Introducing Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Matt Spier who musically goes by the moniker taken from an Australian wildflower, DRAKAEA LIND. With a mix of gritty synths, field recordings and live instrumentation, Drakaea Lind's brand of intricately arranged electro-indie weaves a path through analog soundscapes and electronica dreams. On Drakaea Lind's debut single 'Warm and Shivering', found sounds and glitchy electronics form a hushed and delicate backdrop that erupts into distorted synths and cavernous drums with a thumping swung groove. Pieced together from recordings in old church halls, warehouses and friend’s apartments, the track is drenched in natural reverb, and the hook sounds truly gigantic. Spier’s falsetto floats effortlessly above all this, his words perfectly complimenting the nostalgic tone. I got the chance learn more about this emerging artist when I got the opportunity to interview him which you can read about below:
MHB: How old are you and where are you from?
Matt: I'm 29, from Newcastle, Australia. It's a beautiful coastal city with a great arts scene.
MHB: How would you describe the music scene where you're from?
Matt: It's really strong and diverse. A lot of talented people putting out really good music. There are a lot of new venues opening up which is refreshing - it's nice to have a range of places to play and venues backing live original music.
MHB: How did you get your start as a songwriter/musician? Did you always want to be a musician? And can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Matt: I clearly remember dancing to John Farnham, Phil Collins and Amy Grant with my sister in our lounge room when we were very young. My parents always had records playing in the house when we were growing up, so music was always around and just floating through the house, especially in summer. Dad would usually put on Zeppelin when mum was out - I remember him blowing up our speakers playing the intro to Moby Dick really loud one day. My dad plays guitar, so I remember fumbling around with an acoustic guitar in early high school but not really committing to anything. I started playing drums in year 8 and getting really into music from there - heaps into punk stuff and then later hardcore and post hardcore bands. I still love the rawness and energy of that kind of music - it conveys a lot of emotion. I kind of just collected instruments along the way - started playing guitar in later high school, learning how to use synths and then it just progressed into writing and thinking really intentionally about engineering and using that as a creative tool. The relationship between words, melody and chords just really fascinates me. It's like a venn diagram and the challenge of trying to find that sweet spot in the middle where everything just comes together.
MHB: Who have been some your favourite and most influential artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music?
Matt: John Farnham's early stuff is still a big inspiration. 'Whispering Jack' is legit a pop masterpiece. His voice is just amazing too. I think Local Natives put out consistently great music - each release pushing their sound a little further and into unexpected territory. Their melodies are so good - that nice balance between pop hooks, but still a little unconventional. Jamie XX is one of my favorite producers. He keeps things human and accessible I think. Holly Throsby is an Australian artist that I really enjoy. Her music is so organic - as in you can really hear the sound of the room where the music was made. All the little reflections in the space, noises from outside like birds and rain. I love that kind of thing.
MHB: If you could choose any artist to able work with, who would you choose and why?
Matt: I'd love to work with a producer named Tony Dupé. He did some of Holly Throsby's early albums and makes music under the name Saddleback. He has a really different, characteristic take on production. It all sounds very natural and warm.
MHB: How would you characterize YOUR sound to a new listener & what would you say makes your music unique?
Matt: That's always a hard question! It's a blend of analog, electronic and natural found sounds.
MHB: What can you tell us about your single "Warm & Shivering"? What was the inspiration behind the song? What is it about?
Matt: Warm and Shivering is about the appeal of retreating into memory. It's comforting to revisit the past, but the perception of those memories can often be skewed, or possibly detract from your current reality. It contrasts that warm nostalgia feeling with the reality of never being able to recreate those moments again.
MHB: What projects are you currently working on and what can we expect from you in the next coming months?
Matt: I'm currently in the early stages of writing and recording for an EP. I'm also trying to get my head around recreating these songs live. I want to keep it as live and raw as possible, but incorporate as many of the recorded elements as I can. I like how James Blake does this so well, often with just a trio.
MHB: What is the ultimate driving force that gets you up in the morning?
Matt: Wow. Deep. Ummm. Honestly...sometimes just because you have to. Like, you have no choice, you have to work, pay the rent etc. That's not a very inspiring answer, but it's reality sometimes. But it's really the work I do during the day that gets me up in the morning. I work as a designer at a non-for-profit organisation called Compassion - it's a child sponsorship agency that works in some of the poorest countries around the world. When kids are sponsored, they have access to clean water, nutritional food, healthcare and education, breaking the cycle of poverty giving hope for a future. It's really powerful. So that's definitely worth getting up for and I feel privileged to be part of it. It's really meaningful work.
MHB: What do you think the future of music will be like?
Matt: I think our kids will think that we're all horribly uncool because we had to play music with our hands or something.
MHB: If we all each had a themesong that played whenever we walked or moved around, what would you choose your theme song to be?
Matt: I often think about this! It'd be rad to follow someone around and score out their day, but like fully improv, reacting to whatever conversation just took place, or if they missed their bus or something. I'd want John Williams to do mine. He's a boss. Especially if he could somehow sneak the Mos Eisley Cantina song in there.
MHB: At the end of the day, what do you ultimately hope listeners take away from your songs?
Matt: I hope it's something a little different. I hope it's something they can listen to a lot and still pick out new parts with each listen. If people connect with the themes, then that's awesome.
MHB: What does music mean to you?
Matt: It's a big part of me and brings heaps of joy. The simple act of discovering new music, something that you connect with, is a great and unique feeling. Writing music is a great way to try and answer your own questions.
Check out his amazing single "Warm and Shivering" below: