Wellington-based folk singer, pianist, and guitarist Matthew Pickering is a lover of words and a scribe of histories. By day, he works in Parliament as a Hansard Editor, checking over the report of the proceedings of the House. His main passion, however, is documenting through song the little happenings in the ‘best little capital’ and the idiosyncrasies of the people who live there or travel through. On 1 October 2012, Pickering is releasing his third musical offering, ‘Up at the Bunkers’ - a lovely, considered seven-song collection that speaks of couch-surfers, seaside adventures, gatherings of friends, and other tales.
His music follows a strong folk tradition of storytelling, neatly presented in an acoustic cocoon of banjos, deftly fingerpicked guitar, fiddle, accordion and clever piano melodies. Pickering draws influence from the likes of Sufjan Stevens, M. Ward, Tim Buckley, and Joanna Newsom. His songs are warm and intimate, and laced with small details, filmic imagery (especially in the instrumental ‘For Mr Satie’), and an earnest and refreshingly honest voice.
‘Up at the Bunkers’ was recorded over several months at the Surgery Studio in Wellington, engineered by Lee Prebble (Black Seeds, Fly My Pretties, Phoenix Foundation) with a rag-tag band of talented friends helping in the musical arrangements, including Brendan Schenk (banjo/accordion), who also performs in Pickering’s live band. They will be performing a national tour of intimate venues and house concerts during October.
released 01 October 2012
All songs by Matthew Pickering, except ‘For Mr Satie’, by Matthew Pickering and Charley Davenport
All words by Matthew Pickering, except ‘Up at the Bunkers’, by Matthew Pickering and Hollie Fullbrook
All songs recorded and mixed by Lee Prebble at the Surgery Studio, Wellington, except the piano on ‘For Mr Satie’, recorded on the Yamaha Grand at Marmalade Studios, Wellington.
Mastered by Mike Gibson at Munki Studios
Matthew Pickering – piano, guitar, ukulele, voice, glockenspiel, whistlin’
Brendan Schenk – banjo, accordion
Peter Cogswell – drums (1,2)
Janelle Salisbury, double bass
Elinor Chisholm – voice (1,3,4)
Leah Motu – voice (2)
Cory Champion – drums (3,7)
Dave Kempton - trumpet
Julian Kirgan – trombone (7)
Kaito Walley – trombone (3)
Jessica Lightfoot – violin (2,4)
Arna Shaw – violin (7)
Charley Davenport – cello
Lee Prebble – boilin’ water
And The Town Crier – voices (AJ, Janesha, Kelly, Kat, Tim, Anna, Rick, Ellen, Julie, Natalie, Chloe, Phill, Dave, and Jeremy)
Matthew Pickering is a multi-instrumentalist folk-pop artist – think finger picking in alternate tunings, stories put to
song. He released his debut full length album, The Burnside Church, last year. It’s been described as intelligent, personal, honest, and Wellington-centric. His new album, Up at the Bunkers, will be out in October....more