The Matinee ’21 v. 093 is made for Friday nights and the weekend to come. We recommend listening the songs in order because they make the perfect flow, gradually easing you in, then rocking out, and then preparing you for the beach. Happy weekend everyone! If you need more tunes for the days to come, spin our Songs of June playlist on SoundCloud and Spotify.
Half Waif – “Horse Racing” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Weyes Blood, Jessie Ware, Perfume Genius
Nandi Rose Plunkett might be the most underrated superstar in all of music. Through her project, Half Waif, she has consistently delivered memorable albums, like form/a, and incredible songs. This year along, she’s already unveiled three stunners in “Take Away the Ache”, “Swimmer”, and the stunning “Sodium & Cigarettes”. What makes Plunkett a remarkable talent is that she is able to tightrope between multiple and often contrasting genres. While we can hear the different sounds and influences, the end product is something to behold, which is the case with “Horse Racing”.
The single is masterful piece of art-pop. Plunkett has brilliantly brought the breathtaking cinema of the big screen, the raw emotion of theatre, and the sultriness of the most exclusive night clubs into one song. Synths and 808s sparkle around Plunkett’s bold and stirring vocal, accentuating every desperate word. In the face of a global pandemic, she sings about life’s constant chases, where we sprint after something without realizing this game is a marathon. As such, we falter and eventually collapse, and we do it all over again – chasing after things we can never have.
“We’ve been hiding in our habits.
What did we think was gonna happen? someone else is always worse off
We’re just finding our way, finding our way
Can’t you see I’m holding
I can’t believe I’m holding out
And I’m not trying to make you nervous but I think that we deserve this.”
Molly Payton – “Honey” (London, England via New Zealand)
RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, Charli Adams, Angel Olsen
In 2012, a young woman broke out in a big way with an emotional banger. Her name was Sharon Van Etten, and “Serpent” catapulted her to indie stardom. Nine years later, could the same thing happen to Molly Payton? Like Van Etten, the 19-year old New Zealand-born, London-based singer-songwriter has a successful EP in 2020’s Mess. But all it takes is one song to make her star, and that could very well be “Honey”.
Payton’s latest single could be summarized in one word, “Wow!” From the very start, the song drips with emotion and urgency, reminiscent of the power-rock ballads of the ’90s that littered our favorite coming-of-age films. As the song surges, her powerful voice, which at times echoes Angel Olsen, takes over. It drives this stunning epic about moving on and saying goodbye. We feel her pain. We know her pain, and, therefore, we sing with her when she says:
“And it’s not your fault, honey
It’s not you, it’s me, really
I’m gonna try for you
Yeah I’m gonna try for you”
The single, which is out on The Orchard, is so good. For those in New Zealand, Payton is back home for now and occasionally performing around the country. Unfortunately, her shows with Middle Kids this weekend have been postponed (and we had tickets!), but we’re confident she’ll be around again soon.
Gothic Tropic – “OnlyFans” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: St. Vincent + Sufjan Stevens + Kalbells
Four years have passed since we shared anything from Cecilia Della Peruti ‘s project Gothic Tropic, whose debut album, Fast or Feast, was predictably unpredictable. And it was awesome. The LP defined Perutti’s chameleon-like style, where in one instance she would abruptly disturb the waters with a raging rocker and then calm everything with a soothing ballad. To mark her return, she’s taken her wavering style and put it all in a single track. And it is, well, awesome.
“OnlyFans” is a wild, tumultuous ride. It’s like riding Splash Mountain at Disneyland, where the song commences with a lush, gentle, almost folksy approach in an early Sufjan Stevens way. Despite her light, autotuned voice, her lyrics are biting. “Ain’t no fetish in this Fleetwood Mac / But a virgo’s got to be good”, she sings as her assault on the music industry begins. The track then turns into a whirling rocker, reminiscent of St. Vincent in her alt-rock days. At this moment, Peruti describes the pretenders and manipulators, where she has to fit a certain image. Her shadow, too, needs to be precise. All this affects her mental health, where she wakes up at night and is dependent on adderall to cope with the madness.
The industry, though, hasn’t defeated her. She has instead taken her talents to LA-based indie label Doom of Doom, who will release Perutti’s new EP, Tang Brain, on July 9th. Pre-order it on Bandcamp.
