Matthew & The Atlas is a vessel for the imagination of songwriter Matt Hegarty. A pivotal figure who draws others into his orbit, his catalogue moves between classic tropes and fresh production, from folk style to something left-of-centre.
2019’s ‘Morning Dancer’ saw Matthew & The Atlas rise to new heights, continuing his long association with Communion Records. With the pandemic dawning, he secluded himself away in his home studio, the first time he had space to operate truly independently.
New album ‘This Place We Live’ presents the results. Bold, strident work, Matthew & The Atlas is a project fuelled by experience, and framed by maturity. Out now, it comes out once more on Communion, a label who have supported the songwriter’s work right from the off.
Here, Matthew & The Atlas sifts through the Communion catalogue, revealing some personal memories along the way.
Bear’s Den – ‘Greenwoods Bethlehem’ (Live)
When Clash magazine asked me to recommend some Communion artists that also relate to my time spent with the label I had to start with The Den.
I first met Kev when I gave him a lift to a festival back in 2009 and I first met Davie supporting their former band Cherbourg at the ICA in London. Kev is one of the founders of Communion, and he helped produce my first EP ‘To The North’ which was Communion’s first release as a record label. Both lovely people who have given me a lot of support along the way, literally a lot of support slots!
Hard to pick a song as they have released so much good music but I have fond memories of the live version of ‘Greenwoods Bethlehem’ on the tours I’ve done with them, it was always a great moment in the set.
Matt Corby – ‘Miracle Love’ (Live at Manchester Cathedral)
I started my journey at Communion around the time I met Matt as we did a small showcase together back in 2009 in a little café off Portobello Road in London.
One of my favourite songs of his is ‘Miracle Love’ and this live version at Manchester Cathedral is something else.
Nathaniel Rateliff – ‘And It’s Still Alright’
I had the privilege of playing a few shows with Nathaniel in 2011 whilst touring in the US. I wrote a few words about him some years back wondering why he wasn’t selling out theaters so it was amazing to see The Night Sweats take off like they did and watch them move up to play bigger venues.
This is the title track from one of his solo records ‘And It’s Still Alright’.
Foreign Fields – Tangier + I Killed You In The Morning
I was first introduced to Brian and Eric when I began thinking about production for my second record ‘Temple’.
I ended up spending five weeks in Nashville in 2015 recording the album having the time of my life. They were making their second record ‘Take Cove’r around the time I was there, ‘Tangier’ opens the record and feeds into ‘I Killed You In The Morning’ and like with all their music takes you away to another place.
It’s accompanied by a beautiful music video too.
Memorial – ‘Latchkey’
A part of Lucy Rose’s label Real Kind Records which partners with Communion, Memorial create truly beautiful music.
They arrive at the end of my Communion journey as they are joining me on my upcoming tour across the UK and Europe this autumn. Their song ‘Latchkey’ here is really special and also has a great music video.
Photo Credit: Dave Watts