With so much great music, we’re offering another two-part series. The Matinee ’18 September 18th – Europe Edition kicks things off with seven stellar songs. Each artist / band represents a different country. To hear the USA edition, click here.
AKINE – “Money In Your Mouth” (Kyiv, Ukraine)
RIYL: Lorde, So Below, Mallrat
Ukranian singer-songwriter and alt-pop artist AKINE isn’t even old enough to enter clubs or bars, yet the 17-year old is crafting music that makes many veteran singer-songwriter look like amateurs. She’s written about the role religion played in her country’s civil war on “Pray for the Prey”. Then there was “No Gold”, which described a young girl’s fall from grace. She questioned the pre-determined life of a privileged acquaintance on “Cashmere” while “Foster Fear” dealt with panic-inducing fear. How many 17-year olds write songs like this? How many 30-, 40-year old artists do? To say the young woman is a talent is an immense understatement, and she’s only getting started.
Her latest single, “Money In Your Mouth”, is equally tantalizing. As dark, throbbing beats and a trembling bass line percolate in the groovy background, AKINE’s smooth vocals reveals the thoughts running through her head. She has her eye on a particular individual, but everything that surrounds him – models, money, and his glamorous lifestyle – reveal his true, despicable heart. It’s a world far away from the one she grew up in and knows, which she does not wish to escape. Instead, she has embraced her past and turned into impeccable art. A star is born.
AKINE’s debut EP, Don’t Foster Fear, is out now on Best Laid Plans Records, and purchase and streaming links are available here. She’ll be releasing a new EP, Breed Love, in the spring of 2019, and her debut LP will follow later in the year.
Das Body – “Know My Name” (Oslo, Norway)
RIYL: Chromatics, Yumi Zouma, BROODS
It was only a month ago when we were dazzled by Oslo quartet Das Body‘s single, “Graceland”. The song revealed a band that is reinvigorating electro-pop, making it simultaneously infectious yet intimate. For their next foray – and third single overall – they opt to resurrect the synth-pop of the ’80s, and they do so with aplomb.
“Know My Name” belongs in an ’80s coming-of-film, which is the biggest compliment we could give to a synth-pop number. The synths and guitar shimmer, the beats groove, and front woman Ellie Linden’s voice titillates. Together, the four components create a sultry yet immensely immediate soundscape, where you find yourself gently swaying to the intoxicating melody. Then hit repeat and lose yourself in Linden’s story about a person who longs for another from afar. However, he never looks her way, leaving her to ponder if he “wants to know my name”. After you play this song, watch Fast Times At Ridgemont High, and you’ll agree that this song would have been perfect for this classic.
Das Body are Ellie Linden, Kim Granholt, Patrik Alm, and Didrik Karsru. Their self-titled debut will be released September 28th on Luminelle Recordings.
Fufanu – “One Too Many [dialogue iii]” (Reykjavík, Iceland)
RIYL: Kraftwerk, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ghost Wave
Whereas as some bands like to stay in their own driving lane, Icelandic trio Fufanu travel pretty much all roads available to them. This is a roundabout way to say they’re not one-trick ponies, but rather they’re personify the term “musical chameleons”. We gravitated more towards their inventive post-punk work, but their forays into electronica, techno, and krautrock are equally imaginative. Given their multiplicity, it’s not surprising to hear Pitchfork call them “Iceland’s most exciting band”, and we completely agree with the sentiment. Adding octane to their reputation is “One Too Many [dialogue iii]”, which the group released the other day.
“One Too Many” is made for an unexpected soirée, where you and your guests indulge in the simplest pleasures. Namely, you’re drinking up the titillating krautrock rhythms that percolate on this hypnotic track, which could have originated in 1973 Berlin. An element of cold wave, however, swirls through the darkness, giving it the feeling that we are descending into the “Upside Down” or a parallel universe. This dimension, however, is our own minds, where Kaktus Einarsson, Guðlaugur Einarsson, and Erling Bang make us examine all the things that tempt us. Basically all the temptations that define who we are and, thus, how we perceive our little worlds.
Fufanu’s new album, The Dialogue Series, is out October 19th via One Little Indian Records. Get ready for one unique experience.
Linn Koch-Emmery – “Don’t sleep on my luv” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Black Honey, Alex Lahey,
It’s been eleven months since Swedish indie pop-rock sensation Linn Koch-Emmery released her awesome, anthemic EP, Boys. It’s an attention grabber to the nth degree, and she followed it up with the equally catch ear-worm, “Wires” earlier this year. She’s now building towards the release of another EP, and on Friday she shared another euphoric banger.
