SBS featured multi-instrumentalist Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra debuts his full-length release The Shirt Album. With TEDxQUT and Bigsound performances under his belt and a number one single on Brisbane’s 4ZZZ, Matt unveils his first album to the world — making the unconventional choice to release it on organic fair-trade T-shirt rather than CD.
An eclectic brainchild of Matt’s offbeat musical sensibilities, the album is influenced by a myriad of experiences, including a childhood stint as a Buddhist monk, touring with Japanese loop ninja Kenta Hayashi, co-founding folk-punkers The Mouldy Lovers, a love of cinematic scores, and deep immersion into street jazz in New Orleans. Matt plays more than 30 instruments all used in the album, which also features diverse collaborations with Tenzin Choegyal (Tibetan world music icon), Blaq Carrie (Triple J Unearthed Spring Hip Hop Festival winner) and Kenta Hayashi (Japanese loop music legend). Matt has also worked with Gabriella Cohen and Regurgitator’s Ben Ely.
The album traverses styles of experimental folk, hip-hop, lush orchestral sounds, dirty jazz, whimsical bedroom pop, ‘found sound’ patchworks — drawing comparisons to Shugo Tokumaru, Andrew Bird, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Moondog and Ludwig Goransson.
Matt’s shirt concept is a choice to ‘do less harm and more good’, opting out of plastic CDs that quickly become waste. He carefully selected Earth Positive apparel who strive toward the highest possible environmental, social and ethical standards. The Shirt Album is organic, ethically made, solely using sustainable energy generated from wind and solar power. They are designed by Matt himself with an album download on the collar. Modelled by diverse musicians, artists, performance makers and environmental activists, The Shirt Album is available at obscureorchestra.com — women’s S to unisex XXL.
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