Christmas is only 39 days away, but do you really think we would start sharing holiday tunes on The Matinee ’20 November 16? Not yet for us, especially given all the great, original music available. While you won’t find any holiday cheer in these 9 songs, you’ll find plenty of attitude, humor, and bliss. Have a great week everyone.
Sprints – “Manifesto” (Dublin, Ireland)
RIYL: Wolf Alice, The Joy Formidable, Miss June
We’ve talked about how 2020 has been the year of post-punk in 2020, but we should also talk about the resurgence happening within the Dublin music scene over the past three years. This coincidentally coincided with Brexit, but no matter the motivation Ireland’s capital will be known for more than just being the home of U2, Thin Lizzy, My Bloody Valentine, and The Dubliners. Fountains D.C., Pillow Queens, and The Murder Capital have emerged as indie stars, and post-punk quartet Sprints are on track to join them.
The quartet of Karla Chubb (lead vocals/guitar), Sam McCann (bass/backing vocals), Colm O’Reilly (guitar/backing vocals), and Jack Callan (drums) have signed with Nice Swan Records, who will also release the band’s debut EP in early 2020. They’ve already shared head-exploding numbers in “Dones” and “The Cheek”, and a couple of weeks ago they unveiled another wall-shaker. We would have shared it earlier, but we needed to spread the love and allow “Manifesto” to have its own spotlight.
Find some open space because this explosion track will have you bouncing off the walls or doing a one-person mosh. It is an adrenaline-inducing, eye-bulging, scream-until-you-can’t-breathe-anymore scorcher. The pounding bass drum drives the song at the beginning, like the drum line of an undermanned army rallying the troops to make one last surge. As the overdriven guitars ram through the rhythms, Chubb’s voice rises above the fray like the Commander-in-Chief. Today is not the end. It is the beginning of a revolution, as she hollers:
“I don’t need nobody to tell me what to do
And I don’t need nobody to tell me what to say
I’ve got a policy of understanding
An economy that’s underwhelming
And I can’t shake the sense I’m stuck in pretence and just wishing my life away”
Get the song on Bandcamp and support this future powerhouse and one of our favorite discoveries of the year.
Dune Rats – “Too Tough Terry” (Brisbane, Australia)
RIYL: Hockey Dad, Skeggs, Dropkick Murphys
One word you’ll never associate with Dune Rats is “boring”. A second word you won’t see is “unimaginative”. Every song that Danny Beus (lead vocals, guitar, BC Michael Marks (drums, backing vocals), and Brett Jansch (bass) craft is beyond entertaining with each new tune usually centered around a character inspired by actual people they’ve met touring or even in their lives. In other words, the trio’s songs are sonic caricatures of people we all know, and their latest ripper of a single is no different.
Through their trademark high-energy, garage-punk-rock sound, the rambunctious Brizzie outfit describe the ultra-conservative dude we’ve all met in “Too Tough Terry”. As the instruments blare in the background and incite feverish dancing and jumping, Beus offers an amusing tale of a man “who doesn’t like sauce unless it’s in a bottle” and drives an “18-wheeler and a razor blade / Got shit tattoos and smokes all day”. But how did he get this way?
“‘There’s a few things that get me up my nose
Like old and flashy fuckers drinking cappuccinos’
No one really knows why Terry is mad
He had a real shit mother and even shitter dad”
Maybe we need to add another thing people cannot say about Dune Rats – they’re not just another rock band. They’re also keen observers of humanity.
The single is out now on BMG Australia.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – “The Terrors” (Perth, Australia)
RIYL: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Ty Segall, Fuzz
When Psychedelic Porn Crumpets‘ name pops up, you know you’re about to undertake a zany and bombastic sonic experience. Expedition actually might be the more accurate noun because Jack McEwan, Luke Parish, Danny Caddy, and Luke Reynolds have the propensity for creating propulsive, psychedelic epics that take listeners either way down the rabbit hole or shooting through the galaxy and into a super-massive black hole. Occasionally, both of these feelings converge in a single song, as they do on “The Terrors”.
The band’s latest number is a sheer wall of head-spinning, delirious psychedelia. Most of the track sounds like the craziest rock opera taking place, and when it slows down slightly it transforms into a wacky carnival that has been concocted out of The Clockwork Orange. It all feels quite surreal, and McEwan’s lyrics only amplify this odd yet so real odyssey. He speaks about how we are terrors are self-induced, as we buy into the insanity of working a 9-to-5 job while caged in a small cubicle.
Now all parts of the brain work
Some a bit slower but maybe that’s normal
Now I can’t concur
My mid-week relapse
I’ll blame down to jet lag
But in two days, Centrelink’s in and all resources are back”
Ane Brun – “Closer” & “The Waiting” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Bjork, Agnes Obel, Tori Amos
The year 2020 has been a busy one for Ane Brun. The Stockholm-based Norwegian artist has recorded two albums for release this fall: After The Great Storm arrived October 30th and How Beauty Holds The Hand of Sorrow is due later this month. Fans of Brun’s ethereal vocals have much to appreciate on both albums, as she showcases here on these two tracks.
“Closer” is a starkly beautiful examination of those more painful human emotions: fear, insecurity, and anxiety. Yet despite the sombre topic Brun’s vocals radiate a hopeful brightness. As she channels Kate Bush one moment and Agnes Obel the next, you feel a rush of tingles down your spine, especially when she sings:
“When you’re in your darkest hour
And you think you’ll never recover
Riding a constant spiral down
You think you can’t dodge this one
But you’ll be fine I know…
Don’t let your voltage drop.”
