The usual nine songs are on The Matinee ’18 July 26th edition, but the descriptions are a bit abbreviated because it’s Newport Folk Festival weekend. Apologies to the bands and artists for the shorter write-ups, but we hope they understand. Without further ado, here are the tunes.
The Aquadolls – “Hollywood” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Phantastic Ferniture, Colleen Green, Jesse Jo Stark
It has been a long time since we’ve shared anything from Melissa Brooks’s project The Aquadolls. There are no excuses. We’ll be paying much closer attention, however, after the release of “Hollywood”, which is a superb slice of surf- and post-punk infused psychedelic pop.
Driven by the terrific Joy Division- / New Order-esque bass line and the teetering percussion, the duo take us on a trip along California’s coastline. The music is wistful and stunning, and Brooks’ voice is fuller and richer than we remember. Her songwriting, too, is superb, as she tells us her dreams of being a star. Of wanting to see her name up on lights in Hollywood. Eventually, this will happen, specifically that one day they will be headlining a gig at the Hollywood.
Baked – “Hope You’re Happy” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Swearin’, Speedy Ortiz, Slothrust
Two days ago, Swearin’ returned with a gnarly tune. If they were to take another hiatus, the East Coast will be in good hands thanks to the emergence of Baked, who have developed their own little following within indie circles. Their bandwagon should grow quickly when their new EP, II, drops August 24th via Exploding in Sound Records‘ The EIS Tape Club. From it is “Hope You’re Happy”, which is one outrageously awesome and gnarly tune.
Musically, the track buzzes with Swearin’s unpretentious and oft-kilter alt-rock combined with the grueling riffs of Slothrust. Co-front woman Isabella Mingione, meanwhile, channels her inner Nina Gordon, as her vocals are saccharine yet edgy. Her lyrics are sharper, as she questions how either an ex-partner, a competitor, or maybe her brother gets everything he wants. Meanwhile, she’s often ignored, including by the ones who supposedly love her. The last two lines, in particular, are eye-opening:
“He didn’t know that I was blind,
Didn’t realize that I was never free.”
R.J. Gordon (guitar/vocals), Isabella Mingione (keys/vocals), Jeremy Aquilino (bass/vocals), A.J. Pantaleo (drums) make up Baked. Get to know this band.
Darkwing – “Ignorant Ghost” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: INHEAVEN, The Big Moon, Thee MVPs
Back to Brooklyn we go for more raging and roaring alt-rock, although Darkwing sound more like a band from Brighton or London than from NYC’s eastern borough. Listen closely to “Ignorant Ghost”, and UK music fans will immediately hear the dark, throbbing greatness that is embedded in the music of The Joy Formidable, The Estrons, INHEAVEN, and many others.
The pounding rhythms and the fuzzed-out, power guitar riffs are awesome. Even better is the band’s storyline, as they describe all the wandering eyes who are “judging you”. But are these really ghosts or the voices in one’s head? Listen closely to the lyrics and you’ll hear the political slant, where the quartet easily could be trying to describe what is happening inside the mind of the man in the Oval Office.
The single is out on Good Eye Records. Darkwing will release a new EP later in 2018 or early 2019.
The Holydrug Couple – “Waterfalls” (Santiago, Chile)
Alternative stream: Spotify
RIYL: Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sean Lennon / GOASTT
We’ve been on The Holydrug Couple bandwagon for some time because Ives Sepúlveda Minho and Manuel Parra make the type of summertime music we adore – cool, radiant, and refreshing. These three words also describe “Waterfalls”.
This is the type of tune we would expect to hear Kevin Parker of Tame Impala craft, but instead the two Chileans have unfurled this gem. It is, in other words, a piece of superbly dizzying psychedelic-pop that is one part delirium and another part sexy, where The Holydrug Couple has taken us through the rabbit hole. Instead of landing in Wonderland, however, we’ve splashed down into the waiting waters of a love-stricken man. Or two men in this case.
Molly Burch – “Wild” (Austin, USA)
Alternative stream: Spotify
RIYL: Natalie Prass, Angel Olsen, Jenny Lewis
Last year, Molly Burch released her lovely and endearing debut album, Please Be Mine, which was one of our 30 albums to not overlook. The Austin-based singer-songwriter and retro revivalist returns with a surprise – a huge surprise! While most artists would wait two to three years to release a new album, she already has eleven songs recorded and mastered. They will be released under the name, First Flower, and bloom exactly on October 5th under the care of Captured Tracks (pre-orders available on Bandcamp). The album’s first single is a modern-day classic that would have been called as such if it was released five decades ago.
“Wild” is the track. It is wonderfully old-school, sounding like a country-pop tune from 1965 yet tinged with modern, cinematic flourishes. Her smokey vocals are playful while her lyrics are simultaneously introspective, observant, and witty. “It’s in my nature to be guarded. I wish I was a wilder soul”, she reveals to us. Then moments later, she turns on a dime and starts to describe the actions of a woman she admires.
“Watch her dance, make romance
There goes my baby, there she goes
She’s so wild.”
The push-pull storyline is ingenious, which really is of no surprise since Burch is one of this decade’s finest and most imaginative forces in all of music. We cannot wait to hear First Flower in its entirety.
reSouza – “Årene Går” (Bergen, Norway)
RIYL: Feist, Fay Wildhagen, Siri Nilsen, Gloria Estefan
Occasionally, we share a song that we cannot comprehend – i.e., we don’t speak the language. In this case, singer-songwriter reSouza‘s newest single, “Årene Går”, is sung almost entirely in Norwegian. So why are we presenting it today? Because it sounds amazing and unlike anything you’ll hear this week or month. The song is the unlike marriage of Latin vibes and Scandinavian folk. Consequently, the outcome is a track that is dark and mysterious yet groovy and sexy. Alternatively, imagine Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine collaborating with José González, which is essentially what reSouza has created.
In terms of what the song means, the singer-songwriter offers this description:
“It’s the feeling of losing someone that is still in your life. When you realize he/she doesn’t accept all of you. When a parent doesn’t love you unconditionally. Waiting and hoping that maybe one day he/she will understand, embrace you and apologize.”
Sam Ryder – “Little One” (London, England)
RIYL: Passenger, John Moreland, Hozier
Ladies and gentlemen, make room in your music library for Sam Ryder because the Londoner has the chance to reach massive stardom a la Passenger and Hozier him. Like these two terrific singer-songwriters, Ryder possesses a unique voice that will blow you away, and he sings with an intensity that is equally overwhelming and engaging. You’ll understand what this means when playing “Little One”.
The tune is like a dream coming alive, beginning with the crystal-clear guitar line and Ryder’s gorgeous vocals. His lyrics, too, are compelling, as he describes his and another person’s struggles to meet, agree, and move on. And that’s the other power of Ryder – his ability to write stories that are not solely about his own experiences but ones we’ve all encountered. This is a very special talent to have. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the former glam-metal band front man (yes, you read that correctly. He’s following in John Moreland’s shoes).
The Slow Readers Club – “Supernatural” (Manchester, England)
Alternate stream: Spotify
RIYL: Editors, City Calm Down, Interpol
A couple of months ago, the still unsigned The Slow Readers Club released their cool (and dark) album, Build A Tower. One of its highlights is “Supernatural”, which the band re-released last week as a radio cut. While we’re not always fans of shortened versions, we have to admit this rendition is pretty great because the peaks are accentuated more and the intensity arrives sooner rather than later.
Like many of their past songs, “Supernatural” is made for the night. It must be heard in the dark confines of an isolated and secluded room, where not even light can escape. Alternatively, it can be spun inside a car while you take a late-night drive to nowhere. Inside these spaces, you can feel the emotional surge in Aaron Starkie’s vocals, the probing bass line bore through your chest, and what it’s like to be trapped by one’s insatiable desires. The song is wonderfully stark, sinister, and cinematic, and it displays The Slow Readers Club at their creative heights.
The band is comprised of Aaron Starkie (vocals/keys), Kurtis Starkie (vocals/guitar), James Ryan (bass), and David Whitworth (drums).
tiny deaths – “Us” (Minneapolis & Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Portishead, London Grammar, Massive Attack
Grab yourself a strong drink, like a single-malt whiskey, and then dive into tiny deaths‘ new single “Us”. The potential heirs to Portishead’s throne, the duo of vocalist Claire de Lune and producer Grant Cutler have delivered a mesmerizing and immersive number. A song that will leave shivers down your spine, warm up your insides, and leave a lingering and unforgettable note on your palette, just like a glass of 25-year old Macallan.
Doing the skin crawling is Cutler, whose diligent production work is akin to Daddy G’s effortless skills with Massive Attack. The shallow, echo drops, for instance, are reminiscent of Massive Attack’s classic, “Teardrop”. de Lune’s ghostly yet angleic vocals, meanwhile, are our conscience, who wonders what we will do next. Will we run, hide, or stand and question what we don’t know? Will we break down the walls to allow others or stand alone inside our own prison? Simply brilliant.
tiny deaths’ new album, Magic Out, is out September 21st on Handwritten Records, and we should have a better idea if the duo indeed are ready to assume Portishead’s throne.
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