Since we skipped Wednesday’s collection of new music, The Matinee ’22 v. 043 is the first of two mini-playlists for this first day of April. There’s nothing funny about the eight featured songs, but rather seven of the artists and bands are future stars while the eighth needs no introduction.
The second part of the twin bill is focused on North American artists, and it’s available here. While we know these tracks were released in March, they kick off The Songs of April playlist. It is, of course, on SoundCloud and Spotify.
Rosie Carney – “dad” (London via Hampshire, England)
RIYL: Miya Folick, Chapterhouse, Charli Adams
Just 25 years old yet Rosie Carney has had an astonishingly diverse career that now spans four chapters. Her introduction was melancholic folk-pop, where she possessed a similar gripping power as Aldous Harding and Phoebe Bridgers (see “Bare” and “Zoey”). Chapter 2 was all about Radiohead, as she applied her ethereal voice to cover The Bends. More recently, she entered the realm of folktronica, as she released a stunner in “Party Dress”. For Chapter 4, she gets a little bit wider screen, grittier, and assertive. Her dreamy voice remains, but there is now an edge as heard on “dad”.
Over-driven, gauzy guitars and an overdubbed bass line grind throughout the track. While the approach is fuller and more electric, it is all still very much gorgeous and dazzling. At the center of the noise is the voice we’ve come to love. While Carney’s vocal still induces knees to buckle, uncertainty and doubt flow beneath each word. Her voice reflects an artist seeking a path in this new, pandemic-effected world, where one must choose between something they love with a career that will pay the bills. Or does one return home so they can pursue their dreams?
“Turn off the radio
I don’t want to know
Who’s in hell today
Don’t wanna feel this way
Wish that I was small
Where the grass felt tall
Hiding on my own
Dad, come take me home”
We said it a long time ago: Carney has all the potential to be a star. If this happens, the only decisions she’ll have are when to start a new chapter in her music career. We’ll get to hear all about Chapter 4 when Carney’s sophomore album, i wanna feel happy, is released May 27th on Color Study.
Hater – “Far From Mind” (Malmö, Sweden)
RIYL: Amason, Makthaverskan, Deeper, DIIV
Despite their massive talent and a discography that includes a terrific debut album and a fantastic EP, Hater might be one of those bands that goes underappreciated for years until one of their songs gets on the soundtrack of a hit coming-of-age movie. They could be this decade’s Toad the Wet Sprocket and Gin Blossoms, where a single break could open the floodgates. Or maybe their big break could come in the form of Sincere, Caroline Landahl, Måns Leonartsson, Adam Agace, and Lukas Thomasson’s sophomore album that arrives in roughly five weeks.
The Malmö quartet have already two shoegaze gems from the LP in “Something” and “Hopes High”. They were the ’90s reincarnated. Their newest single, however, sees Hater go in a slightly different direction while maintaining the personable songwriting that has made them long-time favorites in these parts.
“Far From A Mind” personifies what makes indie great, as it does not reside within a specific genre. The Scandi-gaze that Amason and Makthaverskan popularized a decade ago is blended with the angular post-punk of US Midwest bands like Deeper and Protomartyr. This clash of polarizing genres should not be accessible, but it is incredibly infectious and clever. Holding the contrast together is Landahl’s dreamy vocal, which sounds distant yet incredibly close. She tells us to hold ourselves together and persevere through the surrounding madness. If we struggle to do that, she states she will be around. At the end of the day, though, it’s up to us to unwind and find our center.
English Teacher – “Mental Maths” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: Dry Cleaning; Folly Group; Black Road, New Country
English Teacher are so close to exploding. We can feel it in our bones that the Leeds-based quartet’s faces will be plastered on billboards and advertisements from BBC Radio and Spotify very soon. Like Dry Cleaning, they’ll become one of the most talked about and sought-after UK bands. And it’s not because they create radio-friendly music. On the contrary, they’re another indie band that cannot be pigeonholed let alone categorized. Their music is a fusion of art-punk, R&B, post-punk, and indie rock, and the varied approach provides the perfect canvas for Lily Fontaine’s insightful and poignant songwriting. Their previous single, “A55”, was a demonstration of their brilliant experimentation, which is further advanced on “Mental Maths”.
This song is awesome. It commences with a Vincent Price-like chill with Lewis Whiting’s dreary, lingering guitar floating behind Fontaine’s deadpan vocal. Slowly the song builds with drummer Douglas Frost and bassist Nicholas Eden joining the fray. The track then alternates between chaotic rumbles, ringing guitar solos, and melancholic delirium. Fontaine’s, meanwhile, voice barely wavers, as she sings about one woman’s social anxiety disorder and the sensory overload she experiences while shopping at the grocery store. “There’s a ghost in aisle six”, the protagonist proclaims. She cannot stay here for long, so she begs for someone to “take my money / Don’t tell me how you spent it / Just get me out of here”.
It’s a clever tale about how even the most basic task has turned into a complex endeavor of choice, information, images, and color. This is why this band will be massive very soon.
English Teacher are: Lily Fontaine (vocals, rhythm guitar, synth), Douglas Frost (drums, synth), Nicholas Eden (bass, synth), and Lewis Whiting (lead guitar, synth). Their debut EP, Polyawkward, will be released April 22nd via Nice Swan Records. Pre-orders are available on Bandcamp.
Katy J Pearson – “Talk Over Town” (Bristol, England)
RIYL: Angel Olsen + The War On Drugs + Fleetwood Mac
Katy J Pearson‘s debut record, Return, was a fantastic blend of new and old. Pearson’s powerful voice boomed over throwback guitar chords, and lush soundscapes. It was reminiscent of some of the most intriguing modern songwriters like Angel Olsen and Katie Von Schleicher. It was a strong debut that left us thinking about what’s next.
Thankfully we don’t have to wait much longer as with “Talk Over Town”, Katy J Pearson also announced her upcoming record Sound Of The Morning. “Talk Over Town” has so many of those ingredients that held listeners captive on Pearson’s debut. It’s another nostalgic track, but with even more attention to detail throughout. Its shimmering guitar chords and wonderful percussion set the song’s brisk pace. The choruses are huge events, full of synthesized horns, and big singalong harmonies. There are so many little things on this song that it’s impossible to really list all of the things this song really hits on. One thing we can say is that “Talk Over Town” is a fantastic lead single that has us even more excited for a record we already couldn’t wait for.
Coach Party – “Nothing Is Real” (Isle of Wight, England)
RIYL: Wolf Alice, Sunflower Bean, INHEAVEN
Exactly what is Coach Party‘s ceiling? That’s a tough question for us to answer since we named the Isle of Wight quartet Artists to Watch in 2021, so we’re a little biased. But as objectively as we can say, they could seriously reach Wolf Alice level. A couple of prime festival spots and a full-length album are all that keep Jessica Eastwood, Guy Page, Joe Perry, and Stephanie Norris’ music from being on BBC Radio’s regular rotation. Then again, their forthcoming EP might lead to their massive breakthrough (they’re already cult favorites in the UK). The mini-album promises to be a mind-bender, at least the the five-alarm fire of “FLAG (Feel Like A Girl)” and the ear-worm of “Weird Me Out” signal this. The quartet further raise expectations with “Nothing Is Real”.
Reverb-drenched guitars, bubbly electronics, and jarring rhythms create a pop-rock sound reminiscent of the early ’00s. The approach is familiar yet it’s fresh in these days dominated by over-produced pop tunes. More importantly, the song is intimate and relatable. Despite the grizzled sparks that emerge during the bridges, Eastwood’s lush voice remains restrained and endearing. She keeps “Nothing Is Real” grounded as do her lyrics. “Flowers blooming, everyone is dreaming” are the first words Eastwood sings, as she looks enviously at those around her. Eastwood’s mind, though, is spinning, and she has to constantly tell herself that “it’s great to be here”. To tell herself to live in the moment and overcome the pain that still inflicts her to this day.
This is a band on the verge of greatness. We firmly believe this.
TV Priest – “Bury Me in My Shoes” (London, England)
RIYL: IDLES, Iceage, Wolf Parade
The post-punk renaissance shows no sign of slowing down. With Iceage, Fontaines D.C., and IDLES at their top of their game and a bevy of “newish” bands arriving, the genre should only grow and become even more influential. And we have not even spoken about the potential return of Preoccupations and Savages. Nor have we spoken about TV Priest, who are one of the great bands to arrive in the last three years.
TV Priest’s emergence in 2020 made them Artists to Watch in 2021, and they delivered one of the year’s great debut albums with Uppers. Not ones to rest on their laurels while having plenty to say, they quickly went back to the studio to prepare their sophomore album. My Other People will be out just before summer, and the London foursome already gave a sneak peek with the grizzled “One Easy Thing”. While that first single was more subdued than their previous releases, TV Priest up the intensity on “Bury Me in My Shoes”.
Charlie Drinkwater (vocals), Alex Sprogis (guitar), Nic Smith (bass, keys), and Ed Kelland (drums) have released several outstanding songs, but this might be their signature number. There is not a single second where the band hold back. Its beginning recalls Wolf Parade in their prime with the contrast between Smith’s rumbling bass and the dabbling keys. They are sliced up by Sprogis’ sizzling guitar and Kelland’s throbbing percussion. Drinkwater matches his bandmates’ fury and brilliance, as he tells a story of a man whose 15 minutes of fame have come to an end. Or is this man the country they call home, which for nearly a decade has been in disarray.
“Life only comes in flashes of greatness”, he repeats. Despite being just seven words, it captures so much of what we have witnessed recently and experienced for the past decade. Simply a fantastic tune from a great band.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “Magenta Mountain” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard go Toro y Moi and Kishi Bashi
Leave it to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard to release a song that is 30% shorter than their previous single. Of course, “The Dripping Tap” was an 18+ minute banger, but who’s counting? And only in The Gizz’s world could a six-minute track be considered short. Besides duration, “Magenta Mountain” is, shall we say, completely un-Gizz like. Then again, the sextet have never been ones to be pigeonholed. But if you were expecting a full-blown scorcher, shake away those thoughts because Stu Mackenzie, Joe Walker, Ambrose Kenny-Smith, Lucas Skinner, Cook Craig, and Michael Cavanagh deliver a psychedelic dream-pop number. And it’s pretty great.
The Melbourne geniuses dial back the guitars and rhythms and instead allow the keys and synths to create the hazy and gentle vibe. It all feels like, well, a dream coming to life or as if we’re floating on the Magic Carpet and having Aladdin show us the world. Mackenzie’s voice is soft and lithe, and he describes what he sees from “atop the horizon, adjacent to the sun”. That is, of course, Magenta Mountain, which Mackenzie actually saw in an actual dream. He describes his own journey to this sacred place, which has significant meaning for him.
“It’s my sanctuary, that I wanna be chasing every chance I get.
Don’t wanna be left.
Never not making it there.”
Where the gang will take us next is unknown for the next three weeks. Come April 22nd when King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s 20th album, Omnium Gatherum, will be released on the band’s own KGLW Records, we’ll have a clearer sense of the destinations. Or maybe not. They are The Gizz after all.
GHUM – “Some People” (London, England)
RIYL: Savages, L.A. Witch, Eagulls
It’s hard to believe six years already have passed since GHUM formed. It seems like only yesterday that BBC Introducing was revealing London’s greatest music secret. In their half-dozen years together, Laura Guerrero Lora (vocals), Marina MJ (bass), Jojo Khor (guitar), and Vicki Ann (drums) have added edge and darkness to the UK music scene with their ferocious post-punk and Goth-rock. They are the rightful heirs to Savage’s throne, and they’ll prove their worthiness when their debut album, Bitter, is released in June. As a sample of what they can create, they share “Some People”.
Menacing, stark, propulsive, and mind-bending is the quartet’s newest single. It’s a track made for the cavernous underground venues that occupy Camden and Shoreditch as well as in cities like Berlin and Amsterdam. In these settings, we can feel the band’s energy all around us. We can feel the feverish rhythms and the ringing, steely guitars bounce off the walls and shake our core. More importantly, we can feel Lora’s torment, as she passionately sings:
“Poke my wounds
Hurt me please
I wanna feel something”
While she seeks to feel alive, we are reinvigorated if not resurrected. We also anxiously wait for June 17th to arrive because that is when Bitter will be released. Everything Sucks Music has the honors. Pre-saves available here and on Bandcamp.
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