Imagine Nick Drake cheering up a bit and living long enough to work with Beck, and you have an idea of how Matthew de Zoete sounds on his new album Colour Film. Produced by Les Cooper (Jill Barber, Good Lovelies) and graced with beautiful harmonies by Julie Fader (Sarah Harmer, Great Lake Swimmers), Colour Film calls for a darkened room, good headphones, and a glass of single malt.
With the title track inspired by old family Super 8s, the album’s 11 songs display the focus and imagery of a short film. These songs range from quiet ballads to muscular pop gems, rewarding the careful listener with surprising arrangements and a gorgeous atmospheric soundscape. Featuring an inspired rhythm section, lush keyboards, and sparkling pedal steel, Colour Film provides a modern home for a songwriter with a timeless aesthetic. Matthew blows the dust off sincerity and writes songs built on strong melodies and honest lyrics about everything from grandparents and divorce to washing dishes. In one four day session, the band locked in and took the songs and singer beyond anywhere they thought they'd go.
Since releasing his debut album Across the Sea in 2006 (followed by 2008's Bottom of the World), Matthew has toured relentlessly throughout North America and Europe, earning a reputation for smart songwriting, dynamic performances, and wry humour. He has shared the stage with musicians such as Luke Doucet, Jenn Grant, Great Lake Swimmers, and Justin Rutledge, and he's performed at many festivals including North by Northeast, Canadian Music Week, In the Dead of Winter (Halifax), and Stukafest (Netherlands).
Andrew Barbisan - Drums, Percussion, harmonies
Eric Thachuk - Bass
Jennifer Lockman - keyboards, harmonies.
Colour Film - LP, 2012.
Bottom of the World - LP, 2008.
Across the Sea - LP, 2006.
Numerous songs have been played on CBC Radio One programs including The Vinyl Cafe with Stuart MacLean, Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap, Bandwidth, and Freestyle.
The song 'Something Left Behind' was featured on NPR's All Songs Considered and Open Mic podcast, along with an interview and profile piece on their website.
Both records have also received substantial campus radio airplay across Canada. They have charted on several stations, including CFMU 93.3 (McMaster University - Hamilton) and CKDU 88.1 (Dalhousie University - Halifax).
Commercial stations including 102.1 The Edge (Toronto, ON), WBER (Rochester, NY), CKBW (Brdigewater, NS), CKECK (New Glasgow, NS), MyFM (Pembroke, ON), CKRL (Quebec, QC), and WYCE (Grand Rapids, MI), have also played songs from 'Across the Sea' and 'Bottom of the World'.
The Good Life
Who do You Think You Are?
Not on Fire
Letters Sent By Mail
Matthew de Zoete at NXNE 2009
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De Zoete was charmingly awkward as he introduced a song about "going to bed and not getting the phys...De Zoete was charmingly awkward as he introduced a song about "going to bed and not getting the physical love you were expecting" and apologized to the sound guy for being a "fuss pot." [His] banter was totally hilarious.
Evan Dickson, chartattack.com
Matthew de Zoete - Bottom of the World
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Matthew de Zoete: Bottom of the World SHIPRECORDS BY Howard Druckman June 10, 2009 21:06 E...Matthew de Zoete: Bottom of the World
BY Howard Druckman June 10, 2009 21:06
Editorial Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Matthew De Zoete plays Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas W) June 16.
Matthew de Zoete is an unlikely bridge between Nick Drake and Tom Petty. He possesses something of the former’s gentle delivery, delicate voice and melancholy subject matter, and something of the latter’s instinct for melodic pop and jangling guitars. Nothing on Bottom of the World will hit you over the head, but it insinuates itself into your brain with repeated listens, eventually becoming a modest, charming gem. There are distinctive themes, too: “Pictures on the Wall” takes a hard look at our inevitable mortality; while “Remembrance Day” recognizes the sacrifice of young recruits. And de Zoete has a knack for turning simple phrases such as “Let’s not do this again,” or “Smile, ’cause we’re all passing on,” into memorable hooks. Subtle but captivating.
CD Reviews - Matthew de Zoete
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by Aaron Wrixon Ah, the first record... The first record is the one which usually documents an ar...by Aaron Wrixon
Ah, the first record... The first record is the one which usually documents an artist trying to find his feet, the one where he either reaches for too much in the studio or doesn't reach for enough. First records, more often than not, get consigned to history, earning their makers little more than marks for trying.
Which is why it's so hard to accept what is, apparently, the actual truth — Across the Sea, Matthew De Zoete's nearly perfect new album, is only his first.
Now it's obvious off the bat which Moons bookend De Zoete's record collection — Nick Drake's Pink one and Neil Young's Harvest variety — but spot-on production by Dave King and guest spots from a cast of seasoned players help Sea transcend the sum of its influences to become something else entirely, something all De Zoete's own, something special.
Take "Who Am I To Say?" as an example... A modest country waltz blooms into an orgy of sound in the bridge that just as quickly recedes. Guitars flirt with three-part harmony perfectly arranged; when the piano plunks out a solo to close the song you feel it couldn't have ended any other way. If this is his first record, where on earth did he learn to do this?
There are times when De Zoete's plaintive voice deserts him and he finds himself just shy of a note or two, but this kind of approach worked for Elliott Smith, and still does for Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donohue (De Zoete's two closest vocal analogues) and it works here to great effect.
