Around the world The Matinee ’22 v. 055 goes to share eight sensational songs. Some with have you in a euphoric mood, others will tantalize, and a couple may leave you in a hypnotic state. As always, these songs are featuring in the Songs of April playlist, which can be found on SoundCloud and Spotify
Telenova – “Why Do I Keep You?” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Still Corners, Methyl Ethel, Confidence Man
It’s only a matter of time before Telenova become the next great musical export from Australia. The days where they sellout multiple shows at London’s Electric Brixton and New York City’s Bowery Ballroom, like fellow countrymen Spacey Jane, are on the horizon because they can haunt minds like they did with “Tranquilize” or have the patrons swaying to “Why Do I Keep You”.
Angeline Armstrong, Edward Quinn of Slum Sociable, and Joshua Moriarty from Miami Horror have crafted an intoxicating number. It possesses the desert-like neo-psychedelia of Still Corners with the alt-pop reminiscent of Methyl Ethel’s most dizzying and engaging tunes. This song, as such, is equally made for long road trips, quiet moments of reflection, or dancing with one’s partner. Regardless of the moment, you might examine your current relationship or a past one, embracing the emotions that Armstrong lushly shares.
“I kiss the ground before you
I cut my eyes out for you
Restless, blinded by my love
I sink below the deep blue
I drink the poison while I wait here
Praying for my time
Oh, why do I keep you
Is it love to stay or to leave you?”
We’re excited to watch this trio’s journey. Everyone should be excited to watch them grow. As a bonus feature, watch their cover of Madonna’s “Hung Up”, which they performed as part of Triple J’s Like a Version series.
The single is out on upstart indie label Pointer Recordings.
Bikini Trill – “What’s the Rush” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: La Luz, Guantanamo Baywatch, Hatchie
It’s hard not to dig Bikini Trill‘s music on first listen. Drawing influence from all over, whether it’s dub, reggae, hip hop, pop, or slacker rock, vocalist Lauren ‘LJ’ Johnson, bassist Kourosh ‘Roach’ Poursalehi, and guitarist Tony Barker Stern capture the vibes of southern California in a way that immerses listeners. There’s a carefree quality in their music, which can be heard in their records or just by their choice of covers they’ve done, including Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” and the Sublime version of “Scarlet Begonias”.
That carefree nature is felt throughout on “What’s the Rush”. Driven by a killer bass line, Johnson’s voice floats over everything. An infectious drumbeat and hand claps kick everything into gear. Its choruses are a lot of fun and undeniably catchy. There’s a fantastic little drum breakdown right before the chorus kicks back in for one final time. And at just under 3 minutes, it’s an easy one to hit that “repeat” button.
Click here to stream the single on your platform of choice.
Jonathan Bree – “You Are The Man” (Auckland, New Zealand)
RIYL: Joseph of Mercury, Gary Numan, The Cure
It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from the mysterious and brilliant Jonathan Bree. The veteran singer-songwriter from Aotearoa has a global following because he can concoct grand art-rock escapades, film-noir encounters, or swooning chamber-pop. He and his band are at their best, however, when they get a bit spooky, Gothic, and eerie, which they do with “You Are The Man”.
As we are nearly halfway to Halloween, this song arrives at the perfect time. A touch of rock opera swirls through the stark and patiently delivered synths, keys, strings, and percussion. It sort of sounds like the melody of a post-modern interpretation of The Phantom of the Opera, and Bree’s hallowed voice is equally enchanting. The musical genius’ delivery is ideal for his tale of a master manipulator and con-man, who has swindled his way to the top. Who has feasted on the weak to swim in the riches he has stolen. “Ambition, looks more dangerous from you / Ambition, it looks far too easy for you”, Bree sings at the start. He then finishes with, “They want what you’ve got now”, which further reveals man’s insatiable and inherent greed.
Black Lilys – “Störm” (Lyon, France)
RIYL: Aurora, Agnes Obel, Daughter
In 2018, siblings Camille and Robin Faure released Boxes, the debut record for their project Black Lilys. Immense sounds defined the record – from Camille’s ethereal voice to each song’s composition that ranged from electronic to string-heavy soundscapes. It was an impressive debut that would make anyone eagerly await a follow-up. Since then, the duo have been relatively quiet, releasing an occasional single. Last year, however, they released “Gymnopédie”, the first single from their upcoming record, New Era. They followed that up with the electronic “Invisible Strings”
Their latest single, “Störm”, is perhaps their most stunning release yet. Camille’s voice glides over gently played piano and some ambient sounds in the background. More vocal layers come in as more depth to the piano chords and strings join the sound. Camille’s voice echoes before it all builds slowly and then breaks. It all fades away and we’re back to just Camille and piano before everything comes back bigger than before with layers of harmonies, huge drums and strings. “Störm” is everything that drew listeners to that debut and even more. Its production is pristine, its sound has more depth to it, and it perfectly pairs with the other songs we’ve heard from New Era.
“Your love is bottled with your fears
What are you still doing here?
