The Matinee ’22 v. 118 offers eight songs to get through another hump day. The songs offer a divergent range of emotions – from tranquil and dreamy to explosive and emotive. Lose yourself in these tunes, which can also be found on the Songs of September. Spin the playlist on Spotify and SoundCloud.
Beatenberg – “White Shadow” (feat. Msaki) (Capetown, South Africa)
RIYL: Rostam, S. Carey, Ondara
Across the cafés of South Africa and Europe and maybe even in Urban Outfitters stores across the world, the songs of Beatenberg are heard in the background. With their alt-folk approach that lands somewhere between Vampire Weekend’s and Yeasayer’s worldly indie soundscapes, the mysticism of Ondara, and the widescream soundscapes of S. Carey and Volcano Choir, Matthew Field (vocals, guitar), Robin Brink (drums), and Ross Dorkin’s (bass) music is fitting for places that allow people to take a few minutes for themselves. The effect of recently-released singles, “The Lighthouse of Alexandria” and “Time Machine”, which are from their forthcoming EP, reveal why they have established a sizable cult following in their home land of South Africa as well as across Europe. This magic is recaptured on “White Shadow”.
For nearly 160 seconds, the trio take us across various environments as the track constantly shifts and twists. Through rabbit holes, dazzling dreamlands, and vast meadows do Beatenberg guide us, highlighted by South African superstar and guitar aficionado Msaki‘s fantastic guitar playing and Field’s sublime vocal. The song is filled with heavenly moments, yet Field’s lyrics are introspective and reflective. His words could be those found in a message-in-a-bottle that washes up on shore and written at the start of the pandemic. The letter reminds us to keep our eyes fixated on the horizon despite the darkness that has descended.
“Don’t sail away
In your mind
Have you always been like this?
Conspiring with lightning
Don’t fade away
You’re on the brink of something great”
Beatenberg’s new EP is due out on November 10th via Leafy Outlook.
Beverly Kills – “Fantasia” (Gothenburg, Sweden)
RIYL: Desperate Journalist, Asylum Party, Makthaverskan
While Beverly Kills‘ career spans half-a-decade, they have emerged as one of our favorite little bands from Europe because they’re creating music beyond the ordinary: they’re keeping coldwave alive. For Alma Westerlund, Viggo Mattsson, John Jonsén, and Hampus Höggren, this genre, which emerged out of the krautrock era of the ’70s, provides the perfect foundation to tell the stories of the 21st Century. On “Getaway”, for instance, they shared a tale of a friend living on the edge as the world crumbles around her. Meanwhile, on “Fantasia”, they toe the line between reality and fiction in order to find equilibrium in their lives.
Like what they’ve consistently done, Beverly Kills take us into the depths of Central Europe’s underground music scene. Dark, penetrating, and gripping is “Fantasia”. A gripping key arrangement leads the track at first, but then a chiming guitar and a propulsive rhythm section emerge to enhance the starkness. Hovering over top is Westerlund’s soft vocal, which seems to be lost in a dream-like state at the beginning but then grows with assertiveness. Her lyrics are part fantasy and part reality, as she understands that her survival is dependent on turning her thoughts into action.
“Sometimes I fantasize about
the silliest of things
fist fighting gangsters
punching faster and faster
I take them down once and for all
I aim to harm”
Secret Shame – “Luxury Bitch” (Asheville, NC, USA)
RIYL: Rosegarden Funeral Party, Savages, Chelsea Wolfe
One of the great post-punk bands of the 2020s is unquestionably Secret Shame. Since their arrival nearly five years ago, the Asheville-based outfit can be described as a tour-de-force. They are the 2020s’ version of Savages, where the bleak and uneasy can be electrifying and the places most people fear to enter can be motivating. Lena Machina (vocals, synth), Aster Nema (guitar), Matthew (bass, backing vocals), and Nathan Landolt (drums) revealed their bravery on the feverish “Hide” a few months ago. The quartet again dive head first into dark, unsettling spaces on “Luxury Bitch”.
Enrapturing, startlingly mind-blowing, and a sheer Gothic post-punk masterpiece is Secret Shame’s latest single. Nary a second is wasted on niceties. On the contrary, the track is pure rage – from the hammering rhythms, the searing guitars, and Machina’s piercing vocal – and it is awesome. The song also is a woman reclaiming control over herself and her body after years of torment. Her tormentors are both internal, as Machina openly discusses the mental illness that has affected her, and external, with so many trying to claim her. This situation, however, is coming to an end, as Machina forcefully states:
isn’t it so dramatic
is it romantic, honest
to keep being sick
poor me, I’m so glamorous”
Secret Shame’s sophomore album, Autonomy, arrives October 28th. Pre-orders available on Bandcamp. It’s going to be a great one.
Siv Jakobsen – “Romain’s Place” (Oslo, Norway)
RIYL: Rosie Carney, Fenne Lily, Laura Marling
Siv Jakobsen recently released the first half of her upcoming record, Gardening, which included the atmospheric “Most of the Time” and the lush “Birthday”. The first half of the record arrived last week with four more singles, including the stellar “Romain’s Place”.
