Matt and Sam's Brother
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Matt and Sam's Brother

Vancouver, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | INDIE | AFM

Vancouver, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2017
Solo Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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JPNSGRLS released their latest LP Divorce earlier this year, but the band's singer Charlie Kerr has been keeping extra busy with a solo project on the side. He's been recording on his lonesome under the moniker Matt and Sam's Brother, and Exclaim! is pleased to introduce you to the new project with the video premiere of "Spacesuit."

The track comes from a debut album that is slated to arrive in 2017 through Light Organ Records. It's a record that found Kerr compiling songs written throughout his career that didn't quite fit with the scrappy rock'n'roll of JPNSGRLS, from as far back as when he was 16.

UPDATE (2/10, 4:45 p.m. EST): Matt and Sam's Brother have now revealed that My Brain Hurts a Lot will be released via Light Organ Records on April 21.

Freedom from the constraints of a multi-person setup allowed Kerr to play with song ideas that range from alt-country stompers to string-accompanied piano ballads — with a few nods to his indie rock roots as well. It also allowed him to get more introspective with his songwriting.

"I've grown up from the person who wrote those words, but I can still 100 percent connect to them," Kerr said in a statement. "I showed the songs to a friend of mine and she said, 'This is like reading your diary.' It's a personal set of songs."

"Spacesuit" is the first audio snippet to emerge from the upcoming record, and it hears Kerr grappling with his own experiences with depression and thoughts of morbidity.

"It's trying to articulate something that's kind of unexplainable, which is the combination of self-loathing and delusions of grandeur that plagues artists and human beings in general," he said. "My mind can really turn on a dime. The song explores the human brain — or mine, at least."

Elaborate facepaint jobs and a trippy cosmic backdrop in the track's accompanying video help Kerr deliver his debut as Matt and Sam's Brother. Check it out for yourself below. - Exclaim.ca


Having shared a video for "Spacesuit" with us last year, JPNSGRLS frontman Charlie Kerr has lifted the curtain on his debut as Matt and Sam's Brother. Titled My Brain Hurts a Lot, the record will be out through Light Organ Records this April.

A press release explains that the eight-track My Brain Hurts AaLot was built from a collection of songs Kerr had written that didn't fit with his band project's scrappy rock sound. Tracks on the record range from having been written recently, stretching back to when Kerr was only 16.

"I've grown up from the person who wrote those words, but I can still 100 percent connect to them," Kerr explained in a statement. "I showed the songs to a friend of mine and she said, 'This is like reading your diary.' It's a personal set of songs."

The unflinchingly autobiographical tone of Matt and Sam's Brother's music is mirrored by the familial band name, which undercuts the egotism inherent in a solo project.

A press release describes the finished recorded product as "full-bodied, guitar-driven rock music that's unconfined by traditional notions of genre, and is equally suited to a raucous party or solitary headphone listening."

You can watch a newly revealed live video for "Spacesuit" below the album's tracklist, as well as the original clip.

My Brain Hurts a Lot:

1. Middle Man
2. If I Pulled A Gun
3. Spacesuit
4. Chloe
5. This Means Nothing
6. Trump You
7. Sunday's Best
8. Swiss Army Knife - Exclaim.ca


Chris Hadfield recently asked Roberta Bondar where humankind should explore next, to which she somewhat predictably replied the Moon, Mars, the Arctic and the oceans. If you ask Charlie Kerr, an intrepid artistic adventurer, he’d say the next undiscovered country we need to explore is the self.

Kerr, a member of Vancouver’s JPNSGRLS, is suiting up and taking a giant step into the darkest reaches of one’s psyche on “Spacesuit”, the first single from his new solo project Matt and Sam’s Brother. Kerr says the song, like the whole of his new album, My Brain Hurts A Lot, is his way of expressing the mind’s cosmic commute between “existential dread and delusions of grandeur.”

That’s an interstellar journey I’d sign up for. The idea of exploring one’s self is fascinating and frightening. With the potential to reveal unwanted truths, it’s no wonder we don’t often look inward and explore why and how our minds can lead us to feel isolated and alone on a planet of six billion people.

In a new acoustic version of “Spacesuit”, Kerr takes a leisurely, gravity-defying space walk around the block in his mind, strolling through Depressive Cynic Crescent, Manic Egoist Street, Hopeful Romantic Road, and back around again. “The song ends where it starts,” Kerr tells me, “Nothing too profound. Such is life.” But there is a sage wisdom in knowing that this journey has no beginning or end. Through this mellow and meticulously performed live version, he captures in song what it feels like to drift without momentum or direction, find yourself suddenly hyper-aware and scared about mortality, momentarily crashing into reality before rising up and floating away again.

