01.December.2017

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Scottish favorites Bubblegum Lemonade celebrate their tenth release in ten years with a brilliant six-track holiday EP entitled ‘Laz Christmas’ (matinee 096)!

Lead track ‘Number One for Christmas’ is a surefire Christmas earworm with a big pop chorus and plenty of sleigh bells. In an alternate universe it would be battling for number one on the pop charts, but in our world it’s a safe bet to kick off your holiday playlist.

‘No Room At The Inn’ is the story of a modern day Mary and Joseph that ends with a wonderful vocal / fuzz guitar climax, and ‘Sunflower In The Snow’ is a song about the recent spate of weird weather that blends Beach Boys effervescence with the darkness of the Velvet Underground.

‘At Christmas Time’ is guitars jangling and festive shambling for the Postcard Records crowd, while ‘New Year Or New York’ sets the tale of a war veteran thinking back about a lost opportunity to an elegantly presented keyboard motif.

The EP ends with an indiepop take on the traditional Christmas song ‘Silent Night’ with perfectly shimmering guitars, more sleigh bells, tambourine, and dulcet backing vocals by Sandra of Strawberry Whiplash.

‘Laz Christmas’ is officially released on December 8, but you can place an order for it now in the Matinee shop for shipment next week. In the meantime, have a listen to new holiday classics ‘Number One for Christmas’ and ‘Silent Night’ on our Soundcloud!

01.December.2017

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Brighton duo The Perfect English Weather return with the new 4-track ‘English Winter’ EP (matinee 095) which marks an intriguing departure from last year’s much loved debut album ‘Isobar Blues’ (matcd078). The release sees the duo, Simon and Wendy Pickles, drawing further distinction from their other band The Popguns and taking cues from sophisticated electronica such as St. Etienne while maintaining the strong vocals and impeccable melodies from previous releases.

Lead track ‘Still’ is an emotional, hypnotic slow-burner on the theme of separation and features a collaboration with former Popguns drummer Shaun Charman who is now also part of indie buzzband Jetstream Pony. This is a by-product of some rehearsals that Simon and Shaun did for a Fireworks gig back in 2016 where Simon stepped in on second guitar. Shaun plays the guitar hook on the track along with some live drums, while Simon and Wendy’s daughter, Anna, sings backing vocal to give the track some sublime moments between the two singers.

Being a seasonal release, the EP has to include a holiday song and ‘Christmas In Suburbia’ delivers that in spades. A very, very pretty tune with some affectionate, wry observations on the season, the song references Christmas lights, snow, Prosecco, and Barbie in a Tonka truck!

‘Cold Out’ is a moody, kinda sleepy one about staying in bed and definitely not going out, with the production moving in a distinctly electronic direction. The song references a meeting between Morrissey and Wendy back in 1984 (“it was so surprising when you knew my name”), and curiously Morrissey is also singing about spending the day in bed on his latest release.

The EP concludes with a cover version of the Go-Betweens classic ‘Dusty In Here’. A longtime favourite of the band, this bare and almost ghostly rendition has just Wendy and her acoustic guitar plus Anna again on backing vocals. This is a track that Wendy and Anna performed at the Grant McLennan tribute gig in London back in 2015 and is the perfect closer to the EP.

The official release of ‘English Winter’ is December 8, but you can place an order for it now in the Matinee shop for shipment next week. To get you excited, ‘Still’ and ‘Christmas In Suburbia” are now featured on our Soundcloud!

03.November.2017

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Seattle popstars Math and Physics Club have just completed recording their fourth studio album ‘Lived Here Before’ and it is set for release in January!

The first single from the album is entitled ‘All The Mains Are Down’ (matda003) and it is so good we couldn’t possibly make you wait two months to hear it. Longtime fans will recognize the usual hallmarks of chiming guitars and lyrical economy, but the piano flourishes, dynamic shifts, and three-part harmonies on the song show the band diving into deeper influences and coming up with a ripper closer to early REM than Belle and Sebastian.

‘Lived Here Before’ features all the carefully constructed pop handicraft we have come to expect from these Pacific Northwest lads, but also shows the band stretching confidently into new territory at a stage when many bands would simply be retreading the same paths. The album, including eleven new songs recorded with fabled grunge producer Chris Hanzsek (Soundgarden, Green River), is scheduled for release on January 26.

In the meantime, ‘All The Mains Are Down’ is available today as a digital single in the Matinee shop and other digital platforms. You can also stream the song on the Soundcloud player below:

09.October.2017

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New release alert! A few years after the break-up of much-loved Australian indie stalwarts The Lucksmiths, three quarters of the band quietly got together again as Last Leaves. With songwriter and guitarist Marty Donald assuming vocal duties alongside longtime collaborators Louis Richter (guitar) and Mark Monnone (bass), and joined by drummer extraordinaire Noah Symons (Great Earthquake), they began work on a body of songs that – a few years later again – finally finds release in their remarkable debut album ‘Other Towns Than Ours’ (matcd080).

It’s been worth the wait. The ten songs here showcase a band already at the top of its game, from the perfect fuzz pop of first single ‘The World We Had’ and the irrepressible jangle of ‘Something Falls’ to darker moments like mesmeric closer ‘Where I Lived and What I Lived For’ and the downbeat Silver Jews swagger of ‘The Nights You Drove Me Home’ (“the past is just a single-star motel/It’s nowhere you should dwell/A room to rest awhile”).

Sounding like a lost classic from the Summershine imprint, second single ‘The Hinterland’ recounts a country convalescence: “From an upstairs window at your parents’ place/You saw the sun set where the highway cuts across the hinterland/Tail-lights fading in the twilight/It was more than you could stand.” Meanwhile, the off kilter, psychedelic-tinged country-soul(!) of ‘Third Thoughts’ finds cause for a lover’s lament in the glimpse of a road afforded by a newly fallen tree, and ‘Other Rivers’ showcases some impressive guitar work that will surely please the most zealous Lucksmiths fan.

Musically, Last Leaves is an altogether different beast from their previous band, Symons’ ever-inventive drumming and Monnone’s sinuous basslines underpinning melancholic melodies, and Richter’s guitar veering from fragile to ferocious, often in the course of one song.

The album was recorded by UK producer Gareth Parton (Foals, The Go! Team) over the course of almost three years, between Melbourne’s inner-northern suburbs and the band’s base in the hills to the east of the city. Donald’s move there some years ago is reflected in the satellite towns, country roads and mountainside motels of ‘Other Towns Than Ours’; as ever, a profound sense of place remains central to his songwriting.

The album is available on LP, CD, and digital download and is co-released with the Lost and Lonesome Recording Company of Australia so please support your local label. The official release is October 20, but you can order it RIGHT NOW in the Matinee shop! Have a listen to some choice cuts and watch some videos below:

15.September.2017

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As we near the highly anticipated release of the debut album from Australian supergroup Last Leaves, we are excited to announce an exclusive 7″ single from the band called ‘The Hinterland’ (matinee 094)!

Formed from the scattered remains of The Lucksmiths, Last Leaves combine songwriter Marty Donald’s lyrical sleight-of-hand with the jangle and racket of his former band mates Louis Richter and Mark Monnone, and drummer Noah Symons of Great Earthquake fame.

Bristly and warm, boldly fragile, and full to the gunwales with evocative imagery, ‘The Hinterland’ recounts a country convalescence: “From an upstairs window at your parents place/You saw the sun set where the highway cuts across the hinterland/Tail-lights fading in the twilight/It was more than you could stand.” To these ears, it sounds like a lost classic from Australia’s Summershine imprint which of course is high praise indeed. Guitars interweave throughout the verse … Richter’s joyous leads recalling variously Big Country and Stone Roses atop Donald’s staggered rhythm … before bursting anthemically into the harmony-laden chorus.

Exclusive b-side ‘Nora Creina’ borrows its title from a pin-prick hamlet on South Australia’s Limestone Coast and its chorus from a short story by the Canadian writer Alice Munro, its shamble-footed groove giving way memorably to a majestic shoe-gaze outro.

The 7″ is limited to 500 copies worldwide and co-released with the hip Lost and Lonesome Recording Company of Australia so please support your local label. The digital release is September 22 and vinyl ships on or before October 6. You can preorder either format RIGHT NOW in the Matinee shop!

