Through stormy surges and calm breezes, The Matinee ’21 v. 122 features eight songs that offer a range of vast emotions and experiences.
Liily – “Early Bopper” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: IDLES, The Murder Capital, Eagles of Death Metal
If you asked us who is the most exciting band in Los Angeles, we would immediately mention Liily. Whereas some bands try to bring light to post-punk, Maxx Morando (drums), Sam De La Torre (guitar), Charlie Anastasis (bass), and Dylan Nash (lead vocals) ensure the genre remains intense and fiery. They’ve shown this already with the ferocious “I Am Who I Think You Think I Am” and the electrifying “Odds Are It’s Blue”. These songs were just the appetizer to the main course, which arrives on October 22nd. This is the date when the band’s new album, TV or Not TV, will be released. The LP should position Liily as one of the very best post-punk outfits around, and they validate this belief with “Early Bopper”.
This scorcher is 177 seconds of surging adrenaline and piercing mania. Every element wails with the urgency of an individual confronting her final days on Earth. Nary a moment is wasted to calm or brightness, but there is enlightenment within the noise. As the song roars towards to its apocalyptic conclusion, Nash in rapid-fire fashion opens our eyes and minds to what the world really is. It’s full of darkness and greed, where a few use the majority as nothing more than pawns.
“I see his face in the basement
There’s more to the suffrage that will chose what is to come for a long long while
No more counting hundreds, with the fingers that have been pointing at the
Pick skin from the fountain which will you retro-act for your war war war
Pick skin from the fountain
Wear some glasses for your eyes that are on fire”
Oh, did we mention that every member of Liily is just 22 years old?
Gold & Youth – “The Worse the Better” (Toronto and Vancouver, Canada)
RIYL: Bootblacks, new Deafheaven, Cocteau Twins
Massive success was predicted for Canadian group Gold & Youth a decade ago after they signed with celebrated label Arts & Craft. After the release of their 2013 debut album, Beyond Wilderness, and developing a cult following, particularly in the UK, with their mixture of post-punk, darkgaze, and synth-pop, the quartet unexpectedly took a hiatus. If they had stuck around, they could have rivaled Arcade Fire as the country’s most influential indie band. And they still can be. Last year, Matthew Lyall, Louise Burns, Murray McKenzie, and Jeff Mitchelmore shared on social media that they were working on new music. And after much time away, everyone gets to hear their greatness.
Like a band emerging from the shadows, “The Worse the Better” is illuminating shoegaze taken to euphoric and cinematic levels. It is a band celebrating its return with its longtime, patient fans and new ones to come. As the guitars glisten and the incredible rhythm section pulses like the accelerating heartbeat of a person seeing the light for the first time in years, Lyall tells a tale of a person reconnecting with the world outside and loved ones. This is the honeymoon period, where nothing can come in the way of one’s optimism. Or in the case of Gold & Youth, their destiny.
Gold & Youth’s sophomore album, Dream Baby, is out November 5. Paper Bag Records has the honors.
Kishi Bashi & El Ten Eleven – “Every Day Is a Sunday” (Athens, GA & Los Angeles)
RIYL: Kishi Bashi, El Ten Eleven
Triumphant energy is at the heart of everything Kishi Bashi creates. The classically-trained violinist has been making genre-defying music – both solo and with the indie bands Jupiter One and Of Montreal – for over a decade. Now his fellow Joyful Noise labelmates El Ten Eleven join him on this new 7” split single that radiates joy in every note.
“Every Day Is a Sunday” is a reworked version of the song that Kishi Bashi and El Ten Eleven contributed to last year’s Safe In Sound compilation. That LP featured artists who joined forces remotely during the 2020 quarantine. Together they created a soundtrack of survival that benefitted both artists and audiences. The original track’s upbeat tempo and sparkling synths remain, as does the feeling of hope that comes from each listen. But the reworked version seems to shine even brighter.
These bold, synth-driven beats will recharge your spirit. You can always count on Kishi Bashi for revitalizing sounds, something this track delivers throughout its nearly four-minute duration. El Ten Eleven members Kristian Dunn (bass) and Tim Fogarty (drums) amplify the dynamic textures. Each note soars, so be prepared to feel its effects from head to toe. This is the kind of energy you need every day of the week, but especially on a Monday.
Big Red Machine – “Hutch (feat. Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan, Shara Nova)” (Wisconsin, USA)
RIYL: Bon Iver, The National, Frightened Rabbit
Album of the Year contender How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? from indie collaborative Big Red Machine is officially out. The 15-track EP is truly a group effort with core members Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National) teaming up with artists including Taylor Swift, Fleet Foxes, Anaïs Mitchell, and more. Among the standout tracks is this tribute to the late Frightened Rabbit frontman, Scott Hutchison.
“Hutch” is a tender ballad that features Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan, and Shara Nova joining Dessner and Vernon. The soft piano intro sets a reverent tone with Vernon leading this musical memorial service. As the backing vocalists become a choir the song morphs from pensive to stirring. Fans of Frightened Rabbit will understand the significance of the lyrics. These unanswerable questions resonate with listeners who likely are pondering the same:
“You were alive then you were unafraid
Of how much the world could take from you
So how did you lose your way
And what can you tell me now?
