Matthew Spreen – Five Questions With

Matthew Spreen

Matthew Spreen shares his latest single, “Decentralized Living”

Calgary-born writer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Matthew Spreen also attempts singing on his solo project. With a knack for ambient soundscapes, lyrics, and infectious rhythms and riffs, Spreen experiments with home studio production to express, learn, and reclaim a confidence in vulnerability and sociological humility.

A performing artist since 2015, formerly a member of the band The Heirlooms, Mister and Mystic, and Kue Varo. Currently living in Montreal and hoping to begin performing live again with a jazzy band or something. Really, just a very shy artist who loves writing new stuff and is attempting to make something half as meaningful as the music that nurtured him. Music is perspective and connection and philosophy and emotional freedom.

Primarily a collaborator and working on finishing a few group projects and helping other friends write songs as well.

Centered around a single forty-second verse in the middle, “Decentralized Living” is a lofi-jazz/hip-hop-inspired psych-song that begins to layer until it becomes a soundscape of instruments made to imitate the chaos of a downtown core and all its many disorienting directions. The lyrics hint at a failing relationship trying to hold on and causing this disoriented condition. The refrains “trying” gradually grows further and further apart, dimming in volume until the city (the bluesy uncertainty) consumes the vocals completely.

Listen to “Decentralized Living” below and learn more about Matthew Spreen via his socials.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Matthew Spreen. A Canadian musician recently branching into a solo career/frontman role. The musical composition and lyric writing have always been easy, but not the vocal performance part. So, yeah, a new solo artist living in Montreal.

Tell us a bit about your most recent release.

Decentralized Living is a displacement record. Last year my life got twisted, turned upside-down, and I was left stranded in Montreal as an anglophone. My relationship ended, and my house abruptly became twice as expensive, and I had a dog and a lot of life things to figure out quickly, including finding steady work and a new musical direction. All of it became very unpredictable. I guess the song (and album) is meant to express this lack of direction in myself in all aspects of my life. It’s the groovy lemonade from the lemons of life.

Where do you tend to pull inspiration from when writing?

I like to pick up a guitar and tinker with it until I catch a sound I like. Usually, I build on notes and chords until there’s something I keep coming back to. I start recording early on, and I just kind of let everything marinate, layer after layer, removing or adding ideas until the real aha moment. All of my instincts are routed in my personal tastes in music somehow, for sure. Lyrics, however, come from life experiences and big feelings or current philosophies, usually while trying to fit rhymes together and humming patterns at work.

Do you have any upcoming shows you’d like to tell us about?

No. But I know my first show will be at Les Sans Taverne in Montreal.

What’s your goal for 2023?

I want to find a band to achieve my recording ideas for a live show setting. And I want that band to help me co-write my next album. Mostly I just want to have a band that will someday make a legendary tiny desk concert, like Tyler The Creator’s or Anderson PAAK or The Roots or Mac Miller. I just love those kinds of bands. My goal is to meet people with a similar musical vision.

Connect with Matthew Spreen:

You must be logged in to post a comment Login