The Matinee November 14th features a mix of alumni and newcomers (there is one band that is brand new). Some songs have a classic vibe while others are redefining the meaning of innovation.

Cones – “Later” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Air, Summer Heart, Day Wave

Just because the temperatures are dropping in the Northern Hemisphere doesn’t mean that the music, too, has to be chilly. There is always room for songs that make us think of warmer days and leave a smile on our face, much like Cones‘ newest single, “Later”.

Started by Eleanor Friedberger band members and brothers Jonathan and Michael Rosen along with Matt Johnson, Jeff Cohen, Malcolm Perkins, and Adam Gunther, Cones are the latest band to strut along the LA music landscape. In September, they shared their debut single – the space chic, disco ear worm “Whatever You’re Into”. On “Later”, they capture the cool, ocean breezes experienced along California State Route 1. It’s a shimmering, dazzling number that will have you in a great mood for the entire day. If you’re down in the dumps, it’s the perfect tonic to those mid-day blues. And it’s not just the music, but the lyrics, too, are inspiring. So say goodbye to yesterday and open your arms to today and tomorrow.

The song is available via Dangerbird Records. We’re anticipating news soon on Cones’ debut EP or LP for 2018.

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Florda Well – “High Love” (Montreal, Canada)

RIYL: Sleep Party People, S. Carey, Masasolo, early Twin Shadow

Montreal has always had a great music scene, but could it be going through a new renaissance? Given that three of the artists featured on today’s The Matinee come from Canada’s jewel, it sure seems like the city is about to explode. One of the bands to pay attention to is a brand new outfit named Florda Well. Comprised of three producers who go by cryptic names, the band’s lead single is something more reminiscent of the music coming from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. And it is glorious.

“High Love” is a psychedelic pop number that is simultaneously blissful, groovy, breathtaking, and delirious. Musically, the song is a mélange of the innovation of Brian Batz (a.k.a. Sleep Party People), the smooth rhythms of early Twin Shadow, and the psychedelic fireworks of Masasolo. The ethereal vocals, on the other hand, are reminiscent of Justin Vernon collaborator S. Carey. Put all these things together and you have a song that is mind-boggling. And brilliant. What else do these three have in store? We cannot wait to find out.

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FRUM – “Let It” (Tórshavn, Faroe Islands)

RIYL: JFDR, Mammút, Steve Buscemi’s Dreamy Eyes

Christmas is only six weeks away, but today we are delivered a surprise gift from the Faroe Islands, the rocky, isolated group of Danish islands that is situated to the north of Scotland. Playing the role of Santa Claus is FRUM, a relatively brand new group/project whose style is akin to the glacial dream pop and post-rock coming from Iceland. Their latest single will completely mesmerize you.

“Let It” is a piece of exquisite artistry. Like viewing one of the great masterpieces, the song is breathtaking and unforgettable. The tingling, dissonant guitars combined with the calming rhythms and beats create the feeling of ecstasy while the harmonies leave you enchanted.

“Let it all,
Let it all go,
And let the sunshine in.”

This might be a phrase we’ll use from now on when we need a pick-me-up. Heck, this is the ideal song to play if one needs to escape for a moment. The video, too, is sublime, and it can be viewed here.

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Men I Trust – “I Hope to be Around” (Montreal, Canada)

RIYL: Wet, Yumi Zouma, Ghostly Kisses

Somehow, some way, Canadian electro-pop, ambient-pop outfit Men I Trust are unsigned. This despite the trio being having a huge online presence and loyal following. Granted, this might be three young Quebecois’ choice, as independence means freedom. It also means being able to release shimmering, intimate numbers like “I Hope to be Around”.

At first, the song starts off like a Mac DeMarco or HOMESHAKE tune with the crystalline, dissonant guitars and the alt-pop vibe. The first impression is immediately thrown out the window when front woman Emmanuelle Proulx’s vocals chime in and seduce us with her gentle, heavenly delivery. So instead of a jangle-pop number, we are drowned into Men I Trust’s lush and stunning world, which feels like home yet at the same time is like living within a fantasy.

As much as their music enchants us, Proulx’s songwriting – long an underrated feature of the band’s work – is masterful. Her stories are real, honest, and personal, where everyone who listens attentively will relate to her words. In this case, she shares her feelings of lost and trying to find her way despite being in a familiar place.

“Walking through the streets that I know too well,
But my thoughts stray away.
I dream of my future
Remote from time bounds
Becoming myself without any end.”

Men I Trust are Dragos Chiriac (keys/mastering), Jessy Caron (guitar/bass/keys), and Emmanuelle Proulx (vocals). While they have for 18 months dazzled us, they are a band to watch in 2018. A band on the verge of exploding.

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The Moonlight Club – “A Little Too Easy” (Montreal, Canada)

RIYL: Crowded House, Joel Plaskett, Anthonie Tonnon

Speaking of songs that make you smile and bands from Montreal ready to explode, The Moonlight Club are a band to know. To really know immediately and permanently. They’re not an electronic nor a pop band, but rather one that is unbashedly retro in their approach but with contemporary twists. Their new single, “A Little Too Easy”, demonstrates their wonderful medley of influences.

