The Matinee ’22 v. 089, which is Part 1 of 2, features six songs that span from the sultry and mysterious, the batty and humorous, to roaring yet immediate. After spinning this selection, click this link to hear the tunes on v. 090 for the second half of today’s doubleheader.
The Black Angels – “Firefly” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: The Black Angels… if pressed like The Limiñanas mixed with Unloved and Tame Impala
After five years away, The Black Angels made a triumphant return with the Guillermo del Toro-esque, “El Jardín”. It was the lead single to their long-awaited new album, Wilderness of Mirrors, which promises to be a widescreen, concept record. As much as this information has us excited, the band’s newest single has us salivating at what is to come.
On “Firefly”, the Austin-based greats get an assist from Thievery Corporation’s LouLou Ghelichkani, who adds some sultry French tones to this delirious, fantasy-like track. The song is unlike anything Stephanie Bailey, Christian Bland, Alex Maas, Jake Garcia, and Ramiro Verdooren have done previously. It is still trippy and hazy but also mysterious and seductive, sounding like the perfect tune for an impromptu meeting between two strangers. Bailey’s lyrics similarly describe such a scene, where the protagonist cannot take his eyes off the person across the room. She is a “Temptress” whose aura illuminates this dark space. She is a “Firefly” that has stolen his attention.
“Leather in the foreground
Boots are painted white
Temptress in the back ground
Sipping on her wine
Where did you go?
How do you glow
You know I need you
to take control
You know I love when
You take control”
More alluring surprises await on September 16th. This is when Wilderness of Mirrors will be released on Partisan Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves are available at these links, Bandcamp, and the band’s online store.
GAWJUSS – “YELLA” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: Iceage, We Are Scientists, Vår
James Wilkinson (vocal, guitar), Kieran Wade Clarke (guitar, vocals), John McLaughlan (bass), and Blue Thorn (drums), who comprise GAWJUSS, nearly made our eyes and ear drums explode when they released the furious noise-rocker “Cry Harder” a month ago. The song literally had us uttering two words we seldom say, and they each have four letters and respectively begin with F and Y. How could the Leeds-based quartet follow that awesome tune? Well, they do it by changing gears and offering something different. At the same time, the desperation remains as does the poignant moral of the story.
“YELLA” recalls the widescreen post-punk of Iceage, merging the genre’s gritty urgency while adding a splice of Brit-pop to escalate the drama. The addition of the trumpet is a great touch, providing emotion and sincerity to the jitteriness of the crunchy lead guitar. Meanwhile, Wilkinson and Clarke sing about always looking back, where the past has them in a vice grip. Their words strike at the heart of the things that hold us back.
“I’ll never say I’d run away
But I’m thinking this will be the day, now
I can’t sit here and complain of better days
I said, ‘There’s nothing I can do it
We keep moving in sync’
It goes over and over, over my shoulder
Awesome. This is song-of-the-year candidate in our minds.
Pre-saves / pre-orders for GAWJUSS’ debut album, Prototypical, are available at these links and on Bandcamp. Clue Records has the privilege of releasing it on September 2nd, and the LP could be one of the year’s unexpected surprises.
Blue Cove – “Soothe” (Chicago, USA)
RIYL: Beach Bunny, Cherry Glazerr, The Beths
With only three songs to their credit, Blue Cove, the duo of Stephanie Nikolas and Eric Breden, have created some fantastic and immersive music. The pair blend many different feelings into their songs, from the shoegaze that radiates throughout “Here You Come” to the big, indie-rock guitar sounds of “Thrive”.
Their latest single, “Soothe”, expands on their sound even more, starting out with some slacker-rock vibes before exploding into something much, much bigger. Where the music takes time to get up to speed, Nikolas’ lyrics don’t waste any time. She hits hard with some brutal honesty right out of the gate, and then the power chords and some killer guitar leads send Nikolas’ dreamy vocals almost into the background. Some tom-heavy drumming breaks things up before those leads come back in in a big way, and the song finds another gear to kick into. Not to be outdone by the loudness of the music, Nikolas leaves us with one final punch:
“Fuck your help
I’ll soothe myself”
“Soothe” along with their other singles released so far will be on their debut record, Thrive, which is due out later this year.