First records aren't supposed to be this well crafted, this measured, this beautiful, but — impossibly — this one is.
Matthew de Zoete - Across the Sea
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By Shain Shapiro March 09, 2006 Hamilton, ON’s youthful music community is usually synonymous w...By Shain Shapiro
March 09, 2006
Hamilton, ON’s youthful music community is usually synonymous with two stylistic outputs; loud and crap. One has to grow up and out in this city to begin to fathom how to write angry music in a beautiful manner in Hamilton, as noticed by the more mature blues and soul community that flourishes here. Yet, as in any axiom, exceptions are commonplace and Matthew de Zoete’s debut CD is one such exception. Having toyed around the city strumming quiet ditties for years, de Zoete’s inaugural full-length is a buoyant collection of slow hand lullabies brimming with quiescent, oceanic inspiration. Possibly quelled from learning of the long, quiet journeys that encapsulated the trans-Atlantic mass emigration in war times, each track is a test in musical restraint, as de Zoete inherently successfully understood, throughout each track that his music requires less to achieve more. Alongside Dave King (Chore), Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and Julie Fader among others, Across the Sea is a relaxing treat, like a nice warm lager in a time-trapped British pub. My earlier observation is obviously flawed; Hamilton rocks, just in an unconventional rock-less manner.
Imaginative songwriter explores different facets of life
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By James Tennant When time came for local musician Matthew de Zoete to record a debut album, he w...By James Tennant
When time came for local musician Matthew de Zoete to record a debut album, he was clearly intent on doing it right.
The Hamilton songwriter put off recording Across the Sea until he could afford the studio of choise - a converted barn in Caistor Centre owned by local musician Dave King -and enlisted some impressive help.
Guests on the album include King, engineer Chris Marks, Graham Walsh (Flux AD), Julie Fader (Flux AD, Sarah Harmer), Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers), Dave Clark (Dinner is Ruined), Don Kerr, James Strachan (The Empires) and jack-of-all-musical trades, Paul Inston.
"One of the overriding philosophies of the record, for me, was taking the songs in a direction that I wouldn't normally take them," says de Zoete.
"I would give some suggestions in terms of colours or mood and feel, but more often than not, we ended up using things that (the musicians) came up with."
It can be difficult to let others re-shape your material, but de Zoete grew comfortable with the process and began to enjoy hearing his songs through someone else's perspective. The music, of course, is still a personal matter for the songwriter - no amount of re-arrangement changes the fact that de Zoete wrote the music and lyrics.
While he says there is no particular lyrical theme to the record, de Zoete chose the title Across the Sea to represent some of the themes to which his thoughts kept returning.
"I've been working with that title in my head for maybe two years. A lot of the songs I was writing seemed to deal with notions of distance, separation and immigration. I had friends living overseas for a while, I studied overseas for a semester, I was apart from my girlfriend when we were both travelling ... it even has to do with my own family's past. Both my parents were born in Holland and emigrated to Canada as children."
de Zoete's lyrical content covers a lot of ground, both figuratively and literally. He prefers to explore different facets of his world as well as the world around him. That's why he has disdain for the term singer-songwriter.
He says it has "connotations of whiny music that dwells on a girlfriend who dumped you two years ago."
James Tennant is a local writer and program director at 93.3 CFMU FM.
Worth the Journey: Matthew de Zoete's 'Across the Sea'
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by Joshua Weresch Matthew de Zoete’s music is soothing; it seems to be music brought from a faraw...by Joshua Weresch
Matthew de Zoete’s music is soothing; it seems to be music brought from a faraway place, music that eases. The lead-off track, “Letters Sent By Mail,” combines a strummed acoustic with muted, hushed brass and a glockenspiel. De Zoete’s debut thus combines intriguing instrumentation with rhythmic inventiveness, and he possesses an astonishing and refreshing gift for melody, needed in today’s rhythmically-driven music: “Who Am I To Say?” and “Sparkle Eyes” both gleam, their melodies memorable. Lyrically, de Zoete is intriguing without being repetitive. Rest assured, however; Across the Sea is not a rock anthem for its beauty is in its understated simplicity. The simple chords and rhythm of “Rest Deep,” for example, belie the patience counselled by its lyrics: “this too,” he sings, “shall surely pass away.” Nostalgic wistfulness complements “Waving From The Rail” and “Weathervane,” the latter being rather predictable and de Zoete’s least compelling track. Across the Sea concludes with imposing titles, including “What You Heard From The Sea,” “Something Left Behind,” and “The Sun On Your Sleeve.” Overall, Matthew de Zoete invites comparison with, perhaps, an early acoustic-driven Sam Roberts or Matt Mays, and his debut was well-worth the journey across the sea to inviting ears.
Set number and length vary on what the show or promoter requires. I can play anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours of original music, with a typical 50 minute set looking something like this:
Anything is Possible
Lost at Dawn
Mexico the Free
Who Do You Think You Are?
The Good Life
Covers are rare, but for multiple or extended sets, I might play one or two. These may include:
The Kinks: Village Green
George Harrison: All Things Must Pass
The Who: Amazing Journey/Sparks
|Mar 29, 2020 Sunday||12:00 PM||all tour dates are posted under CONCERTS at||www.matthewdezoete.com, ON, CA|