Click to access Matti-Charlton-EPK-2021-June.pdf
Music Samples & Reviews
Matti Charlton is a transgender and queer songwriter and producer, living in Toronto, Canada in the heart of the village at Church and Wellesley for nearly 20 years. Matti uses they/them pronouns, and produces all of the music on the above playlist right at their apartment at Church and Wellesley, in a studio most people can walk by and see as they walk along Wellesley street!
Some notes about the songs, lyrics and subject matters:
• Why Was I Made A Boy is about trans identity issues, some parts are very loosely based on a poem by William Blake;
• Dark Addiction is about a toxic relationship, the relationship was LGBTQ, but the content is relatable to everyone; this song has more than 55,000 plays on Spotify, see my profile at https://open.spotify.com/artist/44xqmwgZfmMACrwjZJknc6?si=QrCvF1xtQFC3THupzAZ0Sw
• Gay in the 80s is about how it felt like to be gay in the 80s;
• Easily Forgotten is about poverty and social responsibility in helping others;
• Something Different is a message of love and positivity to people who were/are bullied like I was, to give them hope and tell them they are loved for who they are;
• The Ecuador Rain is a magic retro 90s pop song I wrote when I was 16 years old;
• Paul’s Song is a gay love song to someone who has passed away;
• A Picture of Dorian Gray, Dissolving is based on the book by gay literature icon Oscar Wilde;
• Once You Start Running is about the uselessness of running away from your problems;
• Mappings is about all the colors of the rainbow and being proud of who you are, and showing your colors being your decision;
• The Hands of Fate is about the danger of inaction; it alludes to climate change and political views but ultimately is about participating in our democracy and in doing so, taking action and helping to shape the world the way we would like it to be;
• Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue is a retro synthwave exploration of the impending rise of artificial intelligence in modern times. Historical fact is connected with fiction: the famous chess game between Kasparov and the IBM computer Deep Blue, and imagery and dialog from Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1969 science fiction film “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The song examines humanity’s fear of AI hostility towards human beings, ultimately presenting the inevitable rise of artificial intelligence as being unstoppable, whether worthy of our nightmarish fears or not. The watershed chess game win for Deep Blue is example of this inevitable superseding we face, and must embrace! This song’s lyrics feature ACTUAL chess moves from the final chess game between Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue on May 11, 1997, the first time any computer chess program had ever defeated a human chess grand master player in history!
Michelle Resigno features as a guest vocalist for Dark Addiction, Easily Forgotten and The Ecuador Rain. She is a friend of Matti Charlton’s as well as a member of the LGBTQ community in New York City. She’s also excited about the possibility of coming to Toronto to sing Matti’s songs during pride!
MATTI CHARLTON channels the 80s synth-pop scene in latest single “Dark Addiction”
“The cyclical nature of music is something that is well-documented. It is often the case that some types of music are popular for five years or so, fall out of favour for another 20 years, then eventually become popular again. Matti Charlton’s new release “Dark Addiction” is testament to this, with a house track with shades of the 80s synth-pop scene, an genre which is having its due resurgence
But, although their influences may be retro, Matti Charlton is relishing their role as a contemporary voice for social change. As a non-binary and queer artist, the songwriter and producer candidly discusses LGBTQ+ issues- both in a personal sense but also focusing on how society as a whole can evolve. Similarly, Charlton is a proudly autistic artist, again adamant on using their talent to act as an advocate and educator. With an ammunition of things to say well-stocked and indeed well-documented, with an astonishing six albums and 38 shorter releases uploaded onto Spotify in the last two years.
One of Charlton’s latest success is “Dark Addiction”, a brooding and honest track reflecting on society through the eyes of a young non-binary musician. Although borderline nihilistic and highly critical at some points, the single is also surprisingly uplifting at some points. Charlton’s honest and (dare I say it) vulnerable vocals give the track a certain charm and relatability which hammers home their message. It’s quite astonishing that, given the volume of their output, Charlton makes every track sound as raw and heartfelt as the last. As discussed earlier, the track is definitely on the dancier side, oozing 80s vibes resonant of former queer icons such as the Pet Shop Boys and the Communards.
With lots to say and evidently a work rate like few other artists, Matti Carlton is making sizable waves across the Atlantic. With an addiction to looking back and analysing things that many are scared to, Carlton is certainly one to watch.
‘Dark Addiction’ is out now on all major streaming platforms.”
- Tom Farmer @tomfarmer5000, oursoundmusic.com, June 23, 2021
Matti Charlton’s “businesswoman in the 80s” Is a Statement
“Matti Charlton is a Canadian songwriter and artist. They are a member of the transgender community and are openly autistic. Matti’s output is as varied as the instruments they were formally trained in (classical guitar, piano and cello) and includes Ragtime Hip-hop, Flower Child Witch Folk, Banjo Bedroom Pop and Trans-Disco, as defined by the artist themselves. Matti’s latest jam “businesswoman in the 80s” is a piece of melancholic synthwave that features a head-spinning solo and ends deliberately too soon. Read what Matti said about the inspiration and rich context behind the track.
‘The track was written with the imagery of synthwave reborn in the new century, having grown up on the VHS distorted stuff like, well, ANYTHING on a VHS tape. Big Trouble In Little China, Gremlins, as well as the score for Star Trek: The Next Generation were large influences. I wanted to express small bursts of potential, fading like fireworks but spectacular. I also wanted the track to end TOO soon. So you’d want more. I will at some point in the future release a longer version of this song – think of it like a multi-track release, a synthwave version of, say, what FSOL did with the Lifeforms or My Kingdom singles. An expansion of each of the micro themes I explore in the song feels like a natural path for each track.
One of the difficulties here was detuning elements just enough to have that nostalgic tone of garbage media like VHS videotape or cassette tapes. Not enough to be persistent or obnoxious but enough to remind the listener how shitty things used to sound, and also how warm they sounded on that media too.
With the title and the ADHD elements together, I wanted to make a statement about how fleeting any perception of equality has been for women. It’s been promised in the 80s, even before. But it’s always been fleeting and leaves one wanting more. As a member of the transgender community identifying more strongly with women than with men (quantum gender, bigender, but above all an enby) I wanted to refresh the listener’s sense of 80s sentimentality that synthwave carries in its pocket and mix it with a touch of a dose of reality.
Truth is, things were really FUCKED up in the 80s. As a passionate feminist and supporter of the #metoo movement, I’ve had enough of the misogyny of trumpism and Neo-conservative victorian values that see a repression of self expression. I invite the listener to hear my synthwave in a new light – yes, the MUSIC of the 80s synthesizers was delicious, no doubt, but the future for gender equality and opportunity for women and transgender persons needs to find a better future so that we can all hear each other’s music and live in a world together that includes everyone and is one we can all be proud of.'”
- loudnessblog.com, July 1, 2021
“Matti Charlton är en artist från Toronto i Kanada som även är del i stadens scen för HBTQ-personer då Matti är en transperson. Matti är här aktuell med singeln Dark addiction som bjuder oss på elektronisk pop som färgats av en retrokänsla som jag personligen fastnade för med en gång. Gillade den synthiga produktionen och de sköna beatsen i låten.
Matti framför här låten tillsammans med Michelle Roscigno medan de sunge rom en självupplevd relation och blivit väldigt destruktiv, där Mattis partner var väldigt aggressiv och det slutade med att Matti bad personen att lämna. Men känslor är ibland starkare än förnuft och det dröjde inte länge förrän relationen blev lite av en Dark addiction, där Matti ville ha tillbaka personen på grund av starka känslor. Men som tur var, måste man väl säga, blev det aldrig så.
Så även om man vill ha någon i ens liv är det ibland för det bättre att så inte blir fallet.
Istället får vi en stark poplåt för oss som älskar elektropop med bra melodier.”
- Johan Alexed, popmuzik.se April 18, 2021
“Matti Charlton is an artist from Toronto in Canada who is also part of the city’s stage for LGBTQ people as Matti is a trans person. Matti is up to date here with the single Dark addiction which offers us electronic pop that is colored by a retro feeling that I personally got hooked on right away. Liked the synthetic production and the nice beats in the song.
