The Matinee ’21 v. 013 is another widescreen variety. On the mini-playlist, find a couple of upbeat numbers, eye-popping new singer-songwriters, a dreamy number, and one ghoulish affair. Sounds like another hump day if you ask us. Happy Wednesday everyone!
The Crayon Set – “Moment” (Dublin, Ireland)
RIYL: Arcade Fire, Camera Obscura, Belle and Sebastian, Stars
Music fans often face a dilemma when they discover a promising new band: should they tell everyone they know about them so the band will reach success faster? Or do they restrict that info so they can enjoy seeing the band play in smaller, more intimate (and affordable) venues? In a pre-pandemic world, Irish music fans could claim the latter as their reason not to sing the praises of The Crayon Set. Who could blame them for wanting to enjoy this Dublin band’s energetic delivery of sun-kissed indie pop perfection? Alas, since live music remains on hold for much of the world, now is the time to get acquainted with the next big thing to rise from the Irish music scene. One spin of their new tune “Moment” proves The Crayon Set are bound for big stages in the future.
The song opens with a one-two punch of sparkling instrumentation and bright, breezy vocals. Their danceable hooks evoke Arcade Fire yet while their modest charm puts them on par with Camera Obscura or Stars. Combine their musical magic with vivid lyrical imagery and you get one of the year’s best surprises. These lines alone make “Moment” a standout track worth keeping on repeat for weeks:
“The river runs so still
The water calls quiet and clear:
It whispers we can transcend
Come on, don’t feel overwhelmed”
Immerse yourself in the healing properties this band’s music provides. You’ll thank yourself. Look for their upcoming third album, Downer Disco, to arrive June 21st. This song is available now on Bandcamp.
The Crayon Set are: Robert Baker (vocals, guitars, keys), Kate Dineen (vocals, keys, guitars), George Guilfoyle (bass, double bass, vocals), Finn O’Reilly (guitars, keys, vocals), and Phil Casey (drums, percussion).
Melby – “Old Life” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Amason, Agent blå, Westkust
Whether they are creating invigorating alt-pop or forging down the familiar dreamy waters of the Scandi indie scene, Melby have consistently left us in awe of their talents. They are the leaders of a new generation of Swedish indie pioneers and ready to take the country to new heights like Amason, Westkust, and Makthaverskan did more than a decade ago. Proving that they are worthy of assuming the mantle, the Stockholm-based quartet deliver a dazzler in “Old Life”.
Matilda Wiezell (lead vocals/synth), Are Engen Steinsholm (back-up vocals, guitar), David Jehrlander (bass), and Teo Jernkvist’s (drums) new single is a stunning piece of cinematic dream-pop. It brims with the alluring breeziness of Amason, but an uneasiness bubbles under the surface of the illuminating guitar, the stuttering rhythms, and Wiezell’s gorgeous voice. She sings about how many have abandoned her and the subsequent the loneliness that consumes her. In this isolation, she can only think about what was and what could have been. She dreams about being found and seen again. Her words are both heartbreaking and knee-buckling since we know all too feel how she feels, particularly when she utters:
“Don’t know if I had to or not
But something told me it was time
Waiting for the feelings to come
They have not yet shown me that void
Forgotten who I am for a while
No one holds me to my words”
The single is out on Rama Lama Records. Surely a new album is coming.
Vilde – “Hazel” (Stockholm, Sweden via Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Atoms for Peace, Sleep Party People, London Grammar
Another Stockholm-based artist that has long mesmerized us is Thomas Savage and his project Vilde. In our humble opinions, he is one of the most underappreciated and underrated artists in all of music because he creates otherworldly soundscapes and writes exquisite stories. The Australian-born multi-instrumentalist should be a household name by now. Maybe when tours happen again and Radiohead announces some openers, Vilde’s name will be strewn across the concert posters. In the meantime, we all should sit back, close our eyes, and allow his music, such as “Hazel”, consume us.
The production on the track is superb with no single element dominating, but rather they all come together in beautiful harmony. The deep, tonal beats and the solemn synth create a stunning broodiness to the atmosphere while the stuttering percussion creates a touch of urgency. A shallow key strike lights up the air alongside Savage’s stirring falsetto. Suddenly, we’re gliding through the skies with little care in the world. Hazel’s story, however, is not one of wonder and peace. It is one of resilience, control, and hope in the face of cruelty and suffering. She is the face of what we all should aspire to be, much like Vilde.
