Aotearoa pop oddball Matthew Young has released his debut album, It’s a Feeling. The 11-track record is the culmination of more than three years’ work for Young, who spent time travelling around New Zealand, staying in remote Airbnbs and recording on the go.
It’s a Feeling is a work of deep personal import. Young used the writing and recording process as a means of investigating the intricacies of his mental health. It’s also an ambitious sonic document, influenced by many of Young’s great heroes.
Matthew Young – ‘It’s a Feeling’
Matthew Young on five songs that influenced ‘It’s a Feeling’
Peter Gabriel – ‘Blood of Eden’
This song was a big influence in the early writing process. A lot of that is to do with sonic choices more than anything. Peter Gabriel is all about incorporating world music instruments and expanding the sonic palette to include less conventional sound choices for western music. Us is a weird but amazing album that is basically a huge confessional, making up for past mistakes. I liked that honesty, which partly inspired my own choice to write honestly.
Joni Mitchell – ‘Night Ride Home’
Joni is probably my favourite ever songwriter. This song, in my opinion, is one of her best, not only because the song is about Hawai’i (my favourite place on earth), but just the attention to detail. I stole the chorus-effect-on-acoustic-guitars thing for a song on my album titled ‘Fool Around’.
Sugar Ray – ‘When It’s Over’
I love this song. I can’t remember when I first heard it, maybe in a movie or something. I just love all the guitars and everything. I love music that feels like summer. I don’t think I brought too much of that vibe on my album, but there are moments here and there. It’s super corny, which is great. The video, which I’ve just seen for the first time, is not so great [laughs]. Didn’t age well.
Yes – ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’
This song mostly inspired a track on my album called ‘Belong’. I love the guitars, and how gated and small everything sounds in this song. Yes are like an old prog band or something, but they have some perfect pop songs in there. I tried to make my version of this, but less ‘period’, with mouth drums fills and stuff like that.
Kate Bush – ‘You Want Alchemy’
I really like Kate Bush and only heard this song in 2018 when it was released as part of a release called Selection from ‘The Other Sides’, which I’m guessing is a rarities album or something. I just love the feeling of this song. It feels nostalgic and the strings feel like a Mellotron, and I love that sound and it’s something I used a lot on my album. I also love how this song just goes and keeps on going.
Matthew Young – ‘Fool Around’
It’s a Feeling by Matthew Young is out now.