The Matinee ’18 August 2nd edition starts with a disco rocker and ends with a dream. In between, there are additional rockers, surf vibes, and moving stories. Sit back and take a listen to nine songs from artists you ought to know.
Black Honey – “Midnight” (Brighton, England)
Alternate streams: YouTube
RIYL: YONAKA, Blondie, Jack River
For the most part, Brighton’s Black Honey have rocked us to the core with fiery and raucous anthems. Songs that made us pump our fists, flail our hair in every direction, and build up a sweat just listening to their music. For “Midnight”, however, Izzy B Phillips, Chris Ostler, Tommy Taylor, and Tom Dewhurst change things up. Their relentless energy and sonic fury remain. What has changed is where they take us. Specifically, as oppose to the hallow grounds of the OK Corral or the basement bars of London, they take us to the disco with “Midnight”.
This isn’t a Bee Gees nor a KC and the Sunshine Band tune. “Midnight” is a roaring, disco rocker that is what Blondie would sound like if they amped up the noise and intensity tenfold. And it is awesome! The guitar work is mind-blowing awesome, the synths sizzle like its the ’70s, and the rhythm section throttles like jackhammers right next to us. We don’t cover our ears, though. We instead turn up the volume and dance like there’s no tomorrow. It may be Thursday, but this tune will get you ready for the weekend early and turn your office, bedroom, or the public transit you’re currently on into one party.
On September 21st, the band’s debut album, Black Honey, will finally be released on Foxfive Records. Pre-orders are available here. The first day of autumn cannot come soon enough!
By the way, this is the twelfth time we’ve featured Black Honey, not including Weekend Showcases, which is a record that likely won’t be matched any time soon.
DRÆMINGS – “Siamese Flame” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Bats for Lashes, Pr0files, darkDark
Just when we thought we had the Kim Recor-led project DRAEMINGS figured out, the “doomgaze” quartet surprise us with a song that is more dreamy and ethereal than eerie. The single is “Siamese Flame”, which requires one to stand, close your eyes, and slowly sway and spin within their sphere of enchantment. Within this piece of gorgeous mystery and myth.
The LA-based have created modern folklore with this track. But instead of lutes and harps, swelling synths, chiming guitars, and probing rhythms combine to create an intoxicating and luxurious soundscape. It is part heaven and part Enchanted Forest with Recor acting like the siren in the deep, whose soft vocals draw us deeper and deeper into this uncharted place. “Do you still dream of me?”, she delicately questions, yet she fully knows the answer. We even know the answer before she asks it.
DRAEMINGS have a couple of gigs set for August in the LA and Long Beach areas. Go watch them and become entangled in their doomgaze.
In addition to Kimi Recor (vocals/guitar), the band consists of Thorson (bass/synth), Christopher Vick (guitar), and Nathaniel Meek (drums). The single is out on PLAG Records.
Exploded View – “Sleepers”” (Berlin, Germany and Mexico City, Mexico)
RIYL: Kate Bush, Psychic Ills, A Place to Bury Strangers
Before you press play to “Sleepers”, be warned that it bursts immediately. There’s no intro nor segué, but instead a burst of searing synths welcome you. It’s an eye-opening beginning that awakens all of your senses, but then again the multinational Exploded View are not your everyday band. Calling them a band may also be a bit of misnomer because everything they do is unconventional but brilliant and executed with cinematic or theatrical flair. In June, they shared the Edgar Allen Poe-esque “Raven Raven”. Now on this track, they look to Kate Bush for inspiration.
After the initial shock, the song ebbs into a lush state that might put one into paralysis due to Annika Henderson’s stirring vocals and the haunting, darkgaze approach that echoes A Place to Bury Strangers. Henderson’s mystical, poetic songwriting style is also mesmerizing, as she takes us high above the clouds where the eagles soar. From here, we peer down to observe a world being ravaged and eventually dying out. Simply an intoxicating piece of artistry.
Exploded Views’ sophomore album, Obey, on September 28th via Sacred Bones Records. Pre-orders are available here. The band consists of Swedish-born, Welsh-bred, Berlin-based Annika Henderson (vocals/synth) and Mexico City-based Martin Thulin (drums/guitar), Hugo Quezada (bass/synth), and Amon Melgarejo (synth/guitar).
FEHM – “The Sea To Come” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: The Cure, Eagulls, Morrissey
Arguably one of – if not the – the most underrated bands in the UK are FEHM, the post-punk / krautrock / Goth-rock revivalist who have reminded fans, including us, of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, and New Order during their heydays. For most of their still blossoming career, they’ve delivered edgy, booming, and borderline anthemic songs. Their latest single, however, sees the band dial back the noise and channel another set of legendary artists.
“The Sea To Come” is Goth-rock goodness that would have been perfect on The Cure’s Pornography or Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. The tickling keys and the chiming guitars drive the brooding, body-swaying soundscape while front man Paul Riddle’s deep tenor intoxicates in a Robert Smith-meets-Morrissey way. If you listen closely, this tune could be the prequel to The Cure’s classic, “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea”.
