Ignite your body, mind, and soul with the sonic fuel of The Matinee ’20 October 9 edition. There are several extraordinary pop tunes; an indie favorite taking a solo turn; one of the decade’s best singer-songwriters releasing his final track from his new LP drops; a mind-bending experimental number; and one wildly wacky yet awesome single. The mix is indeed eclectic, but it’s the weekend, so let loose.
HAERTS – “For the Sky” (feat. Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear) (New York City, USA via Munich, Germany)
RIYL: CULTS, Beach House, Pure Bathing Culture
True story: two days ago we searched to see if NYC-via-Munich duo HAERTS had released anything new recently. This investigation was triggered by a quiz category that had the title, “Full of Hearts” (or something like that). As if Nini Fabi and Benjamin Gebert could read his mind, they unveil their first song in over two years. But the pair didn’t just share something new, they’ve teamed up with one of the co-founders of one of the great indie bands of the century.
Sit back and inhale every gorgeous note from “For the Sky”, which features Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste. This is dream-pop at its most intoxicating best. The slight hum of the waning guitar and the titillating beats provide the breathtaking soundscape where Fabi and Droste shine. The two share a song about life, its possibilities, and the naivete that comes with it. This is a story of what we can be in an ideal world, which is what any parent would want for their child. Such is the case for Fabi, who wrote the song after finding out she was pregnant. The video showcases her dancing at 9 months pregnant. (She gave birth soon after.)
The song is out on Rix Records and The Orchard & Humming Records. Here’s hoping Fabi and Gebert find time to put an album together, but there are other things that matter right now.
Charli Adams – “Didn’t Make It” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: Kim Wilde, Berlin, Human League
Charli Adams has recently announced her debut album, Bullseye,and we are happy to share the lead track, “Didn’t Make It”.
Bullseye is Adams’ nickname actually given to her by Justin Vernon during a game of darts after a chance encounter at a Nashville dive bar. It suits her well as the nickname internally came to represent Adams’ more liberated self after a conservative Christian upbringing in Alabama.
“Didn’t Make It” feels nostalgic yet fresh as Adams’ sultry vocals float effortlessly across ’80s-inspired guitar and beats. The songwriting is definitely relatable for any past relationships. Even though the track is about a breakup, it’s warm, breezy and one to spin while unwinding for the coming weekend.
Adams shares a bit about the story behind the track: “I wrote ‘Didn’t Make It’ about trying way too hard to be with someone and cutting your losses. When there’s memories and nostalgia tied to someone it’s hard to let go and accept it for what it is. I was stuck on a loop with this guy when we were 17 and we just kept fucking it up.”
The single is out now on Color Study.
Rebecka Reinhard – “Stamford Hill” (London, England via Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Madeline Kenney, Pip Blom, Alex Lahey
A month ago, Rebecka Reinhard released her excellent debut EP, Whale, which features the clever singles “Whale”, “No Release”, and “Quit Your Day Job”. Within each song, a sense of exhaustion can be heard. Reinhard wasn’t just sharing her own fatigue but reflecting the tiredness overwhelming everyone in these unusual times. If you missed out on the record and these songs, the London-via-Stockholm singer-songwriter has released a brand new video for one of the EP’s standout singles.
Get yourself a towel as you hear “Stamford Hill”. We don’t say this because the one-shot video shows Reinhard in a tub with Granny Smith apples floating alongside her. Instead, this energetic guitar-pop number will get you moving. It’s the track that puts a pep in your step and has you dancing on your way out the door. Despite the hip-shaking vibe, Reinhard’s story concerns a young woman’s heart being empty and her soul feeling unfulfilled. There’s only one solution to fill the enormous gap, but for her to win that person back she’ll need to get out of the tub and fight for it. And that’s her message to us: get up and take control of our lives. Now someone hand her towel.
Whale is out now via Crowds And Power.
Kala Brisella – “Dark Star” (Berlin, Germany)
RIYL: Talking Heads, The Strokes, The Dandy Warhols
Music is a universal language: when it comes to melodies and rhythms that move us, we are all fluent in the same tongue. This is what makes it easy to appreciate the music of Berlin-based indie rockers Kala Brisella.
Their sound is especially fun because they blend so many genres for a seamless result in their new single. “Dark Star” is an uptempo fusion of post-punk with psychedelic, noise rock, and art pop elements. In the hands of lesser bands, that much stylistic variance might sound harsh. But when the members of Kala Brisella combine their talents, the result is an instantly addicting experience. “Dark Star” takes listeners on a musical journey that you never want to end. They possess the artistry of Talking Heads, the exuberance of The Strokes, and the indie rock hooks of The Dandy Warhols. What more could you want?
We missed the release of their first album, Ghost, back in 2018. Fortunately the band’s next LP is coming soon. We look forward to getting to know this group better. Irhe Musik ist fantastisch!
Kala Brisella are: Jochen Haker (guitar/vocals), Dennis Deter (bass), and Anja Müller (drums).
Kevin Morby – “Sundowner” (Kansas City, USA)
RIYL: Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley, Marlon Williams
Kevin Morby is one of the great singer-songwriters of the last decade. He can rock out, pen a country-rock ditty, and serenade us with an intimate ballad. In another time, people across the globe would be comparing him to Dylan, Van Morrison, or a young Springsteen. Maybe his talent will receive the widespread acclaim he deserves when his new album, Sundowner, arrives October 16 via Dead Oceans. After sharing “Campfire” and the companion tracks “Wanderer” and “Don’t Underestimate Midwestern Sun”, Morby offers one more hint at what is to come.
