The Matinee April 7th will put some wind in your sails on this final day of the work week. Most of the songs will lift your spirits, and others will leave you breathless. Sounds like the perfect way to start the weekend!
Gothic Tropic – “Your Soul” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Perfume Genius, Blondfire, Hannah Georgas
There is a select list of artists that we get tremendously excited about when they release new music. There are the usual suspects, like Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Future Islands (their album is incredible), and, of course, Slowdive. One name that resides on this list is Cecilia Della Peruti, who is better known as Gothic Tropic.
One of the reasons why is that Peruti – who is best known for her work as a touring and session player for Charli XCX, BØRNS, and others – is unpredictable, which is an immensely great gift in music. From the soaring ballad “How Life Works” to the brilliant blend of synth-pop and R&B on “Don’t Give Me Up,” Peruti has demonstrated she can master any genre. Earlier this week, she released “Your Soul,” which is a slice of pop perfection. The song hooks you in immediately with the guitar bursts and the radiance of the synth that streams across the song. But it is Peruti’s soothing vocals and her intimate storyline that permanently draw you in. Her songwriting on this track approaches the brilliance of Mike Hadreas (a.k.a. Perfume Genius) in its intimacy and vividness.
I want to know your ways.
I want to be your habit.
I see all of your passion.
I want to be your pain.
I want to be your pleasure.
Peruti is a star in our eyes, but on May 19th this belief should be shared by everyone. On that date, her new album, Fast or Feast will be released on Old Flame Records. Pre-order it at the label’s store and Bandcamp.
Bass Lions – “Dynamite Quartz” (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)
RIYL: Arcade Fire, Dan Mangan, San Fermin
“Dynamite Quartz” is a stellar collaboration track between Bass Lions quartet, members and associates of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and vocalist Carleigh Aikins (Paper Bird, ex Bahamas & Fox Jaw).
The result is an impressive combination of experimental indie rock perfectly complemented by soaring strings and an added touch of synth to provide an even bigger atmospheric sound. The track is bold and was probably quite technical to execute, yet at first listen, “Dynamite Quartz” feels effortless and seamless throughout.
“Dynamite Quartz” is part of an upcoming EP, Threes, which represents a rare opportunity for classically trained musicians to work with independent “rock” musicians to create and record hybrid arrangements of classical music and contribute to original composition.
Bass Lions are James Vander Zaag, Daniel Stretch, Anthony James, and Nathan Stretch.
Blonder – “In and Out” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Mainland, Day Wave, Summer Heart
Blonder has a solid new track titled “In and Out.” It’s an upbeat song of a love relationship that can be a complete rollercoaster. The lyrics speak of being “in and out of love again” as “we didn’t see it coming, I never saw it coming.” This track is for anyone that has been in a on again/off again relationship.
“In and Out” is completely danceworthy with addicting vocal harmonies that have you singing along (especially those oh-oh-oh’s and hey hey’s). We have also decided this one is going to be included on upcoming summer jam playlists as well.
We can’t seem to get enough of Constantine Anastasakis’ vocals and we would love to catch a live set sometime as the touring band of Blonder includes members of Wet, Guards, and Surf Rock is Dead.
Blonder’s upcoming $5EP is due this Spring via 300 Entertainment.
Brödet – “Loser” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Kim Wilde, Portishead, Belle Mare
First impressions can last a lifetime. It also helps to have a name that is unique and memorable, which is the case with Swedish sextet Brödet. Last summer they arrived with the alt-pop single, “Ultra Friend.” It was an introduction into their dark yet sensual world. Their latest single, though, goes in a different direction, but the results are equally if not more stunning.
“Loser” is a dazzling, absolutely dazzling number. The song radiates with the beautiful balladry of ’80s icons Kim Wilde and Belinda Carlisle while the wind-swept music will steal your breath away. This is a song that will entice you to close your eyes and be lost in the spectacular soundscapes. Stella Cartrier’s vocals, meanwhile, will swallow you up, particularly as she sings:
I am not lost at sea, no distractions for me.
Carve up my name in the sand just to know what I am.
So it’s not lost on me. It’s not lost on me.
With this single, Brödet will no longer be lost to us. The band is comprised of Stella Cartrier, Carl Christian Holmberg, Jonas Thunberg, Otto Reimers, Maximilian Wiking Kern, and Erik Holmberg.
The single is available at Naiv Recordings.
Ginger Snaps – “Number Crunching” (Northampton, England)
RIYL: Beck (‘Midnite Vultures’ era), Thurston Moore, Smashmouth
If we had Beck’s phone number, we would be calling him daily to ask when his next album is coming out. We’re getting really antsy like millions of other fans. Fortunately, a “new” band has arrived to help calm our nerves and have us reminisce about the greatness of one Beck Hansen. Meet Ginger Snaps, a band formed by friends Jay Brook and Lee Irons.
These guys aren’t just trying to recapture Midnite Vultures-era Beck in terms of sonic brilliance, but their songwriting mimics the legendary singer-songwriter’s approach. Their newest single, “Number Crunching” is a catchy, groovy rocker that will have you shaking your hips and swirling your hair from side to side. It’s the perfect summertime song that you will want to be spinning with the top down (or just the windows down) and allowing the breeze and the rapturous melody to engulf you. However, don’t sleep on the lyrics, as these guys are tackling the commercialization and greed of the world and the invasion of one’s privacy. Sounds very Beck-ish, don’t you think?
