The Matinee October 27th is filled with a great selection of tracks. Some well-established and talented bands are included, along with newly emerging talent. We hope you find your new favorite song or band to kick off your weekend. Speaking of the weekend, don’t forget to come back for our Saturday Sampler and mega, mega playlist on Sunday (i.e., Weekend Showcase).
Franz Ferdinand – “Always Ascending” (Glasgow, Scotland)
RIYL: Franz Ferdinand
Just the other day, Franz Ferdinand unexpected released a new single, “Always Ascending”. It was only shared as a video, but yesterday they kindly added it to SoundCloud (although the full version is only available to Go account holders). As such, we had to share it! (Note: alternative streaming links for the song are here and the video is below.)
If people weren’t originally convinced that FF were the heirs to the Talking Heads crown, this song should be enough to prove that the Glaswegians deserve to be mentioned alongside the new wave – art-pop icons. The track is cinematic, groovy, exhilarating, and fun. Yet, it takes on an added layer of complexity when Paul Thomson’s lyrics are carefully considered, as he tells a tale that is part fantasy; part Roman, Greek, or biblical mythology; and part contemporary reality. The gist, though, is that we can overcome anything and everything.
The band is comprised of original members Paul Thomson (vocals/guitar/keys), Alex Kapranos (drums), and Bob Hardy (bass) plus Dino Bardot (guitar) and Julian Corrie (guitar/keys/synth).
Rhye – “Taste” (Los Angeles, USA & Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Rhye, Cigarettes After Sex, Sade, Phoria
After going four years without releasing anything new, Rhye have offered their third song of 2018, and it’s another stunning treat. Whereas they’ve been known for their breathtaking cinema and heartbreaking songs, they up the tempo a wee bit on “Taste”. As such, instead of a night in the bedroom, they’ve delivered a steamy, sultry number that would be perfect for the intimate nightclubs in London’s, Paris’, and New York’s underground.
With the slight upbeat in pace, an air of mystery hovers in the song. The addition of the strings and a groovy bass line add to the suspense while multi-instrumentalist Robin Hannibal does what he’s done for years – enchant us with sweltering elixir of lightly pulsating beats, delicate piano, and weightless production. Mike Milosh’s trademark falsetto, meanwhile, fills in the gaps and delivers another sensual, late-night tale. His lyrics are that of desire, of a person missing someone he dearly loves yet in the end he failed her and she’s gone. So if you happen to be with your loved one today, enjoy every moment because tomorrow may not come.
Milosh and Hannibal are heading out on a worldwide tour early in 2018, which hopefully means a new album is coming. Tickets are on sale today (9 AM local in Europe and 10 AM local in North America). Dates and information are available here.
Andy Pickett – “Floral” (Fort Worth, TX, USA)
RIYL: If White Denim turned 70’s soul
The track “Floral” just recently popped up on the SoundCloud account of Austin’s White Denim. As far as we can tell, Andy Pickett is friends with White Denim’s singer James Petralli. We did find out that Andy gave James his solo project name, Bop English (which is also listed as a band member on Andy’s Facebook page).
Mr. Pickett released an album back in 2015 and this is his first new material in two years. The song is feel-good, ’70s-inspired rock. As the hopeful chorus exclaims, “It’s all right, it’s OK”, we are soothed by multiple instrumentation throughout the track. It’s definitely a song to play while getting ready for a laid back weekend.
“Floral” is the first track from his forthcoming self-titled album. Details are scarce on timing, but we’ll trust the White Denim gents will keep all of us apprise of the latest developments.
The Bullseyes – “Butterfly” (somewhere in Poland)
RIYL: The Black Keys, The Pack A.D., The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Poland is known for its great pierogis (Przystanek Pierogarnia in Kraków is amazing), Chopin, wonderful people, and soon The Bullseyes. Well, hopefully people will get to know Matt (drums/vocals) and Darek (guitar/vocals) because they’re making some fantastic, early 2000s-esque garage-rock. Think The Black Keys before they started working with Danger Mouse infused with a touch of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s psychedelia. This is music that is raw, gritty, and downright awesome, which is how to describe their new single, “Butterfly”.
These guys seriously sound like they are from Akron, Ohio and not playing in the basement somewhere in Poland. If they entered a venue anywhere in North America right now and performed with the lights off, we’re sure at last half the people would think Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney were playing a surprise gig. These guys are that good.
John.k – “Wrong” (Orlando, USA)
RIYL: A R I Z O N A, DNCE, Mike Posner
John.k has a new track which is a follow-up to his successful release, “OT”. “Wrong” has soul influences shining through along with a gospel-inspired chorus.
