01.December.2015

Here is a bountiful batch of holiday hymns to accompany your festive celebrations this month. Seasons greetings!

05.November.2015

CD74 sleeve

New release alert #2 of 2: November 20 also brings the brand new album ‘Stuck In The Never Ending Now’ (matcd074) from Scottish popstars Strawberry Whiplash! It has been three long years since the band’s smash debut album ‘Hits In The Car’ (matcd060) was released, and suitably the eclectic new 12-track album has the inexorable passage of time as its central theme.

Opening track ‘Every Day The Sun Shines Brighter’ starts things off in optimistic fashion with a melodic song about new beginnings, while ‘If Surface Were Depth’ is catchy, playful pop and ‘Too Close To Call’ is a harmonious, multi-layered soundtrack to an indie spaghetti western.

‘Never Ending Now’ is immediately engaging punky pop with scratchy, fast guitars, more great harmonies, and rapid gunfire drumming. ‘Ride The Waves To The Shore’ has a shimmering, bossa nova beat with major seventh chords and groovy bongo backing, while ‘Time Takes You Away’ is all late night New York cool with chugging guitars and a Velvet Underground vibe.

Side two kicks off with the album’s fastest track ‘Halcyon Morning’ providing us with a future indie disco floor filler with C86 fuzzy guitars, a steady drumbeat, and tambourines all racing towards the song’s instrumental coda. ‘All I Ask For Is Everything’ furthers the eclectic mix with a chiming guitar / glockenspiel blend and an incessant back beat reinforcing the selfish nature of the song, while ‘Fly Me Over The Rooftops’ is soaring, immediate pop with detached male backing vocals.

‘A Brave New Scene’ is elegant, multi-layered pop that twinkles and chimes in all the right places, while the funky bass line in ‘Life’s Rich Tragedy’ breaks right through the fourth wall in this musical romp involving an unfaithful method actor in need of direction on stage and in his life. Finally, the album’s poignant swan song ‘This Is All We Have’ opens with an autumnal oboe motif and adds some shimmering guitars before reaching peak loveliness.

Reflective and confident, ‘Stuck In The Never Ending Now’ is twelve more hits from Strawberry Whiplash and an additional Scottish pop classic for the Matinee discography. The album is released November 20 but you can order a copy RIGHT NOW exclusively from the Matinee shop on CD or digital download formats. You can sample four of the hits on our Soundcloud right now too!

05.November.2015

CD73 sleeve

New release alert #1 of 2: November 20 sees the return of Scottish favorites The Hermit Crabs with a brand new album entitled ‘In My Flat’ (matcd073)! The first recordings from the band since the ‘Time Relentless’ EP (matinee 084) in 2012, the new album features lead songwriter and vocalist Melanie Whittle in collaboration with Jeremy Jensen and Jake Hite of indie favorites The Very Most.

Lead track ‘Bravado and Rhetoric’ is a tale of punk rock gigs put on by girls … two minutes of magnificent guitars, chugging drums, and ace harmonies and one of the catchiest Hermit Crabs songs written to date.

‘I’m A Fool’ is a pensive story of unrequited love that showcases crystalline vocals, intricate guitars, and excellent harmonies all building to multi-layered perfection, while ‘High Maintenance’ details the cons of a long distance relationship and ‘Should I Drop You Off?’ is a simply gorgeous tune with splendid vocals and a wailing pedal steel guitar providing a distinct country vibe.

‘Tracey Emin’s Bed’ is a brilliant number about a depression that led to a scene similar to that portrayed in the celebrated art installation by the British artist in the song’s title. The twinkling keyboards, tambourines, and rich percussion serve as great contrast to the song’s powerful lyrics.

Meanwhile, ‘Stuart Murray’ is a catchy, two-minute pop hit about another famous artist. It’s infectious, upbeat, witty, and undeniably swinging and will be stuck in your head for days. ‘Damage Control’ revisits relationship troubles in a dark and brooding tale that builds to psycho string madness, and the album concludes with a quick, jaunty narrative of infidelity called ‘Did I Tell You That?’

Demonstrating truly impressive songwriting, exquisite vocals, and classic orchestration, ‘In My Flat’ is the consummate release from The Hermit Crabs and another absolute gem for Matinee. The album is officially released November 20 but you can order a copy RIGHT NOW exclusively from the Matinee shop on CD or digital download formats. Have a listen to some Hermit Crabs magic at the Soundcloud link below and you’ll be smitten for sure.

07.July.2015

092 sleeve

The brand new ‘Still Waiting For The Winter’ EP (matinee 092) from The Popguns is back from the pressing plant and looking great!

The title track, one of many highlights from the band’s critically acclaimed ‘Pop Fiction’ album (matcd070), is a stunning showcase of dual female vocals, jangling guitars, and melodies galore. The song is a reflective journey of nights out on the Brighton seafront and the conflict between yearning for the past and living for today. Its ace!

The EP also features three exclusive new tracks that spotlight the incomparable Popguns vocals with stripped back arrangements. ‘BN3’ is a gorgeous slow time waltz with carefully strummed acoustic guitars and lead vocalist Wendy Pickles telling the story of a sporting romance played out at Hove County Cricket Ground. ‘Why You Fell In Love With Me’ is sung with a heartfelt lilt by Kate Mander and has a relaxed country feel and ace harmonies. Finally ‘Diane’s Song’ continues the Chet Baker theme started on ‘Pop Fiction’ album track ‘Alfa Romeo’ with a glorious tune that would make Bacharach and David proud.

Limited to 1000 copies in custom minijacket sleeve, Still Waiting For The Winter is a melancholy diversion for The Popguns as they begin recording a new album. The single is officially released July 17, but you can order a copy today exclusively from the Matinee shop on CD or digital formats. Have a listen to ‘Still Waiting For The Winter’ and ‘BN3’ on our Soundcloud:

19.June.2015

This weekend marks the start of summer here in the northern hemisphere and we are celebrating with another great Matinee sale! We have reduced prices on nearly all releases and from now until July 1st you can take an additional 25 percent off everything in the shop including new releases, sale items, and digital downloads. Use promo code summer to take advantage of the extra savings. Get 7″ and cd singles as low as $1.50 each, and albums as low as $3.50 each! Quantities are limited and there are several releases close to selling out so don’t delay.

You can maximize postage savings by selecting the flat rate priority mail envelope which can hold approximately ten CDs or ten 7″ singles for a price that is not much more than what you pay to send just two or three items. Please check the Matinee shop for current availability and help us clear space for a batch of new releases. Happy shopping!

16.June.2015

092 sleeve

New music alert: next month we will release a fantastic new EP (matinee 092) from celebrated British band The Popguns! Lead track ‘Still Waiting For The Winter’ is one of the highlights from the band’s critically acclaimed ‘Pop Fiction’ album (matcd070) released late last year. A stunning showcase of dual female vocals, jangling guitars, and melodies galore, the song is a reflective journey of nights out on the Brighton seafront and the conflict between yearning for the past and living for today.

The EP also features three exclusive new tracks that spotlight the incomparable Popguns vocals with stripped back arrangements. ‘BN3’ is a gorgeous slow time waltz with carefully strummed acoustic guitars and lead vocalist Wendy Pickles telling the story of a sporting romance played out at Hove County Cricket Ground. ‘Why You Fell In Love With Me’ is sung with a heartfelt lilt by Kate Mander and has a relaxed country feel and ace harmonies. Finally ‘Diane’s Song’ continues the Chet Baker theme started on ‘Pop Fiction’ album track ‘Alfa Romeo’ with a glorious tune that would make Bacharach and David proud.

