The Matinee ’20 August 14 includes 8 amazing tracks to get your weekend started off right. We have some indie heavy hitters and some new talent as well. One thing for sure is we hope we help you find your new favorite song or band. Happy Weekend!
Future Islands – “Thrill” (Baltimore, USA)
RIYL: Future Islands, The National, Rufus Wainwright
We generally equate Future Islands with big, bold, synth-pop anthems that get us physically moving. Frontman Samuel T. Herring’s jittery on-stage dance moves, which he famously displayed on the band’s first national TV performance, also contribute to the band’s growing legend. Herring’s songwriting, however, often gets overshadowed. Listen to any song on their albums, including the outstanding 2016 LP, The Far Field, and you hear stories of our community, our world, and ourselves. Given these sobering times, maybe we all need to slow down, contemplate, and absorb what is happening. This is what the band has brilliantly done with “Thrill”.
Settle in, close your eyes, and just listen to every word. The low synths and keys are just the serene, aquatic-like canvas for Herring to share his story of drowning in the chaotic world. It’s a world unfamiliar to him, one that is desolate and shrouded in fear. The concern and sadness that drip from his voice are not for himself but rather for all of us:
“Seen it on the news
Some never seem to lose
They say, the rest are fallen
I seen it on the news
It wasn’t mine to lose
Do they hear me calling?”
Future Islands are Samuel T. Herring, William Cashion, Gerrit Welmers, and Mike Lowry.
Dansa med dig – “Cold Air” (Japan)
RIYL: The Cardigans, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Savage Garden
For those old enough to remember the ’90s and the introduction of sweeping indie pop-rock, this next song will induce nostalgia. It will bring you back to a time when you felt like you were sitting in the passenger seat as The Cardigans’ Nina Persson drove her convertible through some barren wasteland. That era of music made us feel alive, and Japanese newcomers Dansa med dig will have you beating Father Time with “Cold Air”.
Despite the song’s title, it will warm you up and move you. The sparkling guitar line, the trembling rhythms, and frontwoman Igarashi’s vocals evoke the post-grunge era. They radiate a time when we wanted to rush out of our self-imposed prisons and run to the vast, deserted plains. The music, in other words, was liberating. This feeling not only reverberates in the soaring melody but also in Igarashi’s words. She tackles the invisible battles that a person faces every day, where a darkness slowly consumes her. Instead of succumbing to one’s mind, she encourages us to confront the silence and let the sweet sounds of the world around us come in. Let the shimmering notes and poignant lyrics of this song be heard and free you.
Dansa med dig are Igarashi (vocals/guitar) and Kodaira (guitar/synth). This is a little band to watch, and they are signed to Japanese boutique label FRIENDSHIP.
Lo Tom – “Start Payin'” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Pedro the Lion, Starflyer 59
Lo Tom – the indie collaborative that includes members of Pedro the Lion (David Bazan and TW Walsh) and Starflyer 59 (Jason Martin and Trey Many) – pull no punches with their latest single. “Start Payin'” is a wake-up call for all who squander the resources of their youth. Some may interpret this literally, as Bazan sings about “kneeling at the altar of easy credit.” But anyone who has listened to him knows that deeper pearls abound for those willing to dive for them. The hard truth, matched here by fierce guitar licks, is that eventually we all must pay:
“I let myself get pretty low
just living, just playing
Might be time to find out what I owe
and start paying
I let myself get pretty high
just hoping, just praying
Might be time to find out what I owe
and start paying”
Three years after their self-titled debut, Lo Tom have delivered another hook-filled instant classic. This one should be played at max volume for best results.
You can help Lo Tom self-release their sophomore album by pre-ordering it here. Their music is streaming on Apple Music and Spotify, and their debut album is available via Barsuk Records. You can also grab this single from these links.
All We Are – “Not Your Man” (Liverpool, England)
RIYL: The Orielles, Pumar, Stealing Sheep
All We Are are here to get you moving. The Liverpool trio just released their newest album Providence today and it does not disappoint. “Not Your Man” is a dance ready track that has you wishing you were on a beach in Hawaii with a Piña Colada and a nice paper umbrella for it. The tropical vibe is addicting and will have you moving in no time. Especially when the key lyric is “Like a Piña Colada, you’re not gonna waste me”.
