Matthew Bannister (aka The Beautiful Fear) will be releasing The Waltz of the Moonshine Blind on August 28. The Brooklyn/Miami-based, English producer/musician album is meticulously detailed and focused, clocking in at 1 hour and 23 minutes of emotional, layered music.
Today, The Beautiful Fear has shared the second single off the upcoming release, “Doll’s Eyes Lifeless Eyes.” Here’s Bannister on the single: ” ‘Doll’s Eyes’ was written on New Year’s Day in 2013. Completely broken, I promised myself (yet again) that I would not drink (again). I made it to about 8pm. ‘Lifeless Eyes’ I wrote later to close the circle of thinking. It outlines all the excuses (the “if only”s) one makes as an addict—all the self justifications. So the overall song starts as a hopeful self promise—only to, 7 minutes later, stagger “browned out” into the night air. On the album the track joins to ‘Welcome to the Meeting’, which works as the abstract theatre of a horrifically jarring 8am (next morning) hungover business conference call. The video takes these themes and, with inspiration of conceptual video art, collages a very painful memory of a particular event that ultimately led me to getting professional help. The title of the two tracks references Quint’s famous (drinking) lines in the film Jaws—A film that deeply influenced me as a child.”
It’s been a transformative journey for Bannister – having spent a stint in rehab, where he not only re-connected with himself, but also came to find expression for darker traumas —returns with a release that’s as meticulously detailed and focused as it is an elusively stunning musical work. Each song on The Waltz of the Moonshine Blind falls into either the “manic” or “depressive” category, as Bannister states. For example, another single, “Present But Never There,” is in the manic category. It conveys the alternating fleeting highs mixed with the valleys of anxiety one experiences in withdrawal—the idea that you constantly feel like you are missing something, like you have endlessly lost your wallet and your identity is in there somewhere.
Building a rich, contemplative mosaic from the shards of the past into something redemptive is what Matthew hopes that The Beautiful Fear project can offer, especially during times of seemingly insurmountable anxiety.
“The work shows that there is hope. That there is a way to slip outside of the circle, the dance, the charade, the Waltz. For anyone struggling it’s additionally hard to break out of the cycle due to all the stigma that surrounds the condition. Because it is largely seen as a flaw and weakness of character, it’s hard to know where to turn and who to talk to. Asking for help feels like you have opened a door you can’t ever close again. It’s terrifying. I hope that the album simultaneously sympathizes and offers a sense of hope and path. That hope can be for anyone in the circle of self-abuse, whether that be a substance or a relationship.”
A gifted creative, as well as musician, Bannister’s artistic accolades, include being named one of ‘The World’s Top Creatives Under 40’ by Wallpaper*, ‘Avant Guardian’ by Surface, and the creative agency he co-founded has won many awards, including an Emmy®. He is even credited as one of the inventors (along with Michel Gondry) of the concept of ‘bullet time’ (The Matrix). He has taught at Parsons School of Design, The School of Visual Arts, Cornell University, and the graduate school at Princeton University.