So far John.k has accumulated over 2.5 million streams on Spotify and recently toured with Alex & Sierra (the duo broke up last month). Lyrically, “Wrong” is the perfect description of all of the feelings felt when a relationship comes to an ended. As the multitude of questions are asked like “What went wrong?”, other thoughts and feelings arise. Insecurities start to creep in, but the song’s ending plays out the other end of the spectrum – that it takes two and maybe the relationship was not the best in the first place. Reflecting this reality, the track’s parting lyric changes. Instead of “Where did I go wrong”, it ends with “when you wake up tomorrow, you’ll be wondering wondering where you went wrong”.
As “Wrong” unfolds, one can’t help but be forced to move. It has an upbeat feel good vibe, even though the lyrical content isn’t so sunny.
Nightshifts – “Karma” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Colony House, The Colourist, Knox Hamilton
Canadian producer Andrew Oliver is Nighshifts, and “Karma” is his second single with plenty more to come (Oliver has announced he will be releasing a song a month).
“Karma” is a very soul-filled track with lovely instrumentation throughout and complemented by Oliver’s airy vocals. It’s also a great track for fall because as the weather changes and becomes cooler, “Karma” provides warm feel good vibes.
Mr. Oliver shares a bit about his newest track:
“My newest song ‘Karma’ was written at a time when all my friends and I were very unsure about what we wanted to do with our lives. I wrote the song to try and calm my own nerves; to say it’s OK not to know, let’s just enjoy the ride.”
“Karma” was produced by Matthew Vlahovich of Young Empires.
Sam Valdez – “It’s Alright” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Pearl Charles, Jack River
A young singer-songwriter who lists Angel Olsen and The War On Drugs as her influences and then goes out and matches them musically and lyrically is one we will immediately love. And this is the case with Sam Valdez, and it only took about 5 seconds into “It’s Alright” for us to declare our affection.
The song is like a dreamy and exotic version of Laurel Canyon-era folk-rock with a touch of Americana. Streams of shoegaze filter through the song and draw you in. Valdez’s stunning vocals, though, are what grab hold of you and leave you in a trance. Her songwriting has an air of poetry to it, which isn’t surprising since the 23-year old, Los Angeles resident lists Sylvia Plath as another of her idols. The young woman is full of surprises, but don’t let her sneak up on you later because she has the potential to be one of the great singer-songwriters of her generation. We’re not making this statement based on one song, as her other two songs – “Hours” and “Don’t Want To Be Yours Anymore” – are equally dazzling.
Soaked Oats – “Houdini” (Dunedin, New Zealand)
RIYL: Neil Young, Kevin Morby, Michael Nau
We probably underestimated how talented Soaked Oats when we featured them in June and their song, “Avocado Aficionado”. That tune was amusing and just weirdly wonderful, as was the entire album, Stone Fruit Melodies. However with a new EP just released, they’ve set aside the wackiness and gotten a bit more serious. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is that the New Zealand quartet sure know how to craft brilliant tales.
With “Houdini”, Soaked Oats have written one of the year’s most endearing and emotional ballads. The folk-rock approach is reminiscent of Neil Young, while the songwriting is equivalent to the immaculate tales that Kevin Morby creates. In this case, front man Oscar Mein brings us inside two uneasy minds and how they wishes they could just escape like Houdini, yet the cannot. His words will hit close to home for many (including us):
“I can’t see this part is great.
Tombstone covered in ash.
Houdini show me your ways,
I’d disappear in a flash.
Soaked Oats are Conor Feehly, Max Holmes, Henry Francis, and Oscar Mein.
Stupid Kid – “Alabama” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: Moby, Fat Boy Slim, RJD2
First there was Moby and then Fat Boy Slim, and now comes… Stupid Kid? Yes, the project of Murray Stockdale is a name to remember. Granted, very little is known about the Brighton artist, who has been plying his craft for over six years. Only this year, however, has he intensified his production work and, in the process, extended himself. Forget about the typical house and bass music that has overtaken the electronic world, Stockdale is melding multiple genres into one mesmerizing sound, as evidenced on “Alabama”.
This song is outstanding. Electronica, blues, hip hop, funk, and bass are all infused into one exhilarating number that feels like a film unfolding in our ears. The introduction is eye-opening with the chain-gang like chant and the heavy bass, and it leads into the more intense midsection. “Rock the trigger finger” is repeated, reflecting a vigilante seeking his vengeance on a con man. The song concludes on a hypnotic note, as the intensity and music fade into the distance. Hopefully, Mr. Stockdale will reveal more about himself in the near future, especially if he continues to make such interesting music.
In the meantime, people can enjoy Stupid Kid’s debut EP, Blood and Shine, which can be streamed in its entirety on SoundCloud.
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