The Matinee ’20 April 24 provides a moment of escapism with eight stupendous songs. The mini-playlist is bookend by two songs that will send you to ethereal places. In between, you’ll be fun, toe-tapping songs and blissful numbers. Happy weekend everyone.

 

A.O. Gerber – “All I’ve Known” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Weyes Blood, Angel Olsen, Hazel English

The best songs help us escape the chaos of the modern world. Some make us dance; others take us to fairy-tale landscapes. Then there are those that make our hearts flutter and our minds drift away to either a forgotten memory or possibly nowhere at all. With this in mind, take a deep breath before pressing play because you may not exhale during “All I’ve Known”, the dreamy and gorgeous new single from A.O. Gerber.

The song is a whirlwind of emotions. It is blissful and intoxicating in its approach, which possesses touches the lush ’70s-era Laurel Canyon sound and ’90s dreamgaze. “All I’ve Known” sounds like Stevie Nicks collaborating with My Morning Jacket on an instant classic. And like all great songs, there is more to this one than the masterful orchestration. A permanent scar and an unforgotten pain linger within Gerber’s angelic voice. Her words reveal an experience that nearly shattered her and just might crush your soul.

“And it’s a cold glare I’m giving
Sitting out beneath the stars
And it’s a bruised sigh that’s got you
Thinking I know what I want
And I am so deluded
I keep on feeling this is all my fault
Again and again”

Gerber is supported by Jacob Goldman (guitar/piano/synth/vocals), Alex Oñate (drums), and Madison Megna (bass/guitar). Her new album, Another Place to Need, out May 22 via Hand In Hive and Copper Mouth Records. Pre-order and pre-save options are available here. The single is also available for purchase on Bandcamp.

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Dream Wife – “Hasta La Vista” (London, England & Reykjavik, Iceland)

RIYL: HATER, Hinds, Sløtface

In their four years as a band Dream Wife has created bold, anthemic disco-punk and indie pop-rock. Their live shows are already legendary. Often lost in the energy of their music is that the trio of Rakel Mjöll (lead vocals), Alice Go (guitar/vocals), and Bella Podpadec’s (bass/vocals) write fantastic songs. They could take the formulaic route to tell common, repetitive love stories. But then they wouldn’t achieve their goal of dismantling the patriarchy that exists in both music and society, as they revealed on “Sports!” This doesn’t mean they are incapable of writing a tender, personal song. Just don’t expect them to go gaga over another person. Instead, they’ll pay tribute to everything they’ve known and loved, which they do on “Hasta La Vista.”

Before you think it, the song doesn’t have the attitude of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-1000 nor does Mjöll utter his famous line from the second Terminator film. On the contrary, “Hasta La Vista” is a soothing piece of sun-kissed pop. As a smile begins to form on your face and your head bops to Podpadec’s Peter Hook-esque bass line, Mjöll’s engrossing vocals take us down memory lane. She takes us to our youth when we dressed like our favorite music star and sang into our hairbrushes. Those days are gone but never forgotten:

“Remember me in the morning light
Remember none of the wrong / Just the right
Remember all the joy we gave
Remember it paid to wait / But then again maybe not
Just keep me close to your heart.”

The band’s sophomore album, So When You Gonna…, is out July 3rd via Lucky Number. Pre-order and pre-save links are available here or directly from Bandcamp.

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Eades – “Same Guy” (Leeds, England)

RIYL: Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground, Wire

Eades is a newly formed band with members who have played in many different U.K. bands, including one of our favorites, Far Caspian. From what they have released so far, this quintet will definitely remain on our radar.

“Same Guy” is a super addicting garage rock-influenced track. It also has an unlikely eastern flair which provides its unique sound. The combination of tight guitar, disco-ish bass and the matter-of-fact vocals from frontman Harry Jordan offers of the perfect blend of New Wave nostalgia and modern flair.

This is an upbeat track you can spin multiple times and it will be a perfect track for those quickly approaching summer days. The lyrical content is very self-reflective with a bit of a serious tone, but the warm and exterior might force some unintentional toe tapping or head bobbing. In this current climate, it’s definitely a tune to spin during the work day to help it fly by.

“Same Guy” examines the classic theme of mortality, as frontman Harry Jordan explains: “It’s essentially a coming of age tune, and the realisation that eventually we’re all going to grow old, becoming either our parents, or the oldies we might think are ‘uncool’. It’s about accepting we are all just part of the cycle.”

Eades are Harry Jordan (vocals and guitar),Tom O’Reilly (lead guitar), Dave Lancaster (bass), Dan Clifford-Smith (synths and percussion), and Jof Cabedo (drums).

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The Great Dictators – “Riot on a Diet” (Copenhagen, Denmark)

RIYL: Depeche Mode, Interpol, White Lies

Consistent brilliance: those are the words that best describe the output from Danish indie rock trio The Great Dictators. Each new album attracts more fans who are drawn to their cloudy, atmospheric art. What remains a mystery is why this band has yet to achieve the global recognition they deserve. Their latest single, “Riot on a Diet”, supports our theory that The Great Dictators are the best band you haven’t discovered. Trust us when we tell you: get to know these guys. They won’t remain the best-kept secret in music for much longer.

