The Matinée Holiday Soirée CDEP
Format*
CDEP  $5.00
Digital download  $4.00

Various Artists - The Matinée Holiday Soirée CDEP

matinée 078   /   December 2010
 #zzz
  1. Math And Physics Club - It Must Be Christmas
  2. Northern Portrait - Leave The Trees Alone
  3. Strawberry Whiplash - Santa Needs A Holiday
  4. Champagne Riot - Xmas Safari
  5. Bubblegum Lemonade - White Noise Christmas

Brilliant release featuring exclusive new seasonal songs from five of Matinée’s most beloved current artists. Seattle’s Math and Physics Club arrive with sleighbells on, as ‘It Must Be Christmas’ successfully manages to knit candy canes, carolers, mistletoe, reindeer, Santa’s sleigh, snowflakes, stockings, and winter into an indie Christmas carol of their very own. Copenhagen’s Northern Portrait answer the challenge with an acutely jangling take on Christmas tradition called ‘Leave The Trees Alone’ which speeds along at a distinctly steady pace. Tis the season to be jolly, indeed! Glasgow duo Strawberry Whiplash celebrate the season with a reverb-drenched and highly melodic nod to our overworked chubby pal up north called ‘Santa Needs A Holiday,’ while new label signing Champagne Riot from Copenhagen set the bar high with their debut Matinée track, the orchestral and hypnotic holiday love song ‘Xmas Safari’. Finally, Glasgow’s prolific Bubblegum Lemonade deliver a Jesus and Mary Chain-infused tale of the telly going out on Christmas day called ‘White Noise Christmas.’ This is not your standard Christmas fare and we’re all the better for it! Five festive songs from Matinée’s finest, the ‘Matinée Holiday Soirée’ is a sparkling celebration of the season that will be an essential holiday staple for years to come. Limited to 1000 copies in custom minijacket sleeve.

 
reviews
One of the few reasons to look forward to Christmas is the regular festive Matinée ep or album. This year's offering is called the Matinée Holiday Soirée, and when you've got the combined talents of Northern Portrait, Math and Physics Club, Strawberry Whiplash, Bubblegum Lemonage and Champagne Riot then the end result is going to be pretty special. Northern Portrait kick off things with 'Leave the Trees Alone', a paean to the humble fir which we gaudily dress each year. It's so Christmassy that you feel like breaking open the sherry. Strawberry Whiplash's 'Santa Needs a Holiday' continues the pretty obvious theme, and sounds a little like 'Twisterella'-era Ride. And there's very little wrong with that. Take a break, Santa! This is the first time I've heard Champagne Riot, and whilst 'Xmas Safari' isn't as instant as the two tracks before it, the refrain of "the same routine" hits the spot perfectly. Bubblegum Lemonade are on a roll right now, and 'White Noise Christmas' is a lovely piece of dronepop - the sort of thing you want on your headphones to drown out the Queen's Speech at 3pm on Christmas Day. Or is it 2pm? Whatever... Math and Physics Club bring a touch of decorum to proceedings with 'It Must Be Christmas', a reflective piece which namechecks all the right things, but comes off sounding deliciously cynical. Christmas again already, eh? Math and Physics seem to be longing for summer. So, when your around your folks house on 25th, and your Mum tipsily suggests putting on that bloody Cliff Richard album for the 15th year in a row, pour her another glass, sit her down and out The Matinée Holiday Soirée on the stereo instead. She'll thank you for it.   --A Layer of Chips
Tis the season to be jolly apparently and there’s been the usual flurry of lazy and rather irritating Christmas songs emerging, to provide stocking fillers funding those that least need it. Somewhat cynical I guess, but trying to locate credibility amongst the seasonal musical fare isn’t an easy task. So it’s refreshing to report on a smashing little EP from those nice folk over at Matinée. Renowned for their stable of sugary popites, it is somehow appropriate, at a time of over indulgence, that they should provide us with a festive treat from a handful of the crew. The Holiday Soirée houses five enjoyable excursions and all specially recorded for the set. Starting off with Math And Physics Club and a typically wistful number on the back of the wondrous album they released earlier in the year. Next is Northern Portrait, one of my personal big-em-up bands, whose debut album has been around now for almost a year and, sadly, nobody other than me, has been raving about. Anyhow, here we have another dose of Smiths-esque sweet and sour banter, possibly in the interests of saving rain forests, as it’s called “Leave The Trees Alone”. Perhaps the best of the bunch here is Strawberry Whiplash with “Santa Needs A Holday” and if you like your shoegazing to be a less bloody valentine, these are able protagonists. Track four comes from Champagne Riot, new to the stable, with 'Xmas Safari', a dreamy swirl of a tune to get lost in. Finally, some Scots pop from Bubblegum Lemonade and the splendidly uplifting suzzed-up “White Noise Christmas”, rounding off an exuberant and strangely enjoyable set and providing another great showcase for the label’s talent. Ding dong merrily on high indeed.   --God Is In The TV
