On the second half of our twin bill of new music, The Matinee ’22 v. 044 dives and crests like a roller coaster, tantalizing at its calmer moments and exhilarating during the rushes. Plenty of familiar names occupy this edition with a couple of younger artists that will be heard from for a very long time.

These songs, along with those on the first part of today’s music selection, kick off The Songs of April playlist. Find it on SoundCloud and Spotify.

 

Lady Lamb – “Wolves of My Want” & “Ivy” (Brooklyn, USA)


RIYL: Angel Olsen, Molly Burch, Caroline Rose

Even when she was writing and recording her music in a basement DVD store in Maine, Lady Lamb‘s creativity knew no bounds. Since then, Aly Spaltro has released some really fantastic, genre-defying records that feel completely unique to Lady Lamb. The last time we heard anything new from Lady Lamb was about two years ago when she released “We’ve Got A Good Thing Going” and “Arizona”. It’s been longer since her last record, Even In The Tremor.

Every time Lady Lamb releases a song, it just feels like a big event. With a tease on social media that something was coming, Spaltro warned us of an upcoming single, “Ivy”. Written at home, the song starts out with a warm, gentle acoustic guitar. Spaltro cuts through that with some distorted electric guitar, and a full band and dreamy harmonies join in. The song then lives in between that warm space and the loud exclamations, while its ending features some gorgeous strings. Spaltro says the song was created from a fleeting moment, and it’s delivered in a way that Lady Lamb only can.

While announcing “Ivy” on her social media, she also snuck in that she was releasing another song for Bandcamp Friday, “Wolves of My Want”. While this track has many qualities similar to “Ivy”, it possesses a very different sound. Some electric keyboard chimes underneath while Spaltro sings in a melodic spoken word of sorts. The drums provide the song a great groove, and when the bass kicks in, it adds even more to the surreal atmosphere. “Wolves of My Want” also ends with a string section, but it feels so much more like a hip-hop beat than anything else, and it’s fantastic.

Both singles are out on Ba Da Bing Records.

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Beach Bunny – “Fire Escape” (Chicago, USA)

RIYL: Remember Sports, Ratboys, Speedy Ortiz

Beach Bunny delivered one of 2021’s great EPs with Blame Game, at least in our humble opinion. Lili Trifilio, Jon Alvarado, Matt Henkels, and Anthony Vaccaro channeled some of the best artists of the ’90s throughout the EP, as well as their 2020 debut LP, Honeymoon. Late last year, Beach Bunny released “Oxygen”, which is full of energetic drums and more millennial nostalgic charm. 

Beach Bunny are back again with another ripper, “Fire Escape”. On the surface, it feels very early ’00s pop-punk with glittering power chords, infectious guitar leads, and emotional lyrical and musical builds. There’s a great poetic quality to the lyrics as well, making everything flow in a magical way. It’s a short track at just over two minutes, but it packs a great punch. 

“Humanize your equation
I’d like to be your remedy
Swallow, slowly
I feel your heartbeat in everything

Visualize at the station
I took the train to great escape of
New York – subway system
I carve the car seat with both our names”

Beach Bunny’s new album, Emotional Creature, will be released on July 22nd via Mom + Pop Music. Pre-orders available at these links and on Bandcamp.

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Patrick Watson – “Height of the Feeling” (feat. La Force) (Montreal, Canada)

RIYL: Leif Vollebekk, Gayngs, Feist

For nearly two decades, Patrick Watson has astounded music fans. The early days of his career were filled with extravagant and often times euphoric orchestral pop and cabaret pop. Every song felt left a grand marvel of music that Ph.D. and Master’s students would dissect while other artists would attempt to emulate (see Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene). As the Montreal-based artist has aged, he has found new ways to impress, and sometimes he is joined by a gifted artist to help him take his craft to another dimension. On his newest single, a fellow great Montrealer lends her voice to turn a song about solitude into one about unbreakable companionship.

