Monique diMattina launches Everybody Loves Somebody, Saturday 13 February, 8pm, Bennetts Lane Jazz Lab, Melbourne
Just in time for Valentine’s Day seems an appropriate time to release an album that has a fair bit to do with love, without getting too starry-eyed about it.
Monique diMattina describes her fifth album in seven years — Everybody Loves Somebody — as “songs on fast lust, platonic pacts, French fantasy, star-crossed train wrecks, parasitic attachments and more”.
The album opens with the Dylan song (All I Really Want to Do) to which diMattina walked down the aisle at the age of 21, but “re-harmonised in surprising ways,
rather like the life journey of the songstress herself”.
Once a law student, diMattina chose a career in music that has taken her “to live in four continents, play for heads of state, work with the likes of Lou Reed and Bjork, become a Fulbright Scholar and Honorary Fellow of Melbourne University, run a marathon incognito, and develop a larrikin wit for storytelling in song”.
The line-up on this album bristles with talent. diMattina, who has written six of the 11 songs, is featured on piano, vocals, Rhodes, pump organ, melodion and ukelele. She is backed by James Sherlock (guitar), Howard Cairns (bass), Eamon McNelis (trumpet), Andrew Hammon (trombone), Paul Williamson (tenor sax) , Andrew Swann (drums) and Marty Brown (drums/percussion).
Recorded variously at home, Standalone Studios in Coburg and Audrey Studios, Everybody Loves Somebody falls “in the cracks between jazz/blues/roots, country and pop”.
As diMattina says, the album is not beyond having a gentle dig at love.
“We are poking a stick at various notions of ‘love’ and devotion.. Baby Won’t You Cook For Me’ is all sweaty salty sweet salaciousness. Change It Up’s jungle drums are a war cry for personal and social transformation, and Ahee is a seafaring ode to the hermetic journey. For me, La Vie En Rose is that romantic haze of endless giving and
expansion … but then Love is Lonely is a cry from the chasm — when you’ve
given your heart, and it disappears down a black hole … We had to end with
The Acorn Song because that’s the future hope.”
Monique diMattina has two children, teaches piano and song-writing
at the VCA, and plays with the Melbourne Tango Quintet and Clare Bowditch.