The Matinee ’22 v. 154, which is the second half of our November 28th doubleheader, features nine songs that are unified in their endless search for answers to lifelong questions. The queries revolve under mysteries of our childhood, the uneasiness that exists deep within each soul, and the crumbling of the world that we once knew. As usual, the artists and bands featured today are from around the world, further evidencing that this golden era of indie music has no borders.

For Part 1 of today’s new music selection, click here. Afterwards, head to Spotify or SoundCloud to hear all the tunes we’ve featured this month on The Songs of November playlist.


Alberta Cross – “Mercy” (London, England via Sweden)

RIYL: Midlake, The Amazing, Jim James

The season of giving is upon us. For many, this is the best time of year, where we get to see others smile and faces glow at the small and large gifts they’ll receive. When Petter Ericson Stakee and Alberta Cross surprised with a new single during the Thanksgiving long weekend, many, including us, beamed at the news. Our smiles went from ear-to-ear while our faces had a bright hue, and the effects lasted for hours as “Mercy” stuck in our heads. 

Never one to stay stationary, Stakee channels the sweeping, widescreen, psych-tinged soft-rock of Midlake and The Amazing. The orchestration is superb, as multiple layers are applied to the track – a tingling guitar over a searing one, titillating percussion bouncing off a pulsing bass, and keys and synths swirling around Stakee’s falsetto. All of this yields a song to get lost in, yields a song that feels timeless. For Alberta Cross, “Mercy” is a mini-anthem for those facing difficult times, and who are seeking – who are wishing for – one little break that could change their lives. As he shares:

“It’s always the same
You can’t rely on anything
It’s all on display
Are we doing this again?”

The single is out on Dark Matter / AMK. Here’s hoping an album is coming in 2023. 

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Liela Moss – “Ache in the Middle” (feat. Jehnny Beth) (London, England)

RIYL: Lanters on the Lake, Half Waif, Sharon Van Etten

Whether it is co-fronting The Duke Spirit or through her own solo project, Liela Moss has established herself as one of England’s most respected and talented artists. She also has earned a reputation as an analytical songwriter, who will delve deeply into social issues and the conditions of the heart, mind, and soul. On “Ache in the Middle”, she dives deep into her childhood and how a relationship from her past still affects her today. 

A somber piano is heard at the start, pensively playing alongside Moss’ sobering yet penetrating voice. She immediately returns to her most innocent years, telling us how she watched someone she loved fall apart. As Moss reveals how she was affected, a light synth and stark rhythms emerge, giving the song a quietly harrowing quality. They add to the emotional turmoil that resides inside Moss, who later reveals all when she sings:

“I would dance through glass just to help you
But you won’t tell me what for
I could have been so happy
There would have been peace”

Jehnny Beth of Savages also shares a similar memory, describing how she is “walking in silence with the Devil in my eyes” because the answer has escaped her. It is only now, as she has aged, that she understands the torment that affected that person – the person who should have loved and raised them but could not.

Simply a sensational song of lost. 

Moss’ new album, Internal Working Model, will be released January 13th, 2023 on Bella Union. Pre-orders available at these links and directly on Bandcamp.

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Kevin Dorff – “Just Like That” (Brooklyn via Des Moines, IA USA)

RIYL: Craig Finn, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, The Mountain Goats

Some artists may be offended if someone referred to their music as “Dad Rock”. We don’t think Kevin Dorff would be one of them. On the contrary, he likely would embrace it because the indie rock of the ’90s was littered with great songwriters. In listening to Dorff’s debut EP, Silent Reply, it is characterized by incredible storytelling. It also is filled with heart, as each of the seven songs is dedicated to a person that Dorff knew but passed away over the past decade. The tracks, in other words, are dedications to the people that touched Dorff’s life, and he tells their stories with humor, love, and respect. To pick one song was difficult, but we have opted for “Just Like That”.

This rocker’s first half echoes of The Mountain Goats, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, and all the great ’90s and early ’00s college-radio bands. It’s a little rambunctious, a bit gritty, and a whole lot of fun. As the song ascends towards its peak, Dorff sings about the adventures he and his best friend shared.

“We liked the bookstores and the pubs a little more
Carved out corners and set fire to the dance floor
Rode on double-deckers and pretended they were roller coasters

It might be said that we were acting like dickheads
We ditched our classmates and we didn’t make our beds
It’s easy to kill time when you’ve got nothing on the line
And when you’re barely legal white guys like us, you don’t compromise
Just like that.”

In the end, though, his friend would suffer quietly, and his life would end tragically. At this moment, the track slows down, and Dorff’s voice turns emotional. “I wished that I had cared for you,” he sings. In some ways he has, at least with this song. 

Silent Reply is available on Bandcamp. It’s a must have for Dad Rock lovers. 



Bo Milli – “FOMO” (Bergen, Norway)

RIYL: Wallice, Marika Hackman, Fazerdaze

Listening to “At The Wheel” and “How It Is” was all we needed to say that Emilie Røine Østebø’s project, Bo Milli, is a name to remember. And these were her first two singles. Needless to say, the young Norwegian’s potential is limitless, and she’ll be one to watch in 2023 and well beyond. To demonstrate that the future could very well belong to Østebø, she unveils a cracker of a single. 

“FOMO” may have the title of an expression used by teenagers and young twentysomethings, but the song bristles with the anthemic energy of a daring pop-rock number from the ’90s and early ’00s. A stuttering electric drum beat gives ways to a driving bass line, and within 20 seconds the song takes off. An angular guitar and rollicking drums emerge, adding energy, urgency, and euphoria. Østebø’s saccharine voice, meanwhile, is full of introspection, as she sings about the self-doubt and anxiety that encircle her mind. She does not fear missing out on things, but rather fears not learning to live and love herself. 

“I’m embarrassing myself here
Just so we’re clear
Straight up I’m asking if we’re
Something you’d ever consider
God, I’m so self-aware
I know how I sound in that text right there
Do you care? Do you care?
Whether or not I’m there”

Bo Milli is a name to remember. 

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Mazey Haze – “I Feel Like a Child” (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

RIYL: Melody’s Echo Chamber, Pixey, Stereolab

Last year, Nadine Appeldoorn released her debut EP, Always Dancing, as Mazey Haze. It was a release that made it easy to include her as one of our Favorite Hidden Gems of 2021. Earlier this year, Mazey Haze released the French cinema-soaked single, “The Weight of the Weekend”, and it had us hoping it was a sign of things to come. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long for an answer, as she just announced her upcoming EP, Back to the StartIt seems like Appeldoorn is an early contender for next year’s big breakout artist if her latest single, “I Feel Like a Child” is any indication.

From the second it hits the ear, “I Feel Like a Child” sounds exactly like a song from an artist named Mazey Haze: lush synth reminiscent of a hazy sky plus Appeldorn’s dreamy vocals. Intricate percussion move things along nicely, as the song shifts shapes at every turn and, in turn, perfectly captures an innocent, child-like feeling. And while the lyrics also echo that youthful sentiment at times, they also are grounded in the realities of adulthood. While those two sentiments can be at odds, Mazey Haze finds peace between them:

 “Always something going wrong
Keep walking ‘till you touch the sun
Don’t tell me about it when you’re done
And don’t run

I feel like a child

It’s hard to trust people anymore
It’s hard to trust people anymore”

Appeldoorn’s new EP, Back to the Start, will be released April 7th, 2023 via LUSTRE.

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Badlands – “I Want Blood” (Malmö, Sweden)

RIYL: Holly Herndon, Jenny Hval, Massive Attack

So many great artists hover below the radar, and we are guilty of overlooking them. One of them is producer and multi-instrumentalist Catharina Jaunviksna’s project  Badlands. While Jaunviksna has been on our radar since 2016, including blowing us away in 2020 with the expansive wonderland, “Fantasma I+II”, we missed out on her recent album. Call to Love was released 10 days ago, and it is a beautifully stark and hypnotic affair that finishes on wondrous high with “I Want Blood”.

The LP’s ultimate track is the equivalent of a dreamlike trance. Jaunviksna’s vocal floats within a haze, as an array of instruments gradually descend around her – synths, keys, chimes, strings, and what sounds like a harp. Each element, however, emerges occasionally, allowing them to stand out when they emerge. They then fade away into the darkness, allowing the next one to shine. For about 3.5 minutes, we are left in this serene state, but the final 100 seconds turns into an immersive, spellbinding hallucination. The tempo quickens slightly, and the rhythms, including the strings, throb more loudly. This approach mimics Jaunviksna’s story of needing to sacrifice a piece of oneself to change, to transform, and to live.

