The Matinee ’23 v. 016 features nine tracks that present their power in different ways. From low-key and intimate to absolute rippers, each artist relays their message wholeheartedly.

Tune into the Songs of January & February 2023 playlist on Spotify and SoundCloud to hear more songs tunes that will move you.

Daughter – “Party” (London, England)

RIYL: Warpaint, Fenne Lily, Squirrel Flower

In the ten years since they released their debut If You Leave, Daughter has left an indelible mark on indie music. The way Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli, and Remi Aguilella come together to create music that connects deep to the hearts of listeners is unparalleled. Their sound and emotional heft were important bridges towards what so many of the most popular artists today strive to achieve. It’s hard to keep relevant for 10 years, and it’s even harder with the sparse releases Daughter has put out. But the trio has endured, and they are on their way to releasing their new record, Stereo Mind Gamecoming seven years after their most recent full-length. In January, they shared the lead single “Be On Your Way”, which was distinctively Daughter.

Daughter’s latest single, “Party”, is yet another powerful stunner. The track kicks off with an upbeat drumbeat. Some deep bass chords enter the frame, and they provide an immediate contrast before Tonra’s voice arrives. Tonra’s lyrical honesty cuts deeply, recalling the reason she decided to go sober. From those early moments, it slowly builds with guitar distortion and perfectly executed harmonies. The drums stumble with some tom hits and add even more to the gravity of the song.  

“I still recoil at the thought
My head in the clouds, talking chaos
get flashes from hours dancing in some house
You were my escape
while a stereo serenades
the song on repeat
It’s hard to believe a thing
when my mind skips the scenes
everything disappearing”

Stereo Mind Game is out April 7th via 4AD and Glassnote. Pre-orders available here.

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Phoria – “Slope” (Brighton, England)

RIYL: Phoria

What more can be said about Phoria that already has been written? Trewin Howard (vocals/composition/production/electronics), Tim Douglas (guitar/bass/synth), James Cheeseman (guitar/synth), Ed Sanderson (piano/synth), and Seryn Burden (drums) are masters of emotional cinema, where every song, including their neoclassical output, are stunning. Their forthcoming new album, River Oblivion, similarly should leave listeners in a state of paralysis. Lead singles “New Beginning” and “InTheDark” had this effect, which is continued on “Slope”

As the song’s title indicates, the track is a slide into the dark abyss that resides within us as well as between us and someone we love. Patiently, the quintet set the tone with a sombre and brittle elegance before a surge of synths interprets the mood. From there, “Slope” glides back to its stunning melancholy before gradually building again as horns arrive, the percussion accelerates, and the synths begin to shine. While most slopes will have us falling, this one has us ascending, as Phoria pull us out of this endless valley. 

“Made my bed where the evidence led
And it’s taken my heart and it’s taken my mind
Never mind what
I have hidden inside

In the warning I’ll go wading
Woah woah woah where did everyone go
Has it taken your hearts has it taken your minds
Does the blood still run where the river is young
I had always seen the poison”

Gorgeous. Once again. 

River Oblivion drops April 21st, 2023 via Akira Records. Pre-orders available at these links.

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Indigo De Souza – “Younger & Dumber” (Asheville, USA)

RIYL: Lucy Dacus, Margaret Glaspy, Boygenius

Indigo De Souza‘s sophomore album, Any Shape You Take, was raw, emotional, and vibrant. It also was one of those rare experiences that felt like the artist was reaching through the speakers and embracing the listener, offering comfort with her words while revitalizing souls with her varied sonic approach. Consequently, the LP was one of 2021’s best, and it marked De Souza’s breakout. 

On Wednesday, the Asheville-based singer-songwriter announced that her highly-anticipated, new LP, All of This Will End, will be released at the end of April. Its first single encapsulates why De Souza is about to take the next step to superstardom.

“Younger & Dumber” is a jaw-dropping, emotional beauty. Americana touches are merged with widescreen indie-rock, forming the perfect backdrop for De Souza’s introspective songwriting. Through each strike of the keys and strum of the acoustic guitar, the De Souza recounts how she lost her innocence at a young age. She shares how she was lonely and how others came to “hurt her in all the right ways” to indicate that love can be tough. Love also can be liberating, which is depicted in the song’s beautiful video and the rousing chorus. 

“Sometimes I just don’t wanna be alone
And it’s not cause I’m lonely
It’s just cause I get so tired of filling the space all around me
And the love I feel is so powerful it can take you anywhere
And the love I feel is so very real that it’ll drag you down”

All of This Will End is out April 28th on Saddle Creek Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves are available at these links and on Bandcamp. It’s going to be one of the year’s very best. 

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LANNDS – “Bonfire” (Los Angeles via Jacksonville, USA)

RIYL: HÆLOS, Vök, Poliça

LANNDS are a band with a mission. Vocalist-guitarist Rania Woodard and multi-instrumentalist Brian Squillace formed LANNDS in Jacksonville, Florida. It was not an ideal space for a queer, black artist to break into the music scene, but Woodard made it a point to “push back”. It’s something both members have been doing their whole lives with Woodard being originally from Memphis and Squillace from North Carolina. In 2020, the duo released the powerful pop classic lotus EP, and are about to drop their long-awaited debut LP, Music for the Future, on March 3rd. The duo has already shared the stunning “Blueprint”, the soulful “K TOWN”, and the utterly dreamy “Overseas/BACK 2 U” from the record.

The fourth single, “Bonfire”, is yet another reason to have Music for the Future on your radar. Starting with some vocal samples, big electronic percussion, and some wild audio manipulation, “Bonfire” immediately sinks its hooks into the listener. Its pull only gets stronger once Woodard’s voice emerges, eventually accompanied by a big synth. The electronic beat kicks up in a big way with some fantastic layers of modulated vocals coming in and out. The percussion is so unique and adds to the vibe in immeasurable ways, especially the second half of the track where there’s so much to take in – from the strange voices to the saxophone solos.

LANNDS’ debut album, Music for the Future, releases March 3rd on Run for Cover Records. Pick it up on Bandcamp or at the label’s store

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Constant Smiles – “Gold Like Water” (Martha’s Vineyard, USA)

RIYL: Westerman, Nation of Language, Young Galaxy

Despite a career approaching two decades, the Ben Jones-led collective Constant Smiles, was listed as Hidden Gem in 2021 since few knew about the over one dozen records the collective has released. 2021 marked the year Constant Smiles signed with Sacred Bones and started to gain some recognition for their stellar back catalog. That was when Constant Smiles released their long overdue label debut, the underappreciated masterpiece, Paragons. Their second record for the label, and 13th overall, will drop March 3rd in the form of Kenneth AngerThe record will feature a pretty fantastic cast, including engineer Jonathan Schenke, Cassandra Jenkins, and drummer extraordinaire Ryan Jewell among many others.

The second single Constant Smiles from the forthcoming LP is “Gold Like Water”. Its early moments are unassuming but inviting, as some synths, keys, and a drumbeat welcome us. There’s a warmth throughout the entire song, from its perfect guitar additions to the harmonies that ebb and flow throughout. Once the song hits its stride, it almost becomes hard to pinpoint, as the synths evoke a retro-futuristic vibe, but it all stays grounded in its strings and vocal work. The depth here is incredible, and there’s only going to be more when Constant Smiles releases Kenneth Anger.

Once again, Kenneth Anger arrives March 3rd via Sacred Bones Records. Pre-orders are available here and at Bandcamp.

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Jonathan Bree – “Pre-Code Hollywood” (feat. Nile Rodgers) (Auckland, New Zealand)

RIYL: Joseph of Mercury, Alex Cameron, Baxter Drury

Aotearoa New Zealand is a hotbed of creativity, and it has been for over forty years. Most know about the Dunedin Sound, the rise of OMD, Crowded House, and, of course, Lorde. Then there is the brilliant Jonathan Bree, who, along with his masked band mates, continues to mystify. He is a genius, who can seamlessly move from ’80s pop to 2020 alt-electronic. Now, our word is merely opinion. However, when a legend like Nile Rodgers, who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy last week and is a co-founder of CHIC, produces and performs on one of his songs, that pretty much says it all.  

On “Pre-Code Hollywood”, Bree takes us back to the early ’80s and the days of sultry synth-pop. The song, however, also has a smooth, swaying groove to it, thanks to Rodgers’ chiming lead guitar. Although the track has touches of Spandau Ballet, Bree does not tell the usual love story. On the contrary, as is often his method, he narrates the story of a “Man of a thousand faces”, a man who is a “freak”, and who is “pre-coded Hollywood”. This person could be Jim Carrey, John Belushi, or any thousands of actors who spent time before the camera. While he can be any character, this actor still must abide by the rules of Hollywood, which means rarely revealing his true identity. Just like the master that is Bree.

Bree’s new album, Pre-Code Hollywood, is out April 14th via his own Lil’ Chief Records

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Algiers – “73%” (Atlanta, USA)

RIYL: IDLES + Childish Gambino + Fontaines D.C.

We’ve long stated that Algiers are one of the most important bands of the generation. Franklin James Fisher (vocals, guitar), Ryan Mahan (bass), Lee Tesche (guitar), and Matt Tong (drums) continue to prove us right with songs like “Irreversible Damage” (featuring Zach de la Rocha) and “I Can’t Stand It!” (featuring Samuel Herring) from their upcoming double-record, Shook. Any band that enlists the lead singer of Rage Against The Machine for an assist has to have an urgency in their message. 

Franklin James Fisher describes the record’s latest single, “73%”, as “an impressionistic love letter to the energy and movement of New York City.” The immediate attack of alarm-like guitar captures that beautiful chaos. Fisher’s voice also takes listeners for a ride, going from a matter-of-fact spoken-word delivery to some booming moments. Halfway through the song kicks into gear with an immense wall of guitar encroaching, as everything kicks up around it, much like an inescapable and powerful thunderstorm. 

Algiers’ new double-album, Shook, will be released February 23rd, 2023 via Matador Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves are available here and directly on Bandcamp.

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Barrie – “Races” (Brooklyn, USA)

RIYL: Gabby’s World, Frankie Cosmos, Told Slant

Barrie Lindsay – or simply Barrie – released a fantastic record last year called Barbara. It was a widely expansive record that ranged from its infectiously danceable “Frankie” to the stunning “Bully”. A few months later, Barrie released a pair of tracks, “Unholy Appetite” and “Nocturne Interlude”. Both tracks will be part of Barrie’s upcoming EP, 5K

The name for Barrie’s new EP comes from what Lindsay describes as “a good arc for running.” Its latest single is the appropriately titled “Races”, which does feel like perfect music for a run. Its light synths and equally floating vocal parts make it easy music to get enveloped in. Barrie is joined by her partner Gabby Smith (of Gabby’s World), who adds another fantastic layer of vocals. On top of that, there are so many fantastic layers from the drums, guitar work, and even a hint of organ. Lyrically, it uses running as an imagery while also trying to convey some important messages –from environmental conservation to the importance of taking care of the next generation.

“Parents, please love your children
Before they ruin the world
What are you after
Does it matter
You wanted a turn”

Pre-order 5K on Bandcamp or these links ahead of its March 31st release date. Winspear has the honors. 

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BEA – “Go Slow” (London, England)

RIYL: Monica Martin, Indigo Sparke, néomi

Credit for this final song on today’s mini-playlist goes to one of our all-time favorite bands, HÆLOS. As one would expect, the influential trip-hop band have other side projects, which includes assisting young, aspiring artists to realize their dreams. Some of the members of HÆLOS are working with Bea Elmy-Martin, who goes by BEA. The 22-year old Londoner’s career is in its nascent stage, but when it reaches full bloom, look out! Martin has the chance to be a major star, following in the footsteps of Amy Winehouse and Adele with her throwback sound, intimate songwriting, and sensational voice. Her newest single displays her enormous potential.

On “Go Slow”, she transports us from the quietness of the bedroom to the smoke-filled jazz clubs of yesteryear. A gentle piano lightly floats at the beginning, providing the guiding light to Martin’s vocal. “We’re two broken pieces but we fit quite easily,” she sings in our direction, setting the scene for what could be an unforgettable night. As the song grows with the arrival of a distant guitar, feathery percussion, and a soft bass, she delivers a message. More accurately, Martin serves a warning that she is not someone to be taken for granted. 

“So lets take it back
I don’t wanna feel like I’m using
And no daydream lasts
But I was far to scared to lose it

Just don’t take my all
And I’ll be just fine
I’m somebody, not just some body”

The single is out on English boutique label, Indigo Kin. BEA is going to be a star. 

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