The Matinee November 29th edition is a hodgepodge of new music delights. Find a perfect 10 songs from artists representing six countries today. There is significant representation from New Zealand and England.
CAIROBI – “Saint” (London, England)
RIYL: Elephant Stone, The Black Angels, The Black Lips
Over the pass two years, the UK has given us some of the best and most memorable bands. Wolf Alice, Black Honey, Temples, Eagulls, Drenge, and the list goes on and on. For 2017, a band that could very well join them are CAIROBI.
Already making waves within London and its surroundings, the quartet have consistently delivered anthemic singles for over five years. They are now prepping their long-awaited, debut album, and the latest single from it is, “Saint”. The song echoes the Middle Eastern-inspired soundscapes favored by longtime Canadian favorites Elephant Stone. There is, however, an added trippiness to the song that comes from the gyrating vocals. The song is just an awesome display of noise and effect. In many respects, “Saint” is a psychedelic wonderland of sound.
CAIROBI’s self-titled, debut album will be released January 27th, 2017 via Week of Wonders and Some Other Planet Records. The band is comprised of Giorgio Poti (vocals/guitars), Alessandro Marrosu (bass), Salvador Garza (keys), and Aurelien Bernard (drums).
milk – “Everyday” (Auckland, New Zealand)
RIYL: Thee Oh Sees, early Ty Segall, Fuzz
With each passing week, we we learn a little bit more about the New Zealand music scene. It is incredibly rich and bursting at the seams with incredible, yet-to-be-discovered talent. One artist who has made a bit of a name for himself is Reuben Winter. Under the moniker Totems, he focused on experimental electronica, which made him a bit of an underground legend. This year, however, Winter has turned his attention to more guitar-driven music, which has led to his brand new project, milk.
Last week, he released his debut single, “Everyday”, under the new pseudonym. While the guitar may not be Winter’s weapon of choice, he sure knows how to create one infectious hook. The song, as such, is just straightforward, garage-rock awesomeness. The reverb-layered guitars and vocals are reminiscent of early Ty Segall, and the songwriting is solid. As Winter explained on his Facebook page, “Everyday” is “yet another fun song about self hate and chronic pain!! pls give me some morphine!!” If the Auckland-based, multi-talented artist continues to make music as exhilarating as this song, he won’t need any drugs to heal his pain.
“Everyday” is the lead single from milk’s forthcoming, debut record, issue(s). It arrives December 10th via Danger Collective Records.
Nadia Reid – “The Arrow & The Aim” (Port Chalmers, New Zealand)
RIYL: Fiona Apple, Emma Ruth Rundle, Angel Olsen
It was only last week when we caught Nadia Reid perform live at Wellington’s Meow. At the time, she shared three new songs from her forthcoming, sophomore album, which left us stunned. She officially released the LP’s lead single the other day, and we are left even more captivated after getting to hear it over and over again.
“The Arrow & The Aim” represents a new Reid. The song is heavier, darker, and even more engrossing than anything she has written to date. It has an air of PJ Harvey’s and Fiona Apple’s assertiveness and the cinematic quality of Emma Ruth Rundle. Her superb songwriting, however, remains, as she takes us on a journey of self-preservation and new beginnings. “The Arrow & The Aim” isn’t the weapon piercing our heart, but the path we choose to take. With her more powerful sound, there is only one more thing to say about Reid – she’s going to be a huge international star in the new year.
Rousseau – “Familiar” (Wellington via Auckland, New Zealand)
RIYL: BANKS, London Grammar, Emmi
When we first came across Rousseau, the project of Clare Rousseau, earlier this month, it was evident she wasn’t just another electro-pop artist. “Sugar Plum” impressed us with its inventive and clever combination of classical music and electronica plus Rousseau’s brutally honest lyrics. Her newest single, “Familiar”, builds on the foundations she has established and offers an even more dramatic number.
The arrangements adopt a BANKS-esque vibe – dark, haunting beats and hallow rhythms establish the mood. Rousseau’s songwriting, though, once again steals the spotlight. This time, she adopts the role of both the narrator and protagonist, as she tells the story of two people in love but who cannot have one another. It is a modern-day version of Romeo & Juliet, but instead of two feuding families the tension lies in the hearts of the two people who are each engaged to someone else. This is brilliant storytelling – taking a familiar issue but making it sound new and dramatic.
Rousseau’s debut EP, hello, i know you’re busy, will be released in 2017. A release date has yet to be set, but should be coming soon.
Sad Palace – “Breeze” (Hampshire, England)
RIYL: Foxygen, Everything Everything, Temples
Back in October, we said that any Artists-to-Watch-in-2017 lists should begin with English indie-rock group Sad Palace after they shared their latest single “Rainbow Melt”. Their newest single, “Breeze”, is making this opinion look extremely good at this moment.
