The voice of David Bowie, the theatricality of Anthony Hegarty, that’s what we praise this music for.” – Rolling Stone
Where I Come From
This Here Defeat
The Wonder Of Falling In Love
End Of Days
WATCH & LISTEN
The NYC-based Australian singer-songwriter has come up with ten new versions of his classics. He dresses his songs in a new garment, takes the heavy velvet cloak off their shoulders, puts on silk underwear and lets them – taken apart and reassembled with the highest craftsmanship – prance through the world full of confidence and trust.
When Scott Matthew gives the first interviews about the new album, he is on a visit to his old home country Australia. And it’s on fire. “This is the confirmation of climate change” says Scott and that governments would refuse to protect their citizens. It would be a cause for despair. But Scott Matthew, known for a certain melancholy in his music, chooses this moment to sharpen the tone he carries out into the world: Not into the plaintive, but into the even more hopeful. And he does this with consistent stubbornness, which is able to comfort. And takes responsibility.
Scott Matthew is the one with the high voice and the dark beard. And a lot of feeling in his baritone. The songwriter lives in New York, called Berlin his “safe place” for a while, enchanted the clubs not only there, with his suffering flowing into songs. Matthew feels music, he sings to his listeners until there is no escape from feeling. He sings of love and loneliness and saves his listeners.
But what if you sing from yourself and change in the process? In recent years, Scott read many history books to understand the world. “Realizing that about passes and time changes everything helps you keep hope.” What if you’ve come to fame with an understanding of sadness, but want to look forward? When the world is too messed up to look only inward? “I’m already a doubter too, but I try to fight it by digging inside myself for hope.”
So he dresses his songs in new garment, takes the heavy velvet coat off their shoulders, puts on silk underwear and lets them dance through the world, hoping it will start dancing, too.
Now, in collaboration with Los Angeles-based Danish-German producer Jens Gad, who also wrote spacey productions for Enigma, Scott Matthew has come up with ten new versions of his classics. Here’s where the eye goes. And the heart. How Gad works out the earworms with somnambulistic certainty, gives the melodies space in the right places, sticks.
“Adorned is not what people are used to hearing from me. I urge them, while listening, to have fun. It’s an experiment that may not solve the problems of this world, but may alleviate them for a moment.”
To hear is a confidence, a trust, no suppression. Songs that have been embellished. Ornamented, that’s how “adorned” translates into German. Taken apart and reassembled with the highest craftsmanship.
The two musicians use the original vocal tracks, vary the guitars, and other parts of the compositions, reduce and expand with strings and beats, until they ask their listeners: “Dance, cry. Connect with the past while moonwalking into the future. Just try not to fall over, that happened to me once. Although that could have been the red wine.”
Scott Matthew holds on to the old to believe in the new. In a way, it also fits that he is intensely involved with antiques right now. “Hunting for old treasures feels incredibly exciting and fulfilling.” And so this album also sounds full of old treasures: Relaxed excited.
The day after the summer 2016 attack on the Pulse gay club in Orlando that left 49 dead, Scott wrote the lyrics to The Wish. One of his most haunting songs. “This is an assault against love / Still no-one helps, they just pray above / And I wish I could help / I wish I could have helped,” he sings. In the new version, with strings and fragmented whispers, the song sounds as if souls could come back to earth as hopeful messengers of love. But Scott also has a clear demand: a change in America’s gun laws. “That helplessness was crushing, and it still is,” he says. “Not to change the gun laws is to give a license to kill.”
But he has found ways to help. For example, he supports the organization Gays Against Guns. “It’s important to believe in change. Keeping that hope is hard when you look at what’s happening in the U.S. right now. The most effective way is to go to the polls and consider not only your own interests, but also those of all minorities, with fewer privileges.”
This classic from Scott’s debut album is about the strange loneliness of abandonment. The loss of someone who promised to be special after all, and seems to have decided from one day to the next that none of that applies anymore. The unreality of once familiar streets is sung about, but with the new beat by Jens Gad, this street can now be passed much more light-footedly.
“I have always found the audience in Germany to be very attentive and respectful. It could understand the balance between light and darkness in my songs.” He wrote German for his second solo album, after his time in Germany. In it, he plays with a fictional character who resembles himself. A broken-hearted tourist dances here in an ’80s vibe.
The track appeared on Scott’s second album in 2009. At the time, he sang that there was a white horse trapped in his heart. Today the song sounds more peaceful, sensual and almost reminiscent of Sade. And is there still a white horse in his heart? “Yes, but it’s more like an Andalusian dressage horse now, with much more room to gallop.”
THIS HERE DEFEAT
The behavior of the former lover, who is sung about in this song, was so disappointing that Scott preferred not to dedicate a song to him, but thereby found the perfect farewell for him. In the new interpretation, the fine piano points forward, the strings reek of the warmth of yesteryear. Here a forsaken man struts away with his head held high and spins around himself dancing. One of the tracks of the album on which you fully understand why Scott dared to rework. You can go around the world on this vibe.
About Scott Matthew:
Scott Matthew was born in Queensland, Australia. He played in several bands, dropped out of college, formed the punk pop band Nicotine and moved to New York in 1997. There he met former Morrissey drummer Spencer Cobrin, with whom he released an EP under the name Elva Snow in 2002. Larger parts of the world then heard Scott when he sang for the soundtrack to the Japanese animated series Ghost in the Shell. After various film music projects, his first and highly acclaimed solo album Scott Matthew was released in 2008. Because he was mugged and injured in 2007, he ended up playing the ukulele by necessity, and with this album he brought the instrument unjustly associated with terse lightness back to its true depth. A year later he released one of the albums with the longest title in music history: There Is An Ocean That Divides And With My Longing I Can Charge. It With A Voltage That’s So Violent To Cross It Could Mean Death . Another solo album, a cover album with Whitney Houston, Roberta Flack or Bee Gees songs followed. Most recently in 2018: Ode to Others, on which Scott sings about the people, places and situations that have influenced him and his life.