The Matinee ’18 October 11th is bookend by two dizzying songs that prepare you for the arrival of Friday. Between them are some outrageous numbers, powerful ballads, and theatrical affairs. Without further ado, let’s get started with two songs that belong in any post-summer playlist.
Anemone – “Sunshine (Back To The Start)” (Montréal, Canada)
RIYL: Melody’s Echo Chamber, The Holydrug Couple, Stereolab
The days are getting darker and the temperatures are dropping. Heck, it snowed in Alberta on the first day of autumn, and the white stuff continues to fall! There is, however, never a bad time to spin a song that warms your skin and makes you believe it’s swimwear season. If you’re in need for such a tune, then spin “Sunshine (Back To The Start)”, which is the new song from the Chloé Soldevila-led Anemone.
Summer bliss is this track, which is the perfect combination of psychedelic pop and disco. Soldevila’s voice glimmers like a disco ball while the sizzling keys, rhythms, and crystalline guitar are the colors that shine around her. We’re left thinking we’re back on the beach and watching the world float on by. Joy, relaxation, and rejuvenation fill you, which are the things Soldevila seeks in her words.
“I wish you never meant to hurt me, time and time again”, she sings. The sweetness in her voice masks her pain, and the delirium that ensues with the jangly guitar line at the end transports us to better times. Such days are coming for Anemone, whose debut album, Beat My Distance, is out February 15th on Luminelle Recordings. Pre-orders are available on Bandcamp.
In addition to Soldevila (vocals/keys), Anemone includes Miles Dupire-Gagnon (drums), Gabriel Lambert (guitar), Samuel Gemme (bass), and Zachary Irving (guitar).
Lightfoils – “Summer Nights” (Chicago, USA)
RIYL: Lush, No Joy, Slowdive
For some, summer has long passed while those in the Southern Hemisphere await their chance to a long holiday and frolicking in the warm waters. Regardless of where you live, the hot, steamy months provide opportunities to re-energize and create new memories. Every such occasion requires a soundtrack, and at the top of it should be “Summer Nights”, the new single from Chicago shoegaze stalwarts Lightfoils.
There is shoegaze that blazes and shoegaze that dazzles, and “Summer Nights” is the latter. It’s a song that leaves you in a haze, as Jane Zabeth Nicholson’s ethereal vocals float through the classic chiming tones of the dueling guitars of Neil Yodnane and Zeeshan Abbasi and the stuttering rhythms of bassist Cory Osborne, and drummer John Rungger. For nearly four minutes, they send us back to the ’80s and ’90s when bands like Lush and Slowdive constantly left us gasping for an extra breath as we succumbed to their electrical enchantment and reminisced about what was and what could have been.
The song is taken from Lightfoils’ forthcoming, new album, Chambers. It drops November 16th, and it can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp.
Miya Folick – “Thingamajig” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, Soccer Mommy, Gordi
Miya Folick is an incredible talent, who has repeatedly bowled us over since she released “Talking With Strangers” in the spring of 2015. She’s made us dance and party hard, reflect on our place in the world, attempt to understand the struggles of others, and reminisce about the times we were at our most vulnerable. She has moved us in ways very few artists have, which explains why she has been featured 28 times on our site – an all-time record. Come October 26th, when her debut album, Premonitions, is released on Interscope Records, the rest of the world will fully comprehend Folick’s power. Offering a taste of what she’s capable of, the LA-based singer-songwriter shares “Thingamajig”.
“Thingamajig” is a seismic number. It’s not a blazing rocker nor an electronic banger. Instead, it’s a solemn, melancholic ballad that will grabs your heart and crushes it with Folick’s gorgeous vocals and power lyrics. As her voice loops in the background and the tingle of soft keys hum in the background, she makes an apology for a grave mistake she made.
“If you want to be angry, I don’t mind.
I’ll left you go
If you want to be angry,
I’ll leave you alone.
I…. I’m sorry.
I….I know I am wrong.
So take it all, I want to be out of control.”
Jump quickly on to Folick’s bandwagon because the young woman has superstar potential.
Oi Va Voi – “Searchlight” (London, England & Tel Aviv, Israel)
RIYL: San Fermin, Thus Owls, Anna Calvi
If you need a reason to understand why Oi Va Voi are international heavyweights, imagine a collective that is consistently able to turn pop music theatrical and the theatre into a buzzing dance club. They brilliantly merge the exclusivity of a play or opera with the inclusivity of the radio, and they achieve this with spectacular effect on “Searchlight”.
Their newest single is a thing of mysterious beauty. It booms with boisterous horns, spine-tingling strings, chilling guitars, stuttering percussion, and a bass line that would make Peter Hook smile. Through this cornucopia of majestic sound lingers Zohara’s titillating vocals. They soothe at first before rising like a siren in the night, and her approach mirrors her storyline of a woman trying to understand where she is and who she is. She is seeking to find “the daylight” within the darkness that consumes her. We don’t know if she escapes, but this mystery is another reason to embrace a band who, like a great storyteller or director, allows us to determine the ending. There is one conclusion you can make – Oi Va Voi are an incomparable tour de force in today’s music world.
The single is out on V2 Records Benelux. The band consists of founding members Josh Breslaw (drums) and Steve Levi (clarinet/vocals) plus Dave Orchant (trumpet), Michael Vinaver (guitars), Anna Phoebe (violin), and Israeli vocalist Zohara (who has enchanted us in the past).
Pavo Pavo – “Mystery Hour” (Los Angeles via Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: School of Seven Bells, Beach House, Tame Impala
Wait for it. Wait about 80 seconds into Pavo Pavo‘s new single, “Mystery Hour”, and you will be rewarded with one of the greatest musical moments of 2018. This isn’t hyperbole, but the first crescendo is awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping.
Like the great School of Seven Bells collaborating with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, “Mystery Hour” is an engrossing, widescreen number that beautifully merges the neon glitter of ’70s psychedelia with the synth-driven indie rock of today. The combination yields a piece of art that one would expect to see and hear on the big screen, and yet the project created by Eliza Bagg and Oliver Hill have turned sound into a stream of vibrant colors. The duo’s vocals are stunning, and the instrumentation – particularly the soaring synths and crystalline guitar – are spellbinding. Despite the dream-like approach, the pair’s lyrics are much more somber, as they reflect back on six years together and the new paths they will now follow. Fortunately, though, they remain partners when it comes to their art, and it won’t be long before we get to hear what new inventions they’ve concocted.
Joining Eliza Bagg (vocals/strings/synth) and Oliver Hill (vocals/guitar/keys) on Pavo Pavo are Ian Romer (bass), Pete Coccoma (guitar), and Noah Hecht (drums). Their new album, Mystery Hour, hits store shelves and online platforms on January 25th via Bella Union with pre-orders here.
Psychic Love – “Go Away Green” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Jesse Jo Stark, Pearl Charles, Holly Miranda
Two years ago, Laura Peters started creating buzz within the LA music scene with her project Psychic Love. Like other indie artists living in the area, she wonderfully brought a modernity to the iconic ’60s and ’70s Laurel Canyon sound, which she achieves once again on “Go Away Green”.
If this is the first time you’ve heard of Peters, then this tune is the perfect entry point. Don’t allow the spatial, NASA-like intro fool you – this tune is a dazzler. It’s like watching fireworks erupt on New Year’s Eve, where the nighttime sky bursts with explosive noise (represented by the grizzled, grunge-y guitars) and is illuminated with a rainbow of colors and a chorus of “oohs” and “aahs” (displayed by the dream-pop approach that filters throughout the track). Like this celebrated day, the song aims to get people to come out of their shells and display the beauty for all to see
“It’s hard all alone.
I see you stand on your own
Just like me.
Open your eyes
And let your love shine
Down on me.”
If you’re in the LA area, visit Vega’s Meat Market, which is an underground music run that Peters runs out of a converted Echo Park storefront. She is also a co-founder of Play Like A Girl, which is a music collective that features female and female-identifying bands/artists.
SLIFT – “Something In The Mist” (Toulouse, France)
RIYL: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, POND, Thee Oh Sees
We’ve numerously called them France’s version of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard because their psychedelic rock is beyond whack. With the release of their excellent debut album, La Planète Inexplorée, on Howlin Banana Records less than two weeks ago, SLIFT have earned this praise. If you missed the LP’s release or have no idea who Jean F., Canek F., and Rémi F. are, then let “Something In The Mist” be your introduction.
A ferocious wall of noise immediately hurtles in our direction. Whirling guitars, pummeling rhythms, and otherworldly vocals fire in all directions, and we’re left banging our heads. There is a slight reprieve at the bridge, but then the trio return to their scintillating ways. Boy do they ever with an ending that is equivalent to a fleet of rockets kicking into overdrive as they exit Earth’s atmosphere.
Sundara Karma – “Illusions” (Reading, England)
Alternative stream: YouTube
RIYL: Arctic Monkeys (2018 version), Sunflower Bean, Wolf Alice
Since Sundara Karma‘s formation, they’ve been synonymous with big pop-rock anthems, which filled their stupendous debut album, Youth Is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect. Their big, bold sound often disguised their thoughtful and well-crafted songwriting, and maybe people constantly overlooking this important skill explains the new turn the band takes with their surprise new single, “Illusions”.
Reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys’ surprise turn to retro rock earlier this year, the quartet of Oscar Pollock, Haydn Evans, Ally Baty, and Dom Cordell dial down the riffs and heavy rhythms for a groovy, intimate, and psych-infused soulful approach. Instead of a busting this out in a club, this song is made for a slow drive down main street or a quiet night with friends. Heads will slowly nod to the rapturous melody while eyes will shut to hear Pollock’s lyrics. His words explain how “disconnected from who we are” and how we need illusions to run our lives. It’s a clever piece of songwriting, as the world around is already quite surreal and we’re only adding to it.
The single is out on RCA Records, and this might signal the arrival of a new album in 2019. We can only hope.
Youth Sector – “Automatic” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: Talking Heads, Phoenix, OK Go
It might only be Thursday, but it’s not too early to get excited for the weekend or to spin a tune that will get you spontaneously gyrating. So we end The Matinee with a track that is the perfect segué to Friday. With this, limber up your limbs, stand up, and get grooving to “Automatic”, the latest single from relative newcomers Youth Sector.
Like the Talking Heads and Phoenix on a collision course, “Automatic” is a slice of art-rock perfection. It is quirky yet accessible. It is accessible yet fresh and ingenuous. At times, you’ll find yourself doing the robot, particularly during the rhythm-driven sections. Other times, you’ll be bopping and dancing like it’s the last night on Earth, especially when the song reaches its infectiously poppy portions. There are at least four different transitions in the track, which demonstrates the brilliance and inventiveness of this young band. Forget about being one note. Nick Tompkins, Josh Doyle, Brad Moore, and Karl Tomlin are a kaleidoscope of wondrous sound, and this song offers a glimpse of an extremely promising future.
We should add that their ingenuity extends to their clever songwriting. The band craft a tale about an individual who prefers the company of the artificial, and he constantly points to humanity’s imperfections. This song may be about one person, but it also reflects the growing isolation between people in today’s technology-dependent world. But as long as Youth Sector make such rambunctious music, we’ll have reasons to get outside and join others in a dance party.
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