We continue to play catch up, so The Matinee ’23 v. 042 is another marathon of new music and the first of two posts today. Fourteen songs are included in this edition, featuring bands that are reinventing themselves, solidifying their returns after brief hiatuses, or cementing their status as among the elite. The second half is available here

All the tunes are on The Songs of March and April 2023 playlist, which can be spun on Spotify and SoundCloud. To go directly to a featured song, click on the track in the list below:

Lanterns on the Lake – “String Theory” (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England)

RIYL: Flock of Dimes / Jenn Wasner, The National, Daughter

June 2nd cannot come soon enough because one of the great bands of the 21st Century’s fifth album will be released, and there is little doubt in our minds that Versions of Us (Bella Union) will be among the year’s very best. That’s because Lanterns on the Lake‘s previous four LPs were beyond outstanding. Although drummer Ol Ketteringham has moved on, the collective of Hazel Wilde (vocals, piano, guitar), Paul Gregory (guitar), Bob Allan (bass), and Angela Chan (viola) have added Radiohead’s Philip Selway, who provided an urgent tone to the empowering “The Likes of Us”.

On “String Theory”, though, Gregory’s lingering guitar and Chan’s sweeping viola take center stage alongside Wilde’s booming vocal and vivid songwriting. Like the Jupiter 2 shooting through galaxies, the quintet unleash a euphoric anthem that explores the “what ifs” of life. What would it be like to be lost in the stars, to be hurtling through space, and to be the last person standing, are some of the things that Wilde ponders. Her words, as usual, are vivid and poetic, offering a bit of fantasy and wonder in these unsettling times. 

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Pip Blom – “Tiger” (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

RIYL: Warpaint, Le Tigre, Charly Bliss

In the years we’ve covered Pip Blom, she long wowed us with her rollicking guitar-pop and indie-rock and smart lyricism. She was a mix of Courtney Barnett and Alex Lahey. But like many things on this planet, the Dutch artist is branching out and expanding, and her first single of 2023, “Tiger” (via Heavenly Recordings), represents the start of a new chapter.

She enters the realm of early Warpaint and Le Tigre, delivering an electrifying rocker. It’s groovy and assertive, it’s danceable yet at the same time will put an extra bounce in your step as you walk through the crowd. Blom’s words, too, are filled with confidence, as she tells off another and how he “dream(s) about her” – her being someone not named Pip Blom. Blom, however, will not stand for it, but instead she will start a new journey with her pals Tender Blom (guitar, vocals), Darek Mercks (bass), and Gini Cameron (drums). She will – as one commentator on YouTube accurately summed up – start a new era. And it is far more exciting than the person she’s leaving behind. 

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Small Million – “FOMO” (Portland, USA)

RIYL: Cults, Cannons, Wet

Speaking of bands expanding, Small Million – which includes original band members Ryan Linder (guitar, synths) and Malachi Graham (vocals, lyrics) plus Kale Chesney (bass) and Ben Tyler (drums) – are heading in a new direction that goes beyond their folktronica roots. As good as their origins were, their future could be more exciting if “FOMO” is just a sign of what is to come when their new LP is released later this year on Tender Loving Empire.

Like seeing that massive object of frozen water pass by in the open ocean, the duo’s newest single is breathtaking. It is dream-pop as its most gorgeous, where every note – whether it is the feathery percussion, the glistening synths, or the bass that throbs in the background – leaves a mark. And then there are the pair’s harmonies, particularly Graham’s stirring vocals, that are blissful. While on the surface the song is stunning, it deals with saying goodbye one last time to the person who has been with us since day one. But instead of dealing with the turmoil of the loss, Small Million help us remember all the great moments we had. They help us hold on to the things that made that person meaningful to us.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Poppy Patica– “Awful Sound” (Oakland via Washington, D.C., USA)

RIYL: Stephen Malkmus and the Jinks, Apples in Stereo, Dick Diver

If you’re having a tough day, then let Peter Hartmann be your cure. Apparently, long-time friends from his hometown of D.C. and new pals from the Bay area think the same way since they’ve helped Hartmann bring his project, Poppy Patica, to life. And now we get to enjoy his jangly goodness, dancing and prancing along to “Awful Sound”, which is the lead single from his forthcoming album Black Cat Back Stage (May 5th on House Of Joy).

With Stephen Malkmus’ wit and the poppy jitters of Apples in Stereo and Dick Diver, Hartmann sure knows how to lift our spirits with the infectious energy that explodes off each instrument and his tale of trying to get out of town as fast as possible. It is only Wednesday, so we might have to wait a couple of days before we can actually escape. At least we have this energetic tune to get us through the rest of the week. 

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


R. Missing – “Aliveness So Gently Used” (New York City, USA)

RIYL: Boy Harsher, Oppenheimer, Cold Cave

If we cannot escape the city, then descend into its belly and get lost in its underworld. Succumb to the darkness where genres like cold wave and krautrock were born. Where bands and artists like R. Missing thrive. Sharon Shy, however, did face her own challenges, taking a few years off before re-emerging last year with “New Present City”. She is now about to take her rightful place as one of NYC’s finest composers and producers, as “Aliveness So Gently Used” is made to bring all of the Big Apple to their knees.

