28.October.2014

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The new ‘Lovejunky’ 7” (matinée 091) from The Popguns is selling fast and getting plenty of love from the music press as well. Here are excerpts from a few of the glowing reviews to date:

“This marks the return of the mighty Popguns, its on Matinée Recordings and it kicks like a mule. ‘Lovejunky’ is your primed, loaded and ready for adoration pristine pop hand grenade ablaze in trimmings of power chord purrs, lost abandonment and the fleeting tug of memories of thoughtful lazy nights marooned around the bedroom dansette playing heyday Sarah records platters until the grooves wore flat. A three and a half minutes shoehorning of stand by swoons frantic toe tapping boog-a-loo that sweeps you off your feet, peppers kisses upon your cheek, and in the blink of an eye is gone, vamoosh, see ya – a kind of Darling Buds with tiny cute teeth if you must. Track of the Day!” —God Is In The TV

“A heady rush of jingle-jangly chords and lovely earnest singing.” —Backseat Mafia

“If ever their name suited them, then it’s on ‘Lovejunky’, as they shoot a honey-coated blast of powerpop at our ears, scoring a direct hit. Melody spills over the sides, sparkles fly from its tail and it’s so infectious it should probably be kept in quarantine. If the band can afford to reserve ‘Long Way To Fall’ and ‘Home Late’ as B-sides, upcoming album ‘Pop Fiction’ will have been worth every second of its near two-decade wait.” —Sounds XP

“Wendy’s voice still gets me – tears me apart – 25 years on…I want to dance and leap so high, I never come down. I have no idea about major and minor keys. I have no way of knowing what chords are played where. I just know there are certain notes when played in a certain sequence that cut me every time…The guitars do what the guitars must: and they tear me as well. The drums tear me. The bass that sounds like Girls At Our Best! The slightly clumsy middle-eight tears me. I mean, wow…This song, this band make me miss Brighton so much it’s near unbearable. Song of the Day!” —Collapse Board

“Lovejunky is a real corker… and let me tell you, if ‘Long Way To Fall’ and ‘Home Late’ are the songs that didn’t make the album, we are in for a real treat.” —Linear Tracking Lives

“The label claims it’s a smash hit. Who am I to disagree? Classic, vintage indiepop.” —Records I Like

The single features two exclusive b-sides—‘Long Way To Fall’ and ‘Home Late’—that will not appear on the upcoming new album ‘Pop Fiction’ and you can stream all three tracks via Soundcloud below. The single is available now from your favorite record shop, mailorder, or digital provider as well as the trusty Matinée shop. The 7” is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies on cherry red vinyl so please order now to score one of these gems before they are gone. Full release details and more reviews can be found on the catalog page. ‘Pop Fiction’ release details coming soon too!

29.September.2014

091 sleevematinée 091) from legendary English band The Popguns is finally here! It has been 25 years since the classic Popguns debut single ‘Landslide’ was released on Medium Cool Records and voted into John Peel’s Festive 50 by listeners of the BBC Radio 1 show. A rush of brilliant singles and albums over the next six years assured the band its place in indie history before they went on extended break.

Sometime in 2012, the four original members reformed along with a new drummer and backing singer for a series of gigs and this year has seen them play to packed venues in London, Paris, Berlin, and New York, as well as the prestigious Indietracks Festival.

To commemorate this new activity, the band recently recorded its first new songs in 18 years for this exclusive 7” single. Lead track ‘Lovejunky’ is an immediate pop hit with incomparable soaring vocals from Wendy Pickles, driving guitars, an insanely catchy chorus, and superb harmonies. An absolutely glorious comeback, the song is a preview of a new Popguns album ‘Pop Fiction’ scheduled for release later this year.

The single also features two exclusive b-sides that will not appear on the new album. ‘Long Way To Fall’ is another power pop hit that could have been a single on its own. It has more of those signature Popguns vocals plus multiple loud guitars, fantastic melodies, and a fierce drumbeat. Final track ‘Home Late’ showcases an altogether more melancholy side of the band, with carefully strummed acoustic guitars and chiming female harmonies among its many charms.

The single is available worldwide from your favorite record shop, mailorder, or digital provider on October 14 but you can get a copy RIGHT NOW exclusively from the Matinée shop for immediate shipping or download! The 7” is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies on cherry red vinyl and housed in an absolutely stunning sleeve so please order now to make sure you score one of these gems.

