The Matinée Winter Warmer CD
CD  $5.00
Digital download  $4.00

Various Artists - The Matinée Winter Warmer CD

matinée 055   /   December 2004
  1. Slipslide - Baked Alaska
  2. The Fairways - Winter Song
  3. Pipas - Boxes
  4. The Windmills - When It Was Winter
  5. Harper Lee - Bad Christmas
  6. The Liberty Ship - Photograph
  7. The Lucksmiths - The Winter Proper
  8. The Pines - High Street
  9. Lovejoy - I Dream of Angels
  10. Melodie Group - Jingle Bells

Fourth in the popular series of seasonal Matinée samplers - this one released on the eve of winter and containing winter and holiday themed songs from top Matinée artists. Features 10 superb tracks including exclusive new songs from Harper Lee, The Liberty Ship, The Lucksmiths, Melodie Group and Pipas plus seasonal gems from The Fairways, Lovejoy, The Pines, Slipslide and The Windmills. Selling for the price of a single and limited to 1000 copies, it's the perfect stocking stuffer or nifty new year gift.

Indie pop is stronger than ever in the early 2000s, and the Matinée label is one of the reasons why. Their stable of groups includes some of the best current practitioners of the sound, and their dedication to packaging and image is reminiscent of great labels like Sarah and The Subway Organization. The Matinée Winter Warmer is a ten-track collection of songs about winter and Christmas by the cream of their crop. Many of the songs are taken from previous Matinée releases, but a handful (Pipas' "Boxes," Harper Lee's "Bad Christmas," the Liberty Ship's "Photograph," the Lucksmiths' "The Winter Proper," and Melodie Group's "Jingle Bells") are unique to the disc. A couple of songs (the Pines' "High Street" and Lovejoy's "I Dream of Angels") are quite rare, too, making the disc quite a collector's item. More importantly, this is an excellent listen and features two tracks that will be on indie kids' winter mix CDs every year: the Fairways' achingly beautiful "Winter Song" and the Lucksmiths' beautifully aching "The Winter Proper." Another gem from a label with enough gems to fill up a couple of jewelry boxes.   --All Music Guide
"Winter warmer" might sound more like a coffee than a CD, but let me tell you...on a cold, grey day getting a package of fantastic CDs in the mail was definitely enough to brighten the day. Among those CDs was indeed The Matinée Winter Warmer. The winter edition of Matinée's seasonal compilations shows off what the label has to offer as well as any of them; more than that, though, it's filled with really splendid pop songs, songs that are sensitive and melodic and fetching. The collection opens with two familiar songs, at least to listeners who've been dutifully following all of Matinée's releases (as any fan of smart pop music should): Slipslide's "Baked Alaska" and The Fairways' "Winter Song". Both are winter songs without a cliched "isn't the cold bitter" sort of attitude, but still with a tinge of sadness appropriate for the season. That tinge falls across the rest of Matinée Winter Warmer as well. It includes rarities and unreleased songs, like Pipas' truly pretty, lightly melancholy "Boxes," Harper Lee's just-as-pretty, even sadder "Bad Christmas" (as in "one year forward is two steps backwards / it's another bad bad christmas"), the lovely, kind of funny and kind of sad family-reunion ballad "High Street" by The Pines, and a great new Lucksmiths song called "The Winter Proper," filled with atmosphere and feeling (label head Jimmy Tassos is right on the money when he notes in the CD's notes that this song "is a nice reminder of how lovely a new lucksmiths album would be"). Overall a splendid compilation - pay attention to Matinée in 2005, as always they have a lot of great music in store for us.   --Erasing Clouds
You know the score by now; the usual suspects line up for the seasonal round of exceptional indie tunes on the finest label in the world. And so here we have Slipslide offering us the lilting, beautiful ‘Baked Alaska’ from their debut album, The Fairways playing a Belle and Sebastian song better than B&S have done for a few years now with ‘Winter Song’ (can you spot the theme yet?) and Pipas score the first hat-trick by giving us the sinister yet snugly ‘Boxes’. Why can’t other compilation albums be like this? Why can’t other compilation albums have Harper Lee’s ‘Bad Christmas’ (an exclusive, no less!) cosying up for the night with an old favourite like The Windmills’ ‘When It Was Winter’ – a song that brings back so many bad memories of shit journeys back to where I was born that, perversely it remains one of my favourite Matinée tracks? The Liberty Ship – surely Nottingham’s most cherished secret – even contribute a new track! And a stormer it is too. ‘Photograph’ sounds like it was recorded under Marc Elston’s bed, but that’s half the charm. It’s also got a lovely guitar part running all the way through it, and then gets all jangly in the chorus. How marvellous. And I still haven’t mentioned the fact that only The Pines can get away with making ‘High Street’ sound so warm and lovely. No band since The Housemartins have been able to make this kind of sparse indie chamber music sound so special. All this is without telling you about the lovely new Lucksmiths track, ‘The Winter Proper’, or indeed ‘I Dream of Angels’ – another gentle epic from Lovejoy that bodes well for the future. The Melodie Group end the album with their Casiotone version of ‘Jingle Bells’. Throwaway? You bet, and all the better for it. Christmas may be gone for another year, and thank heavens for that. But, remember. ‘The Matinée Winter Warmer’ is for life, not just for Christmas.   --Tasty
