The Matinee ’18 October 9th – Part 2 continues the alphabet approach to our daily playlist. The songs featured in this edition begin with the letters G to M. As usual, a bevy of countries are presented, including Canada, England, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, and Japan.
To hear Part 1 (letters A to D), click here.
Ghostly Kisses – “The City Holds My Heart” (Quebec City, Canada)
RIYL: Portishead, Milk and Bone, JFDR
What if the classically trained violinist Margaux Sauvé opted for the orchestra instead of pursuing her own solo career as Ghostly Kisses? She likely would be a celebrated musician, but the world would never get to hear her own stories nor appreciate her vast abilities that extend to composition, production, and other instruments, including the piano and synth. Fortunately for us, Sauvé has continued to pursue her individual craft, and her pursuit has led to her being one of Canada’s most exciting and interesting talents. Her debut EP, What You See, was breathtaking and filled with moments that one only imagined could exist in the movies. If you missed that record, she returns with another remarkable single.
“The City Holds My Heart” is another breathtakingly gorgeous song. It is stunningly cinematic, and it leaves you transfixed and suspended from the first to the very last note. It commences with a subdue melody of piano, percussion, and synth, and it then slowly escalates once the hallow guitar arrives. Sauvé’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, meanwhile, reveal the conflicting emotions that overwhelm her as she grapples with the difficult decision to stay or go. To seek new adventures and broaden her horizons or to be with the ones she loves and in the safety of the place she calls home. Her lyrics are poetic, and among the very moving lines are:
“The city holds my heart
Within walls of glass and steel.
Can’t you see I just can’t go?
These walls are all I know.”
Purchase this incredible song on Bandcamp. And while you’re there, make sure to pick up What You See. The song’s video, which features images taken while Sauvé was in Berlin, is also worth viewing. It’s below.
Holygram – “Signals” (Köln, Germany)
RIYL: The Jesus & Mary Chain, Joy Division, New Order
We all love a creative band name, but we also love it when a band’s name encapsulates the images and emotions their songs evoke. Köln / Cologne-based Holygram are one such group. With their fusion of krautrock, post-punk, and new wave, the quintet are a reflection of the late ’70s West Germany when these genres first bubbled in the underground venues of Berlin and Hamburg before bursting to the mainstream. Such music made you feel like you were in living in another dimension, and you could escape the chaos and the dark prisons of the Cold War. Reviving that sense of exhilarating dread is “Signals”.
“Signals” is simply awesome. For over five minutes, Holygram take us on an intoxicating, spine-tingling ride that is filled with gloom, mystery, and ecstasy. And all you can do is close your eyes and dance within the mysterious soundscape. The harrowing bass line is the engine that drives the track while the dissonant, chiming guitar pushes it forward from the rear. In between lies a stuttering percussion, awe-inspiring synths, and a voice that sounds like it is coming from the depths of the blackness before us. What lies ahead is to be determined. It is real or is simply a holygram?
The band’s debut album, Modern Cults, is out November 9th via Cleopatra Records.
HUSSY – “Slayer” (London, England)
RIYL: Hop Along, Waxahatchee, P.S. Eliot
Katie and Allison Crutchfield. Mitski. Sadie Dupuis. Leah Wellbaum. These are just some of the best female singer-songwriters in the business, and they have the ability to turn life’s frenzied events into remarkable music. Across the pond, a young woman from London seeks to join this exclusive club, and her name is Sophie Nicole Ellison, who goes by the stage name Hussy.
Last Friday, she released a split single. One is “Playtime” and the other is “Slayer”, which she calls avante-garde dream-pop. For us, it’s more like the dreamy yet angsty grunge-pop we grew up with in the late ’90s and which Veruca Salt would occasionally dabble in. Either way, the song is a glimpse into Ellison’s talent and a peek into the future of indie rock.
