We’re starting the week off with a doubleheader, and The Matinee ’18 October 15th – Part 1 kicks things off with some blustery tunes. There are hip-shakers, dazzlers, and plenty of “Wow!” moments. Speaking of which, the first song will leave you wondering what you just heard.
Don’t forget to visit Part 2 of The Matinee and hear six additional songs from around the globe. Just click here.
Big Bliss – “Duplicate” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Swervedriver, Ride, Editors
We often associate post-punk with dark, brooding soundscapes, and such songs take us into the depths of the dark abysses of our lives. For Brooklyn-based trio Big Bliss, though, they take post-punk into the light and make it soar. Their previous song, “Constants”, offered a hint of what they are capable of achieving. With “Duplicate”, they take the genre high into the skies and make it, well, blissful.
The chiming guitar, the steady percussion, and the pulsating bass line create the heavenly atmosphere, and about every 30 seconds there is an “OMG” or a breathtaking moment. It’s like waking up in the morning and seeing the one you love lying next to you. Despite the song’s beauty, front man Tim Rice’s lyrics reveal the struggles of the everyday person, who determines her self-worth against the possessions others have. As such, we live in denial and bury our true selves while people can only see our duplicates. It’s a fantastic piece of songwriting set within an incredibly rich and stunning sound.
Big Bliss are Wallace May (bass/vocals), Cory Race (drums), and Tim Race (guitar/vocals). The trio’s new album, Middle Distance, is out October 19th via Exit Stencil Recordings with pre-orders available on Bandcamp.
Dark Fair – “New Renaissance” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: A Place To Bury Strangers, Bikini Kill, No Joy
We often scour the Melbourne music scene for new songs because the Australian metropolis is one of the greatest music cities on the planet. We evidently, however, didn’t look hard enough because Ramona Moore (guitar/vocals) and Ellie Dunn (drums/vocals) flew under our radar with their project Dark Fair.
About two months ago, the duo released their debut album, Off Into My Head, which any fan of ’90s shoegaze grunge and garage-rock should spin. As an appetizer of what to expect, take a listen to “New Renaissance”, which is a super-charged, adrenaline rush.
The song is like Bikini Kill joining A Place To Bury Strangers on stage for one night and the two exchanging mind-blowing, sizzling guitar riffs and hammering percussion. And yet, it’s just these two women who are creating this ear-blistering mania. For just over three minutes, your attention is transfixed on the sonic fireworks, but also pay attention to what they have to say. They’re encouraging us to start a revolution, but not with our fists nor any firearm. Instead, we can use our words, our ideas, and our collective will to invoke long-term change, which is what Moore and Dunn are doing.
Fake Shark – “Smile” (Vancouver, Canada)
RIYL: Portugal. The Man, ELEL, Fitz and the Tantrums
We’ve called Fake Shark a go-to band when we need music to brighten our days and give us a much-needed lift. You could say the Vancouver outfit are the ideal party band because their songs will get people dancing and temporarily forgetting about their problems. Fittingly, their latest single is called, “Smile”, which describes the impact this groovy and upbeat number will have on everyone who hears it. Not everything, however, is what it seems.
Despite the fun and adrenaline-inducing melody and hip-shaking beats, the gents deliver a story that is the opposite. It’s date night with a new person, but one person is not having a good time. He’s down in the dumps and mumbles out loud that, “I bet you can’t make me smile”. It’s essentially a dare, except he’s daring himself to love again and not the other way around. Maybe after he listens this tune, he find a little hope.
The single is out now on Light Organ Records. Given that they’ve released a few songs this year, we are guessing that a new album is coming soon – hopefully very soon.
FIDLAR – “Can’t You See” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: BRONCHO, The Frights, Portugal. The Man
When FIDLAR released the explosive “Are You High” back in August and followed that up with the politically charged “Too Real”, we hoped they would announce their long-awaited third album soon. Finally, the quartet of Zac Carper, Max Kuehn, Elvis Kuehn, and Brandon Schwartzel unveiled their secret to the world. On January 25th, Mom + Pop Music will release Almost Free on January 25th, and it should be full surprises. Heck, “Too Real” revealed a band willing to wade into waters they never did before, and their latest track is another dip into uncharted waters.
“Can’t You See” is FIDLAR like you’ve never heard them before. Gone are the furious punk fireworks and in their place is a groovy, funky pop-rock number. It’s made more for cruising in your car than gathering in an underground venue and moshing around with perfect strangers. The changes also extend to guitarist Kuehn taking over the lead vocals on this track. With him at the helm, the LA-based outfit tackle the world of materialism and consumerism and how we define ourselves by the things we have.
Kagoule – “It’s Not My Day” (Nottingham, England)
RIYL: Bully, Slothrust, False Advertising
In another decade, Kagoule would be superstars. Such is the life of indie-rock and alternative-rock bands these days, who are treated like second-class citizens in this day of pop, electronic, and hip hop. There will, however, always be a place for bands who make not just gritty music but who also write meaningful, thoughtful songs to which every person can relate. Lucy Hatter (vocals/bass), Cal Burns (guitar/vocals), and Lawrence English (drums) have been doing both this entire decade, and “It’s Not My Day” evidences their multiple talents.
The song is a controlled burst of raw energy. It commences methodically, but a snarl rings through Burns’ grimy guitar. Hatter, meanwhile, sings, almost nonchalantly, about trying not to break down and lose her composure in front of people. It’s the struggle we all face when the shit hits the fan yet we try to act brave, strong, and unmoved. However, some days spiral out of control, and the gradual intensification of the instruments reflect the feelings build up inside us and tear us apart. It’s a clever and relevant tune from a band that continues to deliver timely songs.
Lunacre – “Red Sky” (Cambridge, England)
RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Leyendekker, Unknown Mortal Orchestra
The first time we heard from Lunacre was two years ago when Hollie described “Schtum” as Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” performed through a Black Mirror prism. It was an example of the ingenuity of the Cambridge quartet, and they’ve continued to grow and expand their experimental indie sound. Their latest tune is outstanding.
“Red Sky” rings with the awe-striking, cinematic flair and multi-genre brilliance of a young Grizzly Bear – from the vocals to the stuttering rhythms to the swirling melody. It is intoxicating at first, but it grows into a breathtaking display of cosmic fireworks. It’s like we’ve fallen through a worm hole and landed into a dimension full of dazzling wonderment. Front man Ben de Vries’ brooding lyrics, though, focus on an individual who is lost and uncertain and is trying to find his way through the confusion around him and within him. Trying to find a way to pierce through the clouds that keep him in his darkness. Simply memorable.
Lunacre’s sophomore EP, Pearl Tabloid, is expected early in 2019. Get to know this band!
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