Matt Walters


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“I'm fascinated by the subconscious; by how ideas and greater truths flow out of you when you're not exactly in your conscious, logical mind.” Introducing 24 year-old songwriter Matt Walters, whose newest EP, Talking In My Sleep was heavily influenced by writing in that lucid state, late at night. In pursuit of streamlined pop perfection, Walters strives to reach a deeper part of himself; one which “isn't necessarily there on a day-to-day basis”. Fittingly, lead single ‘Talking In My Sleep’ combines vivid imagery from the literary classic Dante’s Inferno – “I was reading it at the time, and wondered what an accompanying pop song would sound like,” he explains – with Walters’ own experience of becoming disenfranchised with his religious beliefs. “The main influence for the title track was falling out of love with the whole faith thing. I felt cheated by the fact that my time had been wasted. On a personal level, it was the feeling that I'd 'sold my soul to thieves',” he says, quoting lyrics from the song’s chorus. Talking In My Sleep is Walters’ first release with Universal. Under the esteemed guidance of producers Paul McKercher (Augie March, Sarah Blasko) and Francois Tetaz (Bertie Blackman, Gotye), the Melbourne-based singer built upon the acoustic framework of his early material to bolster the EP’s four songs. Though still written around a lonesome guitar, Walters’ newfound sound is filled out by bass, drums and piano. ‘I Would Die For You’, the haunting second track, features the guest vocals of his Universal label-mate Megan Washington. “Megan would appear at my gigs in Melbourne every now and then,” Walters explains. “She'd get up and sing that part, just because we're good friends, and she wanted to do it. And then when I recorded the song, she came and sang on it. I didn't have her in mind when I was writing; it was more of a sentimental thing that sang on the record.” Though Walters first picked up a guitar as a 12 year-old, it was the debut Iron & Wine record and Sufjan Stevens’ Seven Swans that really kicked off his interest in songwriting. “I'm a fan of pop music, and I try to write songs that a lot of people can get into,” he says. “But I'm more interested in how things sound than their meaning. I love artists like Nick Drake, Sun Kil Moon and Bon Iver, where you have to search through the lyrics to create your own meaning.” “I was always more of a Neil Young fan than a Bob Dylan fan,” Walters continues. This preference has certainly informed the way he writes. “I'm really interested in the idea that there's more sense than I can conjure up in my own words, but I was forced to scrutinise my lyrics more when I began working with Francois and Paul. I'm more interested in the logical meaning of words now, but more than anything, I just love the way they sound.” By Andrew McMillen, freelance journalist: Rolling Stone, triple j mag, Mess+Noise, The Vine. (