The Matinee ’18 September 28th gets you ready for the weekend with a bevy of new music singles. Some will blow your eardrums out and others will get you moving. A few will take you back to the ’80, and at least one will leave you astonished by its innovation. So kick up your feet, turn up the volume, and enjoy these nine awesome tunes.
Calva Louise – “I Heard A Cry” (London, England)
RIYL: Estrons, The Joy Formidable, False Advertising
We’ve often said that the UK is still the place to find awesome rock bands, and it helps having great labels and radio stations who still believe in guitar-driven music. Without them, we wouldn’t be introduced to awesome outfits like Estrons, INHEAVEN, False Heads, or Calva Louise. Comprised of front woman and guitarist Jess Allanic, bassist Alizon Taho, and drummer Ben Parker, the trio first blew us away with their single, “Outrageous”. It made us wonder why we had not heard of them before, but better late than never, right? Anyway, their newest song has us believing this band is well on its way to joining The Joy Formidable as one of the region’s most celebrated groups.
“I Heard A Cry” is an explosive firecracker of scuzzy punk-infused rock. Everything is delivered at 100 mph with the rhythms going into maximum overdrive and the guitar revving like a V-12 engine. Its loud, anthemic, and energizing, and it will induce spontaneous bouncing, dancing, and possibly moshing. Allanic’s booming voice also contributes to the brazen attitude, vocally and lyrically. “And yet you say let’s keep pretending. Can’t you see the damage is done?”, she pointed asks to all those who want to reinvent the truth and bombard people with fake stories. At the same time, she challenges us all to seek the truth instead of believing everything we hear and read. It’s a timely message, and one that should be a wake-up call to all of us.
The single is out now on Modern Sky Records. No details yet on when a full-length album is coming, but we’re hoping it’s around the corner.
CHILDCARE – “Man Down (King Kong Shake)” (London, England)
RIYL: The Dig, Marsicans, The Wombats
CHILDCARE has a brand new track that is infectious and thought provoking. “Man Down (King Kong Shake)” discusses masculinity and also the reality of stepping down in some cases from that masculinity. CHILDCARE have been providing infectious guitar pop and the main difference with this track is the simplistic drumbeat.
The harmonies in the track are trademark CHILDCARE and the vocals take the forefront with Mr. Cares’ signature singing style as well as the soothing background chorus. CHILDCARE continue to provide heartfelt glossy guitar pop that will have the listener singing along in no time.
Singer Ed Cares shares it’s “a rallying cry to my fellow man; be vulnerable, be open, be sensitive and don’t be afraid to moisturise your knuckles if they get dry.”
CHILDCARE are Ed Cares (vocals), Emma Topolski (bass), Rich Legate (guitar), and Glyn Daniels (drums). Their long-awaited, debut album is expected early in 2019.
ELEL – “Tequila” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: Portugal. The Man, Hippo Campus, Knox Hamilton
ELEL has just released the super fun track “Tequila”. It’s got a nice Spanish flair to it and is the perfect one to spin at 3pm on Friday when you can’t wait to head out to happy hour. Their sound on this track is massive and can easily be envisioned as a future karaoke favorite.
It’s been good to hear more new music from ELEL, they were fairly quiet after their 2016 debut release Geode. 2018 has been strong so far with new singles released throughout the year. Their sound is expanding and providing even bigger pop tunes with each new release. If “Tequila” doesn’t want to make you attempt to salsa dance, you might need a little more fun in your life.
ELEL are Ben Elkins, Zach Tichenor, Tim Cook, and Fredrick Weathersby.
Francis – “Wild Heart” (Falun, Sweden)
RIYL: Band of Gold, Amason, Hater
Since the first time we heard Francis – which was October 30, 2015 – we’ve been forever lost in their dreamy wonderland. We learned quickly that few bands can match their ability to create enrapturing, melancholic soundscapes. Their fabulous 2016 EP, Marathon, was the culmination of a decade-plus transformation that saw the band go from a punk-oriented outfit to one that focused on creating dreamy atmospheres. They have not looked back since, and their dream-pop is a thing of ethereal beauty, which also describes “Wild Heart”.
“Wild Heart” is one of those unique songs that stops you dead in your tracks. It paralyzes you from head to toe, and you’re left in a gaze as the chiming guitar, the titillating rhythms, and shimmering keys populate every space in the air. Front woman Petra Mases’ lush vocals take the track to heavenly heights, as every word she sings drifts effortlessly through the breathtaking orchestration. Her voice aches, as she recounts her personal struggles that exist in her heart and mind. It’s a pain that we all have experienced and with which we can relate.
“The feel of the sun I can’t reach it again
And I’m afraid I’m losing
The wild in my heart
No, I can’t shake it off
No matter how.”
Francis are Petra Mases (lead vocals), Jerker Krumlinde (guitar), Paulina Mellkvist (bass), Oskar Bond (keys). and Petter Nygårdh (drums). The single is out now on Strangers Candy. Hopefully an album is coming in 2019.
James Supercave – “Come Alone” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Alt-J, Slum Sociable, Portugal. The Man
It’s Friday night, which for some is a time for some quiet, intimate moments. To spice things up, one of LA’s most underrated bands, James Supercave, share a super-groovy and sensual tune with “Come Alone”.
