New York’s Matt Shapiro writes synth-pop gems that sound like they came right out of a John Hughes film. It’s hard not to picture Molly Ringwald wondering the very same question that Shapiro asks in his new single, “Is There Something Going On?” This lush little number appears on his EP, FADE IN, releasing on the 8th of March.
“I approach making a record like I’m making a movie” says vocalist and songwriter Matt Shapiro, before adding: “My last album Metaphysicalwas very layered and wide-angle and made to sound kind of epic. With this new EP FADE IN, I made the conscious decision to go the other way. This one’s more disciplined, and really stripped down to essentials…more like a scrappy little indie. And it has more bite.”
The road to FADE IN began in the summer of 2017 when Matt convened with players in a Brooklyn rehearsal space to run through new material. It was a non-starter. “The magic just wasn’t there. I realized that it was time to reinvent. ” His next call was to frequent collaborator Fraser McCulloch, producer (and member) of critically-acclaimed indie band Milagres whose production resume includes helming albums for Chaos Chaos, Golden Suits, and Sunjacket amongst many others.
“I sent Fraser every demo I’d recorded all year.” The duo settled on 7 songs – 6 of which made the final EP- and scheduled a series of sessions starting in mid-September. One major constraint was McCulloch’s imminent move cross-country to California. “Time was of the essence, so I was meticulous in planning our sessions. We made this list of 6 guiding principles that we taped to the side of a studio monitor. We’d check it constantly as we were working to keep us on track.” He credits McCulloch with helping him to clarify his vision for the record- and for holding his feet to the fire. “Alan Vega had recently passed away and I was listening to a lot of Suicide and Fraser thought that’d be a great starting point. He’s the ideal producer for me in that he’s both my biggest fan and toughest critic. It’s easy for me to fool myself into thinking something’s better or worse than it is. Having a sounding board -whose taste I totally trust – is absolutely crucial ”
When asked why he chose the title FADE IN Shapiro explains, “In many ways, the last record was about tying up loose ends. But this one really feels like the start of something new. “