The Matinee ’18 November 30th is an “ooh and aah” edition, featuring songs that will get your rocking and dancing and some that will you leave you spellbound. A few tracks, too, will take you back in time – or for us back to our youth (which is a long time ago).
Arlo Parks – “Cola” (London, England)
RIYL: Neneh Cherry, Connie Constance, Aaliyah
Several items pop out in Arlo Parks‘ biography. Her heritage is a mix of Nigerian, Chadian, and French, and she spoke la belle langue before English. She was writing fantasy stories in primary school, and later she immersed herself in the literary works of Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Jim Morrison, Nayyirah Waheed, and Haruki Murakami. At 17, she wrote enough songs to fill an LP, and many concerned her struggles in understanding who she is. We’re not talking about clothing choices, but as she states, with being “a black kid who can’t dance for shit, listens to emo music, and currently has a crush on some girl in my Spanish class”. And if this doesn’t raise your eyebrows in interest, then hear “Cola” and be introduced to the UK’s next great singer-songwriter.
With the grace and intelligence of Neneh Cherry and the charm of the late Aaliyah, Parks delivers a gorgeous, smart, and immaculate single. The dark, gripping approach is akin to chance late-November meeting on a fog-covered London Bridge at 4 AM. Sweeping the low cloud away is Parks’ stunning vocals, which possess a Billie Holiday eloquence. Her words, though, are as poetic as the poets she idolized, but they strike harder to the core. When she says, “you’re running over there / and I don’t really care” she isn’t talking about a lover or a friend. Quite the opposite, as she says:
“‘Cola’ is a reminder that betrayal is inevitable when it comes to pretty people that think flowers fix everything.”
Oh snap! By the way, Parks is just 18 years old, and she’s creating music and messages that not enough 30- and 40-year olds could craft.
ARM IN ARM – “Nightfly” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Paul Oakenfold, Leftfield, Paul van Dyk
We don’t often share techno songs because as we get older we’ve gravitated to other genres. That said, when we were in university, we all dug Paul Oakenfold, Leftfield, Underworld, and 2 Unlimited. We’re showing our age in mentioning this, but we have no regrets. Why you might ask? That’s because Melbourne DJs ARM IN ARM have arrived on the scene to make us feel young again with their new single, “Nightfly”.
Like the techno and electronic music of the late ’80s to the mid ’90s, the track is an illicit journey into the depths of a city during the wee hours of the morning. It is hypnotic, sensual, and infectious, causing listeners to get lost within Luke Moore-Martin’s sultry beats and Eliza Jacobs’ seductively smokey vocals. As the duo demonstrate, one doesn’t need over-driven rhythms, over-the-top samples, or way-too-loud synths to move people. You just need to engage them.
The song is out on The A&R Department.
The Decemberists – “Traveling On” (Portland, USA)
RIYL: The Decemberists
Earlier this year, perennial indie darlings The Decemberists surprised fans with a new sound on their eighth album, I’ll Be Your Girl. The glossier, synth-driven LP was a sharp divergence from their other folkier or baroque pop efforts. Longtime fans who were taken aback by the New Wave-inspired beats have cause to celebrate: the band’s forthcoming EP is a return to form.
Traveling On is a five-song collection of tracks that never made the LP, including the title track. While it’s not a new song to anyone who’s seen the band perform it over the last year or two, its official release arrives just in time for the holiday gift-giving season. So bask in the organic calm of “Traveling On.” As always, you can count on Colin Meloy’s mellifluous vocals to soothe your heart and mind.
The Decemberists are: Colin Meloy, Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, Nate Query, and John Moen.
The Fame – “Wide Awake” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Better Than Ezra, Circa Survive, Our Lady Peace
“Wide Awake” is the debut single release from The Fame. The Toronto based band is crafting their own style of rock with a bit of influences coming from great 90s rockers. The single lyrically tackles the struggle of self identity and dealing with every day life. The band provides impressive guitar work and memorable vocals as they begin to establish their own style.
The band share a bit about their newest track: “Wide Awake,” our debut single, focuses on the topic of self-reflection and the happenings of everyday life. They also shared that “While crafting the song, we collectively drew from personal life experience and our rock music inspirations to create something that anyone can relate to.”
“Wide Awake” is the first single to be shared from their upcoming debut EP. Produced by Brian Moncarz (Our Lady Peace, Moneen, Circa Survive), the EP is set for release in early 2019.
Lazybones – “Heart Beat Like A Drum” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: Slaves, Royal Blood, Highly Suspect
Lazybones has an explosive new track titled “Heart Beat Like A Drum”. The track is almost 3 minutes of pure rock attitude. The band have also released a brand new video for the track with only £50 worth of props. Their band name definitely does not describe their energy level at all as “Heart Beat Like A Drum” completely grabs you from start to finish and won’t let go.
