Razor-sharp and surreal stories, songs that recount personal pain and growth, and tales of separation and distance are all featured on The Matinee ’22 v. 152. They are delivered at a fast and furious pace, within serene atmospheres, and in mythical and bygone times. 

More great stories and wide-ranging tunes, including today’s nine, can be found The Songs of November playlist. As such, it is available on Spotify and SoundCloud.

 

Laveda – “F***” (Albany, NY, USA)

RIYL: Beach Lab, The Sundays, Why Bonnie

There’s no telling how bright Laveda‘s star could glow once the masses hear their music. Ali Genevich (vocals), Jake Brooks’ (guitar), Dan Carr (bass), and Joe Taruone’s (drums) brand of dream-pop is made equally for the great indie radio stations (NPR, KEXP, Triple J) and the big screen. In another decade, Laveda would have had one of their songs on a coming-of-age film soundtrack, such as Reality BitesSingles, and Empire Records or maybe Nick Hornby would have written about them in High Fidelity. This young band from upstate New York, though, has time on their hands. With their debut album expected next year, they could be one of 2023’s breakout bands. Previous singles, “Surprise” and “bb”, gave a glimpse of their capabilities, and they deliver another dream-pop gem in “F***”.

Laveda’s newest single is incredibly stunning. It also is incredibly vulnerable and powerful. Musically, it radiates with the warmth and immediacy of The Sundays, as light rhythms, gently vibrant keys, and an atmospheric guitar encircle Genevich’s brittle vocals. While we gasp at the blissful melody, we crumble at Genevich’s words. She narrates the effects that toxic relationships have had on her friends, and, in the end, she wishes that these male predators will soon get what they deserve.

“I wanna see what you’ve done to her
Breaking a heart sometimes they never learn
Chew too much and choke
Wouldn’t you know
Never honest
Never innocent
I hope you never get what you want

Try my best not to cry
Took what you wanted then gone”

Laveda’s debut album, A Place You Grew Up, is expected in 2023. PaperCup Music will release it.

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Death Valley Girls – “What Are the Odds” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Le Butcherettes, L.A. Witch, Pink Mountaintops

Death Valley Girls‘ song can be expected to include three things: lots of energy, a crazily catchy melody, and an intelligent punchline. These traits (plus killer live shows) have made Bonnie Bloomgarden (vocals, guitar), Larry Schemel (guitar), Nicole Smith (bass), and Rikki Styxx (drums) favorites of the psych-rock and garage-rock music scene for the past decade. As the world moves towards a post-pandemic lifestyle, the time is ripe for the LA-based outfit to take their show back on the road. To do that, they need new material to perform, and, sure enough, their fifth album, Islands in the Sky, will be released February 24th, 2023 via Suicide Squeeze Records. As one would expect from the quartet, the LP’s first single is raucous fun.

This sub-three-minute banger is whirling, groovy, spaced-out garage rock. It’s made to get everyone jubilantly jumping and dancing. And yes, this includes the grandparents, as the song includes an awesome, Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano arrangement. As we furiously bounce around, the band sing about how the future is today, as our lives are heavily manufactured. What is artificial has become a natural part of our routines, whether it is working virtually or meeting people via an app. However, there’s nothing artificial about Death Valley Girls, who have us shouting out loud with them on the chorus:

“We are living in a simulated world
And we are simulated girls!”

Pre-orders for Islands in the Sky are available on Bandcamp and these links.

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Weird Nightmare – “So Far Gone” (Toronto, Canada)

RIYL: Superchunk, Yo La Tengo, Kiwi Jr.

As much as we are fans of METZ, we are completely digging the noise-rockers’ front-man Alex Edkins’ solo project Weird Nightmare. He still rocks out, but instead of with fire and brimstone he offers more classic, melodic fare. Weird Nightmare’s self-titled debut album echoed of the days when the radio was still the primary way we heard new music, the Sony Discman was the contraption everyone had, and guitar-driven tunes reigned. The ’90s, in our opinion, is the last decade when music truly revolutionized, and Edkins rekindles that era’s nostalgic magic on his newest tune.

No matter what the weather looks outside, “So Far Gone” will make you think of balmy, summer days with its bustling energy. Jangly guitars, jittery rhythms, and feelgood melodies create the feeling that we’re living much simpler times. There’s a Peter Buck (of R.E.M.) tone in Edkins’ guitar work while he channels his inner Mac McCaughan (of Superchunk) in his vocal delivery. His observational-poetic songwriting approach, meanwhile, is Michael Stipe-like, as he abstractly recaptures the carefree days of one’s youth. 

