The Matinee ’22 v. 084 features nine songs from young but incredibly talented artists who one day will have their names adorned on theatre marques. The music on display today will open your hearts and minds.
Goldmyth – “Triptych” (Provo, UT USA)
RIYL: Men I Trust, Wet, Yumi Zouma
We’ve all had moments where we hear a song on a TV episode, at the mall, or the grocery store, and said to whomever was listening, “I know who sings this.” Of course, we cannot remember the name or we remember it hours later. Janessa Smith might be a voice you’ve heard before or will very soon. Through her project Goldmyth, the singer-songwriter, harpist, and producer has had her songs featured on several Spotify playlists (including the popular Fresh Finds), spun in H&M stores across the globe, and included on HBO’s original series, The Sex Life of College Girls. Soon, she’ll have a placement on the Hulu show, I Love That For You. And let’s go one further – one day very soon her face will be shown on the massive billboards that adorn Times Square because she crafts dream-pop gems like “Triptych”.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and prepare to spin, twirl, and be swept away. A delicate wave of glimmering synths breezes through the track while a superb bass and pulsing guitar skip over top. The melody is sincerely a dream. Smith’s voice, meanwhile, is elegance personified. It is like the North Star, dazzling brightly in the nighttime sky and providing a point of reference for us to follow. Her songwriting, too, dazzles brightly, as she sings about how love can last for eternity even when final goodbyes are said.
“When the lines are drawn they walk us all alone
And the faces of our love have nowhere to go
From the garden I still swear I saw a rose
So I turn around and face it all at once”
A star is born and her is Goldmyth. Someone please sign her.
Zubin FC & Village Polka – “Sunday Night” (London, England)
RIYL: The Prodigy, Deafheaven, Washed Out
If you’re like us, you might have been wondering where the city of Zubin is and if they have a football club. With a name like Zubin FC, surely they must play in one of Europe’s premiere leagues. Nope, it’s the project of a mysterious artist from London, who has been crafting everything from bedroom-pop to soft-rock to slowcore to new wave and synth-pop. Zubin FC, however, has finally hit the ball out of the park – or maybe that should be scored the golden goal – with “Sunday Night”.
With the support of producer Village Polka, Zubin FC has created an awesome track that combines numerous genres into one cathartic concoction. Jangly, surf-rock akin to Washed Out is blended with Deafheaven-like urgent shoegaze and the bass-driven, electro-rock of The Prodigy. For nearly 3.5 minutes, the duo get us racing after the people and things we have left behind. If we could turn back time, we would. However, we cannot, as Zubin FC explains in his tale about missed opportunities and lost second chances.
Why should I keep waiting
For something I deserve?
Drowning in the ocean
Swimming to the moon
Sunday night is lurking
Monday all the same
One day I’ll be walking
It’s all in your head”
This awesome song is taken from the duo’s split single, which also includes “Bent Out of Shape”. It is available on Bandcamp.
The Haunted Youth – “Broken” (Hasselt, Belgium)
RIYL: DIIV + Wild Nothing + The Cure
We were introduced to the shoegaze brilliance of The Haunted Youth nearly a year ago when he released “Coming Home”. Given Joachim Liebens’ ability to make the genre that never dies feel fresh and alive, it’s a mystery as to why he has not achieved more success. He’s Slowdive, Cocteau Twins, DIIV, Ride, and Wild Nothing packaged into one individual talent. For good measure, he adds a bit of The Cure-esque Gothic flair to his newest tune, and the result is one of the songs of the year.
“Broken” is a triumph. A whirl of emotions and experiences is created in this track: it is mesmerizing, intoxicating, euphoric, and cathartic. The distantly chiming guitar provides the perfect foil to Liebens’ whispery and vulnerable vocal while the throbbing bass and synth add mystery and starkness to this tale of want, desire, and loss. For nearly five minutes, we become completely lost in this mind-blowing world. We feel his pain yet we also feel exhilarated by what he has crafted. We feel alive. If it was possible to live forever within a song, this would be it.
Housewife – “Bones (God Like You)” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Hazel English, Girlpool, Day Wave
When Brighid Fry (she/her) and Pascale Padilla (they/she) released the clever “Patrick Bateman” back in May, the duo re-introduced themselves to the world. Specifically, they retired the moniker Moscow Apartment and replaced it with Housewife. Despite the name change, one thing has not changed – the long-time friends’ ability to create music that stays glued to your mind and soul. To think, the 19- and 20-year old artists have been doing this for more than five years, perfecting it on “Bones (God Like You)”.
The first thing one notices is the blissful, dreamgaze approach. Alongside the lingering guitar and synths are the pair’s lush vocals. They float effortlessly in the spine-tingling arrangement while gracefully cascading down into our subconscious. They recount moments in their lives where they’ve fallen, been chased, and searching for redemption. Their words do not just belong to millennials but also resonate with people of all ages. They are a band who sound far older and wiser than their age.
“I know my weakness but that don’t stop you from gunning at it
Should I redeem it when I’m running with my bad habits
You’re always at my heels
And now I’m kneeling at yours too
Oh to be a god like you”
The single is out on Hazel Street Records. We wait to hear if a new album is coming.
Gillian Stone – “Amends” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Agnes Obel, Joanna Newsom, Aldous Harding
Not all experiments are successful at first. Numerous tests are undertaken until the formula is perfected. Music is no different, where millions of different combinations exist to create sound. More often than not, the attempt is unsuccessful, but then one day everything comes together and magic occurs. This is what Gillian Stone has done with “Amends”.
