We are three months into 2020, and we’ve already seen the world go upside down a few times. These are wild times, but on this Friday the 13th we find solace in great music. The Matinee ’20 March 13 edition offers a sampling of what’s out there with…
Cable Ties – “Hope” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Wild Flag, Japandroids, Titus Andronicus, Ex Hex
Are Cable Ties the best rock/punk-rock band on the planet? If not, the Melbourne-based trio of Jenny McKechnie (vocals/guitar), Nick Brown (bass), and Shauna Boyle (drums) are certainly in the top 1%. They consistently deliver one smashing rocker after another, from the arm-raising “Sandcastles” to the politically-charged “Self-Made Man”. Their latest single, though, is deceivingly fiery.
“Hope” seems mellow at first as McKenchnie shares her struggles to “breathe each day” and not lose hope. Just as it’s about to settle into a breathtaking dazzler, Cable Ties do what they do best: amp up the energy with garage-rock intensity. As the instrumentation gets heavier, McKenchnie realizes she’s living on an island with the world moving in one direction and her in another. “While the world keeps turning and don’t give a damn about thoughts that I don’t”, she sings with contempt and concern about the violence and conflict around her. Her anger at the world is reflected in the song’s electrifying final minute – easily the best 60 seconds heard in music this year.
Cable Ties’ second album, Far Enough, arrives March 27 on Merge Records (world) and Poison City (Australia/NZ). Pre-order the record, which includes a translucent amber and black swirl Peak Vinyl, in the Merge store or wherever records are sold. It’s also available on Bandcamp.
Far Caspian – “Today” (Leeds, UK)
RIYL: Beach Fossils, Real Estate, Youth Lagoon
Far Caspian has coined the term “melanjolly” to describe their sound, and it is a pretty perfect summation. It’s nice hearing their first release of 2020, even if it’s not in person at SXSW. They were scheduled to perform at the Texas festival until a certain virus forced its cancellation. Now we can opt for an eyes-closed intimate experience from this Leeds-based project.
“Today” is a dreamy track that will adjust your mood to immediate calm (which is perfect for anyone who might be anxious from current events). The single includes soothing rhythms, with lyrical content about getting through the day and battling loneliness:
“All that I’m feeling
Get off of your phone
Something to deal with
I don’t know
And oh I miss my friends
I hate to feel alone
But I just sit here”
“Today” is the perfect track for a weekend road trip as the weather begins to warm up. It’s available from these links via indie label Dance to the Radio. Hopefully the rest of Far Caspian’s upcoming tour dates will proceed as planned.
Far Caspian are Joel Johnston (vocals/guitar), Alessio Scozzaro (bass), and Jof Cabedo (drums).
Maribou State – “Mother” (London, England)
RIYL: Maribou State (there’s no comparable)
Electronic duo Maribou State are perennial favorites of ours. We named their 2018 release, Kingdoms in Colour, one of our top albums list that year. Their 2019 single “Feel Good” remains in heavy rotation. We love this band for one reason: their brand of electronica is exquisite. Now it’s time to reprogram your DNA with an expansive new single from Chris Davids and Liam Ivory.
“Mother” takes listeners on a twisting journey, as Maribou State fans know to expect. Featuring vocals from longtime collaborator Holly Walker, “Mother” blends layers of kinetic beats with hypnotic synth effects. The track builds from a hazy intro where the repeated refrain of “How am I supposed to try” burrows deep into your mind. At the halfway point those layers fuse into a seamless prism of irresistible rhythms. The final two minutes are an ecstatic blur of pulsating perfection. This is the kind of tune that established Maribou State in their early years playing at London’s legendary Fabric club and will guarantee their legacy as electronic icons.
“Mother” is from a 22-track compilation, fabric presents Maribou State, available from these streaming and purchase links. You can pre-order the LP here ahead of its March 27 release date via fabric Records.
Quivers – “Videostores” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Sun Kil Moon, Slowdive, The War on Drugs
Australian dream-pop outfit Quivers had plans to perform at SXSW this month. Its cancellation is especially disappointing for indie bands who rely on the festival to build their fanbase and share new music. Fortunately for Quivers fans, nothing can stop the release of their newest single.
“Videostores” captures everything we love about this Melbourne-based band: sun-kissed instrumentation, lush textures, and vocals so smooth you’d swear you’re floating. The languid shoegaze tones here evoke Slowdive and Sun Kil Moon. Even the lyrics convey the slow-motion feelings of falling in love when time seems to stand still and the world becomes a blur around you:
“I lost myself for a while
Then I lost myself in you
Now I know the future starts slow
Moving through molasses as you’re walking me home”
Quivers are: Sam Nicholson (vocals, guitars), Michael Panton (guitars), Bella Quinlan (vocals, bass), and Holly Thomas (vocals, drums).
