It’s Friday, and usually we offer anthemic fare. However, for The Matinee ’18 August 10th edition, there’s a bit more melodic numbers in order to ease in to the weekend not to mention to calmly beat the summer heat. Oh, there are still some raucous numbers that will get the adrenaline rushing. Happy weekend everyone!
The Dodos – “Forum” (San Francisco, USA)
RIYL: The DoDos
It’s been a long three years since the Dodos‘ last studio album, Individ. Now they are back with a new single titled “Forum”. The duo announced a new forthcoming album and an upcoming fall tour.
“Forum” feels a bit more of early The Dodos with layers of intricate elements always framed by their signature pounding percussion. Their breakneck time changes provide for an exciting sound with their newest offering. We hear a mix of impulsive elements including urgent guitar, strings and even a bit of trumpet underlying Meric’s vocals nicely.
Meric shares a bit about the new album: “Rather than thinking about the end result or considering the reaction of the listener, I tried to give in to gut reactions, first impulses, however silly or untrue to form they may be. If it was exciting in any way, we pursued it without hesitancy or question.”
The duo have also released an interesting video which you can view via Apple Music.
Meric Long and Logan Kroeber’s new album, Certainty Waves, will be out in October 12th via Polyvinyl Records.
Llovers – “Go Get Her, Go Getter” (North East, England)
RIYL: Tokyo Police Club, PLAZA, Viola Beach
Llovers are back with a brand new track titled “Go Get Her, Go Getter”. It’s a shimmery indie pop gem that tackles the unpleasant realization of expectation and reality in a relationship. As summer is winding down, this is the perfect track to spin for your remaining warm weather weekends. The harmonies are completely infectious and the breezy guitar riffs help provide an overall feeling of floating away in a bliss filled bubble of indie pop greatness. Llovers have all the elements needed to break out in a big way and each new release is continuing to prove their talents to the world.
Discussing their forthcoming release, co-frontman Jack Brooks explained: “Go Get Her, Go Getter is about the end of a relationship – more specifically how falling in love with the concept of someone, rather than their true selves, leads to multiple contradictions and a breakdown of communication”.
Llovers are Jack Brooks (vocals/guitar), David Macnab (vocals/guitar), Joe Connor (bass/backing vocals), Matthew Jenkinson (drums), and Ben Connor (synths).
M. Crane – “Cate In A Violent World” (Tuscon, USA)
RIYL: Placebo, Type O Negative
You might think M. Crane are from a European country with dreary weather, not the sun-kissed soil of Arizona. And while their brand of indie rock is more akin to Placebo than Calexico, you can still detect ripples of fire in their music and clouds in their lyrics:
“Cate is here and she’s not going away
Slipping ever down the hill we pay for with decay”
This edgy tune soars with guidance from Nick Maskill, whose powerful vocals pair with the stormy instrumentation. But it’s not simply the vocals that send chills down your spine: each layer enhances the next, with the distorted guitars offering contrast to the icy key flourishes. Sure, it’s only August, but the moody soundscapes M. Crane have created here have us awaiting winter’s welcoming kiss.
That’s the beauty of this band: they’re not “goth” per se, yet like so many dark-rock legends before them – from The Cure and Sisters of Mercy to Type O Negative – they don’t shy away from examining the beauty in pain. They know, as do most music fans, that many intriguing things in life are best illuminated by moonlight.
Crane are: Nick Maskill (lyrics/vocals/guitar), Kyle Rosas (lyrics/guitar), Andrew Lobo (bass), and Gabriela Lisk (drums).
Mitski – “Two Slow Dancers” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: St. Vincent, Half Waif, Hand Habits
In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Mitski Miyawaki disclosed that her music is founded on a simple but personal notion:
“I’m revealing a big secret, but a lot of my songs are just about music and trying to pursue it, and not feeling loved by it. A lot of the ‘yous’ in my songs are abstract ideas about music.”
This declaration may change how one perceives her songs, where the gifted singer-songwriter and artist continues to strive to perfect her art while trying to win its acceptance. With this in mind, what can we make of Mitski’s latest number, the gorgeous and intimate “Two Slow Dancers”, particularly as she sweetly sings?