Before pressing play, we highly recommend that this track be played outside at sunset and with your loved ones next to you. Then listen to “Sundowner” together because the beauty of the sky will match the stunning nature of the song’s simple folk arrangement. As Morby strums his acoustic guitar with horns lightly humming in the background, he enchants with a fabulous fable of redemption. It is like an Aboriginal or Native American tale brought to the modern age, where even in the fading light we can be reborn:
“I went to the market but the market was closed
Sign on the window said “The hours devour us”
So I went to the river and it said “Come here, let me whisper in your ear”
And it pulled me under
So I went to the lord but the lord said “No, you’re not welcome here anymore”
So I went to the sky but the sky was closed
Said I don’t know where I’m gunna go
I am a wandering soul, through the back of what I know
I am a sundowner, please
Don’t let the sun go down on me”
Brian Langan – “Lot of Things” (Philadephia, USA)
RIYL: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys, Dr. Dog, Kyle Craft
Brian Langan is an artist and musician whose name we only recently learned. We were not familiar with his solo work or his efforts in his many bands (the Swims, Langor, Needle Points) despite the latter having opened for the likes of Temples, Dr. Dog, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Clearly we have been missing out on some quality music: his new single has us wondering how he has stayed off our radar for so long.
“Lot of Things” is sun-kissed indie perfection. With its vintage flavors that evoke the carefree ’60s and ’70s, Langan channels the best of the past. The intro takes you to California with Beach Boys vibes then blends in feel-good harmonies that would make Fleetwood Mac and ELO jealous. In just under three minutes, Langan introduces himself, steals your heart, and leaves you begging for more. The world has enough mayhem to deal with right now. Brian Langan has prescribed the perfect antidote for the stress you’ve been feeling. Just keep “Lot of Things” on repeat as needed for immediate relief. Side effects may include delirium, euphoria, and uncontrollable humming of the melody.
Famous Letter Writer – “19.99” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Weezer, Cake, They Might Be Giants
Raise your hand if you wish you could hop into a time machine and avoid this current mess by going back in time. Or maybe blast into the future and hope you land in a year where there’s no COVID nor truth-bending egomaniacs in power. Until someone actually events a TARDIS or can turn a DeLorean into time traveling device, we can only think about what was and what could be. To help us get there is Famous Letter Writer and their clever new single, “19.99”.
Channeling the great geek-rock of the ’90s, masterminds M.I. Devine and Ru Devine take us back to a year that many of us wish we can forget. As a bouncy, off-kilter melody bops in the background, M.I. shoots off the many phobias and terrible events that happened that year. And at the time, we all thought that if we can get past pending Y2K doom (boy does that look silly in hindsight!), we will be okay:
Don’t worry ma, I’m just dyin’
21st century, we’ll be fine
Like George Jetson we’ll be flyin’
In 1999, in 1999 was it all better?
In 1999 could it get better?”
We all know the answer to the question. Surely 2021 will be better? At least we have a tune that makes us believe things will get better.
Famous Letter Writer include M.I. Devine (vocals/guitar), Ru Devine (synth/keys), Keith Zarriello (guitar), Ari Folman-Cohen (bass), and Aynsley Powell (drums). Their debut album, W̶A̶R̶H̶O̶L̶A̶ , is out November 11 on Big Deep Records. Pre-save it here.
Lauran Hibberd – “Boy Bye” (Isle of Wight, England)
RIYL: The Regrettes, Bleached, Tired Lion
Lauran Hibberd is back. “Boy Bye” is her newest offering which is clever and bold as the track builds into an all out explosive rocker. It’s the perfect one to get you in the mood to move or even help you organize or clean the house while playing air guitar.
The lyrics tackle the push and pull of a relationship that is probably in existence for all the wrong reasons.
“I’ve gone softer in my age. If I could only pull you out a strand at a time”
Detailing her rousing latest effort, Hibberd explained: “‘Boy Bye’ IS co-dependency, it has a scarily obsessive nature about it and is based on the need to ‘feed’ someone to keep them around. I sort of battle with myself throughout the whole track, the same way you would in your brain when stuff like this happens and you try and justify it to yourself. There’s an odd strength in it though, and I think it’s noticing it and being able to say it out loud that gives it that balls to the wall sort of ‘get lost’ momentum. Also BYE BOYSSSS!!!!”
Hibberd’s brand of slacker pop is infectious and unforgettable. “Boy Bye” was produced by Suzy Shinn and is available from these streaming and purchase links.
Suuns – “Breathe” (feat. Jerusalem in My Heart) (Montreal, Canada)
RIYL: Battles, Illum Sphere, The Seaders
Way back in 2015, Montreal experimental wunderkinds Suuns collaborated with Radwan Ghazi Moumneh – a.k.a. Jerusalem in My Heart – on one of the last decade’s most interesting and extraordinary records, the aptly-titled Suuns and Jerusalem in My Heart. Now with Ben Shemie, Joe Yarmush, and Liam O’Neill seeking to once again push the boundaries of what is accessible, they’ve enlisted Moumneh’s help for one of the singles on their upcoming new EP, FICTION. As you prepare to hit play, you might want to find a place with plenty of space.
“Breathe” is the track, and it is a delirious, hypnotic affair. Blending Middle Eastern psychedelic-folk with heavy, rhythmic pulses one equates with fellow experimental geniuses, Battles, the song creates the feeling one is traversing the Arabian Desert during the age of the apocalypse. It is mind-melting, mind-warping experience that you leave mesmerized and possibly even feeling a little intoxicated. No words are spoken on the track, but none are required. Instead, the four friends allow the music to craft the story for us, which in itself is an immensely unique characteristic.
FICTION will be released October 30th on Joyful Noise Recordings. For the first 48 hours of the EP’s release, all proceeds will be donated to Basmeh and Zeitooneh Relief and Development to support the continuing efforts surrounding the 2020 Beirut explosion. Pre-orders are available here.
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