The Matinee ’23 v. 048, which is the second half of our Monday marathon of new music, goes from a dreamy intimacy to adrenaline-filled tunes and then back again. Most of these tracks will have you up on your feet, so wear some comfortable shoes or slippers.

For more get-up-out-of-your-seats music, check out Part 1 over here. More terrific tunes can be found on The Songs of March and April 2023 playlist on Spotify and SoundCloud.

Lowswimmer – “In Five” (feat. S. Carey) (Cardiff, Wales)

RIYL: S. Carey, Gordi, Bon Iver

Ed Tullett, best known for his work with Novo Amor and Hailaker, releases his own solo music under the name Lowswimmer. In 2022, he released a pair of LPs, Glasshouse 1 and Glasshouse 2. Both were simply stunning, ranging from the lush and beautiful to the stripped down and intimate. Tullet is preparing to release a new Lowswimmer album, Red Eye Effect (May 19th), and its first track “Beelining” had all of the qualities that made Glasshouse records so inviting. Like those outputs, the new one will feature a couple of collaborators, specifically Squirrel Flower and S. Carey.

“In Five” is one of the tracks that includes S. Carey. It starts out gorgeously with some pianos and some flooring vocals from both Tullet and Carey. The slow build is perfectly executed, as layers are added with each line. Before realizing it, the listener is swimming in a dense track. When the dam finally explodes, the listener is left floating, albeit briefly before getting pulled back in with some horns and even more layers. “In Five” is a beautiful ride from start to end.

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Hannah Jadagu – “Admit It” (New York via Mesquite, TX USA)

RIYL: Wet, Sylvan Esso, Maggie Rogers

At 19 years old, Hannah Jadagu has already released some stellar music, and she’s got all the time in the world to refine and build on that. However, with songs like the melancholic “Say It Now” and the barn-burning “What You Did” from her upcoming record Aperture (May 19th on Sub Pop), she already has proven she’s perfected her art, and “Admit It” is another example of her genius.

Stratospheric is the best way to describe “Admit It”. The song has some immediate chilled vibes – from its laid-back drumming to its minimalist synth parts. Jadagu’s vocals float above the track. As it builds, the synth rounds out, some guitar comes in, and with each chorus, more layers are added to amplify Jadagu’s words.

The track is about returning the favor to someone who’s been there to help through the rough times. “I will admit I want to be there for you / All of the times that you have helped me through,” Jadagu emotionally sings. As the song comes to a close, there’s a great section with Jadagu repeating the song’s title as some scratchy electric guitar joins. Then it all falls apart to just the synth one last time. 

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B O K E H – “Lavender Jeans” (Berlin, Germany via Wellington, New Zealand & Cape Town, South Africa)

RIYL: Hatchie, Cannons, Cults

Bokeh is the Japanese word for blur, and it’s found its way into the photography community for the blurry backgrounds that separate them from the subject. Bokeh can add a nostalgic quality to a photo and “the creamier, the better”. Stretched out to B O K E H, it’s also the project for New Zealand-born Chloë Lewer. To anyone who’s heard her music, they know how perfect the image of creamy nostalgia is for her brand of lush, synth-driven pop music. It’s something we expect from her upcoming album, room 42, which will be released on Lewer’s own Gloomstone Records.

“Lavender Jeans” hits those marks right out of the gate. A fantastic bass groove pairs perfectly with some gooey synth. Add in the infectious drumbeat with some delicious layers and Lewer’s pop-perfect voice. There’s even a great, little sax solo meshed with the synth and it’s fantastic. “Lavender Jeans” is just a wonderfully fun track that’s an instant dance party. 

