It’s Tuesday, which means another doubleheader of new music. The Matinee ’18 November 13th – Part 1 features some blissful and ethereal tunes and some soul-shaking rockers. There’s something for everyone on this mini-playlist.
After spinning these seven songs, check out Part 2 over here.
angelic milk – “Celebrate” (St. Petersburg, Russia)
RIYL: The Raveonettes, Wolf Alice, Black Honey
Last month, Sarah Persephona, the young woman behind angelic milk, gave us a sneak peek at what is to come on her debut album, Divine Biker Love, when she released “when the limousines pass by”. The song showcased the St. Petersburg native’s evolution, moving away from the grunge-pop / punk-pop of initial efforts to a dreamier pop-rock approach. For her latest number, she impresses even more.
“Celebrate” echoes of the days when shoegaze emerged as a mainstream phenomenon. It is a dazzling and intoxicating display of the genre that just won’t die. The hallow chimes of the electric guitar create the ethereal atmosphere while the deep, throbbing tones of the bass gives the track a shivering darkness. Holding these two divergent moods is Persephona’s stirring voice, which quietly reflects on memories from her past and the time she and others had “to say our last goodbyes”. However, come January 11th, 2019 when Divine Biker Love is released on PNKSLM Recordings, music fans around the globe will be welcoming her into their homes.
The LP is available for pre-order on Bandcamp. Don’t miss out on this record from a fast-rising star.
Balthazar – “Entertainment” (Kortrijk and Ghent, Belgium)
RIYL: Richard Ashcroft, Warhaus, Iceage
If you missed the news concerning Belgian indie giants Balthazar‘s return from a brief hiatus last month as well as the release of “Fever”, the collective co-founded by Maarten Devoldere and Jinte Deprez have quickly released another tune to ensure everyone knows they are back. And they’re back in a big, big way.
“Entertainment” is just a glimpse into why and how Balthazar became one of Europe’s most celebrated indie bands in the first half of this decade. First of all, they’re no ordinary band, as they cannot be pigeonholed into any single genre – or two. Pop, rock, funk, and even a splash of bossa nova and a dash of Iceage-esque punk are fused together. Despite it’s multiple personalties, the song is uplifting, groovy, and utterly cool, and it is the perfect track to spin while cruising the streets late at night or just wasting away the evening with friends. The lyrics, too, are playful, as the outfit describe how entertainment, specifically music, can still be a worthy endeavor. With songs like this and a band as gifted as Balthazar, who are we to disagree?
In addition to Devoldere and Deprez, Balthazar also include Tijs Delbeke, Simon Casier, and Michiel Balcaen. Their new album, Fever, is out January 25th, 2019 via PIAS Recordings.
Birch – “Labor Fruit” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Bon Iver, Saint Sister, Rosie Carney
Watching a young artist grow is one of the biggest rewards of music writing. Some blossom into bonafide indie stars. Others evolve and transform themselves into something extraordinary, which is what Michelle Birsky has done with her project Birch. Originally, she focused on intimate electro-pop, as revealed on her debut EP, Halfway. Then last month, she unveiled her new, hypnotic world with the poignant “femme.two”. Showing that this change isn’t a one-off endeavor, she delivers another jaw-dropping single in “Labor Fruit”.
Through the sparse yet alluring arrangements that are driven by the eloquent keys and the slight rumble of the trumpet, Birsky through her heavenly voice recounts the growth of feminism and where it is today. Her words, however, aren’t written like a history essay or a sociological observation. She instead applies the evolution of one of the world’s greatest movements into her own experiences. The result is an immensely intimate and personal track that leaves you simultaneously breathless and contemplative.
“I understand we were designed to love,
But there’s more to me than to be your crutch.
I can’t be your crutch.
We’ve been here once before.
It didn’t go so well.
You stood at the door,
Knocked at the door,
Let’s push down the door.”
Birsky’s debut album, Femme.One, is expected early in 2019.
Cherry Glazerr – “Daddi” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Warpaint, Swearin’, Angel Olsen
Since she first started releasing music at the age of 15 and under the moniker of Clembutt, which then became Cherry Glazerr a year later in 2013, Clementine Cheevy has been tackling gender norms and other societal ills with a tongue-in-cheek and whimsical approach. On “Daddi”, however, she and her band mates – drummer Tabor Allen and bassist Devin O’Brien – get serious and deliver a monster of a track.
