The Matinee ’18 November 6th – Part 2 features eight more songs, ranging from tunes that are retro inspired and others that are pushing the envelope. As such, some of these songs will take you back to summer and a few will transport you to the future.
If you missed Part 1, click here to listen to more great new music.
Kidsmoke – “Rising Sun” (Wrexham, Wales)
RIYL: Wild Nothing, The Belligerents, Tame Impala
In their three-plus years as a band, Kidsmoke have consistently delivered music that is calming and relaxing in much the same way that Real Estate has done. But with “Rising Sun”, they step on the gas and take us on a dizzying adventure.
Jangly, surf-rock guitars forge with summery, psychedelic vibes to create a hazy and scintillating soundscape. It’s like Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing collaborating with Tame Impala, where ecstasy meets delirium and we’re left feeling like we’re racing into the sunset. Or maybe it’s a rabbit hole, but the landing spot isn’t the chaos of Wonderland but rather the cool, beach tones of Paradise. During this three-and-a-quarter minute anthem, we can only think about who awaits us on the other side, anticipating the moment when we get to “feel your love”.
Kidsmoke are Lance Williams (vocals/guitar), James Stickels (vocals/bass), Sophie Ballamy (guitar/vocals), and Ash Turner (drums). Their debut album is expected in 2019.
Kills Birds – “Worthy Girl” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Sonic Youth, Dead Naked Hippies, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Who are we to disagree with Kim Gordon when she’s given her seal of approval to “Worthy Girl”, the debut single from LA newcomers Kills Birds? We obviously aren’t going to contradict the legendary artist and Sonic Youth member, but rather we share her enthusiasm because this song is an ear-splitting marvel.
“Worthy Girl” is a raw, edgy, and one jackhammer of a rocker. It is brilliantly paced, commencing with an assertive bang but then it grows into a monstrous, ferocious number. The crushing percussion leads the charge, pounding your chest with each throttle of the snare and bass drum. As the bass line blisters, the dual guitars explode during the finale with one searing in the foreground and the other with its dark, hallow tones throbbing in the back. Front woman Nina Ljeti’s vocals, meanwhile, are fiery, and they reach a piercing level that might have your eyes popping out of their sockets. Her lyrics are clever and imaginative, as if she’s revisiting Mary Queen of Scots’ legacy or maybe it’s a tune for the Queen of Hearts (from Alice in Wonderland). Simply awesome.
Kills Birds are Nina Ljeti (vocals), Jacob Loeb (guitar), Fielder Thomas (bass), and Bosh Rothman (drums). The single is out on Blood Harmony Records.
MOM – “Kawasaki” (Berlin, Germany)
RIYL: FM-84, Electric Youth, Rhye
Let’s be honest for a moment – not too many electro-pop songs tell great stories. There are some, but it’s quite uncommon. Telling a fantastic story, though, is one way to stand above the crowd, which is what new German duo MOM have achieved with “Kawasaki”.
Consisting of producer/composer Konrad Janz and vocalist/songwriter Milad Khakpour, MOM have crafted what could be considered an updated, electro-pop version of Neil Young’s “Unknown Legend”. Like the classic tune, Khakpour’s tale focuses on a young woman’s lonely journey of self-discovery. Her friends have moved on, but she stays for reasons she does not know. She is, as such, a “lonely rider”, and her only companion is the motorcycle that has taken her through the streets of Berlin and beyond. The songwriting is fantastic and accentuated by Janz’s superb production, which are taut yet dark, haunting yet immersive. If the two keep this up, there’s no telling how far they can go.
The duo’s debut EP, Kawasaki, officially hits stores on November 23rd.
SHIELDS – “I Already Know” (Newcastle Upon Tyne, England)
RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Gengahr, The Slow Readers Club
We actually had SHIELDS‘ single, “I Already Know”, on our radar when it was first released a couple of months ago, but we forgot it. Hopefully the Newcastle-based quintet can forgive us for our absent-mindedness but better late than never right? We think they will because the track is, as they say, about second chances. With that, all it takes is about 80 seconds in listening to this track to release why we are sharing it today.
“I Already Know” is an art-rock masterpiece. It buzzes with the widescreen, experimental creativity of Grizzly Bear while blending the rapturous, alt-pop anthems of Gengahr. Consequently, you’ll be bopping your head, possibly dancing within with the song’s whirling swirls, or completely lost within the superb vocals and the off-kilter yet sensational orchestration. Music this good should be appreciated all. Heck, this is one of the best tunes you’ll hear all year.
