The Matinee ’18 July 24th features new music that will stir every bone in your body. There are intimate and dreamy numbers, raucous punk, spaced-out psychedelia, and boom anthems. So if you need a pick-me-up or something to calm the nerves, you’ll find it in the mini-playlist.
Basement Revolver – “Dancing” (Hamilton, Ontario)
RIYL: The Cardigans, The Raveonettes, Lush
We’ve been singing the praises of fast-rising Canadian indie trio Basement Revolver for quite some time, and many of their songs, such as “Johnny Pt. 2”, are among our favorites. One of the big reasons why we adore the trio of Chrisy Hurn, Nimal Agalawatte, and Brandon Munroe is that no two songs sound alike. They are not satisfied with being known as a one-dimensional / one-category band. They further exhibit their diverse talents on “Dancing”, which might be the best song they’ve crafted to date. And that’s saying an awful lot.
Like The Cardigans in their youth, Basement Revolver deliver a driving, lush piece of fuzzed-out indie dream-rock. It’s an exhilarating number meant for a midnight drive with no destination in mind, and the only things to hear are the thoughts in one’s mind and the song blasting through the speakers. The guitar work and Hurn’s vocals, which reach the gorgeous delirium of Nina Persson, are enough to endlessly spin this song about escaping reality. About letting yourself go and just dance your worries away.
Ead Wood & The Heights – “Ignored” (Bristol, England)
RIYL: American Wrestlers, Beach Fossils, Real Estate
Speaking of songs perfect for summer and spinning with the top down, Ed Soles, the man behind Ead Wood, has just the treat. Check that, he offers the ideal tune for these sweltering days and extremely unusual times in “Ignored”.
Like the perfect marriage of American Wrestlers with Real Estate, Soles with his backing band The Heights – who are actually fellow English indie band Margot – deliver one delicious piece of jangly guitar-pop. The song is hip-shaking fun and infectious, grabbing hold of your ear drums with the sweet melodies and Soles’ fantastic vocals. Despite the upbeat nature of the tune, his lyrics reveal the opposite – a man wanting to get off the grid and run away from everything.
“I’m going to hide away,
I’m going to hide away
Beneath my skin,
But it’s just too thing
And I don’t really care.
It’s never going to be the same.”
Expect more awesomeness later in the year when Soles’ second EP, Beige Dreams, is released
Fucked Up – “Raise Your Voice Joyce” (Toronto, Canada)
Alternative stream: YouTube.
RIYL: Buzzcocks, PUP, METZ
One thing you can never say about Fucked Up is that they are boring. Rather, the Toronto-based human stimulants are one of the more intense and relentless bands in the business. Now, more people will get to discover their heavy rock brilliance, as Damian Abraham, Jonah Falco, Mike Haliechuk, Ben Cook, Sandy Miranda, and Josh Zucker have signed with Merge Records. The legendary label plus fellow Canadian label giant Arts & Crafts will release the band’s forthcoming double LP, Dose Your Dreams, on October 5th. The lead single is extremely typical Fucked Up and then some.
Resonating of the punk rock that came out of England in the ’70s, namely inspired by UK greats Buzzcocks, “Raise Your Voice Joyce” is a flame-throwing banger of a punk tune. The actual song is less than three minutes, but the video comes in at over 6 minutes and offers an antithesis to the main story. In the audio version, the quintet focus their attention on their long-time hero David encountering the revolutionary sorcerer Joyce Tops. This wizard, though, doesn’t live in Hogwarts nor traverse Middle Earth. Instead, his home is the garbage bin outside David’s home (Joyce is the Oscar the Grouch of the wizardry world). But instead of kicking Joyce to the curbside, David encourages her to take control of her life and get out of the filth.
So what happens next? Watch the video as the band offer one possible conclusion. There aren’t too many bands like Fucked Up, and we’re immensely grateful for they are one-of-a-kind.
Grand Pax – “Phase” (London, England)
RIYL: Wet, La Force, Dahlia Sleeps
Although young English singer-songwriter Grand Pax‘s debut EP has been released via Blue Flowers, she remains an enigma, keeping a low profile and allowing her music to speak for itself. Since we still await to learn more about her, we’ll in the meantime bask under her scintillating music. From her record is “Phase”, the EP’s shimmering and sultry highlight.
Her minimalist approach is stunning, giving the track a bedroom intimacy reminiscent of Brooklyn wunderkinds Wet’s early days. The production work is sensual, immediate, and sensational, making you drift into a daydream while her stunning, whispery voice takes us inside her head. There she treats us with words about want, loneliness, and uncertainty. It’s not simply a song about love nor heartbreak, but the suffering one’s feels in a relationship and the darkness that lingers.
She’s going to be a star. It’s only a matter of time.
Check out the hazy video for the song on YouTube.
POND – “Burnt Out Star” (Perth, Australia)
RIYL: The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust
A year ago, POND released one of the great neo-psychedelic albums of the 21st Century with Weather. It was bold and brilliant, taking the genre to destinations never before imagined. Just the other day, they dropped a surprise new tune that once again sees Jay Watson, Nick Allbrook, Joe Ryan, and Jamie Terry push the limits.