Produced by Gareth Parton (The Go! Team, Foals, The Breeders), the debut Last Leaves album ‘Other Towns Than Ours’ (matcd080) is released October 20, again in collaboration with Lost and Lonesome. Please watch this space for more information on the album. In the meantime, have a listen to your new favorite song on our Soundcloud and watch the official video below:

26.June.2017

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Hot on the heels of their splendid track ‘Something Falls’ on the ‘Matinee Idols’ compilation (matcd075), Australian supergroup Last Leaves herald the imminent arrival of their long-awaited debut album with a gloriously fuzzy slice of guitar pop entitled ‘The World We Had’ (matda002).

Comprised of ex-Lucksmiths Marty Donald, Louis Richter and Mark Monnone with Noah Symons of Great Earthquake on drums, Last Leaves have put the finishing touches to their album ‘Other Towns Than Ours’ and launch it out of the blocks with the tautest, hook-laden track of the set. For all its immediacy, though, ‘The World We Had’ also packs an emotional punch. What begins as a fond reminiscence of a long-ago winter weekend away becomes a rueful reassessment of where things stand now: “I’m sure we were never so happy before,” asks the quietly devastating middle-eight, “but darling, don’t you think we could say the same for since?” As the outro crashes in … all jangling guitars, tambourines and woo-woos … the question posed earlier in wonder upon a lover’s first experience of snow (“the world we had where did it go?”) is deftly reframed as a lament for a fading love.

Produced by Melbourne-based UK producer Gareth Parton (The Go! Team, Big Scary, Foals), ‘Other Towns Than Ours’ will be released this October in collaboration with the ace Lost and Lonesome Recording Company of Australia. In the meantime, ‘The World We Had’ is available as a digital single now in the Matinee shop and other digital platforms. You can also stream the song on the Soundcloud player or watch a video of it below:

23.June.2017

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Today is the official release date for ‘Matinee Idols’ (matcd075), a brilliant new compilation to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Matinee Recordings! To mark this milestone, Matinee artists from across the globe contributed previously unreleased, exclusive, or rare recordings to this special collection and the result is a certified pop classic!

Danish popstars Champagne Riot kick things off with an absolute smash hit called ‘Ingrid Bergman,’ while English legends The Popguns showcase their signature pristine pop on ‘So Long’ and Swedish favorites The Electric Pop Group deliver a stunning new song, their first in four years, called ‘Postcard.’

Australian band Last Leaves features several former Lucksmiths and are one of three artists making their Matinee debut on this compilation with the truly sensational ‘Something Falls.’ New band Tinsel Heart from Sweden are also fresh to the Matinee stable and make a splash with an exceptional song called ‘Talk,’ while Scottish darlings Strawberry Whiplash deliver the clever new singalong jangler ‘Me, My Selfie and I.’

The third new addition to the Matinee roster is The Royal Landscaping Society from Spain and they mark their auspicious debut with a shimmering atmospheric popsong called ‘Moon.’ Seattle favorites Math and Physics Club represent the American indie scene in fine fashion with the contemplative new track ‘Shadows Longer,’ while English duo The Catenary Wires follow up their recent mini-album with more beautiful harmonies on ‘You Save Me From Myself’ and fellow Englishmen Seabirds contribute another impressive song called ‘Independent Horses.’

Recent Matinee signings The Perfect English Weather are the fourth English band represented on the compilation and they deliver a melodic stunner called ‘Under My Feet,’ while Scotland’s Bubblegum Lemonade continue to shine with the ace new track ‘Set The Boy Free.’ Fellow Scots The Hermit Crabs showcase the noisy two-minute pop nugget ‘Game Plan,’ and Sweden’s Azure Blue conclude the album with a perfect dose of electronic pop called ‘New Moon.’

An impressive collection of some of today’s finest indie bands, ‘Matinee Idols’ is the perfect way to celebrate 20 years of immaculate pop and document the continued strength of the Matinee roster. The album is available now from your favorite record shop or digital merchant and of course, from the Matinee shop! You can preview the entire album on the player below:

16.June.2017

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It’s release day for the brilliant new album ‘Sugar Kisses’ (matcd079) from English legends The Popguns! Their fifth studio album, ‘Sugar Kisses’ follows the celebrated 2015 release ‘Pop Fiction’ for Matinee and has a distinctly raw feel with live takes and minimal overdubs capturing the band in all their ragged glory.

