The second half of our daily mini-playlist is less rock and more songs that will dazzle and mesmerize with their music while immerse you in their stories. The Matinee ’18 August 28th – Roll Edition features six songs from some of our all-time and more recent favorites and a couple of “new-ish” bands.
To hear the Rock Edition of The Matinee, click here.
Dyan – “Less” (Los Angeles, USA via Winnipeg, Canada)
RIYL: Marissa Nadler, Emily Jane White, Emma Ruth Rundle
Consistently, Alexis Marsh, Samuel Jones, and Daniel Dorff, Jr. dazzle us with their project DYAN. Sometimes they sound like Mazzy Star and other times they go widescreen and turn the surrounding environment into a Poliça-like wonderland. One characteristic is common in each of their songs – they envelop the listener with their lush tones and emotionally stirring soundscapes. They elevate their spellbinding talents to the stratosphere with their latest single.
“Less” is like a silent tornado that suddenly engulfs you and sends you up into the air. But instead of twisting wildly in the air, the experience is one of graceful elevation and gentle spiraling to allow you to recall a moment in time or recall your complete life. The cello that moans in the background and the hollow acoustic guitar set the mood, which is haunting yet lush, morbid yet beautifully so. Marsh’s voice, meanwhile, recounts a time of hurt, pain, and abuse. Her story is that of a survivor who has quietly suffered for too long and is now finally speaking out. Her words must be heard, such as:
“When you leave does it hurt me?
It doesn’t hurt me so much as it heals.”
The trio’s new EP, Absence, is coming soon (date to be determined). It could be one of the year’s most emotionally shocking efforts.
Erthlings – “Bridges” (Sydney, Australia)
RIYL: Warpaint, HAIM, The Kills
What were you doing when you were 8 years old? Probably playing outside with friends, playing video games, and doing what kids tend to do. For Issy (vocals/keys), Jessame (guitar), Taylor (bass), and Lissa (drums), they started a band. At the time, it was more of a little hobby, which grew into a passion. They started writing their own songs before hitting the teens, and gradually they’ve mastered their instruments and overall craft. Last week, they officially announced the arrival of their project Erthlings when their debut single, “Bridges”, was released and played on Triple J. How’s that for starting your career?
“Bridges” is reminiscent of the delirious, groovy, and hypnotic indie-pop-rock that Warpaint created in their early days. The chest-pounding bass and the steely synths immediately grab your attention, causing heads to bop and jerk. The sizzling guitar then arrives, and it takes the song to dizzying levels. Issy’s saccharine vocals, meanwhile, are intoxicating, and her delivery is as icy cold as an assassin, which is perfect for this song about moving on and leaving an ex or any naysayer behind. As she succinctly states:
“I’m finally free,
Now I can breathe.
Time to move on,
Need to let go,
Can’t keep hurting.”
Could Erthlings be Australia’s next big thing? Time will tell, but the folks at Future Classic sure believe in their potential. As do we.
La Force – “TBT” (Montreal, Canada)
RIYL: Feist, Cat Power, Bat for Lashes
Only ten days are between us and the arrival of Ariel Engle’s debut album as La Force. By now, you are aware that the Montreal-based singer-songwriter is one of Broken Social Scene‘s principal singers, and like other BSS alumni – such as Leslie Feist and Emily Haines – is forging a separate path as a solo artist. The singles she’s released to date have been brilliant and sophisticated. The next adjective to add is evocative, which best describes “TBT”.
A groovy, danceable rhythm emerges immediately, creating a futuristic, tribal vibe. Engle, however, deftly keeps things minimalist, never accelerating nor intensifying the elements to create a club or house vibe. Instead, the song stays immediate and intimate, where one can slowly inhale the vibrant beats, Engle’s delicately urgent vocals, and her smattering of lyrics. She quickly unleashes a quiet torrent of words to describe the push-and-pull nature of trying to be unconnected in a connected world. About reclaiming one’s memories and realities instead of sacrificing them to the world of social media. However, the desire to “not be forgotten” is too strong, where we continue to share our thoughts and images for everyone to read and see. But then are these our moments or are they now someone else’s?
La Force drops September 7th via Arts & Crafts. Make sure to leave time on that weekend to spin what is likely to be an unforgettable experience (and disconnect from the world while you listen to it).