Jakobsen’s newest single is another stunner. Delicate sounds ease the listener into the track, and they provide the perfect foundation for Jakobsen’s voice. The song slowly and gorgeously builds with an understated trumpet and some fantastic percussion filling out the sound brilliantly. The track’s lyrics are inspired by returning to a familiar city for the first time in years, and all of the feelings the familiar places and places can drum up. It focuses mostly on one particular individual from a past relationship, and all the unpacking and introspection needed to work through the past experiences in that place.
“For every time you screamed my way I’ve kept a bruise
All down along my spine, in my mind, just for you
And can I know you never meant it? I don’t know
I see you from the window now, from Romain’s place
I swear that you look just the same
You haven’t aged at all”
Jakobsen’s new album, Gardening, will be released January 20th, 2023 via Jakobsen’s own label, The Nordic Mellow. You can check out Part 1 of the record here.
Laveda – “Surprise” (Albany, NY, USA)
RIYL: Hater + Alvvays + The Sundays + Chapterhouse
One of our favorite discoveries of the past four years is Laveda, who back in 2018 were just a duo. But as Ali Genevich (vocal) and Jake Brooks’ (guitar) popularity grew, they understood they needed to take their bedroom project to the next level. Enter Dan Carr (bass) and Joe Taruone (drums), whose additions allowed the band to turn transform their music from subtle intimacy to widescreen dazzlement. “Surprise” is a great example of the upstate New York quartet’s expanded sound.
Laveda’s newest single is a gorgeous blend of early ’90s dreamgaze and contemporary dream-pop. It drips with the urgency and desperation of bands like Chapterhouse and Slowdive in their youth while integrating the modern sensibilities of Alvvays and Hater. The result is a song that swirls between intoxicating and dizzying and, thus, creating the feeling we’re spinning inside a glorious sonic vortex. Genevich’s sublime vocal, though, keeps us from ascending too far off the ground. She shares with us her most intimate thoughts, specifically how she, too, wants to get away but cannot.
“Thought I’d give away my youth
To something better used
And I need it babe
It’s just part of the day
I don’t know
never talked much
Sometimes feelings not enough
There’s a deeper pain
Just another great song from one of the great “new-ish” bands of the past half-decade.
Laveda’s debut album, A Place You Grew Up, is expected in 2023. PaperCup Music will release it.
Bec Sandridge – “The Jetty” (Sydney, Australia)
RIYL: MARINA, La Roux, King Princess
We love re-telling Bec Sandridge‘s story. For years, she busked on the streets of Sydney and other Australian cities, entertaining people with her songs and tales. Many of her tunes were introspective and close to the heart, but she told them with humor and vivid imagery. This explains why she’s been a favorite in these parts since 2015. In due course, she not only has taken her act into the studio but also across the world, as she splits her time between her hometown and London. Consequently, her music has become more expansive, where she can drop a ripping pop-rock number or a buzzing electro-pop single like “Jetty”.
Sandridge’s newest tune is a sugary ear-worm that will lift up spirits. Its infectious melody possesses the radiance of a great MARINA song. As such, people will dance, bask within the glimmering soundscape, and believe that the coming days will be prosperous. Similar to Ms. Diamandis, Sandridge’s words, too, will get people out of their slumber. Like a best friend that always watches our back, she lets us know that she’s here to help us find our way.
“If you’ve lost yourself
How could I find you?
I need direction
Some way to get through…
If you’ve lost yourself
Send me a signal…
I need to know which way I’m heading too.”
Dead Pony – “War Boys” (Glasgow, Scotland)
RIYL: The Mysterines, Sprints, Thyla
Maybe one day Scottish rockers Dead Pony will slow things down and become a lovable, huggable band. That day, however, does not appear to be anywhere close to arriving because Anna Shields (rhythm guitar, lead vocals), Liam Adams (bass), and Aidan McAllister (drums) still have plenty of things to say and only through one approach – furious and explosive noise-rock. As a result, they’ve become huge favorites of the UK scene, including landing a coveted spot at Glastonbury 2022. If you have watched any of the videos for their breakthrough performance, you would have seen throbs of festival-goers losing their proverbial shit, moshing, jumping, and shouting. The trio’s newest single will do just that to you.
“War Boys” is Dead Pony personified – fearless, unrelenting, and cataclysmic. Every component is an in-your-face intense, from the jackhammer intensity that comes Adams and McAllister’s rhythmic weapons to Shields’ jarring guitar and her imaginative lyricism. Her words can be interpreted as an all-out assault on the misogynists, war hawks, and ghosters. She is Furiosa and about to change the entire world.
boerd – “Another Life” (feat. Stella Explorer) (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Massive Attack, Boards of Canada, Phoria
To end today’s musical selection, we go from a dystopian world to a landscape marked by a hauntingly beautiful suspense. In such environments are we able to get lost – or at least our minds wander to unforeseen places and escape the mania of our present. So find a quiet, serene place and be enchanted by “Another Life”, the latest single from Swedish star producer Bård Ericson – a.k.a. boerd.
With Swedish newcomer Stella Explorer on lead vocals, the duo have crafted a downtempo masterpiece. Ericson’s production and orchestration is stunningly patient with every patter of the percussion, tinge of the keys and synths, and delicate bass heard. His masterful, deft touches allow Explorer’s graceful voice to shine. She sings about a life where one’s pain is relieved and a calmness has descended around and within the protagonist. We, too, will find relief – and not just during the song’s four-minute duration but for the rest of the days and weeks to come.
The mini-EP Static was released April 6th via Anjunadeep.
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