Matthew Hegarty (AKA Matthew And The Atlas) is a British songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and was the first artist to be signed to Communion.
After the dreamy and textured Americana of his To The North and Kingdom of Your Own EPs had built him a cult global following, Hegarty released the debut album Other Rivers in April 2014, prompting Q to call him “the British Bon Iver”.
Recorded in East Nashville with Brian Holl and Eric Hillman from Foreign Fields, His latest album, Temple (22.04.16) is a cathartic expression of its writer’s own fears and feelings. New parenthood inevitably colours Hegarty’s perspective on the world – a world whose natural wonders seem terminally threatened by the relentless march of technology and apparent human advancement.
The “black figure” (the nebulous being that first appeared to him after he was near fatally stabbed in an attack) returns from Other Rivers to again loom over parts of Temple, and throughout the album its protagonists seem to be striving, aching even, to find their place in amongst it all. But ultimately there’s hope in the darkness; redemption to be found in honest human relationships.
The album’s themes inspired Hegarty to team up with photographer friend Dave Watts. The pair travelling alone to various remote locations across Cornwall and Somerset, with Watts shooting Hegarty in the wilderness, a tiny figure moving through a vast, desolate landscape - a small man in a big world.