Since we did not post a mini-playlist last Friday, we’ve decided to share a special The Matinee ’20 April 7 edition. Since this is a special one, we’re going in reverse alphabetical order. We also want to highlight a talent that often finds her and her band near the bottom.
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down – “Phenom” (San Francisco, USA)
RIYL: Tune-Yards, Kalbells,
Joining “Temple”, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down have released the second single from their upcoming record, Temple, “Phenom”. While “Temple” was an upbeat track with lush synths and a super dancy bassline, “Phenom” slows things down in a big way.
“Phenom” has a repetitive, intentional bass line, and with just occasional riffs of guitar and and underlining simple drum beat. Thao is on-point throughout, her vocals are layered, creating a surreal, yet urgent vibe. Lyrically, it’s equally surreal.
“Careful I’m an animal
Trap trap trap
First of the secondary class class class
You know I don’t trust you what’s the catch catch catch
Don’t you f—— touch me I will gnash gnash gash
‘Cause I am an old phenomenon
And I am an old phenomenon.”
Fitting for the times we’re all in right now, the music video for “Phenom” was filmed entirely in a Zoom conference. It’s a fun ride with some creative use as the system, as we’d expect from Thao & the Get Down Stay Down.
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down are: Thao Nguyen, Adam Thompson, Johanna Kunin, Jason Slota, and Charlie Glenn.
Sexores – “Volantia” (Mexico City, Mexico via Quito, Ecuador)
RIYL: Lush, Chasms, Psychic Ills
Over the past four years, Sexores have had an adventure, which is putting things mildly. After having their gear stolen in their hometown of Quito, the then-quartet moved to Barcelona, where their popularity took off with Europeans deep love affair for dreamy, celestial shoegaze. The band eventually moved back to Quito, but now call Mexico City home. Well, it is home for the remaining two members, Emilia Bahamonde Noriega (vocals/guitars) and David Yépez Valencia (drums). A couple of weeks ago, they released their new album, Salamanca, via Buh Records, which is quite a tantalizing LP. As a taste of what the record is like, take a listen to “Volantia”.
Chiming and hollow guitars, pulsating rhythms, and the occasional illuminating synths collide to create an immensely lush soundscape. You may catch yourself gently swaying or quietly dancing to the spellbinding instrument while your mind enters a dream state due to Noriega’s hushed but evocative vocals. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t speak a word of Spanish because the music takes you to another dimension. Takes you away from the surrealism of the outside world and into a place where sanctity can be found.
Salamanca is available on Bandcamp, where the duo’s back-catalogue can also be found.
Sara Jackson-Holman – “Nuclear War” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Lana Del Rey, Cat Power, Lykki Li
Only two months ago, Sara Jackson-Holman floored us with “Candy”, which possessed the sonic and lyrical power of Lana Del Rey. It was an eye-opening introduction to a young singer-songwriter that has hovered under the radar for far too long. Maybe she needs to follow the path of Del Rey and get MTV to repeatedly play one of her videos, so the world can discover her talent. In the meantime, those in the know will get to cherish songs like “Nuclear War”.
You might wish to grab your loved one (who likely is sitting next to you) and slow dance the night away with this tune. After the short burst of energy at the start to reflect the incoming storm, the song settles into a delicate and tranquil alt-pop tune. Jackson-Holman’s voice is hushed, yet it drips with emotion. As the keys and rhythms start to build, she reveals her undying love for another. But the song is more than just about a relationship but about the power of love. How despite the world crumbling apart around us, nothing can replace nor break the bond between two people. Not even a nuclear war.
Jackson-Holman’s new EP, Candy, is out now. The LA-based artist will release a second EP later in the year.
Sam Himself – “Slow Drugs” (Brooklyn, USA via Switzerland)
RIYL: The National, El Vy, Phosphorescent
We can no longer say that The National are the only ones who make the brooding beautiful or perfect sad bastard music. The indie-rock giants now have company, as another transplanted Brooklynite is equally turning hopelessness into something magnificent.
From Sam Himself‘s baritone to the languid, melancholic indie-rock approach, “Slow Drugs” echoes The National at their heights. For over three-and-a-half minutes, the song burns like a candle on both ends, emitting a subtle heat that warms you every so slightly. However, you cannot get too close because Sam’s memory of a person that is now long gone and his fall into addiction may consume you.
“Bring me slow drugs to stock my locks in (kill my lights)
Slow drugs for low lugs to grow on high
Bring your blue lips and your airplane eyes
Lindsay Munroe – “Split” (Manchester, England)
RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, TORRES, Snail Mail
Two months ago, Lindsay Munroe introduced herself to us with the gritty, raw, and honest “Mirror”. With the emotional rocker, she found her voice in a resounding way. She returns with another burning, intense single with “Split”.
With “Split”, Munroe attracted the attention of Sharon Van Etten, and the instant we heard “Split”, we knew exactly why. Like Van Etten at her finest, Munroe proves to be a master at slowly-building, emotionally-charged and vulnerable tracks. “Split” comes from a place of frustration, of time spent within the confines of conservative religion and the realization she would need to escape. It’s both heart-wrenching and undeniably powerful.
“I can’t love you when I’m so afraid
and I can’t love you when I’m so ashamed.”
Munroe’s debut record is due out this year.
Jagd – “Violins” (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
RIYL: Garbage, Hole, Babes in Toyland
Where have all the alternative-rock bands gone? There’s still great indie-rock being created, but finding bands rekindling the spirit of ’90s grunge is difficult. Fortunately, a new-ish band from Amsterdam is reminding us of the music of our youth. They are the appropriately named Jagd, which includes Nanne vd Linden (vocals), Jos Neering (guitar), Timo Mes (drums), and Thom Schotanus (bass). Their latest single reveals how they could possibly be this generation’s Garbage.
“Violins” is a gritty, raucous, intelligent number. While the beginning is diligently melodic, vd Linden’s vocals are assertive and even desperate. She sings about a creep who won’t leave her alone, and he tries to entice her into his bed by revealing his wealth and other traits, such as being “a generous lover”. This slimy creature of a man is one we all know too well, and as the song builds to his raging climax, you just want to reach into your headphones and punch the jerk in the face. You can’t say this often about music today, but in the ’90s we sure did.
Jagd’s debut album, Talking to yourself to others, is scheduled for release this fall via LAB Music.
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