Matt Holubowski
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Matt Holubowski

Montréal, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | INDIE | AFM

Montréal, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Alternative Folk




"All in a Weekend"

Hudson bilingual singer-songwriter Matt Holubowski is getting praise from music critics in English and French for his latest album, "Solitudes". He talks about his time on the reality show "La Voix" in Quebec and the affect it had on his career. - CBC Radio

"The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner"

When we reach him on the phone, Matt Holubowski is in his favourite place in the world: the tour van. He might not be very far from Montréal (tonight’s concert is in Sorel, about an hour by car northeast of the city), but hitting the road, even for just a few kilometres, makes him feel at ease. He’s always loved to travel and visited several continents – sometimes as a humanitarian volunteer – and is only now starting to realize that his trade as a musician could take him to places he’s never even thought of before. “My God! If you only knew…” he says. “That’s my ultimate dream. For now, I’m focusing on concerts in Québec, so we rarely leave for more than a few days at a time, but I’d love to be on the road for weeks, or even months.”

One can easily imagine that Holubowski’s music could travel around the globe. His ethereal folk rock has often been compared to that of Patrick Watson, and has a universal and timeless quality. It surely can’t hurt that folksingers are quite popular of late, to wit the fact that Bob Dylan recently won the Nobel Prize in Literature. “It’s funny, we were just listening to Dylan’s Desire in the van,” says Holubowski. “I’d be lying if I said he hasn’t been a major influence! To me, he’s right up there on a pedestal, a role model for any aspiring songwriter.”

As a matter of fact, it was by singing a Dylan song that Holubowski most impressed everyone when he was a contestant on La Voix in 2015. Mind you, he didn’t pick an obvious song, such as “Like a Rolling Stone” or “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” but the lesser-known ballad “Girl from the North Country.” “It’s funny you should mention that,” he says. “Initially, the one I really wanted to sing was “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” but it’s a hard song, and it’s almost seven minutes long. That’s when someone suggested “Girl from the North Country,” which is better known because Johnny Cash covered it. They told me it would connect with the audience more.”

Nowadays, this type of issue doesn’t bother Holubowski anymore. When he recorded his album Solitudes, the people at Audiogram gave him carte blanche, never trying to make him more “radio-friendly” or commercially accessible. “I have nothing against light pop music, but to me, a song must have a certain depth,” he says. “You don’t have to be Baudelaire, but you can surely do better than ‘Baby, baby’… It might be Dylan’s influence, since we’re on the topic, but to me, lyrics are vital; that’s always what I notice first in any music.”

If there’s a thread in the songs on Solitudes, it’s the theme of identity. The identity of the artist who questions the concept of notoriety – notably on “L’imposteur,” one of two French songs on the album – and the identity of a young Québécois, whose father was a Polish immigrant and whose mother was a Francophone Québécoise, and who grew up almost exclusively in English in the town of Hudson. The album’s title is a reference to Hugh MacLennan’s novel Two Solitudes, a book that was a mainstay on his nightstand for a long time. Holubowski even evokes a third solitude: his, the solitude of bilingual Québecois who are sitting between two chairs. “It might sound strange, but it was while I was abroad that I started thinking about our identity here,” says Holubowski. “Especially during a trip to Serbia where, let’s be honest, the question of national identity is quite heavier than it is here!”

Yet identity is a fluid concept. Even though he readily admits he didn’t know much about Francophone Québécois music up until very recently, he’s actually catching up in an almost bulimic fashion. “My first contact with music was Eminem, and I do think it has influenced my writing,” says Holubowski. “I think my French isn’t that good, but I’m getting to love that language through the lyrics of artists such as Richard Desjardins, whose writing just blow me away. I also listen to a lot of Martin Léon – that man is a genius at arrangements – and also Safia Nolin, Philippe Brach, Antoine Corriveau…”

Might we expect to hear more French songs on his future albums? Possibly, but for the time being, Matt hopes his songs will travel, no matter in what language he’s singing. And based on the positive reaction to his music, especially in English-speaking Canada, there’s very little chance that he’ll actually be doomed to a life of solitude. - Words & Music

"Brendan Kelly's Q&A: Matt Holubowski talks about La Voix and the solitudes"

Matt Holubowski has a song on his recently released second album, Solitudes, called L’Imposteur. It’s clearly about his experiences over the past couple of years.

