From grand epics to brooding dramas to dream-like fantasies, the nine songs of The Matinee ’21 v. 145 may make you think you’re at the movies. More cinematic tunes can be found on the Songs of October 2021 playlist, which is available on SoundCloud and Spotify. Happy weekend everyone.
Lime Garden – “Clockwork” (Brighton, England)
RIYL: Warpaint, Sorry, Goat Girl
Although Lime Garden are still in their early years as a band, the Brighton-based quartet already have a wide-ranging portfolio. Forget one-trick ponies or a band that can be pigeonholed into a single genre, Chloe Howard (vocals/guitar), Leila Deeley (guitar), Tippi Morgan (bass), and Annabel Whittle (drums) have demonstrated a high degree of proficiency in post-punk, art-rock, indie rock, and alt-pop. For instance, “Sick & Tired” was a shape-shifting extravanganza while “Pulp” was a surreal rocker. For their third act of 2021, these Artists to Watch alumni take us down the tumultuous abyss of growing up in the 2020s.
“Clockwork” is a brooding yet hypnotic number that combines the multiple sides of Lime Garden. A gloomy, post-punk undertone fills the air with Morgan’s superb bass line, and an eeriness emerges from Whittle’s patient drumming and the swirling guitars of Howard and Deeley. Howard’s voice is nearly deadpan, giving it a morbid feel. This reflects the anxiety and dizziness that overwhelms her mind, and her words, too, overwhelm ours.
“It’s like clockwork
Don’t you think?
Circles round my head
The ticking time bomb
Keeps me out of bed
It’s like clockwork,
Can’t you see?
I guess I’m romanticising nothing
Yet again what fun yippee
Wear my crown, wear my crown, wear my crown, wear my crown, wear my crown
It’s like clockwork”
This awesome single is out on So Young Records. Surely an album is forthcoming.
Ramonda Hammer – “All For What” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Slothrust, Bully, Goon
We’ve mentioned time and time again how we’re surprised certain artists and bands are not more popular than they are. Ramonda Hammer is one of them, as their propulsive brand of indie alt-rock is the kick-in-the-pants, slap-in-the-face wake-up call we all could use. Maybe if this was 1991 instead of 2021, Devin Davis, Andy Hengl, Justin Geter, and Mark Edwards would be household names. There is still time, however, for this great band, who have solicited the services of the ultra-talented Sarah Tudzin (the person behind Illuminati Hotties) to produce their latest single, “All For What”.
Those already familiar with Ramonda Hammer know what to expect – a gritty and edgy tune that weaves between brooding calmness and sparkling eruptions. At its most torturous moments, the song bursts with searing guitars, hammering rhythms, and Davis’ soaring vocal. This is the band unleashing its frustrations with a world self-absorbed with itself. A world infected with greed, selfishness, and ambition.
“Tell me what’s the deal with looking cool
And what’s the point of being sick of thieves
When everyone is trying to steal from you?
Get the song on Bandcamp, and if you do you might win a free beanie. Here’s hoping 2022 sees the arrival of a new album and the launch of Ramonda Hammer into a whole new sphere.
Beirut – “Fisher Island Sound” (New York, USA via Santa Fe, USA)
For nearly a decade, Beirut was the indie band that everyone tried to emulate. They were widely acclaimed and applauded by pundits while also achieving commercial success without compromising their art. Trying to categorize Beirut’s music within a single genre would be impossible since elements of folk, chamber-pop, art-rock, dream-folk, Americana, and even theater can be heard across their discography. They were innovators and trailblazers, and they still are.
To recall the path they started to construct in 2006, Zachary Condon, Paul Collins, Ben Lanz, Nick Petree, Kyle Resnick, and Aaron Arntz will unveil Artifacts next year. This double LP is like a Greatest Hits compilation, although the album will tell a story of where the band began and how it has evolved to where it is today. Of course, the album will include unreleased material, such as “Fisher Island Sound”, to remind us of their legacy.
