The Matinee ’20 July 31 includes 8 killer tracks for your listening pleasure. There’s a great mix of tracks included on this fine Friday. Some will get you in the mood for the weekend with some upbeat vibes, set the tone for a relaxing weekend or get your blood pumping. Whatever you fancy for today, we hope you discover your new favorite song or artist/band. Happy Weekend!
Loma – “Ocotillo” (Dripping Springs and Austin, TX, USA)
RIYL: Poliça + PJ Harvey + Wye Oak
More than two years ago, the world was introduced to the mesmerizing soundscapes of Loma, the project of Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record and Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater. Their self-titled debut was “a moody, sky-scraping” experience, and it was memorable. While some supergroups stay together only for a single album (see Gayngs, Monsters of Folk), the trio are committed to making this a long-term commitment. The question now is, “Can they rekindle the magic and chemistry they displayed back in 2017 and 18?” One spin of their new single, “Ocotillo”, will dispel any doubts.
We may as well say it now: “Ocotillo” is one of the year’s most outstanding songs. It is otherworldly amazing, reaching a whole other stratosphere. The track is like Poliça joining forces with PJ Harvey, and together they melt faces with cosmic euphoria. It starts off hauntingly calm, sounding like an aimless drive through the Mojave Desert. Then it crescendoes with the bellow of the saxophone and wail of a distorted guitar. This is the first of many eye-opening moments with the final minute leaving an everlasting mark. In a word: Wow!
Black Honey – “Beaches” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: Portugal. The Man, Anteros, Jaguar Jonze
It’s Friday, so we like to share songs that personifies what weekends are meant to be – or what they were pre-pandemic. Leave it to one of our all-time favorite bands to open the windows, let the sunshine in, and make us believe we are somewhere else. We’re referring to the great Black Honey, who return with their first single in nearly two years, and it is a banger.
Don your favorite summertime attire because we’re heading to the “Beaches”! With the anthemic flair of Portugal. The Man and Fitz and the Tantrums combined with the attitude of Blur in their prime, Black Honey give us a reason to dance and savor the weekend. The blaring horns and the stuttering rhythms create the feeling we’re in Miami’s South Beach, grooving amongst friends and strangers without a care in the world. Phillips’ lyrics take us away to the sandy grounds with a wish that one day normalcy will return:
“Boys like the boys, oh they act like the girls
All they ever wanted was the whole damn world
Walking in the wild wearing bad black leather
Singing in the rain in a bad sweater
Teach your son, tell me how to come
Lights up to the beach where we can have fun”
The single is out on is out now on Foxfive Records. Here’s hoping a full album is coming soon.
Black Honey are: Izzy B Phillips, Chris Ostler, Tommy Taylor, and Tom Dewhurst.
Ela Minus – “megapunk” (Brooklyn, USA via Bogotà, Colombia)
RIYL: Austra, Grimes, Electric Youth
Over the course of her career, Gabriela Jimeno has had catchy nicknames for her catchy music as Ela Minus. Whether it’s “tinydance” to describe the minimal quality of some of her earlier tracks, or “Bright music for dark times”, she seems to capture the essence of her music in few words. Today, Ela Minus shares “megapunk”. It’s not a loud, guitar-thrashing punk rocker of a tune, but there’s a vibe and a message here that is captured by that one word name.
“megapunk” sounds bigger than most Ela Minus tracks. A deep bass synth as well as a soaring lead create a dynamic that upends some of the intricately crafted sounds that have come with each Ela Minus release. Beyond that, “megapunk” is her loudest statement yet. Her music has become more politically charged since her last EP. Jimeno repeats “You won’t make us stop/You won’t make us stop!” and her whispery vocals pack a punch as the song builds. It’s a declaration that these movements of justice around the world will not stop, and there’s nothing more punk than that.
The single is available from these streaming and purchase links and also from Bandcamp. Ela just recently signed with Domino Records, so keep an eye out for a future album. She also just released a 12″ with remixes of her recent EP “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong.”
Laura Veirs – “Burn Too Bright” (Portland, Oregon USA)
RIYL: case/lang/veirs, Aimee Mann, Beth Orton, Tegan and Sara
We all need some brightness in our lives these days. Amidst the madness of politics and pandemics, we take solace in music. It nurtures our souls – not just us fans but the artists themselves. Take indie singer/songwriter Laura Veirs, for example: her newest single is a bittersweet triumph. This indie folk-pop gem offers a beacon of light and reflection in darker times.