The single is out on terrific UK label Killing Moon Records. Ginger Snaps are just another band in a long line of great new bands coming from the United Kingdom.
Lazy Day – “With My Mind” (London, England)
RIYL: Sløtface, Lush, Hater
Never rush perfection, so we’ve been told since likely the beginning of time. Abiding by this mantra are Lazy Day, who over the course of nearly two years have released three singles. Each one, however, was sublime with last year’s effort, “Disappear,” being the cream of the crop. Single number four, however, could give it a run for its money.
“With My Mind” is another signature outing for the Tilly Scantlebury-fronted quartet. Whereas “Disappear” was breathtaking, “With My Mind” is dazzling. Its dreamy soundscape is covered with darkened hues to give the song an understated, menacing quality that perfectly complements Scantlebury’s smoky vocals and her memories of an ex-lover. “Every time, you make me feel so good,” she repeats, at times with a tone of a person longing for a reunion and at times like a person holding a grudge. But as the song develops, the truth comes out, as Scantlebury’s place in the world has been replaced by someone else. In our hearts, though, Lazy Day are irreplaceable. Let’s hope their path of perfection will lead to the release of new music more frequently (no rush, lady and gentlemen!).
The song will officially be released on May 5th via Lost Map.
Marika Hackman – “My Lover Cindy” (London, England)
RIYL: Liz Phair, Dick Diver, Fazerdaze
In 2015, Marika Hackman was one of the fastest-rising artists of the year. Her debut album, We Slept At Last, was one of the year’s most critically acclaimed, as it dripped with immensely haunting and introspective songs. She’s back with a new album arriving in a couple of months, and it is a departure from what she has shared in the past – at least if the first two singles are any indication.
Last month, Hackman shared the gritty yet sultry “Boyfriend.” The second single, “My Lover Cindy,“ meanwhile, is a jangle-pop number that is right out of the Melbourne, Australia music scene. It shimmers and shakes like the songs of Dick Diver, where you’re dancing in your spot and breathing in the delicious melodies and clean guitar lines. This is, however, Marika Hackman we’re talking about, and an edginess begins to emerge in the song, much like on “Boyfriend.” The song is hardly a sweet, I’m-falling-in-love-with-you song but rather a story of two people, one who is seeking love and another seeking a good time. If it’s not clear what Hackman thinks of the latter, just listen to the final chorus, which is Liz Phair-esque:
I’m a fucking pig, and I’m going to get my fill.
I’m going to keep my eyes on the prize and suck you dry.
Oh I will.
No matter what Hackman does, it’s pretty safe to say she’s a genius.
Melting Faces – “Far King Oats” (Wellington, New Zealand)
RIYL: Dr. Dog, Simon & Garfunkel, Big Tooth
Seems like this week we cannot avoid “The Coolest Capital in the World,” and there’s good reason for that. The music coming out of Wellington lately has been truly incredible, and it’s not limited to a single genre. We’ve heard everything from witch-rock to alt-pop to guitar-pop, and now we head into the direction of folk-pop thanks to Melting Faces.
The quartet of Jesse Betham-Walsh, Blair Clarke, Daniel O’Brien, and Ben Lovell are one of the city’s most beloved bands because you never know what they’ll play. Psychedelic, acid jazz, Gil Scott-Heron-infused rock (i.e., flute included), or straightforward indie rock – they can do it all. You also never know what they’ll sing about, as these guys are storytellers. They’ve written about their cat on the song “Thundercats” and dedicated proceeds to the local SPCA. They wrote about the future and the past on the searing “Waste the Day.” With their new single, “Far King Oats,” they have written a song that would have been perfect at Woodstock in the 1969.
Musically, it’s a little folk-pop ditty that has the warm intimacy of Dr. Dog. The arrangements are classic but well-executed, particularly the subtle escalation in its intensity and dreaminess. Lyrically, Melting Faces have written a song for a new generation of revolutionaries. The sombre vibe reflects a generation that has been disenfranchised, who feel their voices are not being heard and other interests are being favored. It’s not all depressing, however. “Leave the light on,” the band repeats, as to signal that there is still and always will be a glimmer of hope.
The song can be downloaded on Bandcamp for the fee of “name your own price.”
PLAZA – “Deep In My Head” (Hartlepool, England)
RIYL: Blaenavon, Coquin Migale, Ulrika Spacek
“Deep In My Head” is a killer new track from UK quartet PLAZA. They have been slowly releasing one solid single after another since their debut track last year, “Totem.”
The single is filled with PLAZA’s signature shoegaze-inspired guitar licks along with solid vocals, and the emotional pull of the track that floats from calmness to all-out fierce, in-your-face rock. The result is the perfect combination of the essence of the track which tackles the ups and downs regarding mental health.
Brad shares a bit about the track: “The essence of Deep In My Head is around mental health and how it can manipulate you into a completely different person to what you you once were. It’s about being lost in your own mind, but alongside the unease and anxieties of it all, feeling that you’re set up in the right place.”
“Deep In My Head” is the latest single from the band’s forthcoming EP, Plaza. It’ll be out April 14th via Beyond The Wall records. Plaza are Bradley, William, Matt, and Matt.
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