The Matinee ’20 July 3 includes 7 amazing tracks to get your weekend going. For some of us, the three-day long weekend starts today. You are sure to find something to get you moving , thinking or inspired for change. We hope you find your new favorite song or band.
Los Coast – “A Change Is Gonna Come” (feat. Gary Clark, Jr.) (Austin, USA)
RIYL: Sam Cooke, Leon Bridges, Charles Bradley
We envy anyone who hears Los Coast for the first time today. Having your soul stirred by this Texas band – especially in times like these – will feel like you’ve found an oasis in the Sahara. This band has earned a place alongside their soulful peers Leon Bridges and Fantastic Negrito as leaders of a new chorus of changemakers. Los Coast are using their talents to build bridges and reach wider audiences through song. In this case, their version of the Sam Cooke classic “A Change Is Gonna Come” arrives at a particularly crucial time.
When frontman Trey Privott belts out the opening lines, you suspect Sam Cooke is looking on in proud approval. The raw emotion of his delivery needs no enhancement, but the addition of blues-rock guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. turns this otherwise moving tune into a five-alarm scorcher. Their collaboration not only inspires listeners to sing along, but the old-school gospel revival vibes Privott evokes will have you clapping and yelling “Amen!” throughout.
“A Change Is Gonna Come” is streaming via New West Records. You can also see Los Coast performing it last September at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in this video. (That entire performance is must-see viewing!) The band’s most recent album, Samsara , is available from these links and Bandcamp.
Los Coast are: Trey Privott (lead vocals, guitar) and John Courtney (guitars, keys, vocals), with support from Megan Hartman (bass), Nat Wright (keys), and Damien Llanes (drums).
Fear of Men – “Into the Strangeness” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: PJ Harvey, Nadine Shah, Chelsea Wolfe
In 2016, Fear of Men delivered an album that we called “a rare masterpiece” when we included Fall Forever on Favorite Albums of the Year list. The trio of Jess Weiss (vocals/guitar), Daniel Falvey (guitars/keyboards) and Michael Miles (drums) made brooding indie-rock beautiful. In the four years that have passed, they’ve been relatively quiet until late in 2019 when they announced they would be headlining Cologne Popfest and were working on a new album. COVID-19 obviously put any tour plans to rest, but it may not have slowed work on their highly-anticipated LP. At least, we’re hoping that’s the case, and “Into the Strangeness” is just the tip of the iceberg.
Whereas their early works were minimalist and enchanting, the Brighton outfit turn the page. For that matter, they’ve turned their playbook completely upside-down and inside-out. “Into the Strangeness” is still enchanting but in a dark, haunting, and spine-tingling way. It is PJ Harvey fronting an ensemble, whose conductor is Chelsea Wolfe. The harrowing rhythms; the stark, glimmering guitar lines; the deep bellows of a saxophone; and piercing ivory keys swirl together within this bone-chilling, sonic vortex. In the middle of the storm is Weiss, who speaks about the “demon” that exists within and her eventual liberation. Her lyrics are eerie because they are so true, so real, so hopeful.
“Spent a few years in tears
But now I’m steel, I’m protected by Venus
I hope you see this
That I’m not going to break “
Welcome back Fear of Men. It’s been far too long.
Guards – “so it goes” (Los Angeles via Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Portugal. The Man, Danger Mouse, Fitz and the Tantrums
While there’s always room for the dark and exhilarating, today does mark the start of the weekend, so let’s break away from the chains of our occupation and have a good time. Kicking off this mini-run of rambunctious, head-nodding, hip-shaking music are Richie James Follin and Loren Humphrey – or simply Guards. The duo made the move from the East to West Coast not too long ago, and they’ve immediately taken a liking to the sun-kissed, beach vibes of Los Angeles. At least, that’s what “so it goes” indicates.
The track is a cornucopia of sound and genres. It’s part funk, part disco, part pop, part neo-psychedelia, and 100% outrageous fun. It’s like Danger Mouse on overdrive, which is saying a lot. Or another analogy is to think Quentin Tarantino remaking Staying Alive and Tony Manero goes on an all-night bender. Just like the actual movie, he does this to let go and to let himself free. Follin’s smooth vocals and lyrics denote the same thing – that of a man who has imprisoned himself but he’s ready to smell the free air.
“I got a vision made it my religion
Oh I’m going to break out break out of this prison
Sing it to my softly maybe when I’m older
Oh I just can’t stand it stand it any longer”
Alfie Templeman – “Obvious Guy” (Bedfordshire, England)
RIYL: ‘Hyperspace’-era Beck, Phoenix, MGMT
Don’t put the disco ball away quite yet because the good times are just getting started. If anything, you might want to break out the bell bottoms and tease your hair. Then grab a dance party and get moving to “Obvious Guy”, which is 17-year old Alfie Templeman‘s new single.