Traces of ’80s indie rock and college radio with a dash of Americana percolate throughout the song. It’s actually more reminiscent of the music that many New Zealand bands have been creating for over thirty years, dating back from the Split Enz to Crowded House (yes they formed in Melbourne but are largely made up of Kiwis) to Anthonie Tonnon. The jangly vibe and the warm, blanketing melodies are smile-inducing and radiant, making you want to spin this song over and over again.

The song is the lead single from The Moonlight Club’s forthcoming, self-titled album, which is due February 2nd, 2018.

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Polyester – “Different For A Boy” (Auckland, New Zealand)

RIYL: Young Galaxy, Soft Cell, Flock of Seagulls

There was a recent article in the NZ Herald about how New Zealanders were tired of being left off world maps. Music fans, though, know the influence the small country in the corner of the globe has had over the past forty years. Currently, the country known as Aotearoa is experiencing another musical renaissance with a massive wave of talented artists and bands making their mark. Aldous Harding, Marlon Williams, Fazerdaze, Nadia Reid, and a host of others are rising quickly and ensuring New Zealand won’t be forgotten. Another band to remember are Polyester.

Nearly a year ago, they displayed their inventiveness on the alt-pop gem, “Lucky Me”. Late last week, they shared their first single since with “Different For A Boy”. For people who love the coming-of-age movies from that decade, this delicate indie-pop gem will delight your senses. From the soft synths to the crystalline guitar to groovy rhythms to Sylvia’s elegant vocals, the song will remind you of moments when the film’s protagonist is walking alone at night and figuring out what has gone wrong and whether she’s alone in how she feels.

The song’s actual meaning is pretty close to this, as it is a deeply personal one to its songwriter, Amelia. As Sylvia explained to The Wireless:

“This one is kind of from Amelia’s perspective. It’s kind of like our trans anthem because she’s recently come out as a trans woman and it’s about her experiences.”

“Different For A Boy” is available on Bandcamp for one New Zealand dollar (or about 70 cents US). The band’s debut album is expected next year.

Polyester are Sylvia, Tane, Grelj, Ameila, and Keria.

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Sjowgren – “High Beam” (San Francisco/Oakland, USA)

RIYL: Memoryhouse, Memory Tapes, Happy Hollows

We don’t often share music from a band or artist in back-to-back weeks unless they release something that is truly exception. Only five days ago, we were left in awe by Sjowgren‘s alt-pop gem “Waiting Room”, which we thought would be perfect in the movie Juno. This week, they amaze us again with a song that had us saying, “Hot damn, this is good!”

“High Beam” is the song in question, and it is a stupendous, uplifting track that feels like the first day of spring. Like that day, the song is filled with warmth and optimism, spurred on by a dazzling melody and vocals that will want to hear endlessly. The band’s message, too, is exactly what we all need at this time. It is about moving forward and never looking back, living for today and tomorrow and overcoming all obstacles before us.

“I don’t want to spend a lifetime worrying on the sidelines
And what people have to say about me.”

We have a new favorite band, although we’ll need to learn more about them first. Given Sjowgren have released a couple of songs after a two-year break, we’re hoping their debut album will be released in 2018.

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Tennis – “Diamond Rings” (Denver, USA)

RIYL: La Sera, Pure Bathing Culture, Blouse

Last Friday, Alaina Moore and Patrick Reilly – a.k.a. Tennis – quietly release their new EP, We Can Die Happy, which is out via Mutually Detrimental. The mini-album is quintessential Tennis – catchy indie-pop tunes with stories that belong on the big or small screen. One of the songs from the record is “Diamond Rings”, which reveals the stellar talents of our favorite Denver musical couple.

The song has the familiar catchy, bass-driven melody and Moore’s trademark sultry and ravishing vocals. In addition, as is their way, they gradually draw listeners in with a groovy approach that will have shoulders shimmering, heads noodling from side to side, and eyes closing to inhale every note and imagining every lyric like they are watching a movie.

“Waiting for the day I change my name.
I’ve been told it doesn’t mean anything.
I’m waiting on you to make my heart move.
Baby won’t you come on to me and really make my heart move?”

The EP can be streamed/purchased on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and Amazon.

Tennis are currently on tour, which extends well into the new year. Check their website (link below) for details.

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Tia Gostelow – “Hunger” (Mackay, Australia)

RIYL: The Jezabels, Fleetwood Mac, Jack River

We were first introduced Aussie singer-songwriter Tia Gostelow a little more than a year ago when she shared a classic tune in “Vague Utopia”. She was 17-years old, yet she sounded like a young Christine McVie or Hayley Mary. These comparisons, though, we made long before we noticed her talents. She started off busking in 2013 when she was – hope you’re sitting down – 13-years old. Three years later, she was awarded the Triple J Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative Prize. Last year before she turned 18, she was named the Queensland Music Award winner in the Schools and Folk Singer/Songwriter category. What a resume!

Last week, she released her third official single in “Hunger”, which is another outstanding song. We’ll just say it now and call it an instant classic. It is reminiscent of the classic rock that our parents listened to in the ’70s and ’80s yet now to be heard by younger generations. The one thing, however, that stands out is, as always, is Gostelow’s songwriting. The push-pull nature of her story is captivating, as she describes how relationships change over time, especially after someone has experienced significant success. It’s marvelous single by one of Australia’s brightest young stars.

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