In the next wave of Brooklyn bands to break out of the borough, Vern Matz will be neither the ones following, nor leading. By way of Yale University, they’ll be off to the side, observing the patterns and tropes that come with such a scene and turning them inside out. Their music surfs on rhythm supported melodies, where the percussion is merely a vessel to carry such. They do not give philosophical credence between their music, videos or live shows, because they are all one and the same. It’s the content that is king. Everything they output has been imbued inside of them since their formation, thus defining a signature, unified aesthetic.
This does not exclude their taste and inspirations. Among their favorite films of the past decade are Frances Ha and Carol. Along with their high praise of Greenpoint’s delis and clubs, they’re the type of guys that would live off grilled chicken and cabbage if it was possible.
There’s no single way to capture the humor of Vern Matz, because you’ll simply just be playing yourself. They’re the kind of peeps that spend all day at the Metrograph and Azasu looking for the next phase of their lives, because they fully know they don’t belong on this timeline. They belong on one that sees music not in any sort of linear fashion, where the beginnings, middles, and ends of songs don’t have to necessarily be in that order. Their symbol is an astronaut for God’s sake, their image implies for their listeners to challenge themselves by listening to something different, to view songs as if you’re just hearing what a song is for the first time.
Like Animal Collective, their songs aren’t as complex as they may seem, and could be played with little more than a guitar and piano. Like Fleet Foxes, their music seems to imply a circulatory journey to a non-existent destination, attributing to a life where the only goal is to survive to get to the next day. And that’s what I hear when I listen to Vern Matz – an encouragement to find a purpose that will take you, that will implore you, to get to the next day.
When the shampoo bottle says “Lather. Rinse. Repeat.” They don’t repeat. They’re Vern Matz, and we’ve never seen the likes of them before.
Their debut album, Minnesota Dancing, is due out late Summer 2020. Peep the video for their second single, “Bssh,” below, directed by yours truly, as well as the Six Feet Apart Interview.
Featured photo by Hannah Rasmussen