The Lucksmiths – A Good Kind of Nervous on vinyl!

We are thrilled to announce that a special vinyl edition of the classic 1997 album ‘A Good Kind of Nervous’ (matcd089) from Australian hitmakers The Lucksmiths is in the works!

The album is at the pressing plant as we speak and you can preorder it right now on classic black vinyl or limited edition orange vinyl, with copies shipping on or around November 13 if all goes to plan. We are also restocking the album on CD for anyone who missed it the first time around.

Note: this is a co-release with the magnificent Lost and Lonesome Recording Company in Australia, so please support your local label!

Known for their short and bittersweet indiepop songs, economical set-up and charismatic live shows, The Lucksmiths formed in 1993 and initially consisted of singer/snare-drummer Tali White, guitarist Marty Donald, and bassist Mark Monnone.

The band’s fourth album A Good Kind of Nervous introduced them to new audiences at home and abroad (including an invitation to open for Belle & Sebastian on the Scottish band’s first ever European tour) and is considered a high water mark for the early-Lucksmiths sound; ‘Under the Rotunda’, ‘Guess How Much I Love You’, ‘Caravanna’ and ‘Punchlines’ all went on to become perennial live favourites.

Steeped in the Melbourne milieu that The Lucksmiths often referenced in song, the album was recorded in a poorly-heated Victorian terrace in Carlton (which was soon to become a hair salon) and mixed in Mark Monnone’s Fitzroy North house, across the road from the Edinburgh Gardens – the same neighbourhood that inspired the bassist’s skyline silhouette print which adorns the album’s cover.

Reflecting back on the album, chief Lucksmiths songwriter Marty Donald tells us:

A Good Kind of Nervous seems to me now like an early milestone in our career – or a stepping stone, maybe, between the happy-go-lucky kids we started out as and the somewhat more ambitious band we would become. We began to tour more widely after making this record, in Australia and overseas, but it feels very grounded in the inner-northern suburbs I rode my bike through each morning in October 1997, on my way to the studio on Elgin Street. 

My favourite moments on the album are those that are drawn more or less directly from the lives the three of us were living back then. I hadn’t given up entirely on the idea that pretty much any subject might be turned into a pop song (see the forays into the sub-genre of true-crime indie), but the realisation that there was ample inspiration to be found in everyday experience was a watershed for me, which has underpinned my songwriting ever since. 

All these years on, I think you can hear in these songs a band growing up: beginning to take ourselves – or at least what we were doing – a little more seriously, and to see where it might lead us.

Originally released on CD in 1997 by two iconic indie labels of the day – Candle Records (Australia) and Drive-In Records (US) – A Good Kind of Nervous served to launch the band from their Melbourne cradle into the waiting world and what was to become a long procession of international releases and touring until the band’s split in 2009.

The 2020 release — the first time the album is available on vinyl — is officially released November 13, but you can preorder a copy RIGHT NOW exclusively from the Matinée shop!

You can also listen to a few gems on our Soundcloud:

 

 

 


Pandemic pop + our new website!

Hello popfans, and apologies for the long time since the last Matinée news update.  We started the year with an ambitious and exciting release schedule, including a mix of singles and albums from some Matinée favorites and a handful of new bands.  We had no idea just how dramatically the pandemic would impact everything in our lives and yours. 

As the earliest release dates approached, the world was in chaos and pop music seemed like a very low priority for everyone.  Tentative release dates were rescheduled over and over as we looked forward to recovery, and here we are eight months later with zero releases for the year. 

In June, we decided to use the unplanned hiatus to address some antiquated features of the Matinée website.  The initial plan was a modest update to the shopping cart to enhance security features and modernize the checkout experience. This plan was quickly revised, and ultimately we embarked on a complete overhaul of the entire website.  The results of our efforts are now live, and we are very excited to share it with you!

The new website is streamlined, modern, and mobile friendly at last!  The news page is the source of the latest information as always but we’ve improved the layout and navigation.  The page includes an archive of the past 20 years of Matinée news for astute indie scholars and insomniacs alike. 

The brand new Matinée shop is the main feature, showcasing our latest releases and celebrating our impressive back catalog with new sorting functionality by artist and format.  Each release page provides key details including catalog number, release date, tracklisting, and promotional text plus reviews. Each page also includes a Soundcloud player so you can preview tracks before you buy.

Each page presents all available formats (cd, vinyl, and digital download) and the ability to add a release directly to your shopping cart.  The shop even features exclusive downloads for the early vinyl-only releases that never made it to other download sites. The brand new shopping cart includes the latest security features and a thoroughly modern checkout experience with direct credit card payments plus accelerated processing via PayPal and more. 

Our new artist pages are the perfect way to ensure you know about all available releases from your favorites including compilation appearances, and the handy discography page is a dream come true for label completionists who want to view the entire Matinée catalog all in one place.  Is your collection complete?

Finally, the new contact page presents various ways to get in touch with the label, including our email address and links to Matinée pages on Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud and Youtube.  It also includes a handy place to subscribe to our new Matinée newsletter for advance notice of forthcoming releases, special offers, and sales in the Matinée shop.