We first fell in love with their Nick Cave-meets-Interpol sound in late 2016, some five years after their formation. Since then, they have continued to improve their already entrancing blend of synth-driven rock. “Riot on a Diet” finds them infusing vintage tones (hints of Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk echo throughout) with modern swagger and clever lyrics. “Oh my lord / why are you such a bore” is a standout line, along with “Life is underwhelming / you don’t have to remind me.”

The band’s fourth album, One Eye Opener, is out now via Celebration Records. You can get it from these links and Bandcamp.

The Great Dictators are Jakob Lundorff, Christoffer Hein, and Dragut Lugalzagosi.

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Great News – “Never Going Back” (Bergen, Norway)

RIYL: Peter Bjorn & John, a synth-y The War On Drugs, Future Islands

If you’re looking for an uplifting album to take you beyond euphoria, then we highly recommend Now and Them from Great News, the Norwegian band who are redefining anthemic indie pop-rock. The quartet are not relegated to any single genre, as they master everything from psych-pop to synth-pop to ’90s indie-rock. If they were based in New York or LA, they would be indie superstars with festivals and the major music publications fawning over them. Songs like “Reality Show” and “Greedy Thing” would be in heavy rotation on influential radio stations KEXP and KCRW. But that day will come for Even Kjelby, Lars Henrik Stoud Platou, and Ole Kristian Einarsen – perhaps soon, with CMJ’s return – because “Never Going Back” is their breakthrough.

Like the perfect concoction of The War On Drugs’ windswept indie-rock and Future Islands’ exultant synth-pop, “Never Going Back” is the song we need to get us moving. Whether that’s dancing, running, or simply basking in the sunlight, it will make you feel thankful for being alive. While Kjelby’s lyrics are soaked in nostalgia, he uses the past to motivate him to move forward:

“I see your face when I close my eyes
Feels like I’m going to lose my mind
So I try my best to not to close my eyes
But I can’t help it because I love your smile
I’m never going back, I’m never going back again.”

The band’s sophomore album, Now and Them, is out now on EDDA Music. Seriously, take a listen. It is fantastic.

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Jónsi – “Exhale” (Los Angeles, USA & Reykjavik, Iceland)

RIYL: Sigur Ros, Riceboy Sleeps, Thom Yorke

Most music lovers know Icelandic music wizard Jónsi from his band Sigur Rós. They know to expect a soothing experience anytime he sings. But those same fans also know the challenge of trying to sing along to incomprehensible lyrics. Fortunately his newest single – the first new solo music since his 2010 debut, Go – is a cathartic anthem sung entirely in English.

The song begins in typical Jónsi fashion, with minimal instrumentation that seems to unfold with a springtime flower’s grace. But oh, what a rush awaits listeners at the halfway point. Melodies and harmonies intertwine in a moving crescendo sure to leave you breathless. Equally impressive is the lyrical message. You cannot help but feel comforted as Jónsi repeats the mantra of “It’s just the way it is / It isn’t your fault / Just let it go now.” 

Jónsi shares production and direction credits for the video with American actor Giovanni Ribisi:

“Exhale” is available now from these links and Bandcamp.

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Katie Von Schleicher – “Wheel” (Brooklyn, USA)

RIYL: Cat Power, Margaret Glaspy, Lady Lamb

Katie Von Schleicher is gearing up to release her third full-length record, Consummation, next month. The first single, “Caged Sleep” was a dreamy track that was more refined musically than her previous releases. This week, Von Schleicher shared another track from Consummation, “Wheel.”

“Wheel” is upbeat, with playful guitar, and a la-la chorus. It’s just a great track with super catchy and infectious energy. Its accompanying music video captures the energy of the song. The video – produced by V Haddad, and created during COVID-19 lockdown – features female and non-binary artists dancing to the track. The original budget for the video is being donated to Safe Horizon, the U.S. organization that supports victims of domestic violence. Between its video and good vibes, “Wheel” is a perfect track to take you into the weekend.

Consummation arrives May 22nd via Ba Da Bing Records.

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WOMB – “Used to Be” (Wellington, New Zealand)

RIYL: Berlin, Beach House, Snail Mail

Over the years, New Zealand’s sibling trio WOMB have intoxicated us with their brooding indie-rock. Their music made everyone who listened feel gorgeously sinister. For their first release of 2020, however, the band commence a new chapter in their careers, and the first page is an eye-opener that will make you want to see what awaits Charlotte Forrester (vocals/guitar), Haz Forrester (synths/keys), and Georgette Brown (drums).

In a time where we all have plenty of time to think about what was, we should never have any regrets. Instead, we should learn from and even cherish every moment, including what seemed like a mistake at the time. On “Used to Be”, WOMB tenderly and stunningly remind of this. Charlotte’s vulnerable vocals hover gracefully over the dreamy, goth-rock approach. The combination is enchanting, especially when she whispers:

“Still I do not regret
My mouth pressed to your mouth
I’d do it over again
Drive back to your house”

You can purchase the track at Bandcamp for just NZ $1 (or about $0.65 US).

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