Like The Flaming Lips turned into the Bee Gees, “Burnt Out Star” is one glorious, trippy epic. It’s lush at first, creating the feeling of one floating aimlessly in space with nothing to do but think about what might be out there. But in typical POND fashion, the song builds and the crescendo is extravagant. The fleeting feeling is replaced with the emotions of one falling through the rabbit hole or experience the greatest thing in your life. Jubilation, exhilaration, and excitement overwhelm you, and like in such moments you want to dance, scream, and revel in the achievement. Revel within another of POND’s grand achievements.
Steady Holiday – “Who’s Gonna Stop Us” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Kate Bush meets Cat Power and Bats for Lashes
Have we mentioned how great Dre Babinski and her project Steady Holiday are? She’s like famed novelist Stephen King, who once wrote, “I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose”. Babinski, however, does it even more subtly, where she creates enchanting and alluring music, but the storylines are spine-tingling and occasionally creepy or suspenseful. The difference, however, is that the LA-based artist’s situations are based on real life and not derived from fiction. Her newest single is another example of her dreamy, non-fiction horror.
“Who’s Gonna Stop Us” is one part French film-noir and another part Twilight Zone. The low-key, melodic approach is dazzling, slowly lulling you into a daze with its calm demeanor. Babinski’s vocals are as light as a feather, drifting easily through the dark strums of the crystalline guitar and the protruding bass line. She hazily sings about a chance encounter with whom she shares an uneasy chemistry and together they decide to manipulate the world with a “pyramid scheme”. Some of the lyrics are memorable yet eerily real.
“You look at me as if you already knew.
I’m only here because I’m doing it, too.
We speak no words but we’re obvious kin.
Let’s teach them how to build the pyramid.
Tell them if they keep it up,
They can reach the top.”
Watch the video as well because it further illustrates Babinski’s cinematic talent and how we are all pawns in the great scheme.
Still Corners – “The Photograph” (London, England)
RIYL: Chromatics, Young Galaxy, Memoryhouse
Anyone familiar with producer Greg Hughes and vocalist Tessa Murray’s work as Still Corners will understand when we say their portfolio is filled with OMG moments. They have a penchant for taking the ordinary and making it breathtaking and mesmerizing. A dream-pop tune can be made relatively easy. Making it sound like it comes from the heavens takes an extraordinary talent, which the London duo have in spades and demonstrate on “Photograph”.
This tune must be heard sitting down because you just might lose all your senses while it plays. From the titillating cymbals and synth that open the track to the gorgeous guitar that closes it and everything else in-between, particularly Murray’s angelic vocals, the song will cause you to shake, make your knees go weak, and have you gasping for an extra breath or five. It is absolutely stunning with a storyline that will make you long for the touch of your soulmate. Make you cherish one final moment before the lights go out.
We won’t have to wait long to turn the lights back on because Still Corners’ fourth album, Slow Air, will be released August 17th. The fine folks at Wrecking Light Records will release the LP. Pre-order it now on Bandcamp.
Yollks – “Charms” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Burial meets Zola Jesus, Esther Joy
We often salute Australia and its music scene for encouraging artists to be bold and different. Consequently, the country has some of the best and most exciting singer-songwriters on the planet. Just as they challenge rock, pop, and folk musicians, the land Down Under has created a similar creative environment for those in the electronica realm (see Cut Copy, Miami Horror, Architecture in Helsinki, Lupa J). Another to emerge from this burgeoning scene is Elle Tayla, who goes by the moniker Yollks.
The Melbourne-based Tayla has only released a handful of songs, but listen to any of them and you’ll quickly think about the progressive house and garage scenes in the UK. Then couple the spellbinding nature of these genres with titillating and dark storytelling à la Zola Jesus, and the outcome is an artist with spellbinding abilities, which is revealed on “Charms”.
“Charms” is simply magnetic. For more than four-and-a-half minutes, she firmly grabs hold of your attention, as hypnotic beats and oceanic waves stream throughout. Her voice is equally gravitating, swirling in the air like an enchantress. While her vocals stun, she forewarns us about charmer who comes to steal us away and then break us, much like what Tayla has done with this sensational number.
YONAKA – “Fired Up” (London, England)
alternative stream: YouTube
RIYL: Wolf Alice, Black Honey, Joy Formidable
Almost exactly a year ago, Theresa Jarvis (vocals), George Edwards (guitar), Alex Crosby (bass/keys), and Robert Mason (drums) – a.k.a. YONAKA – shared their awesome debut EP, Heavy, which was hard-hitting and explosive effort. Not just musically but also lyrically, as the quartet challenged our perceptions of the world and our place in it. Late last week, they announced their sophomore EP will be released in a month’s time and to celebrate they released the record’s second track.
Following on the politically-charged “F.W.T.B.” that challenged the establishment, new single “Fired Up” challenges the people to defend their beliefs and freedoms. Raucous and electrifying, the tune is a mega-anthem. A song made to blast in any underground club or the massive environments of Wembley Stadium in order to energize the patrons. The riffs are big and boisterous, the rhythms and production boom hard, and Jarvis’ vocals are desperate and urgent. Her words, meanwhile, are relevant, and she immediately delivers haymakers:
“Hand on my heart, I’m down on my knees,
I’m asking you nicely.
I’ll take the blame, I’ll take a bullet,
Will take one for me?”
YONAKA’s new EP, TEACH ME TO FIGHT, is out August 17th via Atlantic Records UK. This is a band that has the potential to be the voice of a younger generation.
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