Back to the top


Joel Plaskett and Sloan singer-bassist Chris Murphy bring songs of late Halifax musician Matthew Grimson back to life

Speaking about the late Nova Scotia songwriter Matthew Grimson on an hour-long Zoom call, Joel Plaskett and Sloan singer-bassist Chris Murphy smile sometimes and come close to tears at others. Mostly they are in awe of the obscure man’s peculiar gifts.

“Matthew’s singing was peculiar, his delivery was strange,” says Plaskett, a Juno-winning melodic rocker. “He was destined to ride in the fringes, but he was immensely inspiring as a lyricist.” Adds Murphy, “Within one song he could have me laughing my butt off and crying my eyes out. It’s a skill I wish I had.”

Grimson, a literate grunge-rock balladeer who endured mental-health issues, took his own life at age 50 in 2018. Though a cherished figure in the Halifax music scene, the idiosyncratic singer-songwriter released only one album in his lifetime, 2002′s A Life Played for Keeps. Plaskett and Murphy have now collaborated on an album that celebrates a gifted unknown.

Matthew Grimson: Prize For Writing compiles 15 long-lost lo-fi songs by Grimson recorded by Murphy on a four-track machine in 1995, recently polished and remixed by Plaskett at his studio in Dartmouth, N.S. It’s set for release on Friday, available at Grimson’s Bandcamp site.

Read full article –>

The Chronicle Herald: Music played for keeps: Grimson’s songs preserved by fans Murphy, Plaskett

By Stephen Cooke

When he died in 2018 at the age of 50, Nova Scotia musician Matthew Grimson left behind an impressive body of work that practically no one ever heard outside of his home town.

Apart from the 10 songs on his lone CD A Life Played for Keeps from 2001 and the 2010 single Matthew Doesn’t Live Here Anymore produced by Joel Plaskett, the idiosyncratic songwriter’s intensely personal and deeply literary compositions were generally only heard at his sporadic solo and band shows at places like Tribeca, the Company House and local coffee houses by a small but devoted band of fans, friends and fellow musicians.

It’s a story similar to others heard before in popular music, with names like Moby Grape’s Skip Spence, Big Star’s Chris Bell, British folk icon Nick Drake or Laurel Canyon angel Judee Sill. Artists who had a gift or singular vision whose personalities or personal issues made them ill-suited to sharing their work through the grind of the music industry, but who made music with a timeless quality that has been elevated to new levels of appreciation since their passing.

Two well-known musicians who championed Grimson’s work during his lifetime have teamed up to present a snapshot of his creative power captured during sessions in 1995, with the release of Prize for Writing. A labour of love produced by Sloan singer/bassist Chris Murphy and given some post-production polish at New Scotland Yard by Plaskett and engineer Thomas Stajcer, the record is a limited-run vinyl pressing that finally sees the light of day on Aug. 7 as a rare co-release by Sloan’s murderecords imprint and Plaskett’s New Scotland Records, available at Taz Records outlets, and on streaming services.

Read full article –> 

Exclaim! Magazine: Joel Plaskett and Sloan Honour Late Halifax Songwriter Matthew Grimson with New Release

Matthew Grimson was a beloved singer-songwriter in the Halifax music scene who sadly passed away on June 19, 2018. Once called “Canada’s most unique songwriter” by friend Joel Plaskett, Grimson released one album, 2002’s A Life Played for Keeps, as well as a single for Plaskett’s New Scotland Records in 2010, but he never tasted success the way his friends did. Grimson did, however, leave behind an extensive catalogue of unreleased music.

Now Grimson’s friends have teamed together to see that his music gets the audience it always deserved. On August 7, Plaskett’s New Scotland Records and Sloan‘s murderecords will join forces to co-release, Prize for Writing, a 15-track compilation of lost recordings that Grimson captured on four-track cassette in the summer and fall of 1995.

Read full article –>