The Matinee June 9th has a bit of everything today. It includes new music from a couple of major bands, a super-collective of mega-talented artists, and a few groups and artists still looking to achieve a major breakthrough. There is a heavy electronic bent on this, but not the typical EDM stuff. Sit back and enjoy the music.
Black Fly – “Dipped” (Richmond, VT, USA)
RIYL: Ulrich Schnauss, Moby, Matthew Dear
One of the most impressive newcomers to arrive in 2017 is the enigmatic Black Fly, who chooses to remain anonymous. His debut single, “I Don’t Know”, was a fleeting yet shimmering electronic hymn. Song number two, “Sign 2”, was a brooding, dazzling, get-up-on-your feet synth-goth anthem, and it is one of the best songs of the year. He’s now back with his third song, which demonstrates the young artist is a huge talent ready to explode.
“Dipped” displays further growth and maturity by Black Fly. It isn’t the soaring epics of his first two songs, but “Dipped” is instead a pensive and contemplative number. The tracks starts off pensively with some subtle beats, delicate piano notes, and lush production, and the atmosphere retains this sombre tone throughout. Yet the song is highly captivating and intoxicating, mostly due to Black Fly’s emotive vocals and personal lyrics.
I take two steps back,
And I don’t know where to go.
I take two steps back,
And I’m losing control.
Once again, Black Fly has moved us, but this time in a surprising way. This young man is a rare talent.
The single is out now via Samedi Records.
David Nance – “River With No Color” (Omaha, USA)
RIYL: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Grinderman, Neil Young
David Nance remains one of the least known singer-songwriters in the US despite being around for a decade. Part of the reason is that he has a very limited social media presence. Another explanation is that he’s making a mix of old-school rock ‘n roll and gothic rock that isn’t exactly radio friendly but will have the most astute music fan paying attention.
Unfortunately, even the most diehard music fan, including ourselves, have failed to recognize Nance’s talent. Social media or not, Nance is, as Noisey stated, “possibly the best songwriter in the United States that nobody outside DIY tape collectors and his friends has heard.” His new single more than validates this belief – it unquestionably is a fact.
Like the startling and theatrical rock of the Prince of Darkness – a.k.a. Nick Cave – “River With No Color” is a monster. Nance’s songwriting is gritty, haunting, and imaginative, like an Edgar Allan Poe poem coming to life through song. But instead of a raven, Nance’s focus centers on the paths taken by twins. Think a Cain versus Abel theme but set in present-day, rural America. Then there is the fabulous instrumentation, which begins with a harrowing tone before building into a mind-blowing finale. The last 75 seconds are incredible, as the guitars, bass, and drums sear the air with their pummeling intensity. This song is Nance’s “Stagger Lee”, or, in other words, it’s a masterpiece. To think, this is just Nance, as he doesn’t have a Warren Ellis to orchestrate his sonic wonderlands.
Nance’s new album, Negative Boogie, arrives July 14th on Ba Da Bing Records. This hopefully will be his breakout.
Diamond Thug – “Eclipsed” (Cape Town, South Africa)
RIYL: Little Dragon, Mammút, Sylvan Esso
Diamond Thug has been on our radar ever since winning a slot to travel to SXSW earlier this year. “Eclipsed” is their newest release and it’s definitely no thug. We hear the quartet crossover a myriad of genres with their newest track and they are constantly evolving their sound. Previous releases have had a bit more of a folk inspired tone and here we have a mix of synth pop, folk, psych influenced guitar riffs along with amazing harmonies. The vocals are also unique and inviting and the track begs us to hit repeat.
The band have also shared a bit about the track: “Eclipsed represents the state of being overshadowed by someone, knowing that only once you find the strength to break away will you be free to come into your own. It’s about fighting the belief that you belong in someone else’s shadow and resisting the urge to value the familiarity of their darkness over your own light.”
Diamond Thug are Chantel Van T (vocals/keys), Danilo Queiros (bass/production), Adrian Culhane (guitar/synth/backing vocals/production), and Ted Buxton (drums).
Good Kid – “Witches” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: COIN, DREAMERS, Walk the Moon
Good Kid are a Canadian band that is crafting upbeat and fast paced indie pop-rock. With a singing style similar to Nicholas Petricca, it’s easy to fall in love with this fun and upbeat track. It’s also hard to not want to move after listening to “Witches”.
There’s also a cool story behind the song from the band: This one time, the five of us participated in a programming competition and we won first place. The prize was a free trip to Asia. It just so happens that our guitarist David grew up in Shanghai, so while we were there he took us around town and brought us to all the cool places. However, this one night he decided to take us to a shady part of town to see a fortune teller psychic lady who told us we were all going to die really, really soon. This really freaked us out so we wrote a song about wanting to make it out of Shanghai alive.
Good Kid were originally formed in Toronto in 2013, consisting of three members – Nick Frosst (who is the vocalist), Michael Kozakov (who plays bass and sings) and Jacob Tsafatinos (who’s on guitar). The three met at the University of Toronto in Computer Science where they would later meet Jon Kereliuk (drums) and David Wood (guitar/vocals),
Muse – “Dig Down” (Teignmouth, Devon, England)
It’s been two years since we’ve heard anything new from Muse. The band has let us know that three singles have been recorded and this is the first release ahead of their upcoming 2018 album release. They also have a pretty cool Max Headroom inspired video to go along with the track.
