In Part 2 of our special International Women’s Day doubleheader, The Matinee ’23 v. 031 includes eight brilliant songs. They build on the themes heard in The Matinee ’23 v. 030 – or the first half of our music selection – which are that of inner strength and breaking away from the things that keep us down.

If there’s a specific tune you would like to hear, click on the title in the list below. Two posts are written to get these great tracks on to HypeM

To listen to all the tunes without interruption (i.e., clicking on each track provided below or working through both The Matinee lists), hear them on The Songs of March and April 2023 playlist. It’s available on Spotify and SoundCloud

Kate Davis – “Long Long Long” (New York, USA)

RIYL: Marika Hackman, Liza Anne, Sharon Van Etten

The stars are aligning for Kate Davis to become the next great American indie star. She’s already an accomplished songwriter, having co-written tracks like Sharon Van Etten’s “Seventeen”. With her sophomore album just around the corner and having released sensational singles in “Consequences”“Monster Mash”, and “Call Home”, the question is not if she’ll be a star but when, and the New Yorker makes an emphatic statement that her time is now with “Long Long Long”.

A gauzy guitar lingers under the surface, capturing the uncertainty in Davis’ mind. As the song gradually builds and each word is heard, the desperation becomes magnified. We, as such, become sucked into the dizzying world that Davis occupies, understanding how for a very long, long, long time she has struggled in silence. How since the days she listened to that Barenaked Ladies song on the radio or dance to that Kylie Minogue song, she has desired happiness.

Here’s hoping it happens no later than March 24th, which is when Davis’ new album, Fish Bowl, arrives via ANTI Records. Pre-order it here or directly on Bandcamp.

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

RIYL: HÆLOS, Vök, Portishead

Last Friday, LANNDS‘ long-awaited debut album, Music for the Future, arrived. The LP’s 11 songs showcased vocalist and guitarist Rania Woodard and multi-instrumentalist Brian Squillace’s vast talents, where they could create hypnotic, club-oriented electronic music to sultry trip-hop. In our humble opinions, they are at their best when they channel their inner HÆLOS or Portishead and take us to another dimension, which they call “Vega” on the album’s spotlight track.

Strap in not because the tune is a roller coaster ride but to avoid you from falling off your chair or floating too high into the clouds. The duo achieve this with a minimalist approach, relying on keys, a drum machine, the occasional guitar strike, and some ambient effects. Oh, and there’s Woodard’s voice, which lies in the distance. Its warmth and dreaminess creates a gravitational pull from which we cannot pull away, nor do we wish to. We lie motionlessly, taken away by Woodard’s deepest desires, which is to reconnect with the people she bid adieu not long ago. And we connect with her on this scintillating number. 

LANNDS’ debut album, Music for the Future, is out on Run for Cover Records. Pick it up on Bandcamp or at the label’s store

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Miesha & The Spanks – “Mom Jeans // Mom Genes” (Calgary, Canada)

RIYL: Ex Hex, Wild Flag, Le Tigre 

While some artists deliver a heartfelt ballad when sharing their experiences with pregnancy and later parenthood, Miesha & The Spanks throw that playbook out with the proverbial bath water. The Calgary-based band that was formed by Miesha Louie (lead vocals, guitar) and Sean Hamilton (drums, backing vocals) are a rock band, and they aren’t going to change their stripes, not even for Louie’s children. Heck, they’re not even going to write a song about how great it is to have kids, focusing instead on one’s self on “Mom Jeans // Mom Genes”.

Cathartic yet assertive, bombastic but engaging, this garage-infused riot-grrrl rocker is awesome. Without listening to Louie’s lyrics at first, one might be induced to starting a mosh or doing fist pumps. However, the front-person’s lyrics are too good to ignore. The first thing she says is how she wishes to have the body she once had, but now she has to wear the mom jeans she so long despised. No matter how much she exercises and made changes to her diet, she cannot shake the mom genes. Now, she’s resigned to the fact that this is her new life. At least she has adorable little ones who will love her unconditionally – at least until they turn two and we cannot wait to hear what Louie has to share at that point!

The single is out on the band’s long-time, supportive label, Mint Records

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Miya Folick – “Mommy” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, BATTS, Warpaint

And speaking about parents, the sensational Miya Folick‘s latest single from her sophomore album, Roach, takes on the parent-child relationship from the other perspective. With a melodic and patient approach that merges alt-pop, Japanese, and art-rock textures, Folick is at her introspective best. She peers deeply into her subconscious and examines the connection between her parents, particularly her “Mommy”, and how they have defined her. Folick peers introspectively to understand how much she is like them and how they can be so different from her. Her opening lines are eye-opening:

“My mother keeps secrets like a ghost
I ask her what her parents were like
She says that she doesn’t know
I find that hard to believe
If someone asked me to describe her
I’d recall everything”

Later, she dives deeper, finding more questions. While Folick may not find any suitable answers, she starts to understand that all relationships have boundaries.

“Please tell me what makes this life mine
Maybe it is obvious
But can you explain one more time
If I am the kin of my kin
Where do my parents end and
Where do I begin?”

Just a beautiful examination of family and oneself, done in a way that only Miya Folick can do. 

