For a decade, multi platinum-selling musician Matt Corby has been stepping outside the shelter of his comfort zone and embracing a journey of self-discovery that’s seen him stare down his share of demons. With two ARIA Song of the Year awards and a #1 debut album behind him, Matt Corby can now step back and reflect on the recent whirlwind years. We now see a new chapter in Corby’s life in the release of his much anticipated second album ‘Rainbow Valley’, which can only be described as dreamlike. Its lush vocals are sparked by hints of both old soul and futuristic psychedelia.
The name ‘Rainbow Valley’ comes from the secluded Northern NSW property where Matt lives some of the time, and where the record was made. “Rainbow Valley itself is the place where I really got to knuckle down, day in day out”, Matt explains. “It was this ability to freely experiment that is the reason this record exists now.”
In terms of moving on from his previous album ‘Telluric’, he intended to simplify it and make it all a bit tighter. There was also a focus on injecting some sixties and seventies nostalgia, which is evident in ‘Monday’ and ‘Light My Dart Up’ with subtle tones of Marvin Gaye and Charles Bradley. On inspirations closer to home, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard was one.
“I like how carefree they are seemingly in their approach to creating and that’s really inspiring.”
The album is layered with so many instruments and sounds, and yet they all work in such harmony, especially in ‘No Ordinary Life’. Corby tears away at this veneer of beautiful mayhem.
“It’s a simple combination of staple piano and drums, mellotron and marimbas” and, like any good artist, “a bit of random shit.” But bass is where the heart lies for him, stating that he would drop anything to play it.
Blank was lucky enough to not only talk with Matt, but his newborn son Hugh, who came along for the ride. He didn’t have much to comment on the album, only the faintest chirps of ‘da-da’ clearly demonstrating he already knows how to deal with the press. A large portion of the album was written pre-empting fatherhood, and it was finished just as Hugh was born.
“A lot of it was written knowing my whole life was about to be flipped,” says Matt.
“When I found out he was on his way I stopped caring about the trivial shit and the ego that comes with music. I wanted to boil it down to what I really love about writing and clear out the insignificant things that hindered me from making music happen.”
One of these barriers for Matt is a tendency to overcriticise his own music, not knowing when to stop cutting and changing. To help with this process he brought on producer Dan Hume who has worked with Aussie favourites Sticky Fingers, Tash Sultana and Amy Shark.
“Dan is an amazing facilitator. I know how his ears work and vice versa. He’s got a good mind for simplifying things and reins me in.”
The conversation flowed from the album and onto life philosophies.
“I think deeply about this. Have you got 5 hours?” he laughs. Delving into the past, his 2013 single Resolution now has over 43 million listens on Spotify. His well-known lyric, “You’ll be my resolution” begged the question, what was Matt Corby’s 2019 resolution? Expecting some cryptic, mysterious answer I was surprised to hear “to quit smoking.”
In regards to the tour, Corby says we will be in for “lots of fun, a few extra voices on deck and mega harmonies.”
Before the Australian leg of the tour he will be playing across Europe; Glasgow, Paris and Amsterdam to name a few. However, rather than the basking in the rays of the European coast or venturing to the alps, Corby is most excited to visit the small town of Christiania in Copenhagen. When asked why he trots out a quick-witted response, “to have a beer on the street, can’t do that here.” An Aussie icon.
If your new year’s resolution was to have a boogie and a beer, visit mattcorby.com or livenation.com.au for tickets to the Rainbow Valley tour. Note: Due to the closure of the NightQuarter, the Gold Coast show scheduled for Sat 6 April will now be held at Miami Marketta on Sun 7 April.