To get you through the post-Valentine’s Day blues or just lift your spirits, we’re offering a double bang of new music. We start with The Matinee ’18 February 15th – World Edition, featuring six new tunes from outside North America. Check back at 5:00 GMT / noon EST / 9 AM PST for the other half-dozen tracks from Canadian and American artists.
Colour Me Wednesday – “Don’t Tell Anyone” (London, England)
RIYL: The Cranberries, Frankie Cosmos, Alvvays
Colour Me Wednesday is one of them, where they likely would have been everyone’s favorite indie band of the ’90s. They would have been named alongside The Cranberries, Sixpence None The Richer, and other similar groups. Instead, they hover under the radar in today’s competitive music world, and this fact probably explains why the great gang at American Laundromat Records are releasing one of the band’s songs, “Don’t Tell Anyone”, on vinyl on April 13th.
This shimmering piece of indie pop will is like the skies opening up to allow the sun’s warmth to shower upon the Earth. The shimmering melody and the saccharine harmonies of sisters Jen and Harriet Doveton are unmistakably like the sounds of 25 years ago. Their lyrics, too, are reminiscent of this bygone era, as the two explain their struggles to get through each day. While their words deal with sensitive subjects of loneliness, depression, and anxiety, there is optimism embedded in their message. Hopefully more people will get to hear what they say, especially younger generations who now have their version of The Cranberries.
Joining the Doveton sisters are Jaca Freer and Laura Ankles.
GRDNS – “Night Dance” (Bradford, England)
RIYL: Temples, The Byrds, Tame Impala
What’s a better way to get over Valentine’s Day than taking a wind-swept trip to nowhere? That’s the feeling you’ll get from “Night Dance”, the debut single from brand new outfit GRDNS. Combining the shimmering atmospherics of The Byrds and Temples with the cosmic delirium of Tame Impala, the Bradford trio take us on a ride through the galaxy. And it’s not just stunning but it’s a wonderful experience. Or as the band sing, “force me into enrapture”.
This song, however, is a bit more than just a joyride through space. Listen closely, you’ll hear front man Jacob Lyons describe a night something supernatural, making this song their worship hymn to this celestial being. Heck, this song will have many singing the praises of this talented quartet, who consist of Lyons (vocals/guitar), Cameron Harrison (bass), Sam Gledhill (guitar), and John Fitzpatrick (drums).
Hero Fisher – “Lonely” (London, England)
RIYL: Portishead, Rhye, Bats for Lashes
Nearly a year ago, singer-songwriter Hero Fisher enraptured us with her songs, “Sylvie” and “Push The Boat Out”, and she left a permanent mark on our conscience. She returns with another single that has us even more mesmerized and in complete awe.
“Lonely” is an incredibly stunning and hypnotic track that is an early front-runner for song of the year. Fisher’s vocals are sultry yet distant, as if she’s a ghost summoning us to come closer. As the piano, bass, and production work throb in the background and rise to their crescendo, Fisher’s voice becomes like the wind, blowing us off our feet and into her brooding but lush world. Look out world, the next great singer-songwriter is upon us.
Fisher’s sophomore album, Glue Moon, is expected later this year. We cannot wait to hear what she has in store
Ryan Downey – “Running” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Nick Drake, Roy Orbison, Marlon Williams
Almost two years to day we were stunned by Ryan Downey’s deep baritone, which was reminiscent of The National’s Matt Beringer. The Melbourne-based artist’s star has slowly risen Down Under, and his talents caught the attention of Barely Dressed Records and Remote Control Records, who recently signed him and will release Downey’s debut album on April 13th (pre-orders available here). The lead single and title track is “Running”, and its 3-minute, 11-second duration explains why many are excited about his potential.
The instrumentation is simple, yet it is beautifully executed. The Latin-inspired guitars and the slight hum of the organ in the background are the canvas for Downey’s incredible but solemn vocals. What makes the song, however, is how Downey turns the tables midway through the song. At first, he proclaims how he can write a song and have his loved one come running. Later he describes the spell she has cast on him, and how she just needs to say the word and he’ll come running. In the end, neither are standing still, but running together. Now this is a love song. Simply stunning.
STONEFIELD – “Far From Earth” (Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia)
RIYL: L.A. Witch, Pat Benatar, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
2017 was unquestionably the year of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. Will 2018 be the year of another Aussie psychedelic-rock band? Signed to the psych-kings label, the Findlay sisters, who are better known as STONEFIELD, are about to launch themselves into the stratosphere when their new album, Far From Earth, arrives April 13th via Flightless Records / Inertia Music. To give us a taste of what to expect, Amy (lead vocals/drums), Hannah (guitar/backing vocals), Sarah (keys/backing vocals), and Holly (bass/backing vocals) share the title track.
“Far From Earth” is awesome. Prog-rock elements filter through the power guitar riffs, which give the number a dark anthemic quality. There is also an unmistakable ’80s vibe, specifically the bone-crushing rock of Pat Benatar. At the heart of the track, though, is a spatial, neo-psychedelic approach that is just as, if not even more, cosmic than King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard’s most intergalactic tunes. Amy’s storytelling is awesome, as she has crafted her own sci-fi fantasy that sees the heroine escape an imploding Earth and head out towards distant stars. For STONEFIELD, however, stardom is on the near horizon.
TH Da Freak – “Thickhead” (Bordeaux, France)
RIYL: HOMESHAKE, Connan Mockasin, Amen Dunes
We first came across French outfit Th Da Freak in November when they released the bombastic, psychedelic single, “Infandous”. They’re back, but they’ve dialed down the reverb as well as the intensity. In their place, they’ve turned to some lo-fi slacker rock on “Thickhead”.
The tune sounds like it was taken right from HOMESHAKE’s catalogue with hints of The Growlers and Connan Mockasin. In other words, it’s some sweet haze that will leave your head spinning and stuck in a daze all day. No need for any substance to make you smile and feel like you’re drifting in the clouds when TH Da Freak are around. As Snoop Dogg would say, this is some really good sheeeet.
The song is taken from the band’s new album, The Hood, which is out tomorrow, February 16th, via Howlin’ Banana Records.
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