To complete the collection of seasonal Matinée samplers, here's the winter installation! Unlike the other samplers, which were really just named for what time of year they came out, this disc is actually compiled of winter-themed tunes. From previous releases, we have the Fairways' delightful "Winter Song", the soft and snowy "I Dream Of Angels" from Lovejoy, "When It Was Winter" from the Windmills, "Baked Alaska" from Slipslide, and the Pines' "High Street" (which originally appeared on a limited Xmas EP). The other half of the disc is comprised of brand new songs from the other half of the active Matinée roster, including the Lucksmiths, Pipas, Liberty Ship, Harper Lee, and an adaptation of "Jingle Bells" from the Melodie Group. But now I have to wonder - will the Matinée samplers start with spring again, or will there be a new running theme to them?   --IndiePages
E' forse la prima volta che la collana stagionale Matnée si presenta con un'uscita a forte connotazione metereologica: i dieci pezzi di questa quarta ed ultima compilation sono invariabilente dedicati all'inverno e al Natale, argomenti che ispirano gli indiepopper persino più della primavera. E ad aggiungere valore al piatto, c'è un corposo numero di inediti che per quanto possano far pensare a scarti di lusso sono pur sempre una spanna al di sopra della media stagionale: alla Matinée hanno proprio una squadra di campioni. Si comincia con un pezzo già edito ma nondimeno essenziale: il ricordo non ha annacquato "Baked Alaska" degli Slipslide, anzi se possibile l'ha resa persino più bella e confortevole. Al tempo di "The World Can Wait" avevamo parlato di "un tripudio di accordi 80s grondanti malinconia agrodolce" ma è molto più di questo: si tratta di un pezzo magico, le cui magnifiche armonie procurano alternativamente caldo e freddo e confondono i sensi, dando un'idea di quanto dovremo aspettarci da questo album. Che è, nell'ordine: I Fairways - la cui definitiva assenza mette addosso una strana malinconia - con la festiva "Winter Song", che per quanto fosse uno dei pezzi meno eclatanti di "This is Farewell" rimane sempre un bel sentire (l'unico problema è che quell'album lo *dovete* avere, e quindi la sua presenza qui risulta superflua). I soliti, favolosi Pipas di "Boxes", in cui la voce triste di Lupe fa sfracelli sui semplici accordi acustici di Mark grazie a semplici sovraincisioni, e se questa è un'anticipazione del prossimo album davvero non vediamo l'ora. Gli Harper Lee in gran spolvero, con una canzone natalizia per tastiere e drummachine, e con la voce di Keris Howard che fa del suo meglio per catapultarsi indietro di 10 anni: ricca di suggestioni festive e ricordi d'infanzia, un pezzo che spiega perché i Brighter erano la Sarah e perché gli Harper Lee ne sono degni eredi. C'è anche il gradito ritorno dei Liberty Ship, con la voce nasale di Mark Elston al servizio di un brano compresso dalla sezione ritmica su un sottile strato di chitarre, meno denso dei pezzi abituali della band e godibile nonostante l'apparenza un po' distratta ("Photograph"). E poi i Lucksmiths che cantano "The Winter Proper" ribadendo sin dove può arrivare la loro naturale emotività. La voce di Marty vibra su un pezzo magro ed invernale, pensoso ma dotato di quella inesauribile freschezza propria della band australiana, stavolta così poco Luck e tanto Smiths (prima o poi questo gioco di parole lo si doveva fare, scusateci). Il meglio però, se ci consentite, lo offrono i Pines, recuperati dai un raro EP con "High Street", canzone natalizia alternativa che Pam Berry e Joe Brooker cantano con un equilibrio che ha del meraviglioso e che non concedendosi alla facile melodia (ma c'è una armonica assassina) ci ricorda perché i Pines sono destinati a rimanere una delizia per pochi. E mentre i Lovejoy si accomodano sotto l'albero evidenziando la vena acustica più di quella elettronica, in chiusura i Melodie Group quasi ce la fanno a rendere sopportabile "Jingle Bells" dopo l'overdose natalizia; quasi, ma l'impresa era disperata. In compenso Roy Thirlwall affida il ritornello della canzone ad una bambina stonata con effetto dirompente e allora voi vendicatevi mettendola su l'anno prossimo coi parenti. E' tutto, e solo alla fine ci si accorge di aver in fondo ascoltato un puro Christmas Album, il migliore che ci sia capitato di sentire da molti anni a questa parte, ma arrivato qui… a gennaio. Oh, sarà per il prossimo anno.
