For anyone looking to quickly learn how Matt Dorrien’s second LP differs from the first, the Portland pianist and songwriter has provided some helpful hints. The first is right there in the title. His debut was In the Key of Grey, a reflection of its somber mood and post-breakup theme. This one’s called Blue Pastoral—big, expansive, rich, colorful, covering everything from fizzy samba-surf exotica to twinkling cocktail jazz. Dorrien opened the last album singing, “Baby, I’m so lost”; three songs into this one, over caramel-colored strings, he sings, “Baby, I’m so happy our paths crossed.” The album is due out May 13th via Mama Bird Recording Co.
Dorrien’s confidence and newfound perspective on life is present all over Blue Pastoral in songs that boast the stacked-harmony glory of XO-era Elliott Smith, the wry humor of vintage Nilsson, and the warm melodies and expansive production style of the late Richard Swift. (“I originally intended to score every song with these big orchestral arrangements,” Dorrien laughs, “then I realized how much that would cost.”) Holding it all together is Dorrien’s innate knack for tender, immediate melodies and his restless exploration of a host of genres. Blue Pastoral is a widescreen record—70mm songs bursting with color and detail, all powered by a big, open heart.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the video for “Dance,” a standout track where the shuffling beat and skipping piano line recall Dave Brubeck. Lyrically, the song finds Dorrien considering the case of a couple who didn’t value the love they had. He stirs up a mood to match the lyrics with his charming, easygoing vocals that would be at home in a jazz lounge but still carry an indie-pop vibe. Grainy footage matches the loping piano and soft-spoken vocals, conveying a sense of nostalgic warmth with a bittersweet edge. There is something undeniably soothing about Dorrien’s delivery and the music, which is brought home with the Beach Boys-like vocal harmonies.
Dorrien describes the inspiration behind the track:
This is my homage to the era of cool jazz, especially the Vince Guaraldi Trio, Dave Brubeck, and even Burt Bacharach. Lyrically, it’s the story of the disintegration of a marriage, finding redemption and hope in one’s children, and the ever continuing dance of life that we take part in, with all its joys and woes.