The 28-year-old singer-songwriter from Hudson put out his Dylan-esque debut, Ogen, Old Man, two years ago. By his own admission, the album went absolutely nowhere.

Then the folks who run La Voix, the franco Quebec version of The Voice, came knocking. After a little initial reluctance, he signed up and ended up making the final four in the 2015 edition of the ultra-popular TVA show. All of a sudden, he was a vedette.

His self-released first album started selling copies, he got funny looks at the dépanneur (at least in dépanneurs east of St-Laurent Blvd.) and he snared a deal with Audiogram, one of Quebec’s leading record labels.

The new album is mostly in English; L’Imposteur is one of just two franco tunes. It includes these lyrics: “Je prends ta place, moi l’imposteur … moi qui a pris ton travail à la dernière heure / Toi, l’artisan, moi l’imposteur.” (I took your place, me the impostor … I took your job at the last minute / You the craftsman, me the impostor.)

Of course, Holubowski is not an impostor. He’s an up-and-coming musician who realized it would be silly not to try to take advantage of the mega promotional machine that is La Voix. But he understands just how fragile his place is in our celebrity culture. Lucky for him, Solitudes showcases an artist who makes memorable poetic alt-pop not unlike another chap from Hudson, Patrick Watson.

The title of the album is inspired by Hugh MacLennan’s classic novel Two Solitudes. Holubowski knows something about that concept, as a guy whose dad is a Polish immigrant, whose mom is a franco Quebecer and who went to school in French and then switched to English for CEGEP (John Abbott) and university (Concordia).

Montreal Gazette: That first album was really self-released, right?

Matt Holubowski: Completely. I didn’t even have any ambition. I finished university, spent a couple of years vagabonding around the world and I was 25 and I thought, “Maybe I should try this music thing and see what happens.” I released it and I did the whole struggling musician thing for a year, and it sucked. So I decided this is not what I wanted to do. I had decided to go back to my original plan, which was to do a master’s degree and become a teacher.

MG: So did you apply to a master’s program?

MH: No. The next chapter of my life was that I got contacted by this television show La Voix. They’d found my album on Bandcamp. They said, “We like what you do. Can you come do an audition?” I’d never actually heard of the show before. I researched it and saw it was like American Idol, so I said no, because it wasn’t in my line of interest. A couple of my francophone friends said, “Hey, the show’s great. You have to do it.” So I decided to do it. I thought it might be a cool experience. And it was a good idea — it taught me quite a lot. It was a hell of an adventure, which is all I want out of life. I really had no expectations. I Googled past editions and I was like, “I don’t know why they want me to come here. It doesn’t seem like they’d appreciate what I do.” Then I showed up, and it wasn’t that at all. On the contrary, it became more successful than I initially wanted.

MG: And you got to the final four!

MH: It seemed amazing. I thought it was going to be, “What’s this kind of music doing on this show?” I was shocked. I did Dylan’s Girl From the North Country (and people liked it).

MG: So it was a good experience?

MH: It was hard at first, because you find yourself enveloped in this strange, gigantic world of reality TV that I didn’t feel comfortable in. I wasn’t sure I’d made the right decision. Then the first show aired and I sold a bunch of albums. It had sold 80 copies since its release in July, and then six months later, in January, the show aired and I sold 400 copies the first day. I was like, “OK, I can quit my job as a bartender now.” So I started taking it seriously and playing the game. I was like, “They can use me for their ends and I can use them for my ends.”

MG: Language was not an issue, right? Given that you’re bilingual.

MH: The language thing didn’t help or hinder. But it was something I felt, being immersed in this whole francophone context as somebody who identified culturally more on the anglophone side. I have one French song on my first album, and it was the first and only one I’d ever written at that point. I don’t have a very good musical education about francophone artists. Now I’m meeting these people, so I’m learning a lot about this francophone culture that exists and I find it fascinating that I could grow up for 28 years and have no idea what was going on. Anglophone Quebecers have a preconceived notion that, “Oh, francophone music, it doesn’t interest us.” Until recently, maybe it didn’t have the same musical appeal. But guys like Louis-Jean Cormier and Jean Leloup, the lyrics are French but the sound is American and British.

MG: What’s it like being on Audiogram?

MH: It’s a francophone label that historically hasn’t done much anglophone music. My music is anglophone, yet I only exist in the francophone world. This is one of the first interviews I’ve done in English, because nobody (in English) knows about (my work). At the peak of this, I couldn’t go buy eggs in French areas without getting stared down. And if I wanted to be left alone, I’d just go hang out in the downtown core or N.D.G. It’s fascinating. We still live in our own little camps. Now my whole life is immersed in francophone culture. Everyone who comes to my shows, 99 per cent of them are francophone, so I speak in French all the time, and because I’ve discovered this world of francophone music, I’ve also discovered francophone literature. Now I find myself writing a little more in French.

MG: Why did you call the album Solitudes?

MH: I’ve read Two Solitudes so many times. My father gave me the book when I was a teenager and it really resonated with me, because I felt this third solitude, compared to what Hugh MacLennan was writing about in the 1940s. Two Solitudes was speaking about the division between the francophones and anglophones, and I grew up in this context where I’m in the middle. You’re sort of a mediator. You belong to both camps, but you belong to neither at the same time. So there’s this constant question of identity. The conclusion I came to is that we live in this third solitude that’s the product of immigration and intermarriages between local francophone Quebecers and people who immigrated from elsewhere. I think a lot of my songs are (about life in Quebec), but I don’t make it obvious. - Montreal Gazette

"Matt Holubowski- Solitudes"

Après son aventure remarquable à l’émission La Voix et un premier disque lancé en 2015, Matt Holubowski rapplique avec un nouvel effort signé sur l’étiquette Audiogram.

Solitudes, faisant référence à Two Solitudes de Hugh MacLennan : un livre qu’il a découvert à l’âge de 14 ans, offre 11 pièces se promenant dans un folk éclatant et explorateur.

Matt Holubowski nous raconte les solitudes sur toutes ces formes et il nous fait voyager. Fils d’un père d’origine polonaise et d’une mère québécoise, il a grandi dans un foyer bilingue d’Hudson, et depuis, entre le français et l’anglais. La plume s’exprime avec toute sa beauté.

L’artiste collabore sur ce remarquable album avec de grands musiciens : Stéphane Bergeron (Karkwa) à la batterie, Marc-André Landry (Chloé Lacasse) à la basse, Simon Angell (Patrick Watson) à la guitare et Marianne Houle (Antoine Corriveau) au violoncelle.

Aussi, son fidèle complice Connor Seidel réalise le disque et cosigne, avec Warren Spicer de Plants and Animals, le mixage. Solitudes, c’est du folk globe-trotter éblouissant avec beaucoup de constance.

Matt Holubowski nous transporte au-delà de tout ce qu’on peut voir de l’album.

Chansons coup de cœur :
The Warden & The Hangman
La mer/mon père
The Folly of Pretending
The King
Wild Drum - Alternative Rock Press

"Matt Holubowski: tout petit la planète"

Matt Holubowski est mordu des voyages qui répondent à son besoin de ressourcement. S'inspirant de photos qu'il a prises dans le monde entier, il décrit quelques chansons de Solitudes, son premier album depuis l'aventure de La voix. - La Presse

"Salut Bonjour Week-end!"

