Set aside all thoughts of being alone because The Matinee ’22 v. 046 features nine songs that will keep you company all day long. They address themes of empowerment and beating back pandemic blues, from chasing dreams to finding optimism, and from long goodbyes to delayed reunions. Plenty of long-time favorites occupy today’s mini-playlist plus one brand new “super-group”.
Poliça – “Alive” (Minneapolis, USA)
RIYL: Austra, Fever Ray, Pedestrian
Poliça have always mesmerized us with their goosebump-inducing synth-pop, but from what we’ve heard from their forthcoming album, Madness, has us immensely excited about what is to come. Last month, they shared the grimy and stark “Rotting”, which sounded like the band turning from Dr. Jekyll and into Mr. Hyde. The natural assumption is for the Minneapolis-based quintet to revert back to their original form. Quite the contrary, on “Alive”, the band stay in the darkness and tantalize even more.
Most fans would agree that “Lay Your Cards Out”, “Dark Star”, and “Lime Habit” are Poliça’s holy trinity, but “Alive” might trump all of them. It showcases the group’s multiple sides and complexions – stark and mesmerizing, shadowy but completely intoxicating, and uneasy yet absorbing. And it is absolutely memorable. The synths and electronics swirl with a restrained intensity while a crystalline guitar hums and jittery percussion percolate in the background. Channy Leaneagh’s vocal is similarly multifaceted – ghostly, heavenly, and immediate. Her voice is that of a woman scorned but not weakened. Of a woman beaten but not defeated. She is vengeance, redemption, and power.
“Figure water in my womb
I’m much smarter
Till the winter sun
Sex is shattered
Clone of clone
Women won’t be
Men a cross me
Was I want see
It bad enough”
And she is unbreakable.
Poliça are Channy Leaneagh, Chris Bierden, Drew Christopherson, Ben Ivascu, and Ryan Olson. Madness arrives June 3rd via Memphis Industries. Pre-orders available here and on Bandcamp. We cannot wait for this one.
Florist – “Red Bird Part 2 (Morning)” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Gabby’s World, Todd Slant, Snail Mail
In 2019, Florist released Emily Alone. As its title suggests, it was a solo release for band’s lead creative force, Emily Sprague. It was a gorgeous record, which dealt with the loss of Sprague’s mother. The last record Sprague released with a full band was 2017’s If Blue Could Be Happiness, and it was among that year’s best. Whether it’s with a full band or just on her own, Emily Sprague paints vivid pictures, of places, people, of time itself. There’s a warmth to each Florist record so far that keeps us coming back.
In a contrast to Emily Alone, Florist’s next record is about celebrating and appreciating the people around us. Sprague describes the first single, “Red Bird Part 2 (Morning)” as “an introduction to Florist“, referring to the upcoming self-titled record. It’s a familiar sound to those who’ve listened to Florist’s music before. Gorgeous guitar work, some ambient electronics, Sprague’s voice layered upon itself. She once again paints a vivid picture with mostly just her voice, accentuated and brought to life by the sound of birds chirping. A truly stunning track that will feel like home to any old fan or new listener of Florist.
Florist is due July 29th via Double Double Whammy. Pre-orders available here and on Bandcamp.
INSIDEAWAVE – “Ultrabeat” (Dublin, Ireland)
RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Phoria, Ólafur Arnalds
Two years ago, five Irishmen quietly emerged on the music scene and completely swept us away with three songs: “Bright Windows in the Night”, “Ivy Honey”, and “Tour Guides”. To say INSIDEAWAVE made a great first impression would be understating things. How many bands can combine the art-rock unpredictability of Grizzly Bear with the genre-less beauty of Radiohead? Take a few minutes to answer that question. It’s not an easy one to find a response, which explains the uniqueness and talent of Eoghan, Mark, Nick, Sean, and Mat. Early adopters of the band will already know their brilliance, but “Ultrabeat” likely will be most people’s first introduction.
Like the aforementioned two great bands, INSIDEAWAVE weave a tapestry of emotions and sounds on their newest track. It commences with an alluring tranquility and Eoghan’s captivating vocal, and the approach is reminiscent of Phoria’s gorgeous, cinematic soundscapes. Gradually it builds, taking us to the heavens and making us feel like we’re floating within the clouds. This elevation is full of joy, contemplation, and optimism. Eoghan’s lyrics, too, have a splash of positivity, as he recognizes that we cannot do what we once did but unknown opportunities await. And a sea of opportunities await this terrific, under-the-radar band, who should soon become the talk of Irish indie scene.
