The Matinee ’22 v. 122 is pure drama, which radiates through majestic, fantasy-like cinema; explosive noise; soaring pop melodies; and tranquil ballads. Many of our all-time favorites are featured in the nine songs plus a teenage newcomer that has doing double takes for a second time.
Weyes Blood – “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Weyes Blood
As we had hoped in listing our Most Anticipated Albums of 2022, Natalie Mering will be releasing a new Weyes Blood album. The anticipation has only grown as Mering announced the album will feature Meg Duffy (a.k.a. Hand Habits), Daniel Lopatin, and Mary Lattimore. Although And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow will not be released in its entirety until just before US Thanksgiving, the announcement was still enough for a little celebration in these parts. Providing the entertainment is the LP’s lead single, “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody”.
It’s obvious why “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody” is the first single released from the record. The lush strings that kick things off make the song immediately engaging. Mering’s unmistakable voice sings over piano chords and a steady drumbeat with occasional swells of synth flowing beneath. The swells grow, but they never quite overpower Mering. The song is undeniably gorgeous throughout its six minutes, as is expected from Weyes Blood. Mering calls the single a “Buddhist anthem, ensconced in the interconnectivity of all beings.” It’s a theme heard as the song flows in its title and Mering’s repetition, assuring herself she’s not in it alone.
Housewife – “You’re Not the Worst” (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Soccer Mommy, Fazerdaze, The Ophelias
After releasing three terrific songs in the past three months – “Patrick Bateman”, “Bones (God Like You)”, and “I’m Spent” – a record had to be coming for Brighid Fry (she/her) and Pascale Padilla (they/she) and their project, Housewife. Sure enough, the duo will unveil You’ll Be Forgiven EP on October 14th via Hazel Street Records and The Orchard. Unlike many bands, the duo are not concerned about releasing every track before the record’s release. And why should they be when the tunes have been nothing short of outstanding, and that includes the EP’s fourth single, “You’re Not the Worst”.
Housewife’s newest number is the poppiest of the four and, thus, the catchiest. This, however, is no ordinary pop tune. While the tapping percussion and synths create a dreamy sensation, the underlying, guttural guitar and plucky bass line represent urgency and disappointment. They also represent the band’s feelings, where they question why they stick around people who disrespect them and kick them while they’re down. Acknowledging that they need to move on, they proclaim, “I’m enough, enough… Let’s rip the Band-Aid off”. These words also are ones we need to tell ourselves, realizing that we indeed are not the worst.
Pr0files – “Van Gogh” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Chairlift, Chromatics, Sky Ferreira
Other than a handful of remixes and re-works of other artists’ material, several years have passed since Lauren Pardini and Danny Sternbaum have shared any original content via their project Pr0files. Five years, specifically, have gone by since the duo released their last single, “Money”, which proceeded their awesome debut album, Jurassic Technologie. Pardini and Sternbaum were on the fast-track to being one of indie’s standout synth-pop outfits, but then life stalled their progress, which happens to a lot of bands. The pull of music, however, was too great for the pair to ignore, and they surprised everyone, especially us, with their unannounced return. Last Friday, Pardini and Sternbaum unveiled “Van Gogh”, and the pair sound as good as they did back in 2016.
The song is a blast from the past, possessing the surging drama expected in the great synth-pop and synthwave songs of the late-’80s and early-’90s. At first, “Van Gogh” is an intimate dazzler, allowing for Pardini’s saccharine voice to set the scene of a woman seeking clarity in her mind and situation. Like the famed painter, she battles demons in her mind and around her, all the while trying to lead an ordinary life. Gradually, the song builds before reaching its cinematic climax, as which point Pardini hollers:
“I keep moving
to the sound of loneliness
Like a movie
I keep waiting for the big kiss.
You don’t know me
Like ya said you did.
The sound of loneliness“
Welcome back Pr0files! It’s been far too long.
