Around the globe we go to share some of the best new tunes on The Matinee ’20 June 12 edition. Nine songs are featured, many of which will get your feet moving – and possibly encourage you to run, run, and run some more. Others will levitate your soul and free your minds, helping you momentarily to find a little bit of happiness in these challenging times.
Bully – “Where to Start” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: Swearin’, Joanna Gruesome, Japandroids
YES!!! Sorry, we had to get that out of our collective systems because Nashville’s best band, Bully, are back. Yes, we did say they are the Music City’s best group because the Alicia Bognanno-fronted outfit puts everything into their music. From their blood, sweat, and tears to the heart and soul, every song is delivered with an honest ferocity. Their outstanding sophomore album, Losing, showcased a band delivering fearless music. Not surprisingly, it landed on multiple end-of-year lists, including our own Favorite Albums of 2017. Three years later, Bognanno, Clayton Parker, and Reece Lazarus return with a roar. Really, how else would they announce their arrival?
Get ready to lose your marbles for three minutes because “Where to Start” is a scorcher of a garage-rock single. Lazarus’ bass drives the song, pulsing like a the beacons of a lighthouse blitzing the dark sky. Parker’s over-driven guitar wails during the song’s multiple apexes, revving like Thurston Moore during Sonic Youth’s angsty glory days. Bognanno, meanwhile, is intensity personified, as her voice hollers with the desperation of a woman meandering her way through life’s many labyrinths and confronting the minotaurs that occupy them. Although she may be unsure of the direction, one thing is crystal clear – she won’t back down from anyone nor will she “run away” from any challenge. She’s here to stay whether we like it or not.
Career Boy – “What’s Next” (Brooklyn, NY)
RIYL: The Strokes, (early) Parquet Courts, LVL UP
It’s not every day that we see a track from a band that classifies themselves as “job rock”. However, that’s exactly how Brooklyn’s Career Boy describe themselves as. Diving into their social media, pictures of offices, and old school business computers. On their Facebook page, they have a cover letter that describes them as “a detail-oriented and Microsoft Office boy band from Bushwick, NY”. They’re basically Yuppies by day and rockers at night (kind of like us). Last week, Career Boy let their post-5:00 PM side rule, as they released their debut single “What’s Next?”.
“What’s Next” rips hard. Like, HARD! From its thundering bass intro to its guitar licks, it’s fast-paced awesomeness. It’s an impressive first single with a ton of great energy. It definitely feels like a great New York indie/DIY track from the scene’s peak. Lyrically, it is immensely relatable, reflecting on one’s self and trying to figure out what’s next, and the anxiety in navigating the broken employment and economic system – something that feels pertinent today.
Career Boy also shared a music video for “What’s Next” featuring a very good boy. Someone’s mother must be awfully proud.
Coach Party – “Bleach” (Isle of Wight, England)
RIYL: The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Big Moon, Why Bonnie
Every generation has a moment of monumental change (we’re living in one right now!). The ’90s was a time of tremendous change. It didn’t usher in any specific movements – not civil rights, sexual liberation, or global peace. It did witness, however, many of them reach huge infliction points. Rodney King, the end of apartheid, the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the World Wide Web all happened in arguably the most momentous decade of our lifetime. The music of the era also matched the times. Angst-driven grunge music, hard-hitting rap and hip hop, raging rock, and dizzying shoegaze boomed in the ears of college students and young professionals thirsting for change. Today, the same thing is happening, and UK outfit Coach Party could be the voice of a younger generation.
Today, their debut EP, Party Food, is out on Chess Club Records. It’s filled with tunes that reflect the experiences of teenagers and twentysomethings, and how despite all the items and opportunities available to them they still feel unsatisfied. Best capturing this sense of disconnection and lack of fulfillment is “Bleach”.
Through a driving bassline, stammering rhythms, and crystalline guitars, the band have crafted a track that echoes of the ’90s. Specifically, it is reminiscent of the delirious yet inviting shoegaze of The Jesus and Mary Chain, where the band members are not the only ones staring at the ground and bopping their heads. The audience, too, is gazing downwards and swaying their heads to the scintillating melody. All the while, they listen intently to front-woman Jess Eastwood’s words about wanting to live. About how “this world is too small, too small for me”. Their head-sways, as such, are not just rhythmic movements, but they and we are nodding in agreement that there is much more to this life than we know.
Fontaines D.C. – “I Don’t Belong” (Dublin, Ireland)
RIYL: Iceage, Shame, Protomartyr
Only a year has passed since Dublin post-punk/alt-rock collective Fontaines D.C. released their Mercury Prize-nominated debut album, Dongrel, which was a brilliantly menacing record. If we had not been on hiatus in 2019, it likely would have been on our Favorite LPs list. We have a second chance, though, to recognize the brilliance of one of the world’s great, young post-punk bands. Heck, one of the world’s great bands. Period. They are the Joy Division of a new generation, and they prove this on “I Don’t Belong”.
Like the most renowned post-punk band in history, Grian Chatten, Conor Deegan III, Carlos O’Connell, Conor Curley, and Tom Coll don’t rely on sheer force and explosive noise to make their point. They instead let their musicianship and Chatten’s deft songwriting draw in listeners. The melodic yet harrowing soundscape is tantalizing and mysterious like the blackness of a moonless night. Even though dangers lurk in the darkness, you continue to move forward in anticipation in finding something. You find not something but someone. You discover who are you, realizing that you don’t want to be like the rest. To be like the person sitting in the lounger and:
“Telling people what they was
Spitting out all types of sugar
Just dying for a cause, cause, cause
A smiler slithered to my corner
On a face so true“
Jeremy Loops – “Mortal Man” (Cape Town, South Africa)
RIYL: D.D Dumbo, Ed Sheeran, Walker Lukens
Jeremy Loops has been creating awesome folk-rock tracks for almost a decade. He’s already a big deal in South Africa, but it’s very possible he will be making an impact across the world. Not only does he have a brand new single out, but he’s recently signed to Universal Music South Africa. He’s also an enigmatic and stellar one man band in a live setting. Hopefully soon artists will get to tour again in some form or fashion.
