clearly layered but come together incredibly like three pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Catch them on tour in support of their upcoming release.

“Like A Child Hiding Behind A Tombstone” is from Slothrust’s upcoming album Everyone Else. It will be released October 28th via Dangerbird Records.

Slothrust are Leah Wellbaum (vocals/songwriter/guitar), Kyle Bann (bass), and Will Gorin (drums). Slothrust is on tour with Highly Suspect and tour dates can be found here.

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