The Matinee ’23 v. 009 is largely an all-women affair, featuring some of the very best woman singer-songwriters and female-fronted bands. The range of songs featured on this mini-playlist showcase why we think women are making the best music during this golden age of indie music.
Miya Folick – “Get Out of My House” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Sharon Van Etten + Beach Bunny + New Order
If you heard squealing on Friday, it probably came from us because, as we had hoped, Miya Folick will be releasing a new album this year! Since 2015 beginning with “Talking with Strangers”, the long-time favorite, who possesses one of the great voices in music, consistently delivered gut-wrenching and devastatingly beautiful music. Last year’s EP, 2007, however, was the start of a new chapter for Folick, who dabbled more in synth realms and upbeat fare. On “Get Out of My House”, she ascends to even more poppier heights
Like Sharon Van Etten collaborating with New Order – the bass line is extremely Peter Hook-like, especially in the final 30 seconds – Folick delivers a jubilant number that will get the masses jumping and dancing. The track is intended to be a pick-me-up to those who have had their heartbroken, experienced disappointment, or just need a reason to lose their shit for a few minutes. The accelerated percussion-driven intro quickly gives way to an infectious fury that arrives with the rumbling guitar and Folick’s sturdy vocal. Traces of the lush, vulnerable voice that won us over eight years ago is replaced by an urgent and assertive tone. The approach is appropriate since the LA-based singer-songwriter is reclaiming her independence and, thus, beginning a new life in a new year.
“I think I want romance
I think I want a happy cry
I think I want sunshine
Streaming out of my two eyes
I think I want to wake up
In the morning glad to be alive
Don’t wanna roll over and see you
You remind me life is terrifying ”
Folick’s sophomore album, Roach, will be released May 26th on Nettwerk Music Group.
Softcult – “Dress” (Kitchener, ON Canada)
RIYL: Pinkshinyultrablast + Pale Waves + The Cure
Barely two years into their career as Softcult, twin sisters Mercedes (vocals, guitar) and Phoenix Arn-Hor (vocals, drums) have established a cult following with their grungegaze and Gothgaze. We joined this little club a little over a year ago when the duo released “Gaslight”, which was taken from their superb EP, Year of the Snake. Throughout the year, they released a few stellar numbers, including the Cocteau Twins-esque “Someone2Me” and the cosmic “Drain”. Their first single of 2023 is more gauzy goodness and a terrific way to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit.
With “Dress”, the Arn-Hors unleash a boisterous and anthemic number that is intended to have people shouting. With Mercedes’ glimmering guitar and Phoenix’s pounding drums, the song sounds like it is intended to free everyone from the shackles that bind them. Lyrically, however, the pair share an important message for all to heed. The track addresses sexual assault, specifically how certain men interpret a woman’s dress as an invitation to do what they want. They think the woman must be looking to score if she’s dressed in fitted clothing. Only a conceited, power-hungry, disrespectful, small-minded bloke would think in that way, and their actions can be devastating.
“See you in the dark
On the street, following me
Take a picture in my mind
Is yours the last face that I’ll see?
It’s a dress, not a yes
Not a fucking invitation
A night out with friends
Won’t ever feel the same again”
This awesome and powerful single is out on Easy Life Records.
Evelyn Frances – “Hold Yourself Together” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys + Emma Ruth Rundle + Lera Lynn
Winter may be confined to the outdoors in much of the northern hemisphere, but this next single will bring a chill to wherever you reside. It won’t be felt on your skin but rather through your bones. And possibly your mind. So grab a blanket, settle in, and enter the frigid world of Evelyn Frances with her newest single, “Hold Yourself Together”.
