The Matinee ’18 May 8th – European Edition features some rocking numbers plus jaw-dropping, gorgeous tunes. There isn’t a better way to spend Tuesday than music that will make you say, “Wow!” The second part of The Matinee (the Rest-of-the-World version) is here.


Drenge – “This Dance” (Sheffield, England)

RIYL: Blood Red Shoes, The Music, Royal Blood

It was only about five years ago when Drenge went from three unknown blokes to being one of the UK’s most-sought after rock bands. They were compared to everyone from Royal Blood (who exploded just a year before Drenge) and The Black Keys, and rightfully so. After staying on the sidelines for three years, it seems Eoin Loveless (vocals/guitar), Rory Loveless (drums), and Rob Graham (bass) are preparing to head in a slightly different direction, assuming that “This Dance” is just the tip of the iceberg.

This song is a banger. Ferocious and electrifying, “This Dance” infuses touches of pop and neo-psychedelia into their fiery garage-rock. It is reminiscent of former great Leeds band The Music, who would unfurl pummeling waves of exhilarating sound that would make you want to simultaneously dance, rock out, and get lost inside their delirium. This number, however, is harder and edgier thanks to Rory and Rob’s propulsive rhythms and the searing intensity of Eoin’s voice. Don’t be surprise to see “This Dance” quickly rise up the charts.

The single is out on BMG imprint, Infectious Records.

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KIN – “Margins” (London, England)

RIYL: Bon Iver, Phoria, Sigur Rós, Explosions In The Sky

Sit back and be prepared to be blown away by one of the most – if not the most – beautiful debut songs you’ll hear this year. A song that sounds like the first day of spring, like watching your the birth of your first child, and like the start of life anew. There are many other anecdotes we could use to describe “Margins” from London trio KIN, but you get the point about the song’s spellbinding, euphoric, and ethereal nature. There’s really not much more to say other than hit play and be absolutely dazzled by a band that combines all the brilliance of Bon Iver, Sigur Rós, and Phoria.

Over the coming months, KIN will gradually share new singles, culminating with the release of their debut album likely early in 2018.

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Louise Roam – “Vera Rubin’s Journey” (Paris, France)

RIYL: Melody’s Echo Chamber, London Grammar, Men I Trust

Somewhere in the world, there is a person walking aimlessly in the dark and searching for answers to questions with no absolute truth. It could be a deeply emotional inquiry about love or existence or maybe something intellectual about humanity’s place within the grand universe. Or it could be a combination of both, which is what French artist Aurélie Mestres – better known as Louise Roam – does on her gorgeous single, “Vera Rubin’s Journey”.

This dark-pop number is sensual, intimate, and engrossing. The synth and subtle production work create an atmosphere full of mystery and anticipation, where one anxiously walks through the fog and turns corners in hopes of finding something. Finding answers. The song, however, is so much more than a lost soul searching for herself or for someone to find her. It’s an ode to the great astronomer Vera Rubin, who passed away on Christmas Day in 2016. Roam beautifully describes her journey to seek answers about space and the existence of faraway galaxies, but now she enters her own journey that will take her past the stars and deep into the cosmos. Maybe now she will find her new paradise.

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Team Picture – “Break Yr Heart” (Leeds, England)

RIYL: Sisteray, Avalanche Party, edgier Gengahr

One thing no one can call Team Picture is boring. They also are never predictable. Whether it’s ’90s alternative rock, ’80s new wave, or 2018 indie-rock, the sextet always deliver fun, anthemic numbers. If they headed in a psychedelic-rock direction, there’s no doubt they would be as off-the-wall as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. For now, we’ll just enjoy their rambunctious, guitar-driven music, like their latest number, “Break Yr Heart”.

This track sounds like it was taken from an ’80s action-adventure, sci-fi film, such as Weird Science or Back to the Future. It’s entertaining, yet there’s a bit of drama. It’s engaging, but still it rocks a little heavy. The storyline of revenge or at least evening the odds is straight from the decade. Musically, hints of Huey Lewis & The News can be heard in the rhythms. The guitar riffs have a Television quality. Meanwhile, the vocals have an air of a young Eddie Van Halen sans the piercing wail (thank goodness). Sounds like a track perfect for a movie, eh? Speaking of which, there will be another sequel to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and this tune would be perfect for it.

The sextet’s forthcoming mini-album, Recital, is due for release on June 1st via Big Dumb Music LTD.

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Therese Lithner – “Eye” (Umeå, Sweden)

RIYL: Arcade Fire (led by Régine Chassagne), Roxette, Pat Benatar

When we first were introduced to Therese Lithner through her single “Drown”, we predicted she will eventually be known as Sweden’s St. Vincent. After listening to her latest number, she could be compared to several more great artists. In other words, “Eye”, is just another example of Lithner’s limitless potential.

As the dissonant guitar riff lingers in the foreground, Lithner’s emotive voice echoes in the background. This powerful anti-love song is reminiscent of the soaring ballads that Roxette, Pat Benatar, Laura Branigan, and Belinda Carlisle achingly sang in the ’80s and ’90s. Like these singer-songwriters, every word Lithner sings rips your heart out. She’s not seeking revenge, but instead she desperately desires to tell the person who broke her heart how she feels. To tell him one last time that she will be more than the person he knew and how he will later change his mind. That in itself is the greatest revenge one person can enact.

Linther’s yet-to-be-named, debut EP drops June 19th via Lazy Octopus Records. Get to know this rising Swedish sensation.

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Zuzu – “Beauty Queen” (Liverpool, England)

RIYL: Lisa Loeb, Alex Lahey, Stef Chura

It wasn’t long ago when Liverpool’s Zuzu was a hidden gem, who was meandering her way upstream through the bountiful of UK artists. In the two years since we first heard her and continued to be blown away from her music, she’s now part of legendary Virgin EMI Records’ family. She’s made her way through the masses to be at the head of the class. Her first song with the label is, unsurprisingly, a knockout.

“Beauty Queen” is sheer brilliant songwriting. The song has an early ’90s vibe, specifically echoing Lisa Loeb and Meredith Brooks musically and lyrically. For more contemporary tastes, the song echoes Aussies Courtney Barnett and Alex Lahey. It is wry, honest, and immensely clever, as Zuzu describes the numerous ways that she and others like her will never win a beauty pageant. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and locking herself in her bedroom, she’s opted to write her own story. She’s opted to not allow the shallow world dictate what she can and cannot do. As she succinctly states, “This is not the way I’m spending all my days”. Good thing she didn’t because the world would be missing out on such a talent. Plus, look who gets the last laugh.

The single is from Zuzu’s debut EP, Made on Earth By Humans, which is due in June via Virgin EMI Records.

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