The Matinee ’22 v. 080 edition is a treasure of hidden gems – immensely talented artists and bands who either should be far more popular than they are or be recognized as legends.
Klangstof – “Disguiser” (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
RIYL: Small Black, Son Lux, Zola Blood
Despite more than a half-decade in the industry, Klangstof somehow, some way remain a hidden gem despite creating some of the most mesmerizing alt-electronic music on the planet. All Koen van de Wardt, Wannes Salome, and Erik Buschman need is a break, like opening for Foals or Tame Impala on one of their tours. Placement on a late-night talk show also would do the trick. Either way, once people hear their songs, like “Disguiser”, they will understand why many curators, including ourselves, have been long-time fans.
The Dutch trio’s newest single is like a graceful free-fall from the skies. It is breathtaking to behold, as the synths, guitar, and rhythms create a whirlwind of elegant sound that commences patiently and builds to something wonderful. Within this sonic twister is van de Wardt’s introspective vocal, and this vortex represents the dilemmas and conflicts in his mind. He tries to make sense of his predicament but with little success.
“Hearing your lies
Is no cure for my ache
It only sustains the lust
I’m crashing again
Wrapped up in disguise
Still feels like you are following
Wave at my back and know that I know the feeling”
Klangstof’s new album, Godspeed to the Freaks, is out September 16th with pre-orders available here.
Marble – “Marble” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Emma Ruth Rundle, Marriages, Deafheaven
Emma Ruth Rundle and Chelsea Wolfe are the pinnacle of the Goth-rock scene in our opinion. Whether it is through a metal starkness or a calm but sinister broodiness, they consistently devour us with brilliant artistry and sensational songwriting. Now an under-the-radar band from Seattle is set to join them. Their name is Marble, who likewise dive to the depths of their souls to deliver songs that make our skins crawl. Do not, however, hide under the covers. Instead, open your arms and embrace Chantel Bailey and Matthew Blount’s startling work as heard on “Marble”.
The song does not concern the band’s formation, but it does address the constant torment within Bailey’s mind. Her ghostly yet lush voice flutters between the echoes of Blount’s gauzy guitar, which rings with the hallow darkness of Deafheaven’s Kerry McCoy. Patiently the duo draws us deeper into their realm. It’s stark yet beautiful, and then it erupts into a wall of eye-opening noise. Bailey’s songwriting, too, is astonishing, as she poetically describes her situation.
“The evidence of broken beds
And weight that’s placed on words that I have thrown
I can’t string them together right
You won’t look at me like you did before
Keep holding my head down
And I might learn to let it go
It’s like weight, weight on the water
Float, float like a marble”
Marble’s new album, the shadow in me, is out July 15th. Pre-order it on Bandcamp. It should be, well, eye-opening.
Leon Bridges – “Summer Moon” (feat. Kevin Kaarl) (Fort Worth, USA)
RIYL: Sam Cooke, Curtis Harding, Curtis Mayfield
Despite his success, which includes a Grammy award, Leon Bridges remains true to his art. In his decade as an artist, he has consistently recaptured the spirit of Motown, retro soul, and classic R&B. He’s this generation’s version of Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Ray Charles. As such, the Texan one day will be recognized as a legend, if he isn’t already. Like the aforementioned greats, Bridges’ music inspires because they are relatable. For instance, we all know a neighborhood café or establishment like “Summer Moon”, where the locals gather to reconnect, share stories, and even make memories.
With the assistance of Mexican singer-songwriter Kevin Kaarl, Bridges writes about his friends’ favorite meeting place, which is the one spot in town that people assembled in the midst of the pandemic. With a lovely, emotive guitar riff and subtle rhythms tapping in the background, Bridges shares all the things he saw, heard, smelled, and felt at Summer Moon. The scent of Chanel 5 lingers in the air, one person lays their head on the lap of another, and hellos intersperse with tears. These moments still happen every day because life still has not returned to normal.
“When we are close
I can’t help but feel it
When we are wrong
I don’t know the meaning
You and I make peace
That flows like a river
Travels like a stream
Light beam on the sea
If you put your sweet mouth on my soul one more night
If the sky doesn’t break when I hold your arm tight
Quedate por siempre”
The single is out on Columbia Records.
Sløtface – “Beta” & “Come Hell Or Whatever” (Stavanger, Norway)
RIYL: Girlpool, HAIM, Warpaint
Long-time followers of this space know that Sløtface have long been favorites. For more than five years, they’ve blown our minds with their exuberant and often boisterous pop-rock and clever songwriting. But like many great things, changes happen. For Sløtface, this means two of its original members – Lasse Lokøy and Tor-Arne Vikingstad – are off to pursue new careers beyond music. This leaves Haley Shea as the remaining member, making the project all her own. With change comes opportunity, and Shea firmly grabs it and delves into new territory on her first two solo songs.
“Beta” and “Come Hell Or Whatever” see Shea turn to alt-pop, temporarily setting aside the frenetic nature of Sløtface’s early years. Her excellent songwriting, however, has not disappeared. On the former, she channels Girlpool and creates an emotive number that could be on the soundtrack of a coming-of-age film. She describes the challenge before her – what her purpose is.
“You’re like a song without a bass line
Can’t tell what’s missing until I
Face you, we square off
I look you dead in the eye
I bet commercials make you cry”
On the latter, Shea draws inspiration from a different movie – Thelma and Louise. She assumes the role of Thelma on this energetic and driving number. As the tune accelerates, she describes a memorable scene from the film, which for Shea is to escape this reality.
“Right from the start – I knew that we were special
Locked up. Planning our escape.
Her as mastermind, and me at the scene of crime
Jump in the getaway car,
Get away from where the bodies all are.”
For Sløtface, however, there is only one mastermind and driver, and we hope her all the best. With the support of Propeller Recordings, she undoubtedly will succeed.
INSIDEAWAVE – “This Kind of Pattern” (Dublin, Ireland)
RIYL: Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver
There hopefully will be the day when INSIDEAWAVE is heard on an episode of a popular TV show, and the internet will explode trying to figure out the song title and the band performing it. Their blend of art-rock, alt-folk, folktronica, and alt-electronic is ideal for the big and little screens. As they revealed on “Ultrabeat”, which is the first of three songs to be released this year, the Irish quartet sew majestic, musical tapestries. They once again weave their spellbinding magic on “This Kind of Pattern”.
This hypnotic track masterfully meshes with the aural extravagance of Fleet Foxes in their prime, the sonic mosaics of Grizzly Bear, and the enchantment of Bon Iver at their most endearing. For good measure, a hint of Joy Division can be heard, namely in the pulsing, Peter Hook-like bass line. Musically, “This Kind of Pattern” is pure genius. Eoghan’s songwriting, too, is fabulous. With a magnetic voice that compares with Robin Pecknold and Daniel Rossen, he sings about the intersection of love and entropy.
“Writing down lines of the times you hate,
Makes a taste so bitter, you’ve to tin it up for later.
Simmer it up with the future and take a spoonful in.
Awareness sets it in, no time to waste.
Oh, the rolling can,
Feel it time, and time again.”
INSIDEAWAVE are Eoghan McGuinness, Matt Winston, Mark Geraghty, Seán O’Brien and Nicholas Fitzgerald. They truly should be considered one of Ireland’s great bands today.
AUS!Funkt – “Matter of Interpretation” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Kills, The Raveonettes
One of our favorite discoveries of the year are AUS!Funkt, who combine leftfield, alt-electronica, disco, funk, and art-rock into one mind-boggling concoction. Miroslav Miskovic (a.k.a. Jozzef Ladovina), Evan Henderson, Olivia Korwan, and Hugo Frutuoso are like LCD Soundsystem on steroids, and earlier this year they showcased their bombastic style on Post-Stagnation EP. The Toronto quartet, however, did not stop there, as on Friday they released a new album, Turn to Rust. The LP features more energetic songs and a few surprises, like “Matter of Interpretation”.
Neo-psychedelia, electronica, alt-rock, and a bit of disco-punk converge on the LP’s centerpiece. It is a throbbing, thrusting, and combustible number that will leave one in a state of hypnosis well after the its near six-minute duration expires. Pulsating synths, bass, and beats initially drive the track, but then a lingering guitar emerges and it envelopes Korwan’s distant vocal. It’s all a bit surreal and futuristic, and Korwan’s words are similarly forward-looking. She speaks about humanity’s and our world’s fragility and vulnerability because we are divided by our beliefs and what we deem to be the truth. If we don’t quickly figure things out, our doom will come sooner than we think.
