Around and around we go, where The Matinee September 7th edition stops, no one knows! Well, we do know where it stops: today’s mini-playlist visits a country for the first time. Eight new songs are featured below, including the latest by one of indie’s greats, plus a 2008 single from one of the most underrated artists of our time.
St. Vincent – “Los Ageless” (Los Angeles & New York City, USA)
RIYL: The Chemical Brothers, Crystal Castles, Muse
Annie Clark – aka St. Vincent – has never been one to stay stagnant. She is one of the most unpredictable and creative geniuses in the music world. Whether it’s collaborating with David Byrne or directing a short film (XX, which is the first part of an all-female horror anthology), Clark’s boundaries are limitless. She further extends herself on her new single, “Los Ageless”.
The song is unlike anything she’s done before, as she exchanges her trademark guitar-driven indie-rock for a synth-heavy rocker. “Los Ageless” bursts with heavy bass and drums akin to some of Muse’s biggest hits. Suspense and even a slight creepiness build in the song, creating the feeling of being stuck in a cramped underground bar. Instead of turning it into a blistering rocker, she amps up the darkness and turns the song into a harrowing, intense number. “I’m a monster and you’re my sacred cow”, she calls out to her prey. In this case, however, the person is the object of her affection who is not around to join her as she ventures into her new adopted city of Los Angeles. Leave it to Annie Clark to create a love song that doesn’t sound like a love song.
Clark heads out on tour in October, hitting a few cities in Europe and North America. If this tour is anything like her past ones, this is one not to miss. Dates can be found here.
Arctic Lake – “Living Under You” (London, England)
RIYL: Daughter, London Grammar, The xx
Two years ago, London-based trio Arctic Lake made an emphatic debut with singles “Limits” and “Only Me”. They immediately became one of the year’s buzziest bands, as their enthralling, Daughter-esque brooding hypnotized fans. Since then, they have slowly and meticulously released a handful of singles; the latest one just might be their masterpiece.
“Living Under You” is absolutely breathtaking, and it must be heard sitting down without distraction. Frontwoman Emma Foster’s voice is stunning and lush, possessing an intimacy that is usually reserved for the bedroom. She shares her secret with the world, exposing her weaknesses and vulnerabilities in crushing fashion. Paul Holliman’s dissonant guitar rings in the background, and it creates a chilling atmosphere. Andy Richmond, meanwhile, paces the track with the rhythm of a fluttering heartbeat. As the three converge during the song’s climax, a feeling of awe overcomes you. Just incredibly beautiful.
Circle October 20th on your calendar because that is when Arctic Lake’s debut EP, Closer, arrives. It should be one of the most gorgeous records of the year.
Clay Priskorn – “DREAMS” (Agoura Hills, CA, USA)
RIYL: Beck, Foxygen, Kevin Morby, WOODS
First, Clay Priskorn, if you’re reading this, you need to create a public page on Facebook so people can follow your music. Second, for those who don’t know Priskorn, get familiar with the name because the 23-year-old Californian has the chance to be either the next Beck, Kevin Morby, Jonathan Rado, or Sam France. His new single, “Dreams”, is just one reason why we hold this opinion.
“Dreams” is the perfect song to end summer with its ’70s-inspired, psychedelic-folk vibe and Priskorn’s smooth falsetto. It should be played on your next road trip (preferably in a convertible with the top down), while you are barbecuing, or out at a cabin or camping. This song was made for the outdoors.
Despite the swimmingly infectious vibe, Priskorn’s lyrics reveal a young man still trying to figure out his place in this complicated world. His songwriting is terrific, and anyone who is still determining their next steps will relate to what he has to say. Hopefully this young man’s path will lead him to write more music just like this and, eventually, stardom. But first, he has to get that Facebook page.
Cones – “Whatever You’re Into” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Air, Tame Impala, Phoenix
Once upon a time, it was written that disco was dead. This was probably in 1984. Thirty-three years later, disco is making a comeback. It’s not the disco that our parents knew in the ’70s, but instead it is hazy, groovy, and infused with plenty of psychedelia. This all started with Kevin Parker of Tame Impala; now the genre has taken a life of its own. We’re not complaining, especially since this new trend has led to the birth of Cones.
Started by Eleanor Friedberger band members Jonathan and Michael Rosen (yes, they’re brothers) along with Matt Johnson, Jeff Cohen, Malcolm Perkins, and Adam Gunther, Cones are masterfully bridging the past and the present. Their new single, “Whatever You’re Into”, perfectly illustrates their brilliance.
This song is super groovy and sexy, or (as Hollie described it) space chic! The delicate vocals are seductive, and the production work and instrumentation – particularly the swirling synth and the funky, crystalline guitar – are intoxicating. As the song builds, you becomes lost inside its wonderful delirium and left feeling like you have been taken somewhere high above the clouds. All we need now is a disco ball, a dance floor, and a few of our closest friends because this song was made for gatherings.
Juana Molina – “Un Día” (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
RIYL: Björk, PJ Harvey
Juana Molina doesn’t get enough credit for being one of music’s most creative forces. It might be because she sings mostly in Spanish, her music throws aside all basic pop arrangements, or a combination of both. She is, though, Latin America’s equivalent to Björk, as she’ll make the inaccessible accessible. One of her classic songs demonstrates her brilliance.
