The Matinee ’21 v. 025 is not the normal Monday playlist, as we treat it like a Friday. The six songs are more upbeat than usual, but they all feature some great messages and stories.
Gordi & Alex Lahey – “Dino’s” (Canowindra, Australia)
RIYL: Boygenius, Phoebe Bridgers, Lady Lamb
We like to daydream about ideal collaborations, especially in these social distancing days. One partnership that we admittedly never foresaw involve two of Australia’s finest artists and singer-songwriters. After listening to “Dino’s“, we are left wondering why we never foresaw Gordi (or Dr. Sophie Payten) and Alex Lahey coming together to create perfect harmony on their newest single.
We always thought that Payten would collaborate with Justin Vernon or S. Carey given the latter two have worked on Gordi’s albums, including her fabulous debut LP, Reservoir, while we envisioned Lahey doing a duet with Jack River or Alex Cameron on a crooner-like, pop number about being the wallflower at prom. But maybe we should have know this was coming since Lahey was one of the engineers on Payten’s sophomore record, Our Two Skins. Regardless, here they are fittingly sharing a song that is built around memories, dreams, and reconciliation.
Through the folktronica-pop approach that beautifully soars to wondrous finish, the two tell the tale of two people reconnecting after a significant time apart. The story is one of fairy tales, but instead of an Enchanted Forest or a grand castle, a diner called Dino’s is the setting, and it is place where the classics spin on the jukebox and the patrons are equally entertaining.
“I suggested that we go to karaoke
But you’d bought your dancing shoes
There was a greatest hits on the stereo
There was a nun drinking her doubt
There was a young boy making promises
To a Dolly Parton cardboard cutout”
The single is out on Jagjaguwar. Here’s hoping the two are working on a record.
Before we move to the next song, we would like to express our most sincerest gratitude to Dr. Payten, who has been working in hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. Dr. Payten is a difference-maker, a life saver. Thank you.
Danz CM – “Something More” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: St. Vincent, Divine Fits, LCD Soundsystem, Kalbells
Plenty of artists and bands evolve, although some do it more gradually while others transform quickly like the weather in southern Alberta. Danielle Johnson’s evolution was anticipated, and when it started last August it has happened pretty quickly. No longer referred to as Computer Magic, she’s reinvented (or re-branded?) herself as Danz CM. Obviously, some stellar tunes, including the dark hypnotism of “Domino”, accompanied the name change. Although she no longer resides solely within the electronic and synth spheres, she has not completely shed those skins. Rather, she’s added new layers to them, including a rock edge with “Something More”.
This electro-rock number is very un-Computer Magic, and it is awesome. It pulses with an unexpected catchy urgency, as the bubbling synths, stuttering rhythms, and a slight sizzle of an electric guitar come together. The track is reminiscent of Annie Clark – a.k.a. St. Vincent – undergoing the reverse metamorphosis of guitar, rock god to electronic-rocker extraordinaire, which is what we may have to start calling Johnson. Beyond the excellent orchestration and addictive vibes, Johnson encourages everyone who is feeling depressed and defeated to assume control of their lives and be “something more”. Nothing can happen if one sits at home and waits; you have to grab the steering wheel and be who you want to be. Just like one Danielle Johnson.
“Maybe go back to college
So you can work in a cubicle
You know like hell that doesn’t fucking suit you
Cause you need
Teenage Fanclub – “I’m More Inclined” (Bellshill, Scotland)
RIYL: Big Star, Billy Bragg, The Posies
If you need another tune to add to a belated Valentine’s Day playlist, may we suggest the brilliant new Teenage Fanclub single? “I’m More Inclined” packs enough romantic lyrics into three minutes to make you and your loved one swoon. Add to that the breezy instrumentation and warm vocals, and you have one of the year’s best tunes. The timeliness of its message ticks all the right boxes, too, considering this era of quarantine:
“This life is complicated
It’s enough to make you blue
And then you have the rugged get pulled from under you
I could live in isolation
Falling deeper into blue
Or I could take the path that leads me back to you”
Teenage Fanclub have always had a knack for crafting bright pop hooks that are more substantive than saccharine. This single is one more example of why the Scottish indie band remain so influential well into their third decade. We are looking forward to this spring when they will release their first new album since 2016.
