The Matinee ’18 July 20th is packed full of awesome tunes. We have a solid collection of amazing indie rock along with some upbeat Synthpop. Artists today are representing Austraila, The Netherlands, The US and The UK today. Don’t forget to check back for our weekend playlist tomorrow which includes all the tracks we’ve shared for the week.
Couch Jackets – “Don’t Think Just Breathe” (Conway, Arkansas, USA)
RIYL: Dr. Dog, My Morning Jacket, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
We often don’t hear about bands from Arkansas. We cannot explain why – well, yeah we can, because most bands are based in Brooklyn, Nashville, Austin, or Los Angeles. However, Ben Eslick (vocals/bass), Brennan Leeds (vocals/guitar), Hunter Law (drums), and Harry Glaeser (keys) – a.k.a. Couch Jackets – have opted to stay home and build their base the old-fashioned way. But in this day of the internet, when you make great music you will be heard, which is what they do on “Don’t Think Just Breathe”.
The song is really two parts and not exactly a single track. The first half is southern-infused indie rock from the early 2000s when My Morning Jacket and Dr. Dog first arrived. Rolling keys, cascading rhythms, and a gentle guitar fill the air, seducing us into Couch Jackets’ woozy world. This is a place where things are “not set in stone” so we should “let it go” and start our lives anew. The final 30 seconds, though, get a touch more manic as the soothing guitar riles up and a psychedelic tone overtakes the space. Suddenly, it seems Stu Mackenzie of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard has dropped in to sweep us into a whole new realm. The only critique we have is that the jam could have been longer, which we’re sure they’ll do when performing it live.
In the meantime, mark July 27th on your calendar, as that’s when their new album, Go To Bed, will be released. We think it will be available on Bandcamp because the rest of their tunes are on there.
The Hip Abduction – “Can You Feel It” (St. Petersburg, USA)
RIYL: Joywave, Magic Man, Moon Taxi
“Can You Feel It” is the newest track by FL based The Hip Abduction. The track has an awesome anthem-filled chorus that uplifts and provides hope for those that might be struggling with their current direction in life. The vocals are soothing as the track builds into a hypnotic indie rocker that can easily warrant the repeat button. The song can easily become any one person’s life anthem, and with their radio friendly sound, THA has all the ingredients needed to break out in a big way.
David New (vocalist/guitar) shares a bit more about the track: ““Can You Feel It” is about dealing with self-doubt during those critical moments that ultimately define who we become. Should you follow your heart or will you be guided by the voices in your head, discouraged by others opinions, social norms, and the fear of the unknown? Ultimately, it’s you who has to forever live with your endeavors and decisions (art, relationships, career, etc..) so we should make damn sure it comes from the gut.”
The Hip Abduction are David New (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Powers (bass), Dave Johnson (baritone and tenor sax), Sean Fote (keyboards), Matt Poynter (drums, vocals) and John Holt III (kamale ngoni, guitar, vocals).
Mozes and the Firstborn – “Hello” (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
RIYL: Superchunk, Weezer, Guided by Voices
We all have heroes. More often then not, they’re our parents, a famous celebrity or athlete, or maybe a teacher. For Mozes and the Firstborn‘s frontman, Melle Dielesen, his sister is the person who inspires him to do things he otherwise wouldn’t do. For instance, this smoker wouldn’t dare enter a marathon, yet there he is doing just that in the video for “Hello”.
The song is written to his sibling, who overcame her fears. Dielesen doesn’t get too specific in the track, but he does over some hints about Rosalie’s triumphs, including getting out of the house. The lyrics, “She went out into the world to say hello”, may seem innocent, but for anyone who has been scared to go outside will completely comprehend the words. And when she finally showed herself to everyone, she now “has a woman and it’s wonderful to see. Any moment she can summon up the life she’s living in dreams”. These lines are immensely uplifting, as are the ’90s pop-rock vibes that emanate throughout the song. It’s like reliving the heydays of Superchunk and Weezer, except these guys hail from the beautiful areas of central Netherlands. And they’re pretty awesome.
