Trying to determine which songs would be featured on The Matinee October 4th edition was immensely difficult. The quality of songs continues to improve. The emergence of a new season tends to inspire people, and hopefully these ten new songs will do that you. I’ll try to keep things brief so that you be fully immersed in the singles because they require your undivided attention.
Femme Vanille – “Bird” (Utrecht, Netherlands)
RIYL: St. Vincent, Lykke Li, Kate Bush
What do you get when you combine the theatrics of Kate Bush with the oft-kilter but genius alt-pop/art-rock arrangements of Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent)? You get Karindra Perrier’s project Femme Vanille, of course! The Dutch artist is quickly garnering attention within her home country for her creative music, and now international audiences will get a chance to discover why. On October 28th, Perrier’s debut album, Another Time, will be released, and one of the early releases is “Bird”.
This tune is part baroque theatre, part euphoric alt-pop, and entirely infectious. The multiple layers – keys, organ, digital, and is that Glockenspiel? – add to the theatrical quality. The approach, however, cannot be pulled off without a leader, and Perrier’s vocals and fantasy-like songwriting deliver. “Bird”, as such, isn’t an ordinary song – it’s a wonderfully, whimsical performance.
Floating Room – “fun” (Portland, USA)
RIYL: Daughter, Douse, Cocteau Twins
There are only a few bands who can live up to their name, and Portland trio Floating Room are one of them. Well, at least their debut single gives that indication. Released last week, “fun” is anything but a song about joy and elation. Instead, “fun” is a harrowing, deeply mesmerizing tune. The dissonant guitar has a subtle catharsis to it, where through all the reverb there is a captivating quality that falls between Preoccupations and Cocteau Twins. The enchantment, however, comes in the form of frontwoman Maya Stoner’s vocals, which feel distant yet close. A pain is etched in her voice, as she sings about the discord between two people and the crumbling of their relationship.
“fun” is a stunning introduction to this new group, who have given us a song made for lonely nights and long drives and those moments of deep introspection and contemplation.
The single is from Floating Room’s debut album, s u n l e s s. It arrives November 11th via Good Cheer Records. Pre-order it on the trio’s Bandcamp page. Floating Room are Kyle Bates, Maya Stoner, and Alec Van Staveren.
Jackie Zealous – “Satellite” (Santa Cruz, CA, USA)
RIYL: Jacuzzi Boys, King Tuff, Ty Segall
Whether you are currently in university or college or finished some time ago, we all had that favorite band who would be tearing up house parties and local joints. Jackie Zealous would seem to be one of those bands. Their music is fun and catchy, but one made without any pretension nor any fancy gadgets and effects. They are just three guys from Santa Cruz, California playing rock ‘n roll and psychedelic-rock.
About three weeks, they released their debut album, Psychic Data. From it is the awesome single, “Satellite”. The son blends the early, fuzzed-out psychedelia of Ty Segall with the smooth surf-rock vibes of Jacuzzi Boys. When these ingredients are brought together, you get one rocking and dynamite song that will energize everyone in the room. So, who’s hosting the next house party?
Listen to Psychic Data in full on SoundCloud. Jackie Zealous are Eddie Curzon (guitar/vocals), Ryan Lee (drums), and Zach Scott (bass).
La Bête Blooms – “Breaking In” (Hull, England)
RIYL: Brand New, Drenge, Royal Blood
Like a bolt of lightning emerging from a fast-moving storm comes the electrifying new single by UK punk rockers, La Bête Blooms. Actually, “Breaking In” is more like a sonic boom, as this song just erupts from the beginning and the onslaught continues for a ravaging 2 minutes and 16 seconds. The song blisters with the throbbing percussion and bass lines that bands like Royal Blood, Drenge, and Brand New have rekindled. The guitar riffs are awesome, blaring with the intensity of a thunder strike Despite the aggressiveness of the track, there is an undeniable infectious quality. “Breaking In”, as such, is equally made for sweaty mosh pits and beer-stained dance floors.
This is the lead single from La Bête Blooms’ sophomore EP, I Know It’s Nothing, which is expected early in 2017.
Lists – “Autumn” (Scotland)
RIYL: Sufjan Stevens, Radical Face, Haux, Justin Vernon
In April 2015, we were introduced to a singer-songwriter who chose to remain anonymous, but his unique vocals and beautiful stories made it unlikely he could keep his identity unknown. Fast forward eighteen months and we have encountered a similar situation with Lists. Besides residing somewhere in Scotland and Lists’ debut single was an online success two years ago, not much more is know about him. In the meantime, we will have to settle for listening to his music, which is worthy consolation.
Lists’ latest single, “Autumn”, is simply stunning. Like the aforementioned Haux, the first thing that grabs your attention is his voice, which is a thing of beauty. It’s the type of voice that you won’t soon forget and once you hear it will leave you completely enchanted. Combine it with the mystical, alt-folk soundscapes and an intimate story of forgiveness and new beginnings and Lists has created a song that is breathtaking and soothing. A song that will leave you smiling for the rest of the day.
mono mono – “CityLights” (Vejle / Aarhus, Denmark)
RIYL: Wet, Grapell, Tennis
There are no shortage of electro- / ambient-pop duos today. So how do two people separate themselves from the crowded field? Danish group mono mono might have found the perfect formula.
Begin with a singer with a distinctive voice like Karoline Elsig has. Her vocals recall an era well before she was born – of the ’30s and ’40s when the singers had delicate but sultry voices. Infuse an acid jazz vibe with some shimmering saxophone, which Elsig also plays. Then layer it with some sparse, intimate beats, which are provided by Jakob Franck, and the result is something beautiful and immensely unique like their new single “CityLights”. This is a song made for a quiet, romantic night with your loved one. A night to once again fall in love, which you also might do with mono mono.
The New Respects – “Trouble” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: The Seratones, Weaves, Algiers
A tremendous buzz is building around The New Respects. One of the reasons is that they are a family band, comprised of siblings Zandy Fitzgerald (guitar), Alexis Fitzgerald (bass), and Darius Fitzgerald (drums) and their cousin Jasmine Mullen (lead vocals/guitar). The second reason is that their music is just awesome, as evidenced by “Trouble”.
The single reveals the potential powerhouse this family affair could be. “Trouble” is an anthemic, gritty track, just like how a soul rocker should be. The quartet don’t hold anything back, as the guitars, bass, and drums come crashing down. Mullen’s vocals are fierce and assertive, and her presence can be felt immediately. We are already imagining what The New Respects’ live show would be like, and it likely would be a face melter.
Quinn Devlin & The Bridge Street Kings – “Deep In Your Heart” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Van Morrison, Foxygen, Fraser A. Gorman
There is only Van Morrison. Everyone who knows a lick of music would agree with this statement. But…maybe an exception can be made because newcomers Quinn Devlin & The Bridge Street Kings are not just channeling the great singer-songwriter but reinterpreting his sound for contemporary audiences. The handful of songs that we have heard have been fantastic with the stand out being “Deep In Your Heart”. The number blends classic ’70s rock with a Motown groove, giving this rock ‘n roll number a funky vibe. Not since Foxygen has a band come along and brought back the music our parents and grandparents listened to and made it sound fresh and exciting. The song is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
In addition to Devlin, The Bridge Street Kings are Nick Kirsch (piano), Dylan DeFeo (organ), Zach Calluori (guitar), James Wyatt Woodall (guitar), Andy Shimm (bass), Lucas Zabotin (drums), Eli Aleinikoff (tenor saxophone), Maia Claman (tenor saxophone), and David Acevado (trumpet).
Shana Falana – “Cloudbeats” (Kingston, NY, USA)
RIYL: The Duke Spirit, Slowdive, DIIV
Seventeen months ago, Shana Falana released her debut, solo album, Set Your Lightning Fire Free. The LP was a “renaissance of sound”, as the veteran artist of many bands unfurled a beautiful wall of psychedelic pop. Now Falana is about to release to her sophomore record in less than three weeks, and the only singles reveal that the resident of Kingston, New York is willing to take some chances.
The first single, “Lie 2 Me”, was a more aggressive, edgier rocker that bordered on drone rock. Her latest single, “Cloudbeats”, goes in the opposite direction. The song is smooth, hypnotic, and dazzling. It is also immensely creative, as Falana has taken her psychedelic-pop roots and submerged them in a wave of ambient textures. Be forewarned – this song may cause temporary paralysis and dreamlike psychosis. These words likely will be repeated when Falana’s new album, Here Comes the Wave, is released on October 21st. Team Love Records is once again the label supporting this stellar artist.
Shukura Chapman – “One By One” (Brisbane, Australia via New Plymouth, New Zealand)
RIYL: Corinne Bailey Rae, Lianne la Havas, Rhiannon Giddens,
Roots music is experiencing a revival. It’s not just a minor resurgence, but one that stretches across continents and its many sub-genres. Not surprisingly, the genre has never been as popular, and the creativity is at an all-time high. Case in point, New Zealand-born, Australia-based Shukura Chapman.
A relatively new face on the scene, Chapman is roots music and giving it a soulful and bluesy vibe. Her debut EP, Rearview, was released last month, and from it is “One by One”. The song is quite remarkable. Chapman’s voice is simultaneously intimate and sultry, and her songwriting is akin to the adventurous tales that Fiona Apple has crafted. The music is superb, resonating with the surprising jubilation heard in Corinne Bailey Rae’s early efforts. With such talent, Chapman’s popularity will likely soar soon, especially within Australia’s vibrant roots scene. Shortly thereafter, it should extend well overseas. Don’t be surprise to see Chapman’s name gracing festivals’ announcements in the near future.
In the meantime, have a spin of Rearview on SoundCloud.
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