“A Simple Phrase”
words by tom johnson
photograph by shervin lainez
“The melody and lyric came right out of a dream, which really makes it feel like your subconscious is pouring out into the songwriting,” says Matt Longo, of his new track ‘A Simple Phrase. “I woke up with the whole thing one morning, ideas for arrangement and all. I wish every tune arrived as organically.”
Informed by that stillness between fully asleep and fully awake, that song is a welcome prelude to Longo’s new album under his Thin Lear moniker, a new eleven-song LP which is released in late July via the Richmond, Virginia label, Egghunt Records.
Almost lullaby-like in its simplicity, the new track, which we’re sharing here today, begins with a gentle sigh and barely raises its temperature much from there, Longo’s voice accompanied by a soft strum, a grand piano, and a subtle string-quartet backdrop which quietly illuminates the whole piece.
“I was thinking a whole lot about insecurity, my own, specifically, and how it haunts, and ebbs and flows,” Longo explains, “and then that chorus was just ringing in my ears throughout the day: “Forget about the things you need to happen/You’re not really here/You met your end/Ages ago.” I loved the idea of an actual, literal chorus of insecurity that just torments the narrator,” he continues, “telling him that he has, in fact, already died. At my lowest moments, that’s the pervading feeling.”
Citing the likes of Randy Newman, Townes Van Zandt, and Karen Dalton as influences on his latest work, ‘A Simple Phrase’ is suitably rich and antiquated, a beautifully elegant step towards the new album which will shift the pace of your day down to something delicate and hypnotic. Check it out below right now.
Wooden Cave is released July 24th, via Egghunt Records