If you are not already familiar with the brilliance of The Popguns, please see their new artist page for a bit of background and list of previous releases. There are also videos of two former hits in the May 30 news post below.

‘Lovejunky’ is now featured on our Soundcloud player so you can have a listen. A very welcome return for The Popguns!

25.August.2014
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To make room for a batch of autumn releases, we are holding an end of summer clearance sale in the Matinée shop! During this sale, prices for more than 200 titles are slashed with 7” singles from $2.00 each, cd singles from $3.00 each, and cd albums from $5.00 each.

As an added incentive, all orders qualify for an extra 25 percent off by applying promotional code 25off in the shopping cart. This discount applies to every release in the shop including items already on sale plus new releases, back catalog gems, and digital downloads so please take advantage of the savings and help us clear space for the new releases!

Sale prices and additional discounts expire September 5. Please see the shop for details.

17.June.2014

As we prepare the new 7″ single from The Popguns for the pressing plant, here is a great new song recorded by the band today in celebration of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. ‘Red White and Blue’ is the official Popguns World Cup theme and it is available now as a free download for you lucky people. Score!

30.May.2014

pop We are beyond thrilled to announce that the legendary English band The Popguns are back in action and will soon grace the Matinée discography with a brilliant new set of releases!

Formed in Brighton, England in 1987, the band’s debut single ‘Landslide’ was released in 1989 on the terminally hip Medium Cool Records (the same label that released the debut single from our pals The Siddeleys a year earlier).

‘Landslide’ was voted into John Peel’s Festive 50 by listeners of the BBC Radio 1 show and the band earned acclaim for its early live shows in the pages of NME and Melody Maker.

Further singles followed over the next two years on Midnight Music, including absolute gems such as ‘Waiting For The Winter’ and ‘Someone You Love’ plus a clutch of impressive b-sides. There were even proper videos made for these songs which you can watch below to get a taste of their early brilliance:

The first three singles were compiled on the now legendary album ‘Eugenie’ a year before the proper debut album ‘Snog’ was released in 1991. At the time, I was an impressionable young lad living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina—half a world away from Brighton. A friend of mine described The Popguns once as “like The Wedding Present but with a female vocalist” and to some extent the comparison is accurate as both bands have a certain way of mixing jangly, fast and abrasive guitars with heartfelt and often bitter lyrics. If you ever needed a song to get you through a breakup, the Popguns had your back.

There was a bit of silence after ‘Snog’, but The Popguns returned in the mid-1990’s with a few singles and two more albums ‘Love Junky’ and ‘A Plus de Cent’ on 3rd Stone Records. These releases contained more insanely catchy yet melancholy songs and further evidence of the incomparable soaring vocals of Wendy Pickles. There were some surprises too, including cover versions of songs previously recorded by Serge Gainsbourg and A Tribe Called Quest, that expanded the template of the band in all sorts of good ways.

Following this mid-90’s activity, the band went on an extended break while normal lives were lived and new families were built. No one in the band can quite remember how they started up again in 2012 but it inevitably began with meeting an amazing new young drummer. Half a dozen small but packed gigs in 2012 were followed by a few more in 2013, and then suddenly The Popguns were back! This year has seen the band invited to Paris (L’Internationale), London (supporting the Primitives), and New York (New York City Popfest), plus the prestigious Indietracks Festival in England in July. They will also play Indiedaze in London and Popfest Berlin in September.

To coincide with this impressive set of dates, the band is in the process of recording 15 ace new songs that will form the basis of a brand new single and album that we are absolutely delighted to be releasing on Matinée later this year. The single is a three-track 7” with brand new songs ‘Lovejunky’ plus ‘Long Way To Fall’ and ‘Home Late’ on the b-side. The songs are being mastered as we speak and we’re working on the sleeve artwork but if all goes to plan the 7” will be in your hands before the end of the summer with a brand new album following a month later.

To celebrate the band landing on US soil this afternoon for their appearance at NYC Popfest this weekend, we have added an exclusive stream of the brilliant new song ‘Lovejunky’ to our Soundcloud and you can have a listen to it right now!