The new website is the work of the incomparable Chris McFarlane of IndiePages and Jigsaw Records fame, who has created quite a few websites including one for our pals at indie label and distribution juggernaut Darla Records.  Chris developed the first Matinée website 20 years ago and orchestrated the majorly expanded one that served us since 2012, but we think this new one is his finest work to date!  He is a technological wizard and one of the nicest guys I have ever met so if you are in the market for a cost effective e-commerce solution he’s definitely your guy. 

Finally, huge thanks also to all the brilliant Matinée artists for entrusting us with your incredible releases and to our remarkably loyal fans as we would be nothing without your support. We’re really proud of everything we have accomplished with the label since 1997 and we’re excited to see what the future will bring.

We have an impressive backlog of rescheduled releases that we’ll announce in very short order, including imminent releases from My darling YOU!, Northern Portrait, The Royal Landscaping Society, Strawberry Whiplash and more, plus a very special Matinée compilation. Watch this space for new release details and exclusive previews in the coming weeks. 

In the meantime, we could use some help testing out our fancy new shop!  To incentivize you, all orders $30 or more will have a special 30 percent discount automatically applied at checkout so add a few things and make your stereo happy.  The sale applies to everything in the shop and ends at midnight on September 7 so you might as well check it out now.  Have fun exploring the website and please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions. We are really excited about it and hope you like what we’ve done!

 

 


Matinée year in review

As 2019 comes to a close, we pause to celebrate our 22nd year which consisted of 18 brilliant releases from the likes of Azure Blue, Bubblegum Lemonade, Math and Physics Club, My Darling YOU!, The Perfect English Weather, The Popguns, Red Sleeping Beauty, and The Royal Landscaping Society.

The releases are available from the Matinée shop for your high fidelity home stereo, or you can stream all 71 tracks on this handy 2019 playlist on Spotify. Thanks for all your support this year and see you in 2020 with even more exciting new releases!

 


Math and Physics Club – Indian Ocean 7″

102 sleeve

The final single (matinée 102) from Math and Physics Club is a bittersweet but fitting coda for a band that has always worn its heart on its sleeve. It is also a posthumous tribute to guitarist and co-founder James Werle, who passed away last year after his battle with cancer.

James didn’t play on these recordings, but he is absolutely part of their fabric. That much is clear from the moment his Rickenbacker chimes the opening notes on ‘Indian Ocean’. The song was written shortly before James died, but the band never had a chance to record it. Perhaps seeking connection more than anything else, the remaining members decided to finish it in honor of their friend and bandmate. With bassist Ethan Jones stepping in to record James’ guitar part, the result is a bit of magic and an instant MAPC classic.

The flip-side, ‘In Dreams’, is a requiem of sorts, written for James in the weeks following his death. Stripped down acoustic guitar, mandolin, and layered vocals pack an emotional wallop. The lyrics are sparse and laid bare, but hopeful. The song’s spare arrangement juxtaposed with the lush guitars on Side A reveals a space left unmistakably unfilled.

Lets be clear: As much as this single is an embrace of grief and loss, it is also a nutshell of what Math and Physics Club does best. Economical, well-crafted, heartfelt pop. It’s a final keepsake from a band that has been making songs like these for the better part of the past 15 years. Did you expect anything less? Limited to 500 copies on 7-inch black vinyl with cover art by Olympia artist Jimmy Ulvenes.

The single is officially released December 13, but you can preorder a copy RIGHT NOW exclusively from the Matinée shop and enjoy the digital download while you wait for the postman. We expect to ship preorders by December 6. You can also stream ‘Indian Ocean’ now on our Soundcloud!

 


Lucksmiths sale in the Matinée shop!

2008Lucksmiths

Next Thursday, August 29, marks the 10th anniversary of The Lucksmiths farewell show, performed to a packed room at the Corner Hotel in their hometown of Melbourne, Australia.

The show capped off a lengthy farewell tour of Europe and Australia with Marty, Tali, Mark and Louis playing a different set of songs each night. The final night, with a bumper 33-song setlist, was recorded to video to enable the release of a very special farewell concert DVD called ‘Unfamiliar Stars’ (matdvd058).

To commemorate the passing of ten years we are holding a week-long sale, beginning today, with a handsome 50 percent off the ‘Unfamiliar Stars’ DVD and nice bargains on the entire in-stock Lucksmiths CD catalog. This is a great opportunity to fill in remaining gaps in your Lucksmiths collection or introduce a secret crush to your favorite band with an old school CD or DVD. Pro tip: offer to watch the DVD with your crush and you’ll have a solid chunk of quality time together!

To join the week-long celebration, our good pals at the Lost And Lonesome Recording Company in Australia are also marking down their Lucksmiths CDs and DVDs so please limit your carbon emissions by purchasing from whichever label is closest to you. Important note: The Matinée DVD is an all-regions disc in NTSC format and the Lost & Lonesome DVD is in PAL format.

A selection of Lucksmiths songs is copied below to remind you of their brilliance!

