The Matinee ’22 v. 077 features eight artists and bands who deserve to be recognized as among indie’s finest. Whether they are well known or still establishing their niche, they all should be acknowledged worldwide as creative geniuses.
Miya Folick – “Ordinary” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Ada Lea, Babehoven, Maple Glider
Back in April, Miya Folick released “Oh God”, which was her first single in over three years. It revealed a different side to the LA-based artist that we had not seen – a folktronica approach that added layers to her sound. For us, though, Folick is at her best when the arrangement is merely the frame for her voice, which is one of the most stunning in the entire business. Her voice shines again on “Ordinary”.
With just an acoustic guitar and the late arrival of a piano, Folick delivers one the most gorgeous ballads of the year. Nothing is hurried to allow every note and word to be heard. It’s intimacy turned into a breathtaking experience. Folick’s lyrics, however, are not sweet-nothings. She instead reveals the thoughts in her fractured mind and how the love of one person is the sole thing that keeps her grounded.
“Our life is small but it’s big enough for me
I don’t need any fancy things oh
Our life is small but it’s big enough for me
I can’t have it all
And I wouldn’t want to
I can’t have it all
And i wouldn’t want to”
The single is out on Nettwerk Music Group. Surely a new album is coming soon. We at least hope that is the case.
Francie Moon – “Going Through My Head” (New Jersey, USA)
RIYL: Janis Joplin, Shana Cleveland, The Doors
Through the first half of 2022, Melissa Lucciola via her project Francie Moon has made us rock like the liberation days of five decades ago with the psych-infused “In The Light” and the dynamite “Gotten Lazy”. She’s a throwback, who likely would have been a star in the late-’60s and ’70s. Instead, Lucciola lives in 2022 and keeping alive the music of our parents and grandparents. She reminds us of how guitar-driven music still is the greatest as heard on “Going Through My Head”.
Francie Moon’s latest single is like Janis Joplin reborn with The Doors backing her. It’s a trippy, psychedelic head rush that belongs in the annals of rock ‘n roll history. Searing guitar, throttling rhythms, and a voice that scorches like fire on a cold, winter night. Even Lucciola’s lyrics give the sense that we can overcome the constant chill in the air if we can ignite the flame that lightly burns inside us.
“Cause you are fire
Light up when I look at you
Unbound by your desires
You lead your path to the truth
Dreaming up a mountain
Trying more than survive
We find the answers in the jungle
Where everything’s alive”
Lucciola is joined by drummer Richie Samartin and bassist Adam Pumilia. Francie Moon’s new album, What Are We Really Even Doing?, releases June 22nd via Sifter Grim and Halfshell Records. Pre-order it on Bandcamp.
Zola Jesus – “Into The Wild” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Emma Ruth Rundle, Deradoorian, Chelsea Wolfe
Even though Nika Roza Danilova has already released three songs – “Lost”, “Desire”, and “The Fall” – in advance of Zola Jesus‘ newest album, Arkhon, we still are amazed at her transformation into the cinematic and symphonic. Her seismic Gothic-rock seems to be in the rear-view mirror. Well, partially anyway because Danilova’s music is still dark, complex, and extraordinary. She’s just found new ways to make the walls shake, our bones rattle, and our chests heave. This is the case with “Into The Wild”.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and just listen to this stunning number. It commences with a tranquil tone with Danilova’s powerful vocal at the forefront. Gradually, percussion, synth, and ambient noise emerge, encircling Danilova like an oncoming fog. Like all oncoming storms, it erupts into a spectacle that is incredibly dark but at the same time beautiful. It’s the collision of vulnerability, pain, and hope, and these feelings are echoed in Danilova’s yearning vocal and lyrics.
in my confusion
have I built the cross I lay to bare
am I wrong
to want something more?
am I worthless
to block me from care?”
Stunning. Just another sensational track from one of the great artists of this generation.
Hause Plants – “Small Talk” (Lisbon, Portugal)
RIYL: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, DIIV, Beach Fossils
If Hause Plants called New York, Los Angeles, or Melbourne home, they probably would be indie legends or at least recognized as one of this decade’s great indie bands. Maybe a few trips to SXSW and NXNE will be the straws that break the proverbial camel’s back or are the cracks in the dam that leads to the resulting flood. Either way, Guilherme Machado Correia (vocals, bass, guitar), João Simões (guitar, synths, backing vocals), Dani Oliveira Royo (guitar), and João António Nunes da Silva (drums) are like Europe’s answer to DIIV, creating modern-day dreamgaze meant to be heard at the 930 Club, Bowery Ballroom, and The Wiltern. There, patrons can bask in the glow of “Small Talk”.
The song breezes through the air like a refreshing Pacific wind with its gauzy guitars, stuttering percussion, and the Peter Hook-ish bass line. It’s made for these summer days, warm and embracing yet cool and vibrant. You cannot help but smile at the melody. Despite the sonic delights, Machado sings about alienation and loneliness, and how one’s inner darkness can forever cloud over the sunny days.
