The Matinee ’22 v. 106 is loaded with outstanding songs from incredibly gifted, young artists to well-established indie giants. It’s a little playlist to get you through the dog days of summer.
In case you missed it, we are currently on holiday, so we’re trying a different format. Please leave us feedback on whether you like or dislike this approach. We are trying to play catch up with all the song we wish to share, so we might even go with a tighter version over the next few days.
Lizzie Reid – “Love of Her Life” (Glasgow, Scotland)
RIYL: the very somber songs on Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’, Maple Glider, Laura Marling
Why We’re Digging It: When Lizzie Reid released “Bible” a few months ago, she left our jaws on the floor. The song made us say that she’s a star in the making, and “Love of Her Life” only further validates this belief. A morbid sincerity streams throughout the track, reminiscent of the tones that stream through Radiohead’s classic, “Lucky”. Reid, however, draws us into the song, pulling us inside her soul as opposed to being the passenger. As the guttural guitar emerges, we feel like we’re in the driver’s seat, descending down a winding path to potentially one’s end – or maybe a new beginning. Reid’s brittle voice, too, describes the internal conflict that has consumed her.
“She told me I’m the love of her life
She told me even when she changed her mind I don’t mind
I’m sick of all this cruising,
And I’m done with all my mooching
Now that the feeling has gone at last”
She’s a star in the making.
Album Information: Reid’s sophomore EP, Mooching, drops August 31st. It’s available for pre-order at these links and Bandcamp.
Madeline Finn – “Asleep In The Driveway” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: Lucy Dacus, Cassandra Jenkins, Waxahatchee
Why We’re Digging It:Madeline Finn grabbed our attention in 2020, when she released the absolute stunner Trial By Fire record, and a subsequent single, “Whippoorwill”. Finn’s songwriting was unforgivingly striking, all wrapped up in a pristine Americana and folk package. Those aren’t the only styles in Finn’s repertoire, as she’s a former top-70 American Idol finalist and former frontwoman of a pop-punk band.
Finn’s latest single, “Asleep In The Driveway”, has that pristine Americana sound that made her music so inviting on first listen. Lush harmonies, jangly guitar, and a perfect synth accompaniment, it’s all a perfect underlayment for Finn’s songwriting. The song’s lyrics have Finn being brutally honest with herself and her fiancé, trying to find the balance between life as a touring performer and a romantic partner.
“Now, I know I made a promise
Baby, let’s be honest
You’re still waking up alone.”
“Asleep In The Driveway” is out now. Check it out here.
Alvvays – “Easy On Your Own” (Toronto, Canada)
Why We’re Digging It: After Alvvays ended their five-year hiatus with the release of “Pharmacist” last month, the quintet reminded why they are considered indie giants. The break also seems to have reinvigorated Molly Rankin (vocals, guitar), Alec O’Hanley (guitar), Kerri MacLellan (keys), Abbey Blackwell (bass), and Sheridan Riley (drums) because “Easy On Your Own” brims with intoxicating energy and electricity. Their latest single turns dream-pop and shoegaze into a cathartic experience. We just want to endlessly twirl and spin and become fully consumed with the gauzy goodness and Rankin’s soaring vocal.
At the same time, the track is exactly what we need to get us over the wall that impedes our progress. It’s about getting over the past and finding our way no matter how difficult it can be. In many ways, this tune is about the band and Rankin, in particular, finding that path once more after five years.
“I waited so long for you
Wasted some of the best years of my life
And I wanted to see it through
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Burning” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Why We’re Digging It: “Burning”, the latest single from Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ upcoming Cool It Down, keeps the epic vibes heard on previously single, “Spitting Off the Edge of the World“, but it returns to some more familiar territory for Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase. Modulated vocals kick the song off over just some piano. Karen O’s unmistakable voice pierces through those early moments of clarity. A distorted guitar bubbles underneath, ready to join in at moment’s notice. Strings and more join in as the song builds into a huge cinematic climax. It’s the YYYs at their groovy, epic best.
The Murlocs – “Compos Mentis” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Hovvdy, Matthew E. White, Lo Talker
Why We’re Digging It: Australia has no shortage of great bands with outstanding songwriters, which explains why The Murlocs have and currently are touring with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and have a solid following across the world. Ambrose Kenny-Smith, Cal Shortal, Cook Craig, Tim Karmouche, and Matt Blach are not the types to take shortcuts, choosing instead to use every second to entertain and provoke. With “Compos Mentis”, they deliver a slice of Americana, southern-rock made for road trips.
The track bubbles with melodic, summer grooves. At times, it feels like a smooth, and occasionally it builds into a little free fall, specifically at the glorious bridge. It is splendid and to be repeated over and over again. Doing so, we not only get to enjoy the breezy atmospherics, but we also understand Kenny-Smith’s existential crisis even more to the point we have our own.
