The Matinee ’22 v. 053 is a memorable edition of new music with ten songs from many notable names and those that may be new but will be unforgettable from this day forth.

More stellar tracks, including those on today’s mini-playlist, can be found on the Songs of April playlist. Spin it on SoundCloud and Spotify

 

Zola Jesus – “Desire” (Seattle, USA)

RIYL: Zola Jesus, Emma Ruth Rundle, late-career Chelsea Wolfe

For most of her career as Zola Jesus, Nika Roza Danilova’s music can be characterized as dark, bleak, Gothic, and completely devouring. An artist, however, can only stay in the shadows for so long, and there comes a time when the artist decides to channel a different energy. Chelsea Wolfe and Emma Ruth Rundle have done this, and Danilova appears to be following a similar path. In “Lost”, which is the first single from her long-awaited new album, Arkhon, she delivered arguably her most stunning single. With “Desire”, she might have unveiled her most crippling number. 

Sitting alone at a piano, Danilova emotive vocal takes center stage. She sounds like a combination of Florence Welch and Adele, where her voice is brittle one moment and powerful the next. The vocal performance is jaw-dropping, where we can feel every word and emotion Zola Jesus sings and the pain that inflicts Danilova’s heart. This is a song made for Radio City Music Call, the Royal Albert, the Vienna Opera House, the Sydney Opera House, and all the great theaters of the world.

“Lick my wounds like you can taste them
Would it make much of a difference?
If you knew my pain
If you could see my side only for a minute
Just enough to empathize

Desire
Storm of the heart”

Arkhon is out May 20th via Sacred Bones Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves available at these links as well as on Bandcamp. From what we can find, Arkhon is derived from the Greek word for ruler. 

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Andrew Bird – “Underlands” (Chicago, USA)

RIYL: Andrew Bird, Kishi Bashi, Father John Misty

When Andrew Bird shared the Joan Didion-inspired “Atomized” last month, all signs pointed towards a new album coming. The multi-instrumentalist and multi-talented artist has generally released a new LP every two to three years, and his last one, My Finest Work Yet, was distributed in 2019. As such, it was time. Sure enough, Inside Problems will be released June 3rd on Loma Vista Recordings. Whereas “Atomized” was a delightful little jaunt, Bird’s newest single’s classical tone is made for intimate evenings. 

A touch of ’40s jazz (channeled in the great rhythm section) and ’60s baroque pop converge on “Underlands”. As one would expect from a Bird-produced tune, the orchestration is sublime, as the melody constantly shifts from playful to mysterious, from retro to present. The approach allows the drama of Bird’s lyrics to unfold, where he sings about how innocence is bliss but we, as humans, do our best to distract from life’s simplicity. 

Not exactly heaven
More like a nocturnal paradise
Not exactly hell either
I’d say just bout half as nice

Stars don’t owe you anything
Don’t give a damn about your nations
Feel the slightest obligation

Oh I can’t get over this moon”

Pre-orders for Inside Problems are available here and on Bandcamp.

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The Smile – “Free in the Knowledge” (Oxford, England)

RIYL: Radiohead

Finally, a name and date have been shared for The Smile‘s debut album. On May 13th, A Light For Attracting Attention will be unveiled. It’s undoubtedly one of the most anticipated LPs of the year since this project involves Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and Sons of Kemet’s Tom Skinner. Earlier singles in “You Will Never Work In Television Again”“The Smoke”, “Skrting On The Surface”, and “Pana-Vision” also have elevated anticipation, as the trio have created incomparable, multi-sonic dimensions. The album’s fifth single takes listeners to yet another place.

Stunning is the only way to describe “Free in the Knowledge”. Guided by a lovely piano arrangement and the patient pacing of Skinner’s superb drumming, the song seeps through every pore of your body before it consumes you. Yorke’s voice, too, is delicate and emotive, and his lyrics could be interpreted in many ways – as an account of facing our fears, encountering the troubles of the world, and/or moving forward together to get through these difficult times. 

If this is just a bad moment
And we are fumbling around
But we won’t get caught like that
With soldiers on our backs
We won’t get caught like that

I talk to the face in the mirror
But he can’t get through
I said, ‘It’s time that you deliver
We see through you’

Simply sensational. 

Digital pre-orders for A Light For Attracting Attention, are available at these links while physical copies can be made here. Bandcamp, too, is the place to pre-order either version. XL Recordings will release the LP.