A.A. Williams – “The Echo” (London, England)
RIYL: Chelsea Wolfe, Emma Ruth Rundle, Zola Jesus
A.A. Williams‘ music can be described with a single word – consuming. Her interpretation of Goth-rock is cinematic, where she takes the foundation laid by Chelsea Wolfe and Zola Jesus and elevates it to a symphonic scale. For instance, her recent singles – “Evaporate” and “Golden” – were disarming in their sonic power and the grace and poignancy of Williams’ songwriting. As great as those tracks were, she one-ups them with “The Echo”.
Williams’ newest song is the British singer-songwriter at her widescreen best. The start is brooding, trembling, and beautifully melancholic, as the instrumentation is pensively executed while Williams’ lavish vocal is vulnerably delivered. She sings about letting go in order to move forward, as she can no longer bear the weight and burden of the past, including her previous being. The track then enters a state of calm, and this brief moment provides an ideal time for reflection. Just as our bodies begin to levitate, “The Echo” opens up and catharsis emerges. Spine-tingling, gauzy guitars and intensifying rhythms illuminate the soundscape, and Williams and her bandmates have devoured us again. Before the conclusion arrives, Williams has one more thing to say:
“If I only knew
I can’t prioritize you
I’m alone and there’s nothing you can do”
All we can do is patiently wait for October 7th to arrive. That is when Williams’ sophomore album, As The Moon Rests, will be released on Bella Union. Pre-orders and pre-saves are available at these links and Bandcamp.
The Black Angels – “Empires Falling” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Liminanas, The Brian Jonestown Massacre
To say we’re excited about The Black Angels‘ sixth album would be a massive understatement. We are eagerly and anxiously waiting for the calendar to turn to September 16th so that we can hear Wilderness of Mirrors in its entirety. It’s not just that the first three singles – “El Jardín”, “Firefly”, and “Without a Trace” – reveal the Austin outfit returning to their hammering, psychedelic ways. The LP also is shaping up to be a concept album that assesses how our society has crumbled. Or more accurately, the record could very well be a biting social critique of humanity’s demise, and “Empires Falling” further gives this impression.
Wilderness of Mirrors’ fourth track is, in a single word, extraordinary. It is psychedelic rock turned into a rapturous, delirious, suspenseful, cathartic, and euphoric affair. Every element is masterfully delivered, in particular Ramiro Verdooren’s tremendous bass line. For 3.5 minutes, the Austin-based quintet send us on a wild ride through a world whose streets are strewn with corpses. This is history repeating itself, as one man uses fear and violence to stay in power all the while disregarding the very institutions that allowed him to govern in the first place. As front-man Alex Maas sings:
“You can be the one who saves yourself
Or you can watch it all go to hell
Make believe you’re innocent
Hide in bunkers twice as thick
Blinded by the sun above
End the hate and start this love
Empires Falling, it’s history on repeat
Our nations’ pleading from street to bloody street”
The Black Angels are: Stephanie Bailey (drums), Christian Bland (guitar, organ), Alex Maas (vocal, guitar, bass, organ), Jake Garcia (guitar), and Ramiro Verdooren (bass, keys, guitar).
Wilderness of Mirrors officially releases this Friday, September 16th via Partisan Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves are available at these links, Bandcamp, and the band’s online store. This album is going to be AWESOME!
Bonny Light Horseman – “Sweetbread” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Anaïs Mitchell, Valley Queen, Big Red Machine
When we think of a super-group, it’s easy to think of a novelty. We’re a decade removed from St Vincent and David Byrne’s collaboration, and like many previous partnerships, it was a one-time affair. That’s what makes it so exciting that Bonny Light Horseman are just weeks away from releasing their sophomore record, Rolling Golden Holy. A modern-day super-group, Anaïs Mitchell, Josh Kaufman, and Fruit Bats’ Eric D. Johnson released the wonderful “California” and gorgeous “Summer Dream” earlier this year. The singles built on the foundation and beauty of that first record, an indication that the trio will exceed expectations yet again.