Think I will stick to tradition and wait until December 1 before posting my annual Christmas post. And as hard as it may be, I’m trying not to listen to any of previous year’s Christmas favorites either prior to that day. However I’m going to somewhat bend my own rules and post an early heads up on what arguably will be the most interesting Christmas compilation of 2010; The Matinée Holiday Soirée featuring seasonal tracks by 5 different artists (Math And Physics Club, Northern Portrait, Strawberry Whiplash, Bubblegum Lemonade plus newcomer Champagne Riot) from the Matinée roster. To be released sometime in December, but if you're impatient just like me, the (stunningly brilliant) EP can be streamed in its entirety from the Matinée page.   --Hits In The Car
A few years ago, I tried to make my own CDR compilation with indiepop Christmas songs, and I remember that I had to search for a long time before I could fill at least half the CD. I guess there aren’t too many indie pop bands that choose to make songs about the winter holiday, and, if they do, far too often they are recorded as a joke or as a way to tell everybody how much they hate Christmas. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the lovely Matinée label released this five track CD just in time for last year’s Christmas with five great bands participating (and, to be fair, they also released the 10 track comp 'The Matinée Winter Warmer' in 2004, with quite a few Christmas songs on it). The ever popular Math and Physics Club are first up, with 'It Must Be Christmas', an arch-typical twee song, almost to the degree that it bothers me, but I’ll let it pass for now. Danish band Northern Portrait continues to impress me (and it’s about time that Denmark gives us some good indiepop bands, too, since there really haven’t been many since Gangway back in the 80’s), and their contribution here is probably the highlight of the compilation, if you ask me. The two Scottish bands, Bubblegum Lemonade and Strawberry Whiplash (who have one member Lawrence 'Laz' McCluskey in common) both delivers good songs, and Champagne Riot, the only band here that I’m not familiar with (and apparently they are from Denmark, too!), supplies us with the entertaining 'Xmas Safari'. All in all, a great little EP, and definitely one to pick up in time for this year’s Christmas!   --Pennyblack Magazine
Not many original Christmas songs get written these days, so this EP of new ones from five stellar indie-pop bands is a welcome addition to the world of holiday music. As enjoyable as these songs are, they inevitably feel lightweight next to the carols and standards of the season. So don’t expect these to become new standards. Together, though, they do paint a vivid picture of life around the holidays. From the point of view of Santa’s elves, the cute ”Santa Needs a Holiday” by Strawberry Whiplash taps into the mythology of Christmas. Math and Physics Club’s “It Must Be Christmas” represents the idyllic Christmas of your childhood imagination, where bells are ringing, snow is falling, and gifts await by the fireplace. Northern Portrait’s “Leave the Trees Alone” – the best song here, as a song, not just a holiday device – paints a similar but les storybook scene, and has one great image: “they’re all excited / inside the houses / the trees are on fire”. Champagne Riot’s “Xmas Safari” and Bubblegum Lemonade’s “White Noise Christmas” both focus on the domestic, at-home side of the holidays. The first is a sparkling, cynical, slightly lusty, somewhat jaded love song. The latter is a typically clever, typically fuzzy, typically slight but melodic joke about getting lost in the snow of your television set.   --Erasing Clouds
Matinée Recordings have just released a holiday ep, that harkens back to the time of their Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter themed compilations of yesteryears. Back then, during my first few years of indiepop obsession, Matinée was very important. I think the first mp3 I ever downloaded was "Poppy Day" by Brighter, and subsequently Jimmy did a commendable job on introducing me to bands like The Visitors, Razorcuts, Slipslide, The Pines and The Fairways - bands that are still among my favourites. Today their roster is different, but in a year that hasn't seen many great indiepop albums released, Matinée again saves the day with Bubblegum Lemonade's new album (more about that soon). Another thing that was important about Matinée was their idiosyncrasy when it came to releasing vinyl. Not many other indiepop labels did at the time. Now that new vinyl is becoming collectible again, Matinée have returned to the format, and that makes me smile. To get back to the ep, it features the best of the current roster, including Northern Portrait, Bubblegum Lemonade, and Laz' other group Strawberry Whiplash. And it is the latter's "Santa Needs a Holiday" that really hits the spot. Perhaps their best recording to date, with the catchiest 12-string fill this side of The Rain Parade. You can stream all the tracks on the Matinée facebook.   --Heaven Is Above Your Head