Geese – “Disco” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Iceage + Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever + Nap Eyes
Look out world because here comes a band that could very well redefine music. And kudos to those who were already fans of Geese, who consist of five young men who are barely out of high school. Cameron Winter (vocals, keyboard), Max Bassin (drums), Gus Green (guitars), Dominic DiGesu (bass), and Foster Hudson (guitar) actually have been playing together for five years, specifically since they were high school freshmen (that would be Grade 9 for those not familiar with the US system). If high school bands were as heavily recruited as football and basketball players are, we probably would have heard of the band a long time ago. Instead, it took them signing with Partisan Records to make people, including ourselves, take notice. And our attention is firmly focused on the quintet because with “Disco” they’ve delivered a Song-of-the-Year Candidate.
Coming in at just under 7 minutes, the single is a topsy-turvy yet exhilarating piece of manic chaos. The off-kilter post-punk intro gives way to a sweltering, jangly art-rock approach, leading to a quick shift of sturdy head thrusts to shakes of the hips. The scowls on our face turn to smiles, and off we go into this wacky yet wonderful world. The song transitions multiple times, and every time our minds become more firmly fixated on every note played and every word Winter utters. His story is as turbulent as the song, as his self-destructive tendencies are all revealed in a single night out. As great as the music is, Winter’s songwriting is top-notch.
This band is going places.
HUSSY – “New Fair” (London, England)
RIYL: Dehd, Lala Lala, Junaco
While the UK has plenty of great labels, we cannot help but wonder if Sophie Nicole Ellison was living in Chicago that she would be signed with a well-known label like Partisan, Fire Talk, or Jagjaguwar. The grunge-pop that she makes under the moniker HUSSY is exactly what these companies seek. Her previous single, “Moths”, for instance, was stunning yet gritty. This time around, she drifts more to the dreamy side of things with “New Fair”.
The single is an absolute beaut. It is made for warm, summer evenings, where we can lose ourselves in the wistful and intoxicating melody. There are breathtaking moments and other times heads will bob. Despite the song’s sweltering vibes, Ellison recalls a life filled with constant pain and disappointment, and the only person to console her is herself. She poignantly sings, “Drag my body, it makes it worthy” to indicate how suffering has come to define her. But hopefully coming July 23rd when her self-titled, debut EP is released, she will be defined by her art and as an artist with the potential to be a star.
Spacey Jane – “Lots of Nothing” (Fremantle, Australia)
RIYL: Ocean Alley, Lime Cordiale, Skegss
Anyone who has the fortune of seeing Aussie indie stars Spacey Jane in concert know they are one of the great live performers on the planet. Regardless if they’re on the mammoth stages of the Laneway Festivals or performing in a more intimate setting like Wellington’s Meow, they get fans in a tizzy with their upbeat and feelgood music. Every song seems like an adventure, and their latest number fits their persona to a T.
“Lots of Nothing” is the perfect road trip tune. Jangly guitars, titillating rhythms, and Caleb Harper’s smooth falsetto are made for blasting loudly while driving down Route 66 or along the Great Ocean Road. These times are made for simultaneously enjoying the road ahead as well reflecting on what was. For Harper, he’s constantly looking in the rear-view mirror and learning to accept the good, the bad, and the indifference that exists in himself. He does this by telling a tale about an adventure he has with another person who he knows little about. Questions abound about his travel companion, but few answers are provided. He instead learns to live with the mystery.
Speaking of mysteries, Spacey Jane’s new album is going to eventually be released. The band has recorded a few tracks, but obviously COVID interrupted their plans. Hopefully the LP will be released in the near future.
Spacey Jane are: Caleb Harper (guitar/vocals), Ashton Le Cornu (guitar), Amelia “Meils” Murray (bass/vocals), and Kieran Lama (drums). The single is out on AWAL.
Van Houten – “IDK” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: Beach Fossils, Chris Cohen, Mac Demarco
To end the playlist and to get us into a weekend mood, we share a dreamy slice of lo-fi pop, which will get you in a completely relaxed state of mind. The vibe on Van Houten‘s “IDK” is oh so chill and is the perfect track to spin while enjoying the outdoors on a warm breezy summer day. It is also the perfect beach jam, as you idly lay on the sand and watch the waves ebb and flow.
The track is the byproduct of adult disenchantment after a long and isolating year during the pandemic. The first verse is one many can relate to “I got lost inside the mirror again”.
The band shares a bit about the track: “It’s about feeling stuck in some kind of cycle and reluctantly accepting the fact that you have no real control over what is next. I think this past year and the feelings felt around this really inspired the feeling of being at the mercy of the world around me and not the other way around.”
“IDK” is out now via Clue Records.
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