“Sweetbread” is the latest single the trio have shared from their upcoming record. It’s the very definition of a late-night folk stomper. Banjo, some gorgeous guitar, and percussion kick off the track, which grows into something much more. A fantastic electric riff cuts through everything, intertwined with saxophone. Mitchell’s voice is pristine throughout, making the song’s lyrical references much more impactful. The song comes to a close with an immense build, underscored by that earlier riff and Mitchell’s voice soaring over all of it, calling out:
“I ain’t looking for a band of gold
Some are thinking ’bout arrival
Some drive just to ride the road
Spending all my money and time
Honey in the by and by”
Laura Lang – “Bad Luck” (Memphis, USA)
RIYL: The Raveonettes, Still Corners, Lucy Dacus
Back in July, Laura Lang made our heads spin in circles with the emotional and gritty rocker, “Black Sedan”. It was an eye-opening introduction to an artist who at just 16-years old possesses the maturity and talent of an individual twice her age. The young Memphis resident’s future is immensely bright, and who knows maybe she could be follow in the footsteps of Billie Eilish and Lorde as teenage sensations. The difference, though, is that she’s a rocker at heart and plays a mean guitar, which she reveals on “Bad Luck”.
As the opening track from Lang’s forthcoming debut EP of the same name, the track brilliantly meshes the electrifying urgency of The Raveonettes with the desert dreaminess of Still Corners. The song, as such, is filled with riveting occasions, such as the gripping climax, and more serene and contemplative moments. It is a drama set to music, where one cannot peel her/his eyes nor ears. Throughout the track, Lang’s voice remains restrained, as she reveals how she is finished with chasing after impossible dreams and staying in unwinnable situations. This is her moment to shine, her time to now receive plenty of good luck.
A star is born.
METZ – “Come on Down” (feat. Joe Talbot) (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: IDLES, Fidlar, Death From Above 1979
Two years have passed since METZ pulverized our eardrums with the thunderous Atlas Vending. The LP was everything we’ve come to expect from the Toronto-based trio. Lately, Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), Chris Slorach (bass), and Hayden Menzies (drums) have been laying low or working on other projects, including Edkins moonlighting as Weird Nightmare. Given Edkins has one eye focused on this side project, it’s only natural that they invite one of the great front-persons and songwriters around to share the singing chores on their unexpected new single.
Joe Talbot of IDLES is the guest vocalist, and his booming baritone is perfect for METZ’s trademark explosive style. He and Edkins alternate on lead vocals, and the dynamic creates a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde feel. This is apt given the lyrics speak to the conflicting thoughts and emotions that rain in a person’s mind, where one moment they feel great and instantaneously become downtrodden, depressed, or angry. Combined with the sonic fireworks, the song brilliantly captures our self-destructive tendencies.
“Come on Down” is part of a split single that includes “Heaven’s Gate”, which was previously featured in the 2020 video game Cyberpunk 2077. This little record is out on Sub Pop Records. Get it on Bandcamp.
Twain – “Walking II” (Franklin County, VA, USA)
RIYL: Leonard Cohen, Patrick Watson, Leif Vollebekk
Every Twain song is marked with an incomparable intimacy, which makes the music of the Mat Davidson-led band the perfect ending to any playlist. Their music, in other words, is equivalent to a great dessert – the cherry on top of a memorable experience. This statement likely will be repeated next month when Twain’s new album, Noon, is released to the world. From it, the quartet have already shared three remarkable songs in “The Priestess”, “King of Fools”, and “2 Lovers”. Make that four with “Walking II”.
This latest number is like a tranquil, contemplative walk through a rose garden. It is an elegant and embracing number, highlighted by a soothing piano arrangement, floating woodwinds, and Davidson’s warm, intimate voice. At first, Davidson sounds like he’s recounting another love story, but there is more to his words. He reflects on how the burning desire to be with someone can consume and overwhelm him, where he can do nothing but think about another. As such, he experiences emotional highs and lows throughout the day.
“You might think that I’m acting like a child – I don’t blame you
but inside it’s real something I must deal with every day now
Don’t know why that I am such a sorry man but I’m changing
and I’d rather die than to live in a lie of my creation”
Even in a state of despair and uncontrollable want are Twain able to create something immensely beautiful.
Twain are Mat Davidson (vocals, guitar), Ken Woodward (bass), Austin Vaughn (drums), and Adrian Olsen (recordist). Noon will be released October 21st via Keeled Scales. Pre-orders and pre-saves available here and on Bandcamp.
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