DIY Artist of the Week – Chicago Musician Matt Script
Originally from upstate New York, DIY musician Matt Script moved to Chicago a few years ago to further his career as a freelance composer, musician and artist. We were stuck right from the get-go by Script’s obvious talents as a songwriter and singer and musician. The track that caught our attention from his submission was “Erasmus,” with it’s bright acoustic guitar and harp playing and mixing, it’s uptempo style and winding melodies, not to mention Script’s agreeable vocals that demonstrate quite a range. We’ve been playing the song, and some of his other tracks, over and over again. The guitar playing reminds us a lot of a musician name Michael Hedges who used to play this type of feedback/looping effect back in the 1980s, but Script says he is not aware of Hedges’ work.
“Erasmus” – Matt Script from Thru The Noise
Script wrote “Erasmus” as a “therapy session” for the homesickness and isolation he was feeling for his native Buffalo while studying abroad in Rome. “I naively romanticized about the deep connections I would make with the [Italian] people only to find that I felt just as lost, if not more lost, than I felt in Chicago. The ‘games’ referred to in the song to what we have to do to fit into society just to feel included I guess. The chorus is a paraphrased quote from Augustus, the roman emperor, when he said, “I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.” . I used electric, acoustic, and nylon string guitars.
The second track, “Called,” has a wonderful looping or feedback type of drone to it, and it occurred to us that at times Script sounds a bit like another Matt, that is, the artist known as Matt Pond PA. Not surprisingly, Scripts says that he is a big fan of Pond, especially his earlier releases, including the fantastic album, Several Arrows Later, which has been featured on IRC in the past.
“I’m huge fan of his,” Scripts said. “Several Arrows Later is one of my favorite albums. I like a lot of his earlier stuff. “Measure 3″ might be one of my all time favorite songs too. I think that’s fair to say [his influence] definitely ingrained in my roots.”
A talented artist is able to do a lot with just a few simple instruments, strong lyrics, computer programs, plug-ins and gear, a well-honed, natural voice, and a genuine talent for music. Script combines all of these elements with excellent results again and again. Another track that showcases the diversity of his skills is “The Noise,” a track that also include drums loops, electric guitar, crashing cymbals and piano. While he has been known to label his music “urban folk loop,” which is a new sub-genre for us, Script successfully dabbles with other influences, ranging from pop and experimental to rock and ambient.
“Called” – Matt Script from Thru The Noise
His looping effects on electric and acoustic guitars are impressive and refreshing because you don’t hear these particular effects often. He writes on this Bandcamp page that Thru The Noise “explores the role of noise in our everyday lives.” That may be a bit, and unintentionally, misleading conceptually because in that case one would expect perhaps the album would contain a lot of sound samples and effects of actual everyday noises; there are some, but not to the extent that that would be the summation of the album. It’s much more of a well-structure and instrument and vocals-driven album than the quote implies.
He also released a fantastic five-track EP in June called Permatransience, from which the next single, “Caught Up,” is taken. Another song from that EP, “La Di Di” is a cheerful, upbeat song that also sounds like a Pond-influenced track, and the Simon and Garfunkel-like acoustic track, “Once You’re Awake,” is yet another accomplishment by Script, as is the title track, with its almost Spanish guitar style playing and poignant lyrics. Each song is a unique example of Script’s impressive skills as a singer/songwriter and musician.
“Caught Up” – Matt Script from Permatransience
Interestingly, Script is also a member of the band Wait, What? , which was featured on IRC not long ago via the In Dee Mail profile series. Even more interesting, and most particularly to Harry Potter fans, is the fact that the band were recently tapped to play the music for one of the popular Harry Potter musical parodies by Star Kid Potter, a group of University of Michigan theatre students whose videos have gone viral in the past couple of years. Their official YouTube channel has already received a combined 140 million views worldwide and in the past couple of years have out paced Glee and Lady Gaga on iTunes. Script said the video his band is playing in for Star Kid Potter is in production now.
Script also has five other releases dating back to 2006 available to stream/download via his Bandcamp page. His favorite bands include The National, Fleet Foxes, Ratatat, The Black Keys, Grimes, and The Kinks. In fact, he said The Kinks’ 1967 album Face to Face, was his favorite of the band’s 30+ LPs.