We kick off the week with another wide-ranging and complex set of songs on The Matinee ’22 v. 067. Nine singles make up today’s selection, which includes new tunes from some indie heavyweights and young artists who continue to impress.
Onyda – “Queen of Duality” (Stoke on Trent, England)
RIYL: singer-songwriters who blur the lines between starkness and enchantment
Shae Rhiannon’s music as Onyda struck us the moment we heard it. Even with just a few singles out, Rhiannon has a way of transcending any individual classification. A common thread through their music is its heartfelt and impactful honesty. It was heard on “Waitress” and is stand out more clearly on “Queen of Duality”.
The song’s title comes from a conversation Rhiannon had with their therapist. As they share:
“My therapist called me the ‘Queen of Duality’ in a session we had a few years ago and it stuck with me. Nothing is black and white, there’s never just one simple answer to a question and I’m always fighting between inner chaos and inner peace. I’m an existential thinker”.
Musically, it also blurs lines in a way that Onyda is so good at. Gorgeous piano and Rhiannon’s voice start things delicately, but the lyrics hit hard right out of the gate. Guitar, drums, and more come in. The song chugs along until it gets to a truly stunning breakdown where Rhiannon’s voice is the star of the show, floating above some ambient noises from miscellaneous instruments. The track then takes a stark turn, leading up to the immense close.
“I cover my walls with post it notes,
Reminding me to take a walk,
And not lose my fucking mind,
This happens all the time,
Make yourself a brew I’m sure its gonna turn out fine”
The single is the title track to Onyda’s debut EP, and it is out everywhere now. Get it on Bandcamp.
Vex – “Rider” (Sydney, Australia)
RIYL: bands that bridge the gap between shoegaze and post-punk
What makes a great band? It’s a subjective question with multiple answers. For us, a great group is able to take something tried and true but make it all their own while simultaneously writing either imaginative or poignant stories. A song, after all, is a means by which artists communicate a message, an experience, a lesson, or a fable. With this in mind, we just may have been introduced to the next great Australian band in Vex.
This young trio from Sydney are just beginning their careers. Ali (guitar), Charlie (vocals), and Harry (drums) have released two songs to date. Their debut, “Glitch”, was a melodic stargazer that addressed sacrifice and isolation. The threesome’s sophomore single, “Rider”, meanwhile, traverses rarefied air, where Infinite Granite-era Deafheaven reside. It is, in other words, a mind-blowing piece of post-punk-tinged shoegaze.
Two versions are included today. The original, extended cut, which is six minutes long, commences with ambient noise, reminiscent of Suuns’ experimental electro-rock. Drums then kick in before a convulsive bass line emerges. The moment is tense and foreboding, and this feeling is further accentuated when the gauzy, harrowing guitar arrives. For 2.5 minutes, Vex keep us suspended in this environment. Thereafter, the track turns, transforming into a brooding, dream-like atmosphere. This provides the perfect setting for a story that could be interpreted as a re-imagination of Sleepy Hollow as told through the eyes of Ichabod Crane. Like all great tales and songs, “Rider” reaches another level, as the climax ignites into glorious, jarring shoegaze and it is unforgettable.
The radio-edit, meanwhile, omits the 2.5-minute intro, launching straight into the dreamier second half and the great songwriting. Expect to hear Triple-J play this song in the very near future. Heck, we would not be surprised within two years Vex will be invited to play on the famed radio station’s popular Like a Version segment.
Built to Spill – “Understood” (Boise, ID USA)
RIYL: ’90s indie-rock legends
As great as the indie rock is today and has been for nearly the past decade, the ’90s still reign. The college radio scene was flourishing while bands like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., and Yo La Tengo started to make massive marks on the industry. Oh yeah, some indie bands named Nirvana and Radiohead emerged at that time. There was also Built to Spill, Idaho’s own rock gods. While the band’s composition has changed, front-man and founder Doug Martsch remains.
Two years ago, Martsch released a cover album, Built to Spill Plays the Songs of Daniel Johnston, but the last time B2S released an album was 2015 with Untethered Moon. While a lot of time has passed, Martsch has not lost his touch as “Gonna Lose” and now “Understood” demonstrate.
