The Matinee ’18 October 30th – Part 2 features spine-tingling, dreamy, and emotional numbers. Settle in, wrap yourself in a blanket, and be swept away by these six fabulous songs.
After hearing these songs, visit Part 1 to listen to six more tunes.
Loyal Lobos – “Wrong” (Los Angeles, USA via Bogotá, Colombia)
RIYL: Phoebe Bridgers, Rosie Carney, Stella Donnelly
Andrea Silva has been dazzling us with her project Loyal Lobos for more than a year. For those who are just discovering the Bogotà-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, her style is akin to the lush and intimate alt-folk that Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, Julia Jacklin, and Stella Donnelly are currently creating. Like these excellent artists, Silva takes classic arrangements and makes the cinematic. She takes the familiar and turns them into something breathtaking, which she does yet again with “Wrong”.
The song is simply stunning. Although the arrangements may seem simple at first, the track gradually builds into a moment of ecstasy. The dual guitars are tantalizing rich, and the percussion and bass possess a smokey, jazz quality. The tickling of the piano keys, though, is a clever addition, giving “Wrong” more depth and accentuating the feelings of wonderment and anxiety that Silva sings through her lushly hushed vocals. As she says:
“I can’t wait ’til the sun goes down,
So I can find a place to slow down.
I can’t wait to start walking here
I want to lay down,
Will you lay down with me?”
The song is taken from Silva’s new EP, The Fall, which is due out November 14th.
Moving Panoramas – “Baby Blues” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: The Bangles, The Wooden Birds, No Joy
Three years ago, Moving Panoramas released their debut album, One, which showcased their glimmering brand of dream-rock. Since then, they’ve undergone some changes with front woman and principal songwriter Leslie Sisson being the lone original member. The former trio is now a five-piece with Cara Tillman, Jordan Rivell, Jody Suarez, and Phil McJunkins joining Sisson. The result is a sound that is more widescreen – at least that’s what “Baby Blues” suggests.
Part dreamgaze and part ’80s pop, “Baby Blues” is one energizing and addictive ear-worm. The toe-tapping rhythms and shimmering guitars create the feeling that one is either running urgently to nowhere in particular or streaking through the cosmos on an agenda-less adventure. Sisson’s lush vocals, meanwhile, take you to the heavens, making you feel alive and rejuvenated. When she says, “soon you’ll be mine”, you can only nod your head in agreement and succumb to her allure. Succumb to the dazzling nature of what she and her band have crafted.
The Ocean Party – “What It’s Worth” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Silver Jews, Spiritualized, Bill Callahan
Most people have not heard about The Ocean Party, but everyone should. They are not just one of Australia’s most prolific bands. They’ve released six albums, three EPs, and 6 split singles (two songs each) in their seven years as a band. This is Ty Segall-like production. The sextet of Lachlan Denton (guitar/vocals), Liam Halliwell (guitar/vocals), Curtis Wakeling (guitar/vocals), Jordan Thompson (keys/vocals), Mark Rogers (bass/vocals), and Zac Denton (drums/vocals), however, are showing no signs of letting up, as their seventh LP (and second in three months), The Oddfellows’ Hall, will released on November 9th. From it is a song that will crush your soul.
“What It’s Worth” is a dazzling spectacle of intimate dreamy Americana. Every element is exquisitely executed – from the three-prong guitar attack to the heart-pounding rhythms to the humming keys. Denton’s vocals are also intoxicating, but it is his words that squeeze the life out of you. He questions whether “I want to be around” and continue to struggle to live each day. He recognizes, however, he’s not alone with the way he feels, and he takes solace in this realization. You can still feel his pain and the price he pays for being on this Earth. The opening lines are remarkable songwriting.
“I sure as hell don’t want to be around.
Stuck here, patched up, and falling out of tune.
Voices yelling but I hear no sound,
And I know that none of this makes me different,
And I can take that for what it’s worth.
If I could take chance to be happy,
Well, I’m not even sure I would.
Seems like I’m always second guessing
Always asking what I should and shouldn’t do.”
Oxen – “Postpone” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Vampire Weekend, Peter Bjorn and John, Rostam
Swedish pop sensation Robyn released a highly acclaimed album over the weekend with some calling it “flawless”. Maybe Erik Hases and Stefan Söderqvist will one day follow in her footsteps and receive similar praise and notoriety for their project Oxen, and they’re off to a promising start, having released a handful of singles and an EP since their formation nearly three years ago. Their newest single, though, just might be the stone that causes an avalanche of support to come their way.
Like Peter Bjorn and John collaborating with Vampire Weekend, “Postpone” is alt-pop perfection. The jangly guitar lines and the bubbly bass line are tremendously infectious while the Caribbean-inspired rhythms are delightfully groovy. Hases and Söderqvist’s harmonies, meanwhile, are light, airy, and immersive, bringing you further into their world as young adults growing up in a fast-moving world. As such, as they state, they can no longer procrastinate but have to act quickly, or they’ll miss out on all the possibilities before them. Heck, we all should heed their words and make “Postpone” our little anthem to get through the work week.
Penelope Trappes – “Connector” (London, England via Northern Rivers, Australia)
RIYL: Portishead, Scott Walker, The Golden Filter
Born in the region that his home to the famous Byron Bay in Australia but now calling London home, Penelope Trappes is a multifaceted and complex artist. She is better known as one half of electro-pop band The Golden Filter, but she’s also an accomplished film score composer and producer. Through her solo project, she’s able to bring her multiple talents together and unveil music that is complex, compelling, and eye-opening.
Last Friday, she released her sophomore album, Penelope Two, which is dedicated to one friend who lost her entire family in an accident and another companion who lost his partner of 23 years after she gave birth to their third child. This background sets the context for “Connector”, one of the album’s highlights.
Patience is required when listening to this track, and those who hear it in its entirety will be rewarded with a cinematic, haunting, and exhilarating experience. A song that will bring you to your knees and reflect on your fortunes. The pacing is deliberately methodical to heighten the song’s drama and emotional intensity. “I am the connector, represented your defender”, sing Trappes through a trembling voice, as if she is the mother who lost everything. It’s a gorgeous tune from an outstanding yet criminally underappreciated artist.
pronoun – “you didn’t even make the bed” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: LP, Broken Social Scene, La Force
Some musicians get loud and angry when writing about the dissolution of a relationship, but one-woman band Alyse Vellturo – a.k.a. pronoun – opts for the opposite. Instead of fiery guitars and harsh vocals, she stays true to her lo-fi pop art-form and chooses to mesmerize us. In doing this, we can see through her eyes and feel her disappointment, as displayed on her latest single.
“you didn’t even make the bed” just might be the most uplifting break-up song written this year and possibly this entire decade. A swell of positive energy radiates from the electric drum beats, the chiming guitar, and the percolating synths, and Vellturo’s soft vocals and quick delivery add to the song’s summery vibrancy. Her words, though, tell a different side, though, as she subtly unveils her anger and frustration with how it all ends. Returning to a messy apartment after her ex moved out was, as she explains, “the final straw”.
For Vellturo, though, she is only getting started. On February 9th, 2019, her debut album will be released on Rhyme & Reason Records, and it should be a great one.
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