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“When I was young, the artists that I really admired were the ones who always found a way to keep making music and expressing themselves,” Matthew Sweet says on the occasion of the release of his 13th solo album Tomorrow’s Daughter. “To me, those guys were the real artists, and I’ve tried to hold on to that attitude in my own work.”

The seasoned singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist is currently in the midst of a personal musical renaissance that’s seen him produce some of the most compelling and ambitious music of his three-decade career.

That description applies to Tomorrow’s Daughter, on which such instantly memorable new tunes as “Belong,” “Run Away,” “Lady Frankenstein” and “Out of My Misery” demonstrate his uncanny ability to tap into a bottomless well of pop history to craft music that’s effortlessly catchy yet deeply personal.

Tomorrow’s Daughter—the follow-up to the artist’s acclaimed 2017 set Tomorrow Forever—is a persuasive testament to the enduring qualities of Sweet’s adventurous, emotion-charged songcraft. The new album’s 12 songs abound with the punchy melodic sensibility, playful sonic experimentalism and introspective lyrical insight that have been constants in his expansive catalogue.

Tomorrow’s Daughter is the product of a burst of creative inspiration that followed Sweet’s 2013 return to his native Nebraska, where he reestablished his Black Squirrel Submarine home studio. This period yielded 38 brilliant new songs, 17 of which appeared on Tomorrow Forever. It instantly became clear that this potent body of work merited a follow-up release, hence Tomorrow’s Daughter.

“It just sort of became my next record,” Sweet says of Tomorrow’s Daughter, which like its predecessor is released via his own Honeycomb Hideout imprint but this time distributed by MRI / Sony. Both albums feature Sweet’s current touring band, comprised of guitarist Jason Victor (also a member of the recently-reformed Dream Syndicate) and his longtime rhythm section of bassist Paul Chastain and drummer Ric Menck (also known for their own acclaimed work with Velvet Crush).

“When I put together Tomorrow’s Daughter out of what I’d recorded, the 12 songs totally made sense to me in sequence,” Sweet explains. “I enlisted some of the people around me, friends and family, to listen to everything I’d recorded and pick their favorites, and everyone pretty much agreed on what was the top stuff. I think it stands up as a separate record, and as a time capsule of the time that we made it.”

The distinctive musical and lyrical qualities that illuminate Tomorrow’s Daughter have been hallmarks of Matthew Sweet’s work since he began making music as a high school student in his native Lincoln, Nebraska. While attending the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, he became active in that town’s burgeoning underground music scene, as a member of the now-legendary indie combos Oh-OK and Buzz of Delight, and in collaborations with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and Chris Stamey of The dB’s.

A demo recorded with producer Don Dixon led to solo deals with Columbia (which released Sweet’s debut album Inside in 1986), A&M (1989’s Earth) and finally Zoo, which issued his commercial and creative breakthrough Girlfriend in 1991. Girlfriend won raves from critics and established him with a wide international fan base that continues to support him today.

Sweet continued to reveal new layers of songwriting depth and sonic creativity on his subsequent efforts Altered Beast, the spin-off EP Son of Altered Beast, 100% Fun, Blue Sky on Mars and In Reverse. His musical gifts continued to shine into the new century with Kimi Ga Suki, Living Things, Sunshine Lies, Modern Art and the Under the Covers series, a three- volume collaboration with Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles (Sweet also served as producer of the Bangles’ 2011 album Sweetheart of the Sun).

“I can barely even fathom it,” Sweet says of his massive body of recorded work. “But here I am, so I try to live up to whatever it is I’ve established so far. To do the work is the really important thing to me, but knowing that I’m connecting with people makes me happy. I’ve continued touring pretty consistently, and it’s nice to see that people still care enough to come out to the shows. There seems to be a real emotional attachment for them, which means a lot to me.”

Sweet is in the midst of an especially productive period that’s seen him continue to generate new material at a prolific pace. He’s already recorded

Wicked System of Things, a collection of new original songs to be released as a limited-edition vinyl LP in November 2018 for Black Friday Record Store Day, and is planning his next general-release album.

“I feel like I’m gonna be pretty active for awhile, and it’s fun to be releasing a lot of music,” he says. “I thought that there might be some resistance to putting out so much stuff, but that hasn’t been the case, and that’s encouraged me to keep going.”

Now firmly ensconced, along with his wife, cats and vintage recording gear, in Nebraska after a two-decade-plus stretch in Los Angeles, Sweet works out of his home studio, which allows him to indulge his bottomless musical imagination, and to engage in long-distance collaborations with musicians in other locations—a method that he employed on both Tomorrow Forever and Tomorrow’s Daughter.

“In some ways I think that moving has had a positive effect musically,” he reflects. “I think it reconnected me a little bit to what it felt like when I was really young and music was new to me, and maybe that’s reflected in the music. But it’s hard to say, because making music is so internal for me that it’s mostly in my head rather than my surroundings.”

Meanwhile, Sweet’s catalogue continues to be a source of inspiration for longtime fans and new converts. For instance, the Intervention label is planning deluxe two-LP vinyl editions of Girlfriend, Altered Beast, Son of Altered Beast and 100% Fun, which will feature a wealth of rare and unreleased material. But it’s creating new music that remains Matthew Sweet’s main concern, and he continues to do so with renewed intensity.

“This feels like a really good time for me, and I feel lucky and grateful to still be doing what I love to do,” Sweet asserts. “I feel like I’m in a totally positive place, and maybe moving has been a catalyst for that.

“When I meet young people and they ask for advice about a career in music, I always say, ‘Do music because it’s what you love to do, and because you’d do it no matter what happens,’” he concludes. “I’ve tried to keep that attitude about it, because that’s always worked for me. I just try to keep doing my thing and keep believing.”

After spending the ’80s as a jangle pop guitarist with Oh-OK and Lloyd Cole, as well as a solo artist, Matthew Sweet emerged in 1991 as the leading figure of the American power pop revival. Like his British counterparts Teenage Fanclub, Sweet adhered to traditional songcraft, yet subverted the form by adding noisy post-punk guitar and flourishes of country-rock, resulting in an amalgam of the Beatles, Big Star, R.E.M., and Neil Young. Recorded with guitarists Richard Lloyd and Robert Quine, Sweet’s third album, Girlfriend (1991), became a word-of-mouth critical and commercial hit over the course of 1992, with its title track reaching the Top Five on the Modern Rock charts. For the next five years, as alternative rock was the dominant commercial force in rock & roll, Sweet became a very popular concert attraction and solidified his reputation as the premiere alternative pop singer/songwriter. His next two records, Altered Beast (1993) and 100% Fun (1995) were both critically acclaimed and successful albums, reaching platinum status and making many year-end best-of lists.
Matthew Sweet began playing music while he was a high-school student in his native Lincoln, NE. Upon his graduation in 1983, he decided to attend the University of Georgia in Athens because of its burgeoning underground music scene. Once he arrived at college, he met Lynda Stipe and joined her band, Oh-OK, in time to play on their second EP, the Mitch Easter produced Furthermore What, which was released late in 1983. The following year, he and Oh- OK drummer David Pierce formed Buzz of Delight, releasing Sound Castles later that year. Over the course of 1984 and 1985, Sweet cut a demo tape with producer Don Dixon. Columbia Records heard the Buzz of Delight record and the demo and offered him a contract in 1985.
Upon signing with Columbia, he relocated to New York and recorded his debut, Inside. Released in 1986, Inside featured Sweet playing nearly all of the instruments on the record, supported by a drum machine; the album also featured several cameos, including Chris Stamey, Fred Maher, Anton Fier, and Aimee Mann. That same year, Sweet guested on Blast of Silence, an album by Fier’s band, the Golden Palominos.
During 1988, Sweet signed with A&M Records and recorded his second album, Earth. Produced by Fred Maher (Scritti Politti) and released in 1989, Earth again featured Sweet as a one-man band, augmented by guitarists Robert Quine (Lou Reed, Richard Hell) and Richard Lloyd (Television). Girlfriend, an album largely inspired by the dissolution of his marriage, was the first album Sweet recorded with a live band, and its sound — which was powered by Lloyd and Quine — was considerably more immediate and raw than its predecessors. Girlfriend earned strong reviews and “Divine Intervention” received good radio exposure, but it wasn’t until the spring of 1992, when the title track exploded on the radio, that the album became a genuine hit. By the end of the year, Girlfriend had gone gold and was later certified platinum.
Sweet recorded the follow-up to Girlfriend with producer Richard Dashut, who had previously been best known for his work with Fleetwood Mac and Lindsey Buckingham. Again featuring
Quine and Lloyd, the resulting Altered Beast was subversive compared to Girlfriend and considered by many critics and fans alike to be a favorite. The album became a sizable college radio hit on the strength of the modern rock and MTV hits “The Ugly Truth” and “Time Capsule.” Sweet recorded his fifth album, this time with producer Brendan O’Brien, who had previously worked with Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots. Released in the spring of 1995, 100% Fun received Sweet’s strongest reviews to date and went gold then platinum on the strength of the Top 5 radio hit “Sick of Myself”.
Following 100% Fun, Sweet retained O’Brien for 1997’s Blue Sky on Mars. In Reverse followed in 1999, and the best-of collection Time Capsule arrived a year later. Hip-O released To Understand: The Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet in 2002, a collection that Sweet followed up with the Japanese-only release Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu. He returned to the domestic studio in 2004 for Living Things, followed by a collection of choice covers from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s with Bangles member Susanna Hoffs for Under the Covers, Vol. 1 – 3.
In 2008, Sweet put out his tenth studio album, Sunshine Lies, which he termed as “power-popfolk-rock-psychedelic-melodic-singer-songwriter-type stuff”. By turns achingly melodic and startlingly visceral, Sunshine Lies swirls with poetic emotion and stark attitude, bringing neatly into play the entire gamut of Sweet’s stylistic experience. Released in 2011, Modern Art features 12 new compositions of Sweet’s trademark wistful, yearning pop that recall some of Sweets touchstones: the Beatles, Beach Boys and Big Star. ”She Walks the Night” is reminiscent of early period Byrds, while ”Ladyfingers” stomps along with the authority of T. Rex.
Sweet wrote and recorded (and sang and performed guitar on) a Journey parody song for an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer forms an ill-fated garage band. Known for his knowledge and extensive collection of Margaret Keane paintings, Sweet was hired as a consultant on the 2014 Tim Burton film “Big Eyes”. Many of the Margaret Keane paintings in the film are from Matthew’s collection.
Sweet recently completed his new album Forever Tomorrow, recorded at his new studio – Black Squirrel Submarine – in Omaha where he now lives. Matthew engineered, performed on guitars, keyboards, bass and god knows what else, sang lead and background vocals and mixed the recordings. The record was mastered for CD, vinyl and download at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London by Sean Magee, a long time veteran at the studio. Sean won a Grammy for his Beatles reissues, and has recently won accolades for his remastering of the John Lennon solo catalog reissues. The record will be released on June 16, 2017 on Sweet’s label – Honeycomb Hideout – with label support and distribution provided by Sony/ RED Distribution, LLC.