“Like Flowers on a Molten Lawn” by Matt Holubowski: In every way
Valérian Mazataud Le Devoir If his generation is constantly bombarded with messages announcing the end of the world more or less imminent, Matt Holubowski is convinced that refocusing on individual lives, friends and family helps to manage this anxiety.
“Like Flowers on a Molten Lawnis a bit like a story that goes all over the place, ”says Matt Holubowski from the outset. For the singer-songwriter, the story of this fourth album began with a poem that evokes spring, that of the American E. E. Cummings published in the 1920s Spring Is Like a Perhaps Hand . “I started from this idea of slow, precise growth changing direction here and there, something really tricky,” he says.
At the time of the beginning of his album, Matt Holubowski had the impression of carrying on his shoulders the whirlwind of life. “I felt the need to take more time to do things. I was in a moment of exploring sounds and the studio. This poem allowed me to see each song as a small growth”, explains the musician. He then decided to apply the philosophy of Spring Is Like a Perhaps Hand to his new creations, always with this idea in mind of the death of nature, then of its rebirth when spring came. “It's something that touched me a lot at that moment in my life and which inevitably tinged Like Flowers on a Molten Lawn,” he says.
There is also this dream made by Matt Holubowski in 2017 after a trip to Guatemala. “One day, I found myself above a volcano and I had an incredible view of the one opposite,” says the Quebecer, forever marked by this grandiose image. And to continue: “In my dreams, then, I saw this mountain, but, in front of me, there was a field of lava on which grew a solitary flower. It was wonderful. »
Over time, this dreamlike vision reappeared in his imagination in several different contexts. “I'm in a suburb where there are lots of identical houses, with cement sidewalks and lawns, but back home the lawn is lava,” he says of this dream, this recurring thought. “I tried to find meaning in that, and that image fueled the creation of Like Flowers on a Molten Lawn,” he says.
The artist adds that the idea of this lonely flower came to him when he felt a certain fatalism, “this melancholy with a bit of hope all the same”. “I was inhabited by this kind of assumption that everything means nothing,” he says. It wasn't a bad thing, on the contrary. It rather translates how I am and how it feels in my music. If his generation is constantly bombarded with messages announcing a more or less imminent end of the world, Matt Holubowski is convinced that refocusing on individual lives, friends and family helps manage this anxiety. “This flower that grows in a theoretically impossible survival context brings me a lot of comfort. I tell myself that deep down, even if we have to face all these problems, we are actually strong enough to overcome them. »
Since he considers his most recent album as an entity that scatters, Matt Holubowski concedes that his influences do not stop there. The genesis of Like Flowers on a Molten Lawn actually started with the opening track End Scene, much like a tale where the apocalypse first arrives. “I got this idea while listening to the Memoirs and Misinformation audiobook, by Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon. He recounts that at the time the cover photo was taken, a false nuclear bomb scare occurred in Hawaii and people were being told to prepare for the end of the world,” notes the songwriter- interpreter.
To this day, he remains fascinated by this paradoxical passage which oscillates between terror and gratitude. “There was Jim Carrey, sitting on a beach with the calm before him, knowing the end was coming. The record kind of started from that too,” he points out. Some will therefore be surprised when he adds that he was also inspired by the animated series Rick and Morty. “The scientist goes from one parallel universe to another hoping to find happiness. In this spirit of parallel and wacky universes, precisely, was born the song Gardens v. Mowers. “At the beginning, I wanted to make a satirical album of our time, where we are outraged by everything… I still kept the improbable tone of this title where the gardens are at war with the lawnmowers”, he explains, amused.
The song Flirt With Boredomis finally the one by which Matt Holubowski closes the loop of Like Flowers on a Molten Lawn, the one that joins the essence of the poem by E. E. Cummings. “We tried to record Flirt With Boredom for my second album, Solitudes, then as part of Weird Onestwo times. But it didn't work…” he admits. One day when he was in the studio with his producer and musician Pietro Amato, the revival of the track suddenly took shape. “We ended up in another studio, with Pietro, and we were a little desperate… That's where he started playing drums and I started playing piano and Flirt With Boredom , which has been following me since 2016, came out as we know it now. It literally took three albums,” he admits. According to him, it perfectly reflects the perspective of Spring Is Like a Perhaps Hand. “That's about being who we are, the way we want to be, and taking the time to do it. »
If he has always loved nature, Matt Holubowski admits, in recent years, to have dodged the music he composes naturally to avoid falling into the prejudices a priori corny of musicians who draw their inspiration “in flowers “. “With Like Flowers on a Molten Lawn, I fully embrace this aspect of myself that loves the forest and flowers. I don't really care what's good or bad, if I'm part of the norm or if I'm out of the lot,” he says. For him, “it all lost its importance”, and the flower became the symbol par excellence of a liberating feeling.
“Thanks to Like Flowers on a Molten Lawn, I was able to relearn how to do what I love the most, and never mind what people think of it and what they do with it”, concludes Matt Holubowski, who clearly enjoys going all over the place. .
Like Flowers on a Molten Lawn
Matt Holubowski, Audiogram. On sale March 24. On tour starting March 28.