The musical selection on The Matinee ’23 v. 029 is about you and me with each of the nine songs articulating our and our loved ones’ struggles and deepest desires.

The Songs of March and April 2023 playlist, which is available on Spotify and SoundCloud, features more tracks that you may consider to add to your own personal soundtrack.

Please note that Rich is on holidays, so it’s a one-person show for the next three weeks.

To go directly to a song, click on the track in the list below:

Durand Jones – “Lord Have Mercy” (Hillaryville, Louisiana USA)

RIYL: Curtis Harding, Curtis Mayfield, Charles Bradley

Durand Jones & The Indications have developed a reputation as one of the great neo-soul groups today. While Jones’ name is at the forefront, the band is truly a band, working collaboratively on each song and others, namely drummer Aaron Frazer, sharing the songwriting and lead singing duties. However, when Dead Oceans approached Durand Jones to release a solo album, he could not pass on the opportunity because he could create a record about his hometown: Hillaryville, Louisiana. He would get to do what his family, friends, and community did for him – lift them up and put them on the map. Jones more than does this on “Lord Have Mercy”.

Soul, rock, and plenty of Louisiana grit shine on this uplifting and boisterous number. We have entered the church of Jones, where we clap along to the smooth, soulful grooves and shout to the rafters during the euphoric climax. All the while, we listen to his story about the people in this small town tending to their usual Sunday duties with each, including Jones, seeking a break and a little bit of luck from the daily grind.

“Some lady’s down the street tellin’ people the news
But what they don’t really know is that she haven’t a clue
‘Round the way and up above, some folks flyin’ high
See sad smiles in their eyes they ain’t doin’ fine
Oh Lord please, have mercy on me”

Jones’ debut, solo album, Wait Til I Get Over, is out May 5th with pre-orders available here and on Bandcamp. Dead Oceans, once again, has the honors.

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Binki – “Hotel Window” (New York City, USA)

RIYL: Bakar, Still Woozy, Kele

In 2021, Binki exploded on the scene with his multi-genre style – rap, hip-hop, indie rock, and art-rock. Soon after releasing his debut EP, Motor Function, he embarked on a massive, cross-country tour. In the process, he became a favorite of campuses across the US. With what seemed like never-ending days on the road, he found inspiration for his first tune of 2023, which will surely hit the top of college-radio charts in no time.

Baraka Ongari‘s voice hums over the buzzing, jangly guitar and the awesome, pulsing bass line that cut through “Hotel Window”. We’re left dancing, maybe even moshing with our best mates, to this riot of a single. While we feel jubilation within this tight, two-minute number, Binki’s mind is elsewhere. “I forget to speak when you look at me / I don’t know how to eat,” he sings all the while looking into the distance. Wherever his attention may be, one thing is clear – Ongari will be grabbing everyone’s attention very soon. His potential ranges from Childish Gambino to Thurston Moore, which makes him one-of-a-kind.

The single is out on FADER Label, who will release Binki’s sophomore EP later this year. 

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Bonny Doon – “Naturally” (Detroit, USA)

RIYL: Whitney, Buck Meek, Nap Eyes

Even when the weather is frightful, Bonny Doon always provide the perfect counter, offering spring-like folk-rock, Americana, and indie-rock. “Crooked Creek”, for instance, was like a summertime drive through the countryside. Now Bill Lennox, Bobby Colombo, and Jake Kmiecik take us to the cabin on the lake, where we can breathe the clean air, shake off the cobwebs from our minds, and focus on the things that matter the most.

A touch of pop is infused into the trio’s folk-rock vibes to create the warm and blissful tones. It’s like a burst of sunshine breaking through the unrelenting darkness, offering us something to hold on to. Such a moment often is associated with a person, and it is for the trio. Lennox finally pulls back the curtain and allows that one person, who can break the spell, enter. When that person does, he reveals his heart.

“I’ve been wanting to open up, it’s true
Open up and let my light shine through
I know it’s scary but I hope you feel it too
Yeah you and I still have so much to do”

How does it end? Only time will tell, as Lennox says it best at the end:

“As the pages turn, as the candle burns
We’ll let it happen naturally
Me and you, you and me”

Bonny Doon’s new album, Let There Be Music, releases June 16th on ANTI Records. Pre-orders available at these links and on Bandcamp.

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Beverly Kills – “Melatonin” (Gothenburg, Sweden)

RIYL: Just Mustard, NewDad, Desperate Journalist

One of the most underrated bands to emerge in the last five years are Beverly Kills. They take post-punk to even more Gothic and cinematic levels than most outfits. Every song is an adventure even when they bring it to the intimacy of the bedroom as they do “Melatonin”.

Right off the bat, the song rings with urgency, led by the desperation emanating from the uneasy percussion and the ringing guitar that echoes in the background. While the air is turbulent, Alma Westerlund’s voice is surprisingly calm. She is focused even in the wee hours of the morning. As her band mates’ instruments intensify, Westerlund does not lose sight of her target.

“And in this city, we could be
Anybody really
Two people caught jaywalking
accidentally crossing paths

And in this room, we could be anybody
Just two strangers at a party
That finally started to talk”

Do not lose sight of Alma Westerlund, Viggo Mattsson, John Jonsén, and Hampus Höggren, who should be on every post-punk fan’s radar. If you’ll be at SXSW, they’ll be there, too, so catch them before they explode.

The single is out on Welfare Sounds & Records.