Teenage Fanclub are: Norman Blake (vocals, guitar), Raymond McGinley (vocals, lead guitar), Francis MacDonald (drums, vocals), Dave McGowan (bass, vocals), and Euros Childs (keys, vocals). Endless Arcade is due April 30th, 2021 on Pema and Merge Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves are available here.
Emma Elisabeth – “Jellyfish” (Berlin, Germany and Höllviken, Sweden)
RIYL: Julia Jacklin, Angel Olsen, Nicole Atkins
As much as we search the vast reaches of the internet to share the music of artists and bands just asking to be heard, countless numbers fall through the cracks. When we discover them, we immediately ask ourselves, “How have we not heard her/his/their music before?” Such is the case with Swedish singer-songwriter Emma Elisabeth, who has only been writing music since the mid-2010s and has released a handful of EPs, including Something Borrowed, Something Blue that was released last Friday. From the little record is a song that has instant classic written all over it.
“Jellyfish” is that number. It is simultaneously fresh and new yet nostalgic and familiar. Jangle-pop riffs swirl through a hazy, throwback Americana arrangement. Its dreamy atmosphere allows us to re-live our lost innocence while imagining our grandest dreams come to life. It’s like the ’50s have been transported to 2021, and our biggest worries are not a pandemic but whether to go to the drive-in movie or head to the beach and start a bonfire. This same nostalgic feeling is uttered in Elisabeth’s stirring voice, who wishes to rewind the clocks and for that one person to say the words she longed to hear. And although her ex-partner could not utter the phrase, we can say that our admiration for Elisabeth is blossoming.
Purchase and streaming links for Something Borrowed, Something Blue are available here.
Tara-Bridget – “Eighteen Again” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Alvvays, Barrie, Zella Day
Tara Bachmann has been releasing music through various platforms over the last few years as Tara-Bridget. From her early work on SoundCloud to her more developed recent releases, Tara-Bridget has created a unique and captivating style of pop music. Some tracks are lush, synth, reverb, and harmony heavy, while others wouldn’t feel out of place on those endless and addicting lo-fi beat streams on YouTube.
Despite only being 19, Bachmann sings of being “Eighteen Again”. Eighteen is an important age for so many reasons: it’s old enough to be seen as an adult, youthful enough to have your whole life ahead. There’s an anxiety with turning nineteen, or any age, and to think if we could turn the clock back to an age and start anew, “Eighteen Again” would be the answer. However, Tara-Bridget presents it as a “coming-of-age” song more than a nostalgic look back at the teenage years. “Eighteen Again” is Tara-Bridget’s sound refined. Synths, a wonderful driving drumbeat, and these lush harmonies that take the song into dreamy territory.
“Eighteen Again” can be streamed at your streaming service of choice here.
Blue Arcade – “Love Is Pink” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Japanese Breakfast, Men I Trust, Tennis
Blue Arcade are a duo from Melbourne who definitely deserve more attention. “Love is Pink” is their newest release and it’s a laid back dreamer. The vocals are sublime and the harmonies are ethereal. The track feels nostalgic but also crisp and new.
Blue Arcade is Tom Crane and Eva van Dijk. The cool thing about Blue Arcade is their creative process – they never write or record together in the same room. They share about their newest release: “Despite the sugary and eccentric soundscape it maintains a melancholic nostalgia”.
“Love is Pink” is a stellar track and is the perfect one to be spinning on any relaxing weekend and of course during weekends in the sun once we return to the upcoming warmer weather. There is a dreamy lo-fi element and “Love is Pink” will truly help relax your mood. Blue Arcade will be working on their debut EP release later this year and hopefully some live shows once the pandemic is under control.
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