News & Updates
All upcoming dates have been postponed until further notice due to Covid-19.
About Matt Boroff
Not many musicians continue to evolve and expand the boundaries of their craft after more than 20 years of recording and performing. But Matt Boroff has never been the type to settle into a comfortable groove and produce the same record over and over. Over a decades-spanning career during which he’s shared the stage with such respected acts as Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, BRMC, Calexico and Kyuss, just to name a few, this multitalented singer, songwriter and guitarist has continually pushed his music into new and exciting directions, from blistering post-punk to windswept, desert-tinged soundscapes, waves of ambient noise—and now, on his latest boundary-blurring solo release, pulsating, groove-laden electro-cinematic rock. But wherever his muse takes him, this restless veteran artist retains a knack for vivid lyricism, imaginative guitar work, hauntingly powerful vocals, and an uncompromising vision of music as a means of stirring the soul.
Boroff spent much of the Nineties performing across the northeast and playing solo gigs in New York City. In 2000, he relocated to Austria, where he met drummer Little Konzett and formed the basis of what would become Matt Boroff & the Mirrors, releasing a self-titled debut album to critical acclaim in 2004. With full-time bassist Rolf Kersting added to the fold, the band punched up its sound with driving slabs of low-end, sun-bleached grooves and jittery evocations of West Coast punk on 2006’s Ticket to Nowhere. As the band gelled and continued amassing a fervent following, it ventured further into new realms on 2008’s Elevator Ride, conjuring images of Spaghetti Westerns and sweeping desert landscapes.
Throughout the 2000s, Boroff was hailed for his ability to create music that conjures cinematic images, and in 2009 he contributed original instrumental music for the film Little Fish, Strange Pond, which also featured five tracks from Elevator Ride. The orchestral atmosphere of his compositions for the film helped inform his first solo album, Reaching for Sparks, also released in 2009. Weaving muted arrangements (guitar, piano, strings, horns and timpani) with reflective, elliptical lyrics, it invited comparisons to the likes of Iron & Wine and Nick Drake, cementing Boroff’s reputation for creating arresting music across a variety of styles.
Rather than continue down that same path, Boroff made another creative left turn in 2012 with the four-song EP Filling in the Cracks, a concise mini-album that connected the dots between the musical imagery of Elevator Ride and the lush atmospherics of Reaching for Sparks. Once again, Boroff had confounded listeners’ expectations, leaving them eager to see where he was headed next.
Boroff’s second solo album, Sweet Hand of Fate, fulfilled and exceeded the promise of Filling in the Cracks, combining two standouts from that EP (including the anguished “Garbage Man,” featuring a harrowing guest vocal from legend Mark Lanegan) with such high-water marks as with “Lost” (which evokes the ragged majesty of The Gun Club), the ethereal menace of “My Black Heart” and the searching urgency of the title track.
2016’s beautiful and arresting Grand Delusion took the musical concepts of Sweet Hand of Fate even further. Working with an impressive roster of collaborators including producer/multi-instrumentalist Alain Johannes (QOTSA, PJ Harvey, Them Crooked Vultures, Desert Sessions), drummer Jack Irons (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam) and, again, vocalist Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, QOTSA), Boroff created his most well-received album to date, plunging listeners into cinematic, fully realized musical worlds that resounded with a brooding intensity.
How do you top a high-water mark like Grand Delusion? The answer, of course, is by doing something completely different. Beautiful Machine, Boroff’s fourth solo release, trades the artist’s guitar-based approach for a collection of layered and evocative electronic songs built on a foundation of pulsing bass lines, synthesizers and drum machines—without sacrificing any of the skillful songwriting and incisive lyricism for which he’s become known.
Beautiful Machine presents a frank snapshot of the current cultural moment, examining a world in which we’re increasingly unable to distinguish the real world from the distorted reflection of our online lives—whether succumbing to the “perfect isolation” of smartphones and social media (“Beautiful Machine”) or growing increasingly polarized as we “tear each other apart with outrage and soundbites” (“Future Crimes”). “Echo Chamber,” meanwhile, predicts a near future in which “The news will be infantilized/ Our fear it will be magnified/ Our terror will seem justified/ Our guilt will be erased.”
Boroff anchors these piercing observations with an impressive range of sounds, from the industrial dance-floor groove of “Tribal Days” to the tension and release of “Let It Come Down,” which favorably recalls the ragged emotional catharsis of Downward Spiral-era Nine Inch Nails.
Beautiful Machine serves as further testament to Matt Boroff’s status as a singular talent with a unique, thought-provoking perspective who continues to grow and evolve as an artist.