STRFKR – “Deep Dream” (Portland, OR USA)
RIYL: M83, MGMT, of Montreal, Tame Impala
Got plans for this weekend? If they involve dancing to a new STRFKR tune, you’re in luck: “Deep Dream” is your one-way ticket to a gently psychedelic destination.
Just because the video is set in a winter wonderland doesn’t mean this tune doesn’t have plenty of sizzle. Quirky synth effects accent the fuzzy layers, giving “Deep Dream” a brightness often heard from M83 and Tame Impala. Anchored by a bouncy bass line, the melody glides effortlessly through verses and chorus. The trip continues with lyrical imagery that is equally hypnotic and addictive:
“I saw your face in a dream
I heard you whispering my name
I thought it couldn’t be real though
When everything before all looked the same”
Prepare to have the chorus on a perpetual loop in your brain. We will be repeating the lines “I let it go / Let it overflow / Open my eyes / And I paint it gold” for the rest of 2020.
STRFKR are: Joshua Hodges, Shawn Glassford, and Keil Corcoran.
Tourists – “Smokescreen” (Torquay, England)
RIYL: really early U2, Interpol, Deeper
Three years ago we had the privilege of premiering a song from a band on the verge of a huge breakthrough with their widescreen-brand of indie rock. The song was “Masquerade”, and the band is Tourists. They continue to be a BBC Radio 1 favorite with the potential to be the UK’s next big thing. What has us excited about their future is their refusal to stay stagnant, as they test the limits of they can do with their gloomy dream-rock. With “Smokescreen”, they blend the past and the present as well as different genres into a delicious melodic cocktail.
One part War-era U2, another part Interpol, with heavy doses of new-age post-punk, “Smokescreen” is simultaneously dark, suspenseful, and exhilirating. The interplay between the bassline, the pulsing drums, and the crystalline guitar creates an atmosphere made for a dystopian world. Here, reality is distorted and distractions the norm, as the powerful attempt to control our every moments and suspend our individuality. As frontman Jamie Giles urgently sings, “It’s not what you need, it’s what they believe” – words that couldn’t be any closer to the truth.
Their debut album, Another State, is expected later this year. Until then, get your copy of “Smokescreen” from these links.
Tourists are: Jamie Giles, Scott Morton, Matthew White, Lloyd Bastow, and Tom Wilkinson.
TTRUUCES – “Sensations of Cool” (London, England)
RIYL: Goldfrapp, Jonathan Bree, Ladytron
We love great stories in songs. Then there bands like create one elongated story out of all their songs, and as a whole they’ve essentially created a music novel or series of short stories. To do this requires not just musical talents but literary chops. Although TTRRUUCES, the project of Manchester native Natalie Findlay and Paris-born Jules Apollinaire, is still in its infancy, their previous three songs told great tales. The singles focused on two protagonists: 17-year old Sadie, also known as Sad Girl, and the slightly older Syd, who is known as Lost Boy. They’re both outsiders looking for meaning. Sadie wants stability while Syd seeks his “lust for life”. On their fourth song, they focus on Sadie and reach new levels of creativity.
“Sensations of Cool” has elements of Goldfrapp and Ladyfrapp woven into its hypnotic beats and Findlay’s alluring vocals. Psychedelic tones give it a trippy vibe, even cooler than what Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) crafts. With this combination, the song is more of an experience than a piece of momentary escapism, where you’ll be dancing in a full-blown haze. This effect is equivalent to the duo’s story of Sadie seeking to find a like-minded soul. She instead discovers that once the sun goes down, her neighbours indulge in obsessive self-gratification and even sadistic activities. Findlay’s lyrics are imaginative, and the video vividly captures Sadie’s night around the block.
This band is going places. They’ll be a riot to see live.
“Sensations of Cool” is out now from these streaming and purchase links.
Winnetka Bowling League – “CVS” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: COIN, The Band CAMINO, Valley
It’s Friday the 13th, everything in the U.S. is being canceled, from schools and sporting events to music festivals. With unprecedented measures being taken for everyone’s safety, music becomes even more vital to our sanity. There is a time to stop, listen and feel better. Winnetka Bowling League’s new tune “CVS” will give you all the feels.
The track is pure dream pop and reminds everyone about those relationships where you instantly connect and fall hard. And with the news of not having much to do for the next few weeks, many of us will spend plenty of quality time with those closest to us. The lyrics point to that realization of finding that special someone:
“I’m at ease
As quiet as suburban trees
Whenever you get around me
I got all I could ever need”
Winnetka Bowling league are singer Matthew Koma, bassist Maddie Jay, keyboardist Sam Beresford, and drummer Kris Mazzarisi.
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