The Matinee ’18 October 19th edition is truly a global one. The mini-playlist is filled with songs that offer a nod to summer, echo of the past, critique the present, and hint at the arrival of Halloween. Enjoy this treasure trove of new music, providing the perfect treats as the weekend arrives.
Baywaves – “Over Time” (Madrid, Spain)
RIYL: Masasolo, Tame Impala, Men I Trust
We’ve called Baywaves “Spain’s answer to Tame Impala and Beach Fossils” for their surf-infused psychedelic pop. Like their more famous brethren, the young lads from Madrid have the Midas touch when it comes to making sun-kissed music. Even when they’re on tour or mastering the ins and outs of SXSW and Austin, they find a way to make the experience enjoyable. And enjoyable is one word to describe “Over Time”, the outfit’s latest single.
Seventies’ psychedelic grooves meet sultry disco vibes on this shimmering track. The bright bursts of the guitar and synths, the delicate throbs of the bass, and the stuttering percussion create a soundscape that beckons to the first day of summer. The atmosphere is one full of warmth and radiance and of memories of driving along the coastline as the cool, ocean breeze blows through your hair. In such moments, all you can do is gently smile and savor the views. It might be October right now, but for a few minutes Baywaves make it seems we’re back in July.
If you’re a lyric fanatic, carefully listen to the words because the group share a tale about a person being lost and confused. So while the track may sound like a blissful one, it is also the prison in which the protagonist lives.
The single is out now on Heist or Hit. Here’s hoping Fran Bassi (bass), Marco Lobera (drums), Carlos Sevilla (synths/guitar), and David Alonso (vocals) will release a new album in 2019.
BILK – “Next Weekend” (Essex, England)
RIYL: RATBOY, Shame, Devlin
After one song, BILK had us comparing them to The Clash and Nirvana. On their second track, we said they would soon be favorites of the UK underground scene. Well, we can forget about that last comment. Instead, Sol Abrahams (vocals/guitar), Luke Hare (bass), and James Holland (drums) will soon to be occupying plenty of airtime on BBC Radio’s main stations because their third single, “Next Weekend”, proves they are on the path to stardom.
Like their first two songs, “Next Weekend” is an absolute riot. It is frenetic, feisty, energetic, and anthemic, making it the perfect track to mosh to with your friends and strangers alike. Or if you prefer, you can frantically dance around and wave your hair in all directions.
A fiery guitar line and hammering percussion explode out of the gate while the pulsating bass line holds everything together. Abrahams’ assertive vocals rapid fire out lyrics a la RATBOY. His words, though, are those of the experiences of working class youth, who try to get through the weekday grind and eagerly anticipate the arrival of 5 PM on Friday. The weekend is their time to lose their shit and escape the maddeningly confines of school walls, the prison-like factories, or the monotony of their daily lives. While they speak from their own experiences, we all can relate to these feelings of confinement, which is another reason why the trio will become long-time staples of the UK music scene.
Chez Ali – “Adore You” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Baxter Drury, Django Django, pizzagirl
We’re heading back to the ’60s and ’70s again, but this time we’re going on a bit of an adventure. Or maybe it’s an investigation that involves Maxwell Smart or possibly Jonathan Steed and Emma Peel. That’s the vibe created from Chez Ali‘s retro-inspired new single, “Adore You”.
The man behind Chez Alli is Elias Mahfoud, who is a member of Swedish sensations Steve Buscemi’s Dreamy Eyes. Unlike his main project’s focus on widescreen, blissful ballads, Mahfoud goes down the road of quirky yet upbeat alt-pop that simultaneously makes you want to dance yet constantly look over your shoulder to see if anyone is watching. These feelings fill the sumptuously addictive “Adore You”.
The jangly guitar line and the jazzy rhythms create the sweltering, technicolor groove, and Mahfoud’s vocals, too, seem to be from the past. His storyline is drenched in memory, as he cannot shake the image of a woman he recently met. “Will I ever see your face again?”, he ponders to himself. As he says this, an image of a man wondering the dimly-lit streets of Stockholm enters your mind, and he peers into every open window, peeks around each corners, and stares at every woman who walks nearby. Will he find her and solve this mystery racking his brain?
Dermot Kennedy – “Power Over Me” (Dublin, Ireland)
RIYL: Hozier meets Kaleo
Get to know the name Dermot Kennedy: this future legend may be early in his career, but “Power Over Me”is the work of a superstar. The Dublin-based singer-songwriter has a quantifiable gift: his 2016 debut single “After Rain” now has more than 40 million plays on Spotify. He has wowed fans and critics alike at festivals worldwide and even recorded an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. But it’s the one-two punch of powerhouse vocals and intimate lyrics on this tune that will help solidify his global fame.
With the soulful delivery of Hozier, the bluesy, folk-rock grit of Kaleo, and the sizzle of hip-hop, Dermot Kennedy is pure fire. His vivid lyrical imagery is hard to resist:
“Remember the lake in the moonlight?
Remember you shivered and shone?
I’ll never forget what you looked like
On that night”
This tune is out now on iTunes via Interscope Records. The follow-up to his 2017 EP, Doves & Ravens, is expected next year.
Gabby’s World – “I Get You” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Mitski, Camera Obscura, Allo Darlin’
There is not much more we can say about Gabrielle Smith and the various incarnations of her solo project, which is now called Gabby’s World. She’s one of NYC’s great, young singer-songwriters and a prolific one at that. Maybe the best way to describe her music is, as Rich said when reviewing OK, to compare it to “a warm blanket on a cold day, bringing a warmth and comfort to the listener.” She once again embraces us with “I Get You”.
The bubbly, indie-pop approach is reminiscent of the music of Allo Darlin’ and Camera Obscura, which immediately brings a smile to your face. As the song builds to its subtly climatic points, a feeling of bliss envelops you and suddenly you feel all warm and tingling inside. This is exactly what Smith is trying to achieve, as she describes her and a friend’s attempt to find time and places of serenity.
“I grab your hand, hold onto it like a rein
We travel miles or turn onto Avenue 8
Our world is violent, overgrown with fear and hatred
You can try to carve your own space
for somebody louder to just take anyway.”
In this song, you have found your own little peaceful place to escape the mania that surrounds you. You have found someone who will hold your hand and lead you to places that momentarily provide relief.
The Goon Sax – “We Can’t Win” (Brisbane, Australia)
RIYL: Middle Kids, Ezra Furman, The Parrots
The Goon Sax do what few bands can: they make you feel very, very jealous of how much they’ve achieved since they are barely adults. But at the same time, they also make you feel very, very hopeful about the future of music. They excel at balance. But they’re even better at crafting perfect pop tunes. “We Can’t Win” is proof of the exact opposite: these kids can win, and with this gem they have scored an instant hit.
Now we mean no disrespect when we call them kids. Their youth boggles our mind, as their 2016 debut album (Up To Anything) certainly sounded more like the product of a band twice their age. When most high school-aged students make music, it’s usually garage noise because the band knows maybe three chords, tops. The Goon Sax are, in comparison, bona fide indie stars in the making. They are laying a solid foundation for their (hopefully) lifelong career with winning hooks like these.
Immerse yourself in this tune from their current album, We’re Not Talking. Crank it and let The Goon Squad renew your faith in the future.
We’re Not Talking is out now on Chapter Music.
The Goon Sax are: James Harrison (guitar, bass, keys, vocals), Riley Jones (vocals, percussion), and Louis (guitar, bass, keys, vocals), with additional help from Lizzie Welsh (violin), Madison Foley (trumpet), and Biddy Connor (viola).
Mr. Little Jeans – “Unfollow” (Los Angeles, CA via Norway)
RIYL: Nite Jewel, Purity Ring, St. Lucia
Mr Little Jeans is Norwegian artist Monica Birkenes. “Unfollow” is her newest release and it’s actually a track about the current political state. The track has a hypnotic vibe and her sugary vocals float effortlessly over the relaxed tropical beats.
Ms Birkenes shares about how the single came about:
“Lyrically, Unfollow was something that had been rummaging around my head ever since Trump got elected. The sinking feeling of this new, horrid reality is something I’ll never forget. I was completely unprepared for even the possibility of this happening, let alone how deeply this would depress and affect me. It brought to a harsh light how much of a bubble my closest and I had been living in.”
It’s possible the timing of the release is quite intentional as a mid-term election is right around the corner. “Unfollow” is available now via Nettwerk Records.
TEN FÉ – “Won’t Happen” (London, England)
RIYL: Jagwar Ma, Metronomy, The Dig
“Won’t Happen” is the newest release from London based TEN FÉ. Their newest offering is super groovy with a laid back melody as Leo Duncan’s smooth vocals lament about past transgressions that “won’t happen again”.
For each new single TEN FÉ releases they continue to impress. The combination of melodic vocals, transparent lyrics and psych inspired rock consistently prove their talent and growth as a band.
What ‘Future Perfect, Present Tense’ adds up to is a record about time – the time it takes, the time you’ll never get back, and the times still to come – from a band with a deep appreciation of taking the rough with the smooth. The journey to its completion has been about stripping away the distractions and being truthful to themselves.
TEN FÉ are Ben Moorhouse, Leo Duncan . “Won’t Happen” is the second single from their upcoming album release.
Whispering Sons – “Stalemate” (Brussels, Belgium)
RIYL: Bauhaus, Peter Murphy, A Place to Bury Strangers
Back in August we discovered a Belgian band whose music became an instant favorite. Whispering Sons sent shivers down our spines with their “Waste” single from their Image album. Today they steal our breath once more with the darkly smoldering “Stalemate”.
There is much to love about this band: their sound has a brooding intensity that rivals Bauhaus while the vocals evoke ’80s-era Goth/New Wave legends. It seems fitting that their album is released so close to Halloween. This is a tune with atmospheric allure that draws you in and keeps your pulse racing in anticipation of what might come next.
Whispering Sons are Fenne Kuppens (vocals), Kobe Lijnen (guitar), Sander Hermans (synths), Tuur Vandeborne (bass), and Sander Pelsmaekers (drums).
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