Born in the tranquil isolation of the Rhondda Valley, the singer-songwriter has cemented his position as one of Wales’ finest musical exports, compounding a dazzling mix of acoustic pop and indie folk into his own original sonic footprint.
With five astoundingly beautiful albums under his belt, Mathew Frederick could be categorised as a household name within the industry, serenading festival arenas and radio airwaves throughout the country with his soulful blend of alternative folk.
Despite being the frontman of Climbing Trees, half of the duo Hazel and Grey and running his own label StayLittle Music, the multi-instrumentalist manages to retain a work ethic that many would describe as unprecedented, striving to establish his artistry across a plethora of mediums. To describe his sound as timeless would be a definitive evaluation, one that summarises his fuse of contemporary and vintage textures with perfect clarity. Since debuting in 2012 with the solo EP Venus & Mars, his discography has gone on to be featured by Netflix, Sky and ITV in a number of productions, confirming his status as a profoundly talented lyricist and sonic conceptualiser.
The arts have been an escape for many during the turbulence of 2020, whether that be taking up a forgotten past-time or indulging in the deluge of new music that stemmed from the frustration of quarantine. Following in the footsteps of many, Frederick graced our ears with the his dynamically compelling new album ‘Fragments’ during the third week of lockdown in spring. Playing true to its title, the record detailed various parts to the artists psyche and virtuosity, from the country inspired lead single ‘Tell Me’, to the misty summer ballad Hay-on-Wye.
Since debuting the solo EP Venus & Mars in 2012, his discography has gone on to be included by Netflix, Sky and ITV in a number of productions, as well as features across the BBC Radio platform and a collaboration with the National Orchestra of Wales. Although extremely humble in his own demeanour, these esteemed accolades did not go unnoticed, with a shortlist for the Welsh Music Prize following the release of Climbing Trees critically acclaimed album ‘Borders’.
As we move optimistically into the new year, the cold winter months will try their best to compress the adversity of this year into a bruising beast of cynicism. However, Frederick and his craft are a tender reminder of hope, underlining that we must persevere through the uncertainty in order to savour the feeling of normality that will soon adorn our lives once more.