If you’re searching for the atypical in new music, then you’ve come to the right place with The Matinee ’22 v. 153. Part 1 of 2 for November 28th features nine songs that offer imaginative, poignant, and moving stories that go beyond the usual fare.
Jadu Heart – “Blame” & “Freedom” (London, England)
RIYL: Wings of Desire, Flora Cash, Jaguar Sun
While Jadu Heart experienced a rise in popularity following the release of Melt Away and Hard Romance in 2019 and 2020, respectively, more of the music world should be talking about Diva-Sachy Jeffrey and Alex Headford’s project. And we’re not talking about the masks they occasionally adorn during their live shows. Instead, we are referring to the expansive field they cover, as heard on recent singles: the intricate, synth-rocker “Cocoon” and the alt-shoegaze of “I Shimmer”. In addition, the duo bring bit of theater to their songs with their early releases revolving around two characters, Dina and Faro, who Jeffrey and Headford bring back to life on “Blame”
This riveting slice of new wave echoes of New Order at their height. The shimmering guitar is Bernard Sumner-esque while the bass is Peter Hook-like. What separates Jadu Heart from the rest, however, is their ability to convey great stories. In this case, they recount how Dina and Faro grow apart, and the emptiness that ensues.
“If I was innocent
Then I would be a liar anyway
So burn me at the stake
And chop me up and feed me to the birds
Listen to how they sing
Listen to how they sing
And when you walk away, I feel that shame
And when I turn away, you feel that shame”
The British and Irish Modern Music Institute alumni also released a second single last week that is more present in its message yet still very much nostalgic in its approach. “Freedom” is a sweltering, bouncy noise-pop number that would be perfect for spinning while cruising along the coastline. It’s the type of tune that liberates the body and mind, which is exactly what Jeffrey and Headford intend to achieve. Together, they sing about the entrapment of technology, how it consumes our free time, while chaining us to jobs even while we are home. The catchy chorus is simple, but the words hit at the core of how our lives are dictated by the almighty Pound (or whatever currency your country uses).
(I don’t want no job to keep me still)
(Meet me in the morning by the hill)
(Bury all your pictures and your bills)
(I’ll delete my number if you will)”
Jadu Heart’s new album, Derealised, is out January 20th, 2023 via VLF Records. It’s one we are looking forward to hear.
Josephine Odhil – “Sigh” (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
RIYL: Melody’s Echo Chamber, Helen Ganya, Beach House
If looking for the Netherlands’ next big star, start with Josephine Odhil. Launching her solo career a year ago with “Fly On The Wall”, the Amsterdam-based singer-songwriter positioned herself as an artist destined to be anointed as French psych-pop royalty. Odhill could be crowned as soon as January 13th, 2023, which is when her debut album, Volatile, will be released on Unexpected Records. To stake her claim to the throne, she unveils nostalgic perfection.
“Sigh” sounds like it was transported from the late ’60s or early ’70s. Hues of the Alpes and Serge Gainsbourg trickle through the light rhythms and the hazy guitar and keys. Odhil, meanwhile, sounds like the distant cousin of Melody Prochet with her saccharine delivery. For over three minutes, we drift within the dreamy, hallucinogenic layers. We drift through Odhil’s message of seeking escapism from reality – of searching for a piece of mysticism that may, that does, exist within us.
With this track, we just might find it.
Jenny Hval – “Buffy” (Oslo, Norway)
RIYL: Julia Holter, Aurora, Lola Marsh
Jenny Hval‘s genius is limitless. To live inside her mind for even a few hours would be an incredible experience, understanding how Hval’s mind works, how her thoughts and ideas are formed, and from what she draws inspiration. Her most recent LP, Classic Objects, was intricate art-pop that was full of introspection, as Hval analyzed the concept of self. While Hval could have continued down this path for her newest single, her sights are directed towards the world and sharing an important message.
“Buffy” is indeed inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the track itself is not about the popular heroine. Instead, as patiently delivered keys fill the air behind her, Hval sings about how our world could use a modern-day heroine like Buffy – someone who will defend our core values and beliefs while preventing us from falling back to Draconian times.
“Oh, the facts of the world are hierarchies
Can you figure that out? Hier-ier-ierarchies
And gender roles are internal external”
Another timely and fantastic song from one of music’s legends. The single and Classic Objects are both out on 4AD.
Leo Kalyan – “Diamond Life” (feat. MNEK) (London, England)
RIYL: early career The Weeknd, SEVDALIZA, Yves Tumor
In the age of “influencers” and where people’s “worth” is determined by likes, followers, and material wealth, we forget that the most important things cannot be measured. We forget that intelligence, integrity, honesty, kindness, respect for others, and being true to ourselves are even more valuable. Fortunately, Leo Kalyan arrives and becomes the anti-influencer. That is, the London-based artist reminds us that for all the glitz and glamour one can possess, one’s true worth exists within. They remind us that we “don’t need to be rich to live a diamond life” on their new single.
Reminiscent of The Weeknd’s beginnings (and in our opinion The Weeknd at his best), “Diamond Life” is a smooth and cool piece of alt-pop. Synths sparkle, and an electric drum beat calmly percolates. All the while, Kalyan calmly tears down the growing misconception that we need to be a “superficial superstar” and “have it all” in order to lead a great life. Their words should be plastered on every street corner, offering us our daily reminder that there is so much to life than cars, jewels, and designer clothes.