“Daddi” is urgent indie rock at its finest that shakes your very foundation as the Cheevy’s guitar howls louder, O’Brien’s bass throbs heavily, and Allen’s drumming intensifies. Even at its quieter moments on which the synths occupy the space, desperation simmers below the surface due to Cheevy’s distant and distraught voice. Her lyrics, in particular, strike hard, as she shares the story of a father who oversteps his bounds, which is an understatement.
“Where should I do Daddi?
What should I say?
Where should I go?
Is it o.k. with you?
Who should I fuck, Daddi?
Is it you?
Is it you?”
Cherry Glazerr’s fourth album, Stuffed & Ready, is out February 1st via Secretly Canadian. If “Daddi” is any indication of what is to come, we’re in for one powerful and emotional record.
Chez Ali – “Buenas Noches Club” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: HOMESHAKE, pizzagirl, Connan Mockasin
Although Elias Mahfoud could follow the same dream-pop paths that his main band Swedish indie sensations Steve Buscemi’s Dreamy Eyes traverse, he’s opted to go in much different directions with his project Chez Ali. His first single, “Adore You”, was a quirky yet upbeat alt-pop number. It was groovy yet oddly suspenseful. For “Buenas Noches Club”, he goes in another direction, but it is still utterly cool.
“Buenas Noches Club” is like a more sultry and soulful HOMESHAKE that leaves you gently swaying from side to side. The jazzy bass line sets the sensual mode while Mahfoud’s jangly guitar sends shivers down your back. This feeling is akin to the moment when you see that drop-deal gorgeous person across the room and all you can do is stare. You are left in a trance. Even Mahfoud’s lyrics depict this moment of attraction, but the question is whether the other person feels the same way. If this tune is playing while the connection is made, in all likelihood s/he does.
Claire George – “Lonely Or Alone” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Wet, Maggie Rogers, Ghostly Kisses
It wasn’t long ago when rising LA-based artist and Casine signee Claire George took us to the cosmos with her breathtaking single, “Orbits”. Now, she takes us beneath the sea with her latest single.
Take a deep breath first before hearing “Lonely Or Alone”, which is a gorgeous piece of minimalist synth-pop. Every element is executed with surgical precision – from the glitchy synths to the slow throbs of the rhythms and beats. George’s stirring vocals hovers gracefully over the atmospherics, sounding like a siren slowly emerging from the still of the tranquil waters. Her story, though, is one of a man alienated from the rest of the world. As George explains:
“As a child, I remember walking by the home of a shut-in on my way to school every day. I would think about how sad it must feel to be alone all the time. However, I later learned of his troubled past, and of the way he was demonized by his community and family. This made me realize that perhaps he wasn’t sad at all, but that maybe in isolation he finally felt free.
George’s debut EP, Bodies Of Water, hits shores on November 16th via Cascine. Pre-order options are available here or go directly to George’s Bandcamp page. To say she’s a star in the making would be stating the obvious.
Deanna Petcoff – “Stress” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Jen Cloher, Angel Olsen, Kathleen Edwards
When tough times hit, we can opt to do two things. We wallow in despair and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can grab the bull by the horns and take control. For former Pins & Needles front woman Deanna Petcoff, she’s opted to do both. This might seem to be counter-intuitive and even contradictory, but one listen to “Stress” will make you immediately understand.
Musically, the Toronto-based singer-songwriter hasn’t succumbed to the dire and gloomy approaches that most artists would resort to when talking about stress. Instead, she delivers an energizing and rollicking indie-rock tune. The rhythms are bouncy, the guitars chime brightly, and the keys pop through the cascading noise. Petcoff’s booming vocals are urgent, yet there is frustration and confusion in her words as she tries to figure out where the state of her and her partner’s relationship. She hollers, “Can someone please tell me what to do?” However, she finds her answer within her reflection.
“I know that you think of me,
I want you to stop.
Cause I cannot love someone who doesn’t want to love.”
If you’re in Toronto today, head to the Drake Hotel because Petcoff is opening for Tor Miller. More information is available here.
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