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A fresh face, a trip, and a place… a look into Matt Gibson’s debut record

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On August 30, Vancouver-based musician Matt Gibson released A Trip to Remember, A Place to Forget, his debut record. The seven-track LP, which is perhaps best described as equal parts ambient and folk, is Gibson’s first decisive plunge into the world of professional musicianship, despite it having been a long time coming.

“I’ve wanted to do this for a while. I’ve been slowly writing, and using software to flesh out demos and songs for three to four years,” said Gibson. A Trip to Remember, he said, is “the natural progression of having enough content.” He himself attests to the fact that there’s something more to it than that.

“I didn’t start playing guitar and singing until I was 18. I went through a period [of being] quite depressed, quite sad from the time I was 18 to around 20,” said Gibson. “Music was a huge outlet for me. I put a lot of emotion into my music.”

The release of A Trip to Remember marks the culmination of a creative process which is just as novel to Gibson as it has been therapeutic.

“This is the first time I’ve released anything that’s slightly polished,” said Gibson.

Interestingly, Gibson’s release comes at a time of expansion within the musical landscape in the Valley. Gibson is a part of the wave of folk artists coming out of Vancouver, which has so captured the attention of many in the Valley, placing names like Jenny Banai alongside hometown staples at venues like Field House and Carport.

And A Trip to Remember sees yet another artist surface in the Valley and surrounding areas preoccupied with turning their creative ear to an increasingly atmospheric realm, adding to the ever-increasing number of artists being drawn to Abbotsford whose repertoire consists of more ethereal alternatives to the locally-shipped product, artists like Calgary’s FOONYAP and Saskatoon’s respectfulchild.

Despite this, Gibson admits that his entrance into the scene, relegated solely thus far to the realm of online streaming platforms, is a quiet entrance. Quiet, but not without reason. Perhaps exacerbated by the fact that Gibson is based primarily in New West, his freshness and patience in releasing material grants him a (partially self-imposed) double-edged experience of novelty and solitude, which is expressed to a certain degree through the record’s warm, echoing tones.

“I don’t really talk to many musicians here,” Gibson said.

This due to the fact that Gibson is a relatively new player, not just in the Valley, but in the public sphere of the music world in general.

Despite this, Gibson does have one connection to the Valley: Western Jaguar’s Brent Webb, who played bass on the record, and sat in on recording. This experience, Gibson said, was invaluable.

“The give and take [during the sessions] kind of changed my input towards the songs,” Gibson said. “It was almost empowering being that vulnerable. Just trusting them, being like, here’s what I have. I respect your input, because I know what experience you have.”

That input, however formative it may have been in encouraging Gibson to release his debut, resulted in a record which focuses on ambient aesthetics, and personal folk narratives. And, looking back on it, Gibson expresses the record’s release as part of a necessary form of expression.

“At the end of the day, music for me really is just instinctual,” he said, adding that the experience has only left him hungry for more.

“I just want to do it more now. I want to collaborate more, because I know how much experience people can bring to the table. Something I definitely want to move towards is finding more people to collaborate with, and from that stage, then performing them once we’re at that level of comfort.”

You can stream A Trip to Remember, A Place to Forget on Gibson’s Bandcamp, as well as on most major music streaming platforms.

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