The Matinee ’21 v. 010 features a lean four songs that will elicit a range of emotions. Each, though, remind us to cherish every moment we have on this planet and with those we love.
Balthazar – “On A Roll” (Kortrijk and Ghent, Belgium)
RIYL: Portugal. The Man, Foals, Divine Fits
A year full of turmoil can harden even the most joyous individuals. This is true for Belgian indie greats Balthazar, who have long raised spirits with their euphoric music. But when they released “Losers” last year, the band founded by Maarten Devoldere and Jinte Deprez showcased a different side, where they chronicled how the human spirit was being worn down and almost destroyed. The transformation was eye-opening, and it continues on “On A Roll”.
A dark, suspenseful funk-rock vibe reverberates across the track with a stammering guitar line and a stuttering rhythm section creating the eeriness. Devoldere and Deprez, meanwhile, exchange lead vocals, and they describe how they start losing control and unable to contain, reduce, or get away from the demons that occupy their minds and lives. Worst of all, there is no remedy, and all they can do is stare them in the face and try to overcome. And maybe, as recent history has shown, it’s possible to eventually overcome and survive.
In addition to Devoldere and Deprez, Balthazar include Simon Casier, Michiel Balcaen, and Tijs Delbeke. Their new album, Sand, arrives February 26th via PIAS Recordings.
KALI – “Lucy” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Natalie Prass, Faye Webster, Hazel English
16-year old Kali Flanagan, aka KALI, may just be the next breakout indie-pop star. Her first single, “Back to the Start” got our attention back in November, with its hazy, sultry psych-pop vibes. KALI is back with another single, that continues that throwback vibe, the infectious “Lucy”.
“Lucy” is more playful of a pop track than KALI’s first single. It’s still very much a throwback, its synths are dreamy, the bass groove is delectable. Lyrically it also walks a playful line, about young love and infatuation, but it dives a bit deeper, and tackles the complex emotions that come with it. There’s tons of little things that make “Lucy” a great listening experience. From the telephone “hello?”, to the synth strings, to the really slick guitar solo, there’s a lot to like. There’s a lot of creativity here, and it all fits perfectly.
Alex Bleeker – “La La La” (New Jersey, Brooklyn & California, USA)
RIYL: Real Estate, Alex G, Kurt Vile
Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker has created some truly memorable music. Whether it’s “Wonder Years” on that first Real Estate record, or his work with Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, he’s always created a relaxed atmosphere, with honest lyrics. He’s gearing up to release his first solo record, Heaven on the Faultline on March 5th.
The latest single Bleeker has shared from Heaven on the Faultline is “La La La”. From its lighthearted title, to its laid-back music video, and its relaxed instrumentation, Bleeker has hit the very definition of “just vibing”. Despite that feeling, Bleeker describes Heaven on the Faultline as “very much about dealing with the feeling of impending doom”. After the last four years of political, economical, and ecological instability, it could prove to be Bleeker’s most relatable work yet. But, don’t let the doom and gloom turn you away, it’s still full of the wonderful guitar chime and groovy bass lines we’d expect from a Real Estate member.
Charli Adams – “Maybe Could Have Loved” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: Roxette, Bleach Lab, Wy
Charli Adams is quickly becoming one of our all-time favorites, and she’s only been around a couple of years. Even when we were on hiatus, she found her way on to our Mega Playlist of 2019. The young Nashville resident consistently wows us with her breathtaking, ’80s-inspired dream-pop and stories that constantly buckle our knees. She once again makes us collapse to the ground with “Maybe Could Have Loved”.
The song is made for slow dancing at school dances. It is made for the moment where you look across the gymnasium at the person you’ve adored but couldn’t build the courage to ask her/him out for a date. Now, however, is the time to inhale deeply and take a leap of faith because you just never know what may happen. Something magical might occur, much like this song. Adams’ tale, however, is one of heartbreak, yet it offers a lesson for us all – that we cannot truly live until we have loved.
“Whatever happened to lovin’ someone
Long enough to maybe hurt someone?
What ever happened to a little risk of getting sick of it?
Someone you maybe could have loved”
The young woman is a star in our books.
The single is out on Color Study.
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