The Matinee January 10th features nine stellar songs to jump start your Tuesday. There are some breathtaking electronic / ambient numbers, a couple of fierce rockers, and a few tunes that will take you back in time.
Doombird – “Sheer” (Sacramento, USA)
RIYL: Maribou State, Phoria, Lane 8
At the tail end of 2016, Doombird released their debut album with little fanfare. However, people better start to take notice because the California quartet has the talent to breakthrough in the highly competitive indietronica realm. The opening track from the LP, “Sheer”, is an absolutely stunning monster along the lines of Maribou State and Phoria – two of our favorite bands within the genre.
The production work on the song is outstanding, elevating a familiar house vibe and transforming into something beautifully cinematic. Frontman Kris Anaya’s vocals are unexpectedly delicate and soft, creating the intimacy of a candlelight dinner. Unlike many groups within this genre, the use of actual guitars, bass, and drums adds to the enchantment and makes the song feel real and alive. After “Sheer”‘s four minutes expire, you will feel reborn.
Past Lives can be heard here. Doombird are Kris Anaya (vocals/guitar), Joe Davancens (synth), Ben Edrington (guitar/synth), Fernando Olivia (drums), and Cory Phillips (bass).
Esther Joy Lane – “Ever Ever” (Oxford, England)
RIYL: Grimes, Purity Ring, Kristin Kontrol
By now, you will realize that Esther Joy Lane is one of our favorite artists we’ve come across since The Revue was created 3.5 years ago. She dazzled us at first with her clean, ambient lines and a voice that borders between heavenly and transcendent. Some two years since, the Oxford resident continues to grow and develop her own sound.
For a time, she focused predominantly on improving her production work, but with her latest single she once again allows her voice to shine. In a word, “Ever Ever” is soothing. Lane’s production work is sublime, as she subtly infuses tropical vibes into the dreamy, synth-pop foundation. The music creates the palette for Lane’s stunning vocals to elevate and hypnotize our minds. Her voice is effortless, calm, yet full of emotion. Just listening to her sing is a beautiful experience that hopefully more people will get to share.
The Ghost Of Helags – “Under My Skin” (Sweden)
RIYL: Röyksopp, Porcelain Raft, Tycho
If you are in a relationship, grab your wife, husband, girlfriend, or boyfriend now before pressing play. “Under My Skin”, the new single by The Ghost Of Helags, is absolutely gorgeous. It is a love song like no other. Simple yet beautiful. Stirring and emotional. Breathtaking yet raw and vulnerable.
The synth work is terrific, but the final piano segment is outstanding. What Swedish producer John Alexander Ericson and his bandmates have achieved with “Under My Skin” is remarkable, as he brilliantly bridges the new and the old. This song should be played at every wedding this year, heard on television and movie soundtracks, and simply be in everyone’s music library. Fabulous!
“Under My Skin” is taken from The Ghost Of Helags’ forthcoming, debut EP, Shibuya. It drops later this month via Misty Music and Warsaw Recordings.
Gold Connections – “New Religion” (Charlottesville, VA, USA)
RIYL: Car Seat Headrest, Told Slant, Ron Gallo
Around this time year, everyone is looking for the next unexpected breakout indie-rock star. Two years ago it was Courtney Barnett while Car Seat Headrest owned 2016. A contender for 2017 is Will Marsh and his project Gold Connections, assuming his first single is sign of things to come. “New Religion” is a throwback indie-rock track, echoing more of Sonic Youth’s lo-fi, ’80s days. The song is gritty, gnarly, and masterfully paced with the perfect amount of reverb. It starts off as a slow burner before transforming into a climatic rocker. Listen closely to the lyrics, as this song is perfect for today’s uncertain times.
If the track also sounds reminiscent of Car Seat Headrest’s approach, that’s because Will Toledo produced the songs on Marsh’s forthcoming, debut EP, which actually was recorded in 2014. The only thing that has changed is that Gold Connections has found a home with Fat Possum, who will release the record on March 31st.
Martin Forsell – “Changes” (Nässjö, Sweden)
RIYL: Alberta Cross, Chief Ghoul, Johnny Cash
In October of last year we were introduced to Swedish singer-songwriter Martin Forsell, whose song “Liberations” reminded us of The Tallest Man on Earth. His new single heads in a different direction, but the results are equally stunning. Unlike the previous track, “Changes” is tinged with blues-rock and spaghetti western vibes to give it a raw and gritty feel. It is a heart-racing number that makes you feel like you are witnessing a gunfight at the OK Corral – or maybe make you feel like one of the gunslingers. This is storytelling at its finest.