Set aside the cup of coffee and the Red Bulls because “Don’t sleep on my luv” will provide the shot of adrenaline you need today. The boisterous guitar hooks and rambling rhythms are off-the-wall exhilarating, filling your body and soul with energy excitement. As such, you might find yourself dancing in your living room or around the office or playing it loud as you cruise around town. Her lyrics, too, are uplifting, as she calls for us to live our lives and not dwell on things, including a broken heart. We only live once, so let’s make the most out of it with Koch-Emmery’s newest single being our anthem.
The single is out now on Welfare Sounds & Records, and the label will also release Linn’s new EP later this autumn.
Lunar Landscape – “Les nuits célestes” (Bordeaux, France)
RIYL: Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Public Service Broadcasting
Shoegaze post-rock can be either exceptional or really bad. Let’s be honest, there are some bands who try to create cosmic instrumental tunes that essentially are three or four chords repeated over five minutes. Fortunately for us, French five-piece Lunar Landscape are not one of these pretenders. Then again, some of the band’s members, such as primary mastermind Arnaud Sigonney, have been plying their trade for over a decade in other groups. As such, they’re not necessarily starting from scratch, and their expertise is displayed on “Les nuits célestes”.
Taken from their debut album, The Infinite Pleasure of Being, which is out now on Hidden Shoal and available on Bandcamp, the track sounds exactly as it name suggests. It is a dazzling piece of atmospheric, shoegaze post-rock that feels like one is drifting effortlessly through the skies. As if we have wings and are soaring high in the air, watching the world slowly move beneath us. “Les nuits célestes” is also a rarity within the genre. Not only do you wish to close your eyes and inhale its beauty, you’ll want to strum on your air guitar and pretend you’re the one illuminating the air with crystalline shimmers. Simply outstanding.
Lunar Landscape are Arnaud Sigonney (piano/keyboards/guitar/vocals), Yoann Roy (bass), Franck Lantignac (drums), Line Senium (piano), and Marine Hebard (vocals). Get to know this band.
Rosie Carney – “Thousand” (feat. Lisa Hannigan) (Downings, Ireland via Hampshire, England)
RIYL: Aldous Harding, Tiny Ruins, Ailbhe Reddy
Despite being just 20 years old, Rosie Carney has already established herself as one of Ireland’s preeminent singer-songwriters. From her lush, gentile voice to stories that make even the toughest hombré buckle, she has the innate ability to make simple fare sound devastatingly beautiful or euphorically breathtaking. Her last song, “Bare”, was one example of gorgeous simplicity, and “Thousand”, likewise, follows suit.
As evidence of her growing popularity, veteran and acclaimed singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan provides the backing vocals. Carney, though, is the star, as her feathery voice drifts through the melancholic mix of cello, acoustic guitar, and light percussion. What makes Carney such a special artist is that she weaves tales that either turn ordinary people into heroes or reveal her own struggles. In this case, the song is dedicated to her mother and grandmother, and how daughter is now caregiver to her mother with dementia. Her songwriting is extraordinary, as she shares the difficulties her mother faces each day and how her grandmother believes she “has more to give”.
Carney’s long-awaited debut album, Bare, is set for release January 25th, 2019 via Akira Records and The Orchard. By that time, Carney should be more than just an Irish sensation but a global one.
Sleep Party People – “Outcast Gatherings” (Copenhagen, Denmark)
RIYL: Caribou, Masaolo, The Antlers
A year ago, Brian Batz – the multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and songwriter behind Sleep Party People – released his tremendous album, Lingering, which was one of the year’s most outstanding records. The LP displayed his imaginative and innovative brilliance, where he merges neo-psychedelia, electronica, dream-pop, rock, alt-rock, and ambient into an intoxicating mix. As Batz is the restless type – when he’s not on one of his massive tours he’s in his home studio formulating new sounds and arrangements – it’s not surprising to learn that his next album is coming out on Friday on Joyful Noise Recordings.
Lingering Pt. II builds on last year’s epic masterpiece while taking his stories of want and vulnerability further down the rabbit hole. The last single before the album’s release date reveals both Batz’s geniuses and what is to come on the record.
“Outcast Gatherings” is an exhilarating psychedelic trip. The groovy rhythms, the hypnotic synths that are tinged with a touch of darkness, and Batz’s captivating vocals glisten like the colors bouncing off a disco ball. Consequently, you’ll be left spinning and dancing within the sweltering notes of the Danish artist’s sonic world. This is a world that only one man could possibly create because, to be frank, Batz has no comparable.
Batz’s new album is available for pre-order on Bandcamp, where you can also hear five other tracks.
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