We’re going backwards on The Matinee August 8th edition. This is just another way of saying that the song are listed in reverse alphabetical order. The bookends will go you moving while the songs in between will dazzle, rock, and steal your breath away. Sit back, relax, and enjoy these nine sizzling tunes.
Widowspeak – “When I Tried” (Tacoma, WA, USA)
RIYL: Mazzy Star, Hope Sandoval and The Good Intentions, Tennis
We’re only a little more than two weeks away when one of the most anticipated albums of the second half of 2017 arrives. Expect The Best from indie heroes Widowspeak will be released on August 25th via Captured Tracks (pre-orders also available via Bandcamp) and to whet our appetites they’ve released the LP’s second single.
“When I Tried” is a gorgeous and lush rocker that is simultaneously dreamy, hypnotic, and worthy of several fist pumps. This might sound like an unorthodox combination, but in the hands of Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas III the two fit like a hand in glove. Hamilton’s stunning, Hope Sandoval-esque vocal provides the lushness, drawing us in with her feathery delivery and her storyline of a drifter and a pretender. Thomas III’s guitar, meanwhile, purrs in the background, creating a late-night atmosphere meant for one thing – driving far, far away to escape our demons. However, when the end of the month approaches, you might be joining us and rushing to get your copy of Widowspeak’s fourth album.
In addition to Molly Hamilton (vocals/guitar) and Robert Earl Thomas III (guitar), Widowspeak includes Willy Muse (bass) and James Jano (drums).
Tired Lion – “Fresh” (Perth, Australia)
RIYL: False Advertising, Wolf Alice, Speedy Ortiz
Down in the southern hemisphere, spring is just around the corner, which means a fresh batch of new albums will be released. One of the first out of the gate will be Tired Lion‘s long-awaited debut album, Dumb Days. The Perth-based quartet have been called Australia’s version of Wolf Alice, and they have rightfully earned the distinction on the strength of two fantastic EPs and a handful of other singles. If you don’t believe the hype, then check out their new single, “Fresh”, which will likely change your mind.
Starting off calmly and even melancholically, frontwoman Sophie Hopes lures us in with her gentle delivery. Her voice is shrouded in memory, as she weaves an introspective tale of looking in the rearview mirror while moving forward to take advantage of new opportunities. But like on any trip, there is self-doubt and sadness, and at this point the song turns into a wall of raging emotion. Hopes’ vocal gets grittier and harsher while her bandmates rev up the intensity, as the rhythms are crushed harder and the guitars menacingly sear in the foreground. It’s an awesome tune by a band who is well positioned to be the next global sensational in indie rock.
Summer Heart – “Follow” (Malmö, Sweden)
RIYL: Teen Daze, RKCB, Washed Out
It’s been interesting to observe David Alexander’s career evolve as Summer Heart. In his early days, he focused on creating music that was made for days on the beach. As he’s gotten older, his music has become less made for the outdoors and increasingly for the intimacy of the bedroom, but not necessarily in that way. Instead, his music has become more contemplative, introspective, and, thus, solitary, and his new single, “Follow”, best reflects his transformation.
The song personifies the solitude that accompanies a long walk in the wee hours of the morning. Alexander’s production work is sensational, as he has stripped back the instrumentation to create a dark, brooding, yet groovy soundscape that will stick in your head for days. His voice is shallow yet intimate, as he reflects back on his missteps and leaving things behind in order to chase his dreams. He’s close to achieving them, and he should come closer to being one of Swedish great pop stars if he continues down this path.
Postiljonen – “Somnambulist” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Weyes Blood, Agnes Obel, Amason
Swedish stars Postiljonen are one of the great dream-pop bands on the planet. Every song they have releases is anthemic and ethereal, and every time they transport the listener to an exotic place. For their latest single, though, they’ve thrown us a change up but the result is still the same.
“Somnambulist”, which is another way of saying sleep walker, sees the trio strip things down considerably, and the outcome is one of the dreamiest and stunning pastoral-folk songs you’ll hear. In place of shimmering synths and the sound of the cosmos are a patient but lavish piano, a steely keyboard, and the echo of an organ. Mia Brox’s voice is, unsurprisingly, heavenly, as it rises above the solemn tones and pierces deep into our conscience. It is as if she is our guide into the afterlife, which we hope will sound as beautiful as this song.
“Somnambulist” is out now via HYBRIS.
Postiljonen are Mia Brox, Daniel Sjörs, and Joel Nyström Holm.
Midnight Sister – “Daddy Long Legs” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Kalbells, Blondie, Alvvays
Whatever Midnight Sister are drinking, we’d like to have exactly what they’re consuming because Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian are creating some of the most inventive and exhilarating music. The duo are taking sounds from the past and transporting them to the present. Back in the spring, their first single of 2017, “Leave You”, blended ’40s film-noir with ’70s neo-psychedelia. In June, they concocted a cocktail in “Blue Cigar”, which mixed ’60s doo-wop, ’70s disco, and modern-day orchestral pop. They’re back at it again with “Daddy Long Legs”.