As good as their first single was, “Breeze” is on a whole different level. While coming in at just a shade over 3 1/2 minutes, the song feels like an 8-minute epic. It is a melting pot of genres – hazy neo-psychedelia, funk, indie rock, and even some tropical elements – combined with multiple transitions. The result is a song that is not just trippy experience, but a groovy number that you cannot help but wiggle your derriere.
Slovenlie – “Ritual” (South London, England)
RIYL: Archive, Flume, Phoria
Remarkable. This is the only adjective to describe young artist Slovenlie‘s life to date and how far she has come. From the day she was born, her life would not be an ordinary one. She was born in the back of a car in Newcastle, and by the time she was 14 she was expelled from school. Throughout this time, she was struggling with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and she exhibited the first signs when she was 5 years old. Over time, she has learned to live with her illness and overcome the obstacles before her. She is a classically trained musician and is applying her skills to electronica and synth-pop. Her first single, “Disaster”, was praised by several taste makers. Her new single, “Ritual”, will catch everyone’s attention.
The song is a cinematic masterpiece. The wave of dark synths that open the song followed by the hypnotic beats create a mesmerizing soundscape. As the song builds and Slovenile’s smokey vocals hover over the instrumentation, we are further taken into a place that is unknown and unfamiliar yet incredibly stunning. For Slovenlie, this is the world that occupies her mind. It is her “Ritual” in dealing with her OCD. For her to channel her experiences into music is a triumphant in itself. This song, her life are simply remarkable.
Soffía Björg – “The Road” (Borgarfjörður, Iceland)
RIYL: The Jezebels, Pati Yang, Lucinda Williams
Since releasing her debut single, “I Lie”, in the summer, which blew us away, Soffía Björg‘s star has exploded. The song received significant airplay in her home country of Iceland while popping up on nearly a dozen sites. She is now positioning herself for even bigger things with her latest single.
“The Road”, is a cinematic, indie-rock goldmine. The song has the feeling of a late-night drive down a deserted highway, where the silence is broken up by the sound of the engine purring and a voice in your head telling you to turn back. Fortunately on this journey, that voice belong to Björg, who is our guide to a place that is unknown to us. All we know, as she reminds us, is that eventually The Road will take us home – or so we hope it does. Rarely does a song leave the listener both hopeful and full of doubt, yet Björg has done it with just her second single. Iceland has its newest star.
“The Road” is from Björg’s forthcoming, debut album. Details of the LP are still to be announced. In the meantime, watch the spooky but engrossing video for the song on YouTube.
Sweet Tempest – “Empty Box” (Copenhagen, Denmark & Berlin, Germany)
RIYL: Cate Le Bon, COVES, Programm
As the days get shorter and winter approaches, a chill will stay in the air and penetrate right to our bones. There is nothing that we can do about it but to embrace the cold. That same effect can be felt on Sweet Tempest‘s new single, “Empty Box”.
The project of Luna-Kira and Napolean Lafayette, the duo have delivered a haunting but dazzling single. A cinematic smokiness percolates throughout the song akin to the suspense found in a film-noir movie. Whether it is a dark, foggy alley in Vienna or the dim lit streets of London, we all know the scene. We all know the mood, and Sweet Tempest have brilliantly captured this feeling in just over four minutes. So close your eyes as you hear this song and escape momentarily from reality.
The single will be released on December 2nd via Small Yellow Records.
Thee Oh Sees – “Ticklish Warrior” (San Francisco, USA)
RIYL: Black Flag, Swans, Preoccupations
This year, psychedelic-rock gods and goddess Thee Oh Sees released two albums – A Weird Exits and Odd Entrances, which was released two weeks ago and was a companion to the former. If you think you have heard everything from the San Francisco band, think again.
From the first album of 2016, “Ticklish Warrior” is a sonic grenade, where the quartet have completely abolished their psychedelic leanings. In its place is a fierce, menacing, and unrelenting wave of distorted guitars, hardcore rhythms, and harsh vocals. It is the sound of destruction and fast approaching army that will unleash hell. But in true Thee Oh Sees fashion, the soldier leading the charge has the outlandish title of “Ticklish Warrior”, but this person will be the one having the last laugh. Once again, Thee Oh Sees have delivered an outstanding number.
Tiffany Lee – “Speak” (Central Arkansas, USA)
RIYL: Lorde, Adele, Keeva
Although we have been doing this for a while now, we still get amazed when a young singer-songwriter arrives on the scene and has a voice to which you must surrender. This is the case with 19-year old newcomer Tiffany Lee.
Last Friday, the Arkansas native released her debut EP, Jailbird, which is a wide-ranging record. From it is “Speak”, which is a beautiful, heart-wrenching number. Lee’s vocals soar on the track and take their rightful place on center stage as the piano-driven music plays softly in the background. While it is easy to succumb to her smokey, soulful, gorgeous voice, it is her storytelling that forces you to your knees. This isn’t a love song per se, but about holding on to that one final moment with someone you have loved dearly. That one more second to share something memorable, which is exactly what Lee has delivered with “Speak”.
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