When was the last time we had a supergroup? Not some 20-something artists going in and out of a studio for an hour or two then throwing all their names across the title, but a true meeting of creative minds? Something with a little soul?
Well, Matador has the answer and its Boygenius. A collection of thoughts and feeling between Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers as well as Lucy Dacus. In addition this week we’ve got new tracks from J Mascis, Richard In Your Mind, Constant Mongrel, Sloan Peterson, Crocodylus, SadGirl, Olympia and John Lennon. Not super but all just as special. Check ‘em out!
BOYGENIUS – BITE THE HAND (MATADOR/REMOTE CONTROL)
Boygenius is the collaborative effort of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. Over the past few years all have made names for themselves amidst a new wave of indie songwriters, so you might even call it a supergroup. Why not? They all delivered excellent albums in 2017 [Correction! Dacus’ Historian actually arrived earlier this year]. ‘Bite The Hand’ leads this EP off with ferociously cathartic fare.
SLOAN PETERSON – OUR LOVE (MIRROR)
Sloan’s back! ‘Our Love’ plays like a baroque pop melodrama with some breathy Air-M83 synth overtures and rolling garage bass edging into it all as well. Maybe even a little Melody Prochet. ‘tis a fine vintage.
OLYMPIA – STAR CITY (EMI)
A classic Australian music industry adage goes something to the effect of this. “It’s good, but if you really looking to get that on radio could you make it a little Strokes-y.” But you know what? If the end result is this, what’s the hurt?
RICHARD IN YOUR MIND – I HOPE YOU WEREN’T WAITING LONG (RICE IS NICE)
‘Hope’ floats and it hovers. Building around a pulse of psychedelia’s grandiosity it pushes toward near ambient.
J MASCIS – SEE YOU AT THE MOVIES (SUB POP)
Indie rock’s mercurial frontman returns. His latest material that doesn’t sound too far removed from melodic and hooky helpings of Dinosaur jr.’s Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not. But just as equally it seems that he’s diving into a more deeply personal space.
SADGIRL – JACK THE RIPPER (SUICIDE SQUEEZE)
‘Jack The Ripper’ arrives as a B-side new tune ‘Breakfast For Two’ and we’ll say this. These three know their way around a surf riff. Wipout!
CROCODYLUS – MY BABY (INDEPENDENT)
Doo wop-garage-surf. Compare it to the Pixies or Del Shannon or Pearl Jam’s ‘Last Kiss’ or whatever as you will. A slow waltzing shuffle with a buzzing kick.
CONSTANT MONGREL – LIVING IN EXCELLENCE (ANTIFADE)
IDLES? Parquet Courts? Pfft! Want post punk? Cop a cut of the real stuff right here.
John Lennon - Imagine (DEMO) (UNIVERSAL)
Listening in on this rough cut comes with the realisation that it might been the studio gloss which gave the original that transcendent feel. Beneath all that lofty idealism Lennon’s voice is ragged, it was, after all, a turbulent period in the artists’ tragically short life. At this point, he was on and off with The Beatles, had fallen out with the Sixties dream and was battling to stay in his newfound home in the USA as the result of a trumped-up drug charge back home. Oh, and the government was spying on him too.
So yeah, it was rough. Maybe it’s not that much of a wonder why he only performed the song live around twice. In fact, John wasn’t even all that fussed on what might be one of his most iconic of songs. His work with The Beatles included. But all that said, it’s Lennon. You’ve got to listen to it at least once.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald