Matt Roberts
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Matt Roberts

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"The Ruby Record"

(Sound Vault Records)

If you happened upon Matt Roberts playing down the local and took home a copy of The Ruby Record, you’d probably be well pleased with your little discovery.
Coming across like a youthful Paul Kelly singing early Whitlams songs backed by Weddings Parties Anything, Roberts’ songs go beyond wry social observation to tell stories that really ring true.
‘Hey Betty’ examines the decline of an ageing patriarch, ‘Madame Ruby and the Postgirl’ peers quizzically at Internet relationships and ‘Hilton Street’ (“Everybody loves you here as long as you can park with precision”) details the Melbourne experience of “inner-city living”.
For the most part it’s quirky pop, driven either by piano or acoustic guitar, but there’s a real depth to the lyrics that has lasting appeal. You’ll probably be well pleased with your discovery!

- Julian Porter, TIME OFF, October 2002 - Time Off Magazine

"The Ruby Record"

The Ruby Record  (Sound Vault Records)
Having carved a niche in Melbourne with his live solo performances and following two self-recorded albums, Matt Roberts has issued his debut studio album, The Ruby Record. The disc opens with Hey Betty (The Great Unspoken) which, with its confident mix of vocals and jaunty acoustic guitars, could easily pass as a Robert Forster and Grant McLennan composition. While many of the songs on the album evoke an era of simpler lifestyles and unreserved vitality, Roberts’ wry conjectures on romance in Madame Ruby & The Postgirl (‘we met in a chat room -’) should not be neglected. Clever witticisms infest plenty more of the tunes on this debut, and Roberts acknowledges this strength by including all lyrics in the accompanying sleeve - for those who may miss the acid tongue on casual listen.

While The Ruby Record mostly relies on Roberts’ smart turns of phrase rather than a significant measure of musical distinction between each acoustic track, the lush piano and trumpet affair of Lunch With Beauty could almost be performed from a stray Bacharach/David blueprint. So too the piano-led Morning Star, which also ditches the subtle humour for a reverential torch song.

The talent of Matt Roberts indicates that Paul Kelly may have a successor in the wings.

-Scott McLennan, Rip It Up, Adelaide, 8/8/02 - Rip It Up Magazine


Listen up, Ben Lee fans, there is a new independent pop star emerging from the land down under: Dr. Matt Roberts. Although this gifted physician practices medicine in Australia, his music is therapy for the world of the brokenhearted. Roberts' latest record Now You Are Gone skillfully cures listeners with its well-crafted lyrics and pleasant piano chords. With songs like "Second Heart" and "Binary," this album is poetic chicken soup for the hopeless romantic. - (USA), April 2006


By day, Matt Roberts is a doctor, at night he is a singer, songwriter and producer. Dr. Roberts writes intelligent lyrics about life. Matt melds both classic and modern influences into his music that can range from "electro acoustic to piano pop". The ten tracks on Now You Are Gone flow like stories and are loosely based on his work. The opening track 'The Tiger Ballad' is handled from a singular perspective and conveys the desperation of someone looking for a declaration of love. Matt sings the song with such heart and power as soft instrumentation emphasizes the mood. 'Binary' is described as a computer generated song with a menacing groove yet it is contrasted with a punchy piano and catchy vocals. The CD continues to build on the momentum with more expressive vocals and varied instrumental mixes. Songs range from the effect heavy 'Her Love' to 'Charlotte Rose', a pure piano piece. Dr. Roberts prescribes just the right combination of creative pop with serious storytelling and Now You Are Gone is just what the doctor ordered! - (USA), May 2006


I'm not sure what to make of Matt Roberts. He's both a practicing doctor and a musician from Australia with crisp, ranging vocals and sounds that lure you in. One minute I think I hear some Ben Folds in him and the next I'm feeling a little Jamie Cullum. This piano master has crafted catchy pop tracks that have melodies that hook you in. Then there's a little pinch of a cabaret sound ("Paris, January"). So I'm not sure what genre to place him in, but I can tell you that this album is certainly worth a listen. "Now You are Gone" has simple lyrics yet Roberts' knack for catchy sounds. This was a fun listen! - (USA) March 2006


Matt Roberts’ 2002 album The Ruby Record contained tempting flourishes that leaned towards both the glory of The Go-Betweens and Paul Kelly’s lyrical confidence. A few years on, the Melbourne psychiatry registrar has followed up on the promise initially shown by returning to his musical sideline with an album that develops on his initial blueprint.