The Chats – “I’ve Been Drunk in Every Pub in Brisbane” (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
RIYL: The Dead Kennedys, Amyl and The Sniffers, Misfits
If this is your first experience listening to The Chats, let us provide a warning – you likely will find yourself giggling, energized, and quite possibly starting a mosh with the people around you or by yourself. There are punk bands, and then there are The Chats, who completely embrace the idea that the genre popularized by The Ramones, The Stooges, Sex Pistols, and The Dead Kennedys should be wildly fun and not take itself too seriously. And of course, the songs should not be longer than 120 seconds, or, in the case of “I’ve Been Drunk in Every Pub in Brisbane”, less than 90 seconds.
Boisterous, rambunctious, furious, and amusing is this track. Everything about the song is classic punk. If you’re not the type to mosh, the song’s explosiveness at least will have you bouncing around or doing an air guitar or some air drumming. It also may have you reflecting on the many times you and friends have gathered at your favorite watering hole, sharing stories, downing a pint or three, and enjoying each other’s company. The song is not meant to be taken seriously, but it does offer a lesson if you listen closely to Eamon Sandwith’s words – drink responsibly because you never know what could happen on any given day.
The Chats are guitarist Josh Hardy, drummer Matt Boggis, and bassist and vocalist Eamon Sandwith. Aussies and New Zealanders can catch the trio opening for Guns ‘N Roses in July and August. As you wait for the concerts, have a pint with the band while watching the video on YouTube.
The Mountain Goats – “Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome” (Claremont, CA USA)
RIYL: Superchunk, Bully, Cloud Nothings
The Mountain Goats don’t deviate far from their formula, which is not to say they are a one-trick pony. Quite their contrary, their approach features two complex traits – great storytelling that often tackles issues of the day and a driving, indie-rock approach that gets the adrenaline flowing and the sweat dripping. For instance, “Training Montage”, which is the lead single from Bleed Out, was quintessential The Mountain Goats and so is “Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome”.
A Nobel Prize winner in Literature does not need to tell the average person exactly what this song is about. John Darnielle, Peter Hughes, Jon Wurster, and Matt Douglas once again get political on this rousing number. As the drums methodically tumble and the crunchy guitars and bass battle for air space, Darnielle sets his sights on the warmongers and hawks who see peace as a threat to their existence and way of life. For them, the more conflict that exists, the higher the numbers they’ll see in their bank accounts. And they do not even need to raise a weapon to succeed nor be a member of a political party. They are the dealmakers.
You get to pay twice
Keep your nose clean
Keep your wheels nice
Open highway on the horizon
Queen of Queens, anima rising
Make adjustments as needed
It’s losers all the way down
You stay undefeated”
Bonny Light Horseman – “Summer Dream” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Anaïs Mitchell, Kacey Musgraves, Valley Queen
Just seeing the names involved with Bonny Light Horseman, it’s easy to lay some heavy expectations on the super-trio. Comprised of Anaïs Mitchell, Josh Kaufman, and Fruit Bats’ Eric D. Johnson, their eponymous first record together came in 2020, and it exceeded every expectation. Bonny Light Horseman was a mix of reworked folk songs and original work, including the project’s namesake that can be traced back to the Napoleonic Wars. The record also garnered a Grammy nomination among other awards. Today, They’re gearing up for their second record, and last month shared the wonderful “California”.
Just like its name would suggest, their latest single “Summer Dream” is a perfect song to enjoy those long summer trips and gorgeous outdoor evenings. It’s a song made for lying in an open meadow with a loved one and watching the clouds roll by or sitting at the highest point and gazing at the stars. Its folk sounds add even more to that feeling. From harmonica to gently strummed guitar, you can almost hear some wind rustling through the trees on a warm summer night. Mitchell’s vocals add that dreamlike layer, especially when it’s joined by harmonies of “oohs”. While its lyrics and sound have a nostalgic feel, it’s a perfect song to spin up right now.
“Sometimes I dream
You were in my summer dream again
Some of my dream
You were in my summer dream back then
Tupelo honey sweet
Laughing in the backseat
Summer dream, mmh”
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