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THE WELCOME MATT
Matt Walters' album is called Farewell Youth, and "time
keeps ticking", he sings. Sounds like the 25-year-old is
rather impatient. "I'm getting better at trying to relax,"
Matt chuckles. "But, yeah, I think I'm quite impatient.
It's a funny thing, though, songwriting has taught me to
be patient. When you have an idea, it has a lifespan of
its own. It takes a long time for an idea to bear fruit.
I just have ideas floating around in my head, sometimes
for years, and then something clicks and it's ready."
Farewell Youth (on Universal) has been called Matt's debut
album, but he did release two prior albums - Like Therapy
and The Moon, Stars and People. "After I got signed a few
years back [by legendary A&R man Peter Karpin], I wanted
to start over," Matt explains. "Like Therapy was recorded
when I was 15, and The Moon, Stars and People when I was
17. I haven't listened to those records for a while ...
I shudder to think. It felt right to call this record my
It's a heartfelt album about making the most of the moments
that matter. "This is your life," Matt sings, "and it's
passing so carelessly." A Sydney fan called it "memory music".
"When I asked her what she meant, she told me that when
she listens to my music, a lot of forgotten memories come
flooding into her mind. I liked that description a lot."
It's a sensitive sound. "A few years ago, I asked a songwriter
friend of mine if he thought songwriters were all headcases,"
Matt smiles. "If you think about it, it's quite absurd to
be collecting these little insights and putting them into
a song. Anyway, he replied, 'No, I think we just care.'
How incredible is every fleeting moment? And they're impossible
to replicate. I think songwriting - and all art - is a noble
practice because, ultimately, we're trying to capture and
bottle these precious moments." If Matt had his youth all
over again, what would he do differently? "I'd probably
worry a whole lot less. That's part of the reason I wanted
to farewell my youth on this record. For the most part,
I was a kid with the weight of the world on my shoulders.
Everything frightened me. I couldn't be more different these
days. Maybe I'm trying to reclaim those years?"
Matt says sayonara at the Toff tonight (Wednesday), doing
a gig with his good buddies The Hello Morning. He's relocating
to North America for three months. "For a little while now
I've been working towards a permanent move to the US," Matt
says. "I've just done an international publishing deal and
that's opened up a huge network in the States, which is
really exciting. I love living in Melbourne and I'll most
likely settle here down the track, but I'm only 25, so I
thought I'd see what was out there."
Exciting times for Matt Sonic & The High Times. Their new
single, This Is Heartache, announces itself, "Drums, bass,
guitar"; the riffs are big, the grooves are even bigger.
"I am feeling it," Matt sings. Indeed, he is. The single
is being launched at Cherry on Saturday.
What do you listen to when you switch on the radio: music
or talk? An AM media buyer, Mark McCraith, recently wrote:
"At our media agency, we believe the days of the music stations
are numbered. Digital devices, MP3 players and mobile phones
now make it easy for the consumer to program their own formats
and playlists." But the latest ratings reveal that music
stations have 52.7 per cent of the Melbourne market; talk
stations have 39.5 per cent (the "other" figure, of 7.8
per cent, consists of stations that don't pay to be part
of the ratings, such as RRR and PBS). The six talk stations
have a higher station average, with the music share spread
across nine stations. Melbourne's top-rating station is
3AW (14.2 per cent); the top FM station is Fox (11.2). Chances
are, if you turn on the radio right now, you'll hear a male
voice. Radio is dominated by male announcers, while a new
study shows that more than 80 per cent of the radio songs
are sung by men. AIR, the Australian Independent Record
Labels Association, looked at the 2000 most-played songs
last month; 1634 of them featured male vocals. Is radio
biased towards male voices? Maybe not. The two most-played
songs on Australian radio last week were by Katy Perry and
Adele. The membership of local songwriters association APRA
is 80 per cent men, so maybe radio reflects this. Some have
also pointed out that gender bias is not necessarily exclusive
to radio - the nine-member AIR board includes just one woman
(Casadeldisco Records' Natalie Bell).
Gotye jumps from 27 to 12.
Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (number 12)
We Run The Night HAVANA BROWN (20)
Loud STAN WALKER (28)
We Love SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM (38)
No Aussie albums in the Top 10.
Seeker Lover Keeper SEEKER LOVER KEEPER (number 11)
Roy DAMIEN LEITH (14)
Falling Into Place ADAM HARVEY (19)
God Is Able HILLSONG LIVE (20)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (26)
Syndicate SYNDICATE (29)
Busby Marou BUSBY MAROU (31)
This Is Heartache MATT SONIC & THE HIGH TIMES
Missing You LAURA JEAN
Let You Go CATHERINE TRAICOS
Gameplan RON S. PENO
Today MATT WALTERS
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