Sit down and take a massively deep breath before spinning “Height of the Feeling”. The instrumentation is beautifully restrained at first to create an extremely intimate and personal moment. Watson’s and Ariel Engle’s (of La Force) delicately intertwine, sounding like two bodies on the verge of coming together to form the perfect union. Uncertainty, however, lingers in their words, and they keep their distance despite what they desire.

“Did I give it away when my hands were shaking
What makes you so sure?
And then she answers

I just need your touch so I know I’m here
Is there a loneliness leaking?
Just need your touch so I know I’m here”

Just as the two do touch, the song crests into a moment of sensual intensity. This is the desperation felt within two people who have been separated for too long. Where two people start to think maybe they’re now just strangers.

Watson’s new album, Better in the Shade, will be released April 22nd via Secret City Records. It can be pre-ordered / pre-saved at these links as well as directly on Bandcamp.

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Kevin Morby – “Rock Bottom” (Kansas City, USA)

RIYL: Sam Cohen, Trevor Sensor, Night Shop

Kevin Morby is unquestionably one of the great storytellers of our generation. He’s found inspiration in the pedestrian-filled streets of New York (City Music), the quiet roads of his old Midwest stomping grounds (Sundowner), and faith or what is believed to be faith (Oh My God). For his forthcoming seventh album, This Is a Photograph, he explores humanity’s immortality.

Following his father’s health scare, he began to reflect on the life and dreams of those he admired or had come to know. On the LP’s title track, he looked at life through the eyes of a father and son and how much they shared and lost. While that song could be considered highly introspective, Morby pays homage to the late James Lee Lindsay, Jr. – a.k.a. Jay Reatard – on “Rock Bottom”.

Like Lindsay’s music, Morby picks up the tempo and delivers a catchy, classic rocker that includes a heavy dose of fuzzy guitars and cowbell. This song, in other words, was made for good times, where we wash away our worries within the top-tapping, head-bobbing melody. We also delight in the terrific video that sees Morby display his nunchuck skills to ward off a sinister enemy. His lyrics, meanwhile, are both playful and poignant, adopting Lindsay’s self-deprecating style with his own honest and introspective approach.

“All of my life, everybody roasting me
All of my life, like I was a piece of meat
It’s cold down here, despite the heat
In the rock bottom

All of my life, oh to be a king
All of my life, oh to be anything but
In the rock bottom”

This Is a Photograph will be released May 13th on Dead Oceans. Pre-orders available here and directly on Bandcamp.

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Warpaint – “Stevie” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cigarettes After Sex, Lower Dens

When Warpaint released the intimate trip-hop number “Champion” as the first single from their forthcoming new album, Radiate Like This, it represented another transformation from the super indie group. The only question is just how far down this rabbit hole will they go. Will they head towards more darker, mysterious realms or swerve towards lighter, dreamier environments? For at least one outing, they opt for the latter and deliver a love song right out of the late ’70s.

Grab your partner and slow dance to “Stevie”, which is an exquisite piece of psych-pop. It is sensual, intimate, and even a touch trippier. The interplay between Theresa Wayman’s lingering guitar and Jenny Lee Lindberg’s sexy bass resemble two lovers moving together. Stella Mozgawa, meanwhile, ensures they move in stride, providing the perfect pace for them to stay in perfect harmony (Mozgawa is one of the great drummers of all-time). Emily Kokal’s dreamy voice narrates this tale of passion, desire, and vulnerability. So for four minutes, let your guard down and fall in love all over again.

Pre-orders for Radiate Like This are available at these links. Virgin Music and Universal Music Group will release it on May 6th. Warpaint are: Emily Kokal (vocal, guitar), Theresa Wayman (vocal, guitar), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass, vocal), and Stella Mozgawa’s (drums, vocal).

