Matthew Wilcock will release Ordinary Beautiful Things 1, his debut solo album, on August 30.
The uniting theme of the release is "finding temporary beauty in the ordinary,” the UK producer says. It's an album of largely drum-less electro-acoustic instrumentals filled with heart-stopping moments of enduring beauty.
Born in 1986, Wilcock grew up in a working-class family in Tameside, Greater Manchester. Rejecting the Mancunian tropes of rave, Britpop, and post-punk, he started making sample-based music as a teenager on a borrowed version of Acid Pro. After a brief spell studying art in Manchester, he started to take music more seriously, switching to a foundation diploma in music and winning a place to study composition and music theory at the University of Huddersfield, where he immersed himself in the work of composers such as John Cage, Steve Reich, Christian Marclay, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
After graduating, he and his creative partner Aleah Morrison-Basu set up Zelig Sound, a company based in central London making bespoke music for commercials and full-length movies—including Daniel Kokotajlo’s 2017 drama "Apostasy," the Palme D'or winning short "Waves '98," and the BAFTA-nominated "Mamoon."
Running parallel to his work with Zelig, Wilcock has also recorded beat-driven electronica as MODEL 86. Ordinary Beautiful Things 1 is his first full-length solo outing under his birth name.
At the centre of the album is "I Might Die Now And I Feel Fine," an expansive three-minute track where a 20-piece string section plays a slurring, emotionally wrenching series of escalating chord changes. Wilcock wrote it "mirroring the feeling" that turned into the concept for the release:
"That moment, you can be anywhere, on the bus, walking down the street, in car and all of a sudden something lines up, light hits something in the right way, a shadow a reflection, and it’s just beautiful for that split second. Everything in that moment feels worth it. It makes you feel human and amazing to be alive but at the same time it makes you feel lonely. You can’t share that with anyone and you’ll never see it again. It’s gone. That duality, the beauty, and the loneliness, it’s interesting and beautiful and kind of pure." — Matthew Wilcock
In support of the album, out August 30, we're offering "I Might Die Now And I Feel Fine" as one of today's free downloads, available now via the WeTransfer button below, or here for EU readers.