Back in 2002/2003, I recorded my first self-titled CD "Spacecadet Lullabies". My friend Tim Webb recorded the album in his studio on the North Coast of New South Wales.
Looking back, the CD was like a time capsule. I had studied music at University, and I realised that for many years prior to the recording, I really didn’t have much to say as an artist. I was too busy thinking about the mechanics of music and missing the whole point of why I picked up an instrument in the first place. After finishing University and spending a few years floating around and playing guitar in a few bands, I began to experience the world a little more and actually living a life. I remembered why I love music and I felt like I had something to say as an artist.
I decided to record a CD and just play the music I heard in my head. Limited by time, budget and a basic understanding how to make all this happen, I had to find a job to pay for the recording, and jump in the deep end.
Somehow, I ended up working as a pool-side waiter in a Gold Coast resort. The uniform consisted of a white polo shirt and the tiniest white short shorts that would look incredible on Beyonce, but horrific on a little man who has inherited the thigh genes of his rotund Irish grandmother. I didn’t feel good, and those nasty little shorts were a warning sign, that maybe I should really stop messing around and start creating music ASAP.
I saved up the money, recorded Spacecadet Lullabies, printed up 200 copies and then thought. Okay…um what now?
I sent about 20 discs out into the media world. Not expecting any response, radio play or pats on the back I resigned myself to the idea that I would have to spend the next 40 years working in call centres hoping that David Bowie’s phone number would appear on my call list, we’d get talking and he’d say “Why yes! I am interested in renewing my subscription to the Age newspaper, by the way Matt, do you know of any young guitarists looking to do a world tour in my band?”
A few months later, Jasper Lee, at the now defunct oz music project, reviewed the CD.
Over the last year we've seen quite a few sparse instrumental indie bands come through the ranks, with bands like International Karate, Ukiyo-E, Seaworthy and any of the Dirty Three solo projects. Springing to mind. Matt Lewin is another of these, and his seven track LP fits very well into the title "Spacecadet Lullabies". Relying on a twin guitar setup and spaced-out interludes, Lewin's work is subtle; drawing the listener in subconsciously. Some elements of this release seem to be a sparser rendition of Air's composition of the "The Virgin Suicides" soundtrack, most notably in the title track. What is also noticeable is the lack of indulgence used throughout the LP, with each track limiting themselves below the five-minute mark: giving Lewin enough room to manoeuvre his sounds in slight tangents to keep the listener inspired.
”Spacecadet Lullabies" is a delicate yet involving listen. One would be quite happy with this gorgeous release.
When I read Jasper’s review, I lost my mind. I couldn’t believe that anyone would say anything about my music. Very slowly, lots of nice people started saying nice things about the CD. By then, I had slipped back into the world of playing in lots of bands and trying to survive. But this time I realised that I wanted my own recording gear and I needed to understand more about my artistic vision, the recording process, the business side of things and how the hell did I fit into those ridiculous white pants?
I bought a basic recording set up, and started writing and producing my next album called “Ghost Songs.” The music is so different to my first album, as I was seeing the world and hearing music in a totally different way. Each song is a soundtrack for a different friend.
For me, the way a musician communicates is not a quantifiable thing, it is an emotional visceral experience. The music I listen to has to be fearless in it’s creation and expression. It has to take me on a journey through the world of the artist, point back at my world and ask “What now?”
Next year I am going to release my new CD titled “Ghost Songs”. In the meantime, here's a link to my first CD from 2003 “Spacecadet Lullabies.”