Swiss artist MattO is a bit of a polymath, dividing his time between working as a lawyer and writing and recording songs. His latest track, ‘The Angels Went Back To Heaven’, is therefore typical of his deep and wide-ranging thinking, examining why we still have fears and suffering in this modern world that wants to rationalise everything.
Back when he was still only 7 years old, MattO was living in Switzerland and didn’t speak a word of English. It didn’t stop him getting interested in English language music however, and when he brought home copies of ‘Lola’, by The Kinks, and ‘Ob-la-di Ob-la-da’ by The Beatles, he realised the power of music to speak without words.
Later he trained for years on classical guitar, and from there formed a band which played locally, with inspiration from Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
Life got in the way of his music, and he studied law and soared to success in commercial law. Sometime around 40 years old however he realised there was more to life than just work, and so he threw himself back into his musical career, working as a producer alongside the likes of Jon Leidersdorff (best known for his work with Bruce Springsteen, and at Lakehouse Music Academy).
MattO has so far released two full-length albums – ‘The Future of Your Past’ and ‘Man from Yesterday’ – and is set to release a third, one which pulls apart the complexity of modern life, and examines its position alongside our ancient past.
MattO’s latest single, ‘The Angels Went Back To Heaven’, is one such poignant track, as it examines the price we pay to lead a rational life. With driving drums, keyboards, and power chords, reminiscent of The Boss himself, MattO asks why, if we have an explanation for everything, we still have so many fears, and suffer so much in this world. We have decided by way of “reason” that God doesn’t exist; that we have no supernatural outlet for our suffering, nobody we can turn to outside the plane of our existence. He sings, “Who’s gonna dry the tears we cry and see us through times of trouble?” and the song is a tender plea for humanity.
The music video for ‘The Angels Went Back To Heaven’ was crafted by MattO’s friend and director, Marcelo Bumbica, giving him only the instruction, “Do with it as you please”. It was a solid choice, as Bumbica gave back just as poignant a clip as the song itself. Making use of MattO’s friends and family, the video shows a series of vignettes depicting the woes of modern life. Joining each scene together is a guardian angel – dressed in ordinary clothes – who attempts to reconnect the characters, and bring some humanity and peace into the clamour. Effectively, the clip proposes to give an answer to MattO’s question: while we’ve dispensed with the angels, we can bring them back by way of kindness to one another.