The Matinee Hit Parade

The Matinee Hit Parade

The Matinee Hit Parade

The Matinee Hit Parade

Matinee

Indie pop from the more fey end of the spectrum is woefully underrepresented in today’s musical climate. Thankfully Matinee Records, one of the last bastions of twee, have the resources to piece together Hit Parade. The label spotlights acts from around the globe — from Sweden to Japan to Scotland to Australia — and makes a convincing case of the genre’s universality if not chart-topping popularity.

There’s something charming in the unsteady waltz footing of Math and Physics Club’s opening plea “A Little Romance” that continues through the desperate strum of The Lucksmiths’ “Good Light” and the serene defeatist attitude of Clay Hips’ “Failure.” In general what sets this style of indie pop apart from other styles that deal in tales of regret and rejection is that the emotional downward pull rarely ever overcomes the joyous unknown of the future, a musical jangle to bolster depression up to a livable melancholy. Hit Parade taps into the best of this sound from mostly unknown, but instantly familiar-sounding acts — for example The Hermit Crabs could be an offshoot of Camera Obscura, and Harper Lee’s “Ilene” sounds like an electro/acoustic reworking of New Order’s “Your Silent Face.” All told, compilation or not, this is one of the better albums of this year.

Matinee Recordings: www.indiepages.com/matinee

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