Mozes and the Firstborn are Melle Dielesen (vocals/guitar), Ernst-Jan van Doorn (guitar), Corto Blommaert (bass), and Raven Aartsen (drums).
The Paper Kites – “Deep Burn Blue” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: The War on Drugs meets Lucius, Angus & Julia Stone
Some bands within the “dream-” genre (dream-pop, dream-folk) make quiet music that lulls you to sleep. We certainly love good dream-inducing sounds, but let’s face it: a band’s album can’t make a lasting impression if you’re snoozing after the first track. No, the best kind of dream-folk or dream-pop is so spellbinding you simply become lost in its blissful layers. Bands like Australia’s The Paper Kites create just this kind of musical magic on “Deep Burn Blue.”
This breathtaking single evokes the lightness you experience when flying. As their name suggests, there is a breeziness to their music. If you fly over an ocean on a cloudless day you can observe the far horizon’s seamless integration of water and sky. A similar fusion of intimate vocals and warm instrumentation occurs on this song. Every note keeps your focus held high above the world you left when the song began. The Paper Kites invite you to leave your worries behind and join them on an emotionally rewarding journey.
The Paper Kites are: Sam Bentley, Christina Lacy, Dave Powys, Sam Rasmussen, and Josh Bentley.
Quiet Hollers – “Addicted” (Louisville, USA)
RIYL: The War on Drugs, Strand of Oaks
Tell most casual indie music fans you’re into a great band from the Louisville, Kentucky, area and they’ll assume you mean My Morning Jacket or Houndmouth. But those groups aren’t exactly unknown, nor are they truly indie after a decade plus and multiple Grammy-nominated albums. No, the real emerging indie stars are bands like Quiet Hollers whose chameleonic sound continues to evolve. Neither pure Americana nor straightforward indie rock, their new single “Addicted” proves this is a band that should be on everyone’s radar – and in their headphones.
“Addicted” pairs melancholy lyrics with sweeping instrumentation. This tale about opioid addiction is not sunshine and roses; it’s more of a gentle rain and mascara-streaked cheeks kind of experience. But that’s exactly why it’s so powerful. There is nothing new about songwriters mourning through music. The best of them plant seeds of hurt and reap gardens of song. In this case, frontman Shadwick Wilde follows Tim Showalter (Strand of Oaks) in crafting an honest song about loss that encourages strength. So it doesn’t matter which genre label you slap on this tune. All you need to know it that it’s cathartic as hell and worth keeping on repeat.
Quiet Hollers is comprised of: Shadwick Wilde (vocals/guitars), Aaron West (guitar/keys/violin), Jim Bob Brown (keys/guitar/vocals), Trent Russelburg (bass/vocals), and Andrew Sears (drums).
RALPH – “Tables Have Turned” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Stevie Nicks
Toronto based pop enigma, RALPH is back with a new track titled “Tables Have Turned”. The nu-disco track is quite addicting as RALPH (Raffa Weyman) chronicles the shift in a new relationship with her velvet-like vocals framed perfectly by soft strum guitar and retro synth.
The lyrics speak to the reality of losing control in the relationship: “I had control in the driver’s seat, but my hands are slipping off the wheel”.
With summer in full force and providing a ton of sunshine and heat, “Tables Have Turned” is the perfect track to listen to while attempting the perfect tan while sipping on whatever beverage loosens your mood while reminiscing on the beginning of those certain relationships where you couldn’t get that special someone off of your mind.
Silent Forum – “How I Faked the Moon Landing” (Cardiff, Wales)
RIYL: The Verve, Protomartyr
When you and your friends are in a band together but then form a different band, what’s the best way to acknowledge your roots? If you’re Welsh indie rock outfit Silent Forum, you recycle the name to a new song title. Then you release “How I Faked the Moon Landing” and score thousands of new fans as a result.
