‘Judy Garland’ is the 6th track on Matthew Barton’s first cassette tape – a mesmerising, longing, stripped-back hail to 1960s girl-groups.
“A song of unparalleled yearning and pop simplicity” – Matthew Barton provides an encompassing description of this song within only eight words. The soul with which he writes enables ‘Judy Garland’ to bundle up your mind in a kind of restless, reserved comfort, likely due to Barton’s DIY-approach and unashamedly lo-fi production. Using only a four-track recorder and an assorted selection of atypical instruments gently accenting the lonely, yet playful bass riff that carries the track, Barton’s idiosyncrasy shines on ‘Judy Garland’.
“I wanted to write my own version of a Spector 60s surf pop girl group song, but in a deconstructed way,” Matthew writes, “Spector 60s” referring to record producer Phil Spector, who is regarded as a primary innovator of pop music and creative force behind a multitude of 1960s pop artists and bands. “I imagine some alternate girl group somewhere singing it in a subway.” Where this era of pop was often rose-tinted, however, Barton’s lyrics are modernised, expressing a more jaded yearning for a better life – ‘I’ll climb out of the gutter / never doubt that I will fly, I will rise / like Judy’ – though nonetheless tinged with hope.
From the instrumentation, to the track’s title itself, to Barton’s distinctive, softly emotive tones strolling over the melody, ‘Judy Garland’ is steeped in nostalgia – a must-listen for anyone who may be craving a break from the busy layers of modern music.
Find Matthew Barton on Twitter, Instagram, Bandcamp and Spotify. If you like ‘Judy Garland’, make sure to listen to his full tape ‘Queen of England’, described by Wolf Alice’s Joel Amey as “weird but brilliant.”