INSIDEAWAVE plan to release two more songs this year, but we’re hoping they will just be the tip of the iceberg.
Wallice – “90s American Superstar” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Fazerdaze, girl in red, Molly Payton
It feels like Wallice Hana Watanabe is in the middle of a meteoric rise. Just last year, Wallice released her breakthrough EP, Off The Rails, a record with a true DIY soul. It’s a fun and relatable record, especially to Gen Z and late Millennials, as it navigates the anxieties of adulthood in modern times. Bundle that with the catchy pop-rock tunes and fun music videos, it’s easy to see why Wallice has gained a sizeable following lately. In February, Wallice released “Little League”, which featured an expanded sound and that trademark observational lyricism rooted in self-doubt.
Wallice’s latest single is 90s American Superstar, the title track from her upcoming EP. It’s just as engaging and fun as the songs on Wallice’s breakout. It’s an upbeat song driven by a great drumbeat and palm muted chords, and a jam paced with plenty of ’90s movie references. The song picks up more with some guitar fuzz and Wallice’s voice drenched in various effects. When Wallice is done evoking Dude Where’s My Car? and Clueless, the song becomes a smart and lighthearted coming-of age breakup song. It’s a really fun ride and a perfect introduction for those unfamiliar with her sound.
“Like a 90s American superstar
I hate it here, dude where’s my car
Lazy and lonely dazed and confused
Way more than ten things I hate about you
Clueless and at my breaking point
Need somebody new to disappoint
Escape from LA it’s time to go
Kill the star on the radio“
Wallice’s new EP, 90s American Superstar, will be released May 6th. Pre-order for the Dirty Hit-distributed record are available at these links.
Sports Team – “R Entertainment” (London, England)
RIYL: INXS + Pavement + Talking Heads
There are party bands and then there are PARTY bands, and Sports Team lands in the latter. Now, the London-based, Cambridge-formed collective do not concern themselves with frivolous things like binge drinking, party until the wee hours of the morning, and mindlessly parading down the street. Well, they kind of did some of these things during their uni days, but Sports Team also punctuate their hip-shaking rock ‘n roll with smart stories, like on “R Entertainment”.
With a blast of INXS and the oft-kilter brashness of the Talking Heads, the sextet unleash a rapturous number that is made for, well, dancing, jumping, and running. For that matter, the band dance together, as the keys spin around the revving guitars while the bubbly rhythms induce hip shaking and toe tapping. The conductor leading this bar-room orchestra is Alex Rice, who sounds like Michael Hutchence reincarnated. Like the late great front-man, Rice sings with a fervor in his voice as he addresses humanity’s simple minds. Specifically, he addresses how we are entertained by the most innocuous things and waste our time watching car-crash TV or other people having sex. We live our lives vicariously through others and becoming obsolete in the process. Clever is this band.
Sports Team are: vocalist Alex Rice, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Rob Knaggs, lead guitarist Henry Young, bassist Oli Dewdney, drummer Al Greenwood, and keyboardist Ben Mack. Their new album, Gulp!, can be pre-ordered at these links ahead of its July 22nd release date. Universal Music Group has the honors.
Midnight Rodeo – “Now You’re Gone” (Nottingham, England)
RIYL: Allah-las, Pearl Charles, La Luz
Ladies and gentlemen, meet your newest musical addiction. Well, Midnight Rodeo are that for us, and it took about 30 seconds listening to “Now You’re Gone” to fall for Notthingham’s “newest” sensation. We use the term “newest” quite loosely because Midnight Rodeo feature six artists from various bands – including Sancho Panza, Cherry Hex And The Dream Church, Jiminil, The Hijinks and Orton – from the city made famous in Robin Hood. Maddy Chamberlain (vocals, tambourine), James McBride (guitar, vocals), William Crumpton (guitar, vocals), Harry Taylor (bass), Ferg Moran (drums), and Sam Potts (keys, synths), as such, are a super-group of sorts and they flex their combined powers on their awesome debut single.