“Does it smell like a school gymnasium in here?
It’s funny how they’re all the same.
It’s funny how you always remember,
And we’ve both done it all a hundred times before.
It’s funny how I still forgot.”
The song at its core is the meeting of two former high school sweethearts, and the flame between them still flickers. For one moment, they share one last dance and in that time the chemistry and memories return. And yet one can imagine Mitski dancing to the music that swells around her, trying to grab hold of it and never letting go. And maybe she has yet to capture it, but like the protagonists in the song she’s once again captured our hearts with this breathtaking masterpiece.
The lyric video, which features a spinning disco ball, can be viewed here.
Say Sue Me – “Just Joking Around” (Busan, South Korea)
RIYL: early Arcade Fire, Yo La Tengo, Built to Spill
Earlier this year, 최수미 Choi Sumi (vocals/guitar), 김병규 Kim Byungkyu (guitar/vocals), 하재영 Ha Jaeyoung (bass), and 강세민 Kang Semin (drums) – a.k.a. Say Sue Me – released one of the feel-good albums of the year with Where We Were Together. It was jangly, dreamy, blissful, and euphoric, and it made for the perfect spring record. The Busan-based quartet have since been riding a tidal wave of momentum that included a global tour and spins on BBC and independent radio stations across Europe and North America. The Say Sue Me train continues to hurtle along as yesterday they released another gem of a single.
“Just Joking Around” sees the four-piece once again channel the great college-radio scene of the ’90s for inspiration. Unlike their previous efforts, this one is a slow-building epic that swells with a range of emotions. The tune commences innocently enough with Choi’s delicate and blissful voice sharing memories of friends idling the days away. She and her band mates, meanwhile, strum a melody that would make Yo La Tengo look in the mirror. Then it gets a little heavier and heavier, where at the second bridge the band turn into rock stars. The guitar solo is off-the-charts and reminiscent of a Carl Broemel or Jim James (both of My Morning Jacket) interlude.
That’s not all, though. On the third frame, the band delivers a jitterbug finale, where suddenly we’re left dancing and celebrating all the friendships around us. Not many bands can deliver a wide-ranging track, which shoes that Say Sue Me are an immensely special outfit. One that we have not seen since Arcade Fire first burst on the scene nearly 15 years ago.
The single is out on Damnably Records (world) and Electric Muse (Korea).
Slothrust – “Birthday Cake” (Los Angeles via Boston, MA, USA)
RIYL: Camp Cope, Waxahatchee, Pavement
Leah Wellbaum (vocals/guitar), Kyle Bann (bass), and Will Gorin (drums) did say that the next Slothrust album would be unlike what they’ve done before, as they’ve taken more chances musically. Previously released singles, “Double Down” and “Peach”, certainly did showcase a more melodic side that included a bit more pop elements. One thing, though, that didn’t change was their penchant for naming their songs after inanimate objects. Both trends continue with “Birthday Cake”.
Slothrust surprisingly strip things back – well at first anyway. The intro is a light, acoustic pop-rock ditty, but then the track gradually gets a bit edgier as Bann and Gorin enter the fray. The finale, however, is pretty awesome, as the trio fire up the intensity and channel their inner Pavement with a rollicking conclusion. There’s major jam potential with this track in a live setting, and we can imagine Wellbaum going full bore guitar god.
Beyond the outstanding arrangements and showmanship, the song reveals another Slothrust trait – Wellbaum’s poignant lyrics that combine her personal experiences and observations of the world. In this case, she contrasts the constraints of being a mature adult while spoiled brats get to do what they want. With her trademark sneer, she reveals how messed up the world is and why we’re regressing instead of progressing:
“But I never thought it would happen to me
You cut my hair off in my sleep and put it in the kitchen sink
I never thought it would happen to me
Well you treat me like a little toy and made me do a little dance.”
Come September 14th we’ll be doing a little dance, because that’s when Dangerbird Records will release The Pact.
