We could all use a salve for the soul right now; not a way to forget the world, but a way to remember that some of the really important things in life are still within reach.
With two new songs, “If I Never Say A Word” and “Vitamin”, ARIA-award winning singer-songwriter Matt Corby delivers exactly that type of tonic, a timely reminder of the value in finding the sun behind the clouds.
Started before the current pandemic swept the planet, and completed during the strange pause it has brought, these new tracks offer a fresh take on the soulful, richly textured sound Corby has honed over the past few years, bursting with a bitter-sweet blend of old-world heart and cosmic imagination.
“Work started on ‘If I Never Say A Word’ and ‘Vitamin’ pre-lockdown, and I was originally going to put them in storage until a whole new record was ready, but with the extended period off the road I was able to dive in and bring them to light,” Corby says.
The new songs were co-produced by Matt himself and Matthew Neighbour (Avalanches, Missy Higgins), along with long-time collaborator Alex Henriksson on Vitamin. They come off the back of a period which saw Corby collaborate with Triple One for their track, “So Easy.”
“The past year I’ve been producing records for other artists for the first time; Great Gable, The Riot and Budjerah, which has been really exciting and sort of fed into this new music,” Corby says.
While these new songs might not have been born from the current crisis, however, they definitely offer something positive to hold onto during it. “If I Never Say A Word” marries an otherworldly piano part to Matt’s timeless voice, delivering a subtle rumination on the virtue of holding your tongue and listening to the world.
“The song is about exercising empathy,” he says. “Understanding where people are at around you, and how sometimes the best thing to do is not say anything and not have an opinion – especially in a time like this. There are people who deserve a voice and deserve to be heard and there is a whole bunch of noise around them from people who are better off just listening.”
In a similar vein, “Vitamin” reflects on the value of knowing what’s important and, over an infectiously stuttering soul groove, hints that the disruption of the past few months may have provided an opportunity to re-evaluate much about our lives.
“‘’Vitamin’ is all about the things that stop you from seeing the big picture and what’s truly important and the people around you that make life great. That’s what we mean by vitamins. Where are your vitamins coming from? Most people operate in this quick fix, day by day kind of scrambling, and it’s really hard to stop and find all the value in your existence and really come up with cool ideas to make it better. For me, it’s something to strive for.”
And, in keeping with that perspective and spirt, while the remainder of 2020 remains as uncertain for Corby as it does for everyone else, he’s trying to stay focused on the positives.
“I’ll continue working on writing and recording new music, producing for other artists and hopefully we’ll get to tour when the time is right again in the future.”