As her grizzled guitar hobbles along, Ellison’s stunningly ghostly vocals fill the air. She repeats, “Don’t quite get it right”, to describe the stagnation of her life and the uncertainty that has taken residency in her head. It’s a dazzling number from a young talent to watch. If the track itself is not enough to impress you, then realizing that she played all the instruments and produced the track herself just might.
LITE – “Blizzard” (Tokyo, Japan)
RIYL: Yonatan Gat, Tera Melos, Public Service Broadcasting
People need to pay more attention to the music that is coming out of Japan because it is home to some of the most innovative and refreshing bands on the planet. Kikagaku Moyo, for instance, is redefining psychedelic rock. Otoboke Beaver are reinventing punk-rock into a colorful, comic-book like palette. Meanwhile, LITE are fusing multiple genres into a kaleidoscope of mesmerizing sound. Their latest single, “Blizzard”, is just the latest example of the quartet’s limitless imagination and talent.
Funk, Afrobeat, post-rock, and neo-psychedelia collide into one delirious, multi-sensory escapade. At one point, the track creates the sensation we are at beach party on the shores of Senegal, nodding our heads to the stupendous bass line that throbs. Then we are suddenly in the basement of one of New York’s storied music clubs, as the guitars and synths stream in. Have David Byrne or Yonatan Gat suddenly shown up? We are not here for long, however, as the Tokyo outfit gradually take us from the underground and into the dark reaches of space. We are drifting away from home and, for many, drifting into the unknowns of LITE’s universe. You don’t, though, wish to go back because this territory is full of dazzling wonder.
The band’s 7″ single is available digitally right now on Topshelf Records. Physical copies will be released November 9th.
LITE are Noboyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar/synth), Jun Izawa (bass), and Akinori Yamamoto (drums).
Mozes and the Firstborn – “If I” (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
RIYL: Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Pavement, Guided By Voices
Dutch outfit Mozes and the Firstborn are unpredictable and that’s a complement. Melle Dielesen (vocals/guitar), Ernst-Jan van Doorn (guitar), Corto Blommaert (bass), and Raven Aartsen (drums) dip their toes into the numerous sub-genres of pop and rock. They can create boisterous, uplifting pop-rock anthems to intense, hair-raising rockers. Whatever approach they opt, they always write dynamic and relatable stories. Their last single, for instance, “Hello”, was about the small successes experienced by Dielesen’s sister. This time around, the quintet look introspectively on “If I”.
The song is slow-building, plodding face-melter. It commences with a shriek and growl before steadying into a melodic, gritty, rock groove. During this point, Dielesen reflects back on an experience or an individual he wants no one to know about. He first ask, “Can you save me now? Can you shut your mouth? You don’t know my name. Let us play the game.” As the song progresses to its awesome concluding, he wonders aloud, “I should have let you down by the ocean. I’m so afraid to live.” While this song will make you wonder about the skeletons that exist in your closet, it will also make you feel alive and renewed. It’ll make you believe that rock music can still move you in ways that no other genre can.
Mozes and the Firstborn’s new album, Dadcore, is out January 19th. It will be their first with the excellent Burger Records.
Murmurmur – “Marmalade” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: POND, Tame Impala, Temples
There are no shortage of outstanding psychedelic bands in Australia, and we can officially say that Murmurmur is the next in line. After releasing their jarring debut single, “Cable Car”, in June, they head for the coastline with “Marmalade”.
Like a young Tame Impala or POND, the collective of Will Fletcher, Alex Crosara, Jack Davies, Luke Haaja, and Fin Bradle deliver one scintillating number that is perfect for the oncoming summer Down Under. Like so many great psych-pop tunes, the song at times feels like it is levitating with the smooth rhythms and groovy melody. But then it bursts like a Guy Fawkes’ fireworks display, as riveting guitar riffs explode in the air. The to-and-fro approach mimics Fletcher’s tongue-in-cheek tale about a man in love and the roller coaster of emotions he experiences.
And similar feelings may be on tap when the band’s self-titled, debut EP drops October 19th on Inertia Music. Get to know this band quickly because, who knows, they could very well experience a Tame Impala-like explosion.
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