Still Parade – “Portals” (Berlin, Germany)
RIYL: Toro y Moi, Kevin Krauter, Cass McCombs
Two years ago, Niklas Kramer released a marvelous album, Concrete Vision, under is moniker Still Parade. The record was like a walk in the park in that the lo-fi, blissful melodies were easy on the ears, relaxing, and smile-inducing. In case people missed what Kramer has to offer, he returns with another ear-pleasing gem in “Portals”.
The combination of synths, piano, and gentle rhythms evokes images of Toro y Moi during his blissful, psychedelic-pop days. A folk-pop vibe, too, fills the air, giving the track a summery and easy-going nature. Despite the sweltering mood, a deeper and introspective tale is told in “Portals”. Listen closely and you’ll hear the words of a man figuring out his place in this world and finding a little peace. He is attempting to determine what is real and authentic in this day and age where the superficial and materialistic govern.
“Portals” is the closing track from Still Parade’s forthcoming, sophomore album, Soon Enough, which drops this Friday, November 9th. Pre-order it on Bandcamp.
Tripnaha – “Saga” (Berlin, Germany via Gothenberg, Sweden)
RIYL: Little Dragon, Purity Ring, Portishead
Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can in order to replicate the feeling of being under the water. Or conversely, allow Tripnaha take you beneath the ocean surface with their stunning, trip-hop single, “Saga”.
Like Portishead meeting Little Dragon, Gothenberg natives Elin Johansson and Fredd Jakobsen have crafted an intoxicating and immersive single. The beat and synth work are hypnotic, softly humming and bubbling to create the feeling of an aquatic adventure. It’s as if we’re floating gently in the vast expanse of the Pacific or gliding easily through the coral of the Great Barrier Reef or the Croatian coastline. Johansson’s vocals add to the song’s allure, as she weaves a tale of an aimless trip through the dark. So close your eyes, take a deep breath, and dive into Tripnaha’s stunning world.
While you’re at it, revisit their debut EP, 1A, which was released last year.
Wild Belle – “Gunslinger (Lost Tape)” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Juanita Stein, Jesse Jo Stark, Freedom Fry
Wild Belle have been indie darlings for several years now, but the rest of the world is only starting to take notice of siblings Eliot and Natalie Bergman. For instance, Natalie was invited to sing alongside Elvis Costello in his re-worked version of his 1978 classic, “This Year’s Girl”. You may have heard the tune, as it’s now the theme song for The Deuce. Possibly taking inspiration from Costello digging into his back catalogue, the duo have similarly gone through their archives and quietly shared an unreleased single. To no one’s surprise, it sounds classic. Heck, “Gunslinger” could be considered an instant classic and should also be shared on the HBO hit series.
Seventies’ Laural Canyon vibes stream through this summery folk-rock tune. The melody is trippy, infectious, yet utterly cool, and it will have you believing you’re strutting down Rodeo Drive in your elegant white suit with the love of your life. All eyes are fixated on you, as you’re the coolest cat on the most glamorous street in America. Natalie’s tale is about you and your “wandering eye” and how “you can take me down with your smile”. At some point, however, he woman of your dreams can only take so much of your wandering ways, and she’s about to cut loose. All you can do is beg her to “take me back”, but it’s too late. She’s going to find herself a new gunslinger.
Here’s hoping the Bergmans will be sharing more deep cuts in the coming months.
Wovoka Gentle – “Peculiar Form Of Sleep” (London, England)
RIYL: Deerhoof, POND, Superorganism
Some bands opt to play it safe, but newcomers Wovoka Gentle have thrown out the predictable playbook and instead are marching to the beat of their own drum. Literally, they are going in a direction that only a handful of bands have traversed, and they’re doing it in style.
Their last single, “1,000 Opera Singers Working In Starbucks”, was a Willy Wonky-esque escapade that set an array of sounds from one’s childhood within a kaleidoscope. On “Peculiar Form Of Sleep”, they head into a whole different dimension, specifically traveling through space and into a wormhole that is inhabited with minions or maybe replicas of Wayne Coyne. Numerous genres can be heard on this completely whacked but illuminating single, such as psychedelic, alt-pop, art-rock, and carnival pop to name a few. In addition, the song constantly twists and turns, and it never stays on one plane for more than 30 seconds. Consequently, the song never gets boring, but instead it gets more exhilarating and interesting with each passing second. If the Imogen Mason, Ellie Mason and William J. Stokes’ music sounds like, imagine what their live shows would be like.
The single is out on Nude Records. Check out the trio’s past efforts on SoundCloud, and you’ll be surprised (like us) that they’ve been around for three years. It’s safe to say Wovoka Gentle won’t be idling in obscurity for too long.
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