The Matinee ’18 April 26th features nine gems that will make you want to relive Thursday. From brooding spine-tinglers to moving dream-pop numbers to exhilarating neo-soul to rockers that welcome spring, we’re convinced today’s mini-playlist will impress if not dazzle you.
audiobooks – “Gothenburg” (London, England)
RIYL: Alice Glass, Zola Jesus, Esther Joy
Some bands’ online success doesn’t always translate in the number of followers on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Such is the case with audiobooks, the new-ish duo consisting of Evangeline Ling and long-time producer extraordinaire David Wrench. The two recently released their debut EP, Gothenburg, on Heavenly Recordings, and songs from it grabbed the attention of BBC Music, Gorilla vs. Bear, Brooklyn Vegan, and many more. In particular, the title track is the one people are taking notice.
“Gothenburg” is a devilish, post-electronic number that would make even Zola Jesus and Chelsea Wolfe shiver in their boots. The slow, grinding beats rhythms is like hearing a dead-man-walking taking his final steps in the deep gallows of the fortress, and Ling is the siren counting down the final seconds. Her witch-like vocals are enchanting and spine-tingling, and her lyrics are equally foreboding, where it seems she is indeed preparing us for our oblivion.
Their live shows reportedly are incredible with Gwenno and publications like Drowned In Sound and The Quietus reaping superlatives. Unfortunately, they don’t have any concerts planned in the near future, but if you get a chance to see them live do so. Then you can take a real-time journey into their oblivion.
Boys – “Hemtjänsten” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Alvvays, Girlpool, Shitkid
Although Nora Karlsson has released only a few songs under the moniker Boys, we can draw one conclusion – her songs are incredibly honest and have a knee-buckling, emotional effect. There aren’t many artists that we can this about. Sharon Van Etten, Fenne Lily, Eliza Shaddad, and Phoebe Bridgers come immediately to mind, putting Karlsson in some rarefied air. She’s once again has us on her knees with her latest song, “Hemtjänsten”, which means “home care” in Swedish.
While the single is dreamy in its delivery, Karlsson’s vocals are incredibly innocent and vulnerable and accentuated by the slight hum of the organ and throbbing rhythms. Her lyrics are even more bone-jarring, as she recounts the many ways in which she and others have struggled to overcome hardship, disappointment, and depression. Just as the song and Karlsson are about to reach rock bottom, a burst of light is shone on the track with a blast of keys and percussion and a ragged, jangly guitar line temporarily brightening the atmosphere. The unpredictable nature of “Hemtjänsten” is a testament of Karlsson’s art, as she uses every centimeter of the canvas and every element to present her story.
Marie Naffah – “Let Me Wilt” (London, England)
RIYL: Amy Winehouse, Nilufer Yanya, Elle King
It all started with a YouTube video. No, this isn’t Justin Bieber’s story. This is Marie Naffah‘s tale, who in 2014 uploaded a song on the popular social media site. A few weeks later, the then 21-year old was named MTV’s Unsigned Artist of the Year, and things have only snowballed from there. She gave a TED Talk on the stigma of disability within the music industry, and she sold out The Lexington in London. Oh, she did this without officially releasing her first single. That’s an incredible feat, but eventually she’ll need to let her music do all the talking. Correction, let us do all the talking about her music, which is what we and plenty of others are doing after hearing her debut single, “Let Me Wilt”.
“Let Me Wilt” showcases Naffah’s soulful style, which is akin to Amy Winehouse, and her sultry voice that would give Lake Street Dive’s Rachel Price a run for her money. While so many artists would let their voice carry the tune, Naffah delivers an equally poetic story. It’s part love story, part self-love, and altogether a dazzling piece of musical artistry. It won’t be long before she’s selling out multiple nights at the Lexington and maybe even the O2.
The Ninth Wave – “Swallow Me” (Glasgow, Scotland)
RIYL: Iceage, Eagulls, Childcare
Last week, Scottish post-punk / goth-punk quartet The Ninth Wave released their really awesome EP, Never Crave Attention, via Distiller Records. The mini-record showcases a band that could one day be recognized as this generation’s The Cure or even Joy Division, which is high praise for a group still trying grab a place within the mainstream consciousness. If you’re unable to spend the 20 or so minutes to listen to the EP, then spare less than five and hear “Swallow Me”, which will make you understand why we are bullish on the potential of co-lead vocalists Haydn Park-Patterson (guitar) and Millie Kidd (bass), Louise MacLennan (synths), and Lewis Tollan (drums).
“Swallow Me” represents the future of industrial-infused post-punk. It is dark yet anthemic and stirring yet enthralling. Most importantly, however, the song leaves a lasting imprint due to the flame-throwing guitar riffs, the fiercely exhilarating rhythms, and Park-Patterson’s and Kidd’s manically intoxicating vocals. We have to remind ourselves that the foursome are in their early 20s, and here they are delivering one of the best post-punk songs of the year. A number that makes us think this is what Joy Division would have sounded like in the late ’80s.
Palace Winter – “Come Back (Left Behind)” (Copenhagen, Denmark)
RIYL: The War On Drugs, Dire Straits, Work Drugs
With the weather finally warming up, it’s time to go out for a long drive and experience the warm air flowing through your hair. Spring is finally here, and Danish duo Palace Winter have provided the perfect song to welcome it with “Come Back (Left Behind)”.
