Another doubleheader of new music today with The Matinee ’22 v. 094 kicking things off with seven truly sensational songs and the return of two indie giants.
Fazerdaze – “Come Apart” (Auckland, New Zealand)
RIYL: Speedy Ortiz, Momma, Swearin’
As five years have passed since Amelia Murray and her project Fazerdaze have released any new music – the last being 2017’s fantastic LP, Morningside – we had a feeling back in January that she would be releasing new material this year. Sure enough, the New Zealander offers a mid-year gift with “Come Apart”.
For at least one song, Murray sets aside the dreamgaze of her early years in exchange for ’90s-soaked grunge-pop. It dabbles in Hole territory with the gritty yet melodic guitars and Murray’s nonchalant vocal. She hasn’t completely thrown away the gauziness, as the bridge gets sensationally dreamy and lush. However, this is only temporary, as the song ends where it begins – with an understated edge and confidence. The approach provides the perfect canvas for Murray’s tale of two people “coming apart” for numerous reasons, one of which we can surmise involves mansplaining and another being the spark being extinguished.
Hopefully, though, Murray’s spark for music still burns brightly. For now, we will welcome any new music from Fazerdaze.
The single is out on Section1.
Titus Andronicus – “(I’m) Screwed” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Drive-by Truckers, The Hold Steady, The Mountain Goats
Speaking about welcome returns, one of the great rock bands of the last 15 years has re-emerged after a three-year hiatus. Well, Titus Andronicus actually announced their return in June when they released a cover of Cock Sparrer’s “We’re Coming Back”. The song was a teaser for the bigger announcements – a new album is coming in the autumn and bigger rockers will be shared, including “(I’m) Screwed”.
As Patrick Stickles, Liam Betson, R.J. Gordon, and Chris Wilson have matured, they have toned down the ferociousness of their music, but the intensity and insightful songwriting have remained. On their newest track, they continue down the path of ’90s college-radio rock and southern rock. It’s not just nostalgic, but it’s awesome. The song never slows down, but instead it just blazes thanks to the awesome combination of tingling keys and sizzling guitars. It surges because this tune encourages people to not succumb to the deceit, lies, and words of people who want to divide us and take away our rights. This is an anthem to push back against those who want to take away women’s rights to choose and people’s right to love whomever they wish.
“Is it still a murder if they don’t curse gradually
Screaming through the surgery per to the third degree
The only elements of your elaborate strategy
That we’ve yet to see is
How you gonna turn the screws on me?
On me, on me
This daily disaster is your masterpiece
You have crafted an everlasting catastrophe
So I imagine smashing the last of my fragile dignity
To smear the reasons”
Julia Jacklin – “Love, Try Not to Let Go” (Blue Mountains / Sydney, Australia)
RIYL: Maya Hawke, Lomelda, Tomberlin
Only five weeks separate us from Julia Jacklin‘s third album, PRE PLEASURE. Yes, we are counting down the days because the Australian is one of the greatest artists in music who continues to evolve. Jacklin demonstrated that with the release of the emotional and moving “Lydia Wears a Cross” and the poppy “I Was Neon”, which were contrasting singles in terms of their musical approach. The two tracks, though, still possessed the one quality that had us hooked to Jacklin’s music early on: her exceptional songwriting. Even when Jacklin tackles a familiar theme, she does it imaginatively and intimately, as evidenced on “Love, Try Not To Let Go”.
This is a love song, but not the typical love song. Jacklin does not sing about falling in love with someone nor about heartbreak. Instead, as a ’70s folk-pop brims in the background, led by a subtle yet intimate piano arrangement, she shares her wish to find someone who understands and accepts her. It’s a deep-seeded desire with which many can relate but have not found the words. Fortunately, Jacklin says it all for us.
“The echo of my hometown
The things I never said
Consumes the space between me
And everyone I left
Try not to let go”
Pearla – “Effort” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Skullcrusher, Cross Record, Big Thief
Nicole Rodriguez is not a newcomer to the scene, having performed as Pearla for more than a half-decade. Our first introduction, for instance, was in 2017 when she released the beautiful “Somewhere”. For most people, however, they have yet to be introduced to the New Yorker, but she could be this year’s major breakout star. We say this not because what she’s previously done but on the strength of what is before us and is to come. We say this based on her newest release.
Grab a seat and be prepared to be blown away by the graceful power of “Effort”. The single commences with a tranquil melody. It is calm and soothing as a lingering guitar and some ambient noise surround Rodriguez’s fluttering vocal. Her words, too, have an air of a fairy tale with the imagery she paints. “Practice waving goodbye courageous crane fly”, she shares at the start. But this is no fable, but a song about real love, lost, and pain. As Rodriguez shares more of her feelings, thoughts, and the events of the recent past, the track builds and becomes widescreen. Strings, percussion, and bass emerge from the shadows, adding to the song’s raw emotion and leading to a moment that is beyond stunning.