“Dancing in the rain
Our new religion, a shiny reproduction line
When I fall apart your wheels are spinning
To come and reconnect my spine

I’ll take you anywhere that you know
I’ll take you there”

The single is out on the legendary Sub Pop.

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Siv Jakobsen – “Sun, Moon, Stars” (feat. Ane Brun) (Oslo, Norway)

RIYL: Cross Record, Rachel Bobbitt, Loma

Siv Jakobsen‘s music is characterized by a beautiful intimacy. Whether on the atmospheric “Most of the Time”, the lush “Birthday”, or the stunning “Romain’s Place”, the Norwegian artist takes the most simplistic approach and still makes the song sound expansive, enthralling, and often cinematic. Time and time again, she demonstrates that awe-inspiring music can be created with just a few instruments, few to no effects, and an enormous sense of scope and imagination. These traits are fully apparent on “Sun, Moon, Stars”

With the great Ane Brun singing alongside her, Jakobsen crafts a tranquil but gorgeous alt-folk number. Although her previous tracks all are breathtaking, Jakobsen has created a song full of mysticism – a song that could be considered as great folklore. With just a finger-plucked guitar, light strings, and some ambient noise, Jakobsen’s and Brun’s voice waltz in perfect unison. Their tale is straight out of the medieval days, of a time when people lost parents, partners, and children from causes that today we can treat and prevent. 

“I feel the storm, I feel her moan
Quiver and foam
From my mouth and cheeks like disease, freed

There is rust from the rain
Amber stains have glued to my core
So I etch your name
Across my breath to feel my heart slow”

Jakobsen’s new album, Gardening, will be released January 20th, 2023 via Jakobsen’s own label, The Nordic Mellow. Part 1 of the record is available here. We cannot wait to hear the LP in its entirety

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Lexie Carroll – “annual birthday cry” (London, England)

RIYL: Holly Humberstone, Gordi, Phoebe Bridgers

Our introduction to 17-year old Lexie Carroll occurred in August when she released “fall for anything”. Despite her age, Carroll isn’t a newcomer, as she has already released a great folk EP, this year’s when the sun came up. While she did not experience the same explosion in popularity as Justin Bieber, the Londoner arguably is as, if not more, gifted than the famous Canadian was at the same age. Instead of doing covers and later having an army of collaborators, Carroll is writing her own songs, and each one gets more spectacular than the previous. This means that “annual birthday cry” is her finest one to date. 

Released in October (so we’re a little late to the party on her newest single, but better late than never), Carroll delivers a beautifully emotional number. With just a guitar tingling in the background, Carroll’s soft, calming vocal takes center stage. As she is about to turn 18th birthday, she shares how she has an annual panic attack. While this is to be a day for her to celebrate, she instead worries about the people around her and even those she does not know. Her selflessness and altruistic nature are why Carroll will be a star – and always be for us.

“I don’t wanna watch my mum getting older
And this house is getting colder
What if nowhere feels like home
And it’s a terrifying time to be somebody’s daughter
Oh there’s bodies in the water
And there’s children in the sky

But all I want this time
Is to learn how to live in my own damn mind
I’ll be alright tonight
And all I want this year
Is to learn how to live with the skin I’m in
I’ll be alright tonight
I’ll be alright”

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Robin Kester – “Celeste” (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

RIYL: Weyes Blood, Julie Byrne, Aldous Harding

Robin Kester has been releasing music for a few years, but she really grabbed our attention when she released the restrained beauty of “Leave Now” and the widescreen melancholy of “Cat 13”. Kester’s songwriting is a highlight, especially when paired by music that both dazzles and haunts. The pair of singles make us think it’s only a matter of time before Kester becomes a real break-out artist.

Kester’s latest single, “Celeste”, features a truly unique sound. The Dutch artist’s voice is fantastic with some lush and inviting characteristics. The song’s unique feel comes from its usage of instruments that are not exactly typical for a songwriter who writes and performs such intimate music. Even the percussion in the song’s early moments, especially paired with the heavy reverb on the bass line, creates a strange atmosphere. Then in come some brass, a wide range of jangling string instruments, and even a dreamy vibraphone. “Celeste” is an incredible ride with a few twists and turns. 

