Azure Blue – Three Times The Drama

‘Three Times The Drama’ (matda033) is the third single from the forthcoming album by Swedish dream pop favorites Azure Blue.

The song’s crystal-clear topline shines over electric guitars and analog synths to create an immediate pop song with great summer hit potential. The song is also a bittersweet dedication to Tobias Isaksson’s mother, who recently passed away, and its completion provided comfort following a period of unspeakable grief.

The upcoming album ‘The Night of the Stars’ pushes the quality to its peak, promising a richer, clearer, and more luxurious form of the patented Azure Blue sound.

The single is available right now from the Matinée shop, the usual digital merchants, and our Soundcloud:


Red Sleeping Beauty – Summer House EP

Our second compilation of the ace song-of-the-month series by Swedish legends Red Sleeping Beauty is out now!

‘Summer House’ is a melodic gem with moody keyboards and a stunningly memorable chorus, while ‘New York, New Me’ is a long-lost 80s club hit not unlike an early Depeche Mode or Pet Shop Boys classic, and ‘If I’d Show You My Heart’ concludes the EP layering gently strummed guitars and keyboards in beautiful fragility.

The EP (matda034) is available right now from the Matinée shop and the usual digital merchants.  In the meantime, you can stream it on the player below:


Red Sleeping Beauty – Is This Love? EP

Swedish favorites Red Sleeping Beauty are celebrating 2024 by releasing one song every month of the year, and this exclusive Matinée EP (matda032) compiles the first three gems in one magnificent package!

‘Is This Love?’ is an absolute smash layering keyboards and jangly guitars into a perfect pop song, while ‘Free Cake For Every Creature’ is a song about a band with the same name that sneaks up on you and eventually is all you want to hear and ‘Caroline (I Found Love)’ is a hook-filled dance floor filler just waiting to happen.

The EP is available right now from the Matinée shop and the usual digital merchants.  In the meantime, you can stream it on the player below:


The Popguns – Popism EP

POPISM is the new 4 track EP (matinée 104) from Brighton’s irrepressible indie-rockers The Popguns. The title POPISM is inspired by a love of the unpretentious power of pop music at its simple and expressive best. Pop has no need for artfulness, authenticity, or intellectual approval but tells us the honest and unambiguous truth along with the overriding feeling that happiness is always possible.
Two tracks on the EP embody this ethos perfectly.  ‘Red Cocoon’ relives the fuzzy memories of a mildly debauched festival weekend, with the hangover of the working week looming ahead, while ‘Indie Rock Goddess’ is a tongue-in-cheek two-minute blast promoting the excellence of growing old disgracefully.
Slightly contrary to those POPISM principles, the EP also contains two songs of elusively nuanced meaning. ‘Caesar’ is a big pop rush of strings and guitars and hopes that the next generation can make a better job of protecting the natural environment than this one has, while ‘Dirty London’ describes how the statues and buildings of power around Whitehall announce the memory of power and empire to a well-intentioned population who must inevitably inherit the dirt along with the freedom and prosperity.
The EP is released on 7” vinyl through Matinée and on CD through the Popguns’ own SnugPop Recordings. Both formats are available right now from the Matinée shop and The Popguns Bandcamp so if you are in the UK you can save on postage from ordering from the band link.  Look for it in good record shops and mailorders in the coming weeks.
All four tracks are featured on the Matinée Soundcloud at the moment, so you can listen while you shop!


Bubblegum Lemonade – Out There On The Radio EP

Another week, another new release!  On this second single (matda031) from the forthcoming Bubblegum Lemonade album, Laz and Matinée Recordings renew their musical vows with something old, something new, and something blue.

The new is ‘Out There on the Radio’, a jangleadelic slice of radio-friendly guitar pop which recalls the Primal Scream off-shoot Spirea-X, for anyone of a certain age.  Unusually, the song is presented from the point of view of the muse, rather than the creative.

The blue is the reflective ‘One Hundred Wishes’, with its muscular sliding chord riffs and vocal harmonies by Sandra from fellow Scots, Strawberry Whiplash.

The old is ‘New Clothes for the Old Gods’, a song initially recorded back in 2011 that somehow never found a suitable slot on previous releases.  A fully paid-up Bubblegum classic, the stroboscope guitars and skipped drum beats sound like something from the Mary Chain’s ‘Automatic’ album, but with an extra helping of guitar feedback.

‘Out There on the Radio’ will appear on the new album ‘Lawrence of Suburbia’ later this year, while the other two tracks are exclusive to this release.

The EP is available right now from the Matinée shop and from your favorite digital merchant on September 22.  In the meantime, you can stream it on the player below:


Azure Blue – Rise

New release alert!  ‘Rise’ is the fantastic new single (matda030) from an upcoming album by Swedish favorites Azure Blue. A shimmering track with a rushing drumbeat topped by luxurious layers of analog synths and a Peter Hook-like bass, the song is a dream pop anthem featuring a timeless chorus and vocal harmonies from Azure Blue’s long time companion The Land Below.

