The Matinee ’18 August 7th enchants, dazzles, rocks, and simply awes with nine fantastic tunes. This one is a more global affair than previous efforts, so get ready for a musical ride around the planet.
ALCABEAN – “Getaway” (Copenhagen, Denmark)
RIYL: The Hunna, SWMRS, The 1975
Just a few months since releasing their excellent new EP, Head Down, Danish firecrackers ALCABEAN return with another kick-in-the-ass track. However, unlike their previous songs which teetered towards the indie-rock and post-punk fields, “Getaway” is a pop-rock track made to fill up the biggest stadiums while blowing the roofs off the most intimate venues.
Booming with the anthemic qualities of The Hunna and The 1975, Victor Schack, Julius Schack, Joachim Holmgaard, and Lucas Olierook ratchet up the hooks and the rhythms. The track feels like one is riding the most stupendous wave and carving it out. It is, in other words, sheer adrenaline and exhilaration that will make you excited about what is to come. Or as they say, you might runaway with your best friends or the one you love, setting off to a place where all of you can start anew.
Andrew Bayer – “Your Eyes” feat. Ane Brun (Washington, D.C., USA and Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Ane Brun, M83, CHVRCHES
There are great songs and then there are tunes that take you to another place, where for a brief moment you think you’re living in another era or another dimension. Occasionally, a song will do both, which is what electronic producer extraordinaire Andrew Bayer achieves with Swedish superstar Ane Brun on their collaborative single.
“Your Eyes” is pure cinematic euphoria that dazzles from the first note to the last. It is the perfect marriage of ’70s disco, ’80s synth-pop, and contemporary indietronica that will make you feel like you are dancing with the cosmic as you traverse the universe. Bayer’s production work approaches breathtaking while Brun’s vocals and lyrics stir, as she shares the lasting touches of one she deeply loves. Musically and lyrically, this track is an instant classic that will spun for ages.
The song is taken from Bayer’s forthcoming, new album, In My Last Life, which sees the light of day on August 24th. Anjunabeats will release it, and pre-orders are available here.
Ava Luna – “Centerline” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: David Byrne + St. Vincent, Rubblebucket, Angel Deradoorian
In naming our Most Anticipated Albums of 2018, we had to include Ava Luna on the list. While we weren’t positive it was coming, there were clues that the NYC-based experimental collective were preparing something new and exciting. Then in June, they released “Deli Run” and announced that Their new album, Moon 2, will touch down on September 7 via Western Vinyl. The song was an eclectic mix of soul, modern pop, and disco, and they continue the groovy trend with “Centerline”.
Combining new wave philosophies with disco, alt-pop, and funk, Ethan Bassford, Felicia Douglass, Julian Fader, Carlos Hernandez, and Becca Kauffman send us to the dance floors of the ’70s and not just charm but titillate us. It’s a sexy, contagious, and utterly delirious tune, which will have you up on your feet or at the very least bopping in your chair. But if you’re into storytelling, listen closely to the tale that the band spins, which will have you reflecting possibly of Debbie Harry, Siouxsie Sioux, or Patti Smith creating their own distinct niches some four decades ago. And you also just might feel like them as you endlessly play this fabulous little track.
Japanese Television – “Tick Tock” (London, England?)
RIYL: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, The fin.
Admittedly, I’m not one to gravitate to largely instrumental songs. That said, when it is a space-surf psychedelic rock tune that sounds like the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard jamming together for one special event, one has to share it. The song is “Tick Tock”, and the men behind this fantastic concoction are Japanese Television.
Originally formed by Japanese harp and synth player Ian Thorn and bassist Alex Lawton, who met while playing on a Canadian space-rock orchestra (we might know who that is) and are James Moriaty and Tim Jones, Japanese Television take us well into the stratosphere and beyond and deliver one trippy and mind-altering track. Lawton’s bass line drives the song with reckless abandon while the rest are the engines, gradually speeding up the track and taking us through the black hole that awaits us in the end. At least that’s where we think they’re taking us – to somewhere unknown yet exciting.
Speaking of which, the band’s self-titled EP drops September 7th via Tip Top Recordings. This could be one heck of a trip.
MAY – “Falling” (New York City, USA via Australia)
RIYL: Anohni, Amy Winehouse, Cloves
Somewhere in New York City, Australian-born MAY is walking the streets and likely humming a tune inside her head or thinking about her performances at Gotham’s famed Rockwood Music Hall. Or maybe she’s dreaming about one day singing in Lincoln Center or Radio City Music Hall, where her gorgeous vocals, which border on operatic and pop diva, would create a tremor throughout the theater and out onto the streets. Unlike some of her more famous predecessors and contemporaries, she sings with the raw emotion of a young woman who is in complete. There are, as such, no over-the-top arias on her latest single, “Falling”, but instead she calmly seduces us with her immense range and her lyrics of unbreakable love.
There really isn’t much more to say, which is the utmost compliment we can give. Just sit back, keep all distractions at bay, and allow MAY to seduce you with a voice that you will remember for a lifetime. We haven’t been this enchanted since hearing her country-woman Cloves dazzle us over three years ago.
MAY’s debut EP, Phantom, arrives later this year via Best Laid Plans Records. This could be one to remember for a very long time.
Rodes Rollins – “Boom Pow” (Los Angeles via Boulder, CO, USA)
RIYL: Gabriella Cohen, Nadine Shah, Ali Beletic
Since releasing her debut single, “Young & Thriving”, in November 2016, Talia Taxman has dazzled us with her project Rodes Rollins. From that day, we’ve predicted stardom for the young Colorado native, naming her as one of our artists to watch in 2017, and she delivered on her immense promise with her sparkling debut EP, Young Adult. The rest of the world, including L.A.’s music community, is starting to take notice of her talent, as she enlisted the support of Grammy-nominated producer Alex Goose (who has worked with Weezer and others) and Portugal. The Man drummer Kane Ritchotte for her latest single. Don’t expect a mainstream-oriented tune, however, because Taxman’s creative fingerprints are still all over “Boom Pow”.
“Boom Pow” is a slice of hypnotic Americana dipped into the Bedouin sunset. West African rhythms and percussion echo throughout and heighten the mystery and spirituality of the song. Meanwhile, the shimmering guitar that pulsates in the background is Ali Farka Touré, further adding to the song’s allure. Rodes’ voice is distant yet intimate, as she guides us through this musical oasis. Our destination is solace or seeking to find it, which may be within someone or something.
“You’re my only smile.
You make me feel reborn.
I’ll keep for my own until I’m dead and gone.”
A star is born.
SISTERAY – “Wannabes” (London, England)
RIYL: The Clash, The Libertines, CABBAGE
While many artists and bands attempt to find immediate success by imitating what they hear on the radio, London’s SISTERAY continue to follow a path that their politically-leaning predecessors first blazed. You won’t hear the four gents singing about broken hearts or fawning over someone they first laid eyes at the neighborhood café. Instead, they’re charting history through their music while offering their colorful analysis of the state of the world. In April, they discussed the elimination of individual privacy on the bold and brilliant “Algorithm Prison”. On “Wannabes”, they take aim at you, me, and everyone around us.
First, the track echoes the infectious, Brit-pop-rock noise that The Clash and then The Libertines blared across radio stations over the past four decades. It is raucous and fiery but with enough hooks to keep you reeled in. It’s not just the music, however, that keeps your attention, as SISTERAY fire off one clever line after another. “You’re all prima donnas / You’re here today, but gone tomorrow”, front man Niall Rowan sings to indicate our obsession with fame and fortune. But to get there, we have to become “clever clones”. Fit an image, sound like everything else, and be what people want you to be, and maybe you’ll get your 15 seconds of fame.
SISTERAY are Niall Rowan (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Michael Hanrahan (bass/vocals), Daniel Connolly (lead guitar/vocals), and Marco Biagini (drums/vocals). Their debut EP, Sisteray Said, arrives September 7th on Vallance Records. Limited edition vinyls are available for purchase here.
Whispering Sons – “Waste” (Brussels, Belgium)
RIYL: Kate Bush + A Place to Bury Strangers + Chelsea Wolfe
Hush and don’t make a noise, especially if you’re one who likes their music to cause them to tremble. Music that will leave shivers down your spine and make you double check the calendar to make sure it doesn’t say Friday the 13th nor October 31st. This is the effect that Whispering Sons‘ new single, “Waste”, has on all those who come across it. Like a great suspense or horror film, though, you cannot take your ears (nor eyes) away, but you instead have to hear it right to the end.
“Waste” is a bone-chilling, post-punk masterpiece. It possesses the startling darkness of A Place to Bury Strangers and Savages while merging the theatrical morbidness of Kate Bush and Chelsea Wolfe. The chiming, doomgaze guitars and the foreboding rhythms rattle your bones, and they provide the perfect framework for front woman Fenne Kuppens’ haunting vocals. She methodically describes a dystopian place that we have created, and how it consumes us. Her lyrics are gripping and even a touch theatrical, reminding us that the greatest fears don’t exist around us in this wasteland but within us. Just frickin’ awesome.
Whispering Sons are Fenne Kuppens (vocals), Kobe Lijnen (guitar), Sander Hermans (synths), Tuur Vandeborne (bass), and Sander Pelsmaekers (drums). Their debut album, Image, will be released October 19th on PIAS Belgium and Smile Records. Pre-order it on Bandcamp.
The Wit – “If you ain’t got nothing to do (don’t do it here)” (Oslo, Norway)
RIYL: Camera Obscura, Belle and Sebastian, The Smiths
Norway has established a reputation for producing some of the most interesting and inventive artists and bands this decade. We could create a lengthy list, but seriously it would take some significant time (or just write “Norway” in the search box). Another name to add is The Wit, the alt-pop / chamber-pop outfit formed by Eirik Haukland and includes Peter Hiley, Eirik Kirkemyr, and Ketil Myhre.
A relatively new band, long-time indie fans will immediately think they are the reincarnation of two of Scotland’s most beloved groups – Camera Obscura and Bella and Sebastian – after hearing “If you ain’t got nothing to do (don’t do it here)”. Jangly chimes; bubbly rhythms; warm, summertime notes; and smile-inducing harmonies radiate from this delightful little tune that would draw hundreds, if not thousands, of bystanders if played in the heart of Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. They’ll come for the jittery and feel-good vibes and the Haukland’s uplifting lyrics about being yourself and making positive change. About living your life to its fullest instead of wasting away.
With this kind of sound and message, we certainly can see ourselves getting behind this band for a long time.
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