Just like Part 1 (click here), The Matinee ’18 November 20th – Part 2 spans the globe for new music. Many of the songs are politically or socially charged numbers, although you might need to listen closely to hear the message. Despite just six songs on this mini-playlist, the variety is vast.

Pastis – “Valour Valour” (Helsinki, Finland)

RIYL: Elton John, Keane, Oasis

Back in June when we were first introduced to Finnish band Pastis, they reminded us of the great ’90s indie bands like Built to Spill and Neutral Milk Hotel when they released “Amazon”. Just as we were ready to think of them as solely as an indie-rock outfit, they surprise with their newest offering.

“Valour Valour” is Brit pop-rock at its cinematic and euphoric finest. It is one part Elton John and Keane with its piano-driven melody and theatrical flourishes. The support of trumpet virtuoso Antero Priha – who has performed with Ray Charles, Carla Bley, and Freddie Hubbard – further adds to the feeling we’re watching a concert at London’s grand Royal Albert Hall. Yet, there are splashes of the ’90s and early ’00s, specifically the anthemic Brit-rock of Oasis with the crunchy guitar riffs. The comparisons to these great artists, though, don’t stop at just at the music, as Markus Nymalm and Emil Inberg craft a brilliant tale of two people trying to fulfill their dreams in this maddening world. There are some great lines, including:

“The show goes on forever while we all do our time.
Romeo was bleeding for a while,
Watch him spring back with a smile.
See I can only get what I can give anyhow.
She strapped me to a rocket ship along with her vow,
Promised life is free above the sun.
Too young to be on the run.”

Pastis’ debut album, Circles, launches February 8th, 2019 via Stupido Records. It could be the surprise hit of the new year.

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Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – “My Friend’s A Liquid” (Perth, Australia)

RIYL: POND, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Meatbodies

We’ve stated this before but it’s worth repeating – Psychedelic Porn Crumpets is one of the best band names around and fortunately for us Jack McEwan, Luke Parish, Danny Caddy, and Luke Reynolds deliver on their whimsical moniker. It would be immensely odd, for instance, if they were an a capella group or performed Sinatra or Beatles covers. Instead, they are just one of Australia’s finest psychedelic bands and most imaginative storytellers. Take in point: “My Friend’s A Liquid”.

There are songs that take you through the rabbit hole, and then there are those that take you through Tim Burton’s version and leave you in utter bewilderment. This is a good thing because you know you’ve arrived in a weird, wacky, yet colorful place that is thankfully different from the actual world. The swirling arrangements and looping vocals are seriously intoxicating, and their effects are equivalent to the most potent hallucinogenic. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ storyline is a combination of reality meeting fiction, as they, on the one hand, address the decaying Earth, and, on the other hand, a flourishing world they hope to one day see. If you listen closely (or read the lyrics by clicking on the SoundCloud player above), you’ll hear/read a bit of Lewis Carroll.

“Back to front, start a renaissance
Dreaming in the deep end.
Comfy sun, take control and come
Diving out yourself, diving out of yourself

And you don’t know why
All of this decays
My liquid friend.”

The single is out now on What Reality? Records. The quartet have a handful of dates coming up in Australia and the UK. Dates and information are available here.

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Rosie Carney – “Zoey” (Downings, Ireland via Hampshire, England)

RIYL: Fenne Lily, Phoebe Bridgers, Lisa Hannigan

She’s just 20 years old. We have to keep reminding ourselves that Rosie Carney is barely old enough to vote and not legally able to drink in the United States. And yet, the young resident of Downings, Ireland writes some of the most beautiful and knee-buckling songs. Her stories, though, are rarely about herself, but instead they are about the people who have inspired her or those she’s loved, like her mother and grandmother. For “Zoey”, she offers a bit of a surprise.

Once again, Carney delivers a drop-dead, gorgeous dream-folk number that is simultaneously breathtaking, blissful, and sun-kissed. The splashes of the xylophone to complement the stunning guitar-driven melody will leave you grinning. Her playful story, meanwhile, will make smile widely and possibly giggle, as Zoey isn’t someone close to her. Rather, it is a reference to actress and singer Zooey Deschanel and her rom-com film, 500 Days of Summer. As you listen closely to her words, you, too, might see two people standing in the rain and staring at each other, wondering what to do next. Does their romance last another day or does it come to an end? It’s a clever tune from a young artist whose creativity and talent well exceeds her age.