The Toronto-based singer-songwriter’s newest single is beyond characterization. Like the great experimentalists in Agnes Obel and Joanna Newsom, Stone merges the neoclassical with the post-modern, which come together to create a song that is surreal in its composition. It is delicate yet dizzying at first, as the lingering guitar strums behind Stone’s powerful but serene vocal. Her calmness, however, hides the truth, which is told in her words. She is a woman grieving and full of anger at another person and herself. Immediately she shares:
“I felt you under my breath…
somewhere you are out there
That’s all that I really know.
I stumbled, I’d been drinking.
I couldn’t stand to be seen.
a bar in the Old City,
too haunted to hope.”
Then the song grows and a wall of crushing noise descends upon us. The moment is one of awe, force, and relentlessness. It is also a moment of fulfillment, of one person finding their way through the noise that occupies her mind and being.
Look out for Toronto’s next great artist.
Skinny Dippers – “Home” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Real Estate + Death Cab for Cutie + TOLEDO
It wasn’t long ago when Ryan Gross, the person behind Skinny Dippers, shared “Wedding Ring”, which was a remarkable song of love without boundaries (or are there?). It revealed an artist who not only knew how to put together an engaging melody but the skill to write a great and meaningful story. No wonder he’s a favorite of independent artists across America. One day and hopefully soon he’ll be a favorite of music fans across the world, so that songs like “Home” can be played and heard in every household.
“Home” is the meeting place where Real Estate, Ben Gibbard, and TOLEDO collaborate and create one of the most heartwarming songs of the year. It’s a little jangly, dreamy, breezy, and warm, making it the perfect number to accompany you on a summer road trip or to play when you connect with friends and family you have not seen for an age. This tune, after all, is about reconnecting and reminiscing about simpler days.
“Completely honest I never thought that things would change
Everyone’s leaving and finding their own place
I don’t want to go without leaving something behind
So tell me you won’t change
And you’ll still think the same ways
I’m writing you this song from 2, 000 miles away
I know we both were right
And we may see better days
But things seemed so much simpler when I thought we might stay”
Skinny Dippers’ debut album, The Town & The City, is expected this summer.
PACKS – “iknowiknow” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Emily Yacina, Indigo De Souza, Nana Yamato
Last year, PACKS released a killer debut record with Take The Cake. It was 11 fantastic tracks reminiscent of some of the most notable artists of the early ’90s. Songwriter Madeline Link blended pop and grunge and infused her own distinctively Gen-Z style to it. It was a record that easily secured PACKS a spot on our favorite hidden gems of the year list. It’s a classification we expect them to shed quite soon, especially with songs like her latest single “iknowiknow”.
“iknowiknow” is stripped back to just Link and acoustic guitar. Link’s voice is layered upon itself, sometimes it’s harmonizing, other times it’s floating between both listener’s ears. Combined with fingerpicked guitar, it puts Link’s distinctive songwriting right into focus. Like the music, it’s fairly simple but that’s exactly where PACKS thrives: creating some attention-grabbing songs with their trademark slacker vibes. It’s a great sound for Link, and paired with the previously released “don’t go for the goat’s milk”, it showcases how effective her songwriting is.
“I know I know
We’re all just so destined for greatness
I know I know
We’re all just so desperate again
When I drive by
You can count on me
Here to deliver
While I’m rinsing in and out on repeat”
“iknowiknow” joins the previously released “don’t go for the goat’s milk” as singles from PACKS’ upcoming EP, WOAH, out July 8th on Royal Mountain Records and Fire Talk Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves are available here and directly on Bandcamp.
Anna Tivel – “Black Umbrella” (Portland, USA)
RIYL: Big Thief, Julie Byrne, Nadia Reid
Few songwriters have an ability to captivate listeners with their vivid lyricism in the way that Anna Tivel does. It was obvious from her recent single “Outsiders”, which was inspired by watching a documentary on the moon landing. Tivel captured that feeling, along with the social and historical context around it, in about four minutes, and listeners could re-live those moments.
Once again, Tivel’s songwriting is incredibly relevant with her latest single “Black Umbrella”. In a time where it seems like more and more things are being taken away from everyday humans while the system continues to be tilted in favor of those in power, Tivel sings of a small-town robbery and a case of projected identity. Tivel tells the story over just a little bit of guitar and brushed drums. It all builds until one big moment where the song’s protagonist meets their end, then the song gives way to a stunning close.
“Gun, somebody cried, and you kicked your legs and broke the window
In a chaos of confusion, raining glass like diamonds loosed and you were
On your feet again and then a bullet danced right through you
And the ground came up like some great flood and then you were not moving
Under a black umbrella, you were keeping to yourself
And the rain came down like diamonds on the sidewalk where you fell
And nothing in the headlines even mentioned you at all
Just a corner note about a cracked out kid who broke the law”
poolblood – “twinkie” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Soccer Mommy, Oceanator, Great Grandpa
poolblood is the project of Toronto’s Maryam Said. In 2019, she released a fantastic EP called Yummy. It featured some loud power chords and big moments, and it included an electric cover of The Sundays’ “Here’s Where The Story Ends” mixed in. At just under 15 minutes, it was enough to make an impact. poolblood just announced they have signed with Next Door Records. The announcement was accompanied by the release of the Shamir produced single, “twinkie”.
“twinkie” builds on that formula that made Yummy such a great listen. The production on the single is nothing short of pristine. Jangly guitar welcomes listeners to the song early on before Said’s voice takes command of the song. Her voice is then joined by lush harmonies and a heavier guitar. It’s a combo that just immediately evokes a nostalgic feeling. This is echoed when Said says the single is “about the tenderness of time, time as a source of love, and the way time is the ultimate parent.” It’s an exceptional track, and a great introduction to poolblood.
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