Only twenty more days are left in this unreal year, which also means the days of sharing new music for 2020 is drawing to a close for us. We still have one, maybe two more left, and The Matinee ’20 December 11 is a pretty special one. The mini-playlist features new and old favorites, beginning with a band that is undergoing a transformation and ending with a song that is the perfect closer to the week. It is a stunner that you will want to spin, so scroll right to the end. Afterwards, head on to SoundCloud and Spotify to spin our Songs of December. Our playlists for each month of 2020 are also on those platforms.
Cherry Glazerr – “Rabbit Hole” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Little Dragon, Japanese Breakfast, St. Vincent
In their first half-decade of existence, Cherry Glazerr emerged as one of the most audacious indie-rock bands on the planet. They didn’t settle for being average or like everyone else. Instead, the Clementine Creevy-led outfit’s objectives were to make speakers and minds explode with their edgy sound and provocative lyrics. They weren’t here to make friends, but rather they had every intention of shaking up the patriarchal norms that govern our society. After three fiery albums, the LA-based band is embarking on a new chapter. The transformation started last year when they collaborated with Portugal. The Man on the dance-floor electro-funk-rocker, “Call Me”. Now the metamorphosis enters its second phase with “Rabbit Hole”.
This electro-rock banger is meant to cause people to completely lose their senses for a brief three minutes. The track is infectious and delirious, and it is simply meant to be spun endlessly on a Friday night. Although the quintet have forged more into the electronic and synth-pop arenas, their edge and fury remain in Creevy’s lyrics. Through a lush and intimate delivery, she discusses how she completely became absorbed into another person’s world, where her infatuation caused her to lose her sense of sense. She lost her identity and fell into the entrapments she spoke out against on Stuffed & Ready and Apocalipstick. As Creevy reveals, “Open up my heart and I wouldn’t be shameful / The truth is people never really change”. But Cherry Glazerr have and for the better.
The band consists of Clementine Creevy (vocals, synths, electric guitar, bass synth), Tabor Allen (synths, bass synth), Jenn Decilveo (guitars, synths, electronic drums), Sam Kaufman (drums), and Patrick Kelly (bass). Their fourth album is in development (woohoo!). Meanwhile, the song is out on Secretly Canadian.
Jane Inc. – “Gem” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: U.S. Girls, Brazilian Girls, ABBA
It’s time to find the Delorean and head back to the future. Our destination is New Year’s Eve 1977 and the height of disco. This was a time when everyone who was anyone and anyone who wanted to be someone lined up for hours just to enter Studio 54. The famed NYC disco hall was the place to be seen, especially on the night the calendar turned. When Studio 54 closed its doors as a nightclub in February 1980, disco, too, would fade away. The genre that made bell bottoms and sequins shirts fashionable, though, would not die. Its spirit is still strong and being resurrected by artists like Carlyn Bezic, who is the woman behind Jane Inc.
A frequent collaborator with U.S. Girls and one half of Ice Cream, Bezic is no stranger to the dance floor. Now through her solo project, she gets to hog the spotlight. Or in the case of “Gem”, all of the disco ball’s glimmering lights shine solely on her. The song is silky smooth and sultry, like a soft caress on your back that leaves not just chills on your skin but in a state of ecstasy. Your body suddenly feels light, and you float through the haze that fills the air. All the while Bezic sings:
“It’s me and you
Baby, you and me
You’re the artist and I’m you’re greatest piece”.
We all, however, know who the real artist is in this case, and she’s crafted a number that takes us back to a time that was full of innocence and hope. Maybe “Gem” is the gateway to what will hopefully be a promising 2021. On March 19th, Bezic’s debut album, Number One, will be released on Telephone Explosion Records.
Made Violent – “Goners” (Buffalo, USA)
RIYL: Wavves, Twin Peaks, FIDLAR
It’s Friday and it’s the perfect time to let loose and get ready for the weekend. Made Violent will help you get hyped up with their single “Goners”. The track definitely takes you on a mind bending trip as the lyrics speak to “Funny People, Funny World” and how things don’t really make sense anymore. This could be the perfect summary of this crazy ass year we’ve all had as we are all surely believing 2021 will be better, right?
The trio of Joseph White (bass/vocals), Rob Romano (guitar) and Justin Acee (drums) are finally releasing a full length LP next month which will include some of their earlier releases like “Wasted Days” and “You Had It Easy”. We were excited to be able to cover them back in 2015 when they made an appearance at SXSW and can attest that their live shows are quite amazing. The crappiest thing about 2020 definitely has been the lack of seeing live music.
Silver Strands – “Born To Lose” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Phosphorescent, Bahamas, Okkervil River
Life is full of surprises. 2020 surely has been memorable for so many of the wrong reasons, but it also had its remarkable moments. Most of them are to be found by simply opening our minds and ears and giving an under-the-radar artist a chance. If everyone did that at least once a week, we could make people like Nathan Beale and his project, Silver Strands, stars or at least give them the attention they deserve that not even Sirius Radio could ignore them.