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Jesse Merineau – “Temporary Dopamine” (Sault Ste. Marie, Canada)

RIYL: Half Moon Run, Milky Chance, Gus Dapperton

Located near the delta where Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron meet lies the bustling, border city of Sault Ste. Marie. While the northern Ontario city has been home to a few notable politicians, it has yet to yield a superstar. This could change soon, as Jesse Merineau has established a sizable social media following. In addition, the young Canadian has signed with Vegan Canibal, which is an imprint of notable, Spanish company Blanco y Negro. Given this development, Merineau could follow the paths of The Backstreet Boys and David Hasselhoff, where he becomes a household name overseas before in his own country. His first single with the label certainly should get him noticed.

“Temporary Dopamine” is an indie-pop earworm that could easily boom over every iHeart and college radio station. While the tune buzzes with the energy of a great Milky Chance tune, an understated urgency rings beneath the jangly guitar riffs and the toe-tapping rhythms. It rings in Merineau’s words. While Merineau easily could sing about the usual subjects and use a diarist approach, he does the opposite. He directs his attention to another person and how they refuse to admit that they may be the cause of their plight.

“Why can’t you dig a little deeper / You’re only scratching at the surface / Too busy reading at the headlines / As the truth lies right by you?,” he asks. If Merineau continues down this path of intelligent, observant pop tunes, he’ll be a star both commercially and with the indieheads.

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Reid Jenkins – “Giant Aster” (New York City, USA)

RIYL: Kishi Bashi, Radical Face, Sea Wolf

Every Monday needs a song that simultaneously puts a smile on your face and takes you away to some faraway land. A few artists are masters at this – Kishi Bashi, Radical Face, and Sea Wolf are just a few. Reid Jenkins soon could be recognized within this exclusive company. Check that, he is in this company thanks to “Giant Aster”

Imagine yourself in a humble boat that is calmly floating in an open sea. Imagine the sun high in the sky, and its warmth basking every inch of your being. This is the effect of Jenkins’ newest single, which commences with a tingling xylophone as the New York City-born and -raised artist’s whispery voice sweeps underneath. Rumbling drums, Jenkins’ weeping violin, and horns arrive, and the fantasy takes off. It takes us to a place of beauty and tranquility, which for us is in the open water. For others, maybe it is a place like Neverland, in the middle of a meadow full of blooming, purple flowers, or the peace of home. Wherever this may be, Jenkins provides the perfect song to take us there.

The single is out on Nettwerk Music Group.

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Being Dead – “Muriel’s Big Day Off” (Austin, USA)

RIYL: The Moldy Peaches + Ron Gallo + Burt Bacharach

If your preferred getaway resides in the past, then Being Dead is the band for you. Despite their name, which might elicit visions of a heavy mental band or a riotous punk trio, Juli Keller and Cody Dosier are more like the great college rock outfits that occupied every US campus in the ’80s and ’90s. They may not have been known nationwide, but every student would flood to the local bar to watch them because they are amusing and unpredictable. They are pure geniuses, which the duo prove on “Muriel’s Big Day Off”.

The song’s tale is exactly what it indicates – a mix of Muriel’s Big Fat Greek Wedding and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This is Muriel’s day off before the big day, where she visits a Payless Shoes and does a bunch of a window shopping (we have no idea if she steals a convertible, though). The musical approach is wacky, starting off like a ’70s pop-rock tune that has listeners swaying their heads from side-to-side and “oohing” along with the band. Then it takes a bizarre turn, transforming into a Burt Bacharach-like lounge number. Somehow, however, it all works. And that takes the work of geniuses.

More wackiness will come on July 14th, when Being Dead’s new album, When Horses Would Run, will be released Bayonet Records.

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Color Palette – “Pacing Like a Lion” (Washington, D.C., USA)

RIYL: The Libertines, Maxïmo Park, The Killers

It’s time now to get up on our feet and do the most energetic thing you can do, which might be going for a run or merely putting your desk in the standing position. Trust us, you won’t want to be sitting when popping “Pacing Like a Lion” from Color Palette.

If the name of the project is familiar, you would be correct because we’ve covered Jay Nemeyer’s project in the past. Like eight years ago, the Washington, D.C.-based artist has not lost his touch in creating booming anthems. Throbbing percussion, scintillating synths, and soaring guitars fill the air of the title track from Nemeyer’s new EP (via Enroute Records). The music is like lightning, and Nemeyer’s voice booms through the electricity. He sounds like a person hitting the road for the first time, and in many respects he is since the pandemic interrupted touring. Nemeyer shares the butterflies and uncertainties that keep him company.

“Need something to take the edge off before we hit that first chord, the crowd roars
All your superstitions, warding off the bad notes and anecdotes
Practicing lines, in the parking lot, stomach in knots”

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OK Cool– “soaked in” (Chicago, USA)

RIYL: Wednesday, Dehd, Lily Konisberg

Bridget Stiebris and Haley Blomquist released the melodic yet grungy “nissanweekends” back in March. It’s a track that lived up to the cleverness of their band name, OK Cool. Their 2021 EP, Surrealist, echoed the laid-back nature of their name. They’ve hit on a magic formula, catchy guitar hooks, smart lyricism, and an energy that’s instantly infectious. It’s something we can’t wait to hear in full form on the duo’s new album, fawn (April 28th via Take A Hike Records).

“soaked in” starts of with a bit of a punk vibe with vocals over some electric guitar chords. Then comes the drums and bass to kick things into gear, along with some energetic guitar work sprinkled throughout. The track has a bit of a lo-fi vibe, too, but that’s intentional. The duo wanted to preserve the energy of the demos and keep the tracks as close to them as possible. It pays off in a huge way, as there’s an authenticity that could have easily been polished out if they went too far with things. But they didn’t and the raw energy is delivered right into listener’s ears. Oh, the ending just kicks a ton of ass. We’re glad that stuck around.

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Citrus Clouds – “Spacing Out” (Phoenix, USA)

RIYL: ‘Infinite Granite’-era Deafheaven, Cruush, Softcult

Sometimes we don’t need to say a whole lot to describe a new song because the title says it all. So if you have spacesuit lying around, you know what to do. Even if you don’t have one, you still know what is going to happen when spinning  Citrus Clouds‘ “Spacing Out”.

The Lolipop Records-backed trio of Stacie Huttleston (vocals, bass), Angelica Pedrego (drums), and Erick Pineda (vocals, guitar) unleash a sizzling and dazzling piece of shoegaze. A shimmering guitar ignites the darkened skies, which are presented by the shallow, pulsing bass and the steady, pounding of the drums. For over four minutes, the band rip through the galaxy and take us on a mind-bending escapade.

Huttleston’s ghostly vocal, meanwhile, is our guide. “Spacing out into nothing,” she greets us upon entry. This journey she takes us, however, is not to the outer limits. Instead, she takes us inside her mind, where we witness an incident between two people that has left her scarred for eternally. “Douse me with your gasoline,” Huttleston repeats later. When the tune finishes, we’re left eternally scarred by a great shoegaze band.

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Lunar Isles – “When It’s Gone” (Seoul, Republic of Korea)

RIYL: Day Wave, Beach Fossils, Marlin’s Dreaming

Whatever the reason Scottish-born David Skimming took him to South Korea, the move has allowed his musical side to blossom like the beott-keot (or cherry blossoms) in spring. As Lunar Isles, he’s creating some of the dreamiest music on the other side of the Pacific. A couple of weeks ago, Skimming recently self-released his new album, Right Way, which might remind people of DIIV, Day Wave, and Beach Fossils. From the record is “When It’s Gone”, which is a dazzler. 

A dangling bass line, atmospheric synths, and a wonderfully, gauzy guitar fill every single second of the track. It’s music to, well, daydream to, thinking about all the things that have come and gone. And all the things that have defined us. Skimming, too, reflects on how one person shaped him, and she is not forgotten. And now she is immortalized in a song. This to us is the perfect way to end our marathon of new music.


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