Various Artists

Matinee 50!

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Matinee 50! celebrates the 50th release for the stylish indie pop champions Matinee Recordings. Based in the extremely unindie locale of Santa Barbara, the label has released a boatload of fine records by many fine groups for the U.K. and Australia: the Lucksmiths, Airport Girl, the Razorcuts, and Harper Lee, to name but a few. For this collection, Jimmy Matinee had the brilliant idea that he should ask current bands to record their favorite song from the Matinee catalog. The artists did a bang-up job of choosing tracks to cover, and the disc is a charming listen throughout. Standout tracks are the Guild League's rollicking version of Airport Girl's "Between Delta and Delaware," Airport Girl's epic take on the Windmills' "Three Sixty Degrees," the Fairways' delicate version of "Edson's Sunday, Lovely Sunday," and Simpatico's suitably sad take on Lee's "Train Not Stopping" that sounds like a cross between Joy Division and the Moonglows. The bands and songs on Matinee 50! are uniformly twee, precious, sweet, heart-breaking, and totally heartfelt: all the things that make indie pop so great. A fitting tribute to one of the labels keeping indie pop alive.

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