Broken Bones Matilda create an enigmatic hybrid of sound, influenced by 70s rock to the early 90s surge of raw, post grunge bands they grew up with. Hailing from Bath and now based in London, the duo have been described as Nick Cave meets Fleetwood Mac, oozing raspy lead vocals and soaring harmonies over well-crafted songs.
Their latest single "Everafter" is a teenage romance song. Narrating young love and the feelings of insecurity and shyness you have when you like someone but don't have the courage to ask them out, the song reminds us of those distant highschool memories and the voices inside that shout, "Hurry up or you're gonna be too late!"
Taking an organic approach with their music, "Everafter" was recorded to tape at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios. Produced by Scott Barnett, the track delivers a dreamesque sound featuring warm guitar arrangements, beautifully hazy vocals and cascading harmonies. Emitting an almost hypnotic effect and bleeding with sincerity and authenticity, the duo share, "Working to tape you can get results sonically that you wouldn't get digitally. It also brings an element of pressure to the recording as you need to commit to things and you have the added pressure of limited takes."
Having performed at major festivals including Glastonbury, Wilderness, CarFest N&S, Pub In The Park and many more, as well as opening for the likes of Texas, Ward Thomas, KT Tunstall and Alice Wallace, the duo have been garnering notoriety from fans and critics across the country.
Broken Bones Matilda are about to embark on a two week virtual tour of UK breweries, raising money for #saveourvenues. Virtually crossing the UK, one craft brewery every evening, they will be flying the flag for independent businesses while simultaneously raising spirits as they go. The tour will also include local artists performing live drawing sessions, as well as surprises spicing up each show.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Broken Bones Matilda : We were once described as "If Nick Cave wrote songs for Fleetwood Mac"
Question: Can you tell us about Everafter?
Broken Bones Matilda : It's a teenage romance song. I reckon pretty much everyone has been in a situation when they're young and too shy to ask someone out, the song is all about how that feels. We recorded it at Real World Studios just outside Bath in the UK produced by Scott Barnett. He wanted to collaborate with a band on a song exploring the process of recording to tape. Tape gives a warm, vintage sound and feels very raw. We couldn't do loads of takes of everything like we usually would because we had a limited amount of tape, so we really had to commit to our performance!
Question: Is there a particular message you hope listeners take from your music?
Broken Bones Matilda : Sam's writing style is very much about creating stories (usually fictional) that are mysterious yet relatable. We want people to feel like the story could be something that has happened to them yet still question what the song actually means. The fun thing about the way we work is that Sam writes the song but won't tell me (Sarah) what it's about so I create a meaning of my own.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Broken Bones Matilda : We spend so much of our time on the road that it would be hard not to say live, but we absolutely love being in the studio too! When we were recording last year, our bassist described the difference being that when you're recording you are doing something that's permanent. You are committing your ideas forever to record and that can be just as exciting as the experience of playing live. Also, seeing songs you've worked on for ages come to life in the studio is very special and rewarding. Having said all that it is hard to beat the feeling of playing in front of thousands of people so playing live would probably just about beat studio!
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Broken Bones Matilda : It's hard to choose one song because it definitely varies, some songs are more enjoyable to perform in small intimate venues and some more fun on a big festival stage with our band accompanying us, but we have found that one of the amazing things about doing all these virtual shows is that you get to find out which songs the fans really love to hear live. When you perform a song so many times you start to think you want to play something new, but having the amazing feedback from fans has really taken us back to loving playing our first EP, in particular the title track 'Madeline'.
Question: Tell us about your virtual tour of UK breweries?
Broken Bones Matilda : It is no secret that the corona virus has hit the entertainment industry very hard and much like a lot of musicians we were struggling to keep positive, particularly hearing how many music venues were at risk of closure. So we decided to take matters into our own hands and team up with craft breweries across the country to do a virtual UK tour coming from a different brewery's instagram live every evening. The tour is in aid of Save Our Venues which is a Crowdfunder page set up by the Music Venue Trust. Our aim was to fly the flag for independent artists working with independent breweries to raise money for independent venues and try to lift people's spirits in lockdown along the way. We've been totally blown away by the response we have had every evening and the amazing enthusiasm from all the breweries and wonderful people involved! Plus it means we've been able to perform every evening which we have truly missed!
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Broken Bones Matilda : Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Question: What is the story behind the band name?
Broken Bones Matilda : The name comes from The Gaslight Anthem song "Film Noir" the line is: "I'm all washed out by the side of the road, Broken Bones Matilda left a note and a rose" They're Sam's favourite band and the lyric really resonated with us.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Broken Bones Matilda : We've both loved music from a really young age and grew up listening to the music our parents loved like The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young etc. plus growing up in the 90's was so much fun with all the incredible big rock bands like Blur, Nirvana, Radiohead etc. and I guess when you're young you see all these rockstars and just think that would be the best job in the world, so we've spent our time trying to make that happen and having a lot of fun along the way!
Question: Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about the music industry?
Broken Bones Matilda : The music industry can seem like this impenetrable fortress but the truth is it's a lot like any other business, if you work really hard then you'll get where you want to be! The world of independent artists has made music an option for so many now which is such a wonderful thing!
Question: What's a typical day like?
Broken Bones Matilda : At the moment very different to usual! We've been writing and recording a lot during the lock-down and drinking the craft beers that we've been sent by the breweries...but usually at this time of year we'd be driving all over the country playing at festivals. So early starts, lots of coffee and late nights.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Broken Bones Matilda : It sounds corny but the fans! There is nothing more rewarding than seeing people sing along to your songs and hearing what they mean to people.
Question: What's next, for you?
Broken Bones Matilda : Last November we recorded an album with Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi, Marianne Faithful) which we were hoping to release this summer but for obvious reasons it's all been a bit delayed, so once the tour is over that will be our next focus!
Question: Can you share your socials? (links please)
Broken Bones Matilda : Facebook
Interview by Gwen van Montfort