There are very few South Africans who won’t recognise the name Ard Matthews. Not only has he become a local music legend with his band Just Jinger who have continued to win hearts and fans over the years, but he is also known as a solid solo performer. I featured a song from his 2019 SAMA award-winning album, ‘Impossible Machines’ in February, and was extremely happy to get a notification that he released a new single a few days ago.
In this new single, ‘Free to Begin’, Ard has given us a song particular to this year where we have all faced events that can’t, and should never be forgotten. His songwriting talent shines, not only the composition but also in lyrics that capture the underlying hope that we will move forward from this as better people.
“Left navigating through the lies
We’ll steer towards the brightest skies
Welcome to the new world
You will have your time to shine again
Now we won’t live silence
And we won’t live in fear anymore
And may we never take for granted
All the beauty that we had before”
Well said Ard – let’s listen to the song.
Although this is the only new release that Ard has given us since the brilliant ‘Impossible Machines’ album, I see on Spotify that he has recently released a few of the tracks from the album as singles. I’ve decided to share two of my favourite tracks from the album to complete today’s theme. The first song, ‘Elemental’ has a driving guitar that carries the lyrics perfectly.
About the ‘Impossible Machine’s’ album, Ard had the following to say on his official website. “It’s not the sort of music I used to make. This album isn’t one you need to be on suicide watch for. It’s more up-tempo, which is something I haven’t done before. The sound is super diverse, largely up-tempo, still (with) my unique rock and roll feel to it, but very diverse and I love it.”
So do I Ard. Here’s ‘Elemental’
To finish today’s Ard Matthews selection I have chosen the title track of the ‘Impossible Machines’ album. Not only because it is such a good song, but also has a stunning video that was shot along the beautiful Cape coastline.
Ard practiced the ‘hands-on’ approach when he recorded the album at his home studio, set in the dungeon of his Scottish castle in Hout Bay. This isn’t for any dark or macabre reason, but that the dungeon has the best soundproofing! He not only wrote the songs but also produced and engineered the whole thing. He also had no fixed theme when starting and found himself turning away from his normal style and experimenting with new sounds, which he found liberating.
Ard discussed the naming of the album on his website: “I named it that because I feel that we are all slaves to the devices we use today, from our cellphones to our computers. And I am not preaching, I never preach, it’s just social commentary. I always want to use my voice in a positive way so that’s where the name comes from.”
Since getting to know this album earlier in the year it has been a regular on my home playlist. Hopefully, we will see another full album from Ard soon. Until we do here’s the song ‘Impossible Machines’. Have a great day. 😎
The Loving the Music mini-features are written and compiled by Andrew Knapp in support of his Loving the Music Facebook page and group. Join the community for regular themed three-part posts that do do more than just share a song.
The Author owns no copyright on the images or videos in this article. All images and links sourced from YouTube and Google and within the public domain.
Words © Andrew Knapp 2020