Posted June 14, 2021 by Jeff in Tunes

Matthew Dear To Release Guitar-Centric ‘Lost Album’

Matthew Dear photo by Brett Carlson
Matthew Dear photo by Brett Carlson

Twenty-plus years into his career, producer/vocalist/songwriter/DJ Matthew Dear remains “artistically unpredictable in pursuit of his prescient strain of electronically-formed, organically-delivered indie pop,” as it’s put in a press release.

Traveling between his adopted Detroit and his home state of Texas throughout 2008 and 2009, Dear amassed a set of personal, playful, looping guitar-centric recordings he’d consider for his next album but decided to shelf the material. He moved ahead to work on his watershed 2010 album, Black City, instead. This “lost album” will now finally see the light of day.

Originally recorded in 2008, Preacher’s Sigh & Potion arrives on June 25 via Ghostly International. The most recent single from it, “Gutters and Beyond,” just came out and it’s about how Dear struggled to get sober.

“This is ‘sober me’ giving in to ‘drinking me,’” says Dear in a press release about the single and album. “I’ve been sober for five years now, but I’ve always gone hot and cold in the past. My type of drinking has always been rather predictable in its unpredictability. What I mean by that is some nights I could have a glass of wine at dinner and go quietly to bed after, and other nights, dinner would wind up lasting two days, and I’d be DJing an after party for total strangers in a different city. I sought that life out from an early age, and prospered in the accompanied freedoms it often presented me. After a while though, it took its toll. Rarely in singular moments of clarity, but more in subtle jabs at my ability to maintain a good, productive and balanced life. So ‘Gutters And Beyond’ is really about the struggle, and apparently when I wrote this one, I was throwing in the towel to the addictive personality within.”

Alongside the release of his new (lost) album, Matthew Dear has launched “The Matthew Dear Show,” a variety series made in collaboration with his wife Jennifer Dear. Across freeform episodes, Dear splices music and visuals with segments of oddball ideas often hosted in the woods near his Michigan home. The series premiered as a program on Seth Troxler’s Twitch channel Dream Access Television and the first segment makes its YouTube debut on Wednesday, June 16 at 3pm EDT just ahead of the album’s release.

“Gutters And Beyond” follows the single “Hikers Y,” which, in turn, came after the simultaneous release of “Muscle Beach” and “Supper Times.” The two songs accompanied the April announcement of Preacher’s Sigh & Potion: Lost Album, complete with visualizers done by Michael Flanagan featuring a psychedelic swirl of paintings, scribbled notes, family photos and footage of Dear.

A shelved release recorded over a decade ago, Preacher’s Sigh… represents a pivot both in Matthew’s thinking and sensibilities. Sonically, the album’s looped guitars and folky swing differ from his techno background. Inspired by Emmylou Harris as well as the fingerpicking guitar style of his own father, Matthew channeled those elements through the patterns and loops he uses for house and techno.

“I’d say that was the beginning of this album,” he says. “Realizing I could apply what I’d been doing in the computer to the other music I loved and grew up with.”

Preacher’s Sigh… represents more than just a development in Matthew’s sound—its release also symbolizes a development in how he views his craft overall.

“As we age, we get trapped in thinking our output or creativity needs to mature as well,” Dear says. “Some of that is unavoidable, but listening to these songs reminds me to not think so much.”

Credit: Brett Carlson


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected].