In celebration of the great new music from around the world, our daily mini-playlist is divided into two. The Matinee ’18 July 3rd – World Edition features six excellent tunes, ranging from rockers to dark, spine-tingling ballads. Old and new favorites occupy the list, which kicks off with big news from one of our all-time favorites.
Black Honey – “I Only Hurt the Ones I Love” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: The Joy Formidable, Wolf Alice, Anteros
There are multiple reasons to explain our massive fandom for Brighton quartet Black Honey, who have been crushing our ear drums for two-plus years. There’s obviously the music, as Izzy B Phillips, Chris Ostler, Tommy Taylor, and Tom Dewhurst can rock out like The Joy Formidable or Estrons or meander through multiple indie genres à la Wolf Alice. They also personify the labels “DIY”, doing everything independently including building a fan base the old-fashion way – through hard work, constant touring, and making awesome music people want to share. Their gradual ascent up the UK popularity charts should reach a feverish pitch as September 21st approach because that’s when their long-awaited, self-titled debut album drops via Foxfive Records. The first single, as expected, is a doozy.
“I Only Hurt the Ones I Love” is simply a seismic, anthemic rocker. It is made to be performed and heard in London’s O2 Arena and Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome, where 17,000 concert-goers can rise, dance, raise a first, and appreciate a band on the rise. Phillips’ voice is rich and assertive, delivering a warning to all of us that she’s “not our baby”. Delivering an anthem for the modern-day femme fatale, which is accentuated by the dark, haunting, and mind-blowing soundscape. This band, as we’ve said before, is going places, and hopefully people will begin to realize why they are a band to watch, something we’ve been saying since 2017.
Pre-order Black Honey available here. Needless to say, we cannot wait for September 21st to arrive!
Gaffa Tape Sandy – “Meat Head” (Bury St Edmunds, England)
RIYL: Paramore, Slötface, False Advertising
One thing we’ve learned about Gaffa Tape Sandy is that they are the perfect band to lift your spirits. Their music is usually upbeat and energizing while the stories are amusing and sometimes even beyond entertaining. And in some cases, like with “Meat Head”, they mix a riotous tune with a powerful message.
The song’s manic, herky-jerky approach is deliriously fun, combining the bombastic nature of Sum-41 in their heyday with the blistering rock of Paramore. As such, you’ll be dancing and bopping around without a care in the world at the beginning, but then jump and wail your head frantically during the bombastic peaks. Yet the music isn’t even the best part. Catherine Lindley-Neilson’s lyrics are pointed and hard-hitting, as she addresses the rape culture that continues to persist today. Her vocal delivery is fantastic, blasting with a calm rage as if she’s confronting her assailant.
“You’ve got no excuse,
Don’t try to fake an alibi.
You stand there with your tendency to assertify.
You know it’s not an answer open to debate.
My body is my body,
It’s not yours to confiscate.”
Gaffa Tape Sandy are Kim Jarvis (vocals/guitar), Catherine Lindley-Neilson (vocals/bass), and Robin Francis (drums/percussion).
Kidsmoke – “Patterns” (Wrexham, Wales)
RIYL: Real Estate, Thermals, Dick Diver
Welsh quartet Kidsmoke have a knack for creating music that is immensely calming and relaxing. Their songs are the perfect antidote to a long, hard day, as instantaneously they’ll help you forget all your troubles. There aren’t many bands that can say this, except maybe Real Estate. It is a shame, as such, that we have not shared anything new from them since last April when they released “And Mine Alone” from their Save Your Sorrow EP. Today, however, is a new day, and their latest single, “Patterns”, is the idyllic, beat-the-heatwave tune.
In their typical fashion, Lance Williams (vocals/guitar), James Stickels (vocals/bass), Sophie Ballamy (guitar/vocals), and Ash Turner (drums) deliver a shimmering number. It feels as light and cool as the ocean breeze, bringing much-needed refreshment to these sweltering days. Williams’ intoxicating vocals are the start of this wonderful piece of escapism, which is then accentuated by his and Ballamy’s dual guitar arrangements. As the dreamy soundscape and lush harmonies swirl around, a belief that one can love again and second chances are possible will overcome you. It is summer after all, where everything and anything is possible.