Fans of Beirut will immediately recognize the band’s charming alt-folk approach. How many bands can make a song that features a mandolin, an accordion, and a trumpet sound alluring, fresh, and modern? There are not many out there, but the sextet have been doing this for 15 years ago. At the same time, they create music and stories that are familiar and inviting, in this case inviting us to the cottage and recalling how beauty can be found in life’s simplest moments.
Artifacts will be out digitally on January 28th, 2022 while the physical release is set for March 4th, 2022. Pompeii Records will release it. Pre-orders available here.
Carrie Biell – “Come By” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, Ashley Shadow, Jess Cornelius
In many ways, making music is like riding a bike. You can walk away from it for a long time, but when you pick up the guitar or a pen your body and mind remember what to do. It might take a bit of time to get into a rhythm, but one doesn’t automatically forget the endless hours of practice and creative writing. For Carrie Biell, fourteen years have passed since she last released material as a solo artist. Biell has, however, remained busy, as she co-founded the queer synth-rock band Moon Palace with her twin sister Cat. She is now, though, starting a new chapter, where she can tell her own stories in full.
Her first tale since 2007 is a dazzler. “Come By” is reminiscent of Sharon Van Etten’s intimate and thoughtful indie rock. It feels like a warm, gentle hug with the soft strums of the rhythm guitar and the feathery rhythms. The serene atmosphere is occasionally interpreted with a guitar strike that adds a spark, like a firework illuminating the dark sky. Biell’s voice is equally striking. While it never rises beyond a lush tone, it penetrates deep into our mind. Her words, meanwhile, touch our soul, as she sings about the difficulties with starting anew after knowing a certain life for so long.
“Now you’re standing right in front of me
It’s exactly what I need
I know that we’ve got a lot to say
But I don’t want to talk right now”
Biell’s new album, We Get Along, will be released February 11th, 2022. Hopefully it’s the start of a great new life.
Deserta – “I’m so Tired” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Lush, Slowdive, Holydrug Couple
When Matthew Doty, the artist behind Deserta, released the six-minute dazzler, “Lost in the Weight”, the second word that came from our mouths was “rapturous” (the first was “Wow!). Little did we know at the time that that single was just the tip of the iceberg. Sure his 2020 debut album, Black Aura My Sun, was ravishing shoegaze and dreamgaze, but Doty has taken his artistry to another level. He’s turned it into a piece of intoxicating cinema, as he displays on “I’m so Tired”.
Find the oxygen tank because one is going to need it by the time “Lost in the Weight” ends. The soft, dreamgaze opening is the bait, as the dabbling 808s and the lithe synths tenderly wrap around Doty’s ghostly voice. For over two minutes, we get lost inside this dreamy soundscape. Then the reverb guitar arrives, and the song gradually elevates and heads to the skies and beyond. The moment is breathtaking and unforgettable, much like the person that Doty yearns to see again. And maybe he will see her or him in the stars.
“Guess you’ll know why I’m so tired
Too tired to be cool
Guess you’ll know why I’m so tired
I want you I want you
Never thought I’d miss the struggle
Giving all the kids some trouble
I just want you to be here”
Cannons – “Ruthless” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Hatchie, Cults, Cathedrals
With some festivals happening, our Instagram feed has been filled with images of plenty of smiling artists and patrons. None are bigger than the ones we’ve seen on the faces of Michelle Joy, Ryan Clapham, and Paul Davis, whose project Cannons has been embraced by people across the US. This warms our heart because the trio are reviving ’80s and ’90s coming-of-age synth-pop, which they did with “Bad Dream” and “Round and Round”. They once again make us feel like we’re teenagers again with “Ruthless”.
This breezy number belongs on a movie soundtrack, specifically the companion piece to Clerks or Reality Bites. It is spellbinding and lush with the pulsing beats, the lithe synths, and the glimmering guitar that arrives midway. As such, you might find yourself with your eyes closed, arms stretched wide, and slowly spinning around. It is ravishing and made even more so with Joy’s dreamy voice. Her tale, however, is not about bright lights and happy days. Instead, she speaks about trying to get unstuck and moving away from the people who drag us down.
“You’re making me look foolish
Baby you’re so ruthless
This song is streaming now via Columbia Records. No word on a new album, but we’re guessing one is in the works.
Alex Lahey – “Spike the Punch” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Ali Barter, Jack River, Fazerdaze
Alex Lahey‘s emergence on the Australian indie scene nearly a half-decade ago was seismic. There was no slow build to her popularity, but rather she shot up right to the top of the Triple-J charts and became an overnight sensation. While many artists are unable to meet suddenly rising expectations, Lahey embraced the challenge. For three years, she released several singles, a handful of EPs, and a couple of LPs. She was a production machine. Since the start of the pandemic, however, Lahey has eased up on accelerator. Her releases have been far fewer and more calculated, including collaborating with Gordi on the terrific “Dino’s” (it’s a Song-of-the-Year candidate). With much of her home country of Australia coming out of lockdowns, she delivers a song made for the times.
“Spike the Punch” is an exuberant and boisterous piece of anthemic guitar-pop. It bursts with an addictive energy from start to finish, providing the perfect song for people to enjoy the outdoors and each other’s company once again. While parties are likely in the cards for the folks in Melbourne and Sydney, Lahey reminds us that beyond the noise and celebrations are the connections we’ve made. That we cannot forget the people we’ve come to adore and even love.
“Spike the punch and disconnect the phones
Because it’s always been you and me
And that’s the only thing I’ve ever known”
The single is out on Liberation Records. We’re guessing an album is coming in 2022.
Mortigi Tempo – “Stoned ‘N Starving” (Salt Lake City, USA)
RIYL: Sloan, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Skegss
It is Friday, so we need a barn burner. More accurately, we need a song that could make the sedimentary at Red Rocks shake as well as could be played at a massive stadium some five light years away. To provide the wall-crashing rocker we desire are Mortigi Tempo and their new single “Stoned ‘N Starving”.
This psychedelic space rocker is awesome. Flaming guitars, pummeling rhythms, tickling keys, and bursting vocals fill this adrenaline-inducing number. Dance, jump, run, or showcase your best air guitar and invisible drum skills – no matter your action of choice, this number was made to make us move. It is also intended to entertain. Although we try not to copy and paste press releases, the band’s description of the song is too good to not share:
“You awaken as a passenger on the Nathaniel Space Station. All the incubation pods around have been opened. Seeking company, you slump your way through the pristine hallways, following the hint of civilization. Giant crystal doors fling open before you, revealing a large gathering. Strange alien figures play eerily familiar music as you are welcomed to the post party of the apocalypse.”
If the apocalypse has music as outrageously good as this tune, bring it on! This manic single is out on the awesomely titled Turbo Chug Bill Records.
Kathleen Frances – “Grown” (Bristol, England)
RIYL: Fenne Lily, deryk, Ghostly Kisses
Fenne Lily, Neko Case, Cloves, Margaux Sauvé – these are the names of some of the finest voices in music. Add Kathleen Frances to this exclusive list. The young Bristolian’s smokey baritone is similarly unforgettable and remarkable. It is a voice for the ages. But what is a great voice without the music to complement it? Fortunately for us, Frances is a multi-talented artist, who showcases her composition, piano, and songwriting skills on “Grown”.
There is a beautiful simplicity to the song, but this is where its power lies. The light keys and synths create a heavenly yet vulnerable environment. It is like the first snowfall, where every snowflake is brittle and delicate but this temporary event is something to behold. Similarly, despite the song’s beauty, Frances reveals how a darkness grows inside her. Her few words brilliantly illustrate the competing contrasts in her art.
“Eating toast for dinner
Telling myself I’m a winner
Because I do what the fuck I want”
Frances’ debut EP, Through The Blue, will be released February 10th, 2022. The young woman has the makings of a future star.
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