The single also includes ‘Define Your Dreams’—a bright flare first previewed during the dark days of the pandemic with massive synth walls and lyrics that suggest that while difficult times have passed, more difficult ones may be coming.

The forthcoming album ‘The Night of the Stars’ promises a more luxurious form of the patented Azure Blue sound: richer, clearer, and more powerful than ever.

In the meantime, ‘Rise’ is available right now in the Matinée shop and other digital retailers, and you can stream it on the player below:


Red Sleeping Beauty – From Sarah With Love 7″ EP

The first of several new Matinée 7″ singles on our release schedule is from Swedish legends Red Sleeping Beauty, who return to the new release racks today with an exclusive new EP, ‘From Sarah With Love’ (matinée 103), that pays tribute to the brilliance of the late 80s/early 90s English label Sarah Records.

The single kicks off with ‘Solid Gold’—a collaboration with Sarah Records heroine Amelia Fletcher (Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap, The Catenary Wires) providing ace lead vocals and her usual dose of pop magic. With this song, Red Sleeping Beauty have come full circle. Starting out as a jangly guitar pop band in the 1990s and coming back after a 20-year hiatus in 2016 as an electronic synth pop trio, Red Sleeping Beauty return to their roots on this track—a bouncy, jangly, singalong guitar pop smash.

The lead track on the flipside is ‘Second Time’—a collaboration with Sarah Records goddess Mary Wyer (Even As We Speak) delivering lush lead vocals and the Australian charm that only Mary could add to this essential track. It sounds like the kind of song Saint Etienne released at their peak—a hi-energy, sophisticatedly laid back, dance floor filler.

To complement these all-star collaborations, Red Sleeping Beauty recorded cover versions of two early Sarah Records hits—‘Pristine Christine’ originally released by The Sea Urchins on Sarah 001 and ‘I’m In Love With A Girl Who Doesn’t Know I Exist’ originally released by Another Sunny Day on Sarah 007. Realizing it is impossible to improve on such perfect songs, the band chose to reinterpret them in the characteristic Red Sleeping Beauty style to create a perfect four-track EP.

Limited to 450 copies on black vinyl and with artwork reminiscent of classic Sarah singles, this 7” release is a heartfelt tribute to one of the most influential indie labels of all time and an essential addition to the Red Sleeping Beauty and Matinée discographies.

Special thanks to Amelia and Mary for their ace collaborations, to Another Sunny Day and The Sea Urchins for inspiring the two cover versions, and to Clare and Matt at Sarah Records for giving us something to celebrate. 

The 7″ is available right now from the Matinée shop and the Red Sleeping Beauty Bandcamp, and there should be a few copies available at this weekend’s Glas-Goes Pop Festival in Scotland as well.  Look for it in good record shops and mailorders in the coming weeks.

Pro tip no. 1: the digital EP in the Matinée shop includes a bonus fifth Sarah Records track—Red Sleeping Beauty’s cover of The Field Mice classic ‘Emma’s House’—which was originally released on their stunning ‘Tonight’ CDEP (matinée 099) in 2019.  That EP, along with the band’s 2019 album ‘Stockholm’ (matcd084) should be in your cart if you haven’t gotten them already.  We also have restocked the band’s fantastic ‘Always On Your Side’ CDEP (Sunday 960) on Sunday Records in case you missed that one.

Pro top no. 2: if you preordered the new ‘Happy Secret’ LP (matlp093) from The Lucksmiths and would like to have the new Red Sleeping Beauty 7″ shipped with it, just email us at and we will get back to you with a special discount code that should negate most if not all additional shipping charges on the Red Sleeping Beauty 7″ single.  The Lucksmiths LPs are due back from the pressing plant next week so we’ll be able to get all preorders shipped then.  Thanks very much for your patience!

The collaborations with Amelia and Mary are featured on the Matinée Soundcloud at the moment, so you can listen while you shop!


The Lucksmiths – Happy Secret 25th anniversary vinyl reissue

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the release of a special 25th anniversary vinyl edition of the brilliant ‘Happy Secret’ album (matcd093) from Australian legends The Lucksmiths!

Comprising various singles, b-sides, and compilation tracks recorded 25 years ago, ‘Happy Secret’ was originally released on CD by Candle Records in Australia and Drive-In Records in the US. This 25th anniversary reissue on Matinée and Lost and Lonesome is the first time the album is available on vinyl!

The album represented a considerable leap forward in Marty Donald’s songwriting and is home to some big Lucksmiths tunes including ‘Untidy Towns’—the A-side of the very first Matinée 7″ from the band (matinée 004) in 1998, ‘Southernmost’—another early 7″ (matinée 008) that was recorded in Washington, DC during their first visit to the original Matinée HQ that same year, and ‘The Art of Cooking For Two’.

