Matthew Good takes the long road back to midnight

By Jamie Goyman

Matthew Good relives a classic while working on a new release.
Photo: Courtesy of Warner

VANCOUVER — Seventeen years later and the popularity of Matthew Good’s 1999 release, Beautiful Midnight, still proved itself relevant after holding the number one spot on the Canadian Vinyl Chart in early 2016. After selling large amounts of back catalogue vinyl and holding strong in the charts, a conversation between Good and his manager took place, which became the catalyst for the five-song album revisit.

“It’s a fantastically fun thing to do,” says Good. “There’s years of perspective, especially when it’s something you’ve done and it’s that old, you’re kind of like, ‘Yeah, okay, I’m going to look at this in a whole new way.’ From that aspect it was a lot of fun.”

Heavily known for earlier works “Symbolistic White Walls,” “The Future is X Rated,” “Anti-pop” and “Apparitions,” Good has continued to release solo albums with the same consistency and vigour; roughly releasing an album every year since 2003, each showcasing his artistic growth year to year.

The new EP, I Miss New Wave: Beautiful Midnight Revisited, recorded in The Tragically Hip’s The Bathouse Recording Studio, took songs that Good saw room for improvement on to reflect greater technical restraint and the obvious maturity that comes with two decades of work and life. The energetic take on “Suburbia” finds its place on the EP with a slight change in atmosphere from what might be expected; Good’s personal favourite, “Born To Kill,” dials back the guitars and lets the vocals lead. A slowed down “Load Me Up” caps the EP off, leaving listeners with an entirely new experience from a song they’ve known for years. The touches he’s put on each track shows a tempered take on the ’90s edge everyone felt and is something that’s a more fitting description of Matthew Good in 2017 and establishes where he is as an artist.

“Creativity, in however fashion it comes to you, is always an exorcist,” Good says. “I think it’s just one of those things that you either do or you don’t do and it has basically all the control and you’re kind of just a conduit.”

The kickoff for the Canadian tour in early February happens in Victoria, reaching all the way to Halifax by March end. That hustle already felt is only the beginning of the upcoming circus, the nationwide celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

“When that happens, especially as a musician in this country, things tend to go off because there’s a lot of shows,” explains Good.

Already planning for the upcoming new album release this fall, Good began recording early January and should see it finished sometime before the summer. A release that will most likely make it into your rotation and complement, if not amplify, the West Coast atmosphere.

The tour will have Beautiful Midnight performed in its entirety. However, if you want a proper introduction as a first time listener, “Non Populace” is Good’s suggestion.

“As a piece of music as a whole I think that it does something as far as I’m concerned, something I think more music should do. It’s got elements that are very exploratory. It has movements in it like a symphony,” he says. “When you get something really right, you get something really right.”

Matthew Good performs February 11th at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall in Victoria, the 14th at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo, the 16th to 18th at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, the 19th at the Kelowna Community Theatre, the 24th at the Grey Eagle Event Centre in Calgary, the 25th at River Cree Resort & Casino in Enoch, the 26th at O’Brian’s Event Centre in Saskatoon and the 28th at the Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg.

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