The Matinee ’18 May 25th edition has some fun and entertaining new tunes plus a couple of softer, more relaxing tracks. If you’re heading off for the long weekend, we wish you a fun but safe time. And of course, bring plenty of great music, and hopefully the songs below will populate your playlist.
Albinos Congo – “Double Your Fun With Jesus” (Nantes, France)
RIYL: King Tuff, Jacuzzi Boys, Jay Reatard
Most people associate France with class, grace, and sophistication. There is a strange thing, however, happening within France’s underground indie scene – a huge wave of new, young artists are making extremely quirky, off-the-wall music that rivals the wackiness of The Growlers, Jay Reatard, and others. We’ve covered a few of them, but we have yet to share anything from Albinos Congo.
We honestly don’t know much about the band other than that they (or maybe just he) come from the medieval city of Nantes. Their music is unsophisticated garage-rock, which is another way of saying they are a fun, energetic, and unpretentious band that should be playing at a future The Growlers Six festival or GizzFest (King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s annual musical showcase) in Australia. Their song, “Double Your Fun With Jesus”, is all the evidence you need.
A feeling of summer overwhelms you with the extended intro that features some sweet, jangly guitar notes and groovy rhythms. You’ll unexpectedly find yourself shaking your hips and nodding your head. Then the vocals kick in and the fun really begins. The band tell the story of what Jesus would be like today. He likes to imagine he’s a superhero, but he has no special powers. He cannot walk on water nor turn water into wine. In other words, he’s a lot like you and me. That’s actually a nice thing to imagine these days.
Albinos Congo’s new EP, Maxi Best Of Zummer Zongs, is out now via Howlin’ Banana Records.
Astronauts, etc. – “The Border” (Oakland, USA)
RIYL: Gil Scott-Heron meets Toro y Moi
It has been a really long time since we’ve heard from Anthony Ferraro and his project Astronauts, etc. Other than a couple of covers, he’s been relatively quiet since releasing his debut album Mind Out Wandering, which was one of our favorite albums of 2015. Granted, he’s pretty busy playing alongside Toro y Moi and dabbling in other production projects, but it has been three years since he’s graced us with new, original music. That was until yesterday, when he unexpectedly dropped “The Border”.
As is his trademark, Ferraro bridges the past, the present, and the future. Seventies R&B is beautifully meshed with contemporary downtempo notes and a touch of jazz and theater. The titillating drums and bass line coupled with the slight hums of the strings and flute (the latter being a fantastic addition) give this track a feeling of a beautiful night on the night. An evening where you and your partner can paint the town red. Ferraro’s lyrics, however, are romantic in a different way – he longs for more simpler days and when people were less divided by politics and race. He longs for the days when things made sense.
CHVRCHES – “Graves” (Glasgow, Scotland)
Today, CHVRCHES‘ third full-length album, Love Is Dead (Glassnote Records), arrives for all to listen. Musically, it’s not the boldest nor dreamiest stuff the Glasgow trio have created, but Lauren Mayberry (vocals/synths), Iain Cook (synth/guitar/bass/vocals), and Martin Doherty (synth/samplers/vocals) do take their songwriting to new places. They look more outwardly onto the world, writing more politically- and socially-charged songs. They haven’t, however, completely removed themselves from what they do best – crafting galvanizing tracks that make you want to take on the world and conquer all challenges. This is exactly what they do with “Graves”.
Filtered through a familiar but catchy ’80s synth-pop beat, the band grabs hold of our hand and take us on a glorious ride. It commences freely and easily but then builds into an exhilarating and awe-inspiring ending. Mayberry’s lyrics, however, are much more paralyzing. She describes how those who reside in their ivory towers are tearing people’s lives apart, and most of the world ignores what is occurring abroad. But not her. She’s standing tall and making everyone take notice. Using her platform to catch our attention and lead us away from our apathy.
Cloves – “Wasted Time” (Melbourne, Australia / London, England)
RIYL: Angel Olsen, Amy Winehouse, Margaret Glaspy
With each passing day and another new song, we get closer to Kaity Dunstan’s debut album. Better known as Cloves, the young Melbourne-born, London-based has been amazing listeners for three years since she released “Frail Love”. We’ve been smitten with her since the start, and we’ve predicted stardom for her, first in 2016 when we listed her as an Artist to Watch and then once again this year.
Earlier this year, she released the dazzling “Bringing Down the House” that had us excited for what is to come. Yesterday, she continued her amazing run of fantastic tunes. This time, however, she sets aside the soulful notes of her earlier songs for more of an approach that will remind people of Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Big Thief, and Margaret Glaspy.
“Wasted Time” is remarkable, an instant classic when it comes to bluesy indie rock. The gritty guitar work and the gentle throbbing of the rhythms grab your ear, but it’s Dunstan’s delicately booming vocals that really hold on to you. But there is something new – her smokey voice transforms into a rousing falsetto at the end, illustrating how the person in her story has been freed from all the burdens that have tied her down. How she no longer is the prisoner of expectations nor the people who wish to constrain her. She is, instead, a star that is growing by the day, glittering more brightly for all to see.
