The fast, the furious, and pure fantasy are the sounds heard on The Matinee ’22 v. 081 edition, featuring eight songs on this global affair.
Katy J Pearson – “Float” (Bristol, England)
RIYL: Stevie Nicks, Angel Olsen, Andrew Bird
Few artists blend new and old as seamlessly as Katy J Pearson. It’s a quality obvious on her debut LP, Return, but it’s something even more pronounced on each single she’s released ahead of her upcoming sophomore record, Sound Of The Morning. Just listening to “Talk Over Town”, “Game of Cards”, and “Alligator”, it’s clear this is going to be a special record from one of the brightest songwriters out there today.
The latest single from the LP, “Float”, is yet another indication this is a record to keep an eye on. A wobbly organ introduction gives way to Pearson’s vintage voice over acoustic guitar chords. Strings join in and add depth to the sound before the bass and drums arrive. The song builds slowly with some haunting harmonies during the song’s choruses. More instruments then emerge: electric piano and a sweeping electric guitar that harmonizes with Pearson’s twangy voice. By the end, “Float” is a monster, and it’s a far cry from its early moments. This complexity is what makes Pearson’s music so interesting. At times it feels like a contemporary indie track; at other moments it channels a bygone era of ’70s songwriters. With each song, Pearson continues to carve out a genre unto herself.
Khartoum – “Some Days” (London, England)
RIYL: My Morning Jacket, Temples, Sunflower Bean
In Khartoum‘s short time as a band, the trio have made one thing clear: they are redefining what it means to be a rock band. For starters, they cannot pigeonholed into a specific sub-genre, as they can unleash a roaring tune as easily as they can startle with off-kilter art-rock. Second, they’re not recycling the usual themes in their songs. Yes, Cam Gallaher (vocal, guitar), Scarlett Alexander (drums), and Jake Tulley (bass) have drawn inspiration from their pasts, but they usually focus on current events. Khartoum, in other words, are documenting history through music, and they do it again on “Some Days”.
The London-based outfit turn into a psychedelic jam band on their newest tune. It’s like My Morning Jacket meets Temples, meaning this number would sound great live. For just under three minutes, we lose ourselves within the hazy guitar, and we methodically thrust our heads in time with the crushing rhythms. Finally, our minds become twisted within Gallaher’s voice and words, as he recounts how our obsession to be connected to the internet has resulted in us being disconnected from reality.
“I can tell I’m disconnected
Living in a fantasy without my head
I can help I’m wired to the floor
Missing opportunities I play them all”
Awesome single from an underrated band, whose sophomore EP, Some Days, is out everywhere via Young Poet Records.
Kid Kapichi – “Rob the Supermarket” (Hastings, England)
RIYL: The Clockworks, Dune Rats, TV Priest
A year ago, English outfit Kid Kapichi established themselves as a must-see live band with their raucous debut album, This Time Next Year. The LP also confirmed that Ben Beetham (guitars, vocals), Eddie Lewis (bass), George Macdonald (drums), and Jack Wilson (vocals, guitars) are one of the UK’s great post-punk bands. Given the quartet has rarely slowed down during their brief history, it should come as no surprise that their sophomore album will arrive in the autumn. The first song from Here’s What You Have Won validates the band’s burgeoning greatness.
Make sure a towel is nearby because “Rob the Supermarket” will leave you drenched in sweat even though its duration is just 134 seconds. This track is frenetic, propulsive post-punk at its finest, driven by a great, rumbling guitar riff and a fantastic rhythm section that surges soars like SpaceX rocket. In the midst of this sonic explosion is Beetham and his booming vocal. He quickly delivers a tale of desperation – the story of a man who will do anything to make ends meet after losing everything. A man who becomes a lifelong criminal because his situation calls for it.
“I want money and I want it now
I’m gonna get it and I don’t care how
This is a stick up everybody get down
I got my fingers in my pockets, I’m not messing around
I’m gonna rob the banks, supermarket too
Get my money from the bank and steal the supermarket food.
So put the cash in the bag and don’t be so rude
Coz I’ll be coming back like déja vu”
Awesome. Simply awesome.
Pre-saves for the band’s new album, Here’s What You Have Won, are available at these links while vinyl packages are available on their website (see below for link). It drops September 23rd.
Stella Donnelly – “Flood” (Perth, Australia)
RIYL: Lomelda, Haley Blais, Carly Simon
It’s no secret that Stella Donnelly‘s music has had us hooked since her early days. The witty observational songwriting drew us in to her debut EP, Thrush Metal. Donnelly followed that up with a fantastic first full-length, Beware of the Dogs, that expanded on her sound. As we eagerly waited her next record, we were surprised to hear a big shift in her sound with the electro-pop single, “Lungs”. At the same time, the change suited Donnelly and her voice quite well, but was it an indication of things to come on her upcoming record, Flood?
The title track from the record, “Flood”, sits somewhere in between the electronic lead single and Donnelly’s previous releases. A more lush sound led by piano chords is heard in the song’s early moments. There are fantastic moments throughout, such as the humming setting the scene for Donnelly’s voice to tell a story in a way only she can. The Perth-based singer-songwriter paints a picture of the darkest moments of the lockdown in Australia, which Donnelly describes as “a flood of trauma”. Wordless harmonies come in for the choruses, creating a sound that is quite fully fleshed out. Little guitar parts thrown in and more wordless singing make the song’s bridge nothing short of stunning. While the track may be about the isolating moments of lockdown, Donnelly comes to terms that this may be a warning:
“I’m taken out to sea in the flood
Swimmer looking for the line
Maybe you’re my warning call
Waiting for the hand to arrive
Brandish the grand bouquet
And put it right
I’m taken out sea in the flood
When I try to dry your eyes”
Nick Leng – “My Mind is a Mess in the Morning” (Los Angeles, USA via South Africa)
RIYL: Patrick Watson, Riley Pearce, Lontalius
Music can be magical in the right hands, where an artist can turn something simple and familiar into a grand experience. Nick Leng is such a magician, as he has numerous tricks in his songbook. Indie rock, neo-psychedelia, sad-bastard rock, and cinematic indie are just some of the genres he’s mastered. Oh, he also can conjure a beautiful, widescreen ballad that leaves listeners in a state of blissful awe, which he does on “My Mind is a Mess in the Morning”.