I need to take a break from this list making business. What better way to do that than with some mulled wine. Since you can’t download spirits, how about some holiday music? Matinée Recordings down in Southtown (ie. Santa Barbara) have gotten into the festivities. After decorating their coastal live oaks, and hanging their wet suits out to dry they’ve put together a five song holiday ep containing original Christmas songs by the likes of Math and Physics Club, Northern Portrait, Champagne Riot, Bubblegum Lemonade and Strawberry Whiplash. New traditions are always a good thing, so why not try out these brand new holiday songs?   --The Finest Kiss
The Matinée Holiday Soirée is a 5-song ep featuring festive songs by Northern Portrait, Strawberry Whiplash, Bubblegum Lemonade, Champagne Riot, and Math and Physics Club that will be a holiday staple for years to come.   --Three Imaginary Girls
You know how much we love Matinée Recordings, one of the best, if not the best, small labels around right now. They’re releasing a special gift for their fans, The Matinée Holiday Soirée EP, and it’s filled with exclusive holiday tracks from five of the bands on their roster, including my personal favorite Math and Physics Club. You also get to hear this new Strawberry Whiplash track, which despite having a holiday theme, doesn’t sound too far off from the splendid pop this label has been churning out for some time. You can preview it Here, then head over to the Matinée site to get your hands on your very own copy. This is the perfect gift for your pop loving friends; its reasonably priced, and filled with good tunes.   --Austin Town Hall
Candy-coated holiday fare from the Glaswegian (that is to say, from Glasgow; but one must not miss the opportunity to use the word “Glaswegian”) duo Strawberry Lemonade, itself a syrupy-sweet side-project from Bubblegum Lemonade front man Laz McLuskey. (Call it twee if you must, but only if you must.) Long-time Fingertips followers may remember that I don’t go crazy with the Christmas tunes in December—not because I have anything against Christmas tunes (not at all!; I love them only as much as a Christmas-music-deprived nice Jewish boy can) but because, truthfully, and alas, not much of what the genre offers year to year, new-musically-speaking, is very good. Trust me when I say I’m performing a public service by keeping most of what I hear out of your browser/inbox/hard drive/smart phone/whatever-the-hell-you-listen-to-music-in-or-on. But this one is lovely in a jangly, lo-fi kind of way, full of melodic nostalgia and 21st-century indie-pop blurriness. Vocalist Sandra sings with a lightness befitting someone who operates resolutely without a last name, but listen closely and you’ll also hear a breathy roundness to her tone that brings (sigh) the late great Kirsty MacColl to mind. Perhaps best of all, the song traffics in its Christmasiness with graceful restraint. The one musical element that flavors the song seasonally is the descending guitar riff we hear at the end of the chorus, which smartly echoes the familiar descending bell motif delivered by any number of holiday standards. “Santa Needs a Holiday” is found on The Matinée Holiday Soirée, the latest incarnation of annual holiday goodness put out by Santa Barbara-based Matinée Recordings.   --Fingertips
I am a sucker for breathy female vocals. Fold "Santa Needs A Holiday" by Strawberry Whiplash into the batch with your favorite holiday tunes by Claudine Longet and Saint Etienne, or perhaps Louis Phillippe's "13th Day of Christmas." At this point, it's time to encourage you to support independent music and spend a few shekels on the Matinée Holiday Soirée EP, which also includes seasonal offerings from Seattle's own Math & Physics Club, Bubblegum Lemonade, Northern Portrait, and Champagne Riot.   --Festive Fanzine
Matinée Recordings, from the very seasonally named Santa Barbara, have got an early Christmas present for all you indie kids out their counting down the days until the big man comes down your chimney. It's a very special Christmas EP featuring exclusive new seasonal songs from five of their most beloved current artists. This is not your standard novelty Christmas tie-in and it's the perfect way to start the festive season with a bang.   --The Devil Has The Best Tuna
Tra le tante uscite natalizie di questi giorni non poteva mancare la cara Matinée Recordings, ed ecco qui The Matinée Holiday Soirée, ep tutto campanelli, jangling guitars, Phil Spector e slitte sulla neve, che vede la partecipazione di Math And Physics Club, Northern Portrait, Strawberry Whiplash, Champagne Riot e gli immancabili Bubblegum Lemonade.   --Polaroid