Her vocals are equally arresting on “The Waiting” though with heightened sultriness. Here the edgier, synth-driven instrumentation ebbs beneath her lilting voice. The urgency of the music gives the questions added importance. After mentioning “the lonesome longing” she asks:
“What are you gonna do with all this time?
Don’t you wanna feel alive!”
An artist like Ane Brun can breathe life anew in the coldest of hearts.
Jaguar Jonze – “Murder” (Brisbane, Australia via Yokohama, Japan)
RIYL: Black Honey, Warpaint, YONAKA
Deena Lynch, the young woman behind Jaguar Jonze, is more than just a singer. She is an artist, whose craft extends well beyond the music scene. She’s a burgeoning director and designer, and we would not be surprised if one day she starred in TV series or featured films. The Brisbane-based artist could very well follow in Kylie Minogue’s footsteps as Australia’s do-it-all star but with more cinematic flair. Anyone who has followed her career will know what we’re talking about. If you’re being introduced to Jaguar Jonze for the first time, have a gander of her YouTube videos to understand why we are bullish on her future. Or you can begin with her latest single, “Murder”.
With a film-noir flair, “Murder” is made for the big and little screen. Specifically, it would be perfectly placed on the new season of Killing Eve, as the song fills with a dark, gloomy, yet suspenseful atmosphere. It is shrouded in mystery, creating the feeling that we’re being watched as we walk alone along a deserted, dimly-lit street at 3AM. Someone is lurking, though, waiting to strike or just to observe our moves. Is even someone that is watching or a recent memory that haunts us?
“I wish we never crossed the line
Now our love’s a murder
And a slave to a time
How do we move forward?
We’re going backwards, we’re going back”
I wished we never crossed that line”
Lynch’s words do perfectly encapsulate Killing Eve. Hmm…
Jaguar Jonze’s new EP, Anti-Hero, will be released late 2020 or early 2021 via Nettwerk Music Group. She probably will see and hear from her again very soon.
Public Body – “Table Manners” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: OMNI, Deeper, Fontaines D.C.
Some bands prefer to be straightforward with their lyrics when speaking about the state of the world. Some of the great protest songs were very pointed and directed. Others, though, prefer to either focus on the story of one individual (e.g., Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier”) or use an analogy of an ordinary, every-day occurrence as a microcosm of what’s happening. Brighton post-punk outfit Public Body have done both. Their previous single, the immensely clever “Naughty on My Bike”, was a biting critique of their city’s poor public transportation system. For their latest track, they have their sights set much higher, and no we don’t mean the buffet queue.
With the jerky precision of OMNI, Seb Gilmore (vocals), Theo Verney (guitar), Joe Stevens (bass), and Thom Mills (drums) address England’s high table with “Table Manners”. By high table we mean those who sit around Westminster in London and “govern” the UK. As the government tries to display a sense of confidence and control in tackling the multitude of crises facing the United Kingdom, behind the scenes chaos reigns. All the while, everyone is told to be on their best behavior, “do as you’re told”, and “trust in faith in my hierarchy”.
Gilmore, however, does get pointed in the track, as he talks about the burning of natural resources, the locking down of borders, and the endless lockdown cycles due to the government’s mismanagement. While all this is happening, we’re told to exhibit our best table manners, so we can avoid making a mess. The mess, however, has already been made, but who will clean it up? Maybe Public Body will answer the question for us in the coming weeks and months.
TV People – “String” (Dublin, Ireland)
RIYL: Editors, Interpol, Bloc Party
Irish rockers TV People continue to impress us with their raw talent. Back in September their single “Nothing More” made an enormous first impression on fans. Now the Dublin-based outfit pick up where they left off with another scorching banger.
“String” will certainly elicit more Editors comparisons as frontman Paul Donohoe evokes Tom Smith in his delivery while his bandmates maintain a similar detached edginess in their tones. Their cohesion as a band instantly elevates them to the levels of Editors and Interpol. One notable difference here is that TV People seem to have already reached a level of maturity that most bands struggle years to find. This infuses a cool confidence in their sound.
“String” is richly layered yet not overly produced. Less is more with TV People, both musically and philosophically. Every song these guys share makes us appreciate them all the more. Have we mentioned that they are definitely a band to watch in 2021? It bears repeating.
Bathe Alone – “Limbo” (Atlanta, USA)
RIYL: Lush, Beach House, Clairo
A catchy melody and a fantastic arrangement can draw a listener immediately, but great songwriting will keep listeners engaged for a lifetime. Atlanta native Bailey Crone is master of both. She proved on “Curbside” and “Calm Down” that she can create breathtaking, dreamgaze soundscapes while crafting contemplative and emotionally-jarring stories. Her music echoes an era when bands and artists were storytellers first and musicians second. Her latest single just might be the finest one she’s crafted that demonstrates her multifaceted talents.
Combining the dream-pop grace of Beach House and the soothing shoegaze intimacy of Lush, “Limbo” is, in a word, stunning. A calm urgency rings throughout from the moaning touches of the synth to the light streaks of the reverb-drenched guitar. As dreamy as the melody is, Crone’s lyrics have the opposite effect. Listen closely to the first few words, which she sings in her intoxicating voice:
“Crawl out of the window
You don’t know where you’re walking
You just go where the wind blows
And start your people watching
That’s all you need to know
You face your feel of falling”
She describes a young person’s last seconds on the planet before she takes the final step off the ledge. When the protagonist awakens, she is in the same place where she was moments before – in limbo. She still is in search of finding peace and answers. She still lives in the dark. The songwriting is brilliant, capturing how millions of people each day combat the demons inside them. Someone please sign this talented, young artist.
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