The song is reminiscent of the great ballads of the ’70s and ’80s and then some. The lovely piano melody that opens the track is heartwarming, feeling like it was written in our own living rooms. Leng’s stirring voice, too, sounds close, as he brings us into this personal yet relatable story. As his voice grows more emotive, the song gradually grows before eventually reaching a point of euphoria. It sounds like the clouds parting to allow the sun to reveal itself, or in this case the feelings that Leng has long withheld. This tune, however, is not simply just a love song, but rather one of gratitude. It is Leng thanking another for loving him for who he is, loving him despite all his faults, challenges, and imperfections.
“It’s not that much, but I’ll give it up
And even as I lie in, wandering
I set my selves to see you ashore
‘Cause, oh, my mind is a mess in the morning
And you’ve seen when I break and when I fall
And somehow, it’s the same, you love me through the rain
I’m amazed that you wanted someone like me
I’m a mess that you wanted, so unlike me”
This song comes just as wedding season arrives. Truly, this would be a great wedding song, and it is taken from Leng’s forthcoming new album, Spirals. It drops July 22nd via SOTA Records with pre-orders available here.
Oneida – “Beat Me to the Punch” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Ramona Falls, No Age, Superchunk
Anyone who lived during the era of college radio would have had cassettes and CDs from Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Guided by Voices, Superchunk, Pavement, and Hüsker Du. These bands made impressionable youth want to be rock stars, dreaming about loading the VW van and touring the world. Their spirit and influence lives on in Oneida.
The veteran rockers from New York very much embody the ’80s and ’90s, where the desire to rattle minds and walls alike flows through their veins. Where they will march to the beat of their own drummer instead of complying with the wishes of mass media and corporate executives. If John Colpitts (a.k.a. Kid Millions), Bobby Matador, Hanoi Jane, Shahin Motia, and Barry London were obedient staffers, they would not be creating awesome songs like “Beat Me to the Punch”.
The quintet’s newest single is pure ’90s rock ‘n roll. It commences with an infectious, jangly guitar riff and hip-shaking rhythms, creating the soundtrack for a summer road trip. Colpitts and Matador, meanwhile, sing about just coming up short over and over again – from reaching their goals to relationships to getting to an appointment on time. The highlight of the song, however, is the final three minutes when the three-headed guitar attack of Matador, Jane, and Motia unleash a flurry of heavy reverb. It’s like listening to Thurston Moore go ballistic, and the effect is one of paralyzing awe. It’s bloody awesome.
Ava Vegas – “Swimming Pool” (Berlin, Germany)
RIYL: Kate Bush, Weyes Blood, Spacemoth
The renewed interest in Kate Bush’s music has been one of the great gifts in music this year. Obviously a lot of credit goes to Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of Stranger Things, for rekindling interests in the ’80s icon, but hopefully this development also will result in people looking for the next Kate Bush. If they do, they do not have to go further than Sarina Giffhorn’s project, Ava Vegas.
In her short career, the Berlin-based singer-songwriter has created extravagant soundscapes that sound like they emerged from another world. The place is not the Upside-Down but rather one of pure enchantment and sometimes ecstasy. Her otherworldly talents are fully displayed on her newest single.
Inhale deeply and dive into “Swimming Pool”. Like Bush, Giffhorn is a world builder. On this track, she channels Guillermo del Tomo and the aquatic atmospheres of Shape of Water. Delicate ambient noise filter through deftly executed beats and acoustic guitar. Her voice, meanwhile, is ghostly, almost distant, as if she’s speaking to us from a different dimension. She asks us to take her hand and dive into her swimming pool. Here we will find salvation and indeed we have.
“Some say your dark dreams
Made my dreams come true
They say the cure
For all evil is you
Some say my sweet dreams
Made your heart so blue
I pray that tonight
You’ll be there too
Take a look behind the walls
Of my desert’s paradise
A sinner’s spring for John
Sinister and kind
Sacred touch, Sebastiya”
Stunning and breathtaking.
Frank Meadows – “Everybody’s Birthday” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Hiss Golden Messenger, Phosphorescent, Trace Mountains
Over the last few years, the musicianship of Frank Meadows has been in the background. Performing with Bellows and Tomberlin among other acts, Meadows’ pristine piano playing is a sound you may have heard before without even realizing. On July 1st, Meadows officially steps out from the background when he releases his first solo full-length record, Dead Weight. Meadows has already shared a pair of singles from the record, the gorgeous title track, “Dead Weight”, and the heavier “New Zeitgeist”.
The latest single from Dead Weight is the southern-style “Everybody’s Birthday”. Meadows may be based in Brooklyn now, but he learned his craft in North Carolina and that is something he proudly displays on the single. It features a twangy guitar, chiming piano, and a rhythm section you can’t help but stomp along to. Meadows’ lyrics put the important things about friendship in focus, singing “it’s better to worry about other people, than to worry about what they think.”
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