Melbourne’s indie-pop songstress Georgia Fields is playing headline shows in Melbourne and Sydney this month kicking off in Melbourne tonight at the Toff In Town. Since releasing her debut album last year she has garnered much critical acclaim and plenty of radio play and even an appearance on RockWiz on SBS.
Matt Walters has had even more of a dream run, signing to a major label deal with Universal after playing a single song to their head of A&R at a ‘chance meeting’. He’s collaborated on his debut album with the likes of Megan Washington and Sarah Blasko and also launches his deut LP Farewell Youth at the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne tonight.
Hence it seemed like it’d be a good idea to see what inspires their muse as singer songwriters.
We asked Georgia to hit up Matt for his thoughts on life, music and loving. Little did we know we were setting him up for her to ask him out on a date.
Your album is called ‘Farewell Youth’. That is something I’ve been saying to myself a lot, as the sun is beginning to set on my 20s. What inspired that title? Are you saying farewell to your youth and hello to your post-youth 30s like me? Is it a melancholy departure for you?
Definitely not! I just turned 25 – so I guess I’m still young. Although it’s time isn’t it? How can you not reminisce and be reflective I just feel different all of a sudden. Music is (and has been) such a huge part of my life leading up to this release. But I’ll never make music like this ever again. I started writing songs when I was 18 and some of them made it onto the record. Some of them are naive, but that makes them beautiful to me. I just remember being utterly committed to being honest and myself through this whole process. And to me – Honesty is a big part of being youthful – especially when you’re trying to make art.
I heard that you were signed to Mercury Records in quite an unconventional manner. Were you shitting yourself when you decided to play a song at a chance encounter with head honcho A&R guy Peter Karpin?
Not really – I don’t think I knew completely who Pete was. It was never the aim to get signed. I know plenty of people say that, but it’s true. I was so focussed on my songwriting. And I was happy to be in a studio recording my stuff for free. But it felt right. From the moment I met Pete, it’s been about the music. We talk about music a lot. He’s worked on a lot of records – with everyone from Daryl Braithwaite to Leonard Cohen – so from the beginning i’ve felt like I’ve been working with someone who loves music just as much as I do. And you know, when you meet people you click with – you can pretty much say anything – they get you, and you get them.
There seem to be a few producers collaborating with you across the album. How did you find that process? Greg Arnold produced my self-titled debut and I learned so much from him – it was such a wonderful musical pairing. For the next record, I’m considering producing myself and ‘head hunting’ specific producers for specific songs. Did that work for you?
Yeah it’s interesting. I had never made a record before so it was fucking daunting! You know, one minute you’re trying to scrape together some change for a six pack and the next you have the money you need to make your dream album. So, it’s safe to say I had no idea what the hell I was doing when I got into the studio. We did a few sessions that didn’t work out – but there were a few songs – and moments – from those sessions that I really liked and they seemed to fit. But the bulk of the record was done with Paul McKercher. It was just a period of learning. I needed to go through those early sessions to figure out what I wanted. I love the idea of producing myself one day – but really – unless you’re quite hands on I don’t know how you can walk out of a studio very happy. I loved working with Paul because he’s very open minded and he’s a great engineer – I felt like we were on the same page from the moment we spoke on the phone for the first time.