A melancholy diversion for The Popguns as they begin recording a new album, the EP is limited to 1000 copies and comes in a custom minijacket sleeve. The single is officially released July 17, but we will begin preorders early next month in the Matinee shop. In the meantime, you can listen to the title track and ‘BN3’ on our Soundcloud:

01.June.2015

CD72 sleeve

The debut album ‘Red Red Skies’ (matcd072) from The Catenary Wires is out today!

Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, best known for making fuzzy, sixties girl-group inspired indie-pop in their previous bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research and Tender Trap, return as The Catenary Wires with a gentler, more emotive, and melancholy approach fuelled by their great love for pop melodies and harmonies.

The Catenary Wires started when the two left London and found themselves in the middle of the countryside, with no record stores or guitar shops, and no indie scene as such. Having initially abandoned the idea of having a band, they started writing their sad and delicate songs on their daughter’s small acoustic guitar, in the winter, just for themselves.

The duo were enticed to play in public for an event celebrating their old label, Sarah Records, at the Arnolfini Art Gallery in Bristol. They played a few Heavenly songs but also took the opportunity to try out the new material. From the positive reaction, they realized that two people on stage could be a proper band, if a small, fragile one.

‘Red Red Skies’ comprises eight evocative songs, most of which are about relationships falling apart. It starts with their first single ‘Intravenous’, a closely sung duet which talks about the mutual dependency of love, and of resignation to a closeness so extreme that it becomes destructive.

‘When You Walk Away’ tells of a relationship started in the full knowledge that it won’t last. Inspired by Leanne Shapton’s novel “Important Artefacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris: Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry”, the song exposes Amelia’s voice and Rob’s acoustic guitar at their rawest and most moving.

‘Throw Another Love Song on the Fire’ is a song about heartbreak, while at the same time a satire on other songs about heartbreak, with the depth of Rob’s voice as he sings “thanks for making me unhappy” invoking Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields). ‘A Different Scene’ is about missing someone from a long distance, and the feeling of sending off emails and texts and never being sure of their impact, while ‘Things I Love’ is about how once-much-loved things can become poisoned by bad memories.

Some of the songs, such as ‘Like A Fool’ and ‘The Records We Never Play’, are bittersweet duets, with a nod to Johnny Cash and June Carter, Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, or Adam Green and Binki Shapiro. Others, such as ‘When You Walk Away’ and ‘Too Late, I Love You’ are more introspective, with Amelia’s voice reminiscent of Karen Peris (The Innocence Mission) or Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star).

The band’s name refers to the chain of curves made by the overhead cables seen suspended from pylons or above electric trains, cables that can seem to lead you off to somewhere different and unknown.

The mini-album is produced by Brian O’Shaughnessy (who has worked with people like Denim, Beth Orten, Comet Gain, The Clientele, and Allo Darlin), and Amelia and Rob played all of the instruments between them. They stripped away all the drums and electric guitars and anything that makes noise too easily, to create a beautiful and deliberately vulnerable collection of songs.

The album is available in a deluxe six panel eco-wallet CD and you can score a copy right now in the Matinee shop! Our friends at Elefant Records in Spain have a snazzy 10″ edition for the vinyl lovers out there too. You can preview a few of the album tracks now on our Soundcloud:

31.May.2015
088 sleeve CD69 sleeve far sleeve branches sleeve

Thanks to the generosity of our friends at Microindie Records, we have a very special offer on titles from The Steinbecks in the Matinee shop! With any purchase of the recent ‘At Arkaroo Rock’ 7″ (matinee 088) or ‘Kick To Kick With The Steinbecks’ CD (matcd069) on Matinee, you can get a FREE copy of the ‘Branches and Fronds Brushing The Windows’ CD (microcd1) or the ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ CD (microcd11) released on Microindie. Good time to build your Steinbecks collection, no? To take advantage of this offer, simply add items to your shopping cart and apply promotional code branches for a free ‘Branches and Fronds Brushing The Windows’ CD or madding for a free ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ CD. This offer is good while supplies last. Have a listen to these gems while you shop:

27.May.2015

seabirds

It has been a little over a year since English band Seabirds won the prestigious song of the year category in our annual Matinee fanclub poll with their debut single ‘Real Tears’ but they have just landed on US soil for two shows this week!