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Abby Sage – “Force of Habit” (Los Angeles, USA via Toronto, Canada)

RIYL: Arlo Parks, deryk, Connie Constance

Toronto-born Abby Sage has been hovering under the radar for a few years, creating emotive and sensual R&B and left-field pop. With an eye on increasing her exposure and expanding her musicianship, she moved to Los Angeles, which is where the fine folks at Nettwerk Music Group discovered her. With the backing of the label whose roster includes Angus & Julia Stone, Jack River, Neil Frances, Passenger, Vök, and dozens of others, Sage won’t be a hidden gem for long. Instead, she could be an underground sensation, where her music fills the airspace of the most exclusive bars to create a forbidden intimacy. With this said, dim the lights, remove all distractions, and become consumed within “Force of Habit”.

Nothing is hurried, which allows every element, particularly Sage’s diligent guitar strumming, to embrace us. The arrangement is stunning, yet a desperation, a vulnerability seeps through. Instead of feeling sultry, the song feels dizzying, as if Sage also is drowning into the languid melody. And she wants us to feel this sensation because her intent is to know what things move us. Is it her restrained yet penetrating voice, the tapping percussion, the crisp guitar, or her words? When she says, “I want to break all my habits”, what do you desire to do?

If Sage continues in this direction, she might become the most famous Canadian in Los Angeles in no time. 

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Diane Coffee – “The Great Escape” (Bloomington, IN, USA)

RIYL: Smith Westerns, Richard Swift, The Lemon Twigs

We’ve grown so accustomed to Shaun Fleming – a.k.a. Diane Coffee – creating prime Elton John-esque orchestral pop tunes that we often forget that he has a twangy side. Like his pop side and what Richard Swift did and The Lemon Twigs currently do, his sound is founded on the great music of the ’70s. This means keeping things simple, playing classic instruments, and plenty of charisma, of which Fleming has no shortage. It’s just honest to goodness music, which is what “The Great Escape” is.

The track bubbles with the sincerity of John Denver, the warm embrace of Jackson Browne, and the road trip-like lyricism of Bob Dylan. Even the song’s video is endearing, as it shows Fleming heading west with his two tiny dogs in the back seat. They’re on a road trip with no particular destination. Instead, this journey is equally about seeing more of their home country as it is about self-discovery.

“This town, one horse, backward, upside down
And I, I am not where I belong
Let’s leave today The old blood faded away
I’m breaking free, I’m on the run”

This song arrives just in time as road trip season is upon us. Fleming’s new album, With People, too, will be upon us soon. It specifically will be released on April 29th via Polyvinyl Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves are available here.

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Kate Bollinger – “Lady in the Darkest Hour” (Richmond, VA USA)

RIYL: Hope Sandoval, Pearl Charles, Faye Webster

So far, it’s been hard to truly classify the music of Kate Bollinger. With a pair of EPs and a bunch of singles, Bollinger’s songs evoke the feeling of ’70s pop and jazz, which she skewed through numerous lenses like smoky rooms to lo-fi hip-hop beats. Last year, we heard the phenomenal “Yards/Gardens”, a pop tune with many layers and concerning the inevitability of change.

Bollinger returns with another single, “Lady in the Darkest Hour”, the third single from her upcoming EP, Look at it in the Light. The Richmond-based artist’s latest single has a really laid-back vibe, from its light instrumentals to Bollinger’s charming voice. A little guitar lead twirls underneath everything, making the track even more inviting. Its soothing qualities fit the song’s theme of pushing through the tough, sad, and dark times, and breaking through to see the light at the other end. 

“Lady in the darkest hour
Smile all sweet like it isn’t sour
I’d go back to last December
To feel those things I can’t remember

Lady in the darkest hour
Smile all sweet like it isn’t sour
Nothing’s wrong til you say it hurts you
Let it go til it’s passed right through you”

Bollinger’s new EP, Look at it in the Light, will be released April 22nd via Ghostly. Pre-orders and pre-saves available at these links and on Bandcamp.

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