The Matinee ’18 October 12th edition features some sweet tunes and others that make you run. You’ll understand what we mean by the latter as you stream each of the nine songs. Let’s kick things off with one of the world’s most eye-opening young talents.
Maggie Rogers – “Light On” (Easton, Maryland, USA)
RIYL: Natalie Imbruglia, Marika Hackman, Lucius
Is there anyone on the planet who has not discovered the exquisitely talented Maggie Rogers? The indie singer’s star continues to shine – and never more brightly than on her newest single.
“Light On” hints at the struggle she faced after being discovered in college. One song (“Alaska”) changed her life and brought instant fame. That unexpected thrust into the spotlight might break a weaker talent, but Rogers took it all in stride and leaned into music for refuge:
“Oh, I couldn’t stop it
Tried to figure it out
But everything kept moving
And the noise got too loud
With everyone around me saying
‘You should be so happy now’”
Indeed, she surely is happy now that her official full-length debut is complete. After releasing two albums as a student at New York University, Rogers was signed to a major label once “Alaska” went viral. That track is included on Heard It In a Past Life along with “Give a Little” and “Light On.” The LP arrives next January on Capitol Records. Pre-order it here.
Barrie – “Michigan” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Yumi Zouma, Wet, Beach House
Speaking of songs named after American states… back in May we wondered when Barrie would release a full album. Five months ago seems like an eternity, but our patience has been rewarded: today is the day! The indie dream-pop outfit deliver their new Singles LP today, and it includes this lush tune.
“Michigan” captures the flutter of summer crushes that leave you feeling lightheaded. The emotional rush that comes from feeling “dazed and confused, walking over just to talk to you” returns anew here. Your heartbeat may actually speed up when you hear this gem – that’s how effective Barrie are at leveling a charm offensive.
In fact, Barrie songs should include a bold disclaimer warning you of the guaranteed deep emotional impact that happens when you listen. Before the first note is sung, you’re a target. Once the woozy layers unfold, you’re a goner. This band has amazing aim and they simply do not miss. But with tunes this dreamy, you really don’t care. Keep this one on repeat well into winter. The cozy comfort of Barrie Lindsay’s vocals will keep you warm with memories of summer crushes long past.
The Dahmers – “Demon Night” (Kristianstad, Sweden)
RIYL: The Dwarves, The Mummies, The Cavemen
Halloween is less than three weeks away, so it’s time to start collecting songs for the spookiest and arguably funnest holiday of the season. Bringing these two adjectives together in one song are, not surprisingly, Sweden’s best horror punk-rock band, The Dahmers.
In an even 100 seconds, the outfit deliver one manic, entertaining, and eerie affair. The full-throttle approach is a massive head rush, where every element buzzes at 200 km/h. Take a moment, however, to listen to the lyrics because the storyline is exactly out of a suspenseful thriller, where the band is running as fast as they can to get away from the demons, zombies, ghouls, and all the creatures of the underworld chasing after them. Do they get away? We have no idea, but we’ll likely find out on October 26th. That is when their third album, Down In The Basement, unearths itself via Lövely Records. In the meantime, check out their previous material on Bandcamp if you’re looking for some deliciously frightening tunes.
Fanclub – “Reflection” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: Gabby’s World, Frankie Cosmos, Alvvays
Two months ago, we got our first taste of Austin dream-pop band Fanclub when they released the ’80s-inspired ear-worm, “Leaves”. That was an introduction and had us commenting that they could be the next great band from the indie music capital of the world. Obviously, it takes more than one song to be bestowed with such a compliment, but the trio of Leslie Crunkilton, Mike Lee, and Daniel Schmidt prove they are worthy with “Reflection”.
Whereas they took us to the days of Pretty in Pink on their previous song, they send us to the era of Singles, Reality Bites, and When Harry Met Sally. Yes, that is to say that in about 60 days the band have taken another step forward in their artistry. The song shimmers with the dreamgaze sounds of the nineties. Musically, it is bright, vibrant, and like a breath of fresh air, where you feel rejuvenated just hearing the shoegaze-y guitars and the heart-pounding rhythms. At the forefront of this nostalgic tune, however, is Crunkilton, who through her lush vocals find a glimmer of hope and beauty within the prevailing negativity that surrounds her. Kind of sounds like a ’90s movie, eh?
Fanclub’s debut EP will drop later this year or early in 2019 via Berlin-based label Friendly Reminder.
The Oceans – “We Really Miss You” (Copenhagen, Denmark)
RIYL: New Order, The Raveonettes, No Age
Music is one of the great healers known to humankind. It can lift our spirits during tough times, help us relax when we’re stressed, and stimulate us to take on the world. It can also help us overcome the most traumatic events and the loss of people we have loved for a very long time. The latter holds true for multi-instrumentalists Dan Joe and Linus Valdemar, who are behind Danish new wave / electro-rock band The Oceans.