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Annie Hamilton – “Again” & “All The Doors Inside My Home Are Slamming Into One Another” (Eora/Sydney, Australia)


RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, The Verve, Cocteau Twins

It only takes one song for a star to be born. In Annie Hamilton‘s case, one is not enough as she has grander visions. Already a Triple J favorite Down Under, the young Australian’s next destination is worldwide popularity and acclaim. Whereas many other 20-somethings aim to replicate the sound of music’s biggest pop stars, she turns on the old transistor radio and changes the dial to the ’90s and early ’00s. She channels the likes of The Sundays, Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Raveonettes, and The Verve to create a form of dream-rock that can only be described as majestic, which is how to describe “Again” and “All The Doors Inside My Home Are Slamming Into One Another”.

On the former, the calm urgency of a deadened guitar hovers above blissful ambient noise. Hamilton’s voice sits on top, singing about how loneliness is her best friend. Gradually, the song builds as strings enter the fray, and ultimately “Again” reaches an incredible apex with Hamilton delivering several memorable lines.

“I wanna hear things even louder
I wanna hear them amplified
Like when you listen underwater
And you can hear the tide rising
Bringing with it pieces
Of things we buried deeper
Things we thought we’d get to
And things we’d rather lose”

The latter features a similar quiet desperation, but this time pulsing keys and a grumbling guitar are Hamilton’s companions. The song stays in this melancholic level for most of its duration, and this allows Hamilton’s introspective lyrics to penetrate deeply. She sings about the people she’s left behind and how the distance and time part have changed them. Just as she resigns herself and admits that “I don’t love you anymore”, the skies open and the track reaches a gorgeous climax. Deep down, however, Hamilton longs to reconnect with her sister, her friends, and her family. With this song, she offers us a lesson – to don’t turn our backs on those we hold most dear.

Remember Hamilton’s name because she’s going to be a star. 

Hamilton’s debut album, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past, is out May 20 on PIAS. Pre-order and pre-save links are available here.

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Sinead O’Brien – “There Are Good Times Coming” (Limerick, Ireland)

RIYL: a young P.J. Harvey, Black Midi, Kae Tempest

Ireland’s population is half that of London, yet its indie scene is on par to the mega-metropolis. Just Mustard, The Clockworks, NewDad, and, of course, Fontaines D.C. make us wish we were living in Dublin or Cork. Then there is Sinead O’Brien, who could very well be the best of this talented group.

The post-punk poet is one of the finest songwriters (and writers in general) around, delivering piercing lyrics to capture how the world is moving backwards and the madness that exists within all of us. In many ways, she is like a mystic from the Medieval era, but her goal is to rally people to achieve a greater good. She did that on “Holy Country” and “GIRLKIND”, which is one of the great songs of the decade. Once again, she assembles the masses to take on the evil empire on “Good Times Are Coming”.

A dizzying art-punk melody swirls around O’Brien’s deadpan, spoken-word delivery. As mind-bending the arrangement is with probing rhythms and dangling guitars manically crisscrossing, O’Brien is the center of attention. She leads us into the fire, where we battle for our liberation and individuality. Hopefully, her words will prove to be prophetic. 

“We are in the middle of ends
And bound for beginnings
Good times are coming
People have the power
Good times are becoming
For love or for money there are good times coming

O’Brien’s debut album, Time Bend and Break The Bower, is out June 10th on Chess Club Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves are available here and on Bandcamp. We cannot wait for it.

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Momma – “Speeding 72” (Brooklyn via Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Veruca Salt, Dehd, Liz Phair

Despite Etta Friedman’s and Allega Weingarten’s youth, the long-time friends have established themselves as a modern retro band. They unequivocally express their love for ’90s rock, particular for Pavement, Nirvana, Hole, and Smashing Pumpkins. They are what many of us were some 30 years ago – angst-filled young people who will be heard. The pair, however, add modern sensibilities, so that the music of yesteryear can appeal to a new generation of rock fans. With “Speeding 72”, they take listeners on an exhilarating joy ride through the past and into the present.

The single echoes of the brimming and energizing dream-grunge of Veruca Salt. While the guitars sizzle, Friedman’s and Weingarten’s vocals are light, immersive, and blissful. They are nearly heavenly, momentarily taking us away from the turmoil of these 2022 days. This is the whole point of the song – a means of escapism, where we can join Momma and let our troubles wash away. 

“Hey I heard you’re coming from a complicated place at best
I know a cure put the pedal to the metal lay it all to rest
So get behind the wheel and we can make a deal
I’ll show you how to clear your head
So come on take a chance tell me all your plans
We don’t have to go to bed

Look out your window
Driving in a different town
Same street, same home
Buckle up so we can go”

More adventures await on July 1st. This is when Momma’s new album, Household Names, will be released. Pre-orders are available at these links and on Bandcamp. Polyvinyl Recording Co. and Lucky Number Music will release it.

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Soccer Mommy – “Unholy Affliction” (Nashville, USA)

RIYL: Nirvana, Trent Reznor / NIN, Alice Glass

Ever since we first covered Sophie Allison’s music, we were on board. Since then, Soccer Mommy has released some of the best indie music out there. Her music up until this point has been mostly shimmering indie rock with a heavy influence in ’90s sounds. It was a trend that continued when Allison shared “Shotgun”, the lead single from her upcoming record Sometimes, Forever.

That ’90s influence can be heard loud and clear on “Unholy Affliction”. However, instead of drawing more from artists like Alanis, “Unholy Affliction” dives into grungier and darker sounds. Starting with a deep, distorted synth and Allison’s voice matching the mood, this is different than anything we’ve heard from Soccer Mommy before. De-synched drums come in, and the song goes into some incredible territory. Allison’s usually dreamy voice is brooding and menacing. The track breaks into a section with just Allison over finger-picked bass chords before the wall of sound comes back in a big way.

“Unholy Affliction” and Sometimes Forever was produced by Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never, who is known for experimental electronic music, and it shows here. Lyrically, it still features Allison’s observational and honesty, but it’s delivered in a much more intense package. 

“I don’t want the money
That fake kind of happy
I’d sink in the river
Before I let it have me

But I want perfection
Tight like a diamond
Unholy affliction
Desires an addiction”

Pre-orders and pre-saves for Sometimes, Forever are available at these links. Alternatively, head directly to Bandcamp to get it before its June 24th release. The LP will be distributed on Loma Vista Recordings.

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Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – “Acid Dent” (Perth, Australia)

RIYL: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Mikal Cronin, Meatbodies

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are one of the great psych-rock bands at the moment. They may not have the popularity of their more famous cousins King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, but the Perth-based quintet can create equally rollicking, trippy, and even bizarre songs. They showed what their capable of doing over the past five months when they shared “Lava Lamp Pisco”, “Bob Holiday”, and the double release “Bubblegum Infinity” and “Dread & Butter”. These four songs will all be included in Night Gnomes, which is out today! If these singles were not enough to convince you to invest in this fun LP, then “Acid Dent” just might do the trick.

This single is the Crumpets are their zany and blistering best. It’s a sizzling, buzzing, out-of-this-world psych number that will leave listeners high, literally and figuratively. The flaming guitars, the propulsive drums, and chest-pounding bass lines create the sonic inferno while front-man Jack McEwan narrates a tale that is one part escapism and another half self-destruction. He recounts the long-established hobby of getting high in order to venture to La La Land. In his usual fashion, he tells the story with humor and honesty, realizing that this habit can also lead to unintended consequences. 

“Aren’t you getting tired of the same old visuals?
I wanna see another colour forming
Without experimental CIA approved
Potions for armies that are sixty years old

Any moment the mind field can open an
Acid, head dent, game over
No one wants to pick up your marbles”

If you thought the lyrics were trippy, the above video is a hoot. 

Night Gnomes is out on Marathon Artists. Streaming and purchasing links are available here

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Ailsa Tully – “Mothering” (London, England via Wales)

RIYL: Girlpool, Ada Lea, Wye Oak

The last time we checked in with Ailsa Tully, she shared the stellar art-pop single, “Greedy”. Since then Tully dropped the gorgeous Holy Isle EP, and another fantastic single in “Salt Glaze”. Each release made it obvious that Tully is an artist on the rise, creating distinctive and captivating art every time she sets out to do so. It’s no different with her latest single, “Mothering”.

Tully says, “Mothering’ is about the distortion between the person you really are, and the person people want you to be”. That distortion can be heard throughout the single, from the strange sounds underneath the song’s brooding bassline, to the haunting harmonies throughout. As the song builds, guitar, other percussion and sounds join in. Tully tries to cut through the wall of sound, but her voice seeming becomes one with it, before it all fades away into just a pulsing drumbeat.

The single is out now on Dalliance Recordings.

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