Michael Matsakis‘ self titled solo project was born somewhere in-between his first two Horror Movie Soundtrack albums. A much smaller (but still astonishingly intricate) lo-fi sound, Michael explores his fears again with Collectors Item. The first EP released was “Trees and Machines.”
Trees and Machines was written with a 15 year old hand-me-down starter Spanish guitar, a sm57, and a laptop while staying in the basement of his cousins house in Pittsburgh waiting for his lease to start the subsequent week. During this time, he was able to spend time with his younger cousins (ages ranging from 6-10) and was forcefully reminded about the wonders of being a child. Caught in the middle of the end of his college career, thinking about the future of his life and responsibilities, this interaction messed him up big time. Michael says, “a lot of the time I get so caught up in what I think is important, but to see someone else who’s cares differ so much from yours makes you see the world in a different way. In a way, I admire them, but I also feel sorry for them to know that, someday, they will not be able to think the way they think. Someday, they will have to come to terms with horrible things like death and emotional pain. But what I also believe is that seeing these horrible things will hopefully give more weight to the beautiful impossibility of life. Songs like Growing up makes the World Beautiful reflect this idea and has served as a therapeutic remedy for my fear.”
After this, a second EP was released; Seven Songs About Dogs. This collection of songs were each written from the assumed perspective of several dogs. Michael was working as a dog walker and walking many different dogs each week which provided more than enough inspiration. The whole collection is dedicated to his dog Faith who passed away in the summer of 2018.