The single is out on Island Records Australia. Her debut album still has no release date but we’re hoping that it will come soon.
Deeper – “Feels” (Chicago, USA)
RIYL: OMNI, Preoccupations, SUUNS
One of the great post-punk bands of the decade is OMNI, who added some light and melody to an otherwise gloomy and harsh genre. Similarly, Chicago’s Deeper are doing the same thing and making post-punk more accessible and more exhilarating. Well, at least for one song they’re doing this, as “Feels” is an energizing and, dare we say, euphoric track.
From the chiming guitar to the propulsive rhythms, the song is two minutes of awesomeness. Instead of a moshing, you’ll be dancing around in jubilation or at the very least doing a few shoulder shimmies. But if you truly absorb the energy that radiates from the song and listen closely to front man Nic Gohl’s lyrics, you’ll want to something far more serious and important – take on all challenges head on and change your life. As Gohl mentions, we have to stop living within the lies we’ve created and just be ourselves. We have to feel like ourselves.
Deeper’s debut, self-titled album is out this Friday, May 25th via Fire Talk Records. Pre-orders are available on Bandcamp. The band is comprised of Nic Gohl (vocals/guitar), Mike Clawson (guitar), Shiraz Bhatti (drums), and Drew McBride (bass).
Dish Pit – “1000 Ways to Die” (Montreal, Canada)
RIYL: Sonic Youth, The Black Keys (in their very early days), Deap Vally
From the very first slam of the drums and lightning strike of the guitar and bass followed by the grizzled vocals of front woman Nora Kelly on “1000 Ways to Die”, it is immediately evident that Montreal-based trio Dish Pit are revivalists. Specifically, they’re keeping alive the fiery punk rock and indie rock that occupied the ’70s and ’80s and performing it with the fearless abandon that Sonic Youth, The Ramones, and Dead Kennedys demonstrated in their youth. And like these great bands, Dish Pit’s new single is an awesome banger.
The gnarly and heavy approach is worth the neck sprain and the shoulder fatigue, and really the only way to enjoy the track is to throw your body into it. As the instrumentation wails away and rattles the walls, pay attention to Kelly’s words. She channels Kurt Cobain in describing the angst and depression that have infiltrated today’s youth. “Is it the hormones or the video games?”, she curtly asks to indicate that the issues are partially self-induced. There are, however, unexplained forces at play. Maybe “they’re in my head” and “they’ll wash out”, she later muses. It’s a puzzle she cannot explain, but all she knows is that too many young people are being lost. Fortunately for them and us, she and her bandmates, bassist Brianna and drummer Jack, are becoming the voice of a generation, just like Nirvana and Sonic Youth were for us.
J Hacha de Zola – “Lightning Rod Salesman” (Jersey City, USA)
RIYL: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins + The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band + Elephant Stone
It’s not often we can’t find the right words to describe a song, but that’s what New Jersey-based J Hacha De Zola has done with his newest single, “Lightning Rod Salesman”. de Zola is an artist of many faces and styles. He can rock out or deliver a wistful folk-rock ballad. Or in the case of his latest single, he mixes voodoo psychedelia with acid jazz and pulsating dark rock into one outrageous concoction that he calls “urban junkyward”. Another way to think about this track – a sermon being performed in the world of The Big Lebowski.
This song is absolutely whacked. Numerous instruments collide while de Zola hollers a cacophony of words about the end of the world or possibly about how we’re all going to hell or the White House. Whatever is its focus, “Lightning Rod Salesman” is the deliverance of today’s chaotic world. Oh, if anyone knows John Turturro, let him know about this song because it would be perfect for the sequel about The Dude.
The track is taken from de Zola’s forthcoming album, Antipatico, which is out October 6th via Caballo Negro.
RIYL: Alabama Shakes, Broken Bells, The Black Keys
Josh Pan is the LA based Taiwanese producer who signed withSkrillex’s Owsla imprint in 2015. Today he returns with “wait for me” a collaboration with Salt Lake City production duo X&G. With Pan’s latest offering, he moves away from trap and bass and trades it for electric guitar and Broken Bells like beats.
“wait for me” is a track filled with attitude and hard hitting guitar. The track starts off with almost a folk rock feel yet it expands into a mix of industrial electronic elements, shredding guitar and Pan’s gravely vocals. The result is the perfect track to help you get hyped up, whether it be for a night on the town or even staying motivated with your daily routine.
MADI – “Intimate” (Cardiff, Wales)
RIYL: Anna of the North, Dagny, Sigrid
MADI are Maddie Jones: songs, vox, production, instruments, Dan Fitzgerald: guitar, modular synth
Chay Lockyer: bass, and Richard Welsby: drums.
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