The wry musings are still in place, but their dominance has been supplanted by a more compelling mix of compassion and musical prowess. Edging away from guitar-based observational wit towards emotive songs predominantly based around piano arrangements, there’s still the ghost of Paul Kelly on the worn vocals of Bubbles Of Nothing and in the power of Second Heart (which sounds like Dumb Things reinvented for keyboards), but on this outing Roberts has upped the production standards and added textures such as violin, wah guitar and double-tracked vocals in refined doses.

The clever Melbourne troubadour hasn’t completely dispensed with his dry lyrics, with opener The Tiger Ballad asking ‘did you just say you love me or was that the telly?’ and Her Love noting ‘her love is like money from the government, hard-fought and never enough’.

The rudimentary CD artwork belies the strong quality of the music within, but Now You Are Gone builds neatly on Roberts’ admirable back catalogue.

Scott McLennan - Rip It Up Magazine, March 2006


Matt Roberts is a doctor in his day job. But he’d love to be as renowned as a singer/songwriter. His catchy pop songs have been pleasing crowds in Australia and look to do so here in America as well. Piano and guitar centric pop-rock that boasts great melodic vocals that sing of social conscience and emotional tales, “Now You Are Gone” is a great listen. - (USA) March 2006


Now You Are Gone (2006)
The Ruby Record (2002)
Traffic (2000)
Various singles on
Last 2 albums on


Feeling a bit camera shy



'There is a new independent pop star emerging from the land down under...skillful...well-crafted...poetic.'

- (USA)

'Intelligent lyrics about life...such heart and power...just the right combination of creative pop with serious storytelling. Now You Are Gone is just what the doctor ordered!'

- (USA)

'Sweet and mellow…will pull you in pretty quick... real international feel...will snag you too.'

- (USA)

'Crisp, ranging vocals...this piano master has crafted catchy pop tracks...melodies that hook you in....certainly worth a listen. This was fun.'

- (USA)

'A compelling mix of compassion and musical prowess'

- Rip It Up Magazine (Australia)

'Matt Roberts' catchy pop songs have been pleasing crowds in Australia and look to do so here in America as well.'

- Smother Magazine (USA)

'Given the recent success of fellow SNAGs James Blunt and Damien Rice, Matt Roberts should have no trouble finding a following with this effort.'

- (Australia)

For details, see the news page on the website!

“I drive a sensible car. I own a Labrador. I am not Rock.”

So says piano-pop songmaker Dr Matt Roberts, on the nationwide launch of his new album Now You Are Gone (Sound Vault Records). But here’s the thing – listen closely and you will be rocked. Roberts’ lyrics are the key, stories throbbing with humanity, images drenched in life-flavour that transform perfectly acceptable pop songs into perfect pop.

Despite leanings towards genres such as acoustica/folk and musical theatre/cabaret, Roberts is happy to swim in the big pond of pop, aspiring to a form of pop that defies the rapid cycle of consumption and obsolesence.

“The song you buy the record for is high-GI, it’s McPop, it has to be to survive in the airplay jungle. But you’ll get sick of it pretty soon. Take a record home, and it’s the low-GI tunes, the slow-burners that decide if you’ll still be listening to it in years to come.”

That’s where Dr Roberts’ songs come into their own, because if you invite them in, they’ll stick around. It’s not a record, it’s a relationship.

And we’d all agree, a good relationship rocks.

Now You Are Gone is in stores now.