“Hazel, turn your cards up, legs uncrossed, dealer spat you down.
Honest, law abiding, do your best, come to be spat out.
There’s a resolution, where you’re the theatre star.”
“Hazel” is the lead single from Savage’s yet-to-be-named fifth album. Dive into his other four albums, which are available on Bandcamp, and be awed by the depth and diversity of his collection.
Clare Kelly – “Sedation” (Yorkshire, England)
RIYL: Wallis Bird, Aldous Harding, Fiona Apple
Clare Kelly doesn’t have the deepest discography out there. Just a short EP in 2015, Elusive Yusef, and a handful of singles thereafter. However, there are few artists that ever reach the lyrical honesty Clare Kelly reaches on her latest release, “Sedation”.
In its opening moments it’s just Kelly’s unique voice. Her voice’s unique qualities are captivating, much in the way of an artist like Aldous Harding, or Angel Olsen. Where Kelly absolutely shines is through her lyrics. While she can be strikingly honest, she’s also quite witty. “Sedation” is a relatable relationship story, from intimate moments to confrontational ones. Musically, “Sedation” thrives in its simplicity, matching the vulnerability in the lyrics. mostly just Kelly’s voice over guitar, with a little bit of harmonies and keyboards filling the sound out quite nicely.
BE GOOD – “Young Strangers” (Oxford, England)
RIYL: Foals, Bombay Bicycle Club, Travis, Vampire Weekend
Take note, Radiohead and Foals: a new band has their sights on your “Most Famous Bands From Oxford” title. They might not usurp those legends this year, but upcoming indie stars BE GOOD put their promising talent on full display with their new single, “Young Strangers.”
One way we know these guys are bound for greatness is their unique sound. Their effortless fusion of everything good about great bands is found here. They possess the vocal warmth of Foals along with the catchy hooks of Vampire Weekend. Since their initial release of a six-song EP in 2019, BE GOOD have been steadily honing their sound, gaining sonic depth and richness in the process. These guys have achieved a level of cohesion that sounds festival headliner already.
The opening strains – a subtle hat-tip to Radiohead’s “All I Need” – extend an irresistible invitation to crank the volume. From there the song maintains its magnetic allure, keeping listeners fully engrossed in the polished layers. Even the lines “I’m beginning to believe in my own bullshit / I don’t wanna be saved” feel refreshingly honest. Instead of a band wanting you to subscribe to a feigned air of confidence, BE GOOD lure you in with their honesty. This makes instant fans of casual listeners. When festival season returns, you can expect to see BE GOOD on many a stage, showcasing their honesty and talent to what we predict will be massive crowds.
BE GOOD are Ash Cooke (vocals), James Cunning (synths), Patch Burley (bass), and Charlie Clark (drums). The band’s debut EP, Everything’s Alright in the Evening, is out everywhere. Purchase and streaming links are available here.
Satin Puppets – “Quagmire” (San Bernardino, CA USA)
RIYL: Kate Bush, Melanie Martinez, Danny Elfman
Most people know twin sisters Julia and Joanna Araujo by their handle @little.ghouls, as they’ve developed a reputation as TikTok influencers, artists (they have had a few exhibitions in the southern California area), and entrepreneurs (they run an apothecary and have their own line of candles, perfumes, oils, etc.). And they’re only in their early 20s. The young women, however, are not willing to stay stagnant. They instead have chosen to continue to express themselves through various media, which includes music and video. They have, consequently, temporarily set aside the color palettes, easels, and fragrances in favor of sonic experimentation. Their debut single is what one would expect to hear – something beyond the ordinary.
“Quagmire” is an eerie and, well, ghoulish number. Although the song’s spookiness seems to be more appropriate for Halloween, these are not ordinary days. With its dark, enchanting tones and the twins’ ethereal vocals rising through the foggy starkness like an angel from the grave, the song seems fitting for today’s world. It is suspenseful yet beautiful, uncomfortable yet hypnotizing. The Araujos’ words, too, reflect the state of our world, where we face confinement everyday and avoid our innermost fears. Eventually, we have to confront them to move forward… to move forward so we can live with ourselves. As they tell us, we need to “Eliminate the fright”.
Maybe Tim Burton is writing a new movie somewhere and looking for someone to compose the music. Hmm…
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