Matt Costa has today released ‘Jet Black Lake’ from forthcoming full-length Yellow Coat, released September 11th on Dangerbird Records.
Finally afforded the freedom to follow his instincts, Yellow Coat finds the 37-year-old songwriter at the apex of his craft. The follow up to the daydream ease of ‘Avenal’, ‘Jet Black Lake’ is the next step in his rebirth.
“‘Jet Black Lake’ is a song flying over memories. Sometimes memories can be obstacles that obstruct and define our perception of feelings, eventually emerging from the night” explains Costa.
Taking inspiration from Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Dear Theo’ and John Steinbeck’s ‘A Life in Letters’, Yellow Coat is the first album Costa has written purely for himself. “I think every other record that I’ve written, I wrote knowing that the songs would have an outlet”, explains Costa. “And for this one, I really didn’t, it was just a process I was going through, clearing myself of these feelings and thoughts”.
Releasing his first record back in 2006, Costa first found fame when his folk-pop single ‘Mr Pitiful’ featured worldwide on an iPhone advert and in a scene from the film ‘I Love You Man’. One further record on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records followed, before Costa’s troubadour chops truly started to show, leading a backing band drawn from Belle & Sebastian on his 2013 self-titled record.
It was the arrival of Dangerbird Records in 2017 that truly gave him his wings, however. “I’ve always had freedom in making my records and songs. But with Dangerbird, and the last record, they really trusted me to follow my instincts, which is a pretty special place to be.” That last record, his first in five years, was Santa Rose Fangs, a concept album about three siblings in California dealing with life, love and death. A novella version came after, the storytelling qualities present in Andy Shauf and Damien Jurado’s clear for all to see.
Yellow Coat, conversely, is wholly personal, the result of letters Costa wrote to himself after his ten-year relationship came to an end. While initially inspired by heartbreak, it is its sense of hope and perseverance that shines through brightest. “Everyone’s going through personal trials all the time,” says Costa. “And it can be isolating. But now everyone’s going through something. And as difficult as that is, there’s comfort in that too. Because we’re all in it together, and we have been the whole time. Except now we can actually feel it.”