The Matinee ’22 v. 058, the second half of our twinbill of new music, features artists and bands outside of the UK. This rest-of-the-world edition offers a mix of surging rockers, melancholic ballads, and the return of one of indie music’s great voices.
Weird Nightmare – “Wrecked” (feat. Bully) (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Guided by Voices, Husker Dü, Wings of Desire
Alongside his longtime friends and band mates Chris Slorach and Hayden Menzies, Alex Edkins has made us scream as the guitarist and front-man for METZ. Their noise-rock / post-punk is the catharsis to our inner turmoils, where hollering to the top of our lungs was the cure to our anxieties. Now Edkins has us screaming once again but for a much different reason. Through his solo project, Weird Nightmare, he has us running towards the hills and tackling the world, making us feel invulnerable with songs like “Wrecked”.
We’re not the only ones screaming and running, as Alicia Bognanno (a.ka. Bully) plays next to Edkins and yells out in the sky with him. As the guitars blister and the rhythms explode within this boisterous piece of ’90s-inflicted college-radio rock, the two emphatically tell their friends and loved ones that they won’t leave their sides again, not after what we’ve experienced the past two-plus years. Life is just too short to be apart. Instead, we will live by this philosophy: “I’ll never be there without you!”
Thavoron – “18” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Phoebe Bridgers, Joy Oladokun, Lizzy McAlpine
Cambodian-American songwriter Thavoron‘s debut record, Ugly, was much more than the sum of its parts. On the surface, its lo-fi presentation was brought to incredible heights by Thavoron’s heart-wrenching lyricism. With his music, Thavoron attempts to tell stories about queer relationships so people like him can relate to them.
On “18”, Thavoron’s latest single strikes right at the heart. Starting with just guitar chords ringing out and some ambient synthesized underneath, when Thavoron’s voice comes in, it hits hard. His lyrics are the focus in its early moments, but the song builds into a lush soundscape with some amazing synth and saxophone. It creates an immersive setting for Thavoron to tell his reflective story of young love and having it fade away. Between the vulnerability in his songwriting and the increased depth to his sound, we’re excited to hear what’s next for Thavoron.
“You broke me first
How foolish of me
To think that you’d believe in me
And not just my body or the way that I’d speak
In tongues just for you
I arch my back too
Caught up in the news
Everything you do”
The single is out on Trailing Twelve Records.
Siv Jakobsen – “Most of the Time” (Oslo, Norway)
RIYL: Rosie Carney, Flora Cash, Laura Marling
In 2020, Siv Jakobsen released the stunning A Temporary Soothing. An ethereal quality echoed throughout the album’s songs, from the layered vocals to its lush instrumentation. It’s been a couple of years since that record, and thankfully she’s graced us with her first single since then in “Most of the Time”.
Things start with an airy guitar and Jakobsen’s breathy harmonies. Slowly the instruments underneath grow, from piano to a chorus of “oohs” and strings. The song goes into an atmospheric break before Jakobsen’s lyrics return. Jakobsen says “Most of the Time’ is about not being able to forget a particularly difficult relationship from my past”. It’s not a breakup track, but one of living in those moments of doubt. Of imagining a life without that partner but then finding some comfort within their arms. However, it’s not a guarantee as Jakobsen sing’s the songs final lines:
“He wakes, holds me close
He is all I want to know
We are forever
and I am better
most of the time”
Miya Folick – “Oh God” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, Hollie Humberstone, Gordi
It has been some time since we’ve heard from Miya Folick, who is one of our all-time favorites because she has repeatedly bowled us over. Specifically, nearly four years have passed since she released the powerful Premonitions, which was one of our Favorite LPs of 2018. Folick, however, has not been idle. A year ago, she teamed up with Petey to release “Haircut”. More recently, she can be seen and heard as a backing vocalist to Sharon Van Etten’s newest singles. But with her talents, Folick should assume her position at center stage, which she does on “Oh God”.
Folick’s newest single is a microcosm of her immense talent. With a simple, synth-and-electric drum arrangement, Folick still is able to make our muscles go weak and our bones rattle. The melody is beautifully vulnerable, and it provides the ideal setting for the LA-based artist’s remarkable and emotive voice and her introspective songwriting. She reveals her battle with faith and whether she needs to believe in something. In anything. As she shares:
“If I give up, I’ll regret it when I’m old.
F***ing off and watching trashy TV.
Spending all my twenties not believing anything.
Do I need God?
Who is God?
I’ve never had God.
The single is out on Nettwerk Music Group. Here’s hoping an album is coming.
Mastergrief – “Gooey” (Basel, Switzerland)
RIYL: Son Lux, Poliça, The Antlers
We don’t usually share songs after an album has been released, but some bands are deserving of the exception. Swiss post-rock / darkwave outfit Mastergrief are one of them because, to be honest, they’re one of our favorite discoveries of the year. Joachim Setlik, Matthias Gusset, Alon Ben, and Raphael Scheiwiller left us completely astounded with “Asterion”, and it’s a song likely to be heard again at the end of the year. For those who missed it, carve out some time so you can immerse in “Gooey”.
