The Matinee ’18 April 20th features fun, boisterous, catchy, and even bombastic numbers. The mini-playlist is the perfect gateway into the weekend, so turn up the volume and listen to these nine fabulous songs.
Courtney Barnett – “City Looks Pretty” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett stated earlier in the year that her new album would be different and less meandering, at least lyrically, than her previous songs. Of course, her witty approach and insightful observations were part of her appeal, where she took the mundane and made them assuming and turned personal struggles into an adventure. She’s essentially like the show Seinfeld, which turned things about nothing into immensely interesting events. As her sophomore album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, approaches its release date, she offers another treat to showcase her “evolution”.
“City Looks Pretty” is first and foremost a rocker. While the songs on her debut LP, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, and double EP, A Sea of Split Peas, are more melodic indie rock in their approach, Barnett often took them to heavier, harder places when performed live. She’s brought the concert environment to this number, delivering a blistering track that recalls My Morning Jacket. The middle jam followed by the slow ebb are brilliantly executed. Her songwriting, while more concise, is still outstanding, as she tells the tale of a wanderer still searching for a place to call home.
Tell Me How You Really Feel is out May 18th via Milk! Records (AU/NZ), Mom + Pop Music (North America), and Marathon Artists (Europe). She’s heading back on tour, which includes a stop at Newport Folk Festival. Initial dates are available here.
Krrum – “Waves” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: Twin Shadow + Rubblebucket + Fickle Friends
The electro-pop realm is getting overcrowded, which might be the most understated statement you’ll read today. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of electro-pop tunes follow a tried-and-true formula that it becomes immensely predictable. Then there is someone like Krrum, which is the pseudonym of producer and songwriter Alex Carrie. The Leeds-based artist is adding some new layers and elements to give people like us something fresh. His newest single, “Waves”, is an example of how just subtle additions can add bring some newness to the genre.
Mixing the innovative R&B of a young Twin Shadow with the alt-pop explosiveness of Fickle Friends and the art-pop of Rubblebucket, Krrum delivers a memorable single. The gyrating approach and the whirling melody that has a touch of darkness perfectly complement the song’s message of losing control and how paranoia and anxiety can strike like waves. How one can suddenly feel like s/he is quickly descending through the rabbit hole and suddenly attending a tea party hosted by The Mad Hatter.
Miesha & The Spanks – “Lost Boy” (Calgary, Canada)
RIYL: Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, The Runaways, Hinds
Rock ‘n roll is not dead no matter what mainstream radio and Billboard charts want to tell you. There is and will always be a place for great rock music, especially when a band like Miesha & The Spanks channel their inner Joan Jett & the Blackhearts to release a rapturous number in “Lost Boy”.
This tune is made for those leather jacket-wearing nights, where everyone says “f*ck it” and rewinds the clocks to the late ’70s and early ’80s. The only thing left to do is to find a dive bar with a killer band playing rollicking, head-waving songs. “Lost Boy” is that track, featuring a killer guitar line and propulsive percussion from Sean Hamilton that will have you smashing your air drum kit. As awesomely classic the song sounds, Miesha Louie’s lyrics are pretty great, as she tells the tale of a young man who has cried wolf one too many times. So if you know someone who likes to fib his way to the top, play him this tune.
In addition to Louie (lead vocals/guitar) and Hamilton (drums/backing vocals), Miesha & the Spanks also include Daniel Farrant (percussion/organ/piano) and Paul Rawson (bass/percussion) during live gigs.
More Giraffes – “Dinosaur” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Coast Modern, FRND, Sofi Tukker
More Giraffes are back with an awesome new tune. The synthpop duo is comprised of Mark Hadley and Keeley Bumford .We were instantly enamored by the duo after they released their debut “Basement” and they hit the mark again with another “Dinosaur”.
“Dinosaur” is a behemoth synthpop anthem that takes the listener on a ride with killer harmonies and attention grabbing vocals. Ms. Bumford is oozing with attitude as she provides us with a song about superior confidence as the lyrics proclaim: “You can tell by watching me walk, I’m a dinosaur, don’t give a…!”
More Giraffes shares a bit about the meaning behind their newest track: “Dinosaur is an anthem for everyone that knows they’re fly AF. It’s about having the confidence to be yourself and stomp out the h8rs like a T-Rex.”
With two impressive tracks released so far, More Giraffes have the potential to break out in a big way.
Not Your Regular Boy. – “Crazyland” (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
RIYL: Muse + Brandon Flowers + Perfume Genius
It’s difficult to categorize Ferry de Ruiter’s project, Not Your Regular Boy. In some respects, he is like David Bowie – a chameleon of his art, where no two songs sound the same. His style, though, is more along the lines of contemporary alt-rock fused with electronic, electro-rock, and even doses of art-pop-rock, as evidenced by his new single, “Crazyland”.
