08.May.2015

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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:

28.February.2015

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The recent ‘Pop Fiction’ album (matcd070) from English darlings The Popguns is the current top seller in the Matinee shop and generating plenty of accolades in the music press as well. Here are select excerpts from a few of the reviews to date:

“Pop Fiction is so engaging, snappy, and timeless, it’s analogous to the finest 80s UK pop of its kind (Smiths, Go-Betweens, early Creation singles). The LP bursts with mature modernity, a rare, wizened band perfecting their craft the second time around. It’s exquisite, charming, joyous music to fall in love with and to.” –The Big Takeover Magazine

“This is what tight musicianship, peerless songwriting, and an angelic choir up-front is all about. Without hesitation, I can assure you this is the best pop album you will hear this year.” –Soundblab

“An album of catchy upbeat tunes, sweetly swaying midtempo ones, and a couple tender ballads that rate with the best of their early work, all adding up to a truly impressive comeback.” –All Music Guide

“The Popguns are back with a bang, and most likely having a blast while they’re at it.” –Sounds XP

“Pop Fiction is an absolute no-filler affair … a tour de force that deserves its rightful place beside ‘Eugenie’ and ‘Snog’ as the Popguns’ best work.” –Linear Tracking Lives

“Where have The Popguns been all of my life?!?! Pop Fiction, the band’s first release in 18 years, has been on constant repeat for weeks now and is already one of my favorite albums of the year.” –This Wreckage

“Returning indiepop heroes triumph with wall-to-wall tunes on what sounds like a greatest hits album.” –The Sound of Confusion

“Pop Fiction captures everything that endeared them to fans in the first place with ten new tracks of unpretentious pop that sound like they could have been released by Sarah Records, Heavenly Records, or K back in the early 90s, proving that no matter how hard young musicians try to recreate the sound, it’s the bands who perfected it in the first place who best carry the torch.” –Flavorpill

The album comes in a deluxe gatefold eco-wallet and is available worldwide from your favorite record shop, mailorder, or digital provider as well as the Matinee shop. Full release details and more reviews can be found on the catalog page. You can preview the full album on the below Soundcloud player too!

27.December.2014

Hello popfans! For the next seven days your dollars, pounds, Euros, krone, real, and yen go further than usual as we have just launched a special Matinée year-end clearance sale! Use promo code 2015 for an extra 30 percent off every item in the shop, including new releases, sale items, and digital downloads. Get 7” and cd singles as low as $1.40 each, and albums as low as $3.50 each! The sale runs until January 2nd but get there quick because there are several releases close to selling out forever. Please see the Matinée shop for details. Happy 2015!

11.November.2014

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The highly anticipated new album Pop Fiction (matcd070) from legendary English band The Popguns is now available for preorder from the Matine shop! Here are the complete album details:

Purveyors of heartfelt, uncomplicated pop music, carried by melodies and vocals that go straight to the heart, the debut Popguns single Landslide in 1989 was voted into John Peels Festive 50 and a rush of brilliant singles and albums over the next six years assured the band a well-deserved place in pop history.

Recently the four original members reformed along with a new drummer and backing singer and this year has seen them play to enthusiastic audiences in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, and the prestigious Indietracks Festival.

The first Popguns album since 1996, Pop Fiction is a truly magnificent return. Epic album opener City Lights begins with a chiming guitar intro that builds into dreamy vocals telling a tale of misplaced affections and the alluring lights of the big, bad city, accompanied by some especially dazzling melodies. Meanwhile, If You Ever Change Your Mind is a classic three-minute power pop tune with a wicked hook and a little twist in the tail. The song was inspired in part by an episode of the Danish political drama Borgen and is a stunning showcase for the incomparable vocals of Wendy Pickles.

The album continues with the immediate pop hit Lovejunky which was released earlier this year as a limited red vinyl 7 single. Its a glorious song with soaring vocals, driving guitars, an insanely catchy chorus, and marvelous harmonies. Next, a long acoustic intro for Still Waiting For The Winter showcases dual female vocals before the rest of the Guns arrive for a reflective journey through a vignette of Popgun nights out on the Brighton seafront. The song references the bands second single and live favorite Waiting For The Winter from 1989, giving long-time fans even more to smile about.

Alfa Romeo is a single contender inspired by the fascinating story of American trumpeter Chet Baker, and the mood of the song perfectly fits the romantic image of the unimaginably cool Baker in his Alfa Romeo on the boulevards of San Francisco, Paris and Rome.

Side two of the album opens with the slow burner Out of Sight with its tom-tom intro providing the base for some ethereal feedback guitar and gorgeous layered vocals. Its an altogether different side to The Popguns as they sink into the divine sound of a long distance love affair quietly beating on a rainy Wednesday night. This segues into the sparse backing track of Not Your Night Tonight, which lets Wendys voice be heard in its full beauty with lyrical shades of Lou Reed and Bob Dylan and some beautifully twinkling keyboards.

Leaning on the Backline is a proper up-tempo indie guitar track and a nostalgic look back to the late 80s and the people and places around the band at that time, while Something Going On sits perfectly beside any track from that time period as a classic Popguns song with Wendys vocal delivery leaving no doubt that this is still someone not to be messed with! Finally, Ill See You Later is a celebratory sign off to the album with The Popguns getting as close to rock as they probably ever will with some solid guitar riffs.

Utterly accomplished and bursting with confidence, Pop Fiction is that great pop record The Popguns always promised when they formed 25 years ago and an absolutely spectacular return for the band. Pop perfection indeed!

The album is released worldwide on December 2nd but you can get a copy RIGHT NOW exclusively from the Matine shop! The CDs are back from the pressing plant on November 18th and all preorders placed by the end of that day will be shipped on the 19th.

Please note: we are heading to London, England for a special Pop Fiction CD launch at The Borderline on November 22nd so any orders received after the 18th will ship when we return on December 1st. Apologies in advance for this delay. Regardless of when you order, you can download the tracks immediately while you wait for the CD to arrive in the post.

We have just created a Pop Fiction sampler on Soundcloud for you to listen to album tracks City Lights and If You Ever Change Your Mind plus the recent single Lovejunky too. Go on then

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!