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.
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.
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.
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.
No. But I know my first show will be at Les Sans Taverne in Montreal.
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:
I’m Jenna, the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be.
Canadian Beats has grown to become more than media, and what a journey it’s been.
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