Helmed by Tali White’s warm tenor, the trio’s signature strummed guitar, brushed snare drum, and fluid basslines are embellished along the way with piano, clarinet, and accordion. 

So said the Sydney Morning Herald – “The way the Violent Femmes might have sounded if they’d been melancholy instead of angry. And if they’d been Australian, because these laid-back sounds—especially the laconic lyrics—are distinctly Melburnian”.

1998 was a significant time in Lucksmiths lore. Marty, Tali and Mark welcomed the new year already midway through a month-long New Zealand summer tour opening for kiwi phenomenon Bic Runga, before heading home to pack for their first of many US, UK and European tours which, among many highlights, included dates in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland opening for Belle & Sebastian, themselves embarking on their first set of European dates. 

With songs put to tape at home and whilst on tour, ‘Happy Secret’ provides snapshots of The Lucksmiths on their way, in full-flight! 

The album is officially released July 28 but you can preorder it right now on classic black or limited edition transparent blue vinyl, with copies shipping on or before the official release date. We also have restocked the album on CD for anyone who missed it the first time around.  Australian customers please note: this is a co-release with the magnificent Lost and Lonesome Recording Company, so please support your local label!

While you wait for your trusty postman to deliver this gem, you can listen to four classics on our Soundcloud and watch this great promo video too!


The Popguns – Caesar

New release alert!  ‘Caesar’ is an emphatic return by The Popguns with their first new music since 2019.

The new single (matda029) is an epic pop-rush of a song, featuring soaring strings and an infectiously yearning chorus expressing hope and anger about the world currently being passed on to the younger generation.

A 4-track EP ‘POPISM’ is lined up to follow in the summer.

In the meantime, ‘Caesar’ is available right now in the Matinée shop and other digital retailers, and you can stream it on the player below:


New album ‘The Swiss Army’ from Northern Portrait is out now!

At last…the long-awaited new album ‘The Swiss Army’ (matcd090) from Danish favorites Northern Portrait is out now!

It has been 12 long years since the celebrated debut album ‘Criminal Art Lovers’ (matcd054) was released, and ‘The Swiss Army’ is another masterpiece undeniably worthy of the wait.

The album begins with lead single ‘At Attention’—an absolutely brilliant three-minute pop song with jangling guitars, soaring vocals, and harmonica.  It is a confident burst of jangle pop that sits perfectly alongside any of Northern Portrait’s previous hits and leaves no question that the band are back in especially prime form.

‘Nineties Survivor’ is a dramatic mid-tempo track that recalls Suede or perhaps Jarvis Cocker’s first solo album, and ‘Long Live Tonight’ is another upbeat, pristine pop song with ace vocals, jangling guitars, and a playful organ that should appeal to fans of The Housemartins or Paul Weller.

‘Sisters’ features strummed guitars, hypnotic vocals, a ukulele, and a soaring chorus, while ‘From Here Our World Extends’ closes side one with a slow burning classic inspired by Pulp with dramatic cymbal crashes and a mesmerizing ending.

Side two opens with the wonderful second single ‘Once Upon A Bombshell’, a sophisticated, mid-tempo ode to an aging bombshell reminiscent of The Kinks or The Smiths with organ and mellotron embellishments adding to its moody vibe.

‘Business Class Hero’ is a Billy Bragg-inspired tale of a frequent flyer with possibly questionable morals accompanied by sweeping strings and harmonica, and ‘World History part I and II’ recalls Blur at their very best with multiple guitars, organs, autoharp, saxophone, driving percussion, and one of the catchiest choruses on the album.

‘The Soft Revolution’ is a refined tale of horoscopes, oysters, and lotteries with twinkling keyboards, piano, and a harmonica rich ending perfect for fans of Gene, David Bowie, or Pulp, and album closer ‘Pool Cue Vigilante’ lives up to its magnificent title layering multiple guitars and organs with superb vocals and a bit of Stone Roses inspiration.

Available on sea blue or black vinyl, plus CD and digital formats, ‘The Swiss Army’ is another outstanding long-player from Northern Portrait and a certain album of the year contender for 2022.

The album is available from all good retailers and of course the Matinée shop!

Also in the great news category, please note that we have fresh repressings of the classic ‘Criminal Art Lovers’ album (matcd054) and ‘Ta!’ compilation (matcd066) back in stock, and the ‘Life Returns To Normal’ 7″ (matinée 076) and ‘Pretty Decent Swimmers’10” (matinée 086) are also still available so every Northern Portrait song ever recorded is available once again!  Please see the Northern Portrait artist page for handy links to all releases.



Have a listen to a few tracks from ‘The Swiss Army’ now on the Matinée Soundcloud!