FEHM are Paul Riddle (vocals), Amy Fishlock (bass), Chris Lodge (drums), Darren Lord (synths), and Ben Holmes (guitar). This is the second single they’re released in a month, following the awesome “Scarborough Warning”. Despite the new songs, the band has not released any album news, but they are going on tour. Dates and information are available here.
Los Growlers – “Drop Your Phone In The Sink” (Costa Mesa, CA, USA)
RIYL: Los Growlers, The Growlers
Last Friday, the most excellent Los Growlers or The Growlers released their latest album, Casual Acquaintances, via their own Beach Goth Records. Their LP is classic Los Growlers – fun, humorous, unpretentious, and socially relevant – and it was released in advance of this weekend’s annual Beach Goth Festival (tickets here). One of the songs from the record is “Drop Your Phone In The Sink”, which is another groovy, surf-infused, garage-rock track. A song that will have people shaking their hips, nodding their heads, and contemplating their fate should their mobile fall into the water with the dishes.
But the tune is more than just about our obsession with social media. The trio of singer Brooks Nielsen, lead guitarist Matt Taylor, and keyboard player/guitarist Kyle Straka also encourage us to peel back our layers, forget about our “worries and doubts”, and unveil our true selves. However, don’t take a selfie while doing it.
K I N – “Youth” (London, England)
RIYL: Phoria, Glass Animals, Bon Iver
One of the most exciting new bands to arrive this year are K I N. Since May, they’ve been releasing one song a month, usually sharing them in the first or second week. They must have been excited to share their fourth single because they released on the very first day of August, and it’s another dazzler.
“Youth” requires patience, where for nearly five minutes you must listen with no interruptions. Then can one truly appreciate each element and how they complement one another. How the subtle tickles of the ivory keys and the delicate production work work in unison. How the lush vocals entwine with the humming synths. Together, they form a piece of breathtaking brilliance, which are words which continue to be applied to this fascinating trio.
By the way, don’t operate any heavy equipment while listening to this song. You might lose consciousness while listening to it.
KIN’s debut album is expected early in 2019. It should be a fabulous experience. The band is compromised of Billy, Tom, and Tommy.
Magic Potion – “Shock Proof” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Beach Skulls, ShitKid, Hockey Dad
Sweden’s best slacker-rock band are back, and they came armed with exciting news. Magic Potion will release their sophomore album, Endless Graffiti, on October 26th, and the outstanding label PNKSLM Recordings will once again distribute it. The LP’s lead single is, well, very Magic Potion.
“Shock Proof” is slacker rock of the most awesome trippy variety. The song is made for these long, lazy summer days with the fuzzed-out, twangy guitars and teetering rhythms. And, of course, the lyrics are very typical of the band, as they sing about gum, skateboards, and trying to get through another day filled with terrible news. So while the tune utters cool and calm, its underlying message is a lot more serious than it sounds. That’s another reason why we’re fans of Magic Potion.
The band is comprised of Gustaf Montelius, Andreas Sandberg, Kristoffer Byström, and Johan Harrius.
Schaefer Llana – “Angel” (Cleveland, Mississippi, USA)
RIYL: Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, Soccer Mommy
We’ve long held the opinion that women are making the best indie-rock music on the planet. The list is extensive, and we could be here for hours if not days naming all the great female artists and bands. A new name to include is Schaefer Llana, who hails from Cleveland, Mississippi (not the famous Cleveland, Ohio), although her sound is akin to the artists who litter the venues in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn. If she resided in these metropolises, she undoubtedly would have major fans in LA Buzzbands, Brooklyn Vegan, and Pitchfork. For now, she is a hidden gem that shines brightly in southern US state. Her new single is proof of her brilliance.
“Angel” is a slow-building, emotional train wreck that will stick with you for days. The grizzled guitars and throbbing rhythms create the intense intimacy, commencing gently before raging into a fierce storm. They envelop Llana’s brittle but stirring voice, who tells the tale of a lost soul and his gradual isolation from those that love him. While she wants to help, she cannot, as he further distances himself with his lies. There is likely more to the tale than what is heard, but Llana says it all when she sings:
“I don’t understand
But I don’t want to.
I’m not surprised
Because I know you.
I’m not ok,
But I will be.
I forgive you,
But I won’t forget how you hurt me.”
Look out America, your next great singer-songwriter has arrived.
Sharaya Summers – “Prodigal” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Mazzy Starr, Jenny Lewis, Sam Valdez
In February, Sharaya Summers didn’t just catch our attention. She had us eating out of her hand with “Wonder”. Today, we’re starting a fast in order to prepare for the release of hew new EP, Bend Before We Break, which is expected later this year. To give us a teaser as to what is to come, she shares “Prodigal”.
Breathtaking sensational is the only way to describe the song, which sounds like what a Hope Sandoval tune would have been like if recorded in the Laurel Canyon neighborhood of the ’70s. The dissonant and chiming guitars, feathery percussion, and the heart-strumming bass are all reminiscent of this great era of music. Summers’ voice is, as always, enchanting and luxurious, causing all who hear it to suspend everything they are doing. Her storyline, too, is moving, as she reveals that she is not a woman that can easily forgive and forget. Summers, however, is a young artist that is simply unforgettable. She’s another one that should be gracing the stages of Newport Folk Festival and Pickathon.
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