Much like Royal Blood, it’s hard to believe the only guitar in this trio is a bass. They definitely impress so far with only a handful of singles released so far. Lazybones is definitely a band to keep on your radar.
Mike Krol – “I Wonder” feat. Allison Crutchfield (Los Angeles via NYC/Wisconsin, USA)
RIYL: Superchunk, Pavement, Mikal Cronin
Is Mike Krol the most underrated rocker / punk-rocker on the planet? A case could definitely be made as the Wisconsin native has released three hyper-charged albums this decade. Although he may not be a household name, he has the respect of the Merge Records family and then some. For instance, how often can an artist pick up the phone and ask Swearin‘s Allison Crutchfield to sing backup vocals on a song? Like hardly ever, yet hear she is supporting Krol on “I Wonder”.
Less the bombastic punk-rock of his early days, “I Wonder” is a riff-heavy, infectious garage-pop-rock / guitar-pop tune. It’ll have listeners shaking their hips, waving their hair, and unleashing their air guitar. And more than that, it will have everyone looking inwards at how they fucked up a relationship instead of blaming the other party. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll say “I’m sorry” like Krol did. But when go apologize, make sure you have some fun in the process and just rock out while spinning this tune.
Krol’s new album, Power Chords, is out January 25th via Merge Records.
Perfect Son – “It’s For Life” (Warsaw, Poland)
RIYL: Matthew Dear, John Grant, Muse, Shearwater
Sometimes we discover artists whose music sends chills down our spines. This is exactly the reaction we had upon hearing Perfect Son for the first time this week. Sub Pop Records just signed this project of Polish musician Tobiasz Biliński, which in itself is proof of his talent. But take one listen to his new single and you will likely share in our amazement.
“It’s For Life” is a dazzling, synth-heavy masterpiece. The balanced contrast of bright vocals and urgent instrumentation will appeal to fans of Matthew Dear and John Grant. This tune wastes no time in reaching its target: the opening notes are launched with precision, followed by a continued barrage of sleek tones and driving percussion. You remain in suspense throughout, but it’s the bridge starting at 3:19 that leaves you awestruck. It is a seamless fusion of Shearwater’s passion with Muse’s crowd-pleasing dark art pop, only infused with hopeful optimism.
Biliński previously recorded as Coldair, so he isn’t a new artist. He’s just new to most American listeners. His debut album, Cast, arrives February 15th via Sub Pop. To say we are excited is an understatement.
Rainsford – “Somewhere Else” (Los Angeles via Asheville, USA)
RIYL: Robyn, Doe Paoro, Dua Lipa
Rainey Qualley (Rainsford) is back with a dreamy new single titled “Somewhere Else”. The talented singer has a bit of an R&B flair with her newest track (which might be influenced by current boyfriend, Twin Shadow). The single tackles the reality of dreaming or possibly being somewhere else with her enigmatic presence felt throughout “Somewhere Else”. With each new release, Rainsford continues to prove her vocal talent with her sweet yet sultry style.
Ms. Qualley explains how “Somewhere Else” came about: “I was taking a medication for a while,” explaining that “Somewhere Else” is at least partly a reflection of some of her medicated dreaming. “Unbeknownst to me at the time, it has a side effect of causing really intense dreams and nightmares. Dreams and the unconscious state of mind are really interesting to me,” she adds. “The way we string these flashes of images together to tell ourselves a story is very revealing.”
“Somewhere Else” is the follow up to her debut EP Emotional Support Animal.
Telekinesis – “Set a Course” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Teenage Fanclub, Grandaddy, Elliott Smith, Damien Jurado
Telekinesis‘ new album might take a bit of time to fully digest. This is because its mastermind, the multi-instrumentalist Michael Benjamin Lerner, is a chameleonic talent who can deliver upbeat indie rock and mellow indie pop with equal finesse.
Take his newest offering, “Set a Course”, for example. Its minute-plus intro calls to mind Elliott Smith’s introspective ballads, but don’t be fooled by this musical red herring. Lerner soon reveals a meatier, high-energy pop core. For the next two minutes you are wrapped in hooks tighter than ’90s-era Sugar, and what a rush it is. As the year-end approaches, many of us feel drained. Look to this song to recharge. Between its high-octane burst of energy and its effusive chorus (“Every time I feel like falling down, I pick myself up off the ground”), this tune gives you the boost you need to carry on.
Merge Records will release Effluxion on February 22. You can pre-order from these streaming and purchase links. (Or, if you can’t wait that long, grab this single now with your pre-order at Bandcamp.) Then mark your calendars now for the Telekinesis 2019 tour that begins in April.
Share This Article On...
Follow The Revue On...