Roach will be out May 26th on Nettwerk Music Group. Many of the songs from the record have already been released, including “Bad Thing”, “Nothing to See”, “Ordinary”, “Oh God”, and “Get Out of My House”

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PVRIS – “Goddess” (Boston, USA)

RIYL: YONAKA, Allie X, Troye

Over her decade-plus career, Lyndsey Gunnulfsen has turned PVRIS into a tour-de-force sensation. Synth-pop, electro-pop, alt-rock, or electro-rock, one word defines the band’s music – explosive. They show no signs of slowing down. Actually, they might be speeding up if “GODDESS” is any indication.

While the song was released a month ago, Gunnulfsen shared the track’s video yesterday, which seems appropriate given today’s significance. As this guitar- and electronic-fueled number advances and becomes increasingly dizzying, Gunn’s voice is defiant. The Massachusetts native looks into the eyes of the male-oriented society and its minions, and she proclaims that she’s taking over. Forget gods, this world is now ruled by Goddesses like PVRIS. The video reveals how they are taking over and bringing us to our knees.

“I don’t know who your god is
But I’m a goddess
so hypnotic
I’ll write you a sonnet
You know I got it
so I flaunt it
Said you wanted iconic
I’ve been iconic since I started
I keep climbing and clawing
(This shit is so exhausting!)”

The single is out on Hopeless Records.

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Ratboys – “Black Earth, WI” (Chicago, USA)

RIYL: Valley Queen, My Morning Jacket, Big Thief

As Ratboys prepare to hit the road and descend on SXSW, the Julia Steiner- (vocals, guitar) and David Sagan-led (guitar, backing vocals) band could share tunes from the 2021 LP, Happy Birthday, Ratboy, or the much-beloved and celebrated Printer’s Devil (which was one of our favorite albums of 2020), but they decided to add another song to their arsenal. “Black Earth, WI”, however, isn’t just any ordinary track. It’s an epic that will sound fantastic live.

This number sounds like the band’s entire 11+-year history captured in 8.5 minutes. It moves from summery folk-rock to an outrageously awesome rocker in the middle, which is highlighted by a ripping guitar solo. In the third act, it takes a trippy, spacey tone with Sagan’s vocal completely distorted. Steiner’s voice, however, remains lush and soothing, and it is the song’s anchor. Her words could be from a great myth, but there is something extremely true with what she has to share.

“And with one almighty lightning strike
The Great Lake rose up behind
Said, “Baby, you best turn around”

So I went back
I went back to the shore
To follow Her pathway

In addition to Steiner and Sagan, Ratboys are Sean Neumann (bass, guitar, backing vocals) and Marcus Nuccio (drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals). The legend Chris Walla guests on piano on the track. The single is out on Topshelf Records. Surely, a new album announcement is coming.

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Telenova – “Lost in the Rush” (Melbourne, Australia)

RIYL: Slum Sociable, Cannons, Tender

Telenova‘s ascent as one of Australia’s must-see and most popular bands has been fairly rapid. In less than two years, they’ve become Triple J favorites with several of their songs considered on the famed radio station’s Hottest 100 list in that time. It’s easy to understand why Australians have flocked to the band since their music is sensual yet groovy, enticing and hypnotic. Nine weeks into 2023, one of our Artists to Watch finally have released their first song of the year.

With “Lost in the Rush”, Angeline Armstrong, Edward Quinn, and Joshua Moriarty once again have listeners under their spell. The track is filled with mystery and seduction, emitting vibes that often are associated with an unexpected 2AM rendezvous. It is music made to make bodies move in sync on the dance floor, but the entities that are Armstrong’s partners cannot be seen nor are they welcomed. On the contrary, she seeks to shake them and survive the night. 

“And I’m searching for something
But the night is eternal
Will I break through the surface or
Sink deep down?
Flirting with my demons
Shivering in secret
Wake me from the shadows at dawn”

The single is out on Pointer Recordings. Here’s wishing that the trio release their long-awaited, debut album.

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Zelma Stone – “A Dance” (Los Angeles via San Francisco, USA)

RIYL: Squirrel Flower, Babehoven, Fenne Lily

We root for all the artists we write about, hoping they will achieve widespread acclaim and enduring success and prosperity. Some, however, we root a bit harder for, and Chloe Zelma Studebaker, who performs under the moniker Zelma Stone, is one of them.

The Bay-area native has endured more than more people have experienced, losing her brother when she was 14 years old to a tragic car accident and then her mother, grandfather, and close friend Jenny in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire. When she released her debut Dreamland EP in 2020, it was her way to deal with her grief and reconnect with the people she lost. Slowly, Studebaker has moved on, which included leaving San Francisco for Los Angeles.

While the scars of the past will never disappear, Stone channels her energies in a different direction on “A Dance”. Specifically, she provides an emotional release to all those who are stuck in neutral. The song solemnly commences with a steel guitar cutting through the melancholic ambience. Studebaker’s voice is slightly above a whisper, delicately revealing the box in which she finds herself. Slowly, the song intensifies, reaching the level akin to spiritual catharsis. Studebaker’s vocal explodes, unleashing the emotion that she has kept in. The moment is liberating. It is unforgettable.

“Are you okay? Are you alright?
I thought you had it all worked out last time

Ha Ha Ha it’s better to laugh when you fall
I find it funny
Don’t you at all?”

We’ll say it again, Studebaker is going to be a star. 

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