Brief, exhilarating songs about love… of course; Pop is founded upon such foundations, but in Matthew Adam Hart’s gifted hands our wonder and gleeful idiocy is laid out in rare, brilliant detail. Critics and the public alike have recognized in Hart one of the most impressive compositional minds to emerge in years. He is a talent simultaneously modest but mighty, plainspoken but rigorously intelligent, creating miniature electronic epics that sound as if they were spun from gold.
The Weight’s On The Wheels is a mighty accomplishment long-coming for Matthew Hart: The Russian Futurists have left the “bedroom-pop sound” genre they helped define and made an ambitious studio-produced monster pop record loaded with low end, depth, volume, and Hart’s heart-breaking voice atop the mountain of sounds. Produced by Hart with the aid of Michael Musmanno (Outkast, Lilys, Arrested Development), the fourth studio album exposes a polished pop finish that Russian Futurists fans have been begging for. The Weight’s On The Wheels will cast a wider net on fans to be captured by the Futurists pop regalia. Tracks like “Horseshoe Fortune” and “Register My Firearms? No Way!” reveal Hart’s trademark ability to turn a phrase with heart-wrenching lyrics that evoke cinematic imagery, and “One Night, One Kiss”, a sugary duet with Heavy Blinkers crooner Ruth Minnikin now peels away the reverb and synths that used to envelop him, revealing a soulful Hart across crystal clear soundscapes. The bad-ass slammer “100 Shopping Days ‘Til Christmas” both begs an advertising bidding war with it’s chorus “100 Shopping Days ‘Til Christmas and you’re the one thing on my wish list” and shows off Hart’s love for hip hop with the skill and complexity of his lyrical flow. “Hoeing Weeds Sowing Seeds”, mixed by Grammy Award Winner Michael Brauer (Coldplay, John Mayer, The Bravery) and the lead single, is a celebration explosion, a thumping and glorious beat with classic Matthew Hart triumphant vocals rising atop the electronic paradise. The album, ten tracks in total, is front to end the best songs we’ve yet heard by Matthew Adam Hart and a new exciting day has dawned for one of the greatest song writers Canada has produced.
The Russian Futurists have three internationally acclaimed releases under their belt, and in 2007 Me, Myself and Rye was released; the amalgam of The Futurists’ hottest songs assembled from their three previous albums, digitally re-mastered. The Russian Futurists international profile saw them become UK-label mates with The Go! Team and The Pipettes, spawn a whirlwind experience that put them on a UK tour with Peter, Bjorn & John, North American dates with long time friends Caribou and Junior Boys and playing to 10000 fans at the Mada Festival in Brazil, while receiving acclaim and praise from the likes of NME, Clash, Spin, Time Out London, BBC, and X-FM. All the while producer-songwriter singer Matt Hart was remixing the likes of Stars, Sloan, Sally Shapiro, Dykehouse, Shout Out Louds, and Cadence Weapon.
Born and bred in the cold and lonely Ontario, border-town of Cornwall, and raised on hockey [“loving the Leafs is like being in love with a terrible woman”] Matt found comfort in the simplicity of AM Radio. “There are songs that were produced to sound like they belonged there. I used to sit up at night and drink a bottle of red wine and listen to AM to get inspired. My roommates used to think I was kind of a weirdo when they would walk into my room at 2 am and find me drunk listening to ‘Buttons & Bows’. I would like to end up on AM when I’m old and grey.”
Surprisingly, Hart’s roots as a producer and arranger lie not in Pop. “I was a compulsive Hip Hop producer from age 13 to 19,” he admits, “and would finish a completed Hip Hop track, from start to finish, every day after school” This interest is still evident in the Russian Futurists’ electronic rhythms, but a passion for the Pop music of his childhood (Abbey Road was a prominent obsession) is the heart of The Russian Futurists. “When I eventually began to try to make music other than beats it wasn’t my intention to make Pop. It just came out. I felt I was being stifled by Hip Hop and wanted to experiment with melody.”
Hart constructs his songs under the ongoing influence of Phil Spector, Brian Wilson “He showed me that Pop was able to be listenable and experimental at the same time.” Honesty shines through in all of The Russian Futurists’ songs – all the more remarkable for them having been conceived in Matthew Hart’s bedroom. Hart cheekily describes his sound as a result of “trying to make all of my songs huge, ambitious productions on very limiting and awful equipment.”
“so stunning that it makes the Postal Service look like half-hearted dilettantes”
“He’s created 3 delightful albums of electronically-fused symphonic pop bliss”
“Our Thickness is an exhuberantly echoing starburst of lo-fi twee-pop gone grand, an opulent boudoir popera for the Taj Mahal”
“One of the more subtle revolutions in classic pop’s recent history”
“air punching brass brilliance”
“one of the most melodically seductive and exhilarating bands of recent times”
“The big analogue sound, distorted drums and vocals drowning in reverb make for songs that would sound fucking great in a club”
“Let’s Get Ready to Crumble is one of indie’s best bedroom pop records in years…like heartbursting enthusiasm, in that way The Flaming Lips are always reaching for but have never nailed so casually”