The Matinee ’22 v. 071 features roaring anthems, dreamy dazzlers, stark and trembling experiences, and sonic euphoria. The eight songs provide the perfect way to kick off the week and end the month of May.

To review all the tunes we spun this month, head to SoundCloud and Spotify to hear the Songs of May 2022 Playlist.

 

October Drift – “Webcam Funerals” (Taunton, England)

RIYL: Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, Manchester Orchestra

Six years ago when we heard “Cherry Red”, we noted that October Drift were a band to watch closely. In that time, Kiran Roy, Chris Holmes, Alex Bispham, and Daniel Young have delivered a great debut album in Forever Whatever, and they’ve firmly entrenched themselves as the heirs to Frightened Rabbit with their often anthemic indie-rock and Roy’s introspective and poignant songwriting. While living up to the legacy that the Scottish greats established is a tall order, we’re confident they’ll meet expectations but doing in their way. The grungy “Insects”, for instance, showcased a heavier side while “Webcam Funerals” reveals the quartet’s ability to create a stadium-sized anthem.

The single is October Drift at their most explosive. Thunderous rhythms envelop searing guitars while Roy’s emotive vocal is wrapped within the instrumental swells and harmonies. While he could easily sing about good times and steamy summer days, he reflects on a practice that has become the norm thanks to a pandemic. No longer do we dress in black and physically comfort the grieving; we instead watch the proceedings from afar and can only share words. It’s all a strange world, and October Drift have shown time and again that they can brilliantly capture it in a few minutes.  

“I’m tracing the lines of my veins but I’m nowhere near
I thought you’d always been mine, now I’m choking on pixel tears
We can sit in the dark cos the light can be so cruel
I’ll never get used to webcam funerals”

The single is out on Physical Education Recordings, who will also release October Drift’s sophomore album, I Don’t Belong Anywhere, on September 23rd. Pre-orders are available here.

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Phoebe Go – “We Don’t Talk” (Melbourne, Australia)

RIYL: Faye Webster, beabadoobee, Annie Hamilton

Another week comes and another singer-songwriter to watch emerges from Australia. Her name is Phoebe Lou, who performs under the stage name Phoebe Go. Although the Melbourne-based artist is just commencing her solo project, she is not new to the scene, as she fronted Snakadaktal and Two People. Her dreamy, gorgeous voice, as such, will be familiar to many. Regardless if people have heard of either band or this is your first introduction, everyone will be stunned and dazzled by “We Don’t Talk”.

Lou’s debut single is, in a word, gorgeous. It is dream-pop made for the delicate intimacy of the bedroom. The light strums of the guitar and the softer rhythms set the mood, but it is Lou’s sensational voice that lures us in. She invites us inside not for a slow dance nor even to stare into each other’s eyes. On the contrary, she wishes to share with us her deepest thoughts, specifically how the silence between us is destroying what we have. The tune is her admitting that things need to change whether we want them to or not.

“Caught myself thinking
About who’s really inside this glass
But we don’t talk, we get caught
Rather run the other way than come last

‘Cause I, see myself on the top shelf
And I’m staring back down at me
We don’t drink, we just sit here and sink
Ain’t that one way of being free”

Stunning. Now this is a great first impression.

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There’s Talk – “Watersignwave” (Oakland, USA)

RIYL: School of Seven Bells, Beach House, Melody’s Echo Chamber

Stories of artists and bands taking significant time to find their footing are as plentiful as the books available at the library. Not everyone can be like Justin Bieber or Cardi B and achieve success thanks to viral videos. Most instead share Olivia Lee’s story. Almost nine years ago as There’s Talk, she released her debut EP, Tiny Strands, which was a beautiful selection of dreamy bedroom-pop. Since then, Lee (vocal, synth, production) along with band mates Kellen Balla (production, programming, vocals), and Young Lee (guitar, vocals) have intermittently released new material. Listening to their discography explains why it takes the trio two years or more to share new songs – every track is delivered with surgical precision. Every detail is assessed and analyzed so each element can be heard. When it is completed, musical magic is the outcome, as is the case with “Watersignwave”.

Get the oxygen out because There’s Talk’s newest song is a stunner. The single is like a dream, as the waves of synth, percussion, and ambient noise coalesce in the atmosphere and form a breathtaking soundscape. Lee’s endearing voice floats effortlessly within this space. It is filled with memory and introspection, as she shares how she is “inside myself” and tells herself that she “will love again”. While her lyrics reveal her pain, her voice is one of hope – or at least the belief that things can only move upwards.

“Watersignwave” is taken from There’s Talk’s new EP, Lightleak, which is out now and available on Bandcamp.

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Sea Lemon – “Eraser” (Seattle, USA)

RIYL: Fazerdaze, No Vacation, Hazel English

The Victoria Day and Memorial Day weekends in Canada and the US, respectively, unofficially mark the start of summer. The barbecues are set aflame, cottages are opened, camper vans are fueled, and beaches are overflowing with families. These dates also represent the time when the songs become a bit more blissful, warmer, and, of course, summery. And we’re not talking big club bangers but rather songs that feel like a cool ocean breeze on a hot day, which is what Natalie Lew – a.k.a. Sea Lemon – achieves with “Eraser”.

Like the beautifully nostalgic “Turn Away” that Lew shared in March, she dazzles with an immersive dream-pop number. The light echos of the keys and gauzy guitars plus the tapping percussion recreate the feeling of the coast. Lew’s blustery voice, meanwhile, is the sunshine that warms our soul. It’s the reason why we look forward most to the warmer months, where we can replicate the feelings we’ve created outside our four walls to within them. We can also take deep breaths like we are about to plunge into the ocean, but instead we dive into Lew’s pool of collective memories. In this case, she encourages us to let go of the past and find ways to go forward. To find our way back to the sea and recommence our journey with the people we love, and what’s a better time than summer to rekindle these feelings?

The song is taken from Lew’s new EP, Close Up, which is out now on Spirit Goth Records. Pick it up on Bandcamp.

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Asiatica – “*sigh* Nevermind” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Nilüfer Yanya, Arlo Parks, Connie Constance

From daytime, coastal breezes to the cool, nighttime air, we share a song from a band already making waves on the US West Coast. They are Asiatica, which started as the bedroom project of Asia Lacy (vocal, guitar) and expanded to include Chailatay (drums), Stephan Hicks (guitar), and Nigel Fregozo (bass). They already have received buzz from a handful of tastemakers, including Pitchfork, and soon they should make their debut on NPR’s Tiny Desk segment because their music is made for intimate spaces. Songs like “*sigh* Nevermind” are made to be heard by everyone.

Like a breath of fresh air, a gentle, lush wave of neo-soul and alt-pop welcomes us into Asiatica’s wondrous world. We could be in the most exclusive nightclub, where the patrons easily sway to the goosebump-inducing guitar or the fluttery rhythms. We also could be back in our bedroom. The lights are dimly lit and lying next to us Lacy. She is telling us that it’s o.k. for us to stay in our cocoon and not wish to ever come out. Her words are expressed with great sincerity because Lacy is figuring out who she is. She, too, is finding her voice and trying to understand her life’s direction. Lacy is scared as much as we are because the future is more uncertain than we could have imagined.

Asiatica’s future, however, is bright. Extremely bright.

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Pale Blue Eyes – “Globe” (Totnes, England)

RIYL: Neu!, Nation of Language, Human League

Pale Blue Eyes may not be a household name just yet, but those in the industry sure know who they are. How else does this explain Matt Board (vocal, guitar), Aubrey Simpson (bass), and Lucy Board (drums) opening for Public Broadcasting System, The Besnard Lakes, Sea Power, and The Silverbacks while playing at Underground Festival? Surely these fine folks know a thing or two. Now it’s your and our turns to get on board the fast-moving PBE train before it becomes over occupied. Then again, the band will probably just get a bigger train so more people can delight in their ’80s-inspired new wave, krautrock, and synth-pop as heard on “Globe”.

The trio’s newest song is like Neu! meets Nation of Language, buzzing with a fabulous mix of swirling synths, a Peter Hook-like bass, and sizzling guitar. It’s musical euphoria at its finest. Through this sonic whirlwind spins Matt’s vocal, which has a tinge of Gotye. His lyrics would be perfect for an ’80s coming-of-age film, as he sings about people finding their way in this maddening world where beauty still reigns over intelligence and creativity. But he believes that the underdog can still win. That we all can still succeed in this globe.

PBE’s new album, Souvenirs, is out September 22nd on Full Time Hobby. Pre-orders available at these links and on Bandcamp.

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Francie Moon – “Gotten Lazy” (New Jersey, USA)

RIYL: L.A. Witch, Death Valley Girls, Starcrawler

Back in April, Melissa Lucciola via her project Francie Moon made us lose our proverbial shit with the batty and psych-infused “In The Light”. The single was T.Rex sitting on a ton of TNT. If you thought that was a ride, better strap in because Lucciola and her band mates double the explosiveness on “Gotten Lazy”.

For 166 seconds, Francie Moon deliver an adrenaline-inducing, frenetic number that is a feast on the ears. Not a single second is wasted, so there is no time to catch our breath. Instead, the group get us moving like headless chickens, twirling, jumping, dancing, and running in all directions. We are at Lucciola’s whim, controlled by the manic guitar, the rumbling rhythms, and her fiery voice. While we lose consciousness, Lucciola gains more clarity of her life. This song is her admission that over the pas two-plus years she’s let her guard down and those she’s loved in the process.

“I’ve gotten lazy with my problems

And I let them control me

Didn’t take steps to solve them

Or look down at my two feet



I’ve gotten lazy with my family

And I let them slip away

Gotten lazy with my love

And let it all go down to waste

To waste”

Awesome. This adjective likely will describe What Are We Really Even Doing?, which releases June 22nd via Sifter Grim and Halfshell Records. Pre-order it on Bandcamp.

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Revolution Above Disorder – “Annihilator” (Vancouver, Canada)

RIYL: A Place To Bury Strangers, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Depeche Mode

We end this month’s new music selection with another “new” artist to keep two eyes is Revolution Above Disorder. However, Stephen Nicholas White isn’t really “new” to the scene, as he fronts post-punk outfit House of Dolls. He now is doing the solo gig for a bit, but he does not stray too far from his origins. Actually, he builds on and expand his foundation, adding splices of darkgaze and shoegaze to the harrowing, Gothic tones with which we’ve come familiar. This sonic tonic results in “Annihilator”.

Somewhere out there, Trent Reznor and Oliver Ackermann are taking notes. The song is brilliantly conceived, as White keeps the mood surprisingly calm and almost serene. And yet, a great suspense and urgency bubbles below the surface with the stark bass and keys and White’s own trembling voice. As the song progresses, we anticipate that it will explode, but it never does. Still we feel extremely gratified by the outcome since for four minutes we were on the edge of our seats. We were taken completely away by this sensational number and led to believe that life is not meaningless. At least not when there is great art to be made and heard.

“Annihilator” plus two remixes are available on Bandcamp. Pick it up!

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