No matter how hard I try, no description of Rugby multi-instrumentalist Matthew Barton’s latest single ‘Orchid’ is going to get anywhere close to his own: “‘Orchid’ was inspired by Prince minimalism and the Casio organ sound of the Young Marble Giants,” he advises. “I wanted to write something simple and direct. I think of it as like Prince having a baby with a Georgia O’Keeffe painting at a video game arcade. Or something.”
If that sounds brilliantly odd, it’s because it is. Driven by layered, sparse preset rhythms and a shimmering keyboard melody as hypnotic as it is absent, the vast empty spaces of the music act as the perfect setting for Barton’s distinctively impassioned, soulful vocal. There is tender anguish writ large here, spliced together with a vulnerability heralding the arrival of a singular musical talent.
Matthew Barton is working on a cassette release for Knife Punch Records that is due for release in the Spring. In the meantime, Barton talks to Further. about almost drowning and getting stuff done. Listen to ‘Orchid’ below.
What is your earliest memory?
Probably being fished out of a swimming pool by my dad, having fallen in, unable to swim. That wasn’t the last time that happened either. Maybe I can trace my fascination with water back to that moment.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
As a serial procrastinator, “You will never feel like you are ready – so just do it,” is useful and motivating. I’m trying to get better at that this year. Isn’t adulthood all about just pretending you know what you’re doing anyway?
Where are you most productive or inspired?
I find that new places, and new instruments, tend to spark ideas.
I have a lot of random voice memos on my phone recorded in weird places, usually while I’m just walking down streets, probably looking a bit bonkers.
New instruments too – my brother bought me a kalimba for my birthday and I’ve been writing some different stuff on that. You’ve just got to be open to everything around you.
Orchid by Matthew Barton was released January 21 2020.
Interview: Mat Smith
(c) 2020 Further.