The Matinee October 13th once again features ten new songs that span different parts of the world. Some familiar names return. One of our Artists to Watch for 2016 finally shares a new song. And, of course, there are some hidden gems, particularly the last song on the list. Happy Thursday everyone!
American Wrestlers – “Hello, Dear” (St. Louis, USA via Scotland)
RIYL: Working for a Nuclear Free City, Cocteau Twins, Orchin
It has been a treat to watch American Wrestlers grow and develop. By now, you know that the band originally started off as a one-man project of Gary McClure. The former member of Working for a Nuclear Free City’s debut album redefined what bedroom indie pop-rock was, and now he’s looking to redefine who American Wrestlers are.
Together with his wife Bridgette Imperial (keys/guitar), Josh Van Hoorebeke (drums), and Ian Reitz (bass), McClure is single-by-single transforming the band into a full-out indie-rock band. The first two singles they released in support of their sophomore album showcased a fuller, more expansive sound. Their latest track, “Hello, Dear”, has them get grittier, edgier, and fiercer. The guitar work is more guttural, McClure’s quiet vocals crack with aggression, and the rhythms take on an extra intensity. This fury could be symbolic of the chaos around us or even within us, where everything feels out of control and suffocation sets in. Brilliant.
We’ll get to see if American Wrestlers will let loose some more when Goodbye Terrible Youth arrives November 4th via Fat Possum Records.
Anxiety Club – “Be Still” (Wellington, New Zealand)
RIYL: Ryan Adams, Son Volt, Ray Lamontagne
From my current home base comes an unexpected surprise. The music scene in Wellington is known for its outstanding singer-songwriters and quirky bands. The genres tend to extend everything from indie folk, indie rock, and choral pop to dub-step and electronica. So to discover a band making Americana in the Ryan Adams vein was immensely exciting. Meet Anxiety Club, who channel the former Whiskeytown frontman on their new single “Be Still”.
The track resonates Adams’ time with The Cardinals. The Americana is more electric and filled with memorable hooks. The song is dramatic, building steadily until its glorious finish. The songwriting is superb, describing the confusion experienced by a lost soul. And like Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Anxiety Club sound just as good in real time as they do in the studio. If you didn’t look at the title, you likely wouldn’t have known the song was recorded live and is just a demo. New Zealand has another band to get seriously excited about.
Ariah & – “Everlasting” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Tiny Ruins, Feist, Sharon Van Etten
Ever hear a voice that had you stop dead in your tracks? A voice that made you forget everything that was happening around you, as you were left hypnotized by the words being sung in the distance? Ariah & has one of those voices.
Like Tori Amos, Feist, Tiny Ruins, Sharon Van Etten, pick a name and the New York City-based, singer-songwriter’s potential is sky high. Her self-titled, debut EP, which she released last month, is like a dream, and the one song that typifies her brilliance is “Everlasting”. The song starts off peacefully, swaying calmly like a kite in the ocean breeze. It then intensifies, moving from a dream-folk number into a gritty alt-rocker a la Alanis Morissette. The lyrics are also superb, as Ariah & explores humanity’s mortality and its relationship to nature. As you listen, you might agree that “Everlasting” is a beautiful piece of poetry.
Campbell – “Don’t Move” (Auckland, New Zealand)
RIYL: Lorde, BANKS, Lana Del Rey
We head back to New Zealand for an artist who likewise is channeling one of the most artists on the planet. Akin to her country woman, Lorde, Auckland-based Campbell is fusing multiple genres with tantalizing results. Her new single, “Don’t Move”, is a treasure trove of delights.
Campbell’s soulful vocals are intoxicating and smokey. The song tickles with R&B tones while electronic textures heighten the song’s suspense. And like Lorde, Campbell has written a fascinating number that is introspective and questions our sense of reality and what the truth may be. “Don’t Move” is not merely entertainment; it is a psychological experiment that you’ll want to repeat again and again.
Hear more of Campbell’s singles on SoundCloud and get to know here quickly. She has the potential to reach Lorde-like levels, and she will undoubtedly be an artist to watch in 2017.
Gustave Tiger – “Thermidor” (Budapest, Hungary)
RIYL: early Garbage, Black Honey, INHEAVEN
The Matinee is full of surprises, but this might be the biggest one. For starters, we haven’t shared much from Hungary. Gustave Tiger actually might be the first Hungarian band we’ve featured. Second, alternative punk-rock isn’t what it use to be. It has gotten formulaic, and songs have become predictable. Leave it to a young quartet to reignite the genre.
Earlier this year, they released their debut album, Chaste And Mystic Tribadry. From it is “Thermidor”, which is a driving, edgy number and is absolutely awesome. The song borders on prog-rock and even integrates splashes of shoegaze, but it never loses sight of its purpose – to blow our minds. Frontwoman Erika Szurcsik’s arresting vocals are deep and haunting, adding to the song’s eerieness. The drumming is intense and outstanding, and the dueling guitar and bass are hair-raising. Yet the storyline about external forces taking over one’s mind and body are the most frightening element of the song because the lyrics are real and timely. Leave it to a young quartet for an unexpected place to make alternative punk-rock sound interesting again.
Gustave Tiger are Erika Szurcsik (vocals), Péter Mezősi (drums), Csaba Szabó (bass/vocals), and Gergő Dorozsmai (guitar/vocals).
Juice – “Angel Of The Azure” (Birmingham, England)
RIYL: The Black Angels, Temples, The Brian Jonestown Massacre (before his country-rock days)
If you have been following this space for nearly the past two years, you know there will be at least one psychedelic track. Today’s spot goes to newcomers Juice, who share a song that brings together all the great elements that we love about the genre.
“Angel Of The Azure” is just awesome. It mixes the classic, blistering psychedelia sounds of The Black Angels and melds them with the sweet harmonies a la Temples. Consequently, you’re not only taken on one trippy ride, but one that is also dreamy and mind-altering. The song is like being swirled endlessly in circles at 35,000 feet in the air, and the only feeling you have is exhilaration.
Lazy Day – “Disappear” (London, England)
RIYL: Slowdive, Lush, Cigarettes After Sex
Many bands have come and gone, trying to emulate the sparkling and lush shoegaze of Slowdive, Lush, Cocteau Twins, and others. Some have succeeded. Others have not. London-based Lazy Day, though, have not just imitated these great bands; they arguably have perfected the genre with “Disappear”.
The duo shoegaze guitars are spectacular. The quartet, however, don’t go overboard with the reverb, which an error often made by bands. They instead allow the melodies to drive the song, keeping the reverb in the background. It is a wise strategy to allow the rhythms to stand out and act as the heartbeat to this soul-crushing song. More importantly, the approach allows frontwoman Tilly Scantlebury’s stunning vocals to shine, and, thus, for her words to be driven like a stake through our hearts. “You see straight through me” are the first words uttered, and you immediately know this is a song that must be heard and experienced.
“Disappear” is, in short, shoegaze splendor. Here’s another band to add to my list of favorites.
The single will be officially released as a 7” single on November 4th via Lost Map Records.
Pale Honey – “Real Thing” (Gothenburg, Sweden)
RIYL: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Kills, Warpaint
They were one of our Artists to Watch for 2016, and expectations were that their debut album would drop this year. Well, as it goes in the music industry, Pale Honey have experienced a few delays. Ten months into the year, they have finally given us the gift of new music, and the wait was worth every, single second.
“Real Thing” is memorable. It is simultaneously gritty and sultry, a mind-bender of a track that will have your mind exploding yet desiring more. Not many bands have been able to successfully marry these contrasting emotions, and the last one to do so was Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The trio of Tuva Lodmark, Nelly Daltrey, and Anders Lagerfors have that potential. Hopefully we won’t have to wait a year for the next single.
“Real Thing” will officially be released as a 7″ singles this Friday, October 14th. Bolero Recordings is the label.
Silver Liz – “Float” (Chicago, USA)
RIYL: Frankie Cosmos, Japanese Breakfast, Lisa Prank
Getting noticed is the hardest thing for any band. So when a little-known group releases an EP with little promotion, it likely only gets heard by friends, family, and a few others. Such was the case for Chicago-based duo Silver Liz, who earlier this year shared their debut extended player.
They have not been discouraged by the experienced, as they are now preparing material for their debut album. The lead single for the LP is “Float”. The song is a gritty but sublime, bedroom garage-pop song. Carrie Wagner’s vocals are dreamy, and they elevate above the reverb guitar and Matt Wagner’s superb drum work. The song brings to mind the early years of Frankie Cosmos as well as one of indie rock’s living legends. Like Sonic Youth, Silver Liz show an uncanny ability to create lush melodies while simultaneously rocking our minds.
The debut album is expected early 2017. It is probably one that people won’t want to miss this time.
Tzara – “Exit Onto Hope” (feat. Yung Sies) (Cape Town, South Africa)
RIYL: Janelle Monáe, Esperanza Emily Spalding, KIMBRA
For nearly four years, Cape Town-based singer-songwriter and producer Tara Grace Boraine has been creating music under the moniker Tzara. While she is only 21-years old, it begs the question – why haven’t more people written about her? We, too, are implicated in this question.
Her new single, “Exit Onto Hope” is remarkable. It is not like anything you will hear today. The song is the masterful fusion of multiple genres – electronic, jazz, soul, blues, and pop. The strums of the bass guitar are fantastic, creating the path for the electric guitar and digital effects to come in. The arrangements are fantastic. Then Boraine’s sultry, smokey vocals arrive, and you are floored by her range and versatility. Tinges of Janelle Monáe and Amy Winehouse trickle throughout. Her songwriting, meanwhile, has a pleasant grittiness, which might reflect her life in South Africa. A label needs to sign this incredibly gifted artist.
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