April 22, 2016 – New York, NY – Temple
, the stunning new album by Matthew and The Atlas
, is out today via Communion Records and available for purchase HERE
. The album’s title track also accompanies the LP as a standalone single today.
Matthew Hegarty (aka Matthew And The Atlas) is a British songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and was the first artist to be signed to the Communion label (it was, in fact, pretty much so that they could release Hegarty’s music that Communion was born as a label in the first place.) After the dreamy and textured Americana of his To The North and Kingdom of Your Own EPs had built him a global following, Hegarty released debut album Other Rivers in April 2014, prompting Q Magazine to hail him “the British Bon Iver.”
A sumptuous release, Hegarty’s new album, Temple, is the kind of record that it’s impossible not to sink yourself into. Bringing together the naked emotion of Sufjan Stevens with a dramatic rolling melancholy, it is a truly cathartic expression of its writer’s own fears and feelings, bound together by a universality of emotion and honesty that makes it bracingly easy to connect to.
sums it up, writing, “It’s hard to undersell just how soulful and impactful Hegarty’s
voice is. There’s an alternate universe where he’s a celebrated gospel singer in the classic tradition of that word instead of singing folk music which hasn’t always been known for great vocalists. He’s got one of those voices that makes you feel his emotional anguish down to the marrow of your bones and it’s readily apparent.”
Musically speaking, Other Rivers had seen Hegarty pushing the boundaries of a classic folk sound into a bold, synth-laden territory, amassing a fervent cult following in the process. With Temple, he has made a tender return to his roots. “The first album went quite far one way – we’ve pulled back a few steps this time,” says Hegarty of the release.
While Other Rivers was written more sporadically, over the course of six years, the songs that make up, Temple took just three months. Sketched out in Hegarty’s home studio in his native Farnborough, for the first few months of 2015 he pushed himself to write a song a week. This modus operandi was a huge success, firing Hegarty up to create his finest work yet. With well over an album of songs written, he headed to east Nashville with bandmate Tommy Heap (bass, keys), to meet up with Brian Holl and Eric Hillman, otherwise known as electronic folk act turned production duo, Foreign Fields. There, the four men (joined at points by various local players), would begin crafting one of the first truly astounding albums of 2016.
A “black figure” looms over the album in parts, a nebulous being that had first appeared in the aftermath of an attack once suffered by its auteur. New parenthood, too, has inevitably affected Hegarty’s outlook on life since he wrote his first songs. Extremely personal to its writer, yet exploring themes to which all listeners will relate in their own way, the results are at once quite beautiful, unsettling, and intoxicating.
The artwork for Temple
is a painting – “Site of Special Interest” – by the British artist, Ben Risk
, who was subsequently commissioned to create individual paintings to coincide with each track on the album. Says Hegarty
, “The image is of an old hunting lodge in the Scottish highlands, vividly splashed with red on a barren landscape and I loved how that worked with the title of the album.”
The tracklisting of Temple is as follows:
- Graveyard Parade
- On A Midnight Street
- Modern World
- Old Master
- Can’t You See
- Gutter Heart
- When The Light Hits The Water
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