Diffusion d’une entrevue de Ève-Marie
Lortie avec images du lancement. - TVA

"Ma seule raison d’espérer l’automne: Matt Holubowski"

Il est ma seule raison d’espérer l’automne. Parce que son nouvel album s’écoutera probablement encore mieux dans un chandail de laine, un bon café au lait chaud à la main, ou sur la route avec les feuilles rougissantes en panorama. Parce que j’ai été élevée au son de la musique de Cat Stevens et de Donovan, je me retrouve dans les intonations et les glissements de doigts sur la guitare de Matt Holubowski.


Solitudes est le deuxième album de l’une des voix les plus poignantes que l’on a entendues à La Voix. Ce Montréalais a pris son temps pour apprivoiser sa popularité et le syndrome de l’imposteur qui vient avec (il dédie d’ailleurs une chanson à cet état qui le hante depuis qu’il a été propulsé dans le monde du showbiz).

Holubowski a écrit et performé toutes les chansons et lance aujourd’hui son premier opus sous l’étiquette Audiogram. Bien que l’album soit en majeure partie en anglais, il deviendra probablement l’un de mes disques québécois préférés et restera dans mon lecteur CD bien après les premiers frimas de l’hiver. Peut-être même aussi longtemps que les albums de John Mayer, ce qui n’est pas peu dire!

L’album sera disponible à compter du 23 septembre et vous pourrez voir l’artiste en spectacle cet automne.

Tous les détails à: -

"Doux folk à l’état pur"

Matt Holubowski n’a peut-être pas gagné La Voix, ça n’empêche pas le public d’être tombé en amour avec lui, qui jouit d’un intérêt plus qu’enviable. C’est devant un Impérial à guichets fermés, jeudi, qu’il a présenté Solitudes, son 2e album, qui trône au sommet des palmarès depuis sa sortie.
On a souvent vu Matt Holubowski seul avec sa guitare, sa voix douce, en formule simpliste. Mais jeudi, avec quatre musiciens à ses côtés, sa musique a pris une autre dimension. Sa voix était puissante, ses chansons, magistrales, son folk, toujours envoûtant, planant, mais moins dépouillé qu’à l’habitude.
Matt Holuwbowski nous a invités à entrer dans notre bulle, pour former une bulle géante collective et nous laisser bercer au son de sa musique et de ses récits de voyage, qui ont inspiré Solitudes.

Quelques faibles faisceaux lumineux éclairaient la scène, le chanteur se trouvant même souvent dans le noir. À peine voyait-on les musiciens. Le but de cette atmosphère intime était définitivement de mettre sa musique sous les projecteurs plutôt que lui-même.
Une authenticité profonde

Avec une douce lumière sur lui, seul à la guitare, Matt Holubowski a entamé ce rendez-vous tout en douceur. Un violoncelle s’est ajouté, puis trois autres musiciens sont venus envelopper ce timbre de voix unique. Le ton était donné dès la 2e chanson: on allait avoir un concert folk à son meilleur.
Le premier droit était entièrement consacré au nouvel album, que le chanteur nous a offert en entier. À mi-parcours, exit les musiciens, on retrouve Matt Holubowski en solo, toujours dans l’ombre, pour Old Man, titre de son premier album, et Feuille d’argent et Feuille d’or, signée Pierre Lapointe. La foule était suspendue à ses lèvres.
Matt Holubowski a poursuivi avec quelques pièces de son premier album, racontant brièvement des histoires entre les chansons, nous jasant voyages, politique, et de comment il pouvait être sorti de sa zone de confort dans la dernière année.
Le magnifique concert a culminé au son de Burn, reprise de Ray Lamontagne. Il est jeune, n’en est à son 2e album, mais Matt Holubowski est déjà un grand, ça ne fait aucun doute.
Coco Méliès
Si vous aimez Matt Holubowski, il y a fort à parier que vous aimerez aussi le duo Coco Méliès, qui assurait la première partie. Puisant eux aussi dans un folk doux et enveloppant, Francesca Como (une voix chaude et puissante) et David Méliès ont partagé le micro, décontractés, drôles, souriants, pour présenter les pièces de leur premier album, Lighthouse.
Matt Holubowski sera en supplémentaire le 15 avril 2017 à l’Impérial. - Journal de Québec