El sello americano Matinée Recordings, ha editado el trabajo de algunas de las bandas independietes más interesantes basadas en el pop dulce y sencillo y hasta el tweety, editando el trabajo de gente como The Luckysmiths, The Fairways, Harper Lee o Would Be Goods. Esta pasada navidad creyeron conveniente editar un disco especial para esas fechas de algunas de sus bandas. De ahí este "The Matinée Winter Warmer", un disco en el que podemos encontrar algunas de sus referencias que grabaron un tema especial para la ocasión, y en según que caso, hasta un jingle. Aunque otras aparecían ya en algunos de los álbumes de esas bandas, y otras eran un avance del nuevo álbum que iban a editar. En este c.d recopilatorio podemos encontrar temas de Slipside con "Baked Alaska", que es un clásico dentro de la discografía de esta banda de Londres, concretamente de su álbum "The World Can Wait". The Fairways, la ya desaparecida banda de San Francisco, reaparece con su "Winter Song", que ya aparecía en "This is Farewell" que ya comentamos en Popchild hará unos meses. Pipas y "Boxes", que es un tema que aparece en el nuevo álbum que acaban de publicar, y que comentamos esta semana en estas páginas. The Windmills la banda de Essex y "When It was winter", que aparecía en el disco de la banda, " Sunlight". Harper Lee, el dúo de Brighton, aparece con su tema "Bad Christmas", grabada expresamente para este disco. The Liberty Ship y "Photograph", que es una canción de swinging pop grabada también para este c.d.. The Lucksmiths con "The Winter Proper", que es un tema también grabado a propósito y que nos deja entrever por donde va a ir el nuevo disco de la banda. The Pines y "High Street", que formaba parte ya de un e.p para navidad de este grupo. Lovejoy aparece con "I dream of angels" que formaba parte de otro recopilatorio en el que se incluía la banda, "A Christmas Wish". Y para cerrar, Melodie Group con "Jingle Bells", un clásico de las navidades de toda la vida, eso sí, en una versión muy especial.   --Popchild
Det är oerhört få skivbolag jorden runt som ger ett lika genomgulligt och vänligt intryck som amerikanska Matinée, stationerade i Kalifornien. "The matinée winter warmer" är den fjärde årstidssamlingen från detta lilla skivbolag och med medverkande namn som Pipas, The Fairways, The Lucksmiths och The Windmills kan det ju inte annat än att bli ett riktigt, riktigt fint resultat av det hela. Samtliga håller sig, mer eller mindre, till samlingens vintertema. Det blev ingen vinter i år heller i Sydskåne. Tack vare växthuseffekten kanske vi såg vår sista vinter överhuvudtaget för 3-4 år sedan. Hur som helst behöver det knappast vara vinter för att "The matinée winter warmer" ska komma till sin rätt. Med den här samlingen låtar fungerar den minst lika bra oavsett årstid och kanske till och med lite bättre (bortsett från sista spåret "Jingle bells av Melodie Group) nu när snödropparna har börjat poppa upp ur allt det slaskbruna.   --Musiklandet