The Matinee ’21 v. 070 is full of little secrets – or musical treasures. Get to know four of them today on this short-and-sweet mini-playlist.
Feng Suave – “Tomb For Rockets” (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
RIYL: Leon Bridges, Father John Misty, Samm Henshaw
Every country has a music treasure – an artist or band that is beloved in every corner of the nation but has yet to take off abroad. The Netherlands’ gem are Feng Suave, who despite performing for most of the 2010s have only started to gain traction beyond the Dutch borders. Upon hearing their new single, one, including ourselves, is left wondering, “Why haven’t we heard of them before?”
“Tomb For Rockets” is a breezy and charming piece of retro soul-pop. It exudes the sultry intimacy of ’70s artists like Stevie Wonder, Al Green, and Curtis Mayfield. It’s the type of song our parents and even grandparents would have slow danced to at their high school proms. Although the song sounds like the soundtrack to a night with our significant other, listen more closely and one realizes that this is a love story set to a tragedy.
“Pilot speaks, announces solemnly:
’We’ve just lost another wing'”.
But Daniel De Jong and Daniel Elvis find a silver lining in this disaster. They use these final moments to express their love to the one sitting next to them, slowing down time to make one last memory. To fall in love one last time.
“All I wanna do is pretend we’re islands in the tub
Baby, you can even hold me under
Maybe you could roll the windows down and turn it up
Play all the songs that you’ve ever loved”
A global love affair may have just begun with Feng Suave.
Best Move – “Invisible Sigh” (Sacramento, USA)
RIYL: Radical Face, Andy Shauf, Cass McCombs
For more than a year, we have had the opportunity to re-calibrate our present and future. We have pondered our existence, our worth, and what we have left to give to those we call our friends and family and to the greater society. For many of us, we realize that life is too short to be weighed down by any one thing or belief and that we must free ourselves of all constraints. We must live. This epiphany is brilliantly captured on “Invisible Sigh” from Best Move.
With the dream-folk soundscapes and vivid songwriting of Radical Face and Andy Shauf, the Sacramento-based trio deliver a beautiful and eloquent tale of revival. The sonic atmosphere is endearing, feeling like a fantasy coming to life or in this case a person coming out of their cocoon. Front-man Kris Anaya’s falsetto is likewise light and embracing, as he narrates our resurrection.
“As the world keeps giving time
You paused and breathed the great divide
You washed away your faith
Your feet at rest
Your mind erased”
Best Move are Kris Anaya, Joseph Davancens, and Fernando Olivia, who have signed with Park the Van Records.
Happy Hollows – “Craver” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Kate Bush, Deerhoof, Talking Heads
For most of their existence, Happy Hollows have created bold, anthemic, indie rock. Their music was made for venues like the Hollywood Bowl, where thousands of fans could lose their proverbial shit for 75 minutes. The outfit originally founded by Sarah Negahdari and Charlie Mahoney, though, are in the midst of a metamorphosis. Their latest singles have forayed into other genres, including indie pop. In the case of “Craver”, they delve into the depths of art-rock to create an unexpected ear-worm.
Like Kate Bush taking over for David Byrne in fronting the Talking Heads, the track is off-kilter, lo-fi, witty brilliance. For half the track, each element is executed with a tribal, rhythmic method. The percussion stutters while the guitar and bass are guttural as their strings are methodically plucked. Negahdari’s voice also hops along to the beat. She sounds almost mechanical, which replicates her tale of a person living a robotic, tailored life. As such, “happiness is hard to find”, as she says. She desires more than what she has. She craves for her dreams to come to life and free her of this structured imprisonment of work, eat, sleep, repeat. And don’t we all.
Happy Hollows are Sarah Negahdari (vocals/guitar), Charlie Mahoney (bass, synthesizers), Scott Munro (guitar), and Glenn Fryatt (drums). No word on a new album, but we anticipate an announcement should be coming soon.
Girl Time – “Remember” (San Diego, USA)
RIYL: Red House Painters, Arab Strap, Slow Pulp
In March of this year, we were introduced to Girl Time. The project of siblings Michaela and Ian Vachuska wowed us with “Pretend”, which we stated was “(j)ust brilliant and utterly extraordinary” and one of the songs of the year. They remain one of our favorite discoveries of the year, and we don’t imagine our opinion changing any time soon. If anything, it is further cemented with the release of “Remember”.
The duo once again take ’90s sadcore / contemporary slowcore to delirious heights. The arrangement is predictably minimalist, but the atmosphere is one of stunning brittleness. A feathery percussion, a light synth, and a delicate bass hum in the background, creating the canvas for intimate rhythm guitar to provide strokes of ambient color. Ian, meanwhile, takes center stage as the lead with Michaela softly providing a soothing backing vocal. They once again share the anxieties and uncertainties that linger within them. Their story is one to which many of us can relate, as we, too, struggle with losing someone we dearly loved.
“What if I get nervous and think twice and wonder if I’ll be satisfied
Did I do it right and did I go out enough times? It’s getting late again
You showed me ‘round and took me out but it’s a distant dream
What if I can’t keep, I don’t keep, what if I don’t remember a thing?”
The Vachuskas are planning to release their debut album later this year. We’ll share the news when they officially set a date.
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