“You don’t need a fancy car to find yourself
Don’t need a calculator to measure ur wealth
See, there’s some shit money can never buy
Cos the diamond life
It is inside of you
If you think about it, u got everything you wanted
But they will never show you never tell u that u got it”
Aasma – “Going Nowhere” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Wy, Hazel English, Melby
Last year, Mira Asama, the artist simply known as Aasma, released an atmospheric stunner of a record, Daydreams. Meshing dreamy moments with some fantastic pop music, Aasma captured the vibes of the deep forest she grew up in with a youthful lens. Surrounded by the music of nature as well as her family, which includes both of her parents playing in a samba percussion group, Aasma has all the tools to capture life with incredible vibrancy.
Aasma’s roots are on full display with her latest single, “Going Nowhere”. Complete with birds chirping throughout, Aasma sets a scene that recalls those days spent out in the woods during her childhood. Fingerpicked guitar paired with Aasma’s voice defines the early moments. The song abruptly erupts in a big way with horns, drums, and other voices joining. It doesn’t last too long, as the quiet and the birds return to briefly settle everything down before it all returns in a gorgeous moment. While the song’s title may suggest stillness, the track embraces the dynamic qualities of love, relationships, music, and the human connection that comes along with it.
“Going Nowhere” will be on Aasama’s upcoming record, Campfire. Keep an eye out for it in 2023.
Bobbie Lovesong – “Inner Sea” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: John Andrews & The Yawns, Sylvie, Marina Allen
Madelyn Strutz has been releasing music herself for quite a few years, both as Bobbie Lovesong and her previous moniker, Wolfgang Strutz. Earlier this year, she released Paris By Starlight, an atmospheric and ethereal soundscape spliced with spoken word clips from Paris Hilton. Just from that, it’s obvious that Strutz’s creativity will always make her art feel unique and interesting. That creativity has landed her a spot at Woodsist, where she will re-release her 2021 record On the Wind.
With the announcement of Bobbie Lovesong signing with Woodsist and the re-release of On the Wind, comes a single from the record, “Inner Sea”. On The Wind consists of a wide range of different sounds, all with a hazy quality over it. “Inner Sea” may be the perfect introduction to what Strutz has crafted on the album with some surfy, western vibes, and her voice barely finding its way to the surface. It’s a perfect combination of strange and engaging. A perfect example of a creative genius at work.
Sahara Beck – “Mr Breezy” (Brisbane via Darwin, Australia)
RIYL: MARINA, Phebe Starr, Telenova
Our introduction to Sahara Beck was dramatic, suspenseful, and cathartic. Well, these adjectives applied to her awesome single, “Stillness”, which she released in March. Beck, however, is hardly a newcomer, having released her first studio album, Volume One, at the age of 15. Fifteen! Now 26 years old, Beck continues to create meaningful music. For her newest single, she captures the energy and warmth that comes with the arrival of summer Down Under and delivers an indie-pop gem with “Mr Breezy”.
The song brims with the cool, radiant energy of the ’80s, as a popping back-beat intertwines with a groovy bass line and choral-like keys. At first, the track is, well, very breezy in its effect, offering a coolness during this time of year where the heat intensifies around us. As the tune progresses, it turns into something reverent, as an electric organ emerges. It’s as if we have gone to church with Beck delivering the sermon. But instead of preaching to us, she offers a little reminder that we are all in this game of life together.
“Look around, it’s the weekend
And there’s no one I got to be
don’t need nothing but you Darlin’
I got you baby you got me
And so it goes
You got your own problems
But I can’t solve em if you give em to me
Cause baby I got ’em too and there’s nothing left to lose
If together we can see this through
Cause I’m moving to a place where we never complicate
And we always leave a space for love”
Beck’s new album, and first since 2016’s Panacea, is expected in the new year.
The Luka State – “More Than This” (Winsford, England)
RIYL: LVL UP, The Libertines, Strand of Oaks
Last year, Conrad Ellis (Vocals), Sam Bell (Bass, Vocals), Lewis Pusey (Guitar), and Jake Barnabas (drums) released The Luka State‘s debut LP, Fall In Fall Out. It was a diverse record that ranged from straightforward rock-n-roll to anthemic punk rockers and even some heartfelt acoustic moments. They’re a band that obviously wears their hearts on their sleeves, whether it’s proudly carrying the banner of their little-known hometown of Winsford or shining light on social issues with their music.
On their latest single, “More Than This”, The Luka State bring attention to homelessness and hunger around the world. The single has a huge energy to it with soaring guitar leads, a driving bass, and heavy drums. The pace only picks up from there, as Ellis sings of hungry children and the everyday struggle so many people face all over the world just to feed themselves and their families. It’s something Ellis saw first-hand as someone who delivered food to those in need. On this track, The Luka State call for change, saying we need to do “more than this.” The band also started a GoFundMe to assist The Trussell Trust, the largest food bank charity in the UK. You can check out the fundraiser and donate Here.
“More Than This” is the title track for The Luka State’s upcoming record, More Than This, due out March 10, 2023. You can pre-order the record here.
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