Super Paradise – “Sweat” (London, England)
RIYL: Oh Sees, Team Picture, Wavves
You might want to cover your ears or slightly lower the volume for a moment because the start of Super Paradise‘s new single, “Sweat”, could do some damage on your ear drums. There’s no slow build whatsoever. The song, instead, is one massive adrenaline rush that starts immediately with a tidal wave of fuzzed-out noise, as the dueling guitars ricochet off the roof-raising rhythms (the percussion is awesome). While the quintet do slow the song down at points, each time an anticipation grows, as we excitedly wait for the next explosion to happen. Boy do Anna Arfen, Charlie Davis, Bradley Hillier-Smith, Francesco Roma, and Nicolò Spreafic deliver in spades.
The song is bold, brash, relentless in its sonic fury, and it is frickin’ awesome. It is four minutes and ten seconds of frenetic, psychedelic energy that will have every listener starting their own mosh pit even if they are left alone. The song is reminiscent of when the Oh Sees were know as Thee Oh Sees, at which time John Dwyer and crew would unleash hell from the get go. And maybe, just maybe, we have found the heirs to the psychedelic realm. At least for one day and one tremendous song, they made us believe that the future of the genre is in very good hands.
This single is available on Bandcamp for the price of leaving a tip (do leave a tip!).
Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe – “Right On” (Toronto, Canada and Berlin, Germany)
RIYL: The Underground Youth, The Soft Moon, Brian Jonestown Massacre
There are few male/female vocal pairings that hypnotize as much as Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe. Their “gauzy, psychedelic dream rock” first entranced us back in 2015 when we shared their “Cocaine Cat” single. It was easy to fall under the spell of those intertwining ethereal voices swirling around in a mildly hallucinogenic haze. Somehow in our hectic summer full of music festivals, we have overlooked the third release from this duo. In May they shared a new four-song EP, Right On, that has us feeling overcome again by those familiar emotions.
The EP’s title track places you in the middle of a fever dream. As the lush vocals of Tess Park hypnotize you, Anton Newcombe’s woozy instrumentation sets your mind adrift on a higher plane of consciousness. When Parks delivers the line “Now close your eyes and drink” like a breathless whisper close in your ear, you are powerless to do anything but comply. You drink in the methodically executed synths as the trippy guitars punctuate the atmosphere with swirls of brightly-colored chords. We’re not saying you should be lounging on a bed of satin sheets while you listen to this, but trust us: you’ll need to lie down once it’s over. This tune transports you to such a mellow place you’ll want to lie back and hit repeat many, many times.
Fans of Tess Parks know she released an album early this year, while Newcombe’s latest Brian Jonestown Massacre LP arrived in June. If this Right On EP is a teaser for a full-length they plan to release later this year, we cannot wait to hear more. Until then, enjoy this EP that’s out now via A Recordings on Amazon and iTunes.
Tunng – “Sleepwalking” (London and Somerset, England and Reykjavik, Iceland)
RIYL: Laura Marling, Efterklang, Four Tet, Shearwater
“Experimental folk pop” is how Tunng describe their sound. It’s not a far stretch to agree with them, but those three very dry words don’t quite do justice to the rich layers of “Sleepwalking.”Maybe it’s because fans have been waiting five long years for a follow-up to their last album, Turbines. Maybe it’s because there are few bands out there who sound like Tunng. Either of these reasons is good enough to celebrate the arrival of Songs You Make at Night later this month. But who needs a reason beyond this simple fact: “Sleepwalking” is a dazzling return from these underrated British folktronica masters.
If you somehow missed hopping on the Tunng bandwagon when they formed 15 years ago, now is the time to discover them. This band makes inventive, engrossing, truly impressive music, and “Sleepwalking” is only a taste of their talents. Their approach here is as kaleidoscopic as everything else in their catalog. Their seamless fusion of electronic flourishes with velvety vocals and fluttering percussion keeps you hooked on each note. So keep this tune on repeat and prepare to have its insanely catchy melody on repeat in your head all weekend.
Full Time Hobby will release Songs You Make at Night on August 22. You can pre-order it here, or get the single now from the label’s online store. Tickets are already on sale for the band’s autumn European tour that begins in October.
Tunng are: Mike Lindsay, Sam Genders, Becky Jacobs, Ashley Bates, Phil Winter, and Martin Smith.
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