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Single Premiere: Tam Vantage Propels Forward on the Sprawling "Living on the Outside"

Earlier this week, lo-fi pop mastermind Tam Richards-Matlakowski, aka Tam Vantage, announced the release to his upcoming third studio album, Laughing Gas & Apple Pie, which is set to drop in November via Still Traveler Records. Today we have the pleasure in premiering its lead single "Living on the Outside," a breezy sonic storm that offers another scope to Matlakowski's dynamic song craft.

Photo by Kayley Langdon

Tam Richards-Matlakowski, aka Tam Vantage, is one of Melbourne's hardest working musicians who's been behind some of the city's best music the past decade with bands like Pop Singles and the Stevens. Since the release of his last solo venture, 2017's hyper-melodic Show Me to the Sun, Matlakowski has kept busy playing and releasing music with Permits, Girlatones, Carpet Burn, Chook Race, as well as contributing to his late father Neil Richards' debut album. He even unveiled an extensive collection of home demos to his Bandcamp last year. These home-recordings foreshadowed the release to Matlakowski's new solo single "Living on the Outside," the first glimpse to his upcoming 10-track album Laughing Gas & Apple Pie, which was recorded with Jesse Williams of Girlatones and mastered by DIY demigod Mikey Young.

The new single "Living on the Outside" maintains Matlakowski's delicate DIY brand of ramshackle pop that carries a fuzzy '60s-garage style. It's one of those disguising perfect pop songs with scuzzy layers of distortion, a nearly motorik drum beat and a melodic guitar lead with lyrics presenting an absurdist's approach to finding contentment. Speaking about the new single, Matlakowski first imagined the track to be played by one of his bands, but decided to hang on to it to convey its true identity.

"I wrote 'Living on the Outside' around late-2017 and early 2018. At first I imagined it would be played by Permits and we even jammed on it a few times, but it didn't stick," Matlakowski says. "Musically it was influenced by noisy, driving, semi-chaotic and semi-melodic bands such as Isn't Anything-era My Bloody Valentine, Zen Arcade-era Hüsker Dü and Melbourne bands like Contrast and Zond. Lyrically, the meaning of the song is in the title, but there's a sense of pride imbued in it which is important. The drums drive this song and I really pushed myself as a drummer when writing and recording it."

Tam Vantage's forthcoming album Laughing Gas & Apple Pie is out November 5 via Still Traveller. Stream the new single below.


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