Chameleons of their craft, “Come Alone” sees Joaquin Pastor, Patrick Logothetti, and Andrés Villalobos enter into psychedelic-pop territory, which represents new territory for the trio. But instead of diving into the waters already occupied by Tame Impala and their followers, the trio dive into the deep seas of sultry, ’80s fare. Trippy keys, a spine-tingling guitar, a seductive bass line, and a neon-lit melody envelop around Pastor’s multi-octave vocals. He calmly addresses a lover and asks her to stop pretending and just “come as you are”. There’s no need to “be a superstar” on this night, which is meant for the two to peel off their clothes and unveil their true selves to one another.
The trio’s new EP is expected some time in 2019. We cannot wait for it.
Oscar – “Runaway” (London, England)
RIYL: Howard Jones meets The Magnetic Fields
The latest from British pop artist Oscar will have you contemplating a weekend sojourn someplace fun – and possibly not returning.
The infectious energy of “Runaway” is classic Oscar, which seems odd to say since he’s still a new-ish artist. But since we first fell for his deep, rich vocals in 2015 (when we shared “Stay”), it’s easy to identify his style. Equal parts old-school pop that echoes Elton John and modern indie synths that call to mind The Magnetic Fields, Oscar makes delicious pop music for teens and their Gen-X parents alike.
“Runaway” has buoyant melodies guaranteed to elicit movement on your part. The shimmering synths are pure New Wave-inspired pop, which is all the more meaningful when you realize Oscar was born well after that decade’s colorful glam faded. Oscar’s vocals (paired here with Tiffi) sound as alluring as ever, proving he is one of the few contenders worth of someday replacing Elton John on the pop royalty throne. So run away from your responsibilities this weekend, if only for a few hours. Indulge in the pure pop sweetness your inner teenager craves. You won’t regret it.
Rose Droll – “Hush” (San Francisco, USA)
RIYL: Kate Tempest, Neneh Cherry, Alice Ivy
You have to raise an eyebrow when a modern indie song kicks off with a snippet of the children’s hymn “This Little Light of Mine.” It’s not normal. But normal isn’t what Rose Droll is going for on her debut single, “Hush.” It isn’t normal. It’s phenomenal, in a nearly impossible to categorize way.
“Hush” treads a narrow tightrope between Kate Tempest’s rap and Maggie Rogers’ inventive pop expressionist style. Using elements of both yet fused with an orchestra’s worth of instruments (which she plays herself – guitar, bass, piano, cello, drums, and glockenspiel), Rose Droll has a fresh, highly addictive sound. In a sea of generic artists, Rose Droll shines as a beacon of originality.
“Hush” surprises and delights throughout its nearly four minutes, so dive into this tune. If you somehow missed her 2017 debut EP, Photograph, it’s not too late to hop on board her bandwagon. The arrival of her debut full-length in November should give the San Francisco-based artist a slew of new fans.
Spirit Award – “Dark Night Of The Soul” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Elephant Stone, Psychic Ills, The Black Angels
Tonight, forget the hallucinogenics or any other stimulant that may do harm to your body. If you’re looking to escape momentarily, all you have to do is turn up the volume on “Dark Night Of The Soul”.
The newest track from Seattle trio Spirit Award is a moody, neo-psychedelic experience. It’s a little hazy, a little creepy, and a slow dive down the rabbit hole. The trembling bass line starts the journey. Its slow pulses send goosebumps down your spine. When the patient percussion arrives, the song gets bleaker. The drama builds as the crystalline guitar lights up the dark vortex and when Daniel Lyon’s dissonant vocals burst from the depths. His words are frighteningly real as he describes the infestation growing within us. The shadow that consumes our minds causes us to believe that nothing will change and we are forever doomed. Simply brilliant.
Spirit Award’s new album, Muted Crowd, is out October 19th via Union Zero. It arrives just in time for Halloween.
Tunde Olaniran – “Mountain” (Flint, MI, USA)
RIYL: Frank Ocean, The Weekend
“Don’t stop when you’ve gone halfway up the mountain.”
Those sage words of wisdom come from Tunde Olaniran on his “Mountain”single. This fast-rising star from Flint, Michigan infuses his craft with jagged riffs and equally piercing lyrics. He’s rapping on “Mountain” in a way that almost disguises the purity of his vocals. This, of course, is part of his attraction: he only reveals enough of his essence to keep you intrigued, knowing you will be hooked within seconds. As a singer, he knows how to croon. As a producer, he knows how to create an irresistible package.
So what makes Olaniran shine in a genre dominated by the Frank Oceans and Donald Glovers of this business? For starters, Olaniran is more than an artist. He is an advocate for LGBTQ rights and works for Planned Parentood. He uses his voice not just in creative ways of musical expression; he also speaks up for those without a voice. Whether he speaks or sings, the output is a thundering rumble of power and persuasion.
Keep “Mountain” queued up this weekend, and add it to your motivational playlists. We all need a voice in our ear reminding us to be strong and fight even when our strength has waned. That voice is Tunde Olaniran.
Olaniran’s new album, Stranger, drops next Friday, October 5th, on his own Magic Wheel imprint. Pre-orders are at iTunes.
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