Pensive, stark, and foreboding, the song starts with a lo-fi, 8-track approach. Frances’ voice is hushed with a layer of static that gives it a shadowy feeling. Her voice sounds like it is coming from behind the walls but which one? Where is she? Her words, too, are somewhat eerie, and some folks may even consider them to be repulsive. For 45 seconds, we linger in this languishing state before the track slightly opens up and Frances reveals herself. Her voice is clearer yet still ghostly, and her lingering guitar with the bass clarinets, which were performed by Alden Banta and Hailey Niswanger, add to the track’s uneasy atmosphere. This place, however, is real. It is New York, the city that never sleeps and is full of opportunity. It also can drain the life of a person.
“Maybe I’m being paranoid
disgruntled and uptight
but New York is steadily draining me
of everything I thought was mine
How can you seem so comfortably undisturbed
we’re living on an island made from our own garbage and dirt
a beautiful island
of garbage and dirt and spit and sperm and shit with
millions of beautiful strangers”
Awesome. Delve more in the Seattle-based singer-songwriter’s music on Bandcamp.
Anna B Savage – “Crown Shyness” (London, England)
RIYL: Jenny Hval + Squirrel Flower + Sade
Despite a career that spans nearly a decade, Anna B Savage remains an under-the-radar artist. The immensely talented English artist has a dedicated fanclub behind her, but her artistry should be heard by the masses because Savage personifies every word used to describe an “artist”. She proved this on the hypnotic “in|Flux”, which is the second single from her forthcoming LP, in|FLUX. Could this be her year? With less than month to go before the LP is fully unveiled, she provides another example of why she is an Artist to Watch and why in|FLUX is one of our Most Anticipated Albums.
As a sax lightly bellows through the jazzy percussion, keys, and the light electronic pulses, this world that Savage has crafted with “Crown Shyness” is seductive and breathtaking, and we cannot peel ourselves away from it. Instead, we are motionless, gazing into the distance and allowing every note and lyric pierce our soul. While we want to dance with the person next to us ow maybe the individual on the other side of the room, we don’t give in to our urges because Savage is unable to do likewise. Savage describes how she and another have fallen apart, but she would like to bridge the gap. The problem is that she cannot find the right words to bring the other person closer.
“Some trees grow up and up and up
but don’t touch at the top.
Cracks between their branches
I guess we’ve grown up
the same way too
and I’m too shy
to reach across to you.”
Laveda – “Clean” (Albany, NY, USA)
RIYL: NewDad + bnny + Dehd
Speaking of Artists to Watch and Most Anticipated Albums, Laveda are featured on both lists. Last year, they released three incredible tracks in the lead-up to A Place You Grew Up In‘s April 14th release – “Surprise”, “bb”, and “F***”. Each one was a dream-pop masterpiece. Ali Genevich (vocals) and Jake Brooks (guitar) along with Dan Carr (bass) and Joe Taruone’s (drums), however, are not replicating the sound of bands from the ’80s nor ’90s. Instead, they are carving out their own space within this genre, where their songs are both breathtaking and brittle. They cause, as such, the listener to pause for a moment, reflect, and assess, as they do on “Clean”.
A lithe guitar gently strums over the mournful bass and ambient electronics, and the scene for reflection has been set. For nearly the next four minutes, Laveda have us pondering what makes us who we are and who tries to destroy us. As the instrumentation ever so slightly rises, Genevich’s vulnerable vocal reflects on these questions, all the while trying to escape the grasp of the person who has kept her down. Her words are hones, real, and powerful.
“I notice how you talk to me
Notice my flaws
Tell me how things used to be
It’s all stained
I need to wipe my face clean
You know some things used to be done differently”
Tanukichan – “Thin Air” (feat. Enumclaw) (Oakland, USA)
RIYL: Fazerdaze + Dinosaur Jr. + Lush
In November, Hannah van Loon announced the next Tanukichan record, GIZMO, would be released on March 3rd. It’s a long-awaited follow-up to Sundays, their debut EP. We’ve already heard a pair of singles – “Don’t Give Up” and “Make Believe” – from the record, which is shaping up to be worth the wait.