This 6+ minute number is a dazzling and extraordinary epic. Its multiple transitions yield numerous emotive responses. The tranquil, intimate opening is akin to The Antlers, where one suddenly becomes lost in the patiently-executed keys and the jazzy percussion. Before we can settle in, the song begins to take off, heading to the skies with a gorgeous bridge at the two-minute mark. It settles back into the sweet groove, as Setlik sings about the fragility of our lives and how we can lose everything in an instant. At this moment, “Gooey” re-enters the breathtaking atmospheres, staying much longer this time. Then the song rages, as the guitars grind and the rhythms fire with more urgency. All this reflects the pain and suffering that awaits us.
Just simply a brilliantly-conceived track from an immensely talented band.
Phantom Handshakes – “Come Undone” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Hazel English, Wild Nothing, Many Voices Speak
Federica Tassano and Matt Sklar released a fantastic record last year as Phantom Handshakes called No More Summer Songs. Drenched in almost as much nostalgia as reverb, the LP was fantastic dreamscape.
Those dreamy qualities return in an even bigger way on their latest single, “Come Undone”. Tassano’s vocal track has a fidelity to it that truly makes it sound like it’s from a dreamlike state. The chiming guitar also has a quality to it that gives it the warmth of popping it into an old cassette player and hitting “play”. Add in the lush harmonies, interweaving vocal parts, and new wave drum track, “Come Undone” has this hazy ’80s vibe to it. Despite the sunny sounds, the song paints a picture of war. The contrast is felt in its lyrics as it describes a sunny day as bombs fall.
“I’ll make you feel what I felt,
That sunny day, the lack of sleep,
The punch to the gut, the loudest slap,
We were not ready, you didn’t care
I left my house early
To the sound of the loud bombs
From the sky
We’ve come undone,
Come undone, come undone”
Catch The Breeze – “Rise” (Copenhagen/Aarhus, Denmark)
RIYL: Slowdown Molasses, Slowdive, current Deafheaven
Four years ago, we were introduced to Catch The Breeze. The name alone made us fans since it’s the title of one of Slowdive’s greatest songs. What won us over, however, is how the veteran Danish band have captured the spirit and sound of My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, the aforementioned Slowdive, and all the great shoegaze bands of the ’90s. Despite the euphoric nature of their songs, they are still relative unknowns. Hopefully their anonymity will disappear soon, and “Rise” will be their breakthrough.
Be prepared to be completely amazed by this terrific, gauzy number. It is less the shoegaze of three decades but instead it blisters with the catharsis of Deafheaven. With all due respect to the idols from our youth, what takes “Rise” to another level is the superb rhythm section. Lars Madsen’s bass line throbs heavily while Andreas Bundgaard’s drumming is riveting and pounding. When Aage Hedensted’s steely guitar erupts, the song takes on a whole different persona – one that is not simply mesmerizing but urgent and full of emotion. Hedensted’s lyrics, too, are emotive, as he discusses the collapse and the eventual redemption of his sister.
Catch The Breeze’s new album, Into the wide, is out August 26th. Pre-order it here. The band, once again, is comprised of Aage Hedensted (vocals, guitar), Lars Madsen (bass), and Andreas Bundgaard (drums).
Katrina Ford – “Peach” (Baltimore, USA)
RIYL: Celebration, Mt. Royal, Portishead
In the early 2000s, a band named Celebration emerged out of Baltimore’s underrated music scene. They created “psychedelic soul”, although they would eventually wade into electro-pop and psych-pop territory. Leading the band was Katrina Ford, who had and still has one of the most incredible voices in the business. After releasing Wounded Healer in 2017, the trio have been quiet. They’re entering the fifth year of their hiatus, but a couple of months ago Ford emerged from the shadows and released her first song in years. At the time that “Peace Out” was shared, she announced the launch of her solo project, much to the delight of Celebration fans. She has since unveiled “Gleaming The Cube” and now “Peach”.
If a tune could be grand theater, “Peach” would be that. A drama builds in every corner of the track – from the spiraling synths, the patient throbs of the rhythms, and the distant, steely guitar. Oh, and of course in Ford’s powerful voice. As the atmosphere shifts from late-’90s art-rock to early ’00s dark-pop, Ford pleads to us to open our hearts and not resist the one emotion that could save us all. Likewise, we should resist the greatness of one Katrina Ford.
“Don’t hide away peach,
Just let it into your heart
Every little piece every inch,
What’s out of reach nobody gets
Instincts should overrule, wide open
You touch the water pinkie in the pool
But you’re so sensitive and you look so tough
And if you push your little fist enough”
Ford’s debut solo EP is due June 24 via Violin Films.
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