"Matt Holubowski: L’album «Solitudes» se place au sommet"

Le nouvel album de Matt Holubowski, Solitudes, s’est retrouvé cette semaine en première position du palmarès iTunes au Canada. Matt Holubowski a lancé Solitudes, le 21 septembre dernier, au théâtre Corona. Depuis, les bonnes critiques fusent de toute part. Son passage à l’émission Tout le monde en parle, dimanche dernier, a donné un gros coup de pouce pour que l’album soit le plus populaire au Canada sur iTunes. Avant de faire jouer des extraits de son album, l’animateur Guy A. Lepage a d’ailleurs mentionné qu’il était un gros coup de cœur de toute l’équipe de l’émission. L’accueil chaleureux pour le dernier opus a entraîné dans sa montée l’album Old Man sorti sous le nom Ogen, il y a deux ans. Ce dernier a été propulsé au 14e rang des albums les plus populaires sur iTunes au courant de la semaine. Matt Holubowski a commenté cette vague d’amour sur sa page Facebook : « Merci à Guy A Lepage, à Dany Turcotte, à toute l’équipe de Tout le monde en parle et à vous qui étiez à l’écoute… Je capote ma vie et je vous en dois une en maudit! »

Lire la suite sur VIVA média : Matt Holubowski: L’album «Solitudes» se place au sommet - Viva Media

"Tout le monde en parle"


Découvert à l’émission La voix en 2015, Matt Holubowski lance son plus récent album, Solitudes. Il s’était rendu en finale et avoue avoir été déçu, mais soulagé de ne pas avoir gagné. Souffrant du syndrome de l’imposteur après sa participation à cette célèbre émission, il a travaillé fort et estime mériter pleinement sa place dans l’industrie maintenant. Aussi francophone qu’anglophone, il est déchiré entre les deux cultures, mais se perçoit comme un médiateur. Il pense que le combat linguistique est inutile et que nous devons chérir nos deux langues. - Radio Canada


Sur les traces de Matt Holubowski - Vrak Tv


Ogen, Old Man 

  1. Old Man
  2. Mango Tree
  3. No Name No. 1
  4. Recycled Soul
  5. Face to Face
  6. All My Loved Ones
  7. Eugene
  8. Holding on to Home
  9. Caroline's Song
  10. Mon Cher Monsieur
  11. On Trains
  12. Undercover Mode
  13. Sweet Surreal 


  1. The Warden & The Hangman
  2. Exhale/Inhale
  3. La Mer/Mon père
  4. A Home That Won't Explode
  5. The Folly of Pretending
  6. Wild Drums
  7. The King
  8. Opprobrium
  9. L'imposteur
  10. The Year I Was Undone
  11. Solitudes



The songs on my first two records are the summary of my unremitting search for meaning, for the truth – or at the very least, my truth.

They are a glimpse of the world as I see and understand (or fail to understand) it, largely shaped by my life, study and travel experiences to date.

Melancholy with splash of hope is what I like to call it.

The most recent opus, Solitudes, is an exploration of the different forms of solitude, starting from the (MacLennan inspired) linguistic solitudes that have defined me as a bilingual Canadian, to the perceived national solitude I seemed to feel when visiting Serbia (formerly united as part of Yugoslavia), to the (Charrière inspired) loneliness of the incarcerated, to the magnificent liberty and catharsis of self-recluse.

Musically, both records endeavoured to achieve a raw, live sound, but the second gave space to more interesting arrangements that focused on simple but effective (without being annoyingly catchy, I hope) melodies, as well as an exploration of tones in all of the instrumentation.    

It’s sort of like a warm cup of joe on a cool, grey fall morning. A smooth pick-me-up for when you’re looking for some solace. But it also lives somewhere between serenity and intensity.