Raw, dramatic, edgy, and intelligent, de Ruiter lays down a gripping, electro-rocker. The musicianship on this number leans more towards Muse, but the lyrics channel Mike Hadreas as de Ruiter describes what it’s like to live in a world that seems to be moving backwards than forwards. Like he mentions, this place is like something out of 1984, and it’s completely unrecognizable. But as we try to survive in this place, we’ll overcome with awesome little anthems like this – songs that encourage us to persevere.
The single is out now on Dutch indie label TCBYML.
Omni – “Confessional” (Atlanta, USA)
RIYL: Parquet Courts, Protomartyr, Cloud Nothings
Atlanta-based post-punk / indie-rock trio Omni‘s last album, Multi-task, was only released in September, but today they’re releasing a 7″ double A-side single via Chunklet World Industries (order it on Bandcamp). One of the songs is “Confessional”, which reflects what many people, including us, adore about the band.
It’s quirky, jittery, infectious, and clever. The jerky arrangements are catchy, and they’re reminiscent of how Devo made the robotic a contagion within the new wave scene. As such, you might find yourself stuttering in your seat or even standing up to this oddball track. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics, of course, are a bit bizarre, as the band reveals how one is a “professional” in being able to hide one’s actions and lies. Hey, if people don’t know about it, why does one need to confess? Just ask the guy in the White House.
The Pale White – “Peace Of Mind” (Newcastle Upon Tyne, England)
RIYL: Arctic Monkeys, INHEAVEN, Queens of the Stone Age
When Arctic Monkeys go on tour in a few weeks and for the rest of the year, hopefully they’ll be taking The Pale White with them. The Newcastle Upon Tyne trio would be the perfect openers, reminding AM fans of a young AM – fearless, hungry, talented, and awesome. Obviously we’re a bit biased having been fans since 2016, but they continue to impress us with each song. Their latest, “Peace Of Mind”, only fuels our fire.
“Peace Of Mind” is a sonic explosion that smoulders at the beginning before raging in the middle stanza with some fiery guitar work. The bass line and percussion are also tremendous, particularly in the pounding, haunting outro that sounds like the unsettling tremors echoing in one’s head. And that is exactly what this song is about, as The Pale White describe how one struggles to deal with unrealistic expectations, demands, and the general chaos that surrounds us. It’s information overload in this digital age, where everyone you know and don’t want something from you. It’s a clever track that should be heard worldwide and maybe during you-know-whose tour.
In the meantime, enjoy this single, which is out on Illegal Cinema Records.
Sibille Attar – “Paloma” (Stockholm via Örebro, Sweden)
RIYL: Björk produced by Kevin Parker and supported by the entire Tame Impala outfit, Boys, Plastic Ono Band
Sibille Attar may not be a household name, but the Stockholm-based singer-songwriter is a long-time veteran of the Swedish indie scene. She’s been performing with various bands since 2001 while her solo work is approaching 10 years. She waded into the punk, experimental, electronic, and indie-rock waters, and with “Paloma” she’s entering the gentle streams of psychedelic pop.
Imagine for a moment Kevin Parker and the entire Tame Impala outfit supporting the great Björk, and the product would likely sound something like “Paloma”. It is trippy, dazzling, and delirious. Attar’s vocals are akin to an enchanting siren while the music behind her is hazy and dream-like. Even her lyrics have a fantasy element, as she tells the tale of a person lost in some sort of alternative reality or maybe stuck in a coma or trapped inside one’s own mind. The possibilities are limitless, which is the hallmark of a brilliant tune.
“Palomoa” comes from Sibille Attar’s forthcoming EP, Paloma’s Hand, which is out April 27 via PNKSLM Recordings. Pre-orders available here.
SWIMM – “Easy Way Out” (Los Angeles via Orlando, USA)
RIYL: TEN FÉ, Mating Ritual, Everything Everything
“Easy Way Out” is the newest track by psychpop band SWIMM. The former duo of Chris Hess and Adam Winn has since expanded a bit to include additional members Hany Zayan and Marton Bizits. Their newest track takes us on another aural journey that includes dreamy harmonies, hazy guitars and Mr. Hess’ intoxicating vocals.
“Easy Way Out” is a super chill vibe that can easily be included with any songs you need to spin that will help you relax. This song is the perfect antidote to bring you down a notch and feel a little more zen after listening.
Chris Hess shares a bit about the meaning behind all of their music: “Our dream come true is that our music will make you want to feel, dance, laugh, cry, make love, or think. Not necessarily simultaneously, but please do inform us if this is ever possible for you. We love and appreciate you.”
SWIMM fans can finally start counting down the days until they release their long awaited debut full length album, Sentimental Porno. The release date has been set to June 6th. There is also an upcoming LA show on June 21st with The Fontaines who we are quite privy to as well. Tickets for that show can be purchased here.
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