No, Carl Coleman and Caspar Hesselager haven’t provided an ode to winter nor asking for the chilly, snowy days to return. Rather, like what we’ve been longing to return to us for nearly seven months, the pair share a song about rekindling the great memories of the past. Those events, moments, and people will made our hearts flutter, our skin tingle, and our lungs gasp for another breath. These words also describe how this song will make you feel, as Palace Winter channel The War On Drugs and Dire Straits before them to deliver a majestic, hazy, ’70s / ’80s-inspired rock track that is a classic in itself.
The duo’s new album, Nowadays, is out May 4th via Tambourhinoceros. Pre-order options are available here. They will be playing songs from it on their upcoming tour, and further information can be found here.
Sam Evian – “IDGAF” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Kurt Vile, Chris Cohen, Andy Shauf
If we were asked to list some of the most underappreciated and under-the-radar singer-songwriters, Sam Evian‘s name would be among the first to be mentioned. The NYC-based artist is like a young Kurt Vile with more of a beachy, summery vibe to his music and a voice that is as soft as a luxury hotel pillow. With these ingredients, how is Evian not already a star at least within indie circles? This great mystery could be resolved on June 1st when his sophomore album, You, Forever, arrives via Saddle Creek Records. The first two songs from the LP have been pretty great, but “IDGAF” is on a whole other level.
First, this is not a cover of Dua Lipa’s electro-pop song of the same name. Heck, the subject matters are different with Lipa tackling the typical relationship/breakup storyline while Evian addresses the late-night anxiety that regularly consumes him. He reveals his struggles and constant turmoil, and he describes how one person helped him overcome his insomnia. How this individual taught him not to fret the little things. As he sings, “I don’t care, I don’t care anymore. Not like before.” Musically, the delicate and dreamy folk-rock approach is reminiscent of the Laurel Canyon days and meant for spinning on a long road trip or sitting on the veranda watching the sun set. But in the case of Evian’s career, here’s hoping the sun is only starting to rise.
Pre-order / pre-save options for You, Forever are available here. This should be the perfect summertime album.
Spacey Jane – “So You Wanna” (Fremantle, Australia)
RIYL: Cloud Nothings, The Belligerents, Hockey Dad
Australia has no shortage of awesome, multifaceted rock bands. Gang of Youths, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, The Belligerents, Camp Cope, Sticky Fingers, Hockey Dad, Dune Rats, and the list goes on and on. There’s something in the air Down Under that results in bands making eye-popping music. It’s not just sonically but also lyrically, where it seems every outfit, such as Spacey Jane, is creating thoughtful ear-worms.
Comprised of Caleb (guitar/vocals), Ashton (guitar), Meils (bass/vocals), and Kieran (drums), the band’s latest single, “So You Wanna”, is, as they like to say in these parts, a cracker. The song is like a mosaic of Oz’s diverse music scene. The jangly guitar lines are reminiscent of the Melbourne scene while the beach garage-rock rhythms are straight out of the Central Coast. And like what The Belligerents and Gang of Youths craft, the track has a groovy, anthemic quality and features a surprising transition that takes it to another level.
And what is a great Aussie track without awesome lyrics? Listen closely to Caleb’s words (his voice and delivery have a touch of a young Dylan) and he’ll give you plenty of reasons to say screw the past and all the unnecessary noise and just live in the moment and live for tomorrow. After all, “life moves on when it’s moving on without me”. No truer words have been spoken recently.
Warbly Jets – “Inhuman Emotion” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: The Verve, Noah Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Oasis
We don’t give career advice, but Warbly Jets should consider doing a residency around the UK, playing a series of gigs at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London and and Manchester’s Albert Hall. The LA-based quartet are reinventing Brit-pop-rock from 5500 miles away, and we’re positive the Brits would embrace their The Verve-like sound, such as on their new single, “Inhuman Emotion”.
Like the great Wigan band, Warbly Jets have a knack from creating brooding drama within a spacey and groovy pop-rock approach. From Samuel Shea’s vocals (which are akin to a young Richard Ashcroft) to the psychedelic-infused musical delirium to the off-the-wall lyrics, the song is one trippy experience, one where we are uncontrollably spinning in space yet enjoying the ride. Only in the unknown blackness can we truly discover what frightens us and learn whether or not people care to, as Shea states, hear us now.
The band is comprised of Samuel Shea, Julien O’Neill, Dan Gerbang, and Justin Goings. Rebel Union Recordings has the honors of releasing this awesome tune.
YOWL – “Warm (in the Soft White Fire of Modern Living)” (Peckham, England)
RIYL: Ought, Parquet Courts, Car Seat Headrest
When a song has a long title, such as YOWL‘s newest track, “Warm (in the Soft White Fire of Modern Living)”, one can expect to hear either great or extremely amusing songwriting. Hopefully, we get both, and fortunately the English band deliver and then some.
Before hitting play, free your mind and just be entertained by Gabriel Byrde’s weird and wacky lyrics. From talking about “Hitchcock’s pornos” to dreaming about the greedy German character Faust to hearing voices in his head, Byrde takes us on a whirlwind trip of life in the modern era. It is a world governed by greed and intense desires (hence the Faust references) and where people don’t know when enough is enough.
Equally brilliant is the musicianship. Byrde and his four bandmates effortlessly glide from an oft-kilter, jazzy-rock approach to the edgy and grungy garage-rock of Car Seat Headrest and Parquet Courts. If the lyrics don’t keep you on your toes, the music most certainly will. It’s like nothing you will hear today, and we love it.
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