(Artist Spotlight) Matt Duncan: The Champagne Rocker Your Parents Will Swear Was One of Their Favorite Musicians. 

We spoke to the musician Matt Duncan about his influences, favorite venues and more. Oh yea, and he also musically scored a fictitious movie we came up with in our new series : A Film Score By: {Matt Duncan}

Matt Duncan Interview

Matt Duncan's music and mind are firmly planted in the 70's.  You'd be excited to play his whole discography at your family holiday party, because you know your cool uncle will appreciate it and *hopefully* ask, "who's this?," without having to worry about your vanilla in-law passively aggressively asking you to turn it down.  It's for that reason that we're excited to have stumbled upon his music as of late, respecting fully that he's been creating quality jams since his first album, Beacon, in 2010.  

Having recently released his latest EP, The Slowest Walkers in Manhattan, we chatted with Matt and had him walk us through the songs that he'd use to score specific cinematic moments in a fictitious movie that also now kind of exists?

Where are you from, how would you describe your music, and who are some of your influences?

I usually describe my music as 70's R&B, but others have called it Yacht Rock. And it's definitely changing all the time. This latest EP, "The Slowest Walkers In Manhattan," is more in the vein of poppy late 70's punk. And the next one will be a dance album, with a range of different eras thrown in. I don't expect to ever stray too far from the 70's though, it's kind of my decade of choice.

As far as influences, I think what goes into my brain and what comes out are rarely that close. But Odelay was the album that inspired me to start recording music (21 years ago!). D'Angelo still blows my mind, I really hope he doesn't disappear again. Then lots and lots of Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Judee Sill, 50's Duke Ellington, Philly Soul, and a bit of Prefab Sprout and Todd Rundgren. Plus all the stuff that you couldn't avoid in the 90's, like the Beatles, Motown, etc.

Live music, or studio? Why?

I have some strong feelings on this one. Until venues start investing in rigid fiberglass boards to absorb some of the cacophony, it can only be studio for me. But anyway... all other things being equal, one is like riding a roller coaster, and the other is like painting. Both are great in their own right, but I will always be a studio guy at heart. I've always been more into songs than bands or scenes or whatever. In a studio, you can make anything you can imagine, and in beautiful high fidelity.

Favorite venue to play, and why? 

My home base when I was in Lexington was a place called Al's Bar, an ancient dive bar turned venue. I spent many sweaty nights in that place. In New York, I'm usually at the Mercury, which is a great spot. Also once played Rough Trade in Williamsburg, and it sounded killer. My dream is to play the Beacon though.

What are some bands that you're currently digging?

My favorite stuff lately has been Marcos Valle's self-titled record from '83, the new mix of Sgt. Pepper, Tom Verlaine's solo albums, Chris Cohen, Andy Shauf, The Stylistics, Little Beaver, and Chance The Rapper (especially the Donnie Trumpet album). Also, I've been listening to "Masterpieces By Ellington," "Such Sweet Thunder," and "Newport 1956" regularly for about 4 years. It's just the best.

If you could have had any of your songs featured in a movie of your choice, what would the song be, and what would the movie be?

I think the greatest tribute to any song ever in a movie is the "Bohemian Rhapsody" part from Wayne's World. Can it be re-synced to any song of mine? I'll email Lorne Michaels.

And Now...

A Film Score By: Matt Duncan

Who doesn't think about the songs that they'd use to score the movie of their life? ... So we came up with some generic scene setters and have our favorite musicians choose the songs that they'd use to best to score theirs...

Opening Credits:  

You're driving down an endless road through the desert in the automobile of your choice (Present day)


There's a quick montage of your early childhood...

You're in high school, hanging out with your friends, it's an indie-movie type party scene. 

You're in the wild throws of a relationship -- the perfect mix of spontaneity and new relationship bliss.

The end credits roll... 

Wanna read about another rising talent? Check out our interview: Leach, The Artist Moving in Infinite Directions.

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