Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Like many people in the US today, The Matinee ’18 November 22nd is an extravagant musical feast. However, you won’t find any turkeys on the mini-playlist. Since it is a major holiday and due to yours truly’s own personal travel, the descriptions are extremely short. Actually, each song has been compared to one of the dishes you might find on the dinner table today. Many of the tunes, however, share powerful messages, and we hope you find inspiration in them.
WYRES – “Where R Yu” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Superorganism, Glass Animals, Sylvan Esso
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without a sweet and savory dish. Something that makes you salivate just thinking about and leaves you smiling once you’ve tasted it. For us, that’s candied sweet potato, which is even better with marshmallows loaded on top. This is how new alt-pop / progressive-pop duo WYRES‘ new single, “Where R Yu”, will make you feel.
The project of multi-instrumentalist Fredrik Forell and vocalist/songwriter Arvid Jonsson, WYRES deliver a delicious gem of a tune. It is bubbly and sugary, immensely infectious and delightful, and a song that will stay with you for days if not weeks. But one thing this song will do that the popular side dish won’t – it’ll make you stand up and do a dance to celebrate who you are. Now if you play this after the eating festivities, maybe the rest of the family will be dancing in order to work off the calories.
The single is out on Something Beautiful, which is another way to describe this tune.
TRABANTS – “Daddy’s Got A Big Bad Gun” (featuring Prom Queen) (Los Angeles/Boston, USA)
RIYL: Ninet Tayeb, Jesse Jo Stark, The Growlers
There are plenty of sweet delights on this day, but every feast needs something with edge. Something that bites back and keeps your palette honest, like roasted brussels sprouts cooked with bacon. Or for The Matinee purposes, keeps the music balanced with some tantalizing grit that possesses a spaghetti western vibe. Leave it to massive LA and Boston collective TRABANTS to do the duties.
Normally, they specialize in sweltering surf-rock, but in calling upon the assistance of Prom Queen‘s Celene Ramadan, they head for the deserts of New Mexico and deliver a dark yet captivating cinematic number in “Daddy’s Got A Big Bad Gun”. The song is littered with suspense and a southwestern edge, where the chiming guitars and the methodical rhythms take us back to the Wild West days. Inside the saloon we enter is Ramadan singing in the corner, seducing us with a story about her father brandishing his new toy and striking fear in everyone, including his family. It’s a brilliant piece of storytelling set to a classic yet excellent composition. It’s probably best to play a bit after dinner has ended.
Tired Lion – “With Or Without” (Perth, Australia)
RIYL: Paramore, False Advertising, Big Moon
Beside turkey and stuffing, is there anything more classic than mashed potatoes and gravy? When this classic is done extremely well or with a twist (I recommend adding some celeriac / celery root, roasted garlic, and cream), it can be the talk of the table. This is what Tired Lion has been doing for years – turning ’90s grunge rock in to something euphoric, which was evidenced on their excellent and overlooked album Dumb Days. They continue to deliver pulsating rockers with another gem, “With Or Without”.
The tune is an energizer to the nth degree, as the over-driven, grizzled guitars wail in the foreground and the rhythms heavily throb behind. You’ll be wanting to hammer some windmills or take your utensils and perform the drums while at the dinner table. Meanwhile, Sophie Hopes’ piercing vocals exhilarate you, having you dive in further into the track and wanting to grab seconds or thirds. Her lyrics, too, are appropriate for this day, as the song is dedicated to the band’s former guitarist Matt Tanner. He departed to explore other opportunities and experience new adventures, but he will forever be a part of Tired Lion. Like saying goodbye to loved ones, Hopes hollers:
“Take me away with you,
I’ll be your come down.
I’ll be there for you, now.”
Tired Lion are Sophie Hopes (vocals/guitar), Ethan Darnell (drums), and Nick Vasey (bass).