Matti performs the song here together with Michelle Roscigno while they sang rom a self-experienced relationship and became very destructive, where Matti’s partner was very aggressive and it ended with Matti asking the person to leave. But emotions are sometimes stronger than reason and it did not take long before the relationship became a bit of a Dark addiction, where Matti wanted the person back due to strong emotions. But luckily, it must be said, it never happened.
So even if you want someone in your life, it is sometimes for the better that this will not be the case.
Instead, we get a strong pop song for us who love electro pop with good melodies.”
- Johan Alexed, popmuzik.se April 18, 2021
<<Matti est un amoureux de l’analogique et des vielles bécanes, aimant les VHS, la SF des années 80-90. Dark Addiction rend hommage à ce son unique, cette époque lointaine.
La musique est une merveille, Matti aime la partager, aime communiquer avec les autres, échanger sur leur vie, leur rêve.
« Si c’est ce que vous voulez, alors parlez-moi. Je suis sur mon chemin avec ma musique et je suis heureux de la partager avec vous. J’aimerais savoir où vous êtes et ce qui signifie quelque chose pour vous. Je veux construire un avenir dont nous pouvons être fiers. » explique l’artiste sur son site web.
La musique est le reflet de l’âme, chantez votre chanson, et on saura qui vous êtes !>>
- Julien James Vachon, July 15, 2021, direct-actu.fr
“Matti is a lover of analog and old bikes, liking VHS, 80s-90s sci-fi. Dark Addiction pays homage to this unique sound, this distant time.
Music is a marvel, Matti likes to share it, likes to communicate with others, to discuss their life, their dream.
“If that’s what you want, then talk to me. I am on my way with my music and I am happy to share it with you. I would like to know where you are and what means something to you. I want to build a future we can be proud of. “Explains the artist on his website.
Music is a reflection of the soul, sing your song, and we’ll know who you are!”
- Julien James Vachon, July 15, 2021, direct-actu.fr
“When I see the artwork, I get the idea that this could sound very good.
And it does.
Matti Charlton knows how to hold me captivated from the very first sounds of this great song.
That the great voice of her contributes to this is a fact.
Combined with a catchy melody line, it is very pleasant to listen to this.
- John Orie, July 4 2021, Synthpoplover.com
“Matti Charlton is a pop artist from Toronto, Canada whose emotional new track Dark Addiction caught my ear.
Dark Addiction is a pop track that’s difficult to pigeon-hole. There’s a retro vibe to its disco beat, an undercurrent of indie pop, and a fresh and unique feel. The vocals courtesy of Michelle Rescigno are lofty and emotive, providing a beating human heart to the track. I’m honestly a little blown away by it.
Transgender and autistic, it’s no surprise that Matti is coming at pop music from a different angle and I think we as listeners are all the better for it. Matti’s music is what pop music should be like, stripped away from trends and concern for record sales and playlisting – just catchy beats and relatable emotion.
Check out Dark Addiction below. I hope it makes you day like it has mine.”
- Graeme Smith, yorkcalling.co.uk
“Empezamos con una canción que te hace volar de una manera fantástica, porque tiene el valor completo para que dejes de hacer lo que estabas haciendo y sientas con toda la pasión posible el viaje perfecto entre sintetizadores y una voz que te anima a soltar todo lo que tienes adentro de tu cuerpo. La canción de Charlton nos deja en claro que una voz puede transformar una pequeña canción en una obra maestra. En este caso la canción que escuchamos es todo lo que necesitamos para dejar nuestro mundo y meternos en la dimensión de Dark Addiction.”
“We start with a song that makes you fly in a fantastic way, because it has the complete courage to stop what you were doing and feel with all the passion possible the perfect journey between synthesizers and a voice that encourages you to let go of everything. you have inside your body. Charlton’s song makes it clear to us that one voice can transform a little song into a masterpiece. In this case, the song we listen to is all we need to leave our world and enter the dimension of Dark Addiction.”
- Indie Criollo, May 8, 2021