The track is a hypnotic and spectacular piece of electro-goth / cold wave. Shy’s ghostly vocal is enchanting while the combination of the stark synths, the propulsive beats, and the sweeping electrical waves is like a hallucination. It is spellbinding, inducing us to dance or temporarily lose our minds. In the end, we find ourselves on our knees, succumbing to Shy’s sonic spell.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Low Hummer – “Connected” (Hull, England)

RIYL: INHEAVEN, Wings of Desire, English Teacher

Low Hummer are easily one of our favorite “new” bands of the past two years because their great debut album, 2022’s Modern Tricks for Living, was intelligent, fresh, and a wild ride. Dan Mawer (guitar, vocal), Aimee Duncan (vocal, guitar), John Copley (guitar), Jack Gallagher (bass), Stephanie Hebdon (keys, guitar, vocal), and Joseph Cox’s (drummer) turned art-punk into a highly addictive substance, which is replicated on “Connected”.

With a terrific, bouncy bass line and head noodling-worthy percussion leading the way, Low Hummer cleverly address humanity’s increasingly disengagement with reality. Instead of choosing to interact with other humans, we opt to focus on the images and information coming from our phones and computers. Mawer and Duncan brilliantly capture our addiction when they sing, “I never felt so connected (and alone)/ I’m losing track of the time (all alone).” This band is going places with the help of Dance To The Radio

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Bedroom High Club – “What You Did” (Barnsley, England)

RIYL: Palma Violets, Circa Waves, Vistas

Diligently, Blue Brownlie (vocals, guitarist), Lewis Gelder (guitarist), Dan Partridge (drummer), James Ardron (bassist) have turned Bedroom High Club into a must-see band. Relying on the old-fashion method of playing as many gigs as possible in order to spread their music, they’ve developed a loyal following that has resulted in them playing in a few festivals this summer and embarking on a headline tour. Listening to “What You Did” is all the evidence one needs to understand why Brits are flooding to their shows.

The tune is reminiscent of the angsty, anthemic pop-rock of the late ’90s, where the songs reflected the concerns of a younger generation while getting them to feel they still can change the future. Or in this case, decide whether to move on or stick around with the person who has been “testing my patience.” After all, everyone has a limit to how far they will go to please another. In the case of the Barnsley quartet, they clearly will go far and wide to please their growing fanbase, who will be rewarded this summer when BHC’s debut EP, Above The Belt, drops via Ampersounds.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Rahill – “Fable” (feat. Beck) (New York City, USA)

RIYL: Blonde Redhead, Telenova, Broadcast

Those immersed in the NYC music scene know Rahill Jamalifard‘s name, as she is a poet, writer, DJ, and the front-person for psychedelic surf/garage rock Habibi. Jamalifard is now embarking on a new chapter, commencing a solo career with her debut album, Flowers At Your Feet, set to hit airwaves on May 12 via Big Dada Recordings. As a demonstration of her talent and influence, she enlisted the support of Beck on the LP’s latest single, “Fable”.

While Jamalifard could step aside and allow Beck David Hansen to hog the spotlight, the famed artist plays a supporting role and provides backing harmonies. Jamalifard is clearly the star, as her lush vocal swims through the scintillating, psych-pop melody. This combination yields a tune that feels like a heavenly dream. Jamalifard, too, wonders aloud if this life she’s living inside a dream or something she’s read in a fable. Whether this moment is fact or fiction, the New Yorker has convinced us that life can be magical, even if just for a few minutes.  

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Stay Lunar – “Distance” (Bristol, England)

RIYL: Death Cab for Cutie + Surf Rock Is Dead + Wild Nothing

In listening to “Distance”, the immediate assumption is that Stay Lunar were born on America’s west coast, likely in Seattle, Portland, the Bay area, or Long Beach. Nope, Harry Leigh, George Coggan, James Rowland, Kate Daggett, and Tom Andrews have been plying their trade in the port city of Bristol, where they’ve perfected their indie pop-rock for four years. But who cares from where a band originates, especially when their newest tune gets the heart racing, the legs and hips shaking, and our voices hollering during the catchy chorus. Seriously, you’ll be shouting, “I’ll keep my distance now,” which are words that Ben Gibbard would write and the upbeat pop heard on a great Death Cab tune. So even though the track deals with heartbreak, we cannot help but feel euphoric.

More west coast vibes are likely to come in July, which is when the quintet’s new EP, When The Sun Sets, will be released.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Matt Maltese – “Florence” (London, England)

RIYL: Kevin Morby, Sam Evian, Bob Dylan

As we noted when hearing “Museum” (and a few other tunes), British-Canadian artist Matt Maltese is the rare artist that can vividly capture life’s most important moments into a single song. Only a few artists can do this, and some of them are legends. Maybe Maltese will reach this level one day, and “Florence”, which is the latest track from Driving Just to Drive (April 28th via Nettwerk Music), is another feather in his cap.