THYLA – “BLUE” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: Wolf Alice, YONAKA, Blondie
When thinking about Thanksgiving, there are always dishes that get overlooked, but when they arrive on the table your mouth waters and you ask yourself, “How did I forget about that?” Brighton indie-rock quartet THYLA are the equivalent of cornbread and savory biscuits, where for unknown and inexcusable reasons continue to hover under most people’s and blogs’ radar. For us, though, they are one of the most bands not just in the UK but across the globe. If you have yet to taste their music or forgot about them, then let “Blue” be the (re-)introduction.
Like a mix of Blondie with the anthemic-rock version of Wolf Alice, the track will blow your mind. Surging guitars and full-throttle rhythms collide to create sonic explosion. Each element pops inside your mind, but it is front woman Millie Duthie’s saccharine vocals and introspective story that take center stage. Her voice is that of everyone who has felt lost, alone, and a “victim of your own mind”. As she poignantly sings:
“I never know where I or what I need.
Still trying to understand my misery.
I’m blue, blue, blue, blue, blue.”
On this day, however, share your struggles and pains with your family. This is what Thanksgiving is for – to battle through every challenge together.
Millie Duthie (vocals/guitar), Mitch Duce (guitar), Dan Hole (bass), and Danny Southwell (drums) are THYLA, and they are, to repeat, one of the world’s great and most underrated rock bands around.
Their long-awaited debut EP, What’s On Your Mind, arrives February 1st. Maybe then they’ll shoot to indie stardom.
Slum Sociable – “Afterthought” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Methyl Ethel, James Supercave, City Calm Down
Every great meal needs to begin with an apéritif, preferably something refreshing yet eye-opening. Something that opens all your senses, stimulates your appetite, and prepares you to taste things that are familiar and others that are more inventive . Edward Cregan Quinn and Miller Upchurch’s project, Slum Sociable, have been teetering the divide between the old and the new, as revealed on their excellent, eponymous debut album. The duo have gradually churned out new material this year, but their latest tune has us the most excited.
“Afterthought” is an electro-rock stunner that is bleak and brooding yet awe-inspiring and dazzling. The deep bass lines and the trembling percussion lead the way before giving way to the mesmerizing synths. Upchurch’s vocals, too, are immersive, but it is what he says that opens eyes. More accurately, he opens up about his personal struggles to get through each day. As he states:
“Here’s my afterthought,
I should have taken my shot.
It happens more often than not.
I take some time to do nothing new.”
For the past year, Upchurch has been open and honest about his mental health, as he hopes to encourage others to do the same. As stated above, if you, too, are having difficulties, reach out to your loved ones today, tomorrow, and every day. Hopefully, everyone – whether one is coping with a mental illness or not – can find inspiration in this single, which is out on Liberation Records.
Pole Siblings – “Weekend Visit” (Falun, Sweden via Finland)
RIYL: Arcade Fire + The Jayhawks, José González
Whereas a great apéritif is needed to start a meal, a digestif is required to help with the digestion and relax one’s body. It’s also an occasion where families and friends can enjoy each other’s company in relative quiet. So whether you’re sipping on a whiskey, cognac, Irish coffee, or a cup of Earl Grey, settle in and allow Pole Siblings to calm your senses with “Weekend Visit”.
Since siblings Sofia and Johan Stolpe started making music again together just over a year ago, the sister Stolpe has largely been doing the singing chores. Brother Stolpe, however, takes his turn on this song, and his performance is breathtaking. Musically, the tune is a touch of Neon Bible-era Arcade Fire mixed with the lavishness of José González. Johan’s words, though, are reminiscent of The Jayhawks at their most intimate or even Gram Parsons. For nearly 4.5 minutes, the duo take us to faraway places where everything seems perfect. Where we are with our loved ones and nothing can stand between us.
“I want to look into your eyes,
And tell you I will love you despite.
I know it’s not too late.
I kiss you,
Try to ease your pain.
I want you
To hold my hand.
I need you
That it might be too late
To say more
To more than fate.”
Simply gorgeous. The single is out on Strangers Candy.
