Today’s Matinee is semi-inspired from a couple of great bands we saw at the festival and a few we’ve shared before. We hope you find your new favorite song or band. Artists are representing France, The US and The UK today. Be sure to check back for our post coverage on SXSW and our fun segment of SXSW Memories from many artists that attended the festival.

Benchmarks– “Girls and Boys” (Nashville, TN USA)

RIYL:Japandroids, Cloud Nothings, Two Cow Garage

Benchmarks are consistently crafting an anthemic, raw sound but also perfecting meaningful storytelling through their lyrics. The band has been playing “Benchmarks” for a couple of years now and are including it on their upcoming debut album.

We have a completely addicting chorus and melody throughout “Boys and Girls” that chronicles modern day dating. Frontman Todd Farrell, Jr shares a bit about the lyrics behind the song: Lyrically, it’s sort of about our modern culture of dating, hooking up, or what have you, always looking for something new, and being afraid to lose what you have.

The lyrics include “Soft sheets and noise” and the parting lyric – “keep trying to find something to love”.

“Boys and Girls” is from Benchmarks’ debut, full-length album, Our Undivided Attention. It arrives on March 24th via Sofaburn Records.

Benchmarks is comprised of Todd Farrell Jr., Matt “Goose” Rewinski – Bass and Jack Whitis – Drums, Guitar, Keys.

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The Blind Suns – “Hovering” (Angers, France)

RIYL:  Field Mouse, Outer Spaces, The Fontaines

The Blind Suns are comprised of Dee, Ray and Jay. The trio are from France and they are creating some awesome laid-back surf inspired rock.

Their live set is definitely worth checking out.  “Hovering” is a perfect mix of shimmery pop, surf rock and shoegaze.   The trio are delicately hovering between shoegaze and dream pop with all of the tracks they have released so far. Their music is perfect to be added to any laid back warm weather playlist, or specifically for a long distance drive. Ms. Dee’s vocals are delicate and at times sultry which completely commands the attention of the listener.

“Hovering” is from The Blind Suns’ EP release last year titled I Sea You.

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Colony House – “You & I” (Franklin, TN, USA)

RIYL: Mainland, Said The Whale, Wildcub

Colony House is a very talented quartet that completely impresses in a live setting. “You & I”
was the first track released from their newest album Only The Lonely. It’s a great track and the band is stellar live. “You & I” is addicting pop-rock at it’s finest and the band has that special element needed to break out in a big way. The memorable parting lyric proclaims “Maybe the world isn’t crazy, maybe it’s You and I”.

Each one of Colony House’s tracks are memorable ever since their 2014 debut album was released titled When I Was Younger. If Colony House can get the proper promotion, it’s only a matter of time before they become more of a household name.

“You & I” is taken from Colony House’s new album, Only The Lonely, which is available now via RCA Records. The band is comprised of Caleb Chapman, Will Chapman, Scott Mills, and Parke Cottrell.

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Empire Assembly – “Take The Time” feat. Lena Drake (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Keane, New York Movie, Snow Patrol 

Empire Assembly is a talented multi-national band with members from the US, Brazil, Ethiopia, and Mexico.

“Take The Time” is an expansive track chronicling a special relationship and the memorable parting lyrics of “I’m Holdin’ out for you”.  We hear subtle synth and memorable vocals from Mr. Hansen as the track enthralls the listener throughout.

Empire Assembly have also released a great video for the track featuring actress Lena Drake.

Empire Assembly are Jay Hansen (vocals from New York), Bruno Justi (guitars from Brazil), Kibrom Birhane (keys from Ethiopia), and Diego Ruvalcaba (drums from Mexico).

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Gardenback – “Sleepless” (Manchester, England)

RIYL: Cabbage, Split

Gardenback are back with a new single titled “Sleepless”. The Manchester based trio have been releasing tracks for a while with a few breaks in between singles.

“Sleepless” is a rock filled track that electrifies throughout. The vocal chorus is addicting with the singer proclaiming “I wish I was someone you could love” as the wailing guitars dominate throughout the track. “Sleepless” is a great mix between 90s inspired garage rock with a nice injection of psych throughout. Gardenback so far seem to be blazing their own trail in the indie rock arena and we could easily seem them be the next UK band we are excited to see at an upcoming SXSW festival.

Gardenback are Ellis James, Jacob James, and Neil James.

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Nomad City – “Didn’t Have A Gun” (Austin, USA)

RIYL: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Susan Tedeschi, Grace Mitchell

Nomad City are from Austin and they are creating some awesome blues/soul inspired rock. The vocals provided by Ms. Lobas are strong yet commanding and the guitar work is stellar throughout the track. Nomad City’s sound is refreshing and powerful rock n’ roll that you can’t help but move to.

If you ever have a chance to check out their live set, it’s an experience as the talented Britny Lobas has all the attitude and talent needed to make an impact as a powerful front woman in the blues/rock/soul arena.

“Didn’t Have A Gun” is from Nomad City’s self titled EP that was released late last year.

Nomad City are Britny Lobas (lead vocals/keys), Ray Kainz (guitar/backing vocals), Russell Simonson (bass/backing vocals), and Chris Carroll (drums).

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