Eyes keep staring at the door
No, this life is not yours
I hate this silence
Just before the Störm”
New Era is expected later this year via Laruche Records.
Kate Bollinger – “Look at it in the Light” (Richmond, VA USA)
RIYL: Faye Webster, Lady Lamb, Big Thief
Kate Bollinger has been a bit of a recent favorite of ours. We recently shared the laid-back, retro vibe of “Lady in the Darkest Hour”, off of her new EP, Look at it in the Light, and really admired her ability to craft such an authentic throwback of a song. Deeply rooted in ’70s pop and jazz, Bollinger captures a bit of nostalgic magic with her songs in a way that isn’t overdone like a lot of the recent ’80s and ’90s revival acts.
“Look at it in the Light” is the title track from Bollinger’s EP, and it’s the centerpiece of the record. From its count-in, Bollinger’s voice, and the reverbed guitar, it’s easy to picture Bollinger singing this in a smoky room somewhere. The song slows up a bit before it comes back in a really cool way, picking up the pace with a great guitar lead under everything. A bunch of fantastic guitar sounds decorate the track in a style that feels very George Harrison, which is fitting since Bollinger said much of Look at it in the Light was written while listening to The Beatles demos during quarantine.
“Something’s not right, I don’t know what
Maybe it’s just my own thing, but I don’t think so
Look at it in the light, it’s better to know
Than to hide in misery, hiding forever
To hide in misery, suffering forever
To hide in misery, waiting forever”
Paul Cook & The Chronicles – “Chin Up” (London, England)
RIYL: Andy Shauf, Buck Meek, Freedom Fry
We tip our hat in the direction of Paul Cook & The Chronicles because they are resilient and have a bulldog mentality. While broad-based popularity has largely eluded them, they continue to release new music because they love to create and share their ideas. Every month, they release at least one new song. Some are better than others, which one would expect from a band with PC&TC’s proclivity. The London-based outfit may have found their sweet spot – or at least a song that made us smile and quietly utter, “Wow” – with “Chin Up”.
If one needs a pick-me-up, spin this lovely folk-rock number that possesses the dreamy intimacy of Andy Shauf and the classic magic of Jackson Browne and James Taylor. It is immensely warm and inviting, like a big hug from your grandfather or the shoulder of your best friend, with whom you share all your thoughts. In the case of “Chin Up”, Cook is our best friend, and he tries to lift our spirits after having our heart broken. He tries to make us smile. Trust us when we say you’ll be repeating this song just to hear and sing the chorus.
“There are so many fish in the ocean, so take a swim
You got thrown and you can’t quite get over it
But you’ll be coming round again
Only love can mess you up
But don’t give in with a half full cup
Stick around for a change of luck
Keep your chin up”
Lovely. Just lovely.
Maria Chiara Argirò – “Greenarp” (London, England)
RIYL: Kelly Lee Owens, Ela Minus, Florist
Maria Chiara Argirò has been making music since she was a child. It’s obvious when you hear her music, too. Her first record The Fall Dance, from 2016 is jazz at its core, but it was a sign of things to come for Argirò. Adding more layers with each release, Argirò has created a sound that is distinctively her own. On May 6th, Argirò will release her next LP, Forest City. The London-based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter has already shared a handful of tracks from the upcoming record, including the electronic “Bonsai” and the intense “Blossom“.
The latest single from Forest City is “Greenarp”. A hypnotic, wobbling synthesizer loop starts things off along with Argirò’s voice. Harmonies join, and the song delves even more into dreamy territory as the synthesizer skips underneath. Piano and drum machine come in, and, next thing you know, the song has become immense. Lush vocal echoes transform into harsher sounds, as the hypnotic synth continues to pulse. Argirò says Forest City is about “duality of nature and city”. It’s something that can be heard in “Greenarp”, whether it’s the big building noise underneath everything, or its lyrics painting a picture of nature.
Cool air blows in
Round the riverbend
Round the riverbend
Breathe it in”
Shearwater – “Aqaba” (New York City & Austin, USA)
RIYL: Midlake, Volcano Choir, Damien Jurado
Jonathan Meiburg has become one of this generation’s most impactful voices. Whether it’s with his main project, Shearwater, or his recent releases with Loma, Meiburg truly creates some captivating music. It had been a while since we’ve had a full record from Shearwater, being six years from the incredible Jet Plane and Oxbow. However, some rumblings late last year about new music came to fruition with the release of “Xenarthran” in March, the first single from Shearwater’s upcoming The Great Awakening.
The latest single from the upcoming record is “Aqaba”. The dense, cinematic qualities that permeated on Jet Plane and Oxbow are taken to incredible new heights by both singles we’ve heard so far. Gorgeous string arrangements, percussive piano, bubbling bass synth all accompany Meiburg’s haunting voice. Shearwater describe “Aqaba” as a love song, “the thrilling, terrifying feeling that you’re being cracked like an egg.” It’s a feeling they nail with a built in tension that captures a range of emotion well beyond the song’s fairly simple structure.
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