The Matinee ’20 May 1 includes seven amazing tracks to get the beginning of the weekend set off just right. We hope you find your new favorite song or band. Happy Weekend!

Amanda Tenfjord – “Pressure” (Trondheim, Norway)

RIYL: Lorde, Maggie Rogers, Lana De Rey

Amanda Tenfjord has released her second track of the year and it’s one that continues to prove the Scandipop star’s undeniable talent. Her knack for transparency in her lyrics and mesmerizing vocals offer up the perfect combination for indie pop success.

“Pressure” is a enigmatic track that tackles the lines that can get blurred in relationships. The lyrics tackle getting lost within a relationship and feeling pressure to be a certain way for someone else.

“See that my devotion is killing my emotion – Losing every part of me
You speak from your heart
The words are too sharp
Shut my eyes and let it be”

The simple acoustics on “Pressure” set a relaxing tone as the soothing yet strong vocals take the forefront with subtle electro hymns that capture your full attention. It’s the perfect song to spin while spending one of our many many days at home truly relaxing with music because at this point in time we are fairly limited to any other activities. Is it summer yet?

“Pressure” is out on Propeller Recordings.

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Big Thief – “Love in Mine” (Brooklyn, USA)

RIYL: Angel Olsen, Jenny Lewis, Fleetwood Mac

Big Thief are one of the most consistent bands out there right now, which is remarkable with the amount of music they’ve released in the last few years That includes U.F.O.F. and Two Hands, both of which were released last year. This week, Big Thief have shared “Love in Mine”, a track that was left off of Two Hands. “Love in Mine” also saw a release as an exclusive b-side vinyl, but now it is finally officially available via 4AD.

It’s no surprise that “Love In Mine” is a great track. There’s a beauty in its composition, from its fingerpicked guitar to its intentionally understated drums. Lead singer Adrianne Lenker sings in a breathy whisper of love and moving on. It’s an example of everything that makes Big Thief so great, so great in fact they left such a wonderful track on the cutting room floor.

As well as the new track, Big Thief released Demos Vol. 1 – Topanga Canyon, CA – Feb 2018, a compilation of demos to raise money for their crew. It’s pretty cool, and includes tracks that ended up on Lenker’s solo record. Plus with Bandcamp waiving their revenue shares today, what better time to support some of the unsung heroes of rock and roll. Grab your copy here.

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Chaz Cardigan – “S.O.S” (Nashville, USA)

RIYL: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, BLEACHERS, COIN

Chaz Cardigan has a way with unabashed transparency as we previously shared “Not OK!” which explored mental health issues in a refreshing and addicting format. He just recently posted a quarantine video edition which was pretty cool.

S.O.S. is his newest release and it brings his self-examination style to the forefront, this time with exploring the issues of self sabotage in relationships. The magic of Chaz Cardigan is possibly not taking  himself too seriously and in turn, he connects with others who have had similar experiences yet don’t vocalize them. The magic seems to be his honest transparency and the courage to 100% be who he is and own it – the good, the bad and the ugly.

The lyrics tackle the struggle of wanting to do things differently even when repeating the same patterns: “I wanna get over it, I’ve got a way of getting in my way – I wanna get over it.”

The other piece of magic here is for Chaz Cardigan to turn serious and meaningful lyrics into one catchy ass package that you can’t help but want to dance to. It’s like a celebration of all that is messed up because maybe if you just get it out there in the open – it’s real and then it can be acknowledged, accepted and dealt with.

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Lowpines – “Path of the Plough” (London, England)

RIYL: Real Estate, Sufjan Stevens, Grandaddy, Golden Smog

Oli Deakin – aka Lowpines – has one of those voices. You know the type: warm, inviting, instantly familiar, and wholly unforgettable. You need only hear it once to become hooked. Of course, there is little chance you will want to stop listening after that initial introduction. (We speak from experience: his 2018 LP, In Silver Halides, prompted us to call him one of the world’s most criminally underrated songwriters for good reason.) His indie folk-rock gem “Path of the Plough” gives new listeners a detailed glimpse into his artistry. If this is your first time hearing Lowpines, we recommend curling up somewhere comfortable and closing your eyes.