Find your own rebirth by listening to Call to Love in its entirety on Bandcamp or at one of these links. It is out on RITE Label.

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LUMER – “English Dream” (Hull, England)

RIYL: Shame, Fontaines D.C., The Murder Capital

For a half-dozen years, LUMER have quietly rattled the walls of England’s most cavernous venues and the souls of those who have invested the time to listen to their songs. Like their fellow British citizens, the post-punk quartet from Yorkshire use music as a platform to discuss some of the world’s (the rise of the alt-right and hate) and country’s (Brexit) most critical issues. On their latest single, “English Dream”, the focus may be on the UK, but the message also applies to every corner of the planet.

With a plodding, bellowing bass line and a quietly thunderous percussion driving the opening of the track, front-man Alex Evans reveals how he is “just a pawn in this game.” He is merely a means to an end – a minion in the elite’s game of profiteering, power brokering, and control. As a result, he feels hopeless and cynical. The 1% has defeated him and his dream to lead a better life.

“It devours me
Swallowing me up
I’ve been embracing

The bitterness life brings”

LUMER are Alex Evans (vocals), Ben Jackson (guitar), Ben Morrod (bass), and William Evans (drums).

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Hollow Hand – “Heaven Just Watched” (Brighton, England)

RIYL: The Byrds, Chris Cohen, Syd Barrett

The music of Max Kinghorn-Mills is a wonderful throwback to 1970s psychedelic-folk. Each Hollow Hand record has plenty of guitar jangle, lush harmonies, and some fantastic guitar licks throughout. There have been some revivals of a similar sound, but what Kinghorn-Mills does with Hollow Hand feels like it’s among some of the most faithful dives back into the genre, and that makes him a true standout of the scene.

On “Heaven Just Watched”, Hollow Hand dig even deeper into that trippy sound. Right out of the gate, the song has an enchanting quality – from its inviting guitar tone, it’s charming bass-line, and Kinghorn-Mills’ laid back vocals. The song has a ton of depth to its sound, and layers come and go to add even more to the song’s vibes. There’s a perfectly executed and delightfully psychedelic guitar solo as well. Lyrically, Kinghorn-Mills takes inspiration from the history of the city of London, explaining:

The lyrics for ‘Heaven Just Watched’ are based on a diary I kept when I moved into London to work on music. I was reading Peter Ackroyd’s definitive biography of the city & totally immersed in the mythology & hidden rituals which form the foundations of the city’s architecture. I imagined myself walking through those streets. Nothing has meaning, there are no gods, choose your own adventure.”  

While that last statement may sound bleak, there’s a joy in the liberation a realization like that can bring. That joy and freedom is the centerpiece of “Heaven Just Watched”.

Hollow Hand’s new album, Your Own Adventure, will be released March 3rd, 2023 via Curation Records. Pre-orders available at the label’s store and on Bandcamp.

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Deaf Radio – “Arsenal of Hope” (Athens, Greece)

RIYL: Kasabian, Foals, The Black Angels

To end today’s music selection, we look to the birthplace of democracy, which also is home to one of Greece’s best indie-rock bands. They are Deaf Radio, who since 2015 have been creating stadium-sized rock music. Earlier this month, the quartet released their third album, Arsenal of Hope, which at times sounds like a blend of mid-career U2, Kasabian, and Foals. The one song that might best capture Dimitris Sakellariou (guitar, vocals), Panos Gklinos (guitar, vocals), Antonis Mantakas (bass, backing vocals), and George Diathesopoulos’ (drums, backing vocals) sound is the title track. 

Open the windows because you might just want to loudly blare “Arsenal of Hope”, as listening to it in closed confines could cause the walls to creak and even crack. Do this immediately because the song commences with a fiery, delayed guitar and adrenaline-laced percussion. The band gradually ramp up the intensity until it reaches its multiple apexes which are Foals-like in their gravity. Through this trembling, anthemic darkness, Sakellariou sings about people separated by a senseless and endless war. He describes how hope is the only thing that keeps people alive. The hope that they will one day reconnect with loved ones. 

“Maybe I won’t come home
You’ve got to keep moving on
A thousand people passed away
Just hold his hand and walk away

Maybe I’m out of hope
We’ll win our life in the end
We’ll be together one day
And make the night ours again”

Arsenal of Hope is available on Bandcamp.

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