The UK powerhouse trio continue to provide us their genius formula of heavy synth, brooding vocals and killer guitars (similar to “Madness”). “Dig Down” lyrically is an uplifting track that urges the listener to get up and fight for what you believe and to not give up:
Dig down /Dig down / Dig down / And find faith /When they’ve left you for dead (dig down) / And you can only see red (dig down) / You must find a way.
The single is available via Warner Music UK.
Muse are Matthew Bellamy, Dominic Howard, and Chris Wolstenholme.
Or Edry – “Al Tikreu Lasotrim” (Tel Aviv, Israel)
RIYL: Melody’s Echo Chamber, Beach House, Sarah Bethe Nelson
One of the reasons why we love Burger Records is that they are one of the most aggressive labels on the planet when it comes to scouring the globe for talent. They’re constantly re-releasing past albums by unknown, non-American artists and exposing their music to one of the world’s most lucrative markets. Their latest mining expedition sees them excavating in Israel, which is where Or Edry resides.
The young artist is better known within Israel as the bassist and vocalist of indie-pop band REO. However, earlier this spring, she released her debut album, KIDOD (it’s available on Bandcamp), and the opening track, “Al Tikreu Lasotrim”, is a stunner. This low-key, mi-fi number is relatively simple in its execution. An intoxicating bass line reverberates through the song while a stark synth layer hovers in the distance. The melodic drum line and tickling keys create a steely groove that is hypnotic. Edry’s vocals, meanwhile, have a ’30s and ’40s vibe, like she has stepped right out of a French film-noir. Sexy, cool, and delirious, this song will make your weekend. Hopefully, it will also make Edry a more well-known artist abroad.
The Pollyseeds – “Up & Away” (Los Angeles, USA and beyond)
RIYL: D’Angelo, Kamasi Washington, Mos Def
Terrace Martin is one of the leading saxophone players in jazz. He’s also an immensely gifted and respected producer. So when he called out to his friends like Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, Marlon Williams, Robert “Sput” Searight, Rose Gold, and others to create a “super-group”, they all jumped on the train. And so The Pollyseeds were born.
On July 14th, the collective’s debut album, Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1, will be released via Ropeadope. The second single is the tantalizing “Up & Away”. As a great producer does, Martin has taken the talents of all the artists and combined them into one groovy number. It’s part soul, part R&B, part jazz, part electro-soul, and 100% super-cool and super-sensual. The vibe is akin to D’Angelo’s music in the ’90s, yet there is immense creativity and humor in the song. “Up & Away” doesn’t just a single solo, but multiple ones simultaneously. Listen closely, for instance, to the digitalized vocal in the background midway through the track, which appears to be a person drowning. Rose Gold’s voice, meanwhile, is the woman taking matters into her own hands while Terrace Martin is a young man finding his way.
Clever, sexy, smart, cool. “Up & Away” is the perfect track.
Sorcha Richardson – “4AM” (Brooklyn, USA via Dublin, Ireland)
RIYL: Jay Som, Hazel English, Middle Kids
Sorcha Richardson just released “4AM” and it’s a powerhouse track that chronicles the demise of a relationship. The Irish native has a way with storytelling that provides an authentic transparency that will foster a large fanbase to grow. “4AM” is heavier on the electronic element with her newest release but it works as it provides for a huge alt-pop mantra.
For Sorcha, the song is about being alone and confident, rather than wounded and self-effacing in a misguided relationship, expressed in the repeated mantra: “It’s 4 in the morning, I think you should go”. We are also reminded that “4AM” is about not blaming yourself anymore when things go wrong, admitting, “I could have tried a little harder, I don’t know, I just like it here alone.”
RIYL: Bonobo, Massive Attack, Rhye
Long-time Tycho fans have long debated whether the San Francisco-based quartet should add a vocalist or continue to be instrumental. Well, for the first time in their fifteen years, they have added lyrics to their breathtaking ambience, appointing NYC-based Beacon to do the duties. The results, not surprisingly, are spectacular.
“See” is a spellbinding number. The orchestration is dazzling. It is simultaneously cinematic yet feels like the rush one gets when driving along the coastlines of California. Your complete attention, as such, is fixated on every note and the lavish soundscape. Nothing can distract you for its beauty. The stunning vocals of Beacon’s Thomas Mullarney III only add to the song’s sensuality. With a voice akin to Rhye’s Michael Milosh, Mullarney’s soft falsetto has a bedroom-like intimacy, as he whispers to us to not look away nor to walk away. Instead, he asks us to stay, open our eyes, and fight another day. And what we see is something devastatingly beautiful and wonderful.
Tycho are Scott Hansen (synthesizers/guitar/bass/visuals/programming), Zac Brown (bass/guitar), Rory O’Connor (drums), and Billy Kim (bass/keyboards/synthesizers). The song is out now via Ghostly.
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