How are you these days?
I want to know everything
How hard are times out there?
These are the things
That I wish I could’ve said to you
If I could I would pick you back up to the top”
“Hutch” is a stirring tribute to a master songwriter.
Air Devi – “Shaky” (Philadelphia, USA)
RIYL: Colleen Green, Illuminati Hotties, Alvvays
Earlier this year, Devi Majeske and her project Air Devi grabbed our attention with the lush and groovy “mosquitos in the backyard”. The song was a bit of an unexpected number given the City of Brotherly Love’s deep indie-rock history. It sounded more West Coast than East Coast, but it displayed the young artist’s ability to turn a simple arrangement into a dazzling outcome. So what does Devi do for an encore? She gathers the band and channels her hometown’s musical history.
“Shaky” is a fun, rollicking piece of pop-rock. A tickling bass line and reverb guitars drive the jittery approach, which is meant to get all the patrons of the little club dancing and their spirits elevated. As we amuse ourselves within the classic approach, Devi shares stories from her life where she’s made some mistakes but lived to tell them. For instance:
“Look, I crashed the truck when I was young
I’m wiser now
I was up so high, I missed the poles upon the ground
I know I’ve got many lessons that I’ve gotta learn
Please don’t shoot me down,
I’m trying to make a turn around”
Hopefully Devi does not find her in such predicaments in the future, but let’s do hope she finds other things from which she will draw inspiration.
Ideini – “Phoenix” (Glasgow, Scotland)
RIYL: Grace Gillespie + Massive Attack + Atoms for Peace
Some of the great duos in music have been brought together by fate. A chance encounter at an open mic night, connecting through mutual friends or the internet, or being in the same city at the same time. The latter is how Theo Duplus and vocalist Francesca Martino, a French-Italian duo, met, brought together by a common love for creating music that is outside the box. Their music is a cornucopia of sound and influences, where it could be part of a post-modern art installation, performed in a high-end night club, or heard in clothing stores like Urban Outfitters or HMV. Imaginative, accessible, and brilliant is their sound, and these traits are demonstrated on “Phoenix”.
At first, the song sounds like an enchanting neo-folk tune. Duplus’ taut guitar hums in the background as Martino’s alluring vocal tells the tale of a dormant soul rising from the ashes. Then the track suddenly shifts, as deep synths and 808s fill the air while a shallow electric guitar occasionally growls in the background. It has transformed into a trance-infused, trip-hop number that leaves all listeners paralyzed and in awe. We also imagine the song would amaze Robert “3D” Del Naja, Adrian “Tricky” Thaws, and Grant “Daddy G” Marshall (a.k.a Massive Attack). Such is the power and potential of an unexpected duo who currently call Glasgow home.
Ada Lea – “partner” (Montreal, Canada)
RIYL: Hand Habits, The Weather Station, Land of Talk
Not many artists leave us speechless, but Ada Lea does. There are only so many superlatives that exist to describe the Montreal-based singer-songwriter’s talents. Her music is emotional, beautiful, and poignant, and her stories are even more powerful and memorable. She’s displayed her immense talents on the jaw dropping “hurt” and the dazzling “damn”. Now she, well, leave us speechless with “partner”.
The song is incredibly stunning and intimate with the fluttering rhythms and the hums of the guitar and keys. But what grabs hold is Lea’s startlingly vulnerable vocal. Despite its whispery tone, her voice penetrates deep into our chest and grabs our heart. Then her story of a devastating loss and the eventual abandonment rips it out of our body. Through it all, the only pain we feel is Lea’s.
“Driving through the city
Speeding over 50
Calling just to hear you say that you still love me
The music on the radio
Playing our favourite song to show you everything’s connected
And she is a dancer with no partner
That’s what they call her”
Simply another remarkable song from one of Canada’s remarkable talents.
LYRAS – “Paradise” (Newcastle, England)
RIYL: Hiatus Kaiyote, Corrine Bailey Rae, San Fermin, Rubblebucket
In a day of cookie-cooker bands, it’s refreshing to hear a young band go against the grain and do something different. This may not lead to immediate commercial success, but it will grab curators’ attention. LYRAS, who have only been around for about a year, have received early support from BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio. It won’t be long before their music is heard on more radio stations, webzines, and sites, and maybe the avalanche begins today with “Paradise”.
A combination of alt-pop, alt-R&B, and electro-rock, “Paradise” is a mind-bending experience. The contrast between the deep, brooding rhythms with front-woman Ada Francis’ soothing voice and the soft, crystalline key notes create the feeling of darkness colliding with the light. It’s like the battle of good versus evil, but it is being waged between two people going in opposite directions. One wishes to go in the direction where the sun brightly suns while the other seeks solitude in the shadows. Who shall win it or will neither of them?
“I wonder what it’s going to take to make you understand
“I wonder what it’s going to take to make you change your plans
If I find myself in Paradise I’ll throw it all away
If I find myself in Paradise are you going to stay?”
LYRAS are Ada Francis (vocal), Luke Gaul (guitarist), Grace Alexander (keyboards), Gavin Christie (drums), and Luke Elgie (bass). Ladies and gentlemen, get to know this band.
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