Watch for more release details coming soon along with a few Popguns surprises this summer leading up to the release. In the meantime, drop whatever you are doing and get yourself to New York so you can see them headline the Sunday NYC Popfest show at Littlefield with eight other ace bands including our good pals Bart Cummings (Bart and Friends) and Pam Berry (The Pines, The Snowdrops, Bart and Friends) performing classics from former bands The Shapiros and Cats Miaow! The Popguns are on at 10:15 for you lucky New Yorkers. The rest of you should probably watch this space and the Popguns page on Facebook for more news in the coming weeks. Hurrah for Brighton pop!

08.April.2014

CD69 sleeveThe Steinbecks, the band led by former Sugargliders Josh and Joel Meadows, are back on the new release shelf with a highly anticipated new album ‘Kick To Kick With The Steinbecks’ (matcd069)!

The Steinbecks emerged from the ashes of The Sugargliders after the ’gliders released ten 7” singles on legendary pop labels Sarah Records in England and Summershine Records in Australia. Those singles were since compiled on the smashing ‘A Nest With A View’ compilation (matcd062) we released with Popboomerang Records in 2012.

The Meadows brothers write emotionally honest pop songs about the world as they experience it, and record them as The Steinbecks with multi-instrumentalists Matt Sigley (Earthmen, Daytime Frequency), Joseph Bromley, and Jerry Rinse.

‘Kick To Kick With The Steinbecks’ features 12 new recordings that explore ancient cave paintings, an after-midnight ’60s club, a narrow escape from suburbia, and a soapbox rant about wireless radio, plus keen observations on relationships and romance. It is the band’s first album since ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ in 2007 and you can read a track by track preview of the album on the catalog page.

Housed in a handsome gatefold eco-wallet, ‘Kick to Kick’ is a very welcome return for The Steinbecks and another absolute score (see what we did there?) for the Matinée discography.

The official release date is April 22 but you can order a copy RIGHT NOW exclusively from the Matinée shop for immediate shipping or download. Please see the catalog page for complete release details. This is a co-release with Popboomerang in Australia so please support your local label!

If you are not already familiar with the wonder of The Steinbecks, please have a look at their artist page to read up on past achievements and releases. We have a limited number of copies of classic Steinbecks albums on Summershine, Drive In, and Microindie Records in the shop at the moment, along with their recent ‘At Arkaroo Rock’ 7” (matinée 088) with two non-album b-sides and the aforementioned ‘A Nest With A View’ compilation (matcd062) from The Sugargliders.

Have a listen to key ‘Kick to Kick’ album tracks ‘At Arkaroo Rock’ and ‘Trying To Be Someone’ on our Soundcloud player and watch a fantastic video for ‘I Radio’ too. Both are linked below for your convenience. Hurrah for new Australian pop!

10.January.2014
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We have counted all the votes in our 12th annual Matinée fanclub poll and are thrilled to announce the results! The full standings are posted on the archive page and here is a summary of the winners in the seven categories:

The 2013 Matinée album of the year award goes to ‘Our Hearts Beat Out Loud’ (matcd065) from Seattle favorites Math and Physics Club with 36 votes. Our Scottish pals Bubblegum Lemonade scored second place with 30 votes for ‘Some Like It Pop’ (matcd067), while Australian legends The Lucksmiths placed third with 29 votes for their career-spanning compilation ‘Cartography for Beginners’ (matcd068).

In the singles category, Danish popstars Northern Portrait took the top prize with an impressive 49 votes for the ‘Pretty Decent Swimmers’ 10” (matinée 086). New English band Seabirds placed second with 31 votes for their debut ‘Real Tears’ 7” (matinée 090), while the ‘Have You Seen Faith?’ 7” (matinée 087) from Scottish favorites Bubblegum Lemonade took third place with 30 votes.

In the song of the year category, our newest band Seabirds came out on top with ‘Real Tears’ securing 21 votes in the annual poll. You lucky people know there’s a Seabirds album on tap for 2014 right? Following very close behind were ‘Happy Nice Day’ from Northern Portrait (20), ‘Have You Seen Faith?’ from Bubblegum Lemonade (19), and ‘Long Drag’ from Math and Physics Club (19), while ‘The Road I Know’ from Azure Blue (12), ‘There’s No Place’ from Bart and Friends (11), ‘I Feel Even Better’ from Northern Portrait (11), ‘At Arkaroo Rock’ from The Steinbecks (10), ‘September Saturday’ from Strawberry Whiplash (10), and ‘No More Tearstained Makeup from Would-Be-Goods (10) also made the top ten. Tracks from Azure Blue, Bubblegum Lemonade, Charlie Big Time, The Electric Pop Group, Math and Physics Club, Northern Portrait, Seabirds, and September Girls complete the top 20.