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The Aquadolls – “Sneaky” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Avril Lavigne + Cherry Glazerr + Beach Bunny

After Melissa Brooks turned The Aquadolls into a full band project with Jacqeline Proctor and Keilah Nina joining her, their sophomore album as a group (and third for The Aquadolls), Charmed, was originally expected last year. It has been delayed until this year, which is perfectly fine since it allows the trio to tease what is to come and get new and old fans excited. As a hint of what might be coming, they share “Sneaky”, which is shot right out of the canons of ’90s grunge-pop.

While the melody may be delightful at times, there is an unquestionable angst that brims under the crystalline guitar and the gritty pop tones. It also is heard in Brooks’ tongue-in-cheek lyrics, as she asks another if she means anything to him or if she’s just an object of desire. For Brooks, though, she desires more than just to be a “late-night sneaky lil thing?” Now can she convince the other to commit?

Melissa Brooks (vocals, guitar), Jacqueline Proctor (drums), and Keilah Nina’s (bass) new album, Charmed, will be released on Enci Records. The date is still to be announced.

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Yo Kinky! – “Video Store” (New York City, USA)

RIYL: The Raveonettes, Unloved, The Kills

In 2021, a little duo piqued our interests with their dark seduction and great storytelling. They were Yo Kiny! Just as momentum was building in Laura Wight and Tom Unis’ favor, they took a little break. Then again, we were still in the throes of a pandemic and learning how to live in this new world. The duo, however, were not completely idle, as they were working on tracks for their sophomore EP, Erotic Creature, which is expected later in the year. Its first single features all the elements that made us takes notice back in November 2020.

Silky smooth yet with the mystery of an alley at 2AM, we become drawn into the “Video Store”. In this relic of the ’80s, every television emits an image with which we’re familiar. The scenes on the screens are not the movies we watched on VHS tapes or DVDs nor are they even trailers of upcoming films. They are instead memories of our lives. As Unis’ guitar shimmers in the background in this sultry soundscape, Wight tells herself to pull up her boots, tighten the straps, and step away. Her past may be recorded, but her and Unis’ future has yet to be written. And that is an exciting thought.

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Barbara – “Ghosted” (San Francisco, USA)

RIYL: Ekkah, Parcels, Daft Punk

At first listen, “Ghosted” sounds like the prequel to Barry Manilow’s classic, “Copacabana”. The same groovy, disco and samba vibes filter through Barbara‘s newest track. And like what Manilow did nearly 50 years ago, the Bay-area DJ, who is known around the clubs as DJ Barbs, crafts a great story. This tune, as such, is not solely to made for dancing or temporary escapism (but it’s made for the disco); it also is intended to make us think twice.

While Manilow sang about Lola and how the former showgirl lost her love, Tony (he was was shot by Rico if you’re wondering), Barbara takes a broader look at relationships. Specifically, she explains how a “a little girl off the eastern shore / Bound for New York City to make her art” gets drawn into a relationship with a “little boy off the western shore / He played computers”. Their paths converge, where one falls in love and the other views the rendez-vous as nothing more than a game. While the “little girl” does not lose the love of her life, we can only imagine she wishes the same fate that felled Tony happened to the “little boy off the western shore.” Instead, he makes off like a ghost.

This excellent number is taken from Barbara’s forthcoming, new album, Palm City Dreams. It is expected in the autumn (tentatively September or October).



Suki Waterhouse – “To Love” (London, England)

RIYL: Mazzy Star, Sam Valdez, Lana Del Rey

When Suki Waterhouse released I Can’t Let Go a year ago, she shared a collection of songs that were as brittle as they were beautiful. Immediately, she went to work on album number two, and the London-based singer-songwriter already has written enough to fill an entire LP. Actually, she’s written more than enough for a record, as last week she released a brand new tune. According to Waterhouse, “To Love” is being shared now because it didn’t quite fit with her conception of her sophomore album. If anything, “To Love” sounds like it could be from the I Can’t Let Go sessions, which means it’s a showstopper.

For four minutes, pause everything and allow Waterhouse’s gorgeous voice take your breath away. Let the emotion that surges from her vocal during the track’s dazzling climax overwhelm you and make you realize “how lucky we are” to have that special someone. And make you realize how lucky we are to have a rising star like Waterhouse performing today and making us not take anything for granted.

The single is out on Sub Pop, who also released I Can’t Let Go. Expect to hear this song on a future Netflix series and nearly every other wedding this year.

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Matt Maltese – “Museum” (London, England)

RIYL: Kings of Convenience, Sam Evian, Belle and Sebastian, Keane

British-Canadian artist Matt Maltese is the rare artist that can capture a lifetime of moments into a single song. At the same time, he can have us re-live all of them within a short duration. This makes his newest single so appropriately titled, not to mention it encompasses Maltese’s greatness.

Like entering the Guggenheim, The Louvre, Uffizi Gallery, or Pergamon, “Museum” is awe-inspiring. Its uplifting and upbeat melody – which is a mix of Belle and Sebastian, King of Convenience, and Keane – induces smiles and reflection. Memories will flood into your mind over the next 185 seconds as quickly as flipping through a photo album. Maltese encourages us to embrace all the ups and downs that have defined our lives because these “artifacts” are what made us. They, as such, are to be celebrated before we bid adieu because, unlike Maltese, not all of us can be immortalized in song. Not all of us can leave a legacy like this great singer-songwriter.

Maltese’s upcoming new album, Driving Just to Drive, arrives April 28th via Nettwerk Music. It includes previously-released songs, “Mother” and the title track. Pre-orders are available on Bandcamp and on Matt’s website (link below).

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