A month ago, they released their debut EP, EP 1, and on it is “We Really Miss You”. The track recalls New Order with its bubbling bass line and searing guitar line while splashes of The Raveonettes’ electricity also buzz throughout. It’s an uplifting tune that will bring a smile to your face, but it’s underlying message is one of pain and memory. As the band explains:
“(‘We Really Miss You’) is an ode to a lifelong best friend, who sadly isn’t among us anymore. The song has helped to get through the sorrow, and it is written as if we were talking to her. The cheerful, upbeat melody and feeling of the song is written that way, so it’s easier to remember all the good times and conversations, when the song is being played. When we perform the song live, it’s always with a heavy heart and a kiss towards the sky.
So with the weekend here, spend it with those that you love.
Papercuts – “How To Quit Smoking” (San Francisco & Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Yo La Tengo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Nada Surf
There are numerous artists who go years, even decades, without receiving the notoriety they deserve. We’ve featured some of them because we, like so many others, simply did not know about them or did not pay close enough attention. Another individual we’ve ignore for far too long is Jason Quever and his project, Papercuts, who for eighteen years and five albums has kept alive the initial spirit and energy of indie rock, indie-pop, and college radio. We’re talking about the late-’80s to mid-’90s, of course, when bands like Yo La Tengo and Nada Surf occupied our headphones. Quever takes us back to these memorable times with his new single, “How To Quit Smoking”.
The track is guitar-pop perfection, as the hollow, jangly approach is immensely addictive while the stammering rhythms create the shoulder shimmying groove. Quever’s voice is light and intimate, as if he’s whispering a secret to us. This is exactly what he does, although he doesn’t offer any advice on how to break this unhealthy habit. Instead, he reveals the thoughts that run through his head as he tries to finally stop wasting money on the little toxins called cigarettes. He wryly sings:
“Just moving in the dark
Cigarettes on the dresser
Julianne is sleeping and it feels like forever
This will be the last one
You can have them if you want one
You can laugh all the way
Now you know
This is the last day”
RAT BOY – “Internationally Unknown” (Essex, England)
RIYL: The Sherlocks, Blossoms, Circa Waves
In a short two years, Jordan Cardy has become a sensation in the UK through his project RAT BOY. He’s been featured several times on BBC Radio, and his mixtapes continue to be downloaded en masse. The 22-year-old Essex artist is a star at home, though he has yet to break through overseas. Now that he’s signed with Tim Armstrong’s Hellcat Records, maybe he will become a household name overseas. In his usual clever, tongue-in-cheek approach, he makes light of his ambition and his no-name status abroad on his new single, “Internationally Unknown”.
Punk, rock, and hip-hop converge on this entertaining single made for spinning in the company of your friends. Although the song sounds a bit like a party anthem, Cardy’s lyrics reveal a young man still unsure about his future and how some “close” to him don’t care for who he is. For instance, he describes an instance when an ex-girlfriend leaves him for his brother, but he says this with humor. With this combination of wit, self-deprecating humor, and a catchy, accessible approach, Cardy should become a global star in no time.
Sun Breaks – “Moments” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Sparks meets Fitz & The Tantrums
Keeping with our anything-goes-on-the-weekend playlist theme, we offer this dazzling gem from emerging Seattle-based duo Sun Breaks. Their brand of experimental pop is exactly what you expect from one of the world’s hottest music scenes: it’s vibrant, a little quirky, and instantly addictive.
Sun Breaks members John Atkins and James van Leuven are veteran musicians who know how to create killer hooks. But what makes “Moments” stand out is having Seattle rap artist DoNormaal on vocals. This elevates the tune into genre-defying realms (good luck trying to identify any artist or group similarities here!) but keeps it well within the danceable realm.
Fans of fun and funky beats will love every second of this, even if its under-three minute length is a bit on the short side for our taste. (Hmm…maybe they have plans for guest artist remixes?). You may hear a bit of Sparks one moment or Fitz & The Tantrums the next, but one thing is certain: “Moments” is a perfect weekend soundtrack.
Vanity Fairy – “He Can Be Your Lady” (London, England)
RIYL: Kate Bush, Hot Chip, Bats for Lashes
What would happen is Kate Bush collaborated with Hot Chip for a song? The concoction would yield Daisy Capri, whose project Vanity Fairy is labeled as “post-disco”. We’re not exactly what this sub-genre is, but we can say that Capri’s newest single is dynamite.
Like strutting down Rodeo Drive on a balmy, summer evening in 1977, “He Can Be Your Lady” is a super sultry, super sexy tune. The synth work is hauntingly stunning while Capri’s vocals are like an enchanting siren that is calling us from the depth of a forbidden lake. The best best part of the song, though, is what Capri has to say. Instead of making this like another rendez-vous tune, she turns traditional gender roles on their heads and expresses how she’s not willing to accept being a man’s ideal woman. Instead, she’s a 21st Century woman who walks to the beat of her own drum and is doing just fine as a strong, independent individual.
Vanity Fairy has a few gigs coming up. Dates and information are here, and if you’re planning to attend put on your best disco outfit and have a great time.
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