The Matinee ’21 v. 024 offers another medley of soul-churning, toe-tapping, and knee-buckling tunes to end the week. Each song is bold and clever, proving that music can still surprise us.

 

Cherry Glazerr – “Big Bang” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Soccer Mommy, IAN SWEET, Hinds

Cherry Glazerr has kept us on our toes recently. Their most recent LP, Stuffed  & Ready, was a mature refinement of their earlier work. In December, it felt like the Clementine Creevy-led band was pivoting into a poppier, dancier direction with “Rabbit Hole”.  However, with their latest single, “Big Bang”, Cherry Glazerr shows us that that assumption was just that.

On “Big Bang”, Cherry Glazerr show us something heavier. Not in the same way that their earlier, more punk-influenced sound, but in its bass-heavy approach and intricate drumming. In its choruses, Creevy’s voice cuts through the distorted bass-synth. In its quieter moments, her voice soothes between each eruption of sound. With each eruption comes tangible heartbreak in the lyrics and in the vocal delivery. There are multiple layers of honesty in the lyrics, realizing things are not going to work, eventually turning the focus internally as well. When talking about “Big Bang”, Creevy said she “wanted to give it a sort of early ‘aughts pop production feel”. That feeling is definitely pronounced, and it feels like a conglomeration of some of what made that time such an interesting one in music.

“I still call you when I need escaping
you go on and on and on and on and on
catching everything I’ve thrown at you
forgetting all the bad shit that I’ve done”

Cherry Glazerr are 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). The song is out on Secretly Canadian. Could a new album follow shortly?

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Sasha & The Valentines – “Witches” (Austin, USA)

RIYL: Tennis, Natalie Prass, Alvvays

We’re only a few days away from Valentines day, and while their name evokes that holiday, Sasha & The Valentines‘ new single, “Witches” feels like it could also represent Halloween just as easily.  The “Sasha” is not a single person, but a genderless figure which all members of the band can identify.

“Witches” has got an undeniably eerie, yet danceable throwback vibe. Its playful organ welcomes listeners, and provides a perfect canvas for the band to build on. The band’s harmonies, mixed with jangly guitar make the song even more appealing. The lyrical content is part love song, but also part realization of power dynamic in a relationship. Lead singer Sarah Addi described “Witches” as “kind of a creepy reminder that even selfless-seeming acts can have weird manipulative intentions. Especially in relationships.”

The band’s debut album, So You Think You Found Love?, is out April 16th via Oof Records. Pre-orders available on Bandcamp.

Sasha & The Valentines are: Sarah Addi (vocals, keys), Alex Whitelaw (guitar), JB Bergin (bass), Billy Hickey (drummer), and Tim Zoidis (percussion)

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Cool Sounds – “Bystander” (Melbourne, Australia)

RIYL: Velvet Underground, Purple Mountains, Silver Jews

When was the last time you “discovered” a band based on a catchy single but only to then learn they really aren’t new at all? It happens to music fans and music writers alike. This week was our turn to make a belated discovery of an Australian group whose music is an exquisite time warp experience. If you aren’t familiar with Cool Sounds, now is the time to get to know them. We guarantee the title track from their newly released fourth album, Bystander, will make you an instant fan as well.

The song channels the heady grooves of Velvet Underground yet is anything but derivative. These jangly riffs are impressive enough on their own, but the vocals elevate the song to a whole new level of cool. Frontman Dainis Lacey delivers lines with Lou Reed’s swagger while his bandmates deliver tight hooks that you cannot stop spinning. What better tune to have stuck in your head for the rest of the year than this one? If you can tear yourself away from it, go check out the rest of their back catalog on Bandcamp. 

Cool Sounds are Dainis Lacey, Nick Kearton, Steve Foulkes, Jack Nichols, Ambrin Hasnain, and Pierce Morton.

Bystander is out today on Bandcamp via Nice Guys Records and Spunk Records.

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Thrillhouse – “Flawed Design” (Brighton, England)

RIYL: Thrillhouse

There are only a few bands out there who you just can’t really compare to others. Thrillhouse is becoming one of them. The trio from Brighton keep releasing tracks that have a hint of nostalgia wrapped up yet are all their own. “Flawed Design” is the first release of the new year and the band does have plans to unveil more singles during the year.

The biggest comparison for this one track screams their usual ’80s vibe and some David Byrne influences. The track lyrically speaks about the struggles of living a life in comparison with others, which of course always lead to one focusing on their own flaws and the belief that destruction is inevitable:  “It’s a killer in disguise, you can’t compromise”.   The instrumentation is light and airy with ’80s synth and beats, but the track swings with the attitude of a person with nothing to lose.

Thrillhouse are Alistair Scott, Jackie B. Nielsen, and Sam Strawberry.

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Quarantine Beach – “Let the Lovers Decide” (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

RIYL: The Cure, The Police, The Jam

“The past is ancient history,” according to Quarantine Beach on their debut single, “Let the Lovers Decide”. While that line may be true on a literal and lyrical level, this emerging band brings the past to life through their retro-inspired music. They combine vintage influences – from The Cure and The Police to The Jam – to create a modern sound that hooks listeners instantly. 

You might expect a band with this kind of New Wave vibe to hail from London. But no, Quarantine Beach are a European union comprised of Dutch, English, German, and Greek musicians. They first showcased their talents in early 2020 with a brilliant take on The Cure’s “Close to Me” for Global Citizen’s Together at Home concert series. Since then the mostly Rotterdam-based outfit have been collaborating on more music. Hopefully a full album will arrive this year, because a band with this much promise deserves global recognition. If this song is any indication, they will get it soon.

“Let the Lovers Decide” arrives February 19th with a Spotify pre-save available here.

Quarantine Beach are: Anthony Banks (vocals, guitar), Aimilia Theologi (bass), Mark Snijders (keys), and Robin Eggers (percussion).

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Charlotte Spiral – “New Light” (London, England)

RIYL: Elena Tonra, Laura Marling, Marissa Nadler

We end the week and commence the weekend with a spine-tingling number that might change your perspective of abandoned houses. Specifically, you may start seeing a lonely, unlit, and long unoccupied residence as a place of enchantment and wonder. A place where the darkness brings light and the bleakness offers opportunity, sort of like Pan’s Labyrinth. With a similar cinematic flair comes “New Light”, the startlingly engrossing single from Charlotte Spiral.

Charlotte Spiral is not a person, but it is the name of the collaboration between musicians Amy Spencer and Avi Barath. With just a piano, light strings, and Spencer’s stirring vocals, the duo make spellbinding magic. The song could be a lament to Pan himself or the music heard as Belle and the Beast dance for the first time. In each situation, one character is seeking to be seen, heard, and known. They seek to escape to be found.

“”I want to go back to a place where I can dance with you, look you in the eyes
And I would sing out so loud that I would reach notes that I’ve never heard myself
I want to glide up to the sky to look for words at the back of my mind
And I would run into the night to find myself a new sense, a new light”

Simply enchanting. Charlotte Spiral’s fairy tales will be told in full on April 9th. This is when their new EP, New Light, will be released. Pre-order it on Bandcamp.

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