You can hear Julie Matson on the airwaves in daylight hours on CJLO hosting “With Gay Abandon.” Once the sun goes down, however, the signal changes into the electronic drone sounds of Echo Beach, her synth-heavy solo endeavour.
“They have the same flavour,” says Matson of her radio show and musical project. “I don’t play simply synth-based music [on “With Gay Abandon”], but definitely in that experimental vein for sure.”
Echo Beach is an act of juxtaposition, a meditative ambience placed against harsher sounds, wrapping the listener in their own cocoon of layered vocals over analogue and digital modules.
The Link caught up with Matson on one of the first sub-zero nights of the season—luckily in a heated location. Her spacey take on the old Depeche Mode song “Photographic” ricocheted off the walls of a downtown parking garage like aural springboards.
“That particular song is really special [to me],” says Matson. “Depeche Mode has been my favourite band since the age of 10. When I heard it I became obsessed with it. I was like, ‘How do they make that music?’
“I taught myself how to play keyboards in grade nine because I bought a Depeche Mode songbook.”
Her take on “Photographic” is a murky mood-setter.
“I want to take you to that place where you think about things that happened for you, or have happened to you, it sort of takes you a journey somewhere else while still being in the same room,” she said.
“Visuals are telling you a story, but music takes you where you can go, and I hope that’s what my music does to people.”
Echo Beach / Nov. 16 (M for Montreal) / l’Esco (4467 St. Denis St.)