Following the release of alt-folk gem ‘Hollow’, singer-songwriter Belle Mt. (Matt Belmont), teams up once more with Grammy Award winning producer Femke Weidema to create ‘Let Me’, out now via LV Music. The track is another slice of his smoothly cinematic alt-pop production.
Hi Belle Mt., how are you today?
Hello FM, I’m good thanks. My ears a bit battered as I’ve been in a mix room for a live show we recorded in July and things got loud, but otherwise all good!
What’s your new single ‘Let Me’ all about?
Let Me was written about a specific night and a specific make or break argument in my relationship. It was triggered by quite an innocuous incident on the face of things which just happened to push all of the wrong buttons for us both and somehow led to one of those life defining all nighter conversations in which two people are able to be completely honest and open about insecurities, our pasts and in just how important this thing that we had built together was to us both. All of this mood was made even more dramatic by a backdrop of pouring rain and gloomy London landscape which features in the lyrics but is completely contrasted by the arrangement on the full production.
What first inspired you to start making music?
The first time I created my own music aside from little compositions on piano was during a teenage breakup. The songs were completely awful but they helped me to heal; one song was called ‘Canadian friend’ and was about the Canadian guy she cheated on me with. It was hilarious but not a laughing matter at the time… First love can be rough!
You’ve been compared to the likes of Bon Iver and Local Natives, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I’m trying to be constantly inspired by things. I go through periods of intensely listening to anything Justin Vernon is involved in from Bon Iver to Volcano Choir and Francis and The Lights; if Damien Rice brings out a new album then thats me set for a good 6 months. Then I’ll back to Paul Simon and Fleetwood Mac with some David Bowie thrown in. I like the innovators in music who were also great pop musicians and writers, they didn’t just throw it all out with the bathwater to be aloof and pretentious like some misguided folk do now, that leads to stifling your own creativity in my view. The artists I admire most took what was great about popular music and mastered that and then built on it by pushing the boundaries.
You’ve worked alongside producer Femke Weidema for your last couple of singles – how has this experience been?
It’s been a formative experience for me. Working with Femke has really helped me to shed some of those suffocating thoughts I was just talking about. I don’t hold myself back as much as I did and I don’t stop myself from finishing a song because its “too pop” anymore, I’ll see where it goes. I’m not writing music to please any particular scene or to be cool or anything like that, these are all kinks that Femke has helped me to iron out. Musically I think we’ve formed a great partnership, we clicked instantaneously and we’re both giving our all to create something special each time we enter a room together. I can’t wait to get Ben and Chris in a studio with her next year as up to now we’ve been recording their parts here and sending them across the Atlantic for Femke to put into the productions.
Can you describe your sound in 5 words?
Epic, Cinematic, Lyrical, Varied, Atmospheric.
And how would you say your new single ‘Let Me’ differs from your previous release, ‘Hollow’?
It’s a very different song in arrangement and style to Hollow and that was a purposeful move. I love Hollow it’s probably one of the best songs I’ve ever written to this date, It was received so well and we were all delighted with the amazing reception it got. But there’s a whole body of work to come out over these first 12 tracks and the sound varies from energetic indie alt-pop to more melancholic soulful folk tracks and everything in between, it was important to us that we followed Hollow with something which would hint at that variation. I believe that the audience we have now and those that discover us along the way will understand that and hopefully they’ll be excited by it!
What can fans expect from your live shows?
With the live shows we’re trying to take on a lot of the organisation ourselves and play shows in interesting venues and unique ways. We played a show at Tooting Tram & Social in South London in July, it’s this epic space and instead of setting up on the stage at the end of the room we decided to set up in the round in the centre of the floor with the audience stood around us, so nobody was further than a few metres from us at any time. It created this amazing effect with the sound where although it was well balanced everywhere, the live aspect of the sound would change as you moved around us; i.e If you wanted more drums then go closer to Chris, more guitar amp? stand near Ben. It was very cool and we hope to do something unique like that whenever possible.
And if you could play live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Sydney Opera house would be pretty incredible one day, Glastonbury Pyramid stage would be a bucket list venue and I just learned about Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Colorado which is now definitely on the list, it looks insane!
And have you got any live shows coming up?
Next up is an acoustic show at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles on November 20th at 7pm. Following that there’s a London show in the final stages of being organised for the 30th November, the venue will be announced as soon as its confirmed.
Finally, what does the rest of 2017 have in store for Belle Mt.?
Aside from the shows mentioned above, we’re continuing with the 6 week single release schedule, with the next full track coming on December 1st. Before then we’ll have acoustic versions of Hollow and Let Me coming soon too as well as some music videos. We’re also planning some touring for 2018 and producing up the rest of the tracks!