The entire album is worth a listen and includes a mix of upbeat bangers and even heart felt love songs. The trio provide a nice global sound as each member met in university years back and are from Brazil, Ireland, and Norway, respectively. If you are looking for an album to leave you with all the feels, this is it.
All We Are include Guro Gikling, Richard O’Flynn and Luis Santos. Providence is available here.
Holy Motors – “Endless Night” (Tallinn, Estonia)
RIYL: Mazzy Starr, Why Bonnie, Pearl Charles
If you ask us to name our favorite eastern European band, Estonia’s Holy Motors would be near the very top. Lauri Raus (guitar), Gert Gutmann (guitar), Caspar Salo (drums), and Eliann Tulve (vocals) started off as dazzling shoegazers, but they’ve transformed into a dreamy, psychedelic-Americana band. This new sound is simply awesome. Their previous single, “Country Church”, left us in awe, and their newest number has a similar effect.
“Endless Night” is stunning. It is the song for the lonely wanderer who travels great distances in search of an epiphany or a sign. The steely, chiming guitars grab your attention, but Tulve’s captivating vocals are what stop you. She is like Medusa, only her voice and words are what leave us standing stone-like. As her band mates’ instruments swirl around her like a desert sandstorm, she tells a story of a single soul searching for meaning in a post-apocalyptic world. This journey is neverending because the planet we once knew has vanished before our eyes. Don’t let this outstanding band pass you by.
Basic Comfort – “Slow My Step” (Kalamazoo, USA)
RIYL: Craft Spells, Toro Y Moi, Unknown Mortal Orchestra,
It’s Friday and it’s time to CHILL!! “Slow My Step” is the perfect track to take it down a notch and relax. It’s time to just let go of all of the stress and issues from the week and take it easy.
The breezy and hypnotic track takes the listener on a complete chillwave ride and is the perfect one to get you zen for the weekend. The Kalamazoo based quintet have been releasing jazzy infused indie pop that tackles multiple life issues including being brown skinned in America, student debt and even gender fluidity.
Basic Comfort share a bit about their newest track:
“Sometimes we miss out on the beautiful aspects of life because we are so focused on getting to our destination. To truly enjoy the end result of our journey, we need to take time along the way to appreciate the present moment, and the transformation that is taking place inside of us.”
Winnetka Bowling League – “Come To The Beach” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: COIN, The Band CAMINO, Valley
Winnetka Bowling League are known for creating hooks that you just can’t get out of your head. Previous offerings like “CVS” could easily be put on all day repeat. “Come To The Beach” is THE summer jam with a simple message – take a break from your busy life and enjoy the moment.
“Come to the beach / chill by the sea / see how your heavy life looks in the coastline
Come to the beach / swim to the deep / see how your heavy life looks with a blue sky”
The melody washes over you with warmth as if you can feel the warm sun on your skin. Even though we might not be flocking to beaches just yet, it will get us through this crazy time until we can.
Winnetka Bowling league are singer Matthew Koma, bassist Maddie Jay, keyboardist Sam Beresford, and drummer Kris Mazzarisi.
Sufjan Stevens – “Video Game” (Brooklyn, NY USA)
RIYL: Bon Iver, Elliott Smith, The National
“I don’t wanna be your personal Jesus,” exclaims Sufjan Stevens at the start of his new song, “Video Game.” He knows we live in a dog-eat-dog culture driven by popularity, and he is not here for it. Indie rock’s reigning voice of modest reason would like to opt out of that mindlessness if it’s all the same to you. This is his message here, set to an ebullient musical backdrop. The bright synths pop with vintage ’80s-era authenticity, while the video is a visual feast featuring viral “Renegade” dance creator Jalaiah Harmon.
Stevens took inspiration from the incessant “like” culture of social media. The constant need for attention fuels an unhealthy cycle of approval-seeking. He proposes a simpler approach: embrace your authenticity, and stop seeking validation from others. Instead, act from a place of purity and love. This makes everyone’s life a little easier:
“I don’t wanna love you if won’t receive it
I don’t wanna save the world that way
I don’t wanna be your personal Jesus
I don’t wanna play your video game
I don’t wanna put the devil on a pedestal
I don’t wanna put the saints in chains
I just wanna make my life a little easier
I don’t wanna play your video game.”
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