 


The Royal Landscaping Society – Clean

DA018 sleeve

Spanish duo The Royal Landscaping Society has released 16 songs on respected international labels in the past five years and to celebrate their arrival on the Matinée roster we are releasing a special compilation of their music called ‘Means of Production’ in advance of an exclusive new 7″ single next year.

Following the very well received initial single ‘Goodbye’ (matda009) in May, ‘Clean’ is another immaculate dose of crystalline electronic indiepop that should appeal to fans of Sarah Records bands Brighter and The Field Mice in particular.

In addition to the title track, the digital single (matda018) also features an ace cover of ‘I Love You More’ by K Records superstar duo The Softies. The single is available now in the Matinée shop or from your favorite digital merchant including iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.

Have a listen to ‘Clean’ now on our Soundcloud!

 


The Popguns – Carrying the Fire EP

DA017 sleeve

The first release in two years from English indie legends The Popguns is out today!

Borrowing its title from Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins’ autobiography, the six-track ‘Carrying the Fire’ EP (matda017) is a space operetta that imagines a higher intelligence welcoming humans into space with advice to put their faith into reason if they want to succeed.

It begins with a piano prelude before the guitar-rock title track ‘Carrying The Fire’ erupts with barely controlled power. The higher intelligence wonders ‘What Do You Seek?’ before orbit is established and the ‘Laws Of Motion’ narrated by the very distinguished David Brand plays to a hypnotic backdrop of electronica. The operetta finishes on a light-hearted note with an acoustic bar room sing-along ‘Drop Me Off In The Ocean’ which compares the return journey to your basic Friday evening commute home whilst looking forward to a beer in the bar.

‘Carrying The Fire’ and ‘Laws Of Motion’ also appear on the WIAIWYA compilation CD ‘The Moon And Back’ celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

The ‘Carrying the Fire’ EP is available at a special price in the Matinée shop and from the usual digital merchants. You can stream the title track and ‘Drop Me Off In The Ocean’ now on our Soundcloud!

 


Holiday in Spain

espana2019

 


Red Sleeping Beauty – Tonight EP

099 sleeve

We are thrilled to announce the exclusive new ‘Tonight’ EP (matinée 099) from Swedish legends Red Sleeping Beauty! The trio of Niklas Angergard, Kristina Borg, and Mikael Matsson formed in the early 1990s and released acclaimed records on numerous international indie labels including Marsh Marigold, Sunday, Siesta, Labrador, and Shelflife so we are truly honored to add Matinée to their illustrious discography.

Lead track ‘Tonight’ is an ode to the hopes and possibilities of youthful summer nights, featuring vintage synthesizers and exceptional dual vocals from Niklas and Kristina along with an especially healthy dose of reverb. ‘Someone Somewhere’ is an A-side of its own, featuring enchanting vocals from Kristina, soaring synths, and an insanely catchy chorus that cements its status as a perfect three-minute pop song.

‘Emma’s House’ is a charming cover of the debut Sarah single from English band The Field Mice that builds from a simple and pensive beginning to an electronic and atmospheric conclusion that nicely mirrors the evolution of the original band’s career arc. Final track ‘Falling Out Of Love’ is a massive club hit waiting to happen, with swirling and wonderfully chiming synthesizers racing at an especially impressive beats per minute for maximum dancefloor filling capability.

Released just three months after the smash album ‘Stockholm’ (matcd084) earlier this year, the ‘Tonight’ EP is an extraordinary and essential addition to the Red Sleeping Beauty catalog.

The EP is officially released July 12, but you can order a copy RIGHT NOW exclusively from the Matinée shop. Limited time offer: we actually have copies of the CD in hand already, so if you order by June 25 we will send a copy the same day! After that we are on vacation so subsequent orders will ship July 10 but you can still enjoy the digital download while you wait for the postman.

To get you even more excited, you can stream ‘Tonight’ and ‘Someone Somewhere’ now on our Soundcloud!

 


Matinée welcomes My darling YOU!

MDY

We have been big fans of Swedish duo My darling YOU! since their self-released EPs early last decade all the way through a stunning run of releases on the Luxury Records label. They are masters of a sort of shouty, energetic pop that appealed to our teenage punk addiction in the same sort of way that Sportique did in the very early days of Matinée.

Some people used to say that Sportique were not a typical Matinée band … whatever that means … and the same people might think that about My darling YOU! but of course they would be wrong.

Sometime recently we heard a rumor that the band may have new recordings on the horizon and figured it was as good a time as any to get in touch with them. This correspondence resulted in a plan to release an album entitled ‘A Dream Come True’ this summer that collects 20 tracks from sold out EPs previously released by the band.

One of the tracks from the compilation is ‘Thanks For Letting Me Stay’ which originally appeared on the band’s final release in 2011. It’s a song about drinking too much and regretting it the next day and it has a fantastic shambolic energy to it that is typical in their recordings.

We are advancing the album with a digital single (matda016) including this song and a track called ‘Spring’ that will not be on the compilation. The single is available today in the Matinée shop or from your favorite digital retailer so we are excited to officially welcome the band to the Matinée roster. ‘Thanks For Letting Me Stay’ is also a featured track now on our Soundcloud!