Lala Lala – “Water Over Sex” (Chicago, USA)
RIYL: Snail Mail, Hop Along, Soccer Mommy
When we first heard Lillie West’s project, Lala Lala, last month and her single, all we “Destroyer”, all we could say was “wow”. The song was our first introduction to the Chicago-based singer-songwriter, and it had us orbiting her sound space. With “Water Over Sex”, she has convinced us to permanently seek residence in our musical planet.
“Water Over Sex” is a dazzler. Like watching the Auroras bounce in the wintry, nighttime sky or seeing a shooting star streak across the horizon, the song will leave you in awe. The bubbling bass line, the stuttering rhythms, and the hollow shoegaze tones of the guitar form a hazy, dream-like soundscape. Through it echoes West’s intimate and quietly urgent vocals. Despite their beauty, uncertainty and doubt ring across each word she sings. It’s as if she doesn’t believe that good fortune will permanently stay with her and that her luck will eventually change. As a result, she lies to protect what she has, but in the end her fate becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s a beautifully emotional number, and one to which everyone can relate.
The video, which features illustrations from Toronto-based artist Ginette Lapalme, is worth watching. Speaking of watching, catch West and her band mates on tour now. They are supporting Wolf Parade, WHY?, LVL UP, and Mothers, plus they have a handful of their own headlining gigs. Tour dates and information are here.
Lights On Moscow – “Lord Let Me Know” (Birmingham and Newcastle, England)
RIYL: Widowspeak, DREAMBOAT, Portishead
Who doesn’t love a surprise, especially when it comes from the world of music? Get to know Lights On Moscow, which is the collaboration between Hazel Wilde (Lanterns On The Lake) and Justin Lockey (Editors/Minor Victories/Mastersystem). If you are paying attention, we didn’t say “new” because the two indie stalwarts have worked together for years and even played “Lord Let Me Know” a few years ago. It was only last Friday that they officially unveiled it to the world, and the wait was worth it.
For fans of Wilde’s and Lockey’s projects, they will hardly notice the two with two exceptions. Before we get them, head outside and find a place where you can clearly see the stars twinkle in the skies. Then press play and allow this engrossing piece of celestial dream-pop whisk you away to another dimension. To a place that resides only in dreams, fantasies, or the wildest of imaginations.
The slow pulses of the percussion, the electrified organ, and the slow hum of bass fill the air with gorgeous textures. But the familiar lush tones of Wilde’s voice and Lockey’s splendent shoegaze guitar are what take you into the cosmos. That take you through the rabbit hole and into a land full of wonder or into the deepest corners of your soul. If you allow yourself to submit to the duo’s beauty, you just might find the glimmer of hope to get you through another day.
Their debut EP, Aorta Songs Pt 1, is set for release in October via Physical Education Recordings. We cannot wait to hear it.
Majken – “This War Belongs To You” (Malmö via Karlskrona, Sweden)
RIYL: Lera Lynn, Emma Ruth Rundle, Fiona Apple
A month ago, the world was introduced to Anna Majken – or simply Majken – when she shared her debut single, “Lovely Daughter”, which was strikingly gorgeous. It’s one thing to make a great first impression, but it’s another story to replicate the impact. Well, she’s equaled if not exceeded what she achieved a few weeks ago with another memorable song.
“This War Belongs To You” is jaw-dropping arresting. The best way to experience this song is in a quiet room that holds only a few people. In your hands is your favorite stiff drink, but your attention isn’t on the coolness of the glass and the intoxicating layers within it. Instead, all your senses are firmly fixated on Majken’s gritty but lush vocals and the solemn notes that reverberate from her guitar. As she sings, you think she’s singing about you and the agonizing and intensifying storm that fills your soul . As much as you think that the Swedish singer-songwriter can take the pain away, she tells you otherwise. All she can do is temporarily mesmerize you and make you think and believe that there is still beauty in this world. Maybe not inside you, but it does reside within Majken’s enrapturing “gospel grunge”.
Majken’s forthcoming, debut album is set for release this autumn via Kollektivet Records. We’ll say it again, she should be on season three of True Detective or a future David Lynch film / TV series. The young lady has star power.
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