Say what? He’s 17? Yep, the young Brit who isn’t even old enough to vote is creating huge waves across the pond with his already deep musical collection that spans everywhere from pop to rock to ballads and everything in between. Beyond being a musical kaleidoscope, Templeman has a penchant for releasing the perfect song at the right moment. In these days when we just need something to make us forget about the ills of the world, he delivers the goods with a funky, groovy, and fun-loving disco-pop tune. It’s a song that undoubtedly will get you moving, whether it’s bopping in your seat or dancing on the sidewalk with little care for all the eyes watching you.
What separates Templeman, however, from most artists is that, well, as he says, he “doesn’t want to be that obvious guy”. He doesn’t wish to be like other guys his age, who are afraid to committing to anything and anyone. He wants to perfect his craft, cherish his relationships, and be more than just another bloke. It’s safe to say that with a long future ahead of him, Templeman is anything but ordinary.
His new EP, Happiness in Liquid Form, will be released July 17th on Chess Club Records.
Fontaines D.C. – “Televised Mind” (Dublin, Ireland)
RIYL: Iceage, Eagulls, Joy Division
Some people already consider Grian Chatten, Conor Deegan III, Carlos O’Connell, Conor Curley, and Tom Coll – a.k.a. Fontaines D.C. – to be the greatest band in the world. There’s definitely an argument to be made because the young Dubliners are reviving UK post-punk, returning it to the pulsating, dark, yet exhilarating depths of its Manchester origins. Their debut album, Dongrel, was simply a brilliantly moody and bleak album, and their first single of 2020, “I Don’t Belong”, was as tantalizing and mysterious as a moonless night. Their latest track takes us to new places.
Tie a rope around your waist and prepare to be devoured by your television set like little Carol Anne Freeling was in Poltergeist. Into this shadowy abyss of despair is where the quintet take us on the throbbing, eye-popping, and stark “Televised Mind”. Ghouls and spirits from the afterlife don’t occupy this realm, though. Instead, real men and women are on the other side, indoctrinating us to conform to a certain set of beliefs and values, some of which are lies or “false truths”. We succumb to this order, to this rule in order to be accepted, but in the process we strip away our individuality. Our ability to think rationally and to critique is stripped away. We have become just a cog in the bigger machine. Chatten’s lyrics are brilliant, particularly when he says:
“Swipe your thoughts from Broadway
Turn ideals to cabaret
Water dreams of yesterday
All your laughter pissed away
All your sadness pissed away
Now you don’t care what they say
Nor do I”
Old ’97s – “Turn Off the TV” (Dallas, USA)
RIYL: Drive-By Truckers, The Jayhawks, Son Volt
After nearly 30 years together, American alt-country icons Old ’97s still know how to deliver feel-good rockin’ tunes with plenty of wit and grit.
Their new single “Turn Off the TV” from their aptly titled upcoming LP, Twelfth, is a testimony to the staying power of the Dallas band. Between the smokin’ hot instrumentation and the wry lyrical delivery from frontman Rhett Miller, this tune about doing something besides passively zoning out in front of a television hits a sweet spot for listeners. It offers hope of nights to come. We might not be able to see the beloved band perform this in a packed, sweaty venue anytime soon, but their crowd-pleasing energy can be felt in every note.
When these guys plug in, fans know to buckle up for a fun ride. “Turn Off the TV” is one helluva joyride, and its arrival comes at a time when we all need something good to savor. The song’s video features numerous celebrity cameos, a fitting move since the album cover features Dallas Cowboys legend Roger Staubach.
Baker Grace – “Up All Night” (New York, USA)
RIYL: Amelia Meath, Carly Rae Jepsen, Phoebe Ryan
Baker Grace has been creating exciting indie pop since releasing her debut EP last year. The 19 year old NYC singer-songwriter brings intoxicating vocals along with endearing lyrics. “Up All Night” has a fresh synth pop feel with simple yet striking melodies. The lyrics explore the feelings and emotions surrounding a situation of not truly understanding someone else. It’s actually the perfect song to bring people together who may not see eye to eye (Definitely timely in our current climate).
Who am I to judge the way you feel about the things I don’t know?
I’ve been staying up all night thinkin’, I’ve been staying up all night.
Baker Grace shares a bit more about the meaning behind the track: “’Up All Night’ is about how too often we judge people or a group of people without getting the chance to know them, Everybody has a story and I think it’s important to take the time to understand each other and become more compassionate, so we can learn, grow, and heal together.”
“Up All Night” is from Grace’s upcoming EP titled Yourz Truly which will be released August 28th.
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