Wearing tattered clothes and a dishevelled ‘doo, Matt Corby graced the Commodore stage looking as if he sprang straight from the dirt in Outback. Fit for the desert and touring his debut solo record, Telluric, the 25 year-old Australian heartthrob had swaths of girls in the crowd mimicking his signature wailing falsetto. Or, it could be they were just excited to see him.
In 2007, Matt, at the fresh age of 16, auditioned for Australian Idol and placed second. He was a blue-eyed pretty boy singing pop tunes for the masses. One more guy singing Coldplay’s “The Scientist” songs in exchange for votes.
Flash forward eleven years and he’s progressed immensely as an artist. Soaking up genres like a sponge and squeezing them out into his own blend of jazzy, psychedelic soul. Telluric is culmination of all those years and has proven to be an impressive debut. An album that fits in as a softer, poppier component to the growing network of Australian psychedelic bands. A parallel to fellow countryman Chet Faker.
Corby’s vocals are dominant. A talent that could hold up, easily, to the best in the world. A crisp tone that floats along a wide range with effortless ease. Down low and up to a falsetto, his songs incorporate elements that are able to show how talented he really is. Not only as a vocalist, but as a songwriter too.
“Monday”, his most recent single, chilled the audience. His control and vocal prowess silenced that crowd. In awe, people shut up and listened. The song had a gospel/soul atmosphere to it. At that moment, the Commodore became his church and the crowd his disciples. During “Oh Oh Oh”, another song off of his new record, Corby’s voice was stuck in a controlled, beautiful chaos. Jazz influences manifested through extended periods of extended scatting. This all came together in a beautiful blues/jazz explosion during “Trick of the Light”. A song that included some incredibly bluesy riffs, a loop station, and a flute solo.
Corby’s talent is undeniable. It’s allowed to make waves and splash onto the scene in North America. Not an easy feat. If history serves as a guide for his career, he will only continue to excel and develop as an artist.
The only criticism lies in Corby’s stage presence, which is minimal at best. Most of the show was spent rooted in the center. Lack of crowd interaction, no matter how talented, creates a wall between the stage and the rest of the venue and takes away some of the performance value. Yet, with that being said, ’s set was well performed.
With his first show in Vancouver all said and done, Corby has surely impressed. As a multi-instrumentalist with the vocal chops and Aussie good looks to rule the world, I’m sure it won’t be his last at Vancouver’s favourite venue.