The Matinee ’20 September 30 includes 8 new tracks for your listening pleasure. They are the perfect songs to get everyone through another hump day. Heck, some of these tunes will have you reflecting on much easier and simpler times, like the song that kicks off this mini-playlist.

Deep Sea Diver – “Wishing” (Seattle, USA)

RIYL: Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Joseph, Wye Oak

SAVE OUR STAGES! This is the rallying cry across social media lately. The SOS is more than a hashtag; it’s an urgent plea to preserve the places we love and where we all want to return after the pandemic. Without immediate intervention, many independent venues are at risk of never reopening. This nightmare scenario would have numerous ripple effects in communities across North America. But artists and fans alike are doing their part to rescue these beloved places. From the Beacon Theatre in New York to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado: these are some of the venues featured in the new video from Deep Sea Diver.

“Wishing” – from their upcoming album, Impossible Weight – is a soaring, breezy slice of anthemic indie pop. The vocals alone from Jessica Dobson will stir your soul. But combined with the euphoric instrumentation, the result is enough to get listeners contacting their elected officials. At least this is the band’s hope, as their message states:

“Please visit saveourstages.com and nitolive.org to find out how you can support independent venues, promoters, talent agents, managers, artists and everyone who works in the entertainment industry. It is DEVASTATING not being able to properly promote an album by playing shows and touring. The question that keeps rising within us as we try to maintain our wits and creativity is, how can we still involve people — and how can we still involve these music venues that we love and NEED.” -Deep Sea Diver

If you have enjoyed live music at independent music venues, please consider helping to save them. The National Independent Venue Association needs support from music fans now more than ever.

Impossible Weight arrives October 16th via ATO Records. Pre-order your copy here or from Bandcamp.

Deep Sea Diver are: Jessica Dobson (vocals, guitar, keys), Peter Mansen (drums), Garrett Gue (bass), and Elliot Jackson (guitar, synthesizer).

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Slow Pulp – “Montana” (Chicago via Madison, WI, USA)

RIYL: Phoebe Bridgers, Florist, Soccer Mommy

Based on the tracks they’ve released this year, Slow Pulp have made it impossible to classify themselves into a single genre. From the slower pace of “Falling Apart” to the 90’s alt-rocker “At It Again”, they’ve kept listeners on their toes with each release. On their latest single, “Montana”, it slows the pace down again, and the result their most gorgeous track to date.

The underlayment of gently strummed acoustic guitar and steel guitar form a perfect foundation for singer Emily Massey’s voice. Massey’s voice creates feelings like few others, on this track, her delivery ranges from shaky and vulnerable to pure dreamy. It fits the whole vibe of the track so well. The vulnerability in the vocals is carried through in the lyrics. Massey says “This song is about moving beyond defining myself in terms of my mental health. I’ve been working through this over the last couple of years and this song is a reflection of this process and where I am now.”

With such a wide range of feeling and sound in the four tracks released so far, we can’t wait to hear the rest of Moveys, out October 9th on Winspear. Pre-orders available here.

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Kiwi Jr. – “Undecided Voters” (Toronto, Canada)

RIYL: Parquet Courts, 

With the American elections quickly approaching, many of us have political fatigue. We get it: it’s easy to feel weighed down by all the divisive rhetoric from candidates and their supporters. At this point, how can anyone still be unsure who they are voting for? We aren’t the only ones wondering this. “Undecided Voters” are also on the minds of emerging indie rockers Kiwi Jr., who call them “democracy’s driftwood.” (We agree!)

The Canadian band tackle the topic with unbridled enthusiasm on their newest single. One spin of this hook-filled tune is all it takes to turn casual listeners into diehard fans. Their punk energy will jolt you from your apathetic stupor. Their densely crafted layers of jangly pop-rock will keep you amped for weeks. We somehow missed the 2019 debut from this four-piece outfit, though they are firmly on our radar now.

This tune is out today and available from Bandcamp and these other streaming/purchase links. The band’s debut on Sub Pop is slated for release next year. Get to know this band immediately!

Kiwi Jr. are: Jeremy Gaudet (vocals, guitar, keys), Brian Murphy (guitar, backing vocals), Mike Walker (bass, keys, backing vocals), and Brohan Moore (drums, backing vocals).

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The Dawdler – “Crocodile” (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England)

RIYL: Zola Blood, Axel Flovent, Mt. Wolf

“This all must be a bad dream?”, is a question we’ve all probably asked ourselves about 2020. And yet, as each day brings a new, surreal event, the more natural it feels. Our lives have forever changed, where our realities have become distorted. Beauty, however, still lingers within the struggle, the chaos, and the darkness. Grasping it will take time, patience, and all our energy, and John Edgar, the mastermind behind The Dawdler, reminds of this on his stunning new single, “Crocodile”.

“The only way to run is straight through the Devil’s house”, are the first words that rise from Edgar’s bone-chilling falsetto. While his words are based on a dream that includes him playing chess with a crocodile, they are the realization that we must confront our greatest fears to overcome the madness that dictate our lives and “be assured that the game is end”. The finale will not arrive today, tomorrow, or any time soon, but this gorgeous piece of ethereal dream-pop and imaginative yet provocative story provides us with the optimism that we can beat the crocodile at its own game.

