A cacophony of sound, images, experiences, and even destinations are revealed on The Matinee ’23 v. 019. Today’s mini-playlist commences on a more ominous tone before the energy and intensity pick up before heading into otherworldly dimensions. In others words, these tunes are quite the adventure.

Speaking of which, continue the musical safari with Part 2 of The Matinee for February 17th. Afterwards, go further afield with the Songs of January & February 2023 playlist, which is spinning on Spotify and SoundCloud.


Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys – “Heaving” (Berlin, Germany via Johannesburg & Cape Town, South Africa)

RIYL: Fever Ray + Depeche Mode + ZOLA JESUS

Reinventions often can go awry. It’s happened to even the best bands, who may push the boundaries too far or attempt to appeal to a wider audience by moving towards the crowded middle. Those who are successful in the transformation process have one thing in common – they remain true to their identity. So when Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys surprised last month with the rah-rah Gothic-pop of “Burning Building”, the moody starkness that categorized their Tapes trilogy remained. The sonic brilliance also remained, and it continues on “Heaving”.

The title track from the band’s fourth album is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Its first half is characterized by a melancholic electricity, as percolating electronics and beats lightly explode behind Kruger’s sultry yet eerie vocal. In this atmosphere, the South African native narrates a scene that is both intimate yet dreadful, where Death creeps outside one’s bedroom door. Halfway through, the song opens up, as a sinister guitar intensifies, the booming percussion arrives, and wailing strings add an extra layer of gloominess. This is Death arriving, touching the protagonist’s body and awakening her. Bringing her life from within the darkness.

Heaving is due out this spring via Unique Records and Polish Schubert Music Europe. Pre-order it on Bandcamp or at these links. It should be another stellar record from one of the most underrated bands and songwriters around.

In addition to Kruger (vocals, guitar), the Lost Boys include Liú Mottes (guitar), André Leo (guitar), Andreas Miranda (bass), Gidon Carmel, (drums, percussion and electronic production), and Jean-Louise Parker (backing vocals, viola, violin).

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Caroline Rose – “The Doldrums” (Burlington, VT and New York City, USA)

RIYL: Lykke Li + Blonde Redhead + Sasami

How can anyone classify the music of Caroline Rose? It’s an ever-expanding genre unto itself. From the strange and vintage pop sounds of her witty breakout record, Loner, to the expansive concept record, Superstar, which dabbled in pop, funk electro-pop and much more, Rose’s creativity is undeniable. When the Vermont native sets out to create something, she always nails it. That unrestrained creativity shows no signs of stopping judging from the two tracks Rose has released from her upcoming record, The Art of Forgetting. The flamenco-guitar infused “Love / Lover / Friend”  and the fuzz of “Miami” prove that, as does “The Doldrums”.

“The Doldrums” starts out with a fitting combination of organ and harp. Rose’s voice comes in at barely a whisper. Things slowly build and go into surreal territory with some lush sounds pairing with glitchy ones. It then kicks into gear with some unique percussion providing the groundwork for some wild vocals to close the track. The lyrics have that unique perspective that much of Rose’s music does, describing it as “the song I wrote when I was realizing I had basically no understanding of self-compassion.” Rose sings of the voice inside her head that replays all of the bad moments and the inability to shut it off.

“I can’t erase the past
And I won’t close my eyes
All I ask is silence from the noise inside my mind

There comes a time
In every life
When you have to question what it means to be alive”

The Art Of Forgetting is out March 24 on New West Records. Pre-order it here or go directly to Bandcamp.

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Eaves Wilder – “Are You Diagnosed?” (London, England)

RIYL: The Cardigans, Stef  Chura, Hater

All that was required for us to anoint Eaves Wilder as an Artist to Watch this year were two singles, “I Stole Your Jumper” and “Morning Rain”. These songs demonstrated Wilder’s ability to create catchy yet gritty melodies and write poignant lyrics. She might be a teenager, but she’s not wallowing in the usual topics of love, heartbreak, and revenge. Instead, the London-based singer-songwriter is writing about issues that matter, such as her frustrating experience with the British mental health service, CAMHS, on “Are You Diagnosed?”

We have to first say that this little grunge-pop anthem will be great in concert when Wilder and her band are able to turn up the volume and kick the song into overdrive. This song was made for a live audience. The radio version still is terrific, driven by fantastic rhythm section whose propulsion matches Wilder’s lyrical intensity and induces listeners to bop their heads in time. People also might be doing a couple of fist pumps. But those pumps will be targeted at the health professionals whose jobs are to help us but occasionally disappoint with their refusal to listen. Wilder’s songwriting is fantastic, recounting the different times she could not get the help she sought:

“He calls me in and asks two things:
‘What going on? And can you prove it?’

I said
Don’t say it could be worse
Just make it better
I couldn’t use my words
When you wrote down every letter”

Another awesome tune from a star-in-the-making. Wilder’s popularity could explode on March 24th, which is when her debut EP, Hookey, will be released. Secretly Canadian has the honors. Pre-orders here and on Bandcamp.

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Bully – “Lose You” (feat. Soccer Mommy) (Nashville, USA)

RIYL: Paramore, Speedy Ortiz, Bleached

Alicia Bognanno’s announcement yesterday was not the one we were hoping for, but new music from Bully is still to be celebrated. And while we still have to wait for news about a new album, we simply cannot complain about two absolute powerhouses teaming up, and that’s what we get on “Lose You”.

Soccer Mommy’s Sophie Allison joins Bully on the track. On paper, Bognanno and Allison seem like a perfect and dynamic duo: two powerful voices, rooted in 90’s alternative rock. The first line of “Lose You” sets the tone: “Time’s just a useless measurement of pain”. The lyrics came together for Bognanno as “a way for me to work through the pain and reality of impermanence.” It’s exactly where Bognanno is at her best – baring truths whether they’re tough or personal. The music fits perfectly in-between Soccer Mommy and Bully. A catchy ’90s-style guitar riff underlines much of the first half of the track while the choruses boom over some heavy guitar chords. The song is an absolute blast, slowing down at moments, then becoming something huge. A spoken-word part explodes into the track’s closing guitar solo. 

“Figuring out
My sense of self is fading somehow
I’m free from the sound
No one’s divided and nobody’s waiting”

The single is out on Sub Pop. We still think an album announcement is coming soon.

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Way Down The Rainbow – “Heppy!” (Kongsberg, Norway)

RIYL: Bloc Party + Royal Blood + FIDLAR + IDLES

The story of Way Down The Rainbow‘s signing with Nordic Records is right out of a movie – they walked into the label’s offices, played a demo, and were immediately signed. Better yet, as the band starts work on their second single for the label, the Nordic Records folks told them to be fearless and do not feel constrained by formulas. Jostein Knutsen, James Henrik Hovind Hendry, Diego Gerardo Aguilar Lopez, Peter Bekken, and Jonatan Bekken, who are now between 19 and 21 years old, have complete artistic control. Considering WDTR’s origins – started in 2016 when a couple of the guys started playing together in high school – they couldn’t be in a better spot. But why all the excitement about this upstart quintet? Just listen to “Heppy!” and all your questions will be answered. 

This multi-genre, stadium-sized anthem is simply awesome. The rumbling fury of FIDLAR, the art-rock theatrics of a young Bloc Party, and the garage-rock explosiveness of Royal Blood are combined into a fiery and roaring concoction. There are moments where we want to thrash our heads before shifting into a chaotic mosh or uncontrollable dancing. While the track goes in numerous directions, it is held together by the post-punk mentality that emanates from Peter’s intense vocal and lyrics. His voice pierces through the noise, describing how he battles every day with his mental health. While others try to control him, he’s found four people who understand him and share his desire to create music that will have people utter, “Fuck yeah!” (Yes, we went there because this song has earned it.)

WDTR will be Norway’s next big thing. Heck, they might be indie’s next big thing.

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Black Honey – “OK” (Brighton, England)

RIYL: The Ninth Wave, Coach Party, Priestgate

No matter how many times we’ve covered Black Honey, they’ve found a way to blow our minds. Izzy B Phillips (vocals, guitar), Chris Ostler (guitar), Tommy Taylor (bass), and Alex Woodward (drums) are one of the best indie-rock bands of the past decade in our humble opinion. They easily could be more popular if they signed with a label like 4AD or Dirty Hit, but instead they are fervently DIY. And who could blame them when they’re able to retain creative control of every aspect of the musical process? And when they’re creating anthemic music with meaning, like with “OK”?

Make sure your you’ve warmed up your vocal chords because this tune will have you screaming along with Phillips during the chorus – and maybe for the entire tune after you’ve played it for the 25th time. Also warm up the limbs because the track is pure adrenaline, as flaming guitars and a feverish rhythm section will induce frantic and uncontrollable movement. This tune is pure Black Honey: cathartic, euphoric, and poignant. Behind every raucous, Black Honey melody lies a thoughtful message, which in this case is that people need to eventually find their own way, which means leaving behind the people we love.

“Of all the things I know are wasted
It’s only us until the day is done
I swear to God you know me so well
I’m roaming to the end of time

Black Honey’s third album, A Fistful of Peaches, will be released March 17th, 2023 on their own Foxfive Records. Pre-orders are available here. It’s going to be another great one from a great band.

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Mega Bog – “The Clown” (New Mexico via Idaho, USA)

RIYL: Jenny Hval + Kate Bush + Future Islands

Erin Elizabeth Birgy is a true artist, which is evident with each Mega Bog release. Her 2021 LP, Life, and Another, was captivating from start to finish. On May 19, Mega Bog will release their new album, End of Everything, which is their first release on Mexican Summer. The record is co-produced by James Krivchenia (Big Thief), and features Krivchenia on drums, as well as Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), Will Segerstrom, and Jackson Macintosh (Drugdealer) as members of her backing band. With a competent crew and Birgy’s unparalleled artistry, it’s already shaping up to be something to keep an eye on.

The lead single is “The Clown”, and it exceeds even the loftiest expectations. The song starts with some synth and goes to some really spacey places almost instantly. Synth strings pluck along over a simple drumbeat, and, as the song flows, it adds more power to Birgy’s words, regarding embracing the darker sides of oneself.

“Met a young man who said,
‘You are everything’
And gave me everything
But I really scared him
Because all I talk about with him is
Beheading young men
Psychic waste I’ve absorbed
Is collapsing, again

How do you see me, now?
Am I still that clown
You found charming?”

After this lyrical moment, many little details emerge and they are to be enjoyed, as everything feels intentional, including the sound of a sword just as the song launches into its huge closing.

 End of Everything, is out May 19th on Mexican Summer. Get it at these links or on Bandcamp.

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Organ Morgan – “Figurehead” (London, England)

RIYL: Rostam, Kishi Bashi, David Bowie

In the past three years, indie music bid adieu to a handful of great UK bands. One was INHEAVEN, from whom two of its original members have formed Wings of Desire. Another is Blaenavon, who created engaging art-rock and melodic indie-rock rippers. Fortunately for us, the members of Blaenavon remain active with front-man Ben Gregory recently launching his own solo project. Meanwhile, Frank Wright and Harris McMillan teamed up with Stefano Amoretti less than two years ago to form Organ Morgan

While it would be easy for the trio to revert to a sound with which they once were associated, they’ve opted to go into a different direction. Part folk, part rock, part ethereal, the London-based outfit create music that David Bowie likely would listen to in the quiet of his parlor. Their music, such as their latest single, “Figurehead”, is made for completely to get lost in. 

An acoustic guitar strums through a humming harmonium and shallow rhythms, creating an atmosphere that simultaneously feels cosmic and like a fairy tale. The sincerity in McMillan’s voice further creates a levitating feeling, embracing us with every word he sings and the images he paints with his lyrics. There is truth to the music and what is spoken, where whether in this world or another we follow people. We follow “Figureheads”, who help us overcome life’s challenges and make us believe in the impossible. 

Organ Morgan are: Stefano Amoretti (harmonium, organ), Frank Wright (bass, drums), and Harris McMillan (vocals, guitar). They are signed with London boutique label, Everybody’s

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