While this song’s retro influences will make you wax nostalgic – echoes of mid-’80s New Wave (especially Big Country) and mid-’90s Britpop (The Verve) flow throughout – it does something those genres usually didn’t: it makes you feel really damn good. This is a triumphant, festival-worthy anthem. You want to sing along to it with your best mates in a smaller venue now then in a crowded festival field next summer.
If this rich sound is the band’s trademark, we’re anxious to hear their recently completed full-length debut. This single is out August 10th from Libertino Records’ Singles Club. Meanwhile, you can find their earlier EPs on Bandcamp.
Silent Forum are: Richard Wiggins (vocals), Oli Richards (bass/vocals), Dario Ordi (guitar), Aaron Wood (guitar), and Elliot Samphier (drums).
Teddy Glass – “Lean On” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: David Bazan, JD McPherson, Midlake
Teddy Glass isn’t a guy. It’s a five-piece band from Austin, Texas, comprised of exactly zero people named Teddy. We won’t get into all the details (since, to be honest, we have neither their individual nor collective bios) but we will tell you why you’ll love these guys. Besides their expert musical craftsmanship (which is obvious from the first groove-laden note), “Lean On” displays the band’s grit and soul. When we say “soul” we’re not talking about the next James Brown (though he is name-checked in the lyrics). These guys possess a quintessentially southern flair more on par with JD McPherson and JJ Grey than fellow Austin indie bands (Okkervil River, Midlake). Fans of those crooners will appreciate the steamy, sultry charm of Teddy Glass.
We all know that things are bigger in Texas: that goes for the music, too. You have to expect a band from the Live Music Capital of the World will have serious musical chops. Teddy Glass don’t disappoint on that front. Their hooks are massive; the dynamics showcase each member’s skills. You get whiskey-smooth vocals and old-school soul backing harmonies. You also get tight hooks that don’t skimp on the fiery guitar work. There’s a smokiness that permeates this tune, especially as singer/guitarist Peter Shults delivers the line “Isn’t it groovy? Isn’t it moving you?” Expect to find yourself nodding in agreement as you sway to the highly infectious melodies.
The band’s self-released debut album, Nights and Weekends, is due August 24th. We are counting down the days until we can hear more from Peter Shults, Josh Halpern, Adam Mason, Taft Mashburn, and Daniel Watters. Follow them on social media to keep up with these talents.
We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Hanging In” (Edinburgh, Scotland)
RIYL: Fatherson, Frightened Rabbit, Mt. Doubt
It seems a bit strange to be hearing new music from some of our favourite Scottish bands in summer. The beautiful country that gave us a perfect term for miserable weather (dreich) and bands whose music fits that weather (The Twilight Sad, Mogwai) continues to deliver stellar sounds. Earlier this week we shared the brooding new single from The Twilight Sad; now the weekend brings news of the next We Were Promised Jetpacks album and tour.
The first offering from their fourth album, The More I Sleep, The Less I Dream, is the engrossing “Hanging In.” In true Scottish indie rock fashion, the Edinburgh-based band flex their muscles with big, dense layers of guitar-driven instrumentation. They don’t tiptoe around the subject matter of mental health, either. Frontman Adam Thompson sings for us all when he belts out these lines:
“No one knows me better than I know myself
But I’m forgetful
And I’m hanging in
To the thinnest piece of string that’s ever existed
I’m hanging in”
The moody, minor-key intro brightens throughout the verses before revealing a scorching refrain and outdo. Anyone who’s felt the strain of emotional pressure will relate to the closing mantra. Thompson’s half-screamed delivery of “You’re pushing me under the bus / Don’t push me / don’t push me / don’t push” becomes a rallying cry for music fans still grieving the loss of Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison. This band shares that love and understands the grieving process cannot be rushed. And even if the song wasn’t inspired by their friend’s passing, the moving lyrics about hanging in are still quite comforting.
WWPJ are Adam Thompson (guitar/vocals), Michael Palmer (guitar), Sean Smith (bass), and Darren Lackie (drums).
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