New Audio: Matt Corby Shares Lush and Cinematic “Big Smoke”

Matt Corby is a multi-award winning Australian singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Since the release of 2018’s J Award-winning album, Rainbow Valley, the acclaimed Aussie artist and producer has been busy: He launched his own independent label and loaned his production expertise to material by fellow JOVM mainstay Genesis OwusuJack RiverGreat GableBud Rokesky and most recently, his award-winning collaboration with Budjerah. During 2020, Corby released two standalone singles “If I Never Say A Word” and “Vitamin.”

Corby’s highly-anticipated third, full-length album Everything’s Fine is slated for a March 24, 2023 release through UK-based Communion Music. Marking his first album in five years, Everything’s Fine vividly captures the personal and creative growth of the acclaimed Aussie artist and producer, who like many of us, had life tip him upside down and downside up. 

On the day Corby was going to start recoding his new album, he and his family were rescued by a neighbor. Their home had been engulfed by floodwaters that raged through Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. After nervously watching his very pregnant partner and young son be whisked away in a small, inflatable dinghy, he got to work ferrying provisions to stranded neighbors and locals and digging rotting mud out from beneath his home. 

With their home inundated by floodwater, the whole family was forced to move into Corby’s Rainbow Valley Studios, during the album’s recording process. Juggling familial responsibilities with his creative and professional pursuits was a one-of-kind pressure cooker circumstance that helped galvanize his artistic evolution. Ruminating on love, domestic life, natural disaster and more, Corby reconfigured his creative instincts and returned to his longstanding creative collaborations with Alex Hendrickson, Chris Collins and Nat Dunn.

The end result is arguably be the acclaimed Aussie’s most sonically adventurous, deeply personal and resonant album to date. While drawing from his long-held R&B influences, Everything’s Fine is very much a story of survival, perseverance and love told through a polychromatic embrace of vintage funk, hip-hop and playful soft rock through Corby’s uniquely offbeat lens.

“I’m currently rebuilding a lot of my foundational stuff,” Corby explains. “Covid changed me a lot, slowed me down. I feel like I’ve become aware of a lot of the stuff I need to work on, and I’m happy to start – and I have been. All of that chaos helped me not be neurotic with this album process and get to the point where I accepted things. Like, I couldn’t sit and stew over how something sounded and potentially make it worse if I was needed elsewhere.”

Firmly fixed on seeing the best of things, Matt reveals “I’m at a really beautiful point in my life. I’m accepting all this stuff: the good and the bad, but particularly the bad. Which is kind of great. It’s a good thing to come to that point. Life isn’t always magical, but the moments that are, well you really value them. I think this record is about that, about managing your actual reality. Sometimes I have those moments when you realize: well I’m still breathing, you still have the gift of life, so everything is fine I guess?”

Within a week of the flood, Corby returned to the studio, and wound up writing and recording “Problems,” a funky R&B-inspired bop centered around a strutting bass line, twinkling keys and boom bap-like drumming paired with the Aussie artist’s plaintive crooning and his unerring knack for well-placed, razor sharp hooks. Sonically, “Problems” sounds indebted to D’Angelo and Mayer Hawthorne — but while rooted in personal, lived-in experience and astute observation of human behavior and character. The song’s message is a simple and profound one: While maybe your own world is on fire or about to sink under water, the most important thing is that you and your loved ones are alive — and mostly well. 

“It’s about how funny humans are creating our own problems and issues that we then have to solve. Or creating problems so difficult we then can’t solve,” Corby says. “And how people talk so much shit and don’t do anything – how we’re setting ourselves up for failure. People want to point the finger but nobody wants to carry anything themselves.” 

Everything Fine‘s second single “Reelin,‘” a strutting bop featuring light yet propulsive percussion, twinkling keys and warm horn bursts paired with Corbys effortlessly soulful crooning. Much like its immediate predecessor, “Reelin’” is rooted in lived-in personal experience and astute observation. The new single sees Corby reflecting on the inherent push-and-pull dynamic of long-term romantic relationships. Throughout the song, the acclaimed Aussie artist makes the observation that the cornerstone of every successful committed relationship is communication, compromise — and a lot of forgiveness and healing, too. 

The album’s third and latest single, “Big Smoke” marks Everything’s Fine halfway point, and may arguably be it’s most lush and cinematic track: Centered around atmospheric synths, deliberately struck toms, twinkling keys, soaring strings, a supple bass line and overdrive pedal-drenched guitars paired with Corby’s breathy cooing, “Big Smoke” manages to channel Lenny Kravitz‘s “Believe,” and Tame Impala‘s Currents. But under the in-your-head, dreamy vibes, the song sees its narrator attempting to process the self-sabotaging nature of the crutches leant on for support during difficult times.

“‘Big Smoke’ is a song that touches on the duality of living with your vices but being conscious of the fact they are probably not good for you,” Corby explains.

Corby will be embarking on a limited run of North American shows to support the new album. These dates mark the acclaimed Aussie’s first North American tour dates since 2019 — after several COVID-19-related cancellations. The tour includes an April 5, 2023 stop at Bowery Ballroom. Check out the rest of the tour dates below

Tour Dates:

March 27 – Seattle, WA @ The Neptune Theatre

March 29 + 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever **SOLD OUT**

April 1 – Austin, TX @ Stateside at The Paramount Theatre **SOLD OUT**

April 3 – Toronto, ON @ Venue TBA **SOLD OUT**

April 5 + 6 – New York, NY @ The Bowery Ballroom **SOLD OUT**

April 9 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley