News, Reviews

Al Matcott Shares New Single “Justine” – Debut EP out August 6th via Skip Hero Records

July 27, 2021
Credit: Rick Clifford



 Australian songwriter Al Matcott returns with a new single titled “Justine”. The song follows his recent debut single “Mediocre” and is taken from his eagerly anticipated EP “You Can Be Anyone”, which is out 6th August via Al’s own imprint Skip Hero Records.

The distortion heavy new single ‘Justine’ shows an entirely different dynamic in Matcott’s songwriting, evoking Pixies as much as indie-folk bands such as The Middle East. At once emotive and anthemic, the vocals still carry an underlying roots inflection but twisted through dark, driving overtones as the instrumentation flexes through moments of noise-laden disquiet and fuzz drenched power-pop uplift.

Speaking about the single Matcott says, “Justine’s about the titular character from the Marquis de Sade’s novel. I finished reading it when I was feeling burnt out on tour in Adelaide. The whole book is her being mistreated by the world and (spoiler alert) it doesn’t end well. I imagined a different ending where she unleashed righteous vengeance on the world. It felt pretty metal.  

My bassist Brendan and I fucked around with the track – I had a psych bridge in mind and he added some backing harmonies which added some melodrama. Wouldn’t recommend the book though. 4 out of 10.”

The new single is also accompanied by another lo-fi video directed by Michael Ridley. 

With the new single “Justine”, Al dramatically shifts the intensity and provides a track that showcases this unlimited and phenomenal range for the artist. A dark, twisted, and brooding ensemble that allows this immersive power to obliterate the ambiance. Once again Al Matcott showcases their true authenticity with this stark and striking composition. The mood has been crafted to allow ominous attributes to embrace the expressive atmosphere against the raw and intimate lyrics, delivered with this passionate enveloping vocal tone. As per all Matcott ensembles, this fierce and compelling energy emits throughout.

Formally a drummer and guitarist/singer in a variety of bands (Euphoriacs, Honey Badgers and Buried Feather), after a while Al Matcott finally decided to focus on the twanging, narrative-driven material that continually surfaced during his songwriting process.

That somewhat belated turn to classic singer/songwriter mode wasn’t daunting to him. “They’re all my stories,” says Matcott. “I don’t want to hide them behind anything.”

It also brought him back around to the folk music that has followed him all his life, thanks to his mother taking him along to folk festivals as a kid. Meanwhile, his drum teacher father ensured that he was behind the kit from a young age. Those two sides – rock and folk – have spelled equal appeal for him ever since.

Matcott’s winding path to debuting as a solo artist took him on an extended haul outside Australia: first going to South America to teach English and then relocating to New Zealand with his Canadian partner. There he bought a guitar and began work on the songs that we’re starting to hear now. He would bring them back home with him soon after, recording them at his mother’s house in Castlemaine in regional Victoria.

His debut offering ‘Mediocre’ was everything you’d want in a calling card. The roots-inflected single draws on Matcott’s hazy alt-indie sensibilities and distils them into something that is at once candid and expansive. His natural drawl feels lived-in and relaxed, even when Matcott dispenses withering lyrics and layered wordplay. A pointed takedown of people who don’t bother holding themselves to account, the song follows glistening guitar licks and his deceptively casual delivery to a dry, stinging chorus: “You could be anyone / Why would you choose to be / such a mediocre person?”

As the lockdown continues to ease Matcott is keen to get back out to perform his new material, and as such has also announced details of an Australian EP release tour to take place in September 2021. He will play the following dates:

Fri 3rd Sept –Tansell’s Hotel, Beechworth
Sat 4th Sept – Vic On The Park, Sydney
Sun 5th Sept –North Gong Hotel, Wollongong
Fri 17th Sept – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne
Sun 19th Sept – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine

I’m just keen to get this stuff out into the world,” he says. And once the world hears these songs, they should be willing to follow his acutely observed and emotionally rich story-songs wherever they might lead.

“You Can Be Anyone” EP
6th August
Skip Hero Records


1. The Truthseeker
2. Mediocre
3. Justine
4. Friend Of Us All

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