The third single is the fuzzed-out “Thin Air”. The distortion on the guitar gives the whole track an edge. It’s made even more pronounced with van Hoon exchanging lines with Aramis Johnson of Enumclaw. van Hoon’s vocal is dreamy and lush, and it’s a perfect counterpart to Johnson’s rough and mumbly delivery. Add in the relentless guitar attack and its lo-fi drums, the result is something that sounds like it’s from an alternate universe version of Dinosaur Jr. It rules. The complex dynamic of the track is echoed in the intense lyricism that van Hoon draws from the fleeting and oftentimes exhausting nature of relationships.
“A friend out of the thin air
I’ll find another one there
It makes you start to wonder
If it all went under
Would you jump off the top of the bridge”
Bo Milli – “Good Kid” (Bergen, Norway)
RIYL: Soccer Mommy + Wallice + Snail Mail
After sharing three fabulous tracks, “At The Wheel”, “How It Is”, and “FOMO”, we said Emilie Røine Østebø’s project, Bo Milli, is a name to remember. Her youthful lyricism and impeccable song-crafting easily scored her a spot as one an Artist to Watch. She kicks off the new year with a bang, and it proves why her ceiling is limitless.
On her latest single, “Good Kid”, Østebø goes grunge-pop, delivering a tune that could have been born in the ’90s. Similar to many of the legends of that decade, Østebø captures the angst and powerlessness of a younger generation. Specifically, with expectations that today’s youth should solve the world’s problems, younger people feel lost and puzzled by trying to address issues not of their doing. “I’m a good, good kid / I’m not meant to change the world”, Østebø sings. Her words may hint at defeat, but the song’s heavy chords and the distortion on her voice hints at just a bit of rebellion. The track is smart, catchy, and provides a young perspective on such a massive issue in a way that’s relatable far beyond climate warriors.
mazie – “it’s not me (it’s u)” (Los Angeles via Baltimore, USA)
RIYL: Remi Wolf + Beabadoobee + Clairo
Mazie has released songs for only a short time, but sometimes an artist can find a connection instantly with listeners. That’s exactly what’s happened with the 23-year old songwriter. Her 2021 track, “dumb dumb”, was written after the attempted insurrection on the US Capitol and tried to figure out what led these people to that point. Its iconic line, “everyone is dumb”, helped the track go vital on TikTok. That kind of observational humor is only half of what makes her music a blast to listen to, as the instrumentals are insanely catchy as well. Next month, mazie will release her debut album, blotter baby, and she’s already shared a handful of tracks – ranging from pop-punk ragers to pop bangers to spacey dream pop.
The latest single from her upcoming debut is “it’s not me (it’s u)”. Its opening moments are actually beautiful. Her voice floats over some nice synth with some reverb acoustic pushed a bit in the background. The lyricism is as honest as ever, pulling no punches. Her words are made more powerful when layered on top of such a gorgeous instrumental. The track comes to close in a huge, huge way with a whirlwind of guitar and drums over the same synth that opened the track.
blotter baby is out February 24th. Pre-save it here.
Lexie Carroll – “violet” (London, England)
RIYL: a young Lorde + Holly Humberstone + Sasha Sloan
Lexie Carroll is only 18 years old, but her career spans a half-decade already. Carroll released a fantastic EP a couple of years ago with when the sun came up. She only followed it up with more great tracks, like “fall for anything” and “annual birthday cry”. For anyone familiar with Carroll, each new single demands attention, and that’s no different with “violet”.
“violet” is another incredibly powerful number from the young singer-songwriter. On the surface, the track is fairly simple: guitar chords strummed over a precise drumbeat. However, that makes everything Carroll does carry so much weight. The song was written as Carroll watched a friend struggle. As the track builds, those simpler, early moments become much bigger, as Carroll cheers for Violet to break out of the terrible cycle of depression, even if it seems impossible.
“The things that hide beneath your bed
The creepy crawlies in your head
The weight that’s sat upon your aching lungs
It’s not the way you’re supposed to wake up
Fighting fires with a dish cloth
I promise it won’t feel like this for long”
The young woman is going to be a star.
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