Throughout two decades at the forefront of Canadian music, Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Matthew Good has only been one thing: unpredictable. Refusing to adhere to the path of least resistance – a flat, unwavering, pop/rock cultivator status – Good has successfully shuffled through musical genres and aural approaches. The strains of his early work in The Matthew Good Band are virtually incomparable to that of revered solo efforts such as 2003’s Avalanche, 2007’s Hospital Music and 2009’s Vancouver. Yet each album and track, beat and chord assert Good as the epitome of an artist and creator: invoking personal challenge, charting unprecedented courses and carving his own path.
The results speak for themselves. From multi-platinum sales and multiple Juno awards and nominations (including Vancouver being heralded as Canadian Rock Album of the Year), and over a million albums in the hands of fans, Matthew Good’s personal mantra of musical evolution has also blossomed internationally. Such accolades culminate in his 13th studio album (and 6th solo venture), Arrows of Desire. Where 2011’s Lights Of Endangered Species saw Good delving into passion inspired by starkness, the ten songs that comprise Arrows of Desire find him inspired from a new perspective: bare-bones rock. The new single Had It Coming acts as a perfect appetiser for the record, and a video for it was shot on a recent trip to London to play two sold out shows :
“With ‘Lights of Endangered Species’, I accomplished a lot of things that I’d longed to do for years,” says Good. “After I finished touring the album, I found myself at home looking out the window one morning wondering what to do next. There were a lot of options, a lot of different directional possibilities.” However, while many doors remained open, Good found only one of them enticing enough to fully step through thanks to an entirely unwitting encounter.
“I had come across an old playlist on my computer and was listening to it. While I was standing there, ‘Honky’s Ladder’ by The Afghan Whigs came on and – as has been the case since the first time I heard it in 1996 – it just overwhelmed me. There are a lot of people that are turned off by the discord of Greg Dulli’s vocals but ever since ‘Up In It’ came out, the utter abandon that he employs has always inspired me. When it finished, the one-two-three of The Pixies ‘I’ve Been Tired’ filled my office. Those first words have been burned into my memory since 1987: ‘She’s a real left winger cause she been down south and held peasants in her arms…’ I knew what I wanted to do. I sat down, picked up a guitar and within five minutes had the opening first verse and chorus of ‘Via Dolorosa.’” Impassioned by his formative years, Good notes that Arrows of Desire is spawned from a direction he hasn’t explored in years. As strange as it sounds, reflection truly is the perfect post Lights… muse. “’Arrows of Desire’ is simple rock,” he asserts. “I grew up listening to bands that were four or five chords who made it magic and that’s kinda what I wanted to get done. That’s not saying there aren’t some complexities on the record because there damn well is, but I don’t know…it was just fun to do.”
The UK release of Arrows Of Desire includes a bonus disc containing 9 rare and exclusive acoustic versions of songs from Matthew Good’s career to date.
Matthew Good is a Canadian music icon whose multi-platinum career has spanned almost two decades. During this time he has released nine studio albums, all of which have achieved at least gold status in his home territory. Since 1999, none have debuted outside the Top 5. His ever-growing fan base outside of Canada has also contributed to sales of over a million records worldwide, while at home he has been nominated for nineteen Juno’s (Canada’s version of the Mercury Prize), winning four times.
Beyond music, Good is also known for his support of various causes, most notably his dedication to raising awareness regarding mental health issues (he suffers from bipolarity himself) and human rights. For almost a decade he wrote commentary on his official website about militarism, neocolonialism, US foreign and covert policy, the declination of human rights post 9/11, and his opposition to the federal government?s dedication to Canadian combat operations in Afghanistan. He is an advocate of Ceasefire, a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, an advocate for the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Rideau Institute’s Ceasefire Initiative and a supporter of Amnesty International.