This single is out on At Ease

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koleżanka – “Slapstick” (Brooklyn via Phoenix, USA)

RIYL: Melody’s Echo Chamber, Helen Ganya, Steady Holiday

Kristina Moore’s 2021 record, Place Is, was a culmination of what she has built as koleżanka. Moore’s songwriting hits hard, she’s brutally honest at times, and she’s able to dig deep into her emotions and take listeners along for a ride, even if it’s a hard one. koleżanka recently shared “Canals of Our City”, capturing a heartbreaking moment where Moore learned about the death of a loved one. Perhaps that makes the name of her upcoming record, Alone with the Sound the Mind Makes, seem quite accurate.

With the announcement of the new record comes koleżanka’s latest single, “Slapstick”. Moore’s newest single is a much more electronic affair than her previous release, starting with a drum machine and synth setting the scene. Moore’s voice soothes for a moment before it’s joined with a distorted guitar. The clash of tones makes the song’s early moments have an unnerving quality to them. Then, Moore’s voice disconnects from the harsher tone, and it is joined by a playful harmony and a great drumbeat. Eventually, the guitar re-emerges, but there’s no longer a clash, exchanging moments of clarity and distortion in a perfect harmony that take “Slapstick” to incredible heights. It’s a song for the service workers who have to always be at their best even when the industry makes it hard to keep that up.

“I can’t help but be honest to a “hello, how are you?”
getting tired of my late night tricks
disassociate into a drink or two
it is hard to be kind to yourself in a world that isn’t kind to you
feels a lot like a bright stage
hot lights
the audience is begging to see you

See you fall down
see you fall”

Moore’ new album, Alone with the Sound the Mind Makes, will be released February 14th, 2023 via Bar/None Records. Pre-orders available on Bandcamp and these links.

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Tasche de la Rocha & the Psychedelic Roses – “Happy Song” (New Orleans, USA)

RIYL: Shannon & The Clams, Guantanamo Baywatch, Buttertones

New Orleans is home to jazz and blues, and some of the finest musicians in the world either reside there or have spent a lengthy period mastering their craft. The Louisiana city also has nurtured some outstanding storytellers, which isn’t surprising since something is happening at all hours of the night and day. For some reason, we think Tasche de la Rocha & the Psychedelic Roses are initiating some of the happenings in The Big Easy, or at the very least they are documenting them. Their self-titled debut album is littered with great tales – some comical, some wickedly wacky, and others quite real – including “Happy Song”.

Ignore the title because the heart of this tune is not really joyful. Oh, musically, the track is high-energy, off-kilter, and rambunctious psych-tinged garage-pop. A driving beat kicks things off before it delves into an underground carnival. It’s all whimsical and plenty of fun. de la Rocha’s lyrics, however, sit somewhere being comical, witty, wacky, and real (which would make it surreal). The tale is one half Rocky Horror Picture Show and another part I Married an Axe Murderer. And it’s awesome. Oh, and if you thought that the main part of the track was nuts, the final 90 seconds are a far-out psychedelic ripper.

Watch the entertaining video for the song on YouTube. Tasche de la Rocha & the Psychedelic Roses, meanwhile, is out everywhere. Get it on Bandcamp.

In addition to de la Rocha, the Psychedelic Roses include Sabine McCalla, Joanna Tomassoni, Joseph Faison, Dave Hammer, Roy Brenc, Neilson Bernard, and Rachel Wolf.

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Francis Moon – “Two Worlds Apart” (Tallinn, Estonia via Sweden)

RIYL: S. Carey, Volcano Choir, Big Red Machine

The holidays are times we gather with loved ones. Whether it’s around the fire, an enormous dining table, or in the backyard, the upcoming days are meant to put aside differences, reconnect, and create new memories. To help us get in the holiday mindset, a young Swede who calls Estonia home shares a song that is full of winter’s beauty.

“Two Worlds Apart” from Francis Moon, the solo project of Francis Pettersson, is stunning folktronica. While some other artists within the genre will drench their voice in autotune, Pettersson keeps the effects to a minimum, allowing his soothing timber to embrace us. His vocal hovers effortlessly over the acoustic guitar and the sweeping synths. His words, meanwhile, are honest and full of introspection, as he, too, sings about starting anew with another and closing the divide between them.

“As many times
as we try to let go
the night is still wide awake
and we are oh so tangled up in one another.
I know we’re not where
we once started from
And there’s a silence here
That still hurts more than we know
Eyes wide open
I can’t be the only one.”

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