The LA-based artist has already shared two outstanding songs this year in “4th of July” and the gorgeous, emotional roller coaster, “When The Lighthouse Fades”. They are among the finest songs of the year, and Beale gives us one final parting gift with “Born To Lose”.
Like opening the last gift under the tree, the song will leave you fixated on the object before you. It is mysterious, but immediately you know it will be something terrific. You focus on every little detail, slowly unwrapping every element in order to savor the moment. You inhale the notes and words spoken from Neale’s stirring vocals, and his story about running from our desires and making choices that we would later regret is one we know way too well. When this final gift is revealed, or in this case when the song reaches its enrapturing crescendo, you are amazed. You are left in a state of awe of how a talent like Beale has entered your world and his talent is now yours to behold.
Dive further into Silver Strands’ talent by purchasing his new EP, Born to Lose, which is out now. Get it on Bandcamp and listen to one of the best mini-records of the year.
DREAMERS – “True Crime” (feat. DeathbyRomy) (Los Angeles via Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: COIN, CRUISR, Mainland
DREAMERS have the perfect track for anyone who has been burned in their past relationships. “True Crime” features DeathbyRomy as her seductive vocals play the perfect part for the song. We’re a tiny bit late to the party as the track was released last month but It’s definitely share worthy. The track has a dance ready beat even though the lyrical content is a bit dark:
“You did me wrong, but I played along and it’s a true crime.”
The track also has that perfect cadence to spin while going through your next cardio workout. DREAMERS have a knack for creating addicting and hook laden tracks that definitely belong on mainstream radio. “True Crime” is no different and collaborating with a rising star like DeathbyRomy is the perfect choice.
DREAMERS are Nick Wold, Marc Nelson, and Jacob Wick.
Roller Derby – “Flying High” (Hamburg, Germany)
RIYL: Wilsen, Belle Mare, Holy Motors
Weekends are made to escape even if we’re at home. We may pass the time binge-watching a series, bury our heads deep into a great book, or play board games with the family. If you’re like us, the perfect escape involves songs that take us away to another time, place, or even dimension. They give us the mental break we have longed to have all week, and in the end we are relaxed and smiling. Life is good again. Playing the feelgood part is a relatively new band.
Despite their name, Roller Derby is anything but chaotic and frenetic. On the contrary, the trio of Philine Meyer (vocals, keys), Manuel Romero Soria (guitar) and Max Nielsen (bass) create intoxicating, wistful dream-pop that literally has you imagining peaceful, blissful days. Their second single, “Flying High”, is a hazy dazzler that elicits images of carefree days spent idling in meadows and watching the clouds slowly move away. These are moments we took for granted but now desire to re-live again and to feel alive. While such days are still weeks if not months away, we can still lay on our beds, look at the ceiling, and imagine what was with this sweet tune spinning in the background.
While watching the world spin by, listen closely to Meyer’s words. Through her smoky voice, she shares with us her own fears, dreams, and desires. She, like us, is on the verge of breaking, but she finds her escape in her dreams. There she can feel like she’s “flying high like an airplane up in the sky” and going places. This band is going places.
Sun June – “Bad Girl” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: Julia Jacklin, Lomelda, Angie McMahon
As we begin to say goodbye to 2020, we start to reflect on what was. We recall the highs and the numerous lows, try to make sense of why things happened, and learn from our experiences to avoid making the same mistakes. This year has brought plenty of sorrow, tears, and anguish to many of us. The human spirit, though, is resilient, and what doesn’t break us will make us stronger. For dozens of artists and bands, they do something most of us struggle to do – to make something incredibly beautiful from the pain. Beautiful, though, is underselling Sun June‘s newest single.
Two years ago, the Austin-based band impressed with their indie-rock debut, Years, but they’ve subtly changed course to a genre they call “regret pop”. It’s a combination of dream-pop, sadcore, and art-rock, which they first shared on “Singing” and later on “Karen O”. They have mastered this sound, though, on “Bad Girl”. It is minimalist in its approach, as the rhythms lightly pulse like a restful heart and the guitars glisten gently like the stars at night. Despite its simplicity, the song is breathtakingly gorgeous, causing hearts to quiver and chests to heavily rise and fall.
Front-woman Laura Colwells’ alluring vocal, meanwhile, takes the song to celestial heights. As stunning as it is, vulnerability and sadness drip from each word as she recalls the end of a relationship gone wrong and how it broke her. But through the emotional turmoil, she along with Stephen Salisbury (guitar), Michael Bain (guitar), Sarah Schultz (drums), and Justin Harris (bass) have crafted an unforgettable song. A song that had us saying “Wow” from the first to the 50th listen.
Sun June’s sophomore album, Somewhere, drops February 5th, 2021 via Run for Cover Records and Keeled Scales. Pre-order it here. Also, view the video for the track on YouTube because it might just reflect how you are feeling after the song ends.
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