In a new category for 2013, we surveyed for best artwork of the year which provided another solid victory for the ‘Pretty Decent Swimmers’ 10” from Northern Portrait with 26 votes. Other favorites in the best artwork category include ‘Our Hearts Beat Out Loud’ from Math and Physics Club (15), the 15th anniversary label compilation ‘A Sunday Matinée’ (14), ‘Some Like It Pop’ from Bubblegum Lemonade (12) and ‘Real Tears’ from Seabirds (10).

In the favorite Matinée artist category, The Lucksmiths claimed the number one spot for the 12th straight year with 45 votes, followed by Northern Portrait (35) and Math and Physics Club (32) holding their spots in the top three. Other favorite bands in 2013 voting include Bubblegum Lemonade (22), Azure Blue (16), Harper Lee (16), Brighter (15), Cats on Fire (15), Strawberry Whiplash (13), Razorcuts (11), Bart and Friends (10), The Hermit Crabs (10), Would-Be-Goods (10), The Steinbecks (9), and September Girls (8).

Northern Portrait claimed the favorite Matinée album of all time category for the third year running with 22 votes for ‘Criminal Art Lovers’ (matcd054). Other classics in the top five include ‘Warmer Corners’ (matcd039) from The Lucksmiths (19), ‘Singles 1989-1992’ (matcd026) from Brighter (16), ‘Math and Physics Club’ (matcd042) from Math and Physics Club (15), and ‘Hits In The Car’ (matcd060) from Strawberry Whiplash (15) making its first appearance in the top five. The Lucksmiths, The Siddeleys, Cats On Fire, Harper Lee, Northern Portrait, Razorcuts, Azure Blue, Brighter, Math and Physics Club, and The Pines had additional albums in the top tier.

The Lucksmiths can claim the top Matinée single of all time as their ‘T-Shirt Weather 7” (matinée 018) earned 20 votes to lead the final category. The ‘Pretty Decent Swimmers’ 10” (matinée 086) from Northern Portrait (19), ‘The Fallen Aristocracy’ EP (matinée 068) from Northern Portrait (18), ‘Weekends Away’ EP (matinée 056) from Math and Physics Club, and ‘Napoleon Sweetheart’ EP (matinée 070) from Northern Portrait (14) also made the top five this year. The Lucksmiths, Harper Lee, Math and Physics Club, The Hermit Crabs, Northern Portrait, Strawberry Whiplash, Edson, and The Electric Pop Group had additional singles in the top tier.

Congratulations to all the Matinée artists and thanks very much to everyone who completed the poll. We had entries this year from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and USA. The lucky winner of the $50 Matinée prize drawing is Brian Hancheck from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Congratulations Brian!

08.January.2014

Happy New Year! Voting is now closed in the 2013 Matinée fanclub poll and we will reveal the winners soon. In the meantime, we have published lists of 2013 favorites from Matinée artists including members of Azure Blue, Bart and Friends, Bubblegum Lemonade, The Hermit Crabs, The Lucksmiths, Northern Portrait, September Girls, The Steinbecks, Strawberry Whiplash, The Sugargliders, and Would-Be-Goods. Discover something cool from these tastemakers now!

22.December.2013
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Hello popfans … it’s time for the 12th annual Matinée fanclub poll! Every year we survey our loyal fans to see which new releases made you smile and reward voters with shop discounts and free records in the process. The polls are open for the next two weeks so if you haven’t ordered one of our eleven 2013 releases yet there’s still time before votes are due.

CD64 sleevematcd063) from Azure Blue, ‘Our Hearts Beat Out Loud’ (matcd065) from Math and Physics Club, ‘Ta!’ (matcd066) from Northern Portrait, ‘Some Like It Pop’ (matcd067) from Bubblegum Lemonade, ‘Cartography For Beginners’ (matcd068) from The Lucksmiths, and the label compilation ‘A Sunday Matinée’ (matcd064).

