Townes | Shadows: Exclusive Premiere

The Montreal artist sheds some light on his ambitious new multi-media project.

Townes is quite content to lurk in the Shadows on his darkly intriguing new single — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.

The first glimpse into the Montreal-based recording artist and filmmaker’s ambitious new multi-media project Ghostwriters — an EP and blackly comedic short movie about popstars, songwriters, kidnapping and torture — Shadows moves and grooves to an irresistibly funky, sonically stylish indie-rock hybrid that hits the sweet spot between Talking Heads with Spoon. But amid the thumping tom-toms, finger-popping basslines and shimmery looping synths, the lyrics paint a more sinister picture of a recluse who’d rather remain out of the light and out of sight:

“Do you see me lurking in the shadows?
Do you see me?
I want to never be seen
I’d rather know that I’m home when I’m on my own
Than to be what you want and just to be on your phone …
Do they need me lurking in the shadows?
Do they need me?
I want to never play lead
Solo act, no choice, want the art to speak
If you’re lucky I’ll be dead by the weekend.”

If it doesn’t sound like typical fodder for a pop song, well, it isn’t. And thankfully, Townes — aka Matt Radich — is willing to shed some light on the situation. “A few years ago, I had an idea for project called Ghostwriters,” he says. “It tells the story of two songwriters who are kidnapped and tortured in order to write a comeback hit for a pop star going through a public scandal. The songs on the record are implied to be have been written by the characters in the film. They are trying to write love songs, but keep writing songs about being kidnapped.

“I’ve always had some comedic elements in my music and videos, but this time around I wanted to double down on the comedic elements of the music, while presenting a unique take on how it feels to create art in the streaming era. In the past, I’ve felt that my live show was the best way to experience my music, and I wanted to bring that level of creativity and energy to a studio project.

“Turning the concept into a reality presented an opportunity to push the idea of what an EP and traditional short film can be. By primarily telling the story through visual language set to music, Ghostwriters sets out to be energetic and provide a one-of-a-kind experience. The intent behind the project is to entertain and deliver the message that success in creating art is something that should measured not by streams, views, or sales, but rather the satisfaction and achievement of creating the art itself.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Townes describes himself as a cynic with a dry wit. If asked to describe his music, he might laugh and say “it’s just bad”— and even a casual listener could find a lot more self-deprecating humour in his songs. With a series of home-recorded EP releases and several new singles to his name, Townes has found an addictive middle point between indie-rock and pop. Combining stellar songwriting and nostalgic late-’00s production, he draws on influences from Beck, Hot Chip and Diamond Rings.

Townes has spent several years perfecting his live shows in small- to mid-size venues. Along with headlining his own shows, he’s supported acts such as Holy Fuck, Zola Jesus and others. He engages his audiences with the might of a four-piece band, incorporating set pieces and manually programmed lights, despite being a solo act. Due Nov. 10, Ghostwriters continues his journey to blend music and visuals.

Check out Shadows above, hear more from Townes below, and see if you can spot him lurking on his website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.