Rocking like a young Neil Young with a touch of Ty Segall and Chad VanGaalen, Martsch and his band mates unveil a track that is an instant classic. Psychedelic tones add a splash of delirium to the classic, ’70s-tinged rock approach, highlighted by the superb percussion and the dangling, distant guitar. Martsch, meanwhile, sounds like Young in his prime, vocally and lyrically. He channels his four-year old self and a moment that will forever live in Idaho’s history books. In 1974, daredevil Evel Knievel tried to jump his rocket-powered motorcycle over the mile-wide expanse of Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho. He failed because his parachute malfunctioned and opened midair. Fortunately, Knievel landed safely on the Canyon’s river bank.
Martsch, however, is not solely recounting the event. Knievel’s antics are symbolic of the restless and reckless behavior that exists within everyone, where we will sacrifice anything for a moment of fame.
“You wanna move around and you wanna stay still
You wanna have a life, but not too real
Don’t know what it means, but I know what it’s like
To be floating down the canyon in a rocket bike
But really I don’t know”
Lê Almeida and João Casaes play with Martsch on the album. When Built to Spill goes on tour, however, Martsch will be joined by Melanie Radford and Teresa Esguerra. Almeida and Casaes’ main band, Oruã, will open.
Alex the Astronaut – “Haircut” (Sydney, Australia)
RIYL: songs that make you smile and encourage you to be who you are
We have covered thousands of artists in our nearly 9 years of The Revue, and one person with whom we would love to have a conversation is Alex Lynn. From the day we heard her sing as Alex the Astronaut almost six years to the day (“Holes In The Story”), the Sydney native has amazed us with her unbending optimism, intelligence, determination, and story. Lynn dreamed of being an astronaut as a kid, excelled in football (or soccer for North Americans) that landed her a scholarship to New York University, and started her own company. She did this while living with autism and holding a secret that she held for years – that she was gay. Despite all these things, she still finds a way to make others smile.
This year along she wrote the soundtrack to post-COVID reunions with “Airport” and sang about what it is like to live with Autism Spectrum Disorder on “Octopus”. Now Lynn encourages us to be who we always wanted to be with “Haircut”.
While most of her songs are upbeat, Lynn amps up the energy with this catchy pop-rocker. It is an ear-worm made for dancing around, splashing in puddles, and euphorically running in the rain. In other words, this tune will make you feel invincible or at least brush aside all your worries and the obstacles in your way. Lynn’s lyrics, meanwhile, will make you believe that you can be yourself and have nothing to fear. She is evidence of this.
“‘Cause since I cut my hair I’ve been feeling so much better
It was more than that
Now the mirror looks back
And I feel like who I am supposed to
Do you know that feeling?
Like the lights are up and you’re the best thing they’ve seen ever
Do your favourite dance
You can hold my hand
Like everybody loves you”
Amanda Tenfjord – “Plans” (Trondheim, Norway)
RIYL: Crippling and intimate dark-pop
You know what they say about first impressions. The appropriately titled “First Impression” had us hooked on Amanda Tjenford from the moment we heard her. Since then, we’ve shared her music countless times since that debut single dropped in 2018. She’s gone on to big things in these four years including recently representing Greece at Eurovision 2020 despite being born in Norway. She performed her previous single, “Die Together”, and placed 8th in the contest.
On her latest single, “Plans”, Tenfjord continues to create truly spellbinding, cinematic pop. A hypnotic synthesized drumbeat provides thea perfect canvas for Tenfjord. Distant piano chords and her voice come in, followed by a deep bass and strings. Through this tense melancholy, Tenfjord addresses a fading relationship, where the eagerness to make huge plans together has completely gone and each person is out there making plans for themselves.
Tenfjord twists the knife even further when she sings, “The worst part is seeing the one you love living your previous common dreams together with someone else.” Tenfjord just has an incredible way of taking us into these emotionally heavy moments that echoes throughout all of her music.
The song is out on Propeller Recordings, and it will be on her yet-to-be-named debut album. She’s balancing her music career with her studies to become a doctor.
Interpol – “Fables” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: NYC-based post-punk legends making sad bastard music like another NYC-based legendary band
Once they released their first LP, Turn On The Bright Lights, Interpol joined the ranks of NYC music royalty. In the two decades that have passed, the band has gone through some changes both musically and lineup-wise, but the core of Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler, and Sam Fogarino have kept it all together. Their last release was in 2018, and after a few years off, the trio are gearing up to release The Other Side of Make-Believe. On the two singles released so far, Interpol have shown a maturation in their sound and lyricism with “Toni” and “Something Changed”.