“Burn Too Bright” is from her upcoming eleventh solo album, My Echo. On it she pays tribute to “all the brilliant souls who left us too soon,” such as the late Portland musician/producer Richard Swift. Her warm vocals soar over richly textured instrumentation and an urgent tempo. In the video that features Veirs chalk drawing the lyrics with her two sons, the rainbow hues contrast with the poignancy of the message. Life is fleeting. Those we hold dear should be celebrated in the present in whatever ways are possible. If the swell of strings at the bridge doesn’t tug at your heart, the lyrics certainly will:
“I wonder if your soul is still dispossessed
Are you wandering Are you rolling
Or have you found a place to rest?”
Many of us pose those same questions to the Richard Swifts, Elliott Smiths, Chris Cornells and Scott Hutchisons of the world. “Burn Too Bright” is a lovely tribute to their collective light.
Verse recorded the album last summer and fall in Portland with longtime producer Tucker Martine. Though the pair have since divorced, their collaborative magic is still present here. The LP also features return guest appearances by Bill Frisell, Karl Blau, and My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James.
Lomelda – “It’s Infinite” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Florist, Mutual Benefit, Frankie Cosmos
When Lomelda announced their upcoming record, Hannah, the announcement was accompanied with the powerful track, “Wonder”. It left us thinking about what Hannah would sound like: would it be a departure, or an evolution of the sound that Hannah Read has developed on her project over the last few years? This week the stunning “It’s Infinite” revealed an incredible dynamic between the album’s first two songs.
“It’s Infinite” is an acoustic, folky track. It’s as heartfelt as heartfelt gets. There’s the jangle of carefully-pressed piano keys. Read’s voice isn’t hiding anything here. That openness and vulnerability adds authenticity to every word she sings. The crescendo at the end is driven by some incredible percussion and highlighted by swelling harmonies. In a statement that accompanied “It’s Infinite”, Read said the song is about “missin’ shots and missin’ dogs and deciding that even if I get all mad and muddy runnin after ‘em, I’m still gonna.” Those are feelings that “It’s Infinite” captures perfectly.
Luka Kuplowsky – “Positive Push” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: David Byrne, Andrew Bird, Damien Jurado
Does your roster of go-to musical artists need updating? Have you been looking for a fresh talent whose style hits multiple genre sweet spots? Look no further, because the golden voice of Luka Kuplowsky has you covered. We simply cannot get enough of his highly addictive new single.
“Positive Push” achieves what many artists attempt: it’s a perfect example of breezy yet substantive indie pop. The sun-kissed instrumentation fuses pop hooks with jazzy elements while his vocal delivery evokes the artistic playfulness of David Byrne and Andrew Bird. It’s easy to focus solely on the feel-good vibes. “Positive Push” is a great summer song, after all. Just don’t let the head bobbing and hip swaying distract you from the lyrics that resonate long after the song ends:
“Summer ended with a quiet yawn
Polite dreams of another dawn…
You gotta be the butt of your own joke sometimes
To be serious too much is to be blind!”
Sir Chloe – “July” (Vermont, USA)
RIYL: Why Bonnie, Alaska Reid, Hazel English
It’s the last day of July, so it’s only fitting that we share a song titled, “July”. And, as many long-time followers of this space know, it is apt that it comes from a young band who are beginning to create a name for themselves. It won’t be long, though, before people know and love Sir Chloe.
Formed by Dana Foote with some mates while she was at university in Vermont, Sir Chloe now includes Dana’s brother, Palmer, and their friend Austin Holmes. Together, they bring indie ’90s pop-rock to the modern age, adding some delicious dreaminess to the edgy sass of the era. Dana’s scintillating voice camouflages the pain and even disgust in her heart. She poetically sings:
“Evil secret, you’re the precious thing I hide behind my tongue
I’d be foolish if I trusted you with everything you’ve done
Call me up, listen as I dissolve
I’ll pretend to understand at all”
We think plenty of people will be listening to this band very soon, especially when their debut EP is released on Terrible Records later this year.
SODAPOP – “Looking Like That” (Santa Barbara, USA)
RIYL: Clairo, Dayglow, Triathalon
It’s Friday and we all need a bit of a pick me up to get through to the weekend. SODAPOP‘s blend of upbeat bedroom pop will do just the trick. “Looking Like That” is SODAPOP’s third single so far. His writing style is super transparent and this track almost has a tropical vibe going on and could totally be spun getting outside near the beach or lake (all while social distancing of course).
The latest release tackles pushing out the negativity in life and not letting certain circumstances get you down. Previously SODAPOP has been a bit mysterious but we now know it’s the project of Kane Nania and he has more tunes to share. He spent a lot of his time traveling and writing before the pandemic hit.
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