“Thinking of what might have gone wrong
There’s a feeling I am in the wrong house
All of the people I’ve never seen before
Art school kids, America’s best ones
I’m going home all by myself this time and life is hard now”
Hause Plants’ debut EP, Film For Color Photos, which is expected soon via BIRTHDIY.
Chris Garneau – “Ballard” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Perfume Genius, Cigarettes After Sex, Beacon
Through his 16-year music career, Chris Garneau has never been stationary. He can create eloquent ballads just as easily as he could deliver a rocker. Regardless of the approach, his songwriting always has been immaculate, which explains why his songs have been heard on Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. With his fortieth birthday approaching, Garneau enters a new realm – that of celestial and operatic alt-pop with his newest single.
“Ballard” is a slow dance made for the heavens or beyond. It is simply gorgeous. The synths and electronics are patiently delivered in order to paint a landscape of yearning, vulnerability, and desperation. Garneau’s voice, meanwhile, remains pensive and restrained, as if he knows that calmness is the only way for this chance encounter to endure. Specifically, Garneau shares a dream he had, where he fell in love with a vampire. He knows this love is impermissible, yet he desires to see this phantom again. He, however, never returns, leaving just a memory and one of the most gorgeous songs of 2022.
Garneau will release a new EP this fall via The Orchard. Details to follow.
Broken Down Golf Cart – “The Science Behind” (Liverpool, England via Canada)
RIYL: Holy Motors, Ashley Shadow, Sarah Bethe Nelson
From the vast expanse of Canada to the closely-knit confines of Liverpool is where we find Jen Baranick. What brings the Canadian to the UK is unknown, but she has clearly been inspired by the Merseyside city’s musical spirit. No, she’s not trying to resurrect nor reinvent The Beatles, Echo & The Bunnymen, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, or Atomic Kitten. Baranick, however, does look to the past, specifically to the dreamy psych-pop of the ’70s and ’80s. So don the dye-tied shirts, the polyester bell bottoms, and, of course, a cowboy hat and go back in time with “The Science Behind”.
Baranick’s first single is a terrific introduction. If the shimmering, psychedelic tones and Baranick’s breathy vocal do not leave a permanent imprint on your brain, then the name of her project Broken Down Golf Cart will. In all likelihood, both will be remembered, as the song creates a calming, almost hallucinating-type effect with the words, “Orange is boring” may spin endlessly in your mind. Baranick, however, isn’t singing about fruit or colors, but rather about deception – how what we see may not be true and vice versa. As we try to make sense of the lies and misinformation, she tells us to keep our heads up and cut through the noise. Then we’ll find the truth.
Words to live by especially in this day and age from an artist to remember.
Anna Erhard – “Guestroom” (Basel, Switzerland)
RIYL: Wet Leg, Baxter Drury, DEVO
Basel, Switzerland is known for its great art galleries, architecture, and home to some of the biggest pharmaceutical and life sciences companies on the planet. It’s a city that brims with invention, which extends to its underrated music industry. Case in point Anna Erhard and her newest single, “Guestroom”.
This methodical almost robotic alt-pop, new wave-inflicted number is like David Byrne meets Wet Leg. It’s quirky and off-kilter, but it is immensely fun. There isn’t anything really fancy about the track – just a repeating synth and percussive drum beat with Erhard’s looping vocal – yet it is addictive like a bag of Lays potato chips or a tub of your favorite ice cream. With each dabbling note, you might find yourself bopping your head and slowly dancing. Or you might ponder the meaning of the lyrics, as Erhard shares how she “writes secret messages” and “hides them at festivals”. This is her way of saying how so many people have underestimated her, but she is full of surprises, much like this track.
The song is out on Radicalis Music, which is home to some of Switzerland’s finest indie artists and bands.
Siv Jakobsen – “Birthday” (Oslo, Norway)
RIYL: Rosie Carney, Freyr, S. Carey
Norway is home to some fabulous singer-songwriters – Anna of the North, Amanda Tenfjord, Ane Brun, and Susanne Sundfør are just four names. Siv Jakobsen is another to know. She first took our breath away with “Most of the Time”, and since then we’ve been under her spell. The effects of her craft intensify on “Birthday”.
Written with another great Norwegian singer-songwriter, Simen Mitlid, “Birthday” is gorgeous. It is quaint yet intimate, lush and awe-inspiring. Jakobsen’s soft, whispery voice is what one notices immediately, and the restrained, dream-folk arrangement provides the perfect canvas. As the drums lightly roll in the background and horns quietly emerge, Jakobsen sings about her 25th birthday. But instead of celebration, she desires to reverse the clocks and lift the spirits of another and possibly make amends. As she beautifully sings:
“It’s a Monday feeling on a Friday evening
Downing dark and stormy’s to appease the lonely
I’ve wasted all my time
My god it’s such a crime
And if I could go back now
I’d never go back in time
Somewhere beyond this life
You’re mine and we’re alright
But if I could go there I’d
Never, never go there”
Hopefully soon, however, Jakobsen will have plenty to celebrate in the ways of awards and well-deserved recognition.
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