The latest single from The Other Side of Make-Believe is “Fables“. “Fables” is the most “Interpol” sounding of the three singles released so far. Banks’ unmistakable voice is surrounded by crunchy, reverbed guitar and pristine drum work. That distinctive sound has almost always accompanied sad lyrics. Interestingly, Banks describes the song as “a breezy vocal with optimistic lyrics” and “a summer jam”. It’s not exactly a beach-rock chimer about good times, but there absolutely is a comparative optimism and a statement to build something new from darkness.
“It’s time we made something stable
We’re in the sights of perfect danger
All is lost to the time beyond fables
And the circular rise of guileless angels
Say all is fine”
Spacey Jane – “Hardlight” (Fremantle, Australia)
RIYL: Western Australian summery indie pop-rock with stories that touch the soul
While the Perth-Fremantle region has its share of outstanding artists and bands (Tame Impala, Stella Donnelly, POND, Methyl Ethel), Spacey Jane have carved out their own niche as one of the country’s best bands with their catchy, ’90s-touched pop-rock and superb songwriting. Everything that Caleb Harper (guitar, vocals), Ashton Le Cornu (guitar), Peppa Lane (bass, vocals), and Kieran Lama (drums) do is done with precision and attention to detail. They leave no stone unturned and never take shortcuts, which explains why they are celebrated across Australia as well as overseas. Take their last single, “It’s Been a Long Day”, which was no ordinary heartbreak ballad. It instead described the days that followed and the constant questions that circle in one’s mind. With “Hardlight”, the band get even more introspective.
With their trademark, jammy, dreamy vibes, the foursome deliver shimmering good vibes, which are perfect for these late-spring nights. While we delight in the tickling, gauzy guitar and the bubbling rhythms, Harper shares the lingering doubts that occupy his mind in the morning and late at night. Not even the voice or touch of his partner or the reassuring words of his friends can help him out of his self-created rabbit hole.
“Walking up to say that I’m not feeling the same
Sitting on your bed coming down
Fucked it up again, I’m looking alive and I’m feeling fine
What was I supposed to say”
Not many bands can make anxiety feel exuberant, but then again Spacey Jane are not any ordinary band.
Moonpools – “Damaged Goods” (Basel, Switzerland)
RIYL: ’80s dream-pop made for a coming-of-age film or retro dance parties
In 2019, Moonpools released a fantastic little EP called, Turbulent Times. Lush, warm, and diverse dream-pop sounds underscored some smart and relatable lyricism. It was a combination that resonated, being featured by Swiss national radio.
On their first single since that EP, “Damaged Goods”, Moonpools build upon that inviting sound of Turbulent Times. Synth and drums straight out of the 1980s kick things right into gear. Paired with the stuttering chorus, “Damage Goods” is a guaranteed ear-worm. More warm synth, a great layer of guitar, and Marcie Nyffler’s voice are all perfect complements for each other. The song’s final moments ebb and flow beautifully with Nyffler coming back in with the chorus, but this time without a stutter. It’s a fantastic single with a ton of energy, and it is indicative of a band with a bright, bright future.
Moonpools are Marcie Nyffeler (vocals/ guitar), Jasper Nyffeler (drums), Francesco Vona (keyboard), Matthias Gusset (guitar), and David Blum (bass). The single is out on Young & Aspiring, who will release the band’s sophomore EP later in the year.
Housewife – “Patrick Bateman” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: music made for millennials, Gen Ys and Zs, yet still nostalgic
The first time we wrote about the duo formerly known as Moscow Apartment, Brighid Fry (she/her) and Pascale Padilla (they/she) were 15 and 16 years old. The single, “Orange”, was a shimmering example of two young, award-winning songwriters in their early days. Now 19 and 20, the duo have renamed themselves as Housewife.
Borrowing the name the protagonist of American Psycho, Housewife describe “Patrick Bateman” as “about putting bad people on a pedestal and romanticizing evilness.” Bateman is a perfect parallel to the song, which paints something similar to a boardroom conversation. In a society that normalizes capitalistic greed, Housewife simply say that being shitty should not be someone’s whole personality. Musically, the single is a catchy indie-pop track with some truly fantastic harmonies. The song flows really well, starting with just acoustic guitar, and ending with a huge, lush wall of sound giving way to the song’s final lines. This is simply brilliant.
The single is out on Hazel Street Records. The duo’s new album is in the works.
Follow The Revue On...
Share This Article On...