“I don’t know why it takes so much effort to feel good these days
And I don’t know why I’m still awake, waiting for you I don’t know why,
But it takes so much effort to feel good these days
And I don’t know why I’m still awake, looking for something to do
What do I do?
Watch dumb TV
Go for a walk
Write in a journal
Stare at the clock
Call a friend
Whisper ‘fuck you’ to the world
I am spent”
Liv Slingerland – “Temporary Letdown” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Kate Bush, Ladyhawke, Kim Carnes
Liv Slingerland probably could have a very comfortable life and successful career as a touring musician, as she’s a highly-regarded and in-demand guitarist. She’s supported Halsey, Olivia Rodrigo, Lauren Ruth Ward, Donna Missal, and many others on tour, in the studio, and even on Saturday Night Live. She’s a guitar god. But would her life be complete? The answer came in March 2020 when her father passed away. While she had been working on her own material for years, she decided to share her work with the world as an homage to, as she shares on Bandcamp, “her biggest fan”.
Although the songs on Hey You are means for her to grieve, for those outside her inner circle they are an opportunity to discover a talent that has been percolating far too long in the background. We get to celebrate Slingerland’s immense gifts while understanding what she’s gone through, and “Temporary Letdown” is our invitation to her world.
Bubbling with the cinematic pop-rock of the late ’80s and early ’90s, the song is an ear-worm that will stick in your mind for days if not weeks or months. The synths and Slingerland’s emotive vocal create the dreamy soundscape that we associate with a John Hughes film. When the gauzy guitar strikes, however, we are momentarily transported to another time – a moment where a solitary figure starts to feel whole again and learning to live on after losing the one person who was her entire world. We see a star in the making, who reminds us that nostalgia and memories can be simultaneously therapeutic and cathartic.
Brooke Annibale – “Better by Now” (Rhode Island via Pittsburgh, USA)
RIYL: Lily Kershaw, Bats for Lashes, School of Seven Bells
The power of songwriting can never be underestimated because the words are what leave a lasting effect. Sure a great arrangement and catchy melody can stick in our minds for days, but the song’s meaning is what makes us come back to hear it again and again. With this in mind, momentarily ignore the shallow darkness and just listen to the first seven lines in Brooke Annibale‘s newest single, “Better By Now”. They say it all.
“It’s a little sad
Throwing the Christmas tree
Out with the trash
I never was good at saying goodbye
But now we’re here
Facing down another year
Another false start at the finish line”
After spinning the track in its entirety, play it again and again to feel the pulses of the brilliant, Peter Hook-esque bass line; the soft, crystalline guitar; and the diligent patters of the percussion. Play it again to drown within Annibale’s steady yet gripping voice, which represents a woman struggling to stay even-keeled despite the turmoil that has defined her past year. And become absorbed in her words that explain how we, too, try to be not overwhelmed by the thoughts that ravage our mind and how we “want it to be better by now”.
A terrific tune from an underrated singer-songwriter. People can hear more when Annibale’s new album, Better By Now, is released September 30th on Nettwerk Music Group. Pre-orders can be made at her own online store and Bandcamp.
Sister Gemini – “Scooter Song” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Faye Webster, Snail Mail, Florist
The phrase, “meet your new music crush”, gets thrown around too often. We were guilty of this in our early years, so we buried it years ago. Today, we’re dusting it off because these five words apply to Remy Gassman and her project, Sister Gemini.
Just 22 years old, the LA-based singer-songwriter only has a few songs to her name, but she’s on the fast track to stardom. Her style is akin to some of the great singer-songwriters around, including Faye Webster, Snail Mail, Florist, Soccer Mommy, and Phoebe Bridgers. If you don’t believe us, have a listen to “Scooter Song”, and it should convince you that the young artist has an incredible future in front of her.
Like walking along Venice Beach or the boardwalk of Santa Barbara, the song is wonderfully warm and breezy. A light, crunchy, guitar riff intersect with the peaceful stutters of the rhythms, creating the sensation of a calm summer day. Gassman’s voice is similarly easygoing, delicate on the ears while incredibly touching on the soul. She sings about little adventures we take as children and later as young adults. But no matter where we go and what we do, nothing compares to home.
“There is a swing-set and a sandbox and a lawn chair
My dog on the porch
That’s the thing about the old dogs sleeps, lie there
They don’t do much
And when they put her down, they’ll take me out to lunch
Now that I’m older I can still see things the same
Look back and wonder if you’ve grown into your face
And I’d give everything to go back to that place”
Meet your new music crush, everyone. We certainly have.
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