Edgar’s forthcoming EP, Sign of Growth, is out in October via Akira Records. This song and his previous releases are available on Bandcamp, including the heart-wrenching single, “Lava Lamps”.

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Hi Frisco – “Quiet Lights” (London England)

RIYL: The Dig, Electric Guest, Tame Impala

“Quiet Lights” is the newest single from London based Hi Frisco. So far the duo are gracing us with dreamy chilled out vibes. “Quiet Lights” reminds a bit of Tame Impala this time around with it’s feel good psych instrumentation and tranquil melodies. This would be the perfect track for an upcoming road trip to somewhere out in the country – away from the big city lights.

The duo are already receiving airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio London, named as Jack Saunders’ New Wave and multiple blogs. They truly have the potential to expand to a worldwide audience with a bit more exposure.

The band share a bit about their new track:

“The initial demo happened around Christmas, I was reflecting over the last few years of my life, searching for the last time I had the feeling of being carefree. Daydreaming of being free from the pressures of time, money, touring, drinking, partying, living in east London etc, finding somewhere tranquil to be. It follows the idea that the pursuit can be more fulfilling and enlightening than what it is you’re pursuing, adopting a sit back and enjoy the trip style mantra. Comes with a homage to the bright lights of home (Blackpool), in the form of a jaunty fairground organ intro.”

Hi Frisco are Henry Eastham and Felix Rashman. Their debut album, Goodbye, Blue Monday, is out October 9th. Pre-order it here.

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Stables – “Curtain Call” (London, England)

RIYL: Andrew Bird, Langhorne Slim, The Tallest Man on Earth

Settle into your comfiest seat and get ready to fall hard for this band. Stables are a London-based indie folk duo whose sun-kissed tunes will warm your heart and soul. Their newest single is the perfect soundtrack for these crisp autumn days.

“Curtain Call” is an impossibly irresistible tune from musicians Matthew Lowe and Daniel Trenholme. If we were in the business of assigning numerical scores to songs, this one would earn a solid 9/10. The only thing keeping it from achieving perfection is its brevity.

Clocking in at just over two minutes means the song flirts with you, captivates you, and leans in just close enough to give you a kiss before it ends. This leaves listeners gasping for more, eager to continue riding that wave of giddy elation. Perhaps this is part of their calculated plan? Clearly this duo know how to craft tight Americana folk-pop that evokes Andrew Bird and Langhorne Slim one moment and The Tallest Man on Earth the next. Why would it surprise anyone if their new album, Silhouettescontains even more charismatic tunes?

We will all find out when the album arrives October 9th. Pre-orders are available from Apple Music/iTunes and their Bandcamp page.

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Nana Adjoa – “National Song” (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

RIYL: Felicia Douglass, Ela Minus, Madeline Kenney

Dutch-Ghanaian Singer Nana Adjoa’s voice has an undeniable power behind it, fueled by interesting and immersive music behind it. Adjoa’s early EPs and singles were enough to get listeners’ attention. This week, she released her first LP, Big Dreaming Ants, and today we’re taking a look at how its immense opener, “National Song” sets the tone for the record.

On “National Song”, listeners aren’t eased into the unique and expansive sounds of Adoja. Synth cuts through the record’s opening moments, until a heavy bass tone commands the song forward. Lyrically, it doesn’t ease listeners in either, making a loud statement about the rise of nationalism around the world, especially the extremely visible spiral of the United States. In its opening lines, Adjoa sings “You know how to shout and pray, and wave your pitchforks; You know how to barricade your classroom doors“.  Adjoa uses the uncertainty of participating in acts of patriotism, like the pageantry of national anthems, and how things like that have been drilled into our heads since youth, no matter what country we’re from.

It’s a powerful start to a powerful record, Big Dreaming Ants. One that talks a lot about change, both politically and globally like on “National Song”, but also internally. Big Dreaming Ants is out now on Bloomer Records.

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Francis Aud – “Take Me Home” (Brooklyn, USA)

RIYL: Bruno Mars, Allen Stone, Paolo Nutini

Francis Aud was raised by strict immigrant parents and surprisingly didn’t  even listen to the radio until he was 12! After graduating college, he realized that he could no longer ignore his love of the arts and starting writing and recording his first EP back in 2017.

“Take Me Home” is his most recent release and it’s full of retro funk with a notable 80s vibe. There is nostalgia there for sure. It feels comfortable and warm and is the perfect track to flip on and jam as your weekend arrives. Aud’s vocals float nicely against funky beats and that 80s inspired instrumentation. Aud has even coined his own sound as FONK (which is Funk and Pop, of course).

Even though the lyrical content is a bit sad regarding a recent breakup – it’s definitely wrapped up into upbeat and feel good harmonies.

Francis Aud shares a bit about the current track:
“Disguised in synths and a funky dance-pop bass line, ‘Take Me Home’ is a sad song that’s aware of its melancholy towards love and the state-of-the-world,” explains Francis Aud. “To prove to its friends that “everything is fine” and that they’re “thriving,” the song puts on a lycra jumpsuit, a neon-green headband, and shows up to the local roller rink ready to boogie while popping bubble gum for 80’s dance night.”

“Take Me Home” is out now on all streaming sites here.

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