After another great song, it is time to formally put Forsell on our “watch list” and recognize him as Sweden’s next great singer-songwriter. All he needs to do now is put out a record.
Over the Trees – “From the Sidewalk” (Oslo, Norway)
RIYL: Fleet Foxes, The Amazing, Bon Iver
Over the Trees only caught our attention last month, although they’ve been percolating around the Norwegian music for over four years. As we’ve delved a bit into their music, one thing has become clear about the quintet: they are chameleons who can write a blistering folk-rock tune or mesmerize with an alt-folk track. Their latest single is something that approaches genius.
“From the Sidewalk” is spectacular. It combines the warm and brilliant alt-folk of Fleet Foxes with the breathtaking progressive rock of The Amazing. As a result, for over six minutes we are left enchanted. Our focus is fixated on every sparse note before the song slowly roars into a maelstrom of beautiful chaos. Maybe, just maybe, 2017 will be the year that Over the Trees will become an international sensation. For now, they’ll have to settle for being one of ours of the early year.
“From the Sidewalk” is the title track from Over the Trees’ forthcoming new album which will arrive this spring/summer via KAjAK Recordings.
The band is comprised of Eivind Frustøl (guitar/vocals), Mathias Christoffer Jensen (guitar), Tobias Flottorp Heltzer (bass), Arne Steinar Myrvang (drums), and Fredrik Rafael (vocals).
Pet Crow – “Absorbed” (Derby, England)
RIYL: young Garbage, Black Honey, Beverly
A common refrain you’ll hear us say is, “Blow my mind!” We just want to hear a killer song that rocks hard, is ballistic, and when it is all said and done has us yelling our favorite two-word phrase. We’ve received a lot of great songs this week, but the one that stands out from the rest is Pet Crow‘s new single, “Absorbed.”
This song is awesome. Blaring with mind-jarring garage-pop that is infused with no-nonsense riot grrrl sensibilities, the song is anthemic and infectious. It is full of attitude yet there is an undercurrent of innocence. “Absorbed” is exactly how to describe the song’s effect, a tune that you completely get sucked into and never wish to escape. We have to say, “F*** yeah!”
“Absorbed” is from Pet Crow’s, forthcoming, debut album, A Simple Guide To Small And Medium Pond Life. It will be released through Reckless Yes Records on February 24th.
True Moon – “Sugar” (Sweden)
RIYL: Siouxsie and the Banshees, Preoccupations, Pat Benatar
Some bands personify their names, which (when you think about it) is a rarity in today’s music. Siouxsie and the Banshees were one such group, and in that spirit comes True Moon. Just like their name would indicate, the Swedish quintet create howling and blistering music made for the early hours of the morning. In November of 2016, they released their self-titled debut album in Sweden only. From it is the record’s centerpiece, “Sugar.”
This song is post-punk on an adrenaline rush. Imagine Pat Benatar fronting Canadian four-piece Preoccupations for a song, and that is essentially what you get with True Moon. The music is unrelenting and cathartic, and at times it reaches visceral levels where you completely lose yourself in the song. And like the great ’80s rocker, True Moon have crafted a song that holds nothing back, criticizing the people and organizations who try to sugar-coat the problems people face each day. The track is a fantastic introduction to a band who is bringing back the chilling, dark rock of the ’80s.
True Moon was released in Sweden via Lövely Records. A UK release will occur this spring. The band is: Tommy Tift, Karolina Engdahl, Linus Segerstedt, Fredrik Orevad, and Jari Haapalainen
Wichswut – “Sinner” (Berlin, Germany)
RIYL: Joy Division, Preoccupations, Eagulls
We head east geographically while reversing the hands of time to conclude The Matinee. Wichswut are post-punk / industrial / indie-rock band from the great city of Berlin. The quartet is still trying to carve out their niche within the competitive German capital city, but it shouldn’t take long for people to take notice. At least if their latest song, “Sinner”, is an indication of what is to come.
“Sinner” is a dark, hypnotic anthem. The deadpan vocals evoke images of Ian Curtis. Meanwhile the sinister guitars and cathartic rhythms bring to mind Preoccupations’ reinterpretation of Joy Division-esque post-punk and industrial sound. As the song progresses into its fiery finale, your mind is fully blown away and you’re left in awe. Just exactly who is this band? They are a bit mysterious, but not for long once their self-titled debut EP arrives. That will occur on February 17th when Music’s Not For Everyone Records releases Wichswut.
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