“Compos Mentis got the better of me one time too many
Imagination’s on a winning streak with flying colours you’re passing by
Who controls my mind
Who controls my mind
I’m no ones apple of the eye”
Anna Mieke – “For a Time” (Wicklow, Ireland)
RIYL: Agnes Obel, Aldous Harding, Julia Holter
Why We’re Digging It: Sometimes one just needs to escape, which is why we all love fairy tales or great works of fiction. For 4.5 minutes, Irish singer-songwriter Anna Mieke takes us down the rabbit hole on “For a Time”. This gorgeous piece of folklore – to call it indie folk would be a understating what Mieke has created – sounds like it was transported from the 15th Century. However, a modernity streams through the song, specifically in how the strings, guitar, and percussion envelope around Mieke’s pixey-like voice. The result is a song that elicits numerous emotions – playfulness, dreaminess, tranquility, rapture. Mieke’s lyrics further accentuate these feelings, which seem at first like a dream but then is very, very real.
“Neighbour’s swimming pool with a ropе swing to it
Suffocating smell of the chlorine in it
Eucalyptus bark with our teeth we were tearing
Pulling at a thread of a time worth forgetting
Dinner bell rings out a waiting game
Came for familiar, left for the same
Years of watercolours, burning in the garden
Door slam last word one more for the road”
What an introduction to an artist who reminds us as a combination of Agnes Obel’s symphonic experimentation and Aldous Harding’s lyrical creativity.
GAWJUSS – “I Feel Ill” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: Queens of the Stone Age, Noah Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Libertines
Why We’re Digging It: After bowling us over with “YELLA” and “Cry Harder”, Leeds-based GAWJUSS made post-punk into an anthemic experience. To show that they’re more than a one-trick pony, they turn to anthemic rock with a slice of Brit-pop-rock on “I Feel Ill”.
For veteran concert-goers, this song is the one that comes on when the stage goes dark and only white lights flash in the background and then go bezerk at the apex. In such a setting, can we truly experience the reverberating guitars, the jittery rhythms, and the touch of fear that strikes in James Wilkinson’s voice. As the drama builds with the arrangement gradually intensifying, he tells a tale of a crime about to happen. The question, though, is who is the assailant and the victim. Which one is Wilkinson? You decide as the lights flicker around you.
Album Information: Debut album, Prototypical, can be pre-ordered at these links and on Bandcamp. It will be released September 2nd on Clue Records. GAWJUSS are: James Wilkinson (vocal, guitar), Kieran Wade Clarke (guitar, vocals), John McLaughlan (bass), and Blue Thorn (drums)
Slaney Bay – “Take Your Time” (London, England)
RIYL: Bleach Lab, The Sundays, Molly Payton
Why We’re Digging It: With their latest single, fast-rising band Slaney Bay once again expand their sound. They turn from the atmospheric to the incredibly intimate and dreamy with “Take Your Time”. A strange and lush synth starts things off, but is quickly cut off by William Nicola-Thompson’s guitar and Caitlin Whitley’s lush voice. A perfect amount of reverb adds to the feeling of the track. Some perfectly strummed acoustic and a great drumbeat keep things moving as things build. Before the song reaches its conclusions about reconnecting with a lost soul, it explodes with some cymbal crashes, distorted guitar, and Whitley’s voice kicking up a whirlwind. Here’s a band to watch.
Slaney Bay are: Caitlin Whitley (vocals, guitar), William Nicola-Thompson (guitar), and Joel Martin (bass).
Bells Larsen – “Sweater Weather” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Faye Webster, Rat Tally, Florist
Why We’re Digging It: Bells Larsen is undeniably one of the most exciting young artists to arrive on the scene. Their previous songs, “Double Aquarius” and “People Who Mean So Much To Me”, are two of the very best tracks we’ve heard all year. The Canadian adds a third to their growing legacy with “Sweater Weather”.
Just like the song title says, Larsen’s newest single feels like a warm sweater on a crisp, autumn weather. The soft, jangly guitar and Larsen’s stunning voice are what initially wrap around us. As rhythms join in, the packs lightly picks up, creating a sense of warm joy that is ideal for reminiscing. Larsen does this, but telling the tale of Cole. Their songwriting is, as always, tremendous and immensely real. In listening to this tune, we hope this story is about the young boy that Larsen sang about in “People Who Mean So Much To Me”, where Cole has found his way and someone to love him back.
“And there he was but where was she
Probably still dancing in Cole’s moonlit dreams
I can’t help wonder if he keeps
A photograph of her in the back pocket of his jeans
And she was gone but he was there
Underneath the sweater that he always wears
He’s sewn his life into its seams
God only knows where it’s been and all that it has seen
Oh, it’s so easy to lose the good memories”
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