You probably have heard they are part of the amazing 2015 NYC Popfest lineup along with our newest signing The Catenary Wires. Seabirds play on Sunday, May 31 at Littlefield with six other great bands including The Holiday Crowd and Club 8!

Seabirds also play in Philadelphia on Saturday, May 30 at Connie’s Ric Rac and you can see complete details on this show here.

In other exciting news, we are finalizing the debut Seabirds album ‘Meet Me In The Silence’ for a July release! The album features ten amazing songs: 1. Lapsed Catholic Blues; 2. Raised By Wolves; 3. Real Tears; 4. Nancy and Lee; 5. Black Sand; 6. Independent Horses; 7. No Fireworks; 8. Six More Weeks of Snow; 9. Mouths of Lovers; 10.Tears of St. Lawrence.

Watch for release details and preorder information in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can listen to the new track ‘Independent Horses’ and their award winning debut single ‘Real Tears’ on our Soundcloud:

08.May.2015

IMG_2260

New band alert! The Catenary Wires is the new project from Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, best known for making fuzzy, sixties girl-group inspired indie-pop in their previous bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research and Tender Trap. With The Catenary Wires, they have created something different … gentler, more emotive and melancholy, although still fuelled by their great love for pop melodies and harmonies.

The Catenary Wires started when the two left London and found themselves in the middle of the countryside, with no record stores or guitar shops, and no indie scene as such. Having initially abandoned the idea of having a band, they started writing their sad and delicate songs on their daughter’s small acoustic guitar, in the winter, just for themselves.

The duo were enticed to play in public for an event celebrating their old label, Sarah Records, at the Arnolfini Art Gallery in Bristol. They played a few Heavenly songs but also took the opportunity to try out the new material. From the positive reaction, they realized that two people on stage could be a proper band, if a small, fragile one.

CD72 sleevematcd072) and it comprises eight evocative songs, most of which are about relationships falling apart. We are thrilled to be releasing the album in conjunction with our friends at Elefant Records in Spain.

The album starts with the first single ‘Intravenous’, a closely sung duet which talks about the mutual dependency of love, and of resignation to a closeness so extreme that it becomes destructive. ‘When You Walk Away’ tells of a relationship started in the full knowledge that it will not last, exposing Amelia’s voice and Rob’s acoustic guitar at their rawest and most moving.

‘Throw Another Love Song on the Fire’ is a song about heartbreak, while at the same time a satire on other songs about heartbreak, with the depth of Rob’s voice as he sings “thanks for making me unhappy” invoking Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields). ‘A Different Scene’ is about missing someone from a long distance, and the feeling of sending off emails and texts and never being sure of their impact, while ‘Things I Love’ is about how once-much-loved things can become poisoned by bad memories.

Some of the songs, such as ‘Like A Fool’ and ‘The Records We Never Play’, are bittersweet duets, with a nod to Johnny Cash and June Carter, Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, or Adam Green and Binki Shapiro. Others, such as ‘When You Walk Away’ and ‘Too Late, I Love You’ are more introspective, with Amelia’s voice reminiscent of Karen Peris (The Innocence Mission) or Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star).

The album is available in a deluxe six panel eco-wallet CD and is officially released June 1, but you can preorder a copy right now in the Matinee shop!

To celebrate the release, The Catenary Wires are playing the NYC Popfest on May 29 and we have also set up a special in-store appearance at the Rough Trade Shop in Brooklyn on May 27. Of course the band will have copies of the new album with them at both shows!

While you wait, visit the new Catenary Wires artist page to read more about the band, and have a listen to the ace tracks ‘Intravenous’ plus ‘A Different Scene’ and ‘Throw Another Love Song On The Fire’ via our Soundcloud:

You can also watch videos for ‘Intravenous’ and ‘A Different Scene’ here: