"Simple truths, simple philosophies. Life is the theme..." - Matt Corby talks new album Rainbow Valley
With his new album Rainbow Valley now on shelves, we spoke to Aussie singer-songwriter Matt Corby about how he put it together...
When did you start working on the songs that would become Rainbow Valley?
"For the most part, probably around May and June last year."
Did you have a goal at the start of writing in terms of how you wanted to move on from Telluric?
"Yeah, I did. I think I tried to simplify with regards to the instrumentation and compositional aspects and focused a lot more on the melodic themes. I think Telluric was a bit of a mess of sounds and harmonies, in a good way I mean, whereas Rainbow Valley feels a lot more concise."
Has the way you’ve written songs changed over the years? Or has it stayed largely the same?
"It’s changed a lot. I went from writing songs on guitar and toiling over them for long periods of time to learning how to play and produce everything myself. Even being able to just make demos at home has really sped up the song-writing process and made me pretty flexible. It’s opened the doorway to writing in so many different forms."
You recorded in your home studio back in Australia. Is that an environment that really gets the best out of you?
"Yeah, definitely. It’s nice to have a complete freedom in a studio, it’s rare. Normally you’re on the clock, paying money for the time, and often you go into the studio with an idea of a song already in your head. Being at home, it was nice to experiment without consequence."
You made the album with Dann Hume. What did he bring to the process and why did you decide on him for a producer?
"He brings a lot. He’s a really, really good engineer, a great songwriter and he’s excellent in terms of reining me in a bit, which I kinda need. I think he knows what it’s gonna take to get something over the line - and when I need to stop. He understood the progression and didn’t want to make something that sounded like Telluric either."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"In reality, it’s a bit of self-talk, self-help kind of album. Simple truths, simple philosophies. Life is the theme, I guess."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right?
"That would have to be ‘Elements’. It was the first song we wrote and the last one we finished. It had many different forms, a couple of different choruses — a lot of weird musical work went into that one, it was fun."
And which came together most quickly?
"Probably ‘No Ordinary Life’ funnily enough. A lot of songs were pretty quick thinking about it. We’d have nothing at the start of the day and a finished track, sometimes two finished tracks, by the end of the day. I’d say about 80% of the record came together like that."
When did you settle on Rainbow Valley for the title? Were any other titles in contention?
"There weren’t any other titles really. It was a bit of a no-brainer — it’s the name of the property I live in and we wrote everything there. Rainbow Valley was the facilitator, so it was nice to be able to commemorate that."
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"Everyone’s gonna be dressed up as their favourite muppet, there’ll be loads of blow-up inflatables and we’ll try the entire set rolling around on Segways..."
Matt Corby's new album Rainbow Valley is out now and available here in hmv's online store.