“Mortal Man” starts off simplistic with acoustic guitar and captivating vocals. We also hear the signature loop pedal which Jeremy Loops is known for, although not quite as prominent compared to previous releases. The overall vibe is claiming and serene. It’s the perfect track to chill out to during a relaxing weekend.
“Count on me when you’re falling down
Don’t give up on what we got now
I hear you calling
So count on me when you’re fallin down
Just stop giving what you can’t give now
I hear you calling”
It’s Friday and it’s time to relax and feel a bit hopeful. The world is crazy, times are challenging, but there is always time to listen to a new tune that will brighten your day. “Mortal Man” does just the trick.
Mashmellow – “Heaven Is You” (Moscow, Russia)
RIYL: The Cure + Yumi Zouma + Belle Mare
It’s Friday! And in the immortal words of The Cure, it’s the day for us to fall in love. When “Friday I’m In Love” was released in 1992, it was exactly the type of song people needed. The world was coming out of an unnecessary war in the Middle East, a steep recession had just ended, and social and racial tensions were high. For 3.5 minutes, The Cure gave us a reason to be happy. So if Robert Smith could fall in love on a Friday, then Saturday must be heaven, and the soundtrack for this day would undoubtedly be a song that could very well be the sequel to The Cure’s biggest hit.
Grab your partner’s hand, put a smile on your face, and dance to “Heaven Is You”, the addictive new single from Moscow’s Mashmellow. If you’re like us, then first thing you might say is, “That bass line!”, which brims with the intoxication of Simon Gallup’s Gibson Thunderbird. The shimmering melody, meanwhile, is akin to Yumi Zouma’s sweltering dream-pop, which immediately transports you to sandy beaches and cool ocean breezes. There waiting for you is Masha Shurygina, whose saccharine voice reminds us that love is still the greatest force on this planet. That when our hearts swell, we feel “supernatural” and like the richest person on the planet. Just like The Cure, for 216 seconds, we get to believe that this place we call Earth can one day live harmoniously.
Mashmellow are Masha Shurygina (vocals), Konstantin Buglevskiy (guitars/bass), Egor Berdnikov (guitars), and Vladimir Balovnev (drums). Their new EP is expected to be released late in 2020.
Orlando Weeks – “Blame or Love or Nothing” (Suffolk, England)
RIYL: Bon Iver, José González, Foals, Thom Yorke
Lush and pensive: these are but two words that fall short of describing the dazzling “Blame or Love or Nothing” from Orlando Weeks. The former frontman of The Maccabees takes listeners on an emotional journey on this tune from his debut album, A Quickening. It’s a soothing experience.
The ethereal tone has a fog-like quality, with textures on par with Bon Iver and Thom Yorke. There is a yearning in Weeks’s vocals, as though he is asking questions that cannot be answered. Or maybe he is simply expressing amazement as a new parent and processing those waves of emotions through music:
“Overfill the cup
And then sing a song of love
Could drink an ocean up
Somewhere between blame or love or nothing”
Whatever the inspiration, the world he creates on this song is one you will want to visit often.
Shamir – “On My Own” (Philadelphia, USA)
RIYL: Blood Orange, Robyn, FKA Twigs
The one bright spot in this global pandemic comes from musicians: all these weeks in isolation has resulted in amazing new tunes. Another plus is the DIY simplicity of their live-streamed performances and home-recorded videos. The latter applies to Shamir, whose new “On My Own” video shows the 25-year-old artist recovering from a breakup in isolation.
Tight pop hooks and Shamir’s intoxicating vocals are the foundation of this instant pop classic. If there is an unspoken checklist for artists to follow in creating the perfect breakup recovery anthem, Shamir Bailey has ticked every box. He pairs danceable beats with bright synths and sharp guitar riffs. The lyrics reveal honest vulnerability that instantly resonates with listeners. Those elements are packaged into a four-minute gift meant to be unwrapped and enjoyed countless times.
We have been fans of Shamir since his 2015 debut, Ratchet. His artistry is unrivaled; his talents as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and singer continue to evolve and impress with each release. Like another mononymous singer known for dancing on her own, Shamir reminds us that music is our best comfort when we’re alone.
The Sounds – “Hollow” (Helsingborg, Sweden)
RIYL: Band of Skulls, The Kills, Shiny Toy Guns
The Sounds are a Swedish based rock band who are not only killer live but have been releasing music for almost two decades. They were quiet for a while, but this year they have released a single or two leading up to their newest album release and it’s finally here.
“Hollow” is a supreme rocker that gets your blood pumping, especially if you have a situation where someone has done you wrong and revenge is on the brain. The track could also be referring to a type of addiction that is sucking the life out of someone. Whatever you decide it means to you, there is an empowering feel to the song. Singer Maja Iversson takes control throughout and could very well be a modern day Pat Benatar.
“You can call me your lover
Or hate is another
Name I can go by
I don’t care what you call me
I’ll be your shadow
I’ll leave you all hollow”
“Hollow” is from The Sounds’ brand new album, Things We Do For Love, which is out today everywhere.
The Sounds are Maja Iversson, Félix Rodríguez, Johan Bengtsson, Jesper Anderberg and Fredrik Blond.
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