“Un Día” (“One Day”) is the title track from her fifth studio album which was released in 2008. The horns, percussion, and backing vocals chaotically swirl in the background, yet there is a method to the madness. Despite the oft-kilter and competing sounds, the music is exhilarating. Molina’s voice, meanwhile, takes on a chant-like quality, as if she is making an offering to the gods and asking for better days to come. Alternatively, she is leading the procession at the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico, and everyone there are her followers. This song not only reflects Molina’s talents but her gravitating power.
Earlier this year, Molina released her seventh album, Halo, to critical acclaim. It is available on Bandcamp or stream it on Spotify. Un Día is also available on most streaming services and online stores, and options can be found here. Both albums were released by Crammed Discs.
Molina will be embarking on a mini-North American tour in September, which includes a stop at POP Montreal and an intimate Sofar Sounds NYC gig. Dates can be found here.
Miss World – “Put Me In A Movie” (London, England via Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Dream Wife, Peach Kelli Pop, Let’s Eat Grandma
Everyone wants to have their 15 minutes of fame (but hopefully in a good way). Some people will do anything to be in movies while others will wait around and hope that good fortune will shine upon them. We all know people who fall in the latter category – individuals who feel like they are entitled to everything and they couldn’t care what you think. Heck, they think “everything is groovy” in life; they are the subject of Miss World‘s new single, “Put Me In A Movie”.
The project of Natalie Chahal (one half of Shit Girlfriend), Miss World has delivered a riot of a song. The ’50s bubble-gum, pop-rock approach is immensely addictive, and this sugary earworm of a tune will be dancing in your head for days. Chahal’s lyrics, too, will be bouncing in your brain.
“I’m obsessed to look my best
All my friends say, ‘Put me in a movie’
I don’t care about no one else
That’s o.k. because everything is groovy.”
If only we could all have a life that as easy going and free-spirited. Well, we could have it with Miss World leading the way.
Partner – “Ambassador To Ecstasy” (Windsor, ON via Sackville, NB, Canada)
RIYL: Speedy Ortiz, Diet Cig, WEEN
Indie-rockers Partner are on the fast track to becoming Canada’s next great duo. Seriously, BFFs and recent Mount Allison University graduates Lucy Niles and Josée Caronand could – make that will – one day rival Tegan and Sara as the country’s best female duo. However, instead of making pop music, Partner are blazing a fiery rock path filled with ferocious guitar work. If you have doubts, one listen to “Ambassador To Ecstasy” will change your mind.
“Ambassador To Ecstasy” is akin to the loud, catchy songs of Speedy Ortiz, Swearin’, and Diet Cig. It starts off like a pleasant pop-rock number, but then it turns it a firecracker of a rocker. The guitar solos are outrageously awesome, and the hammering drumming would make Sleater-Kinney’s Janet Weiss proud. Niles and Caronand’s harmonies, though, are smooth and sweet, which gives the song a shimmering quality. Their songwriting is also fantastic, as they take us inside the mind of a person who lusts after someone and wishes to make her every fantasy a reality. It’s an amusing take on infatuation.
Speaking of amusing, check out their single, “Gross Secret”, which is about sunglasses and urine. Yes, you read that correctly.
Wooly and the Uke – “Circus” (Pakistan)
RIYL: Laura Marling, Marissa Nadler, Daughter
We often like to say, “Great music knows no borders.” Our daily mini-playlists are evidence of this, as we try to share music from many different countries as possible. One place that we have not visited is Pakistan, at least until today. The Asian country isn’t the first place you would think to find a young, brilliant artist mastering the art of dark indie-folk, yet there resides Janat Sohail Aziz, who goes by the moniker Wooly and the Uke.
Fans of Laura Marling and Marissa Nadler better start jotting her name down because her new single is as beautiful and stunning as anything these indie stars have released. The song is completely spellbinding, as if we have entered into a fantasy. This isn’t a Hans Christian Anderson tale, but one imagined by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth). As Aziz’s deep, harrowing vocals float through the hallow chorus, the echo of her ukulele, and the soaring orchestration, we fall further into this mystery. Aziz calls it a “Circus”, but we call it pure enchantment.
Here’s hoping that people get to know Aziz’s name and that she’ll get to travel abroad and share her music.
Yassassin – “Mermaidistic Personality Disorder” (London, England via Stockholm/Tuscany/Cambridge/Malmö/Brisbane)
RIYL: Berries, L.A. Witch, Death Valley Girls
The New York Times shared an article on Tuesday saying that women are making the best rock music today. We’ve held this opinion for years due to the emergence of artists like TORRES, Dream Wife, Snail Mail, BERRIES, The Van T’s, Nelson Can, and, one of our favorites, Yassassin.
For nearly two years, these five ladies have been unleashing their fiery brand of alternative rock. Not only do they unfurl some gnarly guitar riffs and throbbing rhythms, but they write some of the best songs on the planet. Their latest single, “Mermaidistic Personality Disorder”, is no exception. While it is a bit different from their more political-oriented songs, the band’s tongue-in-cheek approach still rings loud and clear. As the guitars and rhythms slowly begin to intensify, the band takes on The Little Mermaid (or maybe it’s Splash) and the fairytale endings where love always wins. They question how a sea goddess could love an ordinary human, which, come to think about, is a preposterous idea. With each song the band releases and the more they tackle existing social norms, the more our fandom increases.
The song is from the band’s debut EP, Vitamin Y, which is out now via BABELOGUE.
Yassassin are comprised of Anna, Joanna, Moa, Raissa, and Ruth. None are originally from London, but hail from different parts of the globe: Stockholm and Malmö, Sweden; the Tuscany region of Italy; Cambridge, England; and Brisbane, Australia.
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