The Matinee ’18 September 20th edition demonstrates that women are the present and future of music. Each of the nine songs are by a woman singer-songwriter or a female-fronted band. Each offers something different, ranging from indie rock to power-pop to disco-pop to shoegaze to downtempo to grunge.

Bec Sandridge – “Animal” (Sydney, Australia)

RIYL: La Roux, Dead or Alive, Future Islands

Our fandom for Bec Sandridge extends now over three years, at which time she shared the euphoric pop-rock gem, “In The Fog, In The Flame”. She was busking at the time and still finding her footing within the Australian music scene. Since then, her popularity has grown, where she’s seeing out venues Down Under. In addition, she’s become a leading advocate for LGBQTI rights when she’s not busy writing and performing. When she’s in the studio, she’s diversifying her sound, where she now rips out edgy rockers as easily as she produces anthemic guitar-pop. Or in the case of her newest single, “Animal”, she goes disco synth-pop.

With her unique, ethereal vocals and a sound that is straight out of the early ’80s, Sandridge has crafted a buzzing, contagious number. The track echoes La Roux and her modernized take of the genre with the attitude of Karen O and splashes of the twisting approach of Dead Or Alive. Her genius, though, resides in the arrangements, as the song commences with a great piano opening before giving away to the dizzying synths. As the disco ball vibes fill the air, Sandridge opens her heart and expresses her love to the one person who has freed her. So as you spin the track, grab your soul mate and dance the night away.

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Charly Bliss – “Heaven” (Brooklyn, USA)

RIYL: Dilly Dally, Wolf Alice, Weaves

A year has passed since alt-rock extraordinaires Charly Bliss released their awesome debut album, Guppy, on Barsuk Records. It’s never too late, however, to pick up the record, which you can do so here. If you need some convincing, then let their new single be the gateway into their rollicking world.

“Heaven” an absolute must-addition to any playlist this week. It’s a love song like few others, raging like a slow-moving storm yet possessing the blissful tenderness of a lovestruck person on Valentine’s Day. You’ll rock your head back and forth menacingly while closing your eyes and holding yourself thinking about the person you love the most. Heck, this could be one’s wedding song. It would be unexpected but it sure will be memorable.

Eva Hendricks (lead vocals/guitar), Spencer Fox (vocals/guitar), Sam Hendricks (drums), and Dan Shure (vocals/bass) are currently ending their own tour but will be opening for Death Cab for Cutie next week. Dates and information are here.

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Dahlia Sleeps – “Storm” (London, England)

RIYL: London Grammar, Phoria, Hundred Waters

It has only been five months since Dahlia Sleeps released their tranquil yet stunning EP, After It All. We’ve come to learn, however, that Lucy Hill, Luke Hester, Spencer Buckley, and Callum Sharp rarely slow down. It is, therefore, not too surprising that they will release one more EP, Love, Lost, before the end of the year on Beatnik Creative. It is also not surprising that the record’s lead single is astonishingly gorgeous.

Dahlia Sleeps have often wrecked fans’ hearts, but this time they make them implode with “Storm”. The slight rattling of the deft rhythms and the deep dissonance of the delicate synths, keys, and beats create an environment that can never be seen but only imagined. That can only be inhaled but never touched. Hill’s voice, as always, is beautifully stirring, and one that you wish to hear before laying your head to sleep. Her lyrics are touching and powerful, and she immediately strikes a chord when she sings:

“You’ve raised a storm within me.
I can feel it when we sleep.
Your body is strong and your thoughts are far from me,
But I still hold you in your sleep.
I know you’re not open, and this is a futile thing.”

Have we mentioned that we are absolutely in love with this band? Hopefully, more people will share this feeling.

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Glass Spells – “Fascination” (San Diego, USA)

RIYL: Siouxsie Sioux & The Banshees, Pat Benatar, Underworld

We don’t know if Glass Spells will ever be mega-stars, but we’ll always be fans. If Suz Gonzalez (vocals), Anthony Ramirez (bass/synths), Michael Rascon (synths), and Mallory Garcia (drums) were around in the late ’70s to early ’80s (they likely weren’t even born then), they likely would have toured with Blondie. Their mix of darkwave and disco-punk beckons to another time, and only the most astute music fan will love their art. They are essentially going back to the origins of modern dance music and re-creating it, so maybe, just maybe people will flock their way. In the meantime, people like you and us get to exalt their greatness while dancing around to songs like “Fascination”.

The song is a slight departure for the quartet, as they head into more darkwave territory. Instead of blasting a euphoric track, they deliver a spine-tingling, hypnotic number. It still gets you dancing and spinning with the whirling synths, but Gonzalez’s deadpan vocals and the bleaker approach warp your mind into thinking you’ve landed in The Twilight Zone or some cult party that is happening in the crypt of an ancient cathedral. Gonzalez’s lyrics, too, give them impression that we’re not in Kansas anymore:

“Back to the other side we go.
We travel high.
It’s not too far.
Don’t be afraid (I’m not afraid).
You’re not alone (I’m not alone).
We’re going back (I’m going back)
To the unknown.”

Somebody get this band on Colbert, Kimmel, Fallon, or some late-night talk show.

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Holy Golden – “Wheel Of Fortune” (New York City, USA)

RIYL: Cat Power, Florence + The Machine, CULTS

When reviewing Holy Golden‘s stunning, debut full-length, Otherworld, Rich mentioned in the opening paragraph that Leslie Schott and Andrew Valenti social media mavens. From their Instagram posts to their haunting music videos to a planned feature film, the duo have slowly creating their own little empire. It is, however, their music where they continue to shine and blow people, like us, away. Unlike most bands, Schott and Valenti have an innate ability to craft songs that are like the grandest and most majestic fairy tales, which they do once again with “Wheel Of Fortune”.

Stunning, breathtaking, and gorgeous are just three adjectives to describe this tune. It is striking in its simplicity yet incredibly beautiful and powerful in its execution. The brooding, Goth-rock of The Cure rings through Valenti’s chiming guitar while a choral expanse is created from the hallow keys and electric organ. Schott’s voice, meanwhile, is the sound of an angel, who is giving today’s sermon. She explains how she at times “feels broken” yet still finds strength in the unexpected to move forward. Listen carefully to her words or read the lyrics (they’re on Bandcamp, where the song can be purchased), and you might mistaken her for a new-age version of Dorothy. But instead of a Lion, a Scarecrow, and a Tin Man, she is leading Pegasus, a Bear, and a pride of Lions.

Holy Golden’s new EP, Sleepwalkers In The Milky Way, awakens October 26th on Wallflower Records. We cannot wait to hear the full record not to mention to see their film.

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IAN SWEET – “Spit” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Big Thief, Car Seat Headrest, Mitski

Two years ago, IAN SWEET, the project fronted by Jilian Medford, were one of our favorite hidden gems. Rich described the bands as “shapeshifters” since they effortlessly move from rockers to lo-fi, blissful tunes. Since that time, though, Medford and her companions Simon Hanes (bass) and Max Almario (drums) now showcase their multiplicity within a single song instead of one track. Their last tune, “Hiding”, showcased how much they had evolved, creating a song that was lush yet a monster of a rocker. They’re at it again on “Spit”.

Simply put, “Spit” is a masterful piece of urgent indie rock. It is sonic whiplash. The opening frame is filled with desperation, as the guitar, rhythms, and Medford’s vocals are pointed, gritty, and assertive. Adrenaline rushes through your body but then calm descends after 25 seconds. This, however, only lasts for about twelve seconds before the trio explode again. This roller coaster approach is repeated throughout, and it leaves listeners on tremendous highs and lows. Might feel manic to some, but it topsy-turvy style is sheer brilliance when coupled with Medford’s powerful lyrics about struggling with anxiety and being imprisoned inside other people’s expectations.

“You can tell me I am ’bout to go into the sky and die
I was mainly here, and I’m mainly there
I’m putting myself in danger again.”

IAN SWEET’s new album, Crush Crusher, is due October 26th from Hardly Art Records with pre-orders from Bandcamp, iTunes, and the label’s online store.

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Makeout Point – “In Memories” (Stockholm, Sweden)

RIYL: Sadie Dupuis, Waxahatchee, Dolores Haze

A year ago, we referred to Makeout Point as the next great indie sensation from Sweden. Actually, we said it a few times. Just as they were building momentum, they took a break, leaving us and many others wondering when they would fulfill their immense potential. In that time, two members of the original band moved on and have since been replaced. In addition, the Swedish indie-rockers went from being a quintet to a sextet. Now with their new formation, they’re rebooting their careers. Well, that wouldn’t be accurate, but rather they’re starting from where they left off with “In Memories”.

“In Memories” is one of those “wow” moments. The opening reverb is just the start of an epic ride, as the song quickly develops into a seismic hurricane of noise. Multiple emotions flood through the song – exhilaration, grief, pain, wonder, and disappointment. Front woman Shiva Kazemi’s varied voice is the center of the storm, as it is soft and lush at first before transforming into a punk-infused shrill. Her change in tone reflects her complex feelings, which go from missing someone to being excited about the memories they shared to realizing that s/he will never return. Where she realizes that things will never be the same again, which can also be said for this most excellent little band.

Their future should change quickly when their new EP, Dear Audrey, drops later this year or early 2019 via Youth Recordings.

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Miya Folick – “Stop Talking” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Meg Myers, Ryn Weaver, Bloodboy

Yesterday, the immensely talented Miya Folick, whom we cannot get enough, teased on her Facebook page that she had big news to share today. We assume it’s details about her long-awaited debut album, which will be released on Terrible Records and Interscope Records will release it. Then later in the night, she released another new single, which we had to share in advance of the information she had to share. Yeah, we’re impatient, but “Stop Talking” is the ideal track to get people through Thursday and ready for the weekend.

“Stop Talking” is a slight change-of-pace for the Los Angeles-based artist, who sets aside her fierce electric guitar riffs for bubbly synth-pop chimes and poppy drum beats. It’s an anthemic, fun, and groovy tune that will get people gyrating, spinning, or, more likely dancing arm-in-arm with your best friends. Folick’s lyrics, too, are a bit more light-hearted, as she advises her friend to “stop talking about that boy” and move on with her life. To pick herself up and stop “talking about the idiosyncracies of an obvious fool” (this is one of the great pop lines of the year) and instead get up and dance the night away with her friends. We’ll be doing exactly this while spinning another great Folick tune.

We’ll update this section once we get official word about the news Folick referred to yesterday.

EDIT: Folick’s debut album, Premonitions, arrives October 26th.

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T. G. Shand – “Girls” (Christchurch, New Zealand)

RIYL: Lush, Cocteau Twins, Memoryhouse

New Zealand, as many of you know, is not a large country, yet it punches well above its weight when it comes to music. Some of the world’s biggest and brightest stars come from Aotearoa, and the top tier is about to get a little more crowded with the arrival of T. G. Shand.

This is the new alias of Annemarie Duff, who formerly was in the indie band Miniatures. Meanwhile, electronica fans, especially those in Melbourne, Australia, may know her as Mmdelai. Yep, Ms. Duff has multiple personalities, which allow her to channel a different artistic side. Her newest identity may be her best one yet.

As T. G. Shand, she delves in the dreamgaze arena with her debut single, “Girls”, and it is magnificent. The track recalls the late ’80s and early ’90s when shoegaze was at its peak and bands from every corner of the planet experimented with the technique. Duff masters it and then some, crafting a song that is at first lush, breathtaking, and spiritually exhilarating. Even it slightly intensifies and gets a bit more gritty, the song still stays high in the heavens, where we swim within the luxurious guitar swells and Duff’s transcendent vocals. This is simply gorgeous. New Zealand, a new star has arrived.

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