The opening notes are a bit misleading: you expect a mellow ballad sung by a folk troubadour. Moments later you realize just how wrong you are. While his vocals have the cashmere smoothness of Sufjan Stevens, this song’s rich textures are more akin to The Jayhawks, Midlake and Grandaddy. In other words, “Path of the Plough” fuses earnest storytelling with Americana sensibilities. The result is nothing short of irresistible.

A full Lowpines album is expected later this year. Until then, his newest songs (along with his back catalog) are available from Bandcamp.

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Sea Girls – “Do You Really Wanna Know?” (London, England)

RIYL: The Killers, Two Door Cinema Club, Imagine Dragons

“Have we made it?” This is the question posed in “Do You Really Wanna Know?”, the newest offering from London-based indie rockers Sea Girls. By the time this anthemic tune ends, you will be certain of the answer.

In a perfect (or at least a less chaotic) world, summer festivals would continue as planned this year. It seems a shame that thousands of music fans won’t have a chance to sing along to belters like this one in a crowded field. This might actually work to the emerging band’s advantage: by next summer, those same punters will be able to sing along. Tunes like this are made for summer singalong. Between the raucous, radio-friendly hooks and the ebullient chorus, the energy levels here border on combustible. Trust us when we say: Sea Girls have mastered the art of crafting a timeless, feel-good indie rock hit. So between now and next festival season, get to know these guys. You’ll be seeing them on stages worldwide in the near future.

Their new album, Open Up Your Head, is slated for release in August via Polydor Records. You can pre-order it here.

Sea Girls are: Henry Camamile, Rory Young, Andrew Dawson, and Oli Khan.

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Secret Shame – “Dissolve” (Asheville, NC, USA)

RIYL: a female-fronted version of The Cure & Joy Division

If we had not been on hiatus last year, Secret Shame‘s debut record, Dark Synthetics, would have been one of our favorite EPs of the year. It was the perfect blend of chiming post-punk and dystopian goth-rock that sent shivers down your back. The quartet of Lena, Matthew, Nathan, and Billie crafted something memorable. If you overlooked the album, don’t fret – most people also initially overlooked The Cure’s Three Imaginary Boys. Like those living legends, Secret Shame’s story is just getting started, and it continues with “Dissolve.”

We generally avoid using the “combination” description, but it’s difficult not to think that “Dissolve” could be the long lost collaboration between The Cure and Joy Division with a young Kim Wilde or Pat Benatar singing lead. The angular guitars, the Peter Hook-ish bass line, and rapid-fire drums recall the music resonating from the basement bars of Manchester, Leeds, and London in the mid- to late ’70s. It is urgent yet infectious, hypnotic yet energizing. Lena’s lyrics, too, also encourage us to not get lost within the haze that overwhelms our mind, but instead to get through it. To find the little bit of hope that exists and persevere.

“Dissolve” is from Secret Shame’s forthcoming split single which arrives June 5th. Pre-orders are available on Bandcamp.

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SKIA – “Not Anymore” (Liverpool, England)

RIYL: Kim Petras, Robyn, Sigrid

Norwegian innovator SKIA (Annie Norbye) is making waves in the synth pop arena. The up and coming artist is currently living in Liverpool via Norway. Her latest single “Not Anymore” perfectly frames SKIA’s inviting vocals with simplistic yet unique electronic elements. The lyrics tackle the inner struggle between the sometimes confusing thoughts often fought daily in our heads.

“I think I started to trust all the doubts in my head”
My head feels dark, my body too, because I forgot what I meant”

The chorus offers hope with a strong statement of overcoming as SKIA laments “But I don’t anymore.” The overall sound gleams with shimmery pop even though the lyrics set off a serious tone. The track is still one to spin whilst hopefully in the very near future getting ready to go somewhere, anywhere with other people.

“Not Anymore” is available from Bandcamp, along with her previously released singles. SKIA’s debut EP, Apricot is out today via Heist or Hit.

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