A little scuzzy, a bit surfy, streaks of neo-psychedelia, and 110% awesome, “Now You’re Gone” is like the perfect marriage of the Allah-las and La Luz with Pearl Charles fronting this all-star collaboration. It’s sublimely retro, where we want to deck out in some vintage western attire. At the same time, it’s brilliantly present, as instead of hopping onto our horse we get into our cars and go chasing the night. We go racing after that person who has left us behind, hoping to convince them to return to us. In actuality, though, there’s no way finding her. We just hope she knows that “when you’re feeling far from home, you’re not alone”.
We won’t be alone any longer with the newest sensations from the UK here. Midnight Rodeo should be around for a while since they are signed to FatCat Records.
Michael Rault – “Neither Love Nor Money” (Los Angeles, USA via Montreal and Edmonton, Canada)
RIYL: Diane Coffee, Foxygen, Morgan Delt
From the day we discovered Michael Rault back in 2015, included his excellent album Living Daylight on our favorite records of 2015 list, and invited him and his band to play a house show, we thought he would be an influencer for a very long time. Now that he’s based in Los Angeles, he’s made noise behind the scenes, which includes performing on and supporting his partner (and another of our long-time favorites) Pearl Charles on her LP, Magic Mirror. After some time away from the mic, the Canadian returns at long last with yet another retro-inspired tune.
Grab the shades, don a hat and a denim jacket, and head outside with “Neither Love Nor Money” streaming in your ears. Bask in summery vibes of this ’70s-inflicted, psych-pop number. It’s lighthearted, groovy, and even funky with a splash of horns providing a touch of Motown. Despite its multiplicity, the track is still very much Rault – an old soul in a young person’s body. With the spirit of Al Green, he shares a story of losing everything.
“I have run for the love and the money for some time
And it seemed fine
But now both of them ain’t coming running dry
I’ve been so long without you honey
The night’s black and the feeling is back
And no love nor money brings you back this time”
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – “My Echo” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Spacey Jane, Kiwi Jr., Dick Diver
Aussie singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly wrote it best on Instagram a couple of weeks ago – it’s been far too long that one of the great indie-rock bands have been holed up for far too long. Only recently did Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever‘s tour recommence, where they got to spin tunes like “The Way It Shatters” and “Tidal River” from their forthcoming new album, Endless Rooms. The LP so far sounds like it was made for live performances, and “My Echo” is no different.
This lively number is doused in the jangle-rock history of their hometown of Melbourne. It buzzes, grooves, and bops like an 8-year old kid or an office worker on a Friday afternoon. The song is that of temporary liberation, where we can stay out late and leave our troubles behind. This includes the days of isolation and loneliness that comes with lockdowns, which still exist in some parts of the world. Through the upbeat arrangement, the band share the everlasting effects of a pandemic that has no end.
“Tomorrow from another state
Try paint yourself in color
Come on and be a winner
Ah take another shot
I keep hearing the sound of my echo
From deep in the ravine
I’m tripping on the sound of my echo
In the reverie”
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are: Tom Russo, Joe White, Fran Keaney, Joe Russo, and Marcel Tussie.
Sadurn – “icepick” (Philadelphia, USA)
RIYL: Big Thief, Florist, Squirrel Flower
Our introduction to Genevieve DeGroot’s project, Sadurn, can only be described by one adjective: jaw-dropping. Their first two songs, “Snake” and “Golden Arm”, were nothing short of stunning. Both singles featured an impactful combination of melancholic Americana vibes and gripping songwriting.
Everything that made those first two singles so notable is back in a big way with Sadurn’s latest, “icepick”. Their newest track consists of a fairly simple composition: acoustic guitar strummed over a drum machine with just a small layer of keyboards filling out the sound. The result is a song that makes every word DeGroot sings hit even harder. It concerns a relationship and its cycles – from those feelings of being in love, the irreplaceable feelings that brings, to the harder times. There are a lot of detail in its lyrics, and while its content is a personal story, its simple composition easily transplants the listener right into those moments.
“But you and I are good friends, sometimes we’re in love and
It feels really important like I never wanna lose it
And you even met my family, even though they are chaotic
Even though I keep them distant and never go to Massachusetts
And your mind is like a fishnet, and mine is like an icepick
Sometimes it’s not enough and sometimes I think it’s perfect
And I get so messed up cause I don’t know if it’s working
I’m standing by the window, I can’t wait to let the light in
Can’t wait to let the light in”
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