The album begins with the infectious title track, an unrestrained but moody minor key bouncer with its hopeful Dover Beach inspired refrain of love, let us be true, followed by glam-rocker ‘We Don’t Go Round There Anymore’ and breeze-pop classic ‘So Long.’

‘A Beaten Up Guitar’ is a brilliant, straight down the middle power-pop blaster which delivers an outrageous bass driven rush through to a final breathless denouement of harmonized vocals.

‘Out On The Highline’ is a sultry Sunday morning slowie, while ‘A Dream Of Her Own’ boasts jangling guitars, a singalong chorus and plenty of ba-ba-bas. ‘The Outsider’ is a menacing slow burner that contrasts nicely with the power pop of tongue-in-cheek ‘Gene Machine’ which explores the forces of evolution at work on our biological clocks.

‘Fire Away’ is a dream for the pun-writers and a lot of fun as Wendy gets to tell some pub-bore “I’ve had a drink, but not enough tell you what I think, so Fire Away.” The album concludes with pop classic ‘Finished With The Past’ with its bristling mass of guitars and, in the last verse, surely Wendy’s most passionate vocal ever, ending the album on a thrilling high.

Surely this is the perfect British guitar pop album that The Popguns promised all those years ago when they first appeared in Peel’s Festive 50 and on the 90s indie dancefloors. Cover art is again by Jason Brooks, the award winning V&A Book Illustrator of the Year.

‘Sugar Kisses’ is available now from your favorite record shop or digital merchant and of course, from the Matinee shop. You can listen to a few of our current favorites on the player below and watch a brand new video for the title track as well!

12.June.2017

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New band alert: Swedish duo Tinsel Heart is our third new Matinee band announcement of the week! Hailing from Malmo, the band is comprised of Petter Leijon and Sebastian Dahlberg and they set out to make the kind of pop music they would love to discover themselves: straightforward songs with heartfelt lyrics and jangly guitars.

Named after a song from the debut Brighter single on Sarah Records, Tinsel Heart are merchants of classic C86 jangly pop of the frenzied variety. They have been described as “the next big thing in indiepop” and compared to The Pains of Being Pure At Heart but really, they had us as soon as we read their name. A perfectly formed three-track demo was just the icing on the cake.

One of the tracks from that demo is called ‘Wasted Yet Sad’ and it may be on their forthcoming debut 7″ although the band has written two new tracks that are perhaps even better so we are still deciding the tracklisting for the single as we speak. In any event we’ll be rushing this release to the pressing plant as soon as the songs are ready.

In the meantime, the band has contributed the ace track ‘Talk’ to our new ‘Matinee Idols’ compilation (matcd075) and you can hear it right now on the player below. The sound of young Sweden indeed!

08.June.2017

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New artist alert: We are thrilled to officially welcome Spanish duo The Royal Landscaping Society to the Matinee roster of artists!

The Royal Landscaping Society started in Seville, Spain in 2012 as a solo project, then expanded into a band and eventually shrunk to a duo with Cris Romero on vocals, guitar, synths and machines and David Vidal on bass and bass synth. With an obvious love for the breezier side of indiepop, the band mixes crystalline guitars and primitive electronics in a sound described as shimmery romantic pop. The story so far includes an eponymous debut mini-album on Beko Disques in 2014 and a series of ace compilation appearances plus live sets at the Birmingham Popfest, Indietracks, and the Verbena Pop tour in Germany.

The debut Matinee release for the band is a smashing 7″ single with lead track ‘When There’s Nothing Left To Look Forward To’ and it is simply wonderful. Think ‘Train Not Stopping’ or ‘Crazy’ sort of wonderful and you’re nearly there. There are two b-sides to the single and we are working on artwork now so expect it sometime late this summer. We’ll have more news and sounds to share on this soon. The band is also working on an album for release later this year and we are sketching out a third release already too!

Of course, we couldn’t gush about them so much without having something ready for release and it just so happens that the band has contributed a beautiful song called ‘Moon’ to our ‘Matinee Idols’ compilation (matcd075), and you, lucky reader, can hear it RIGHT NOW at the link below. Stunning, don’t you think?