While comparing him to Bob Dylan may be unfair (not just to Maltese but any artist), he is England’s equivalent to Kevin Morby. A late ’50s folk-rock approach clearly rings through, led by the superb piano arrangement and the supporting guitar and rhythms. Maltese’s engaging and classic voice tells another great tale, this one about a singer named Florence, who turns every patron into an admirer. They cannot take their eyes off her, but in the end, “you’d have to be a man to know” what it’s like to leave with Florence holding your arm. And in his tune, we’re left wondering exactly this, which reveals how great of a storyteller Maltese is. 

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


The Drums – “I Want It All” (New York City, USA)

RIYL: early Twin Shadow, early The Weeknd, Lontalius, 

Last week, Jonny Pierce announced that he was returning as The Drums, and a new album would be released later in the year on ANTI Records. To get fans even more excited, he shared “I Want It All”, which is Pierce’s first new music since 2020’s one-off single, “Ambulance”.

“I Want It All” sees Pierce delve into rhythm-driven dream-pop. As electric drums beat in the foreground, an angular guitar strums quietly in the distant alongside a delicate bass, a hushed synth, and a violin. They create an intoxicating dreamscape, from which Pierce shares memories of his, as he states, “loveless childhood.” “I was pretending that you loved me / Did you love me?”, he sings with a tinge of regret and disappointment. And later he asks, “Why can’t I forget you?, which is an omission that he remains scarred by the years that should have been filled with joy and laughter. While there is pain in the song, it also is a reminder that music can be healing. 

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Opus Kink – “1 : 18” (Brighton, England)

RIYL: Preoccupations, The Murder Capital, Bambara

We’ve become accustomed to Opus Kink‘s manic, high-adrenaline songs, which are like post-punk on parade. Their upcoming EP, My Eyes, Brother! (May on Nice Swan Records) promises to be equally bombastic and mind-blowing – although maybe not all the tracks. On “1 : 18”, Angus Rogers (vocals, guitars), Sam Abbo (bass), Jazz Pope (keys, synth), Jack Banjo Courtney (trumpet), Jed Morgans (alto saxophone), and Fin Abbo (drums) take a completely different spin, unleashing a patiently stark and grimy number.

Forget parades, this tune is intended to have us do the scariest monster mash in the dankest, most cavernous venue in Brighton. The horns are wicked, the rhythms are thunderous, and the guitars possess a steely eeriness. Rogers, meanwhile, sounds like a tortured soul trying to endure the night – should he last the night. His story, which is a mix of Dante’s Divine Comedy and the untold scenes of the Immaculate Conception, is brilliant. And wicked. Just awesome, which is of no surprise since Opus Kink are one of the great post-punk bands in the business.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Lip Filler – “Monster Truck” (London, England)

RIYL: Bloc Party, Malady, English Teacher

Our introduction to Lip Filler occurred in February when they released “Haircut”, which revealed that George (vocals, keys), Jude (guitar), Verity (vocals, guitar), Theo (bass), and Nate’s (drums) ambitions to be more than just another band. Instead of radio-friendly, predictable fare, they have descended down the path that Bloc Party carved out nearly two decades ago, which is music that blends a variety of genres. At its heart, however, is art-rock that can explode or dazzle, which is the case with “Monster Truck”.

Sounding like a track that could have been on Bloc Party’s self-titled album, the single rocks, dazzles, and grooves. Pulsing rhythms cut through the chiming and angular guitars while George and Verity maneuver through the intricate sonic waves. They describe the growing divide between two people because they fail to communicate. They have reached the point where someone must break the ice and end the stand-off. Who will act first? Who will the one to admit they were wrong? These questions may be answered on May 4th, which is when the band’s self-titled debut EP will be released on Chess Club Records.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Beach Fossils – “Don’t Fade Away” (Brooklyn, USA)

RIYL: jangly surf-rock that leaves you in a gaze

The return of one the leading surf-rock bands came last month when Beach Fossils released “Don’t Fade Away”. The single marked the end of a six-year hiatus, and the Dustin Payseur-led outfit sounded like they had never left. They continue to recapture their more youthful days with “Dare Me”, the second single from Payseur (vocals, guitar), Tommy Davidson (guitar), Jack Doyle Smith (bass), and Anton Hochheim’s (drums) forthcoming new album, Bunny (June 2nd via Payseur’s own Bayonet Records).

The trademark, jangly dreaminess is touched with an emotional urgency that rings through the quicker guitar strums and the throbbing rhythms. Payseur’s lush vocal, too, drips with desperation, as he reflects on a moment when a relationship or a friendship was at about to hit its limits. “Sometimes all you’ve really got is your friends / Sometimes you can’t even count on them,” he admits. In the end, he realizes he “need(s) more than this,” and we realize that June cannot come soon enough so we can get more Beach Fossils.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Follow The Revue On...


Share This Article On...