Carney’s long-awaited debut album, Bare, will be released January 25th, 2019 via Akira Records. Remember her name because she will be a star.

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Sticky Fingers – “Loose Ends” (Sydney, Australia)

RIYL: Pulp, The Libertines, Kasabian

Down Under and in the UK, Sticky Fingers are legends, regularly selling out venues in these two regions and consistently getting played on Triple J. They are, in our humble opinions, what a rock should be – delivering infectious music while sharing stories that are either playful or socially and politically charged. For their latest tune, they lean towards the latter.

“Loose Ends” is the political anthem we need today. It is like the 2018 sequel to Pulp’s “Common People”, but it’s set to a groovy, surf-infused Brit-rock sound. The bass line grabs hold first, getting all listeners to shimmy their shoulders, noodle their heads, or even shaking all their limbs. As the song builds, the crunchy guitars and plodding percussion take over, erupting not once but twice and at these points adrenaline kicks in. These moments are meant to incite people to act against the overreach of governments and the rule of the status quo. As front man Dylan Frost states:

“This is a government’s world,
And so you better get a job
And no more acting like a nuisance.
You got me tangled in your loose ends.”

Sticky Fingers are Dylan Frost (lead vocals/guitar), Paddy Cornwall (bass/vocals), Seamus Coyle (lead guitar), Beaker Best (drums/percussion) and Freddy Crabs (keys/synth). The single is out on Sureshaker Music.

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The Wit – “Apple Trees” (Oslo, Norway)

RIYL: Calexico, Grizzly Bear, Lake Jons

Eirik Haukland, Peter Hiley, Eirik Kirkemyr, Torstein Kvamme Holum, and Jørgen Myhr Stokke and their band The Wit may not be household names just yet, but people need to start paying attention. The five-piece are beyond definition, choosing to forego the cookie cutter approaches and push the envelope. Their previous single, “If you ain’t got nothing to do (don’t do it here)”, echoed the off-kilter, chamber pop of Camera Obscura and Belle and Sebastian. On “Apple Trees”, they head in a different direction that again exceeds expectations and labels.

“Apple Trees” is what a Calexico and Grizzly Bear collaboration would sound like with José González producing it. The song is wide-range of sound and influences, forging together the mysterious Americana of the southwest USA with NYC’s art-rock scene. For more than four minutes, The Wit take us back and forth from the blistering desert to the concrete jungles, as it brims with a quiet urgency at first before erupting in a brilliant cascade of shimmering noise. The unsettling approach perfectly complements Haukland’s story about a wanderer in trying to make sense of a world he once knew. Now, he’s a stranger in a familiar place. Soon, The Wit will no longer be strangers, but a familiar name celebrated across the indie sphere.

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YAEGER – “I Need A:” (Stockholm, Sweden)

RIYL: Robyn, Anna of the North, MSMR

She blew many people away, including us, in August with “Dopamine High”, and 20-year old, DIY artist and singer-songwriter Hanna Jäger – or simply YAEGER – is once again making heads turn. If you have yet to hear her music, her newest single, “I Need A:”, will immediately make you believe Sweden has another sensation on its hands. Make you believe her star is as bright as fellow country woman Robyn.

“I Need A:” is electro-pop perfection. Instead of overwhelming listeners with over-driven beats and way-too-dialed-up synths, Jäger keeps everything on the low-key, which in turn creates an intimate and embracing groove. As you sway to the music, you become sensitized to her entrancing vocals and mystical lyrics. Her story sounds like she’s being seduced by fire and flame, and in some respects this is true. As she states, the song is twofold: a response to the fires that hit Sweden over the summer and the overall warming of the planet due to human activity. So when she references the “you” in the song, she isn’t speaking to a lover but to the flames that surround her.

Below is the song’s video, which is Jäger’s first and completed with the assistance of her cousin. She is a DIY success story, and it’s just beginning.

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