This shimmering little gem is a wonderful mix of ’70s disco, ’80s new wave, and contemporary bedroom pop. Or another way to think about it is the song could very well be the byproduct of a collaboration between Blondie, Alvvays, and Kalmia Traver (Kalbells, Rubblebucket). The orchestration buzzes like a carnival while Giraffe’s voice is deep, exotic, and unexpectedly sultry. “Daddy Long Legs” simply is a dazzling tune, and one of the most creative, bright, and fresh songs of the year. Christmas has come early for music fans with this unexpected present.
Midnight Sister’s debut album, Saturn Over Sunset, is out September 8th via Jagjaguwar. The LP can also be pre-ordered on Bandcamp. Given the first three songs that have been released, Giraffe and Balouzian may need to call the LP a recipe book.
Lowtide – “Alibi” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Slowdive, Lush, FURS
It has been a very long time since we’ve heard featured Australian band Lowtide. Two years to be exact. The band has kept a low profile in this time, releasing only a couple of singles. Then out of the blue, they released a new single, which will have you wondering what took them so long.
“Alibi” is an absolutely gorgeous dreamgaze song that is akin to the majestic wonderlands of Slowdive. The shoegaze guitars are ravishing, stealing your breath away as they take you high into the stratosphere. The Cure-esque bass line is enrapturing, and you might your own heart is the instrument being played to dazzling effect. Then there is the voice of Lucy Buckeridge, which envelops your existence with its lush delivery and seizes you as her captive. You won’t, however, resist her grip, but instead succumb to her enchantment and seek your own alibi to spend the hours with her. So Lowtide, what took you so long to return?
“Alibi” is out now on Rice is Nice. Hopefully, this is the first song from a new album. Our fingers and toes are crossed.
Lowtide are Giles Simon, Lucy Buckeridge, Gabriel Lewis and Anton Jakovljevic.
KOY – “HEAT” (Berlin, Germany via St. Petersburg, Russia)
RIYL: Frankie Rose, Björk, Esther Joy
Ladies and gentlemen, set aside some time and introduce yourselves to KOY, the project of St. Petersburg born, Berlin-based Victoria Trunova. The young woman commenced her music career in the spring with little fanfare, but people need to notice her immediately. Her first single, “HEAT”, is sensational, and it immediately brought to mind a young Björk.
“HEAT” is a spectacle. It buzzes with the driving synth-pop of the ’80s, as wave after wave of beats and synths overwhelms the listener. At the same time, an element of fantasy hovers throughout, as Trunova’s vocal is one part mystical and another part heavenly. Her lyrics, too, capture this notion of fiction meeting the spiritual, as she encourages us to run far, far away from the monsters that occupy our past. With Trunova leading the way with a song that equally energizes one’s body and soul, there is no other choice but to follow.
We’ll be following her career from now on because not even established artists can create such a brilliant and motivating song.
Heaters – “Séance” (Grand Rapids, MI, USA)
RIYL: Ty Segall, Meatbodies, Elephant Stone
We were starting to wonder what had happened to Heaters, Michigan’s marquee psychedelic garage-rock band. In their early years, they were releasing new material almost as quickly as Ty Segall. But a few things have changed for the band over the past year with original member Andrew Tamberlyn moving on and two new members joining the crew. Change, though, is an opportunity to re-assess and re-adjust, which is exactly what Heaters have done. Their first single as a newly-formed quartet gives us the first peek into what is to come.
“Séance” is a spiritual awakening. It is two songs in one, as it starts off with the hazy and delirious psychedelia of George Harrison and Ravi Shankar. As the number progresses, though, Heaters turn into Ty Segall and, thus, go into overdrive. A maelstrom of reverb and spinning neo-psychedelia begins to pour down, and we’re delightfully caught within the song’s crushing torrent. Yep, “Séance” deserves a “fuck yeah!” for waking us up from our summertime stupor.
This is the lead single from upcoming Heater’s new album, Matterhorn. It is out October 20th via Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records.
Heaters are Nolan Krebs, Joshua Korf, Ryan Hagan, and Ben Taber.
The Goa Express – “Kiss Me” (Burnley, England)
RIYL: The Kinks, The Strokes, JET
Gentlemen, get yourself a black leather jacket and put on a plain white T-shirt. Deck out in some white socks to go with the black shoes and grease up your hair. Ladies, put on your favorite sun dress with some white stockings. Now put your hair in a bob and get your dancing shoes on. Now ladies and gentlemen, we’re heading back to a ’60s dance party with The Goa Express, who have released one heck of a single in “Kiss Me”.
All we have to say about this song is – it is friggin’ awesome! It is three minutes of butt-shaking, hip-rattling, head-waving, old-school rock. This song will take you back to your parents’ or grandparents’ youths, when they, too, partied as hard as you do now. Thanks to The Goa Express, who could be a new generation’s The Kinks, we get to re-live an era when rock ‘n roll was truly king. Heck, The Goa Express may single-handedly make rock ‘n roll king again, especially if they continue to spin raucous single like “Kiss Me”. And we just might do exactly this to the band if they are achieve this ambitious goal.
The band’s next gig is at The Bless in Derby, England. Catch them now before they start to play in massive venues.
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