Matthew Dear: Bunny (Ghostly International) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Matthew Dear


Ghostly International

Nov 19, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

If Matthew Dear wasn’t involved in numerous projectsco-founder of Ghostly International, Audion, Jabberjaw, False, and production duties all over the planetfans might have made a fuss about the six years between Bunny and last album Beams. From what I understand, there were no major complaints. Dear is a sonic machine alterer with glamourous grooves to match; an electronic music maker at the tippy-top of the game. His deep voice is recognizable from the first word, no matter what effects he is running at the time. Dear is responsible for various highlights, including Black City closer “Gem,” which must be an emotional intake for anyone who had to let someone go to realize their true dreams.

Bunny doesn’t have anything too sensitive, but it has plenty of canals and semblance; any Matthew Dear release is expected to have that. Moreover, Dear kills it out of the gate with six impeccable tracks that leave the following eight fighting for attention. Not that the whole hour affair isn’t amazing (could be his best LP), but those first six songs create serious stir. “Bunny’s Dream” is an opening opus, and Dear has made this a trend; Beams’ “Her Fantasy” and Black City‘s “Little People (Black City)” have a similar riff. This is Dear’s delusion and we’re following his tinkering fingers. Lash “Calling” is a juggling act of guitar, piano, LCD Soundsystem and Randy Newman. Ever dance by yourself and feel untouchable? The notorious live drum kick and cascades of “Can You Rush Them?” gets limbs moving, Dear proclaiming that “we need to take back the streets.” Of course, vocal echo on “Echo,” and sticky glittera song about burnt-out youth (nitrous tanks of yore). Concentrated, motivated “Modafinil Blues” carries Black City vibes as wakefulness pumps through the bloodstream. A shaker is a universal instrument; it commands “What You Don’t Know,” a product from Dear’s jamming with Simian Mobile Disco outside London for four days.

Birthing three childrenhe field-records his daughter at the end of Bunny and it’s so cutewith his wife since Beams, we’re hearing Dear as a happier person. He says that his extreme usage is over (although he takes legal Modafinil to get through all the crazy traveling); Bunny sounds like a family man in love: “I want to spend more time with you;” “your body temps me;” “I can promise you the demons are dead;” “let me paint my clothes all over your skin;” “command me what you want want me to;” and “You and I, in this world with you, oh” on repeat at the beginning of “Bunny’s Dream.” And it’s a coincidence that Bunny has a track named “Moving Man;” fans have been moving to Dear’s music forever, man. He is not going to change, man. Dear’s core values are seared into him.

Matthew Dear is probably in the top 10-percent of the most talented artists on Earth. And he likes to share with his musical partners: Sam Valenti, his fellow Ghostly International co-founder; Troy Noka, recording “Modafinil Blues” in the fog of Topanga Canyon; Tegan and Sara, collaborating on Bunny singles “Horses” and “Bad Ones;” noodling with Protomartyr (shared Detroit roots) guitarist Greg Ahee; and swimming in techno toys with Ricardo Villalobos in Berlin for “Before I Go.”

A plethora of musicians like Dear’s music, and he likes their music right back. However, despite all his influences and interactions, Dear remains himself, a creative, pop-sensible musician that spins an assortment of circus criteria. Even though we’ll never know how many, Dear has touched (and shifted) a lot of people. Now, with Bunny, he’s fully incorporated, living the dream. (

Author rating: 8/10

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