“Singing this song makes me feel like a frightened child,” Kerr says, “So naturally I had to decorate the room with glow-in-the-dark stickers so I didn’t get too scared.” As a child, nighttime was the right time for my brain to go into overdrive and fill me with all kinds of worry and dread, so I sympathize with him there. But adult me finds the ebb and flow of the live version of “Spacesuit” as soothing as a lullaby. - Dominionated


In search for an outlet to share a catalogue of songs he’s been amassing since the age of 16, Charlie Kerr took a break from Vancouver indie rock outfit JPNSGRLS and hit the studio to record under his Matt and Sam’s Brother banner.

The result was an “anything-goes journey of sonic experimentation,” which is exemplified by “This Means Nothing,” the newest video from Kerr’s Matt and Sam’s Brother project. “This Means Nothing” sees Kerr let loose with an alt-country inspired stomper of a song that could fire up a party at the flick of switch.

Cinephiles may recognize some of the imagery at work in the video, which is no coincidence.

“Essentially the video is a video about videos,” the band told Indie88. “Both a celebration and a parody of the music video as a promotional tool and artistic expression. We wanted to deliver to the audience a barrage of interesting images.

“It is also used to tie all the videos that Rayln and I have made for this project together. In order to try and execute this concept we drew from some of our favorite filmmakers (P.T. Anderson, Akira Kurosawa and Charlie Kauffman). We hope you enjoy it. It was a lot of fun to film. Fun fact: Matt, my brother, plays my drummer in the video.”

Watch the stylish video for “This Means Nothing” below.

The first LP from Matt and Sam’s Brother, My Brain Hurts a Lot, will be released via Light Organ Records on April 21 - Indie88


Discography

My Brain Hurts A Lot - April 21, 2017

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Matt and Sam’s Brother is a newly minted project, but for songwriter Charlie Kerr, it represents the culmination of a decade of creativity.

Kerr is known for kicking up a racket as the frontman of Vancouver indie rock outfit JPNSGRLS, but along the way, he gradually accrued a catalogue of solo songs that didn’t fit within the constraints of scrappy, distortion-laced rock and roll. Some of these songs date back to when he was just 16, with others having been written slightly more recently, and for years they existed only as private acoustic demos.

“I’ve grown up from the person who wrote those words, but I can still 100% connect to them,” Kerr explains. “I showed the songs to a friend of mine and she said, ‘This is like reading your diary.’ It’s a personal set of songs.” The unflinchingly autobiographical tone of Matt and Sam’s Brother’s music is mirrored by the familial band name, which undercuts the egotism inherent in a solo project.

Liberated from the guitar-and-drums setup of a traditional rock band, the recording sessions were an anything-goes journey of sonic experimentation. While some moments nod to Kerr’s background in swaggering, gritty rock, other moments venture into barn-burning alt-country and string-laden piano balladry. This is full-bodied, guitar-driven rock music that’s unconfined by traditional notions of genre, and is equally suited to a raucous party or solitary headphone listening.

The vocals are front-and-centre, with the album’s eclectic sonic exploration tied together by Kerr’s introspective storytelling and impassioned, pop-friendly vocal hooks. Unlike the gleeful scuzziness of his past work, Kerr entered this project with a new philosophy: “What if I just made beautiful music?”


Lead single “Spacesuit” highlights the project’s juxtaposition of raw-nerve lyricism and lush arrangements: its towering falsetto hooks are accented by string flourishes and plinking glockenspiel, while Kerr spills his guts about depression and morbidity. “It’s trying to articulate something that’s kind of unexplainable,” the singer says, “which is the combination of self-loathing and delusions of grandeur that plagues artists and human beings in general. My mind can really turn on a dime. The song explores the human brain — or mine, at least.”

With a debut album already complete, Kerr has already begun working on new music. It may have taken him a decade to finally capture these songs on tape, but he’s already excited about the future prospects for Matt and Sam’s Brother.

“I’m Matt and Sam’s Brother and I’ll always be Matt and Sam’s Brother,” he says. “I could play a concert at 45 years old as Matt and Sam’s Brother and feel completely natural. It’s a constant.”

Band Members