Michael Jablonka – “Papier-mâché” (London, England)
RIYL: Lenny Kravitz, The London Souls, Son Little
Every Thanksgiving requires cranberry sauce. And no, not the store-bought kind, but the homemade version with a touch of citrus and ginger (yes ginger!) to add some oomph. Michael Jablonka‘s new single, “Papier-mâché”, is just like this famed red condiment – sweet and savory at first with a bold and biting finish.
Jablonka, who is best known for his work as the lead guitarist in Michael Kiwanuka’s backing band, eases us in slowly into the track, which commences with a ’90s alt-rock vibe. It then gradually accelerates and intensifies, leaving listeners to slowly savor the melodic groove. Just as it seems the song will settle into a methodical pace, Jablonka spices things up with a guitar solo for the ages. A guitar solo that would even impress the likes of Gary Clark, Jr. and the late Prince Rogers Nelson. Oh, there isn’t just one solo but two, just in case the first one didn’t quite deliver the knockout blow.
The song is out now via super boutique label Lost in the Manor Records. Here’s hoping Jablonka has an album ready for 2019.
GURU – “Consumer Helpline” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: The Libertines, Shame, Circa Waves
We’ve listed pretty much all the must-haves on Thanksgiving, but there is one dish we’re missing. That’s the stuffing, of course. A memorable stuffing is complex and filled with unexpected layers and ingredients. Forget about Stove Top stuffing. Break out a variety of breads or even crackers. Add a bunch of fresh herbs and be adventurous, such as adding things like Italian sausage, cranberries, almonds, pecans, a wide assortment of mushrooms, fennel, squash, or anything that will pack flavor. Anything that will deliver blow after blow with each mouthful. The musical equivalent comes in the form of “Consumer Helpline”, the bombastic new single from Brighton newcomers GURU.
The track personifies the new era of punk rock in the UK. It’s loud, propulsive, and just awesome. Heavy, driving guitars sear through trembling skies, which reverberate with a jackhammer bass line and chest-pounding percussion. An anticipation, as such, begins to form, and everyone listening will be on the tip of their toes ready to leap. Or at the very least, you’re already wagging your heads and throwing your fists in the air. Front man Tommy Cherrill’s lyricism is clever and brutally honest, as he compares an ex-lover’s affection to that of someone working at a help desk. That is, the person on the side of the phone may seem like they know everything, but in practice they know nothing about the product – or in this case the emotion – for which they are providing advice. Or simply put, it’s one big middle finger to an ex who treated him like shit.
GURU are Tommy Cherrill (vocals), Kieran Hunter (guitar), Ferg Belfrage (bass), and Simon ‘Danny Boy’ Daniels (drums). The single is out on Shady Shere Khan (not to be mistaken from the character in The Jungle Book).
Delsbo Beach Club – “Something’s Over” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Deerhunter, Real Estate
Finally, we have to dessert, and a fantastic pie or cake should leave everyone smiling and in a state of bliss. Canadians love pumpkin pie on these days, whereas in the US the options are endless, like pecan pie, sweet potato pie, or apple pie. They’re all delicious, and you have to prevent yourself from grabbing seconds or even thirds. In the case of “Something’s Over”, however, we highly recommend you constantly hit repeat to Delsbo Beach Club‘s sumptuous new single.
Comprised of Erik Björklund, Jesper Jonason, Alexander Kuronen, Stas Neilyk, and Ebba Vikdahl, DBC share an alt-pop stunner. A song that not only leaves you grinning but takes you to places that can only be imagined in one’s mind – or after a bite of the most luxurious cake imagined. The track is actually two halves with the first telling the tale of a man realizing his time is over. As such, he’s walking towards the light as the countdown begins. He tells himself, “Now I know what it means”.
The second half, meanwhile, is a three-minute, instrumental extravaganza. Jangly guitar riffs brilliantly juxtapose against the darkly, sizzling synths and the slow throbbing rhythms. This is the man’s personal anthem, as he walks his final steps and enters this new world. This afterlife. It could be daunting and mysterious, but Delsbo Beach Club make it feel exotic and exhilarating. They make this place feel like the perfect place to spend the rest of our days. This is our happy place.
The single is out on Rama Lama Records.
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