The Matinee ’18 September 25th – ROW Edition heads to New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, England, and Brazil for some spicy new music. There’s a wide selection of genres, so there’s something for everyone. Sit back and enjoy some rockers and some intimate, spine-tingling numbers. Afterwards, check out the North America edition over here.

Annabel Lee – “Black Pudding” (Brussels, Belgium)

RIYL: Courtney Barnett, Caroline Rose, Say Sue Me

While some rue that rock music is dead, they haven’t told Annabel Lee. Consisting of Audrey Marot, Vankou, Aurélien Auchain, and Hugo Claudel, these four young Belgians are going against the electronic and pop tide and opting to shred. Massively shred their instruments as if it was 1990 all over again. Their newest single, “Black Pudding”, will make even the biggest pessimist believe that great rock still exists.

“Black Pudding” is a 156-second adrenaline rush, where the band hammer out some hair-raising guitar riffs and chest-pounding rhythms. The approach is reminiscent of Courtney Barnett at her most ferocious, but Marot weaponizes her lyricism à la Caroline Rose and takes on everything and anything. They include the school boys who insulted her, the boring dinners of her childhood, and joyrides to escape the suburban boredom. After she finishes with her whirling stories, the rest of the band deliver one memorable finale, where all you want to say is “F*ck yeah!”

The single is out now on Luik Records. Annabel Lee’s debut album is coming next year.

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The Desert – “Gone” (Bristol, England)

RIYL: Massive Attack, Portishead, Morcheeba

It seems that trip-hop fans have to wait ages to hear new material from some of the great bands of the genre. It’s been eight years since Massive Attack’s last album, and Portishead’s hiatus is now at a decade. Morcheeba did release an album this year, but it was their first in five years. Well, these droughts should be much less with the arrival of The Desert, who are rekindling the sensual suspense of their more famous predecessors.

The Bristol-based band have already released an EP, but “Gone” will have people believing that the future of trip-hop has arrived. The track is stunning, and it belongs on an episode of Black Mirror or the soundtrack of a movie thriller. Haunting beats, a trembling shallow guitar, and a harrowing bass line form the foreboding yet hypnotic atmosphere. As the music escalates towards the dark, front woman Gina Leonard’s delicate and lush vocals guide us through the dimly lit labyrinth of our emotions. While the outlook seems dire at first, there’s a flicker of light, as she states, I’ll find somewhere to put it, to indicate she will once again rediscover hope.

The Desert are Gina Leonard (vocals), Tom Fryer (guitar), Ryan Rogers (bass), and Jonny Parry (drums/electronics).

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Pablo Zuazo – “São Paulo Downtown” (São Paulo, Brazil)

RIYL: Maribou State, Tycho, Odesza

Gradually, Pablo Zuazo has made a name for himself within the São Paulo music scene and abroad for his diverse talents. He is a well-known jazz pianist, singer and songwriter, and producer, and he effortlessly moves from bossa nova, música popular brasileira, jazz, samba, hip hop, and electronica.​ The young man defines what a chameleon is within the music industry.

A couple of months ago, he released “São Paulo Downtown”, which combines his varied approaches. The result is one dazzling number. Downtempo and trip-hop grooves swirl with bossa nova rhythms. There is even a touch of psychedelia fused into this incredibly cool, catchy, and radiant track, which must be heard in the company of friends. While the song was made for the hot summer months, it’s still perfect for an autumn beach party or a late-September gathering in the background. This tune is simply outstanding.

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San Mei – “Heaven” (Gold Coast, Australia)

RIYL: The Cardigans, The Kills, The Raveonettes

Two-and-a-half years ago, Emily Hamilton walked into our virtual world and amazed us with her single, “Revel”. Since then, we’ve been hooked to her project San Mei and her combination of anthemic music with provocative songwriting. We even mentioned at the time that she could be Australia’s biggest music export since Sia. Although she has yet to reach such lofty heights, there is no denying her immense talent and potential. It really is only a matter of time before she becomes a star. Her stardom should get a boost when her new EP, Heaven, is released November 2nd, especially if it is filled with songs like the title track.

“Heaven” recalls the urgent electro-rock of The Kills and before them The Cardigans. The song is simply electrifying with the searing guitar and propulsive rhythms. Hamilton’s vocals are reach another level, combining a soft lushness with the anxiety of a person desperately hanging on to a thread of hope. In this case, it is the fleeting wish that a love affair will last despite the pain and turmoil it brings. While it once felt like a dream, this love is now anything but a fairy tale. It’s time to get one’s head out of the clouds and find a way to move on before it’s too late.

But don’t wandering far from Hamilton’s bandwagon because the young Queenslander has what it takes to be a Triple J mainstay and one of 2019’s breakout stars.

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whenyoung – “Given Up” (London, England via Limerick, Ireland)

Alternate stream: Spotify

RIYL: The Cranberries, Sunflower Bean, Honey Lung

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from whenyoung, specifically two years ago when they released “Actor”. At the time, we were dazzled by the young trio’s maturity, creativity, and imagination. They weren’t creating typical pop music and singing about the same old things, but instead they were offering a refreshing approach to a genre that has become stagnant. Apparently, some bigwigs agree, namely those at Virgin EMI Records who signed them and will release their debut EP, Given Up, on November 9th. The record’s first single is what one would expect from a dynamic band on a big label.

“Given Up” is reminiscent of The Cranberries during the late ’90s and ’00s with its sizzling guitar-driven pop-rock approach. Front woman Aoife Power’s vocals, too, have a touch of the late Dolores O’Riordan. While the music sounds familiar, the band’s thoughtful storytelling remains. Instead of looking introspectively or inward for inspiration, they look around them and tell stories of those who are struggling and either suffocating or abusing themselves in order to get through life. Power sings:

“You’re not living, you’re just existing.
Sweet temptation, no use resisting.
Given up and you don’t know why you’re falling around ’til 6 in the morning.”

Whenyoung are Aoife Power (vocals/bass), Niall Burns (guitar), Andrew Flood (drums). A new generation has found their own The Cranberries to rally around (and so have we).

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Yumi Zouma – “Crush (It’s Late, Just Stay)” (Christchurch, New Zealand & New York City, USA)

RIYL: Men I Trust, Wet, Pr0files

If Saturday Night Fever should get the re-boot treatment, we hope that Christine Simpson, Sam Perry, Charlie Ryder, and Josh Burgess – the four masterminds behind Yumi Zouma – will get to score the soundtrack. The New Zealand band have an unmatched ability to fuse disco grooves with dreamy synth-pop and contemporary electro-pop. Every song of theirs, as such, is super groovy, sensual, and ravishing, and “Crush (It’s Late, Just Stay)” is no different.

For 3.5 minutes, the quartet leave all those in their wake in a daze. The song is a dazzler that should be spun within the glistening confines of Studio 54 and Danceteria. Everything about it – the sparkling synths, the head-bobbing rhythms, and stunning vocals – echo the late ’70s. Their tale, meanwhile, is timeless, as they speak of a love that will endure every imaginable obstacle and only intensifies with each late-night rendez-vous.

Speaking of which, such occasions are the best times to listen to Yumi Zouma’s music, especially this Friday, September 28th. On this date, their EP III will be released on Cascine, and it can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp. The record completes their trilogy of EPs that began all the way back to 2014.

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