To hear the rest of Turn to Rust, head to Bandcamp to spin it or better yet purchase it.
Rubita – “Lethargic Tides” (Wellington via Dunedin, New Zealand)
RIYL: Gabrielle Aplin, Birdy, Lucy Rose
“The apple does not fall from the tree” is an old proverb to denote that some tendencies and characteristics are passed on from generation to generation. In the Kibblewhite household, this extends from intelligence to musical talent. Since she was a child, Rachel Kibblewhite, who is best known within the Aotearoa music scene as Rubita, occasionally performs with her father, Dr. David Kibblewhite, on bass. How cool is that? But as the younger Kibblewhite now makes Wellington home, she has a band to support her in bringing to life her stories, including the pandemic blues.
First listen to “Lethargic Tides” would indicate anything but anxiety with its jangly, folk-pop approach. Instead, with the pops of the saxophone intertwined with the diligent guitar and humming keys, the song would be ideal for a lazy Sunday afternoon in the park, laying on the grass and watching the clouds float across the sky. This haze, though, lies within Kibblewhite’s mind, as she shares how everyday she’s treading water just to keep her head up. Her anecdotes are cleverly conceived:
“And I wish I was just a little taller
To reach up to my dreams
I’m climbing up ladders made of sand
I tried to make a move
But the more I try I’m sinking down into a groove
I try to carry on
But the more I try I’m swelling up into a storm
I tried to stay afloat
Too many cargo boats in the way
I guess I’ll stay the same
Because you won’t pull left or right
In these lethargic tides”
Those in Pōneke can catch Rubita performing around the city. Catch her now because she could one day be a Tait Prize winner.
Worthitpurchase – “Anne Hedonic” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Florist, Emily Yacina, Katie Bejsiuk
Stories like how Worthitpurchase was born exemplify music’s unifying quality. Seven years ago, Nicole Rowe and Omar Akrouche connected via SoundCloud, sharing samples and the songs that define them. In 2020, they released their debut album, Dizzy Age, which was dreamy bedroom-pop at its finest. Something, however, was missing to round out their sound. Enter Eric Van Tyne, and the project has expanded not just in size but in scope. Worthitpurchase remain a dream-pop group, but there is more depth to their sound and, thus, more to become immersed in. So find yourself a comfortable seat, relax, and allow your mind to wander with “Anne Hedonic”.
The song’s title would indicate an unpleasant experience, but it is the opposite – at least musically. The light patters of the electric drums with the feathery strums of the acoustic guitar and bass create a springtime vibe. Adding to the warm and serene vibe is Rowe’s delicate vocal. It’s like the breeze rolling over the hill, cooling our bodies while refreshing our senses. Rowe, too, seeks to reboot her mind and separate fiction from reality.
“Why are all my memories
Made up of things that never happened to me?
What’s not, what should, what will be
There stands a line between is and seems
It constantly replays
Another bright synthetic day
It always feels the same
Another bright synthetic day”
But for us, this little tune offers some much-needed escapism.
Naomi Alligator – “Don’t Get It” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Kimya Dawson, Twain, Sun June
If you visit Corinne James’ website (link below), you will discover a young woman who truly encapsulates the term “artist”. Music, crafts, painting, writing, directing, acting – you name it and she does it. The young woman oozes talent, and those at Carpark Records knew this before most people. While James’ music project Naomi Alligator is still gaining traction, it won’t be too long before she’s performing at the world’s most renowned folk and bluegrass festivals. She was born for such occasions, where she can sit on a stage with her guitar and mandolin and entrance people with songs like “Don’t Get It”.
The song is classic folk-pop. There are no special bells or whistles, as the song features only James’ soft and endearing vocal, which is looped to provide added texture, and her mandolin. As she delicately plucks her instrument, she shares a story about a person from her past, who was not “such a good friend”. This individual ran over James with her car and gaslighted her at the bar. Despite all this, James says, “I’ll always be there if you’re looking for a light”, understanding that this friend is hurting. She takes the high road instead of seeking vengeance, which offers another reason to adore James.
To see more of the University of Virginia graduate’s art, view the video to the song on YouTube.
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