Lauran Hibberd – “Call Shotgun” (Isle of Wight, England)
RIYL: Caroline Rose, Alex Lahey, Soccer Mommy
How do you make a song with the often-used theme of infatuation sound different? You make fun of yourself and turn the feelings into a road trip or joy ride, of course! This is what Lauran Hibberd has cleverly done with her new single.
“Call Shotgun” is joyous, flamboyant, self-deprecating guitar-pop, and we use all these adjectives in a complimentary fashion. It’s joyous because for 170 seconds the Isle of Wight singer-songwriter delivers one catchy ear-worm with a riff that will know your socks off. The flamboyant nature comes from Hibberd’s personality, which rings loudly throughout – from the awe-shucks tone of her voice at the beginning to her feisty nature that comes out later in the song. The lyrics obviously reveal her self-deprecating style, where she immediately states she may not understand a word the guy is saying but she still really likes him. No matter what he wears, how he smells, and even if he’s giving her the “cold shoulder” , she wants to get real close to him as much as she can. The best way to do that is to “Call Shotgun” as they go on a road trip.
Where this song’s journey takes Hibberd is unknown, but there is one destination in sight – to become a long-time favorite of the BBC and hopefully other UK listeners. She’s definitely becoming one of our favorites.
Majken – “Lovely Daughter” (Malmö, Sweden)
RIYL: Emma Ruth Rundle, Nadia Reid, Haley Heynderickxx
If the producers of True Detective are reading this or are music fans, they need to strongly consider adding Anna Majken – or simply Majken – to season three. It’s not that Majken is an actor (she may be but we have no idea), but her debut single, “Lovely Daughter”, should somehow be featured. Heck, the young Swedish artist could be the young singer-songwriter strumming her guitar and singing her enchanting dark-folk tunes while Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff attempt to solve a multi-decade mystery.
While Majken’s future in television is unknown, there is no puzzle to ponder when discussing her potential as a musician. “Lovely Daughter” is strikingly gorgeous, melancholic folk music. Its beauty resides in the simplicity of the arrangements and Majken’s gripping voice. Meanwhile, its genius lies in her imaginative storytelling that is a mix of Edgar Allan Poe, Quentin Tarantino, and Emma Ruth Rundle. As the somber notes from her acoustic guitar and the feathery percussion ring quietly aloud, she tells the story of a mother who struggles to get through the day and the choices of her past. Among them is her daughter, and Majken’s lyrics stab directly at any parent’s heart.
“You have been her biggest love, her biggest sin.
So put the dagger down,
She will be yours if you’ll be good.
Cruelty appeared in all the silly games,
I watched you play, no one will win.”
Simply sensational. “Lovely Daughter” is the lead single from Majken’s forthcoming, debut album, which is set for release this autumn via Kollektivet Records. This could very well be the surprise of the year.
WIND MILE – “Hush” (feat. Marie Léger) (Lille, France)
RIYL: Hater, Francis, Cocteau Twins
It was back in April 2017 when we were first introduced to WIND MILE, who blew us away with “Cathedral”. At the time, there were four members, but Wind Mile has evolved into the solo project of Antonin Côme (guitar/synth/producer) with continued support from Marie Léger as the principal singer-songwriter. Their latest single as the newly formed group is another dazzler.
“Hush” is a slice of sublime dream pop that sounds like it came from Norway or Sweden. The opening chords of the bass give the impression the song will be a post-punk anthem, but once the keys roll in followed by the chiming guitar the entire tone changes. Immediately, you are taken to paradise, swimming within the soothing and stirring melody. Léger’s vocals then emerge, serenading us with an engrossing story of new starts. About “feeling alive” after escaping from all those who want to silence you. In many respects, the song is WIND MILE’s personal anthem, as they have found new life and a new voice in a fresh approach.
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