The Matinee October 20th bursts with brilliant darkness and splendid brightness. Nine songs occupy the mini-playlist, and some of the song will leave you exhilarated. Others, though, will have you contemplating the present and future. Buckle up or create space in your room because every single song is an experience, and we kick things off with a major bang.

Artificial Pleasure – “Wound Up Tight” (London, England)

RIYL: Talking Heads, David Byrne, David Bowie

We don’t often use this expression, but now is a good time to break it out. WHOA! There’s no other way to describe the amazing nature of Artificial Pleasure‘s new song, “Wound Up Tight”. This is amazing, and it had all of us doing quadruple takes, spinning it multiple times, and dancing, dancing, and dancing! With what we’ve just written, make sure you are in an open space because you will be spinning around and around and just letting go.

Don’t let the Nine Inch Nails-esque beginning trick you because it’s a teaser. The song then turns into a Talking Heads-like, new wave, electro-rocker that will blow your mind. It is exhilarating, fun, and just the perfect song to start the weekend. Forget the energy drinks tonight, just keep this song on repeat. Did we mention this song is amazing?

Artificial Pleasure’s new EP, Wound Up Tight, arrives on Earth on December 8th. They’ll be hosting an EP release show on December 12th at London’s The Lexington. Details here.

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Boniface – “Again & Again” (Winnipeg, Canada)

RIYL: Cass McCombs, Andy Shauf, Kalle Mattson

Last week, Micah Visser brought his project Boniface across the pond to tour across the UK, which included supporting ALASKALASKA at their LP release show. Today, we get to delve a little deeper into their music, specifically their latest single, “Again & Again”.

This little folk-pop gem is the perfect song to end the work week, sitting in your favorite chair with your favorite drink and just allowing all the stress to leave your body. The delicate guitar work is engrossing, but it’s Visser’s voice and songwriting that take you away. His hushed vocals have the intimacy of a bedroom conversation, which complements his story about a person’s life stagnating. The song’s lyrics are fantastic, and they could be the start of a movie script with Michael Cera in the lead role.

“Then the winter came.
You were flying to a city made out of paper.
And of course I followed you on a phone,
But I stayed here again and again.
You said you thought of me
When you were fighting sleep,
Dreaming of this in the blue light
Finally holding on to the time as it flies by
Again and again.”

Canada may have just found itself it’s next unofficial Poet Laureate.

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Coucheron – “UFO” feat. ARY (Asker, Norway)

RIYL: Daft Punk, Justice, Lemaitre

We have new music from Norwegian producer Sebastian Kornelius Coucheron-Gautier Teigen – a.k.a. Coucheron. It comes in the form of “UFO”, which is a fun and upbeat trackwith a super punk-filled edge. The vocals are provided by fellow Norwegian artist ARY. Coucheron has already had a successful career collaborating with artist Kehlani on the track “Alive” (Her album also landed a Grammy Nom) and since has released multiple dance heavy tracks in the past year which have racked up millions of online spins.

After listening to “UFO”, there is no doubt you will feel like moving once the beat drops. “UFO” has that awesome Daft Punk quality which satisfies those with an infinity for electronic house music as well as mainstream synth pop. If you are getting ready to head out for the weekend, be sure to add “UFO” to your hyped up playlist.

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Donna Missal – “Transformer” (New Jersey, USA)

RIYL: Amy Winehouse, Miynt, Ramsey

Donna Missal is back with new music. It’s been almost a year since we’ve heard from the artist in a solo capacity as she has taken a break to work with other artists including Macklemore and producer Tim Anderson. “Transformer” is a sultry yet inviting track that further proves her talent in the indie synth pop space.

“Transformer” lyrically chronicles a relationship that isn’t quite where it needs to be. Her vocals are powerful and the overall sound has an anthemic vibe with saturated synths and rock leaning instrumentation. The expansive and bombastic chorus completely hooks the listener and this track can definitely be added to any upbeat dance ready weekend playlist.

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Johnny Kills – “Not So Bad” (Brighton/London/York, England)

RIYL: Twin Peaks, Heyrocco, Salad Boys

After five singles (we’ve featured four of them), it’s safe to say that English post-punk-rock trio Johnny Kills will establish a cult following in the same way that American bands Fidlar, Twin Peaks, Heyrocco, and Guantanamo Baywatch have created. They’ll need to go on a massive tour to establish their own legion of fans, but it will happen soon enough. In the meantime, they’ll continue to make our necks sore and bellies ache with laughter with each new single. Speaking of which, the other day they released, “Not So Bad”, which is trademark Johnny Kills.

This song rocks. It is also surprisingly dance-able in a slow mosh-pit sort of way. We can envision all the young adults cramming the front of the stage and rhythmically jumping and hammering their heads back and forth as sweat comes flying from their hair with thunderous drum beat. While they’re losing their marbles, they’re chuckling inside to front man Tim’s “favorite story to tell”, which he “won’t tell ever again”. Why? Because it’s, you guessed, not so bad, which means it’s not so good. This song, though, is awesome. Time for us to start our slow-motion mosh pit while singing “Ooh ooh ooh” to the chorus.

Johnny Kills are Tim Lloyd-Kinnings (lead vocals/guitar), Lewis Lloyd-Kinnings (guitar/bass/vocals), and Cameron Gipp (guitar/bass/vocals).

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Las Robertas – “Sun Haze” (San José, Costa Rica)

RIYL: The Dum Dum Girls, The Vaselines, Trementina

In the “better-late-than-never” file, we present to you Las Robertas, whom a few thousand people already know about (so we might be preaching to the choir here). If you’re new to the band like us, get ready for some shimmering, sungaze-drenched indie pop, which comes in the form of the aptly titled “Sun Haze”.

Taken from their album, Waves of the New (available on Bandcamp), this song feels like summer (then again the LP was released in May). The groovy bass line and bubbly drumming that open the song are the perfect pace setters, getting listeners in a spirited and dancing mood. Then the reverb-infused electric guitar and the sweet harmonies arrive, and a beach vibe is created. Consequently, you’ll be shaking your hips like Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon did in Beach Party (o.k., now we’re really showing our age). If you’re not a dancer, then you’ll be figuratively swimming in the breezy melody, being taken back to the lazy, summer days spent at the shore or at the cottage.

Las Robertas are Fabrizio Durán, Mercedes Oller, and Sonya Carmona.

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lilly among clouds – “Listen To Your Mama” (Würzburg, Germany)

RIYL: Florence + The Machine, Vita and the Woolf, Savoir Adore

How the Elisabeth Brüchner-led project lilly among clouds is not bigger than they are is a great mystery. The young German has one of the most powerful and incredible voices outslide of Florence Welch, and her band’s music is a brilliant mix of rousing indie-pop-rock, cinematic indie, and rock opera. Sounds a bit like Florence + The Machine, which is evident on their new single, “Listen To Your Mama”.

This song is a spectacular, heart-racing drama. The percussion- and synth-driven melody establishes an addictive yet stark soundscape, creating a feeling that one is being chased through the forest at night. But instead of fear, exhilaration streams through our bones due to Brüchner’s enrapturing and remarkable vocals. Her story, too, is perfect for these cool October days. She immediately asks in a calm voice, “Annie, are you in trouble?”, before prescribing the remedy to her situation. But not everyone wants the storybook ending, especially this close to Halloween.

If you cannot listen to the audio above, the video is provided below.

The single is taken from lilly among clouds’ new album, Aerial Perspective, which is out now via PIAS Germany.

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On The Wane – “Human Race” (Kyiv, Ukraine)

RIYL: No Joy, Pink Milk, The Cure

There must be something in the water in the Ukraine because the Eastern European country has some of the best shoegaze and dreamgaze bands around. However, they’re not just copying the sounds and approaches of notable groups like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, but they’re reinventing it. One such band is On The Wane, who take the genre to dark, Gothic places.

Their latest single, “Human Race”, is a reflection of their suspenseful and haunting approach. Like No Joy meshed with The Cure, the song is a journey deep into the different psyches of homo sapiens and an examination of the growing divide between peoples. Its foreboding nature brilliantly reflects the chaos and conflicts engulfing the planet, and the various strikes of the electric guitars represent the different flashpoints. Daria Maksimova‘s vocals, meanwhile, are tantalizing, soaring above the darkness like a god and commenting on humanity’s self-destruction. Beautifully stark and frighteningly real best describe “Human Race”.

The song is from On The Wane’s new album, Schism. It drops November 20th with pre-orders on Bandcamp.

Anna Lyashok (drums/vocals), Daria Maksimova (bass/vocals), Eugene Voitov (guitar), and Eli Demyanenko (guitar).

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Woodes – “Dots” (Melbourne, Australia)


From afar, we’ve observed Elle Graham – a.k.a. Woodes – grow from an artist who created hushed soundscapes to one that now paints widescreen landscapes. In the process, her popularity has grown, not just in her native Australia but also abroad. We’ve predicted stardom for Graham early on, and she takes several steps to this inevitability with her new single.

“Dots” is everything we love about Woodes. It is rich and complex, feeling like fireworks exploding on a mid-winter’s night. A hushed, icy tone lingers in the song, particularly Graham’s soft vocals and the cosmic backing vocals. The music, though, soars, as the expertly crafted production explodes at points but never does it feel too intense. The combination creates a feeling of a great adventure across the vast tundras of North America or the taiga in the northernmost parts of Scandinavia as the Aurora Borealis dance in the moonless sky. Even Woodes’ lyrics evoke such images, as she calls out, “I search for you.

Soon, very soon, it won’t just be the moon, stars, and Northern Lights illuminating high above us; Woodes name will also be lighting up marquees across the globe.

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