The 2013 single of the year contenders are the ‘Pretty Decent Swimmers’ 10” (matinée 086) from Northern Portrait, ‘Have You Seen Faith?’ 7” (matinée 087) from Bubblegum Lemonade, ‘At Arkaroo Rock’ 7” (matinée 088) from The Steinbecks, ‘Long Drag’ 7” (matinée 089) from Math and Physics Club, and ‘Real Tears’ 7” (matinée 090) from Seabirds.

We are also collecting votes for song of the year, best artwork, favorite Matinée artist, and favorite Matinée albums and singles of all time so please take a moment to vote for your favorites! Simply entering earns you a 20 percent discount off any order through the end of January, and one lucky voter will be selected to receive $50 of free Matinée merchandise. The poll closes January 5th, so please complete your entry today and best of luck in the prize draw!

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To celebrate such a fantastic year, we have created a 2013 Hit Parade playlist on Soundcloud featuring a bumper 40 tracks from our 2013 releases and you can listen to it here:

We are sketching details of our 2014 release schedule now including new recordings from The Steinbecks, The Electric Pop Group, Seabirds, Cats On Fire, Strawberry Whiplash, Northern Portrait and more so check here for exclusive news and previews of forthcoming releases. Happy holidays and thanks for all your support again this year!

02.December.2013

CD68 sleeveThe Lucksmiths takes us back to the very early days of Matinée Recordings when we were still based in Washington, D.C. in a stately rowhouse on Capitol Hill. Those days were magical times with indie bands coming through town every month or so and our three stories of accommodation made Matinée HQ the perfect resting spot for road-weary travelers.

I still remember the first time The Lucksmiths pulled up outside my house with Mike Babb of Drive-In Records on the day of their very first show in Washington in September 1998. We were about to launch our first co-release—the now legendary ‘Untidy Towns’ 7” single (matinée 004)—and we spent the little time we had before the show sitting around my dining room table folding records sleeves and adding inserts with all the details of our new release and the forthcoming gems on our respective labels. The lucky 500 of you who own that single can rest assured that at least one Lucksmith probably touched your record at some point that afternoon.

Little did I know at the time it would be the first of fifteen releases the band would have on Matinée leading up to their farewell single ‘Get-To-Bed Birds’ (matinée 077) in 2010. Over the years there were plenty of other record stuffing parties and opportunities for us to witness live performances in the United States, England, France, Spain, and Australia including shows in our new home state of California.

We are now absolutely thrilled to have a sixteenth Lucksmiths release for the Matinée discography and an answer (at last!) to all the people over the years that have asked which release to get first from the band. But first, a little more background is in order…

Having started out as high school friends in a bayside suburb of Melbourne, the Lucksmiths trio were officially set on foot in 1993 and made short work of winning the hearts and livers of student share-houses the city over. Sixteen years and countless albums, world tours and one extra member later, the band called it a day. By this time, their reputation as one of the most influential indiepop acts of the past decade was assured.

With many Lucksmiths albums now long out of print, fans old and new can play catch-up with the new double-CD collection ‘Cartography For Beginners’ (matcd068) which traces the band’s history from their legendary ‘First Tape’ through the final strains of their last posthumously-released single ‘Get-To-Bed Birds.’

Featuring live favourites ‘Under the Rotunda,’ ‘T-Shirt Weather’ and ‘Sunlight in a Jar’ (and with the entire tracklist chosen by the band members themselves, of course!), ‘Cartography For Beginners’ is the final word in Lucksmiths mix tapes — the perfect jangly travel companion, the ideal soundtrack to a first kiss (in the rain), and certainly the mantle ornament of choice for any inner city share-house.

Available in a handsome six panel matte finish eco-wallet with vintage photographs and liner notes by Australian labelmate and frequent touring companion Darren Hanlon, this perfect ‘beginner’s guide to The Lucksmiths’ is a co-release with our good friends at the Lost And Lonesome Recording Company in Australia so reduce your carbon footprint by ordering from them if you’re closer to Melbourne than Santa Barbara.

The official release date for the album is December 10th but we are taking preorders now and will start shipping copies a few days in advance. You can see the astonishing tracklisting on the catalog page. Many of you know most or all of these songs already but to